After an unusually dry spring, the weather has finally caught up and it is very humid and rainy. We needed it! The prairie fields around us are waving in the long-awaited yellows of cone flowers, brown-eyed Susans, and tall clover, the white circles of Queen Ann’s lace, and the bright blues of bergamot and spiderwort. It makes me smile every time I walk outside.
An unusual feature of the sudden humidity is the innumerable little toadstools popping out of the grass. I don’t remember that ever happening before. This week, I was surprised to see something on the trunk of a dead tree out at the edge of the woods, and went to investigate. I thought it was a string of dead leaves on a poison ivy vine and wondered why it had died. When I got up close it was an amazing array of fungus.
I have a friend who knows his fungus, and he said it is probably oyster mushrooms, which are delicious. I am not brave enough to try them, though. What if he is wrong? I’ll stick to my springtime morels that I stumble across every five or ten years.
The goat and sheep are damper than usual and seem bored in the summer heat. The sheep are getting braver and gather close around me when I bring out their evening corn snack. Cookie impatiently paws at my leg with her hoof while I feed Dot, and they both allow me to scratch their backs and stroke their chins. I never thought they’d get tame like that.
We have been mulling over having them bred to expand the flock and experience a lambing season. To my surprise, the breeder said she cannot allow sheep to come onto her property or have her own rams leave and return, for health certification reasons. I’d have to purchase a ram and then sell him to someone else afterwards if I did not want to keep him. This would mean building separate quarters and pasture for a ram and is more than I want to deal with. I don’t intend to become a source for registered Shetland sheep. I’m just a hobbyist. I will have to think this over for a while and look at my other options.