Friday, April 29, 2011

Mole Teeth

Yesterday my cat and dog we digging up the lawn. I went to see what was so interesting. It was a huge hole with a huge mole fighting both of them. This mole was fast, fat and feisty. We have a mole problem out here so I wanted to see what a big one looked like. The dog and cat pulled out a huge 1/2 lb mole. I put it in a bucket next to a cat food can. The mole was chirping and digging at the bucket. My husband took it outside for a photo session. I included the blurry one to show how fast the mole moved in his glove. It had large teeth which it used on the gloves several times. I now have a new respect for these creatures. We took this one to an unused field away from the house. We watched it dig into the rocky soil faster than I could dig with a spade.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Showers Bring Snappers

This afternoon I heard my guineas raising a ruckus. I saw this snapper headed for my chicks instead of the pond. The guineas were pecking this turtle very hard on its tail. I threw a bucket over the turtle and my husband came to walk it up to the small pond. It was a female and not happy about being picked up. She was about 7 inches wide across the back shell. We hope she stays in the smaller pond this summer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Noisy Sunlight

We got about an hour of sunlight in between storms today. Our guineas took advantage of it to hunt for bugs in the foot tall grass. They are the real watch dogs of our farm and never stop talking. I am so glad we only have six.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wild Bunny

This evening our barn cat, Poppy, brought us a large "gift" in his mouth a baby cottontail rabbit. The baby was mostly unharmed and still alive. A storm was raining on all of us so I brought the baby rabbit inside. It's in a cage with shavings and greens away from us and the cats. We will release away from our farm if it is strong enough to run. Rabbits never show signs of pain as they are prey and it could have internal injuries I can't see. We have a lot of wild rabbits on our farm and they are a pest if unchecked. But we will give it a chance and set it free to join its rabbit pals in the morning. I checked and it is a boy rabbit.

Driveway Rivers

With all the heavy rain we have had in the last 2 weeks we have had new rivers in our gravel drive. The rivers flow under our deck and down the hill to the field below. Our grass is a foot tall and the bugs are water logged. The chickens are feasting on it all. And this morning we had a medium sized snapping turtle blocking the driveway. Alan tossed him into the shallow pond. We could use a break from all this rain.

Tractor Tree Guard

Our tractor needed a tree guard added for protection for bush hogging. We hired our craftsman friend Jeff to custom weld a tractor guard for us. He fitted the guard and welded an S for Savoy at my request which he fabricated by hand. He also painted the S to match our tractor. The paint is still wet in these shots. Will post a better shot when the rain stops. Now we can impress all the cows and horses around the Ozarks with our styling guard. This guard is very heavy 1/8 inch steel plating primed and painted and bolted to our tractor. We are very pleased with the quality of materials and full welds (no spot welding). This guard will outlast our tractor.

Friday, April 22, 2011

On Guard

Here is Osa, our German shepherd watching me garden. She looks after me and the chickens. If a storm comes up she tries to block me from walking away from the house. She also herds the chickens around the farm. So far she has kept the fox away from anymore free meals. No more chickens have been lost. The two chickens the the above shot are our first farm born chickens and not store bought.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gelding Birthday

Our colt had become" stallion-y" and we needed him gelded ASAP to prevent any unwanted babies in our herd. Even as young as 8 months he can cover a mare and get her pregnant. The only day open for our vet was today, my husbands 37th birthday. This time of the year vets are on call for calving season and it is hard to get an appointment. So this afternoon we got to watch our vet geld our colt in the field. The colt had 2 shots and he went down gently in the grass. Our vet covered our colts eyes to prevent them from drying out during the procedure. Our colts leg was tied to expose his testes. Our vet was quick and both testes were fully removed. No more stallion in our new gelding Mr. Bean. The wound was left open to heal on its own. Bean woke up after about 30 minutes as if nothing happened. He rejoined our herd to munch on some hay happy as can be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snakes and foxes

Today, I needed to clean up the coop. Take out the empty feed sacks from winter and pick up strings. As I entered the coop I almost stepped on a fat fast moving small 18 inch rat snake. It has just eaten an egg and was headed out the coop. I grabbed a pail and put him in it to show to my husband. Eggs had gone missing for the last 2 weeks and I suspected a snake. After showing my husband I drove the snake to a field away from our place and set it free. Turns out snakes will eat an egg then wrap around a tree to crush the egg. If they eat a glass egg or a wooden one they will die. I have 2 wooden eggs that are missing from the coop. There have been a lot of snakes this year.
We also have a fox that has been getting our daytime free range hens. We had 21 now we only have 18 hens. We now have to photograph our hens to see who is missing. The locals tell us a fox will eat all the chickens until all are gone.This is very frustrating. We have let our shepherd lose to watch over the flock. So far we have not lost anymore hens. The good news is that in 2 weeks we should have baby chicks hatching again.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why I care?

Everyone has heard about the protestors in PA fighting against natural gas drilling or fracking. If you watch the documentary GASLAND, you will know why they are upset. Everyone in America should care about their water no matter where you live. You can't wash out 500 cancer chemical out of your water, ever. And it is all legal for these gas companies to do whatever they want thanks to OUR GOVERNMENT. Watch the dvd GASLAND, get educated and get public. Lets stop the gas companies from keeping us all quiet. Silence is death to you, your kids and your future.
Maybe the cure for cancer is to stop fracking and poisoning our water.

So why do I care? I have friends right in the zone of water poisoning. And they think they are safe and the trust our government would never hurt them.
I can only educate and pass the along the truth until it is too late.

1953 Ford Jubilee Tractor

A friend of mine bought this old tractor for restoration. It has a long way to go paint wise, but it runs. Old tractors are always around, used and borrowed here in the Ozarks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pewter Snake

I was unpacking my car when this guy came by me. I guess he wanted a treat or light snack.He was about 5 feet long, as thick as my arm and a pewter color. Quite a nice looking snake except for peck marks on his back from our chickens. While he hung around I got a few shots of him close up. He was stalking some lizard in the bushes next to my car. He had enough of my camera work and slithered off into the orchard.

Tree Pullin'

Since it is spring time the weather is cool and the bugs are low. Good time to pull up trees in our field before mowing. My husband is chaining the small trees and using the tractor to pull the roots out. Our shepherd, Osa stands by to look for moles. Our field has gone wild and we need to tame it to plant pecan trees.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ozark Cobra?

My husband and I were driving down the country road when we almost ran over a fat snake. I love snakes so he backed up the car for me to investigate. The snake raised up and enlarged like a cobra then high tailed it away from me. It looked like a cobra to me. But we took the photo and showed it around church and the locals call it a "spread head". But it is really and eastern hog nose. It is a good snake in that it eats toads. That what where it was headed, a large pond down the hill filled with toads. The snakes are out in full force this time of the year. Good to be educated about them out here in the woods.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pet Sitting Outside

Here is my husband working on his laptop while watching Rose the bunny. She was in our garden getting some sun while he worked remotely. He had the company of Poppy and our chickens while he worked. We can't leave the bunny alone or she might get eaten by wildlife.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bunny Gardening

This is me putting in the potatoes in our newly fenced garden. I have the company of Daisy the cat and Igor the rabbit. Igor is an indoor bunny and gets to go outside when the time permits. Since we fenced off our garden from the chickens we have now a bunny play yard. The chickens dug up many of last years seedlings and pecked all my tomatoes. This year they will be kept out.

Calf Pulling

This morning my neighbor who raises cattle came to our door needing help ASAP. He had a cow down and her calf was stuck. My husband was in the middle of a phone meeting and could not leave to help. So I jumped in his vehicle and we zoomed off to his place. There was a huge cow on the ground with a dead calf stuck halfway out of her. The large calf could not breathe and got stuck sometime during the night. We both took turns looking for the front legs of the calf inside the cow. After several 2 arm attempts, I was able to find a shoulder to the leg stuck inside the cow. I pulled a slipknot under the calf pit using bailing twine. With that we were able to pull out the 2nd leg. Next, we tied the calf legs to the owners ATV and pulled slowly. The dead calf came out whole but the cow did not rise. The calf was too big and her uterus was prolapsed with the placenta. We left the cow to put the calf in the dead pile away from the herd, buzzards were attracted to the scent of death. We came back to get the cow up but she was in pain and needed a vet. If a cow does not move for several hours, gas builds up in their gut and they can die. Also some deliveries can paralyse their back legs. The vet came and stitched up the cow. Now we are hoping she will stand up soon and walk. She will be put in the barn overnight. She can no longer be bred if she survives. This was a day of learning for me.