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Iowa in Fall

1 Oct

Something I really love is Iowa in fall.  When I was on my way home from work today, I got a call from my son wanting me to stop by the shop.  I’m so glad he did.

I hate to cheat by just having the bird flying in front of a barn, so here’s a better view of the barn.

I love eagles. I love the old barns.  I love beautiful leaves.  Sorry, but I love seeing evil chicken-killing raccoons served up as lunch for said eagles that I love.  I love my son for calling me and telling about this beautiful scene.  I’m full of love today!

Linking to You Capture where the theme is something you love.  I’m also linking to Barn Charm, The Bird d’Pot, and Clever Chicks Blog Hop.

Critters

15 Jul

Living on the farm, I love critters.  I have chickens, ducks, geese, peacocks, goats, a llama, the ox and his companion cow, dogs and cats.  Obviously I love critters.  I am happy to double my dog food bill in the winter since it is feeding the two dogs, a bazillion birds and a handful of squirrels.  There are limits however, and this is where I draw the line.

Please note this picture was taken many years ago in my sister and brother-in-law's barn, long before I had chickens and a dislike of raccoons.

I had a raccoon break into my chicken, duck and peacock pen.  The first night, it must have just missed my pretty little hen.  She’s got a sore leg, but I believe she will recover.

Then next night it got a cochin and pulled it out.  I thought I had things taken care of, last night, it broke in and decimated the flock.  I have four hens (including my pretty little one) and the little orange rooster left is all.

Thankfully, the ducks suffered no casualties.  I don’t know what I’d have done if they had gotten Quackers, my twelve-year-old drake.

The peafowl are all agitated and on high alert.  They are very upset today.

I’ll be setting a trap tonight or seeing if I can get someone to come out to take target practice.  I think I have the pen shored up so they will be safe again, but it’s scary not knowing if it is until tomorrow morning when I go check.  Trust me, once a raccoon learns of an easy place to play and get lunch, they will not quit.

Since I hate being such a depressing blogger, I do have good news.  I haven’t shared the progress of Pam and Stormy in ages.

They were both so sick I was afraid I would lose them, but they are getting fat and sleek and sassy!

In other critter news, Maxine is off on a month long date with a bull.  She didn’t have  a calf this year, so every time she comes into heat, she’s a woman on a mission.  She busts out of the back forty, hikes across the bean field and sets off to find someone who can help her.  Poor MJ follows behind saying, “But I love you, Maxine.”

MJ has a broken heart, but his woman will be back in about a month, and she’ll have a calf next spring.  MJ loves both Maxine and her babies.  He just hates this time apart.  That’s an awfully big heart to be broken.

The geese have been very productive.  I have a group of African geese that are typically bad parents, but they’ve managed to keep this one alive so far.

Gabby, the Embden goose, also hatched some babies.

After four weeks in an egg, it feels good to stretch those legs!

I think she has two or three left from the four.  I haven’t counted yet this morning.  She’s typically a much better parent, but the barnyard is a dangerous place for such little fluff balls.

If you love critters (except raccoons) as much as me, visit Project Alicia for more Crazy Days of Summer posts where today’s theme is critters.

Rye is Growing

20 May

I was a bit concerned earlier in the spring when I didn’t have my cover crop of rye growing where we closed in the drainage ditch and tiled the pasture.  All that bare dirt is just going to cause a lot of erosion.  That’s what we were trying to stop by doing all the work to begin with.

Well look at it today.  Obviously some of it washed away.  I’m not sure about those evenly spaced gaps.  I’m sure the planter must have been malfunctioning because my great planter person would never mess up like that!

There was also the run of tile up the hill that did not have hardly any rye growing.  You can barely make out the lines of new sprouts.

It’s finally taking off with the warmer weather also.  There’s still a couple of places where it washed.  We do have a bit of clean up work to do with our planting and tiling, but we can really see the difference now.

I guess not having the fence in so I couldn’t put the cows back here has been good for letting this patch of rye grow.  I do have my momma goats and kids back here (even without a fence), but they tend not to eat the new shoots of grass.  They like to browse on taller things.  There’s quite a bit of rye growing here now, and it will continue to fill in.  I’m dreaming of a beautiful lush green pasture back here.

Even though it’s getting grass, there are still plenty of mud right along the edge of the water to let me know who all is visiting.  I didn’t meet up with any raccoons on my walk, but i did see a perfect imprint of their foot.

I never know who I’ll meet when I’m in the Back Forty!