This morning when I went out to open the barn up, three of the ducklings were out in the yard. Those little boogers can walk right through the chain link fence and don't have the common sense to stay near their mommas. I thought about putting chicken wire over the chain link, but that would lock the cats in or out, and considering these will be our only babies this year, and ducklings grow fast... I think I'm going to leave it off for now.
Since tomorrow should be a little more tolerable than today was, I do have lots of stuff on my "to do" list. I want to work on modifying that turtle trap into a rabbit tractor. I need to have Tony repair the gate at the end of the driveway (he bought the supplies but hasn't gotten to fixing it yet). I need to re-plant the little garden by the screen porch again and then use stakes and chicken wire to prevent a repeat "chicken buffet" massacre of the plants. I need to put landscape fabric on the bottoms of the three potato towers and get them set up and planted.
I want to get to transplanting plants and setting up more garden spaces, but I just don't see that happening at this point. Gardening this year appears to be a big flop. I'm still working on it as I can, but I'm loosing time and other projects and every day stuff keeps coming up and prevents me from getting out there and getting gardening tasks done. It's frustrating, but I'm still hopeful I can get a small crop in. It's a huge project to start from scratch, and I have to remind myself that it took a few years to get all the garden spaces set up at the old house - and that was when Tony worked a lot less and was around to help more. Now I'm largely working alone, and refereeing children and doing all the house and barn chores while I'm at it. It makes sense the project progress is slower than I'd hoped. Most of the fruit trees appear to be dead. Two have leaves and look to be alive. They get watered every other day and have mulch to keep the water from evaporating. The strawberry bed is barren except for the two live strawberry plants I put in and the Black Pearl pepper plant I added in the far corner. Not a single "bare root" from two different sources (four varieties) has come up. I'm starting to feel discouraged with my seemingly insurmountable failure this year. Alas, the cabbage plants are looking great, the three planted potato beds are coming up, the Japanese Black Pumpkin and the Old German tomato plant in the brassica bed are looking good, and the old apple tree still has lots of apples developing. It's not a total loss. Of course the walnuts will produce without any help from me, and we still have two more trees that I'm as of yet baffled by... I thought they were both crab apples, but one has apples as big as the apple tree that produced last year, and the other has red fruits that look remarkably like jelly beans with a single large seed in the middle (like a cherry), but they're so astringent when I tried one I had to spit it out. The seeds are not round, and the flowers looked like apple or crab apple flowers, so I don't think they're cherries... I guess we will wait and try to identify them later. I hope they're edible and we can put them to good use... but I have to know what they are first.
When I did my daily check on the colony bunnies, they had finally decided to explore outside of their nest. I worry about the tiny little one that was salvaged from a younger litter. I don't think it's ready to be wandering off, but now all the older siblings have left, so it's forced to go out too. The little bunny with the bad foot did lose the end of the foot, and it's healing up nicely. It's using the foot and walking around just the same as the normal bunnies in the litter.