Friday, June 29, 2012

Cabbage Head

A view of my pepper garden. I used a ton of straw to keep the veggies wet in this drought.

My first head of green cabbage grown from seed. I gave away three and lost 2 to mildew. I learned that cabbage loves full sun and not the shade of tomatoes. And everything likes to sample cabbage so heavy on the DE every time I water.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baby Stealth

I found this fledgling swallow struggling on the farm hillside. It was tired and thirsty after 
107 degree day of first flight. Today was a brutal day on the farm for birds. We lost 2 chicks from the heat in the coop even with a fan and lost 1 to chicken violence. 

So I picked this wild one up and brought in to cool off and get some water. I think the flat head is amazing.

 Even this young it is a flying machine. It started to regain its strength so we brought it near the swallow house on the hill. It took off into the sky and up into the woods without anymore problems.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Follow the Pink Toad

While watering my garden this pink toad came for a visit. It jumped at my boots and stayed under the shade of the tomato plants and straw. It is always good to have a few toads around to keep the bugs under control.

Higgity Piggity

Pigs are very different farm animals from chickens, goats and horses. I have been curious about how other farmers raise them. I love bacon and baked ham and thought it might be nice to raise some for food. We went to a farm to view their method of raising pigs. These pigs were feral and afraid of people. But they were on a pad, had mud and water and looked healthy.I liked their spots instead of the standard pink ones. These 3 month olds will triple in size before being processed in the fall. The down side is pigs are smelly and messy and would have to be raised far from the house. We just do not eat enough pork to justify the smell and work that pigs demand. 

Pain Detective

I have become my own pain manager and detective. Pain started last week in my lower jaw a dull throb that would not go away. It moved up my face and under my eye and ear. The pain was bad, then it got a lot worse. It is like a gremlin moved into my face and began a root canal. So thinking it was tooth related, we drove to see the dentist. After several x-rays and exams by the staff I got a big zero for the cause of my face pain. My teeth are fine and nothing could be seen. I was given antibiotics and pain meds and told to report back mid week. So far the pain is still there and nothing has changed. My doctor is out of town for the next 2 weeks so I have to deal until then. My mom is a nurse and thinks I have trigeminal nerve neuralgia serious stuff I don't want. So what set this pain off? I thought it might stem from my broken nose and sinus pain. Or perhaps hitting my head on the side when getting into the car (the seat was too far back). Either way I can't sleep and eating is excruciating painful. It is not fun to be me. I can get some things done then I have to stop and wait out the pain. At least my garden is thriving in this heat and I can enjoy it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Child Buying

A funny thing happened at a garage sale today. My husband and I stopped at a country garage sale in town on a whim. We saw a herd of small kids and mommies, lots of toys and clothes in the garage for sale. My husband found a nice glass mug for a quarter, I did not see anything I wanted. So I paid for the glass mug and one of the women apologized that most of the items had sold out that morning. We smiled and said no problem that is good news. As we were walking out of the garage a grandmother said "sorry, we only have kids for sale, do you want to buy a kid?" with a straight face. I kept on walking, smiled and said "no thanks". But my husband stopped and looked back at the garage then at me and remarked that he was surprised I did not jump on that child buying offer. I said where would we put the child? The car was packed with charcoal and cat food. And clearly these children were not hand raised and were feral at best. We would have to clothe and feed these feral little kids. But no, I have no need to buy a child even at two for one offer. I do not think the woman was serious but she was bogged down with several offspring. And 10 years ago I might have said yes, how much? But I have enough living things at home, and I do not need to add to the flock nor the herd. And it was a Friday sale, I bet by Saturday the kids will be buy three get three free :)

Buggy Berries

I have been berry picking all week on the farm. I have collected, cleaned and froze over two gallons of blackberries this season. I have been cut, chiggered and tick bitten but it was worth it. On one of my hunts I saw these June bugs eating away at the wild grape leaves that hung over the blackberries. I do not like these wild grapes nor the June bugs. However, the bugs were making short work of these fast growing vines. At least they were not feasting on my veggies for a change.

Turkey Dueling

I walked in on these two fighting in the yard.

I do know know what sex they are yet, but they act like boys.

After the battle they are still pals.

Turkeys are so different from chickens. But my young roosters spar like this before they mature.These two weight about 10 pounds each and can no longer fit through the cattle panel fencing. So we leave the gate open just for these large birds. Soon they will no longer be able to fit in the dog door of the coop and we will have the leave the big door open for them.

My Busy Garden

One of my purple cabbages from my garden.

Some corn grown as spares.

A view of the garden, notice the tall deer and bunny proof fencing.
Very tall tomatoes in the center rows.

Side view of the house and the garden.

Baby Pheasants

Here are photos of my first baby ring neck pheasants. My broody hen hatched 3 out in the coop but did not know what to do with them and 1 died under her. I was able to get 4 to hatch in the incubator for a total of 6 chicks out of 36 eggs. What happened, half were not fertilized and the rest developed but the eggs were too dry. I kept it very wet but not consistently enough. Should have wrapped the bottom if the incubator in a plastic bag like the breeder suggested. Lesson learned after 30 egg autopsies. And baby pheasants are noisy and fast moving little critters the size of a half dollar. The older ones are outside in our spare mini coop running around like crazed dust balls. After about 24 hours they can go and not ever stop. It will be easy to set them free in 8 weeks. They are high energy and semi feral like the guineas are. I hope I have different sexes among them to reproduce.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hatching Guard

Look carefully and notice our cat, Coco, behind the light watching the new chicks. That is why I have the heavy metal lid on the cage. These buff orpington chicks will soon be moved outside to grow up with the flock in the coop.These chicks are very calm and like to be handled. I am hopping they will grow to be big like their mama.

Hard Way Out

This leggy chick was trying to hatch days after its siblings. It was having trouble and after
looking it over I realized it was not fully developed in the abdomen and it had to be euthanized.
It was a hard choice, but it did not have to suffer the pain of underdevelopment.

Elf Dress Fitting

I was asked to help fit a costume to fit this young elf. The costume was a marriage of a wedding dress and a prom skirt. The costume requires some refitting and lots of hook and eyes to turn a two piece into a single dress. Also the dress needed more drama so a belt was made.
Here is the top being refitted with new modest sleeves. The top was not sitting well on her shoulders.

We decided to add another row of back loops and change the white lacing
 into the matching purple I had in stock.
Now the final costume with new belt, sleeves and back lacing.

A very happy dancing elf.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Got Blues in the garden

Our blueberry harvest for the year. Not many as a hail storm hit the buds.

My purple cabbage, I have 4 this year.

My blue hydrangea are doing well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News

"Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News"
That is one of my favorite songs from the musical, The Wiz. I understand that song sung by Evillene as she tells her crew how she loathes bad news. As a creative person, I too loathe to hear bad news. It gets me thinking about other things and off what I was focused on. Some people love bad news, it make them feel riled up and tuned into something. I don't. I need to have my own thoughts and my own ideas and flow. Bad news pertaining to the farm, I have to deal with. But other news in the world that does not affect me, I can skip. I don't need to hear it. I prefer to deal in what I can handle as a creative thinker in the now. I do not need the sideline drama of some bad news that does not affect my life in any form other than stealing my time. There is enough bad news out there, I don't need it brought to into my life via the internet nor the TV. I can live without it. I don't need it and I don't want it. My life is challenging enough without someone else's bad news. That is my soap box speech for today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This leech is about a half and inch long until it moves, then it is about two inches long. And it can move fast on a blue plastic sled. It was left on our sled after I moved a dead snapper into the woods on our farm.

Here is a close up of the tiny ferocious hermaphrodite.

All mouth .

Trying to suck onto the pliers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Goodbye Lucy

We got the sad news that our neighbors young border collie had to be euthanize after an emergency vet visit.
In her short life Lucy battled Parvo as she was bought from puppy mill/backyard breeder. She survived Parvo only to succumb to Canine Esophagus Disodia complications perhaps stemming from the Parvo later.
 My shepherd, Osa, loved to run into the pond with Lucy for a swim. 
Osa and Lucy learned together about electric fences, digging up moles and the joys of cow paddies.
Lucy had a great life filled with gourmet meals, freedom, frisbees, goats, and turtles.
Lucy was a bundle of energy and fun on the farm and she will be greatly missed.

Ducky Day

Our Khaki Campbell (tan) and Cayuga ducks ( black).

One of our Cayuga drakes

Cayugas love watermelon

Turkey Run

One of the two remaining original Bronze Breasted. 

The two of the five first turkey run. The foxes got three this year.

Here are the two bronze and some of the next generation mixed breed turkey and one baby tom. I hope they all get the chance to grow up on our farm instead of becoming fox food. Our goal is to have our turkey reproduce. We have been told the big breasted turkey do not breed, too big. So we bought mixed breeds and will see what happens.

There be eleven

Our best broody hen ever set on 15 eggs and hatched 11 chicks.
Here they enjoy watermelon for the first time.

She is a very attentive and protective mom.

Turtle Drama

 Yesterday, we watched as one of our young ducks (Monty or Burns) was eaten in the pond. We knew it was a turtle and began the hunt. We both took turns shooting at the turtles as they worked on the deceased duck. But this morning my husband asked me to bring the .22 and walk the pond to look for sunning turtles before I let the ducks out. And sure enough there was this one at the edge of the pond. I shot it in the head and flipped it over to get the heart. Now we have 2 left to eliminate from our pond.

 About 11-12 inches long.