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We've been dealing with goat health issues recently. Buddy the goat hurt his back, and got stuck in a dry creek bed with very steep sides. Thank goodness for our friendly neighborhood scrap yard owner and his strong employees who came out to help us lift Buddy out.
Buddy had to spend two days at the vet's. At first, we we worried that he might have broken his back but it turned out to just be a very bad strain, or perhaps a pinched nerve. He's now on light duty - no climbing on the steep parts of our land or knocking heads with his goat pals.
We combined convalescent care with garden clean up. In this video, Buddy and his herd mate Cocoa get some gentle exercise and prune my perennials.
Remember when we found the tiny tadpoles in the rain barrel? They've been doing a lot of growing since then and now the very first tadpole has left the pond to explore dry land. Here he is on his very first day in his new environment.
He's just a tiny little guy. His body is about a half inch long (not counting the length of his tail). He's not doing a whole lot - or maybe it's just that he's busy doing a lot of baby frog stuff and it just doesn't look like a lot to a human.
One of the other tadpoles noticed that his brother left the pond, and was very curious about the whole situation.
Most of the other tadpoles, though, are still focused on all of their busy pond activities and haven't noticed what big brother is doing. We aren't quite sure how many tadpoles are in our little plastic pond. We've counted at least 50 but have no idea how many others are hiding in the rocks at the bottom of the bond.
It is so peaceful watching little tadpoles going about their important tadpole business. They look a lot like balloon or blimps with faces. It's pretty amazing to see the changes that they go through on their way to becoming and adult frog.
It shouldn't be long before other tadpoles join their sibling on the pond shore. I wonder if the curious one from the second video will be the next one out of the water.
I have to admit that I like showing off the prettiest parts of my garden and glossing over the parts that aren't perfect. I thought it might be helpful, though, to show you an overview of what my garden looks like when it's at the height of the "August Crispies".
Right now the garden is full of summer blooming flowers. Many of them have fairly long bloom periods so you can see that there's a mix of fresh new blooms, faded flowers, and seed heads in all stages of development. It looks kind of weedy in places but there are actually very few weeds. The weeds on the paths have been weed whacked into submission and the beds are crowded with perennials that choke out most of the weeds.
Of course, as they start to pass peak bloom the perennials themselves can look quite weedy! You can see that a lot of them have crunchy leaves and look very scraggly.
It can be hard to judge the appearance of the garden at this time of year. I see a lot more dry, brown, crisp stuff out there than I'd ever see in a garden magazine photo! And it seems that garden TV shows and magazines are out to convince gardeners that a healthy garden bed should be green and lush year round. If it isn't, then it's time to buy that fancy irrigation system or load your plants up with chemical plant "food".
So there it is - real life video of a real perennial flower garden in the height of August heat and dry weather. Is it beautiful? That depends on how you look at it. If your idea of beauty is that the plants are artificially encouraged to remain in a state of perpetual youth, be primped and pruned into "perfection", and to be un-naturally green and lush (the plant equivalent of the orange spray-on tan) then you probably won't find the garden all that beautiful. Personally, I find the maturing flower and plant forms to have their own natural beauty. I like watching them as they develop their seed heads and prepare to self sow a new generation. And I think it is appropriate that their colors shift to faded blooms and browning foliage instead of an artificial "nitrogen junkie" green.