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Reaping the Harvest

Despite our recent run in with Racoons we are beginning to enjoy the harvest of the garden. The tomatoes are ripening huge and juicy. Lots of peppers are coming on. I picked one tomatillo and added it to the peppers, tomatoes and some freshly dug garlic for a delicious salsa. I could have added one of our onions they are getting big enough but I needed to use up some store bought onion.

We made Shish Kabobs with our first zucchini. It was supposed to be a pumpkin. It came up with the other pumpkin seed I planted in that exact spot. When I got to looking at it, it didn’t look like a pumpkin.

The cilantro has gone wild and the dill will be ready for every thing we can pickle.

Chickenality

We put leg bands on the chickens. Not fancy bands designated for chickens just plain old zip-strips. I was letting one at a time out to graze and needed a way to know who’s turn it was. Now they have bands and names. We have, the very creatively named, Green, Blue and Red.

With a way to know who you are looking at it is amazing how much personality a chicken has. Green is a chicken. No that doesn’t sound right, how about scaredy cat. Very timid and shy she is hard to catch.

Blue is my favorite. She is the first to great you at the gate begging for a grasshopper. She is friendly and inquisitive. Even when running loose she will run up to you and eat out of your fingers. Blue and green are buddies they hang out together now that I am letting them all out of the cage to roam during the days.

Red is a loner. The other two will be off chasing bugs together and Red will be on the other side of the yard. She lacks the herd instinct. Not at all social she has no interest in being fed. I can coax Green in for a grasshopper once in a while but never old Red. Not to say she doesn’t like the other two, they hang out. She just doesn’t need them.

They are even more fun to watch roaming freely about the yard then when caged. Not very surprising. Luckily the dogs don’t seem to be bothering them and they haven’t ventured near the garden yet and so they can continue to enjoy their freedom for now.

Death and Distruction

As if gophers and grasshoppers weren’t enough we were struck by another attacker last night.

Racoons

The evil beasts invaded the sweetcorn ripping the newly ripened fruit? from it’s stalk and tearing it to shreds. Where before there was happiness and great anticipation they have left behind despair.

All is not lost. There were a few survivors. We shall feast upon them tonight and then we’ll show those coons. We have not yet begun to fight!

UPDATE:

Tiny, delicate, ferocious, raccoon hating Daisy treed the whole family of coons last night. She held them single handedly until she was able to rouse help. Only one was able to escape nearly eliminating the problem.

She’s a good dog.

Going Out for Lunch

I went on a trail ride last week. An honest to goodness ride. Not, as is my habit of late, to hop on bare back and meander aimlessly but with a saddle and every thing.

All right so the saddle was not because of the trail ride but rather the other way around. I love my little Coyote because of his tendency to be rotten so it seems unfair for me to ride bare back pregnant and then get upset when he is hot and spooky. So it was agreed by all concerned parties that I should start using a saddle until pregnancy is no longer an issue. And so because I had a saddle on I decided to venture farther from home.

Nocturne called to check up on my location just in case there came the need for a search party. He invited me to ride over east across the highway to where they were combining that day it was just a few miles down quiet roads and section lines. The day was still cool, Coyote and I were fresh and it sounded fun. Daisy ranged ahead of us flushing pheasants as she went.

As we turned a corner I could see in the general direction of our goal, it was a long way off. Rides always seem longer with a goal in mind. We pushed on. The ride was beautiful, even when we had to traverse a real road, such as it was, for a short period. The shoulders were wide and the road deserted. I reached the combines just in time for lunch. How fortuitous.

I ate my husbands lunch for him, really there was plenty for all. I ate until I thought I would be sick. Then I had to get back on the horse for the homeward section of the trip, always much faster and bouncier. I really thought I was going to be sick.

Of Eggplants and Ponies

I have a two pound eggplant inside a basketball inside my tummy. This strange occurrence and the analogy disturbs me a little. Being pregnant is weird enough without the food and sports references. Because of this interesting if not so unusual happening I am not allowed to start riding my three year old. Mind you they said I can’t ride him they (doctors, husband, people with more common sense than me) didn’t say I couldn’t work him.

I don’t know why I’m so worried about getting him started all of a sudden. Yes he’s three. No big deal. Morgans, horses in general, shouldn’t be started until then any way. It’s just that I am surrounded by a culture in which horses are started at two. An un-broke three year old means that I am a bad owner. Granted I have already admitted to this sad fact, I need to convince myself that that is not the case on this particular occasion. Next year he will be four, next year I will start riding him. He will be that much more ready to ride because I will have spent this year preparing him. It will be great.

Not.

All I want to do is hop on Coyote bare back in a halter and plod around the yard. I am lazy, I am pregnant, I am burned out on training horses.

Next year though, next year he shall be ridden.

They Grow Up So Fast

Finger eating chickens as babies

It seems like only yesterday that we picked them up as day old chicks. Now they are large ferocious finger eating chickens.

Large is all relative I suppose. They are Buff Orpingtons and will get much bigger than this before they are done. The ferocious beasts progressed quickly from pouncing upon grasshoppers as we herded them into their cage to ripping them out of our fingers as we dangle them over their heads.

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A Pictoral Esay on the Harvest

Every thing is going well. No rain, for the moment that’s a good thing, no hail, always a good thing. They are working on the neighbors wheat now.

That is the full extent of my knowledge of farming. Maybe when he is done combining he can give factually accurate account.

Maybe he can also return to editing my posts. I never claimed to be able to spell or practice proper grammar. Really I barely have a working grasp of the English language. So any mistakes are his fault for being gone.

It’s always a mans fault it’s only fair.

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All the Pretty Flowers

The bees may be gone but the gap they left behind has been filled at least partially by their much larger cousins. The buzzing roar of the bumblebees is a little intimidating as the zip past your head. They gather pollen fertilizing plants the same as honey bees.

I do love my flowers, pitiful though they may be, and it is nice to have these gigantic insects to keep them company. What is left of them after the grasshoppers are through that is.