My backyard has become the place to be to watch our new neighbors. They are, we think, a young couple, no kids and very quiet, keeping to themselves and not going out of their way to make friends. The folks around here are not shy about their interest, using binoculars to spy on these newcomers and speculating on them incessantly. How did they get here and what attracted them? Will they stay? Raise a family?

The new neighbors are a pair of bald eagles. They have been here for a week, staying even through the noisy dumping of several tons of huge slabs of rock being placed along the riverbank in an effort to protect it from erosion. To say we are delighted is an understatement.

In spite of the breaks for eagle watching, in a bit more than 5 hours yesterday, a group of us pressed more than 30 gallons of cider. Most will be frozen and some hardened but a lot will be consumed fresh. Fresh pressed cider is one of life’s pleasures. I have another 300 pounds of apples coming today. Some will be pressed but most will be dried or sauced.

I’m heading off to the Greenfield Farmer’s Co-op this morning. My quest is for seeds, anything with a shelf life that I can put away for next year. I am particularly interested in dried beans, French horticultural beans and winter squash. Also on the list will be herbs. I have a patch of grass that I’m going to cover with cardboard and mulch and use to expand my herb garden.

My summer kitchen is coming along. It’s completely roofed and sheathed and the subfloor is down. It has already come in handy as it started to rain in the middle of the pressing party and we moved into the kitchen and kept on pressing.

FYI-I got a couple of emails today warning of big price increases coming for peanut butter, as much as 40% for some brands. If you have been thinking about stocking up it might be prudent to do it now rather than later.