Well, okay, more of an amateur naturalist blog.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Well, okay, more of an amateur naturalist blog.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Well, it isn't really a trade if I give something but don't get anything back, is it?
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Alas, they've started work on the 7,000 square foot behemoth next door. Six months from now, my gorgeous eastern view, which I appreciated every single time I went out to feed the animals (and the weather was fine) will be utterly gone. A 12,000 foot mountain - blotted out! The sunrise - obliterated!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Well that was fun!
Friday, January 22, 2010
I am off to visit my two best girlfriends for my birthday and will be gone for three days... the longest stretch I've left my husband in charge of everything - kids, animals, housework, cooking....
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Boy, one squished possum sure can make for an exciting day of bird-watching! This morning there was some fresh roadkill right at the end of our driveway. Lancelot, our big dumb collie-dog, went right out onto the highway to check it out, so Homero used the toe of his boot to move it onto the lawn.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
I think I'm stealing this from somebody, but there's nothing to make you contemplate the future like planting a tree.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Trees of Antiquity is a fantastic nursery that specializes in heirloom fruit trees. After drooling for several days over their online catalogue, I wrote to them asking if they could help me pick some apple varieties suitable to my microclimate (wet n' windy) and needs (cider, lots of it!). I included all the information I had to hand about my property - the climactic zone, the annual rainfall and high/low temperature averages - all easy to google - and my personal preferences about apples. One of their experts e-mailed me back the very next day with a number of suggestions.
The chickens must be extremely sensitive to light. Even though the days have been dark and dreary since the New Year, several hens have started to lay. If I didn't have a calendar, I could use chickens to tell me when the solstice was past and the spring around the corner!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I found the most amazing web site, where full text articles and even books on all sorts of agricultural topics are offered free. They are all either in the public domain or there by express permission, so there is no trouble about copyrights. I've just spent a leisurely hour browsing, and found something I want to read in full.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Trimmed the goat's hooves today. Best argument I can think of for having only three goats. Trimming is nasty, and dangerous. I got through it this time without spilling any blood (human or caprine) but that is by no means a given. In the past I have cut both myself and the goat deeply enough to require pressure, iodine, and bandages.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Yup, I admit it - freely, proudly, unashamedly. I am a lard-lover. All day long, I have been slowly, lovingly rendering several pounds of pork-fat into lard. It's not hard - all you have to do is heat the fat over medium heat and stir every half-hour or so. It's almost unbelievable how beguiling is the smell in my kitchen. It smells like bacon, but smoother, richer, softer.... it's like bacon in love.
Our pigpen is pretty squalid this time of year. When we don't have a pig in the pen, it serves as a place to pitch the old straw and horse manure until I feel strong enough to get the wheelbarrow and haul it all out to the official compost pile. We were without a pig for several months, so the pile got pretty high. I did move some of it before we put the pig in there, but I have to admit, thew pile was still pretty high when the pig moved in. I rationalized my laziness in two ways: 1) my knee freakin' hurts, and 2) the pig will actually enjoy rooting around in there and turning the pile for me, thus facilitating the pile's transformation into compost.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Although last year's chicks had a very poor survival rate (like maybe 25%) we still ended up with too many roosters. Now we have five, which is far too many for a flock of sixteen or eighteen hens. There are the original two, now about two and a half years old. I hear that older roosters are better at protecting the hens, so maybe we should keep these and get rid of the others. Plus, of course, these old roos wouldn't be very good to eat.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Found eight eggs up in the hayloft. I always check up there, but it's kind of dark. The hens snuggle down between bales of hay and make nests. They are impossible to find until I move a bale.