Eastern Shore Life Part Five: Looking Back on the Summer

In this cold weather, looking back on the summer warms us up

This summer was a hot one-and I miss it. The cold weather is miserable in my opinion. It’s dreary and gray outside, and to do anything you have to layer up from head to toe to do anything outside. I just hate it. Recently, I was looking through a collection of the images I shot on the farm during my many visits.  This just made me miss the summer even more, sunburn and all. Looking back at the past few months, I realized how much I appreciate the green spaces in our area, and how vital they are to being happy and healthy.

The farm during the summer is packed with wildflowers and all kinds of critters. The bees, which number in the thousands, probably make up the largest demographic on the property. The deer seem to come in a close second-herds of them just wander around, eating what they please. There are butterflies and birds, and lots of reptiles and amphibians by the water. I even had a run in with a snake (he gave me a pretty big scare, since I almost stepped on him). Spiders at the farm are a force to be reckoned with…needless to say, I avoided them at all costs.

The summer blossoms of the farm

The wildflowers are the least threatening of the residents of the farm. Coming in all shapes and sizes, they provide nectar for all of the pollinators in the area.

Looking back at the wildflowers on the farm this summer. These yellow sunflower-type plants covered the field with color.

These flowers can change year to year as nature takes its course. Some plants spread like wildfire, while others get choked out by stronger roots. Come the spring, we will have replanted the meadow with a heartier mix of plants to provide for the wildlife in the area. Sometimes, grasses can become too thick, which chokes out nectar sources. Every once in a while we turn the fields over to renew the ecosystem with fresh plantings.

Looking back at the summer and the beautiful flowers that grow around the farm.

Other nectar sources, like ornamental annual flowers, grow around the home on the farm. These provide seasonal color, and a long-lasting nectar source for the insects in the area.

Looking back on the summer and the ecology of the farm. This monarch butterfly visited yellow cup flowers planted near the back of the farm house.

We collected hundreds of pounds of Eastern Shore Honey from our hives this summer too. Thanks to the efforts of the bees, we’ll have our delicious Spring Honey for a long time to come.

Harvesting honey on Chesterhaven Beach Farm. Looking back at the summer to when we collected hundreds of pounds of honey from the hives like this.

The fig bush at the farm is a little gem. Depending on how harsh the winter is, there can be an excess or a lack of fruits come the next summer, since figs bear off of old wood. This summer, the fig produced a large number of fruits. Surprisingly, bees don’t pollinate figs-wasps do. Wasps aren’t the friendliest of buggers, but we let them alone (until they get into the house, at least).

Figs from the farm.

I’m just hoping that this winter is a short one-but I have a feeling that won’t be. Until the next summer, I’ll be looking through my photos of the farm and hanging on until the sun comes back out.