What The Critters Left Me (Not Much!)

The Red House survived the hurricane although we did have water pouring into our basement.  Luckily, once Lynn managed to get the sump pump working, we got some, but not all of the water out.  This will definitely have to be a project we’ll have to deal with..later. Especially if we want to use the basement further down the road as a pantry or wine cellar.

I suppose most of my fondness for the Red  House is actually the property.  I love being outside as much as possible even if I’m eaten alive by the mosquitoes and itching for days afterwards.  I love looking at the garden and seeing what’s growing.  I love watching the sumac trees wave in the wind.  I love watching the clouds move quickly across the sky and am constantly amazed at how quickly the weather can change.  I love seeing deer on the property at night, and watching the hammock we hung up last summer sway between the tall pine trees.

I like the fact that kids still walk in this town; I see them carrying their towels to the community pool in the summer, a sled or plastic dish to go sledding on in the winter. I love hearing the freight trains tooting their horns at all hours down in the valley, and the Amish horse and buggy trotting by the house on Sunday mornings. I don’t even mind the occasional RV lumbering its way up to the mountains, and the more than occasional band of motorcycles rumbling their way down from the mountains.

In other words, there always seems to be a lot happening outside the Red House.  So, once it stopped raining Labor Day weekend, and it was dry enough for me to venture outside,  I looked at my garden and thought, it didn’t look like summer was over, not with all the flowers still blooming!

End of Summer Garden

The marigolds, in particular, seemed to be doing exceptionally well.

Red House Marigolds

But there were an incredible amount of weeds in the garden which I tried to pull up, along with branches that had fallen during the storm, so I started tossing everything into the wheelbarrow.

Weeds and other debris

Once I got through most of the weeds (really, no garden is ever totally weed-free), I was able to find a few eggplants, hanging.

The Lonely Eggplant

Also hiding underneath some thick vines, I discovered two acorn squash which I promptly picked, a single jalapeno, yellow squash and quite a few green tomatoes. I picked the tomatoes only because I knew if I didn’t, they would be gone by the morning.

What They Left Me

I, in turn, left the critters (that would be the deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and the occasional raccoon), a pile of what I thought were perfectly edible (for them, not us) yellow cucumbers, but not a single animal touched my artistically arranged pile the entire weekend!

What I Left Them!

I still have tons of basil, lots of celery, and a few leeks.  I’m going to pick the basil and make batches of pesto.

My Lovely Basil

The celery, I ended up cutting as many stalks as I could transport home, figuring I could toss them into salad (namely chicken or tuna), in batches of homemade chicken soup, and if I got really ambitious, into some sort of stuffing for a roasted chicken.

Definitely Not Supermarket Celery

And because I absolutely LOVE LEEKS, they will get their very own story, in addition to my doubling (or even tripling) the amount I plant at the Red House garden next year.

First Time Growing Leeks!

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