Look what I found in my cherry tree!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of raccoon in cherry tree

I was out picking cherries yesterday from one of our backyard cherry trees in Port Orchard, Washington. This time of year, all the cherries are ripening so it's always a mad dash to try to beat the birds to the sweet, red crop.

As I worked the lower branches, I heard a noise up above. Looking up, I saw this.

Apparently, it's not only the birds I'm competing with!

First egg from Tetra Tints!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of small egg in hand
Photo of small egg in frying pan

We got our first egg from the Tetra Tint chickens, at 18 weeks and 3 days! We have two different colors of Tetra Tint chickens - white chickens and red chickens. The white chickens are larger than the red ones, but the first egg came from a red one.

We have had these chickens since last February. I am very fond of them. Thus far, it has been the best flock I've ever had. Very easy chickens to raise, very stable temperaments and large, gentle chickens.

Good eggs, too!

Deer and gardens can coexist!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of buck deer under bush

This young buck loves to hang out beneath the California Lilac (Ceanothus L.) bushes. These beautiful bushes are only twenty feet from my gardens. I have had ZERO deer problems this season, even though the deer are right up to the doorstep. There are plenty of posts on my website (friendswithgardens.com) that tell you how I do it.

I love this guy. He and I came face-to-face about a week ago ... six feet apart and staring one another down. He finally walked off. Now, he just watches me while I work the garden.

Foxgloves everywhere!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of Foxglove

These are more of my wife's plants and they are everywhere you look this time of year. For those who love in parts of the country where these do not grow or flourish, you are really missing out. These are very beautiful and come in a huge variety of colors. The bees like them, too - particularly bumblebees. :)

But as with apples in Paradise, the Foxglove is moderately to severely poisonous to you and your household pets. "Just look," Eve was told, "but don't eat." :)

Skidmark - our new hen

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of Tetra Tint chicken named Skidmark

I just had to share with you a photo of one of our new hens. I have named her "Skidmark." I'll let you figure that one out ... (click on the title of this post and then on the photo to enlarge).

She's a Tetra Tint, from the Tractor Supply. Elsewhere on this site, I have posted many times about the Tetra Tints and their progress. This is our first year with this hybrid strain (STRAIN not STAIN) and thus far, we are really enjoying them. And enjoying naming them... :)

Edible chive flowers

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of edible chive flowers

Did you know that you can eat the flowers from your chive plants? I know, I know ... you're probably thinking: eat flowers?

They are DELICIOUS! You can just walk up to the plant, pick a few flowers and pop 'em in your mouth, or you can harvest them for cooking. I like them fried in butter with mushrooms and onions.