Migration season has begun, still no ripe tomatoes but plenty of voles

What a crazy last couple of weeks. First, we had an issue with our MAC, where we thought we might have lost all of our files (including all my images- yikes!) since I've been really bad about backing things up. We were offline for a couple of days, but Rob figured out not only how to retrieve the files, but get our computer back up and running again. Whew! (And now there are two backups of everything at the moment!)

First eggplant of the season.
In the meantime, we've been battling voles outside. After researching a ton, the only solution I could come to was to trap them. (The repellents have so far not had any effect on getting them out of our yard.) Now it makes sense what happened to all the tomato plants in the ground: their roots were being nibbled from underneath. My little dogwood tree and one of the new blueberry bushes is starting to look a little off as well, but I'm hoping I can save them.

I've harvested my first eggplant- a nice Rosita - and a couple of cucumbers and green beans. Oh, and the onions! This was my first year growing them from seed and they came out so nice! I'm in the process of drying them now. The garlic should be officially cured by Aug. 17- huzzah! There is also plenty of basil for the rabbits, which keeps them happy. So there are little triumphs in the garden this year, but it seems a lot harder than usual to get a decent crop.

Onions grown from seed!
Basil, parsley, carrots and their tops and dandelion (even red clover) is
what keeps the rabbits happy around here!
I've cut back on filling the birdfeeders since the voles got out of hand, but on Sunday five grackles made a pit stop at the feeder. I still had some nuts and suet, so I went out and refilled them. HOLY GRACKLES! I'm not sure why I actually like these birds, since they swarm and chase other songbirds away, but I guess someone has to help them out, right? There's been at least 20-30 birds at the feeders since, including right now where I can hear their squawks occasionally reprimanded by a bluejay. This morning also brought a pair of red-wing blackbirds to the yard (perhaps the ones I spied earlier in the spring headed north?), which confirms my suspicions of summer actually ending with the waning daylight and cooler morning temperatures. (Even though we've had some wicked storms- including one that had measured wind gusts of 80-100 mph last week!)

I guess this season is a learning period, helping me to learn all about the other vegetables I could grow besides tomatoes. I'm even beginning to entertain the idea of corn for next year... hmmm...

And of course, some lovely photos of flowers from the last couple of weeks from the garden...

Hibiscus out front.

Black eye susans around back patio.

Back shade garden (impatiens from seed!)

I have to plant more lantana next year! They did SO well!
Tiger swallowtail enjoying the butterfly bush.


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