Sunday brought the first torrential downpour that we have seen so far. It came in sheets, driven hard by the winds, accompanied by prodigious bolts of nearby lightning. The farm gratefully received about 3/4 of an inch of rain in less than thirty minutes.
Rufus (the Canine formerly known as Biscuit) and I took a stroll down to the bottoms this morning to assess the status of the blackberry patch (maybe half an acre). I can report that the first berries are now ripe but 99% are still sometime away from being pure delight on the palette. We are impressed with Rufus' intelligence - he learns very fast and knows "sit" with only a few days training. But that pales compared to what I witnessed today - he watched me eat three or four berries and HE proceeded to very carefully pluck blackberries (without getting his lips in the thorns) and eat them! He doesn't flinch around gunshots (well, at least flint locks) and is so well behaved when taking long (one hour) car rides. It seems like the Creator is trying to balance the twelve and a half years with Nutmeg as the resident canine.
The farm is in its summer glory. The hay has been mown and baled so the fields are as well manicured as an Enron executive testifying before Congress. The trees are happy and the walnut trees, in particular, seem to be nourishing a plenitude of nuts for the autumn pleasures of man and squirrel alike. The forest floor has lush stands of ferns anywhere enough sunlight penetrates to the leafy carpets.
The kittens continue their path towards certification as full fledged, card-carrying cats. They are now thirteen weeks old and are growing. physically and mentally, by leaps and bounds (that is also how they move about). We hope that the will remain as affectionate as adults as they are now. Here is Miss Tweedle today, waving to all of her fans on this blog. As an obscure aside for one or two of the initiated readers, we have just discovered that F. Holland Day's childhood feline was also named Tweedle....
The big news that I promised to disclose today has been postponed for about a fortnight due to circumstances beyond our control. Be patient, good friend, and await the glad tidings in their due time.