Friday, January 30, 2015

Calm Before the Storm

It's going to get cold this weekend here in NE Kansas, and 
we are going to have a rain/snow event, though they 
are expecting maybe two inches in our area. 

We took advantage of the 39 degree weather this morning to go out early. 

I thought this was all we were going to see... a hawk in the distance.  He had flown directly across the front of my car.  

However, I was wrong. 

Right around the corner, I saw this guy sitting on a fence post, but he was quite far from the road. 

We got out to the farm, and I glanced up at the com tower... this is what you see with the naked eye. 

And this is what you see with the camera lens. 

I am guessing this is a mated pair, because they would not be hunting in such close proximity. 

I looked up a minute later and only saw one. 

This dog, our beloved Lilly Ann, gave me the scare of my life this morning. 

There is a walk gate between our house and Troy's.  We know the post on the end 
needs replacing... and about five times, I have found the gate open. 
I have take to using the camera to hone in on it when I get there daily, to make sure the gate is closed, because Lilly has gone out once. 

Today, I checked it. 

It appeared to be closed.  

I went about my business. 

After doing chores, I saw down in the pasture with Jester... 

and did not see Lilly anywhere.  

I got up, called and called. 

Before we moved, the only time Lilly ever left our home was to go to the vet. 
Ranger, our German Shepherd, would never go out... never.... but Lilly always has 
run out the gate, and then been unable to find her way back.  

She got loose maybe six or seven times in her life. 

Including today. 

I was scared to death... I ran around the pasture, calling to the Spehar's side, and ran over to Troy's back yard, which is like a park, and has a pond.  I ran to the road... I ran back into the pasture... calling, calling, calling. 

I ran into the house to text Troy at work to have him look for her tonight, and to try to think what to do. 

When I ran back onto the porch, there she was at the gate, pressing her head against it, and when she saw me look at her, she began wagging and clearly wanting in. 


I told Troy I would put a chain around the gate and post with a caribiner clip to close it, but 
he said he will fix it tonight.  We think she is popping the hook off with her nose. 

I just don't know what I would do if I lost this girl. 

Well, here's the status of the chickens this morning. 

Still traumatized from the move. 

Here is where they came from.  Birds are in all those pens you see... they are four 
foot high pens with tarps on top, that was their shelter.  No roosts, and only drinkable water once or twice a week.  I was not going to show you this. 

They are still piling in the corners two days after I moved them. 

I found the small fortex with food half-full... and there was water, though 
there was a rime of frost on both the open fortex and the regular waterer. I have thrown some 
feed onto the floor in the straw, to encourage them to peck and pick. 

These two have sort of gotten the idea, and they spend time looking through the straw. 

(I mixed scratch with the layer pellets, to encourage eating) 

For the first time, after I did the water... I opened the pophole door, and the sun shone in. 
(There are three large windows in the henhouse.)

Yes, the yard got overgrown last summer, but it is fine for a bunch of chickens to peck around and clean it up, but these birds don't get it. 

I'm just going to be patient. 

I swore I would not go out twice a day, but I'm going to go again 
this afternoon and see how they are doing, without my helpers with me. 

As I sat in the pasture finally, I took a picture of our neighbor's house on the next ridge.  
The Spehars came from Croatia, via France.  Their house reflects their Old World 
sensibilities, and they are fine cabinet makers.  The upper window design is beautiful! 

Jester got right to checking his pasture out in the wan sunlight. 

After a while, we started home.  The little white goat and her friends are starting another bale of hay. 

We saw this beautiful redtail above a pasture... and... 

Seconds later, another rose below him... the female, I'm sure, hunting the same pasture... 

And a flock of beautiful birds flew through them. 

As we continued on down the gravel road, guess who we came across? 

That is the redtail from our blog header!  

Instead of sitting on the antenna, he was up on a pole at the intersection. 
We were still on gravel, so we stopped the car to watch him. 

And he watched us. 

We crept closer... and finally turned the car off, since we were in a safe place. 

Then, after almost ten minutes (and 100 pictures I won't show you)... a little car 
came down the main street and turned onto the gravel. 

But, like I told you this week, 

they don't go far. 

Here he is perched 100 yards away, over 155th street, where it is not 
very safe to stop... however, no traffic was coming and I grabbed a picture of His Highness looking down on us as we started home. 

Here, out of sequence, is something else. 

When we moved here last year, I began to put up 
bird feeders again, but did not want to invite the Starling Hordes to 
eat at our table. 

I expected mourning doves, and we got lots.  We also have 
had chickadees, juncos, and house finches, and purple finches. 
Some blue jays. 
However, not one ate out of that beautiful wooden feeder. 

No one ate from the two nyger feeders, because they were all 
hanging from shepherds hooks causing them to swing in whatever breeze we had. 

This week, I gave up.  I took the feeders back out to the old place and hung them.  Keith even offered to buy some feed but I told him no, i don't want to start spending that much again. 
But... I will fill them when they are empty, and I am using the suet I bought this winter in the little wooden feeder.  I suspect that if we do get some snow this weekend, that we'll see some action there. 

The rooster has not crowed one time. 

I'll see how they are doing when I go out later. 


  1. We are having the same problem with our feeders this year, no birds, they only eat from the flat feeder, butch is so disappointed. I think that hawk waits on you to show up with your camera so he can show off....what a wingspread and how beautiful....yes, gulp my stomach dropped when you started to talk about sweet lily....I am so glad she was there at the gate waiting on you...whew!!!! We are supposed to get between 4-6 inches starting Saturday night....we will see......stella rose and momma

  2. Thank goodness Lilly was found... Oh gosh!!
    The chickens are looking happy, and I know you are too.
    We have birds here,,, pecking at the ground and the bushes.

  3. I'm glad Lilly is okay. That would scare me, too!

  4. Your love of nature and life really shows through your pictures. Enjoyed them all. Hope the chickens settle in well.

  5. Your hawk photos are superb. Well done. Very scary indeed about Lilly Ann. So glad all is well. I hate it when things like that happen. I'm guessing your chickens will settle in. No animal likes change!

  6. Those chicks are gonna love all the attention you are giving them.


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