Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011

Beautiful sunsets . . .

A new toy
Our new riddling board .. . isn't she lovely?  We won't need it until after Christmas, but we had to have it before we started our sparkling wine experiment.  No need to start making sparkling wine with no riddling board.
The Experiment
 First, you rack the white wine into a clean carboy.
 Then, you add a bunch of stuff (secret ingredients like sugar) and stir well.  Next, you fill the recycled sparkling wine bottles (washed and sanitized, of course).
 Then a biddle.  You'll learn more about this later.
 A beer bottle cap.
And, there they are.  25 bottles of soon-to-be sparkling wine.  Looks like a celebration-in-the-making to me.

That was pretty much the focus of our week.  The actual process only took a few hours, but oh the preparation. 

The other big job was securing the bird net.  It seemed every time Stanley secured one spot those darn birds found another.  I had no idea they could be so ingenious.  It's done now!  At least, it is as tight as we can make it.

 Speaking of birds, I got some great shots of some old favorites this week.  I've added them to the Birds of Perote link.

Saturday morning, when I went for my walk I was up a little earlier than usual and I had an amazing experience.  I'm not very good at estimating small, flying creatures, but I believe there were at least 100 Mexican free-tail bats circling a pecan tree by the side of the road.  As I walked closer, the bats just incorporated me into their flight paths.  It was absolutely exciting to be so close! 
Today, Sunday, I made sure to get out early and this time I took Stanley and my camera never expecting them to be in the same place two days in a row.  Well, they were and I got a couple of photos.  With the dim light, there was no way to take a photo of the whole group, but I got a couple of shots to show how close I was. 

As for the grapes, this week's story is about the new Zinfandel.  They are putting on a huge crop of grapes, but we can already see they are going to be very uneven in their ripening.  Oh, the agony and frustration of a vineyard man.

Wishing you a week free of both agony and frustration.