Friday, March 7, 2014

The Burning Smell

I came home from running errands and saw smoke in my pasture and the horses were running around tossing their heads. It was thick and coming from the south. So I jumped into my UTV and headed off to find the source. It was my neighbor burning his pastures. The pasture was dry and the wind took the flames quick. They brought tanks of water to wet down the wildfires.

I watched to make sure she was not cornered. The wind was moving the flames toward her vehicle.

Watering down the big flames

Chem trails and smoke

A close up from my UTV. It is amazing how fast the flames move in an ever widening circle. They got it under control and the smoke died down at my place. Things you need to do if you want to clear a pasture. He is planning to turn over the soil, seed and feed and let it grow tall for his cows next year.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring Around the Farm

The guinea tree is in full bud.

The dogs are waiting for their ticks. The snow is turning to mud.

The ducks are re-flooring the the pasture.

The ducks walking back to their unfrozen pond. The black duck is a Swede male and the tan one is a Khaki Campbell female.

Irish Duck

This is a male Cayuga duck.

We like the iridescent green feathers the breed had. The females sometimes lay black eggs their first season. The eggs become a lighter grey shortly after. The black color washes off the egg if rubbed. The yolk and shell are normal colors.

Phoenix Rooster

This is my one year old phoenix rooster. I saw him when he was younger at a friends farm. She was culling her extra roosters and he caught my eye. She said he had to go since he refused to come into the coop at night. She was able to catch him after two weeks. 
He was feral and refused to stay in my coop after three weeks of incarceration.However, the freeze came and he learned the coop was warm and dry. He now roosts in the coop with his hens. But in the mornings he goes far off into the woods to forage with his hens.

His tail is so pretty.

He has lost his tail to the fox a few times. But he always escapes to crow another day.

Burning Fun

The weather cooperated and it was the perfect time to burn some Asian grass that has been overtaking my front garden. I lit it with the butane and whoosh, two seconds later it was all gone.

I had the hose on and wet down the outside of the garden. The flames were higher than my house and then done, all the dry brush burned up. Now I have to dig the root balls out. A neighbor suggested I use a tractor. The roots are shallow but dense and tough to remove. It is a great grass to hide things and prevent erosion, but nothing eats it and it overtakes small areas.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

No Dishy

Today was the day my new broken dishwasher was to get fixed. Kenmore Elite it ain't. I waited years to replace the old one and then months to get a repair man. Two weeks ago the repair man removed the pump from the new dishwasher. I got the call that because of the icy roads no repairs this week. I have to wait until next Monday to have the dishwasher fixed, maybe.I know this winter has been very long and very icy. I understand that is why no repairs can get done. Just frustrated a brand new dishwasher broke in the first place. The quality of appliances has truly dropped off. With the farm and eating homemade meals dishes stack up fast. Having a dishwasher saves me time and is a great luxury for my home keeping chores. If only I could get my ducks to do the dishes, well, perhaps not.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ice Landia

This is what was given to me this morning by my dog. Zilla, a mole-sickle.
It was frozen to the cement.

Did you like my present?

There is a driveway under this snow, somewhere.

Had to dig out the farm truck and de-ice it for half and hour.It was so cold the melting ice froze back on to the truck and the windows. So glad we had the tarp over the main windshield.My other truck is still covered in ice and snow. I could not get my truck door open this morning. Parking in the sunlight is a good thing.

Torpedo Eggs

I do not know which hen it is, but she lays big pointy single yolk eggs that do not fit in an egg carton. I save these for my own kitchen recipes since these are so large. I am just happy to get eggs in this cold weather. I hope spring around the corner soon. This has been a very hard winter around the farm this time.

Osa the farm dog

Osa is our eldest shepherd. But she is our best tag along around the farm.
Osa kept me company and followed the tractor and my UTV. She was herding us around the pasture.

Here she has found a squirrel in a tree. She is hopping for a light snack.

Seedy Spring

This spring we decided our fields needed to be fertilized, seeded and limed. So we went to the feed store to order the proper mix for 10 acres of pasture. We brought the farm truck and learned how it is done for our farm. We over estimated our pasture size but it was greatly needed. And we timed it right before the snow came to soak it into the ground. Under the snow the grass is green and growing. This seeding will give it the push it needs to fill in and be lush again. We are keeping our equines off of it for now. They do not like that but they can watch the grass grow. 
The giant hopper/mixer

How the mix and seed is put into the hopper.

Half way there in pounds.

Our orchard grass (left) and timothy (right) seeds before being mixed into the hopper. Our pasture is mostly fescue,some orchard and Indian (greasy)grass. The timothy will be green in the heat of summer when fescue is dry and brown. That is what we need along with pasture rotation for the horses.

Now into the seeder hopper towed by our truck.

What it all looks like inside the hopper.

You can see the seeds and the rest of the ingredients.

Mu husband using the tractor to head off to the pasture.

That dust is the seed mix all flying out the back of the seeder.

Me with several layers on, walkie talkie, in the UTV. My job to be a pasture marker. It is very windy and cold for this event. I got some wind burn but it was a lot of fun. We misplaced the tractor chain and had to locate it before the snow fell. We found it later in the center of the pasture.

Inside the hopper. Looking forward to green fields and happy horses.


This is my garden in winter, overgrown and brown. It is perfect for 4 feisty bunny rabbits to run around in.

Here are my guineas looking at the "new invaders" to their yard. I keep the pet carrier and the box in the pen with the rabbits. They can hid from hawks and owls for now until cover is built. The ground is frozen so the boxes will do.

Rabbits are fearless even under a big cardboard box.