Friday, November 12, 2010

The Final Harvest

These days I am busily packing up my household. For those who don't know, I was offered a new job (at last), which I accepted, the result being that I am moving. To Michigan. It was a difficult decision, but a job is better than unemployment, and the place where I am going looks like it will be a terrific place to work. Even so, I am heartbroken to leave my property here, with the apple trees just starting to produce, the native shrub hedge finally growing in, and my veg. garden soil improving each year.

Walking in and out of the back porch I kept passing the pile of runner beans that I brought inside to dry. Finally, this morning I decided it was time to shuck them, for the sun was out, the air was mild, and I needed to tackle the porch soon in the cleaning frenzy.

Each pod was stripped from the dried vines and its contents were placed in a bowl.

Idefix did as all cats do: sat on whatever I was working on. In this case, the unshucked beans.

All of a sudden, Toby bounded up and charged the fence. He ran and barked and turned and jumped and barked some more, completely beside himself. What could it be? I looked for a deer, but no deer was to be seen. Instead, I saw...

one of the many stray cats our neighborhood now has. Unresponsible cat owners have left their fertile cats outside and now we are overrun with a feral population.

Toby was defending his property and his own cat. This stray was not impressed, for it stayed there all arched up and fluffy for several minutes, no doubt laughing internally at the futile efforts of the dog.

I returned to my shucking and ended up with quite a good haul. I don't remember which beans are which, though. However, I think the little reddish-brown ones in the bowl with the large white ones are the dwarf bees, a very short runner bean that is considered "rare."

These might be the scarlet runner beans...

and these maybe are the sunset runner beans?

Would that make these the painted ladies?

Hopefully I'll have gardening space next summer and can plant these to discover (once more) which ones are which.

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