Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May Hails

Today we had our weather radio on warning us about possible hail. We had 2 hail events in one day. A light one then a heavy one that rained down ice. Luckily no tornado was formed on this huge system. So after the hail stopped we walked around taking photos of the hail. One did hit our birdhouse damaging it. But the cars, our house and our animals were unharmed. These hail balls were very cold and had many layers. Never seen the jagged ones before.

Luna Moth

I caught a shot of this rare moth on the screen at a local shop in town. It was drying its wings and avoiding the rain.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jar Journeys

We decided to replace all our plastic food storage containers with glass jars. This way we know nothing is leaking into our food we don't want. We eat a lot of grains, seeds and legumes and store them in the kitchen. We also drink a lot of tea and it is just better in glass.
I need several 1 gallon jars for this and they are hard to find; everything is made of plastic. Also, the shipping for new jars is more than the purchase price of the jars. So I placed an ad in our local paper and have gotten several calls about used jars.
I have had calls from people from all walks of life. I never realized buying old jars would become a journey into so many peoples lives. Everyone has a story to tell about these old jars they have saved for so many years in sheds, closets and kitchens. People out in the Ozarks save things for years. And everyone has a story to tell. And that makes the purchase of these jars special. You would not get a story from a jar you bought at the store. But each jar I pick up locally, comes with its own unique history. And I get to sit and talk to all kinds of people and listen to their story. Some jars were minnow traps, milk jars, penny pots and saved after the depression. Some jars held coffee originally and were saved for their unique decoration. Many jars have tops that have long rusted away. But all have been carefully stored away until needed. I never thought such a simple request for a jar would open up so many lives.

May Ducklings

Our ducklings are now 2.5 weeks old and growing fast. They are losing their baby fuzz and getting small feathers. However, their wings are still just nubs and have a long way to go. They are a lot of fun to hold all feet and bills.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Log Splittin'

We finally went to a farm auction in our town. Having lived here for 2+ years we never had the time to go to one. Everyone in town goes to these things. It is a place to socialize, look at other peoples stuff and bid on stuff you need around the farm, like a log splitter. We have borrowed our neighbors and now we have our own. We have been cutting dead trees all winter and now we can get our wood split and stacked for the next winter. This is a real time saver around the farm. And it is hooked up to our tractor and ready to split wood anywhere.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jack be Big

Jack is the name of my friends 4 year old fox trotter gelding. He was broke to pull a cart but has since outgrown the cart. She wants to having him saddle trained and used as a trail horse. So she has offered to lend us Jack to ride after he is saddle trained. Jack is a huge fox trotter. He has a great calmness and loves to please people.

Why the Caged Melons?

This is why I put a wire cage over my new watermelon seedlings, Poppy. You can see he is rolling in the fresh dirt as close to melon destruction as possible. I lost the battle last year to no rain, chickens and the cat. This year the melons are on the well head, caged and safe.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Big Red Bull

Here is my neighbors red bull. He is a young proven breeding bull. This bull is the size of our car and is over 2,000 lbs. He is waiting for his turn at the heifers in the other pasture. It is neat to just watch such a calm giant.

Orphan Filly Growing Up

I few months ago I was offered a free newborn filly an owner did not want. I had just raised my two foals and did not have the time for another. But my good friend offered to take this filly and raise her. At only 2 months off her mother, this hand raised filly is growing well. She gets handled and is now halter broke. Though my friend is over the age of 60 she is still willing to put in her time and energy to raise this horse. She owns 3 other horses as well. This is one lucky little filly.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Driving Team

We saw this exhibitor driving his team along the farm festival roads. He was hauling an antique manure spreader.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gravel Time

With all the heavy rains we have gotten this month, our driveway washed away. We hired our towns cement mix company to drop several yards of limestone in our path. It was neat watching how the driver, Rich, pulled up, rose and drove off leaving an even spread. This is a skill in time saving and labor saving. No need to blade the rocks nor shovel out the load. The dump truck does all the work. I have lived all over the states and have never seen this kind roadwork skill. I thought this would be an all day ordeal with our tractor. There was no need. Rich saved us all from time out in the heat moving rocks. We are expecting more loads to raise the level of our overworked drive. Nothing is more neat than a fresh driveway of gravel.

High Clear River

This Monday we went to Van Buren, MO to our dentist. We saw the Current river moving fast, cold and clear. Even though it had risen and left tree debris everywhere, there was no trash anywhere. No empty cans, styrofoam cups, clothes, shoes, boxes. We saw just water, trees, sand, fish and rocks. It was beautiful to see just nature and not others peoples garbage. Missouri works hard to keep its rivers clean. We love living here in the Ozarks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Old Hen has a Chick

After three months of setting, not setting, lice and abandoning her nests, this old hen had a chick. Now she is still setting on a clutch of 10 eggs unhatched. And she has this single chick to keep her company. This hen was older when she was given to us. We were told she would make a good broody hen. I think the rain storms kept her off her eggs. Hens don't do well in thunderstorms and we have had a lot this spring. I have learned to take a broody hen and her eggs and keep them in a brooder box until the eggs hatch in 21 days. Give the hen food and water and keep her away from the other hens in peace. My other hens like to try to lay an egg right on top of a broody hen. This causes abandoned nests and cracked eggs. I am quickly learning how to be a good chicken farmer. I have made 2 additional brooder cages for broody hens to live inside our chicken coop. Now I have no broody hens and should have more egg output from the freed up flock.

Duckling Lineup

Here are our 4 ducklings inside the house in a plastic tub with a 100 watt bulb to keep warm. The tan one is a Khaki Campbell and the blacks ones are Cayugas. The runt is the one with the scar on her head. We call her Shelley since the breeder said her head must have stuck to the shell too long. I think of Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein is a more fitting. But Shelley has a personality and is unafraid. We have moved the ducklings to our outside brooder box for now. Baby ducks are messy and smelly and are happier outside. They love the water and get water all over the place. Our next step is to allow them time in a shallow pool to swim in.

Raining Snappers

While riding our horse through the pasture my husband spotted a snapper close to the coop. So he moved the turtle far away from the horses and the chickens. You can see she was not happy to be moved.

Fried Ducklings

We attended a Farm Fest in Cabool, MO this past weekend. Along with horses, tractors, plants there were baby ducks and chicks for sale. I always stop to see what varieties are for sale from other farmers. These are 2 Khaki Campbells and 3 Black Cayuga ducklings we bought at the end of the hot day for cheap. The breeder put them in the fried chester chicken boxes as an inexpensive way to hold these babies. We ended up with a runt since she had so much personality among the 60+ mixed ducklings in the box.