Thursday, June 21, 2012

2nd Chances (or Getting Your Quails In a Row and Rightside Up)

Summer Solstice.
Many people complain of the heat, "The Dog Days",  but Ms. SpoolTeacher loves the Desert. There are plenty enough cold days, many more than she likes and far too little sunlight, (which turn her into a sloth) during Winter.

Long warm days and lots of dirt. Sweat? It works like an evaporator cooler if you sit in front of a fan.

Today she didn't have any jobs outside of what she had on her home agenda:
Dishes, laundry, reorganizing the garage (yes, still) and of course, watering the life sitting out under the blazing sun. 

Something keeps chomping things off at their feet, but she can't catch them in the act. So she is trying to devise critter frustration devices, which aren't working very well.

Out in the back against the retaining wall, she had planted some cantaloupe seeds from the batch she had scooped out and dried from one she had previously eaten. When they didn't seem to want to come up, she planted sunflowers instead. Up the sunflowers popped in no time, but along with a little corner full of cantaloupe sprouts that had either flowed in the water or been dug down to the end when she scrapped the dirt to plant the flower seeds. The corner was packed with cantaloupe leaves.

What to do. She had planted cantaloupe everywhere in the yard to see where they might like to be. Apparently they like anywhere.

She couldn't stand the thought of just pulling them out without giving them a second chance; so she used her bulb planting tool to pull them up and put them in whatever containers she had around. 

This is her first year of taking food gardening seriously. It's all a learning curve.

Little Red-Haired Girl went out with her to water the rest of the gardens on all three sides of the house. One side runs along the road and she gets up on the fence wall to hang over with the hose to water the plants she has put in the parkway there. She was hanging over feeling the cool spray of the water and looking down to inspect the condition of the life below when two little baby quail ran along where she was watering. They were so tiny and cute. Itty bitty things. They looked like they were lost. She expected to see a bunch more follow them and the parents show up at some point running their little chicks; but just the two ran by, each taking a turn at being ahead of the other.

She made her way back up to the front where the raised bed is and Little Red-Haired Girl went up to the porch to sit and watch, keeping some distance from the hose that often wants to spray her, trying to keep her cool....

All of a sudden, she took off like a bat out of h. e. double l... and Ms. SpoolTeacher suddenly thought of those little baby ducks quail and that it would be just about the right time for them to be there too and she yelled out at LRHG, "Hey, HEY, Hey! Hey! and went running over to pry her (by then wrapped around a baby quail) mouth off of the little thing which would be a morsel to her.

By some stroke of luck, it wasn't in her mouth and Ms. SpoolTeacher hurried over to the site where it might be and there it was laying on its side; but by the time she got to it to rescue it, it had righted itself and was hobbling off, gaining speed and stamina as it went...

She watched it hurry its little duck quail feet and run over to the neighbor's back yard. She would hope for the best...

A little while later and watching LRHG carefully not to try that again, she made her way over to the wall that borders her neighbor's back yard and suddenly thought to look over...

Look closely now, they are there
She looked and looked and finally movement, one little quail skittering the same trail round and around until it looked like the other came out from the downspout and caught up and then they started again, taking turns at being ahead of each other but following the same lost trail.

Adorable they were, so she watched them for quite awhile trying to figure out what they might be trying to do. There were many other little birds that looked like chicks of some kind, picking in the dirt; so she thought, "Is this where they want to be or are they lost and trying to find their parents?"
She figured they could make their way out if they made it in and except for the darned dog thing, they looked like they could figure things out...

Just as she got her camera and hung over the wall to take a shot, they got a clue and started lining themselves up on the sidewalk, headed straight for the gate...

Aren't they sweet? Wasn't it nice of Little Red-Haired Girl to give them a second chance!

Did you say, "What's for hors d'oeuvres dinner?"


  1. I have volunteer cantaloupe this year too. They came from the same dirt pile along with roma tomato and three varieties of squash. In one bed they made fruit about the size of a baseball and the squash is stunted as well. In another bed they are full size and we are hoping to get to eat at least one. Some of these were transplanted from where they sprouted to a real bed. The cantaloupe and the squash will vine and go all over the place. I let it.

  2. and she meant to give Oldfool credit for the "critter frustrating devices" as she basically plagiarized his inspiring words[The cats thought it was a litter box so initially I had "cat frustrating devices" in place.] She thanks him and laughed when she read those words because she does it all of the time too. For awhile, LRHG ran around helping her with kitty poo, but Annie is in kitty heaven now.