1 The air was heavy with mist on a recent early morning at the farm.
2 It was so thick that the equipment barn beyond the corn crib was obscured.
3 You can barely see the stable beyond and to the left of the iconic ancient apple trees.
4 The view from my back door looking over the apple espalier and the long pergola
5 Empress Tang venturing out for her early morning stroll
6 Will she be bold and wander into the shrouded paddock?
7 Probably not!
8 Tang and her sister, Princess Peony, decided to remain on the terrace with me.
9 Eventually, the mist burned off and I strolled through the Japanese maple grove.
10 Francesca joined me.
11 Deep in the woods, I came upon a troop of large, brown mushrooms. They were possibly a type of bolete.
12 I decided to place my Blackberry on the largest one to show you its scale.
13 I found Shaun and Wilmer pruning a European hornbeam hedge.
14 I was impressed by how level their pruning was.
15 Shaun explained that they were using a long string attached to bamboo poles as a cutting guide.
16 Because the hedge is planted on a gradual slope, in addition to the string, they were also using a....
17 Line level.
18 This handy device hooks onto the string. You then make the necessary adjustments to the height of the bamboo poles in order to get a level line.
19 The pair of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep don't seem to mind the hot sun, as they graze happily in their paddock.
20 The chickens escape the heat by seeking shade in their yard.
21 Like dogs, they also dig holes in the dirt to sit in.
22 The vegetable garden is growing very nicely.
23 We've been harvesting white turnips, carrots, peas, onions, and lots of lettuce.
24 Sanu was snipping some young and tender chard.
25 Year after year, a pair of barn swallows choose to nest right outside my front door. Their mud and grass structures always amaze me.
26 When they are ready, the babies venture out of the nest and onto the door sill.
27 Mom and dad teach their brood how to fly and swoop for insects in the meadows.