The hummingbirds are feeding furiously with the cooler temps, loading up for the long trip south but they are finding competition these days from the bees. The bees actually harass the hummers so I hung another feeder with the 'bee guard', they still cluster around it. Late in the day the bees are gone back to the hives so the hummingbirds can eat in relative peace, until the bully bird shows up.
Zoe has the best seat in the house, sprawled across the back of the couch in the gazebo, watching the drama. The hummer is sitting on the hanger in the background, disgusted that he can't get at the feeder.
I'm delighted to see more Monarch butterflies, they are having a tough time, I read that only 7% of the larvae make it to maturity because of different reasons. Loss of habitat is not one of them around here, the ditches are filled with milkweed, as is my garden, that was something Bruce had to get used to.
Otto is back, he left for a couple of months, I thought he was gone forever but one day I heard a "Hurrumph" from the direction of the pond and there he was!! Welcome home!! I think he brought a girlfriend with him because there are two frogs now.
The fish also feed furiously these days, I think they sense the cold weather is on it's way and its a long winter sitting on the bottom of the pond.
My Sweet Autumn Clematis is blooming, a heavenly cloud of fragrant white flowers that covers the trellis that Bruce built for me several years ago. I had one on each side but lost the other one, one tough winter. I replaced it with Sweet Summer Clematis but it has been disappointingly less vigorous and hardly blooms. If it dies, a Sweet Autumn goes back in.
The plaque says, "Leave a path in the garden for Angels to walk through."
The fall raspberries are ripening, just a few at a time but that's okay with me. They get washed and inspected for picnic bugs, then frozen and added to the gallon bag in the freezer. They will make a great jam later.
The blackberries are also ripening but I have a love/hate relationship with them, the vines are NASTY! They grab hold with their thorns and do not let go easily. You have to preserve to pluck the ripe berries, I really not sure they are worth the trouble.
The last sign of fall is the World's Largest County Fair, the Clay County Fair at Spencer IA. We had already planned on going today, Thursday, because it was Ag Day, we got free tickets to get in, a $10 voucher from the Corn Growers to eat on, a free meal from the Soybean Asso. in the evening and Marv Nissel's polka band was playing. (That was for Bruce.)
All week rain was predicted but this morning it didn't look very threatening so off we went but we took our Frog Toggs from Cabela's just in case.
It rained and rained, and rained, and poured and poured and poured until the fairgrounds was under water. We ate on the voucher, Bruce watched Marv and we stayed for the Soybean dinner but left shortly after because we were parked in a grass lot and more rain was still coming. We were a soggy pair when we finally got to the pickup, it's just amazing what farmers will do for a free meal!
I had to rescue Zoe from the gazebo where she was holed up all day, we'd had an inch of rain and it was still coming down. I was finally able to shed my wet clothes and don my comfy, warm sweats, turning on the electric mattress pad under the flannel sheets. Heavenly! I certainly hope Spencer catches a break on the rain or plan to wear your Wellington's up there. Don't say I didn't warn you.