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Odds and Ends

5 May

I took advantage of beautiful weather on Friday evening and Saturday to take lots of pictures for the blog. Nice weather has been hard to come by this spring.

Anubis and Pluto

We had a freeze warning last week, so I checked on the fruit trees.  I’m not sure I’ll have many plums.

The cherries look more promising.

The bleeding hearts looked a bit droopy the morning of the freeze, but they have recovered nicely.

I’m not sure Sky is really sniffing the violets, but I’m going to pretend that’s what he’s so interested in.

Sky

The summer birds are coming back!

Eastern Kingbird

I enjoy hearing them sing.

red winged blackbird

The shagbark hickory buds are opening.

I will admit I was a bit surprised to see a raccoon out in the middle of the afternoon.

I was relieved when I yelled to ask what he was doing and he ran away from me instead of towards me with foam coming out of his mouth.

Nugget and the girls are also enjoying the weather.  They like to come out and scratch in the dirt.

Nugget and some of the hens

The goats like the nice weather too.  John is doing well, even though I weaned him.

John

Blaze is looking much better than she was earlier in the spring.  Pasture has helped her put her weight back on.

Blaze and Trooper

Aurora is enjoying being back with the other girls and the bigger pasture.

Aurora

I have to say, I’m grateful for a couple of nice days because this coming week looks like it’s going to be raining most of the time.

Bob Cat

Bob might be spending a lot of time napping in the barn to stay dry this week.

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Trail Cam Pics

23 Dec

Well, I figured two days might be long enough to get a picture or two on the trail cam, so I went and checked it out this afternoon.  Sure enough.  I got something!

Trail cam selfie

Can you read my mind?  “Is it working?  I can’t see the red light blinking.”  Anyhow, I kept scrolling through the images and found a pair of fat raccoons.

Then there was this one.  Can you see them? You can click on the image to make it larger.

I think there are three coyotes–one by the den and two to the left.  I guess that answers my question.

Darwin Awards Contestant

3 Jun

Last night I took my shot at becoming a winner of the Darwin Award.  Although, I knew I was being stupid at the time, so that might have disqualified me from the start.  Let me tell you the lead up to the event.  If you remember, I was losing chickens, so I was trapping predators.  All was going well.  In fact, I had just bragged to my mom that I hadn’t lost any more chickens since I quit trapping.  That was my mistake.

All three nasty roosters are still okay.

About two days later, I noticed something had dug under the pen to my chicken’s yard, and my little broody hen was gone.   My pen is so old and in such bad shape I don’t even know how to fix it.  I don’t think it can be, but I tried hobbling it.

When I went out to check goats in the middle of the night, I found a raccoon in the pen with a chicken.  It had already killed a second one.

Vinnie

The next night, my repair work was holding, or else, I scared it off when I went out to check goats because I did see one by the pen, but it hadn’t gotten in.

Cookie

The next evening (last night), when I was taking Helen her meds, I noticed a raccoon sleeping in the hollow tree trunk, so I called my dad to come shoot it.  We weren’t happy with how it was curled up.  He prefers a quick head shot, but we couldn’t see its head.  We figured he’d shoot it in the butt and make it really mad, but it never moved–it was already dead.  I hope it choked on a chicken bone.

Kizzy’s kids from several years ago (much cuter than a dead raccoon)

Last night, when I did my bedtime check of goats, I already had a raccoon in the trap, but I figured my dad was asleep, so I left it for morning.  When I went out at 3:30 this morning to check goats, I noticed the geese were all out in the pen huddled in a corner.  I went in and found another dead chicken–my sweet little red hen that was always in my corn when I fed goats.  When I went into the building, I saw the coon ambling up the wall and hiding in the rafters.  I opened the back door and yelled at it, but it wasn’t moving.  I used a food pan and Frisbee tossed it at the thing.  It didn’t budge even though I bounced the food pan off of it several times.

I went for something with more substance–rocks and bricks.  That made it mad, but it still wasn’t going to move.

I was not about to let it stay in there and kill more chickens or my peacocks and geese.  I finally went for a big fence post and javelin threw it at the raccoon.  Unfortunately, I woofed the first toss and ended up sticking it into my hand.  I kept at it, and I did get pretty good, but no matter how many times I hit it with the fence post it stayed there.  That’s when I decided to go all Darwin Award Contestant on the raccoon.  Instead of throwing the post at the raccoon, I poked at it, trying to shove it down.  Let me tell you, raccoons are not made for jumping, but when they launch their lead balloon bodies with full force, it falls with all teeth and claws and looks really scary.

a survivor

I made it out of the way; although I caught myself on a saw horse and sprained my wrist on the hand I didn’t shove the post into.  The raccoon took off out the brand new hole it had just dug under the pen.  I hope it hurts really badly today after the beating it took last night.  Since I didn’t kill myself in this stupid episode, I am not even a runner up for the Darwin Awards.

I decided the only thing I could do was get a functional door to try and shut the birds in the building at night and hopefully keep raccoons out. Bless my dad because I called him and he came through!  We spent the afternoon replacing a couple of boards and adjusting it so it would actually close, and I can shut the remaining birds in tonight.

I already let the geese out of the pen.  I don’t think I could get them to go in at night.  They hate staying inside.  I figure they stand a better chance in the barnyard with the two llamas spending more time up here, and hopefully, the coyotes will stay away now.

I am launching an all out war on the raccoons because they are not cute.  They are brutal, filthy killers, and they are some of the worst for spreading rabies. Ask my sister who had to have rabies shots if you don’t believe me.