Juvenile cedar waxwings waiting for their "shower"
Ben phoned me from inside the house this morning and said, "Look at the Gravenstein apple tree." So I got up out of my chair and went to the window to find the two small apple trees and the harlequin glory bower all full--and I mean completely full--of birds. They were sitting eight and ten to the branch, and flying between the three trees. I had the rotating sprinkler on below them, watering the flower beds and lawn, and what they'd really come for was a bath. They'd flock into place on the branches, adjust themselves to face the coming spray, and then fluff themselves up as the water passed over them. Estimating from what I could count, there were probably between 120 and 150 of them, and they stayed for a good half hour. It was quite the dramatic show.
Below you can see them when the water passed:
In other news, fall has been stealing into the area. The colors this year aren't as vivid as usual, but Ben and I found some pretty colors in the park when we went to walk across the river last night:
Ben has sanded and sealed both sets of cottage steps and the deck in preparation for our upcoming rains, which, if you can believe the Weather Shamans (Paul's term), may arrive as soon as Friday. Up until now, though, it's been blindingly sunny every day. It's been almost like waking up in Southern California. Below are my nice-looking cottage steps, which before were dull and dark brown from layers of ground-in mud:
I've harvested the winter squash (delicatas) and am gradually taking the last few melons. I still have to dig the remaining half bed of potatoes. A friend of Jenny's said last year she put her potatoes in a cooler and it kept them from sprouting, so I picked up a cooler at the thrift store ($2.99) and am going to try it with ours. While I was there, I found a nice pair of Clark's brown leather shoes in great condition--and in my size--for $7.99, so I got those, too. Bonus!
My broccoli has been coming right along, as you can see below. I've harvested the first few heads, which is very exciting.
Now to do the last of our pre-rain prep, like putting away the yard furniture and pulling up the tomato plants that have finished doing their thing. Ben will be up on the roof tomorrow, finishing the initial gutter clean-out, and the pellet stove is ready to keep us warm as western Oregon moves toward its seasonal "dusk".