Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Buffalo

Two days ago, I showed you pictures of the buffalo across the 
state highway from our old place. 


They are magnificent, are they not? 



I saw them as I came out of our road at the 
highway (called either State Ave. or 
24/40 highway) and decided to turn left. 



Now, a story about them. 

The owners had to surrender all their animals at one time, 
but the buffalo were eventually returned. 

They have about 100 acres.  

The people who lived there no longer do, the house is 
largely burned, but there is the large pole barn you see here, and another smaller barn to the left. They still own the property. 

There was a gentleman living there in a trailer, but he has been gone at least since 
we first lived there. 

Two years ago, I came upon a dead buffalo cow on the side of the road, and 
a mile farther, another.  I was told then that they are frequently getting out at the back 
of the property, but this was along State. 

Over the last three or four years, the red cedar trees grew up on and in the fenceline, until you could no longer really see into the property.  In the last few months, someone is clearing the red cedar in the pasture, and along the fence.  

When the buffalo saw me stop, the cows and calves immediately came down the hill to the fence to see what I was doing, just like cows everywhere. 


Leavenworth County Humane Society, and the Humane Society of the United States 
are both aware of the buffalo, but there is not a lot that can be done.  
The Leavenworth County Sheriff's office advised me one time (in the
tone you can imagine) "... "Little lady, those are wild animals and they can take care of themselves just fine".  

There are two ponds on the property. 

So, I have not talked to anyone yet who knows what is going on, but here 
is the rest of the story.  I suspect it has something to do with the clearing. 

There is a large pond on the next property over, which is unimproved, 
meaning no structures.  The owners want to put a fishing operation 
in there, along with a trailer parking operation (where people can 
park their recreational trailers while traveling).  We, in the neighborhood, are afraid it will 
turn out to be a trailer parking "neighborhood" that will bring property values down, 
and we have protested it over the past year.  
I suspect this clearing has something to do with that, but as I say, I don't know for sure yet. 

So, putting out feelers. 


In the meantime, I'm enjoying seeing the buffalo again. 


Monday, April 24, 2017

The Reason for the Absence

Nothing like an entire month in between posts, especially when I told you I would be posting more regularly! 

I have rarely been posting on Facebook, either. 

So what I have been doing is this:


That is the view from the porch of our old house. 

Our renter moved at the beginning of April, 
and I have been going out there daily.  

I don't know what to do. 

The house is not in good repair, but the property 
can be restored, the whole property, uncut yard, uncut 
pasture... overgrown garden beds.  

I'm going to be 67 this year, and only TWO friends 
think I'm not nuts. 

My kids and step-kids think I'm crazy to leave this beautiful 
big house and squish back into the little house. 

The little house needs 4 months worth of work done on it, first, 
and it's almost May.  

See what I've been doing?  Going back and forth, literally and figuratively.  


That's the lilac I raised from a six inch high cutting given to me by 
Kathy-next-door. 


Lilly Ann was raised from a puppy there, and she is so happy when 
we are out there. 

As you see, the garden beds are almost unseen in the grass. 


The view down the hill to the Spehar's ponds. 

I can't get down into the pasture, it's so overgrown and there 
are burrs.  I let Lil in the first day, and she got covered, we had to go to the 
vet for her to be shaved in several places.  So, no morel hunting in my tiny 
patch of woods, out of sight to the right.  
My plan is to get it mowed, and keep it mowed. 
At least that's today's plan. 


My beautiful vegetable beds. 


Three cats are eating on the porch (you knew I would feed them). 

One, the one on the bench, was left there by the renters.  I am going to try to trap and neuter it. 
The other cat is also fed by the neighbors across the road. 

The third, not in this picture... is a grey tabby, and acts like a feral cat, it does not 
like to be around the other two. 

All I know is, the bowl is empty in the morning. 


That's the other reason the food is all gone by morning. 

I bedded down the henspa to move the hens from the ag hall out there... but 
have not done so.  I won't do anything until my mind is made up, one 
way or the other. 

There are many factors involved.  Yes, this big house is 
gorgeous and in a good neighborhood, but an unfortunate neighbor 
dispute happened here, that involved a drawn-out court case. 
That case is finished, but we also have a case with the people 
who sold this house to us, who failed to advise us of the prior neighbor dispute concerning this land. 

It is a big, nice house that would sell fast.  
Why would I want to move back to a tiny little house 
that needs so much work? 




Keith's handiwork is all around me there, but that's not even the reason. 

I just love it, I can't explain it.  I had the same kind of feeling for the 
first Calamity Acres, too, and I had to give that up. 

I just don't want to give this one up. 

It's pretty simple. 

So, I'm still agonizing.  

I'm going to get an opinion from an agent as to what the property is 
worth at the moment on the open market, with the house "as is". 
There are almost NO small acreages listed in Leavenworth or Wyandotte Counties, 
Kansas.  It would be a great building site, with a deep well and new septic already in. 

So... we'll see.  I'm praying about it.  I have been for weeks. 

So, as the dogs and I left today, we saw this: 


We are 2/10's of a mile off a busy state highway, 24/40, also 
called State Ave.  Remember, I have shown you the bison herd that is directly north of us 
at 198th and State on the north side.  In the last year, red cedar has grown up in their pasture so badly that the grazing was almost gone.  Red cedar trees also had grown into the fenceline, and that fence was put up by the state.  Some time in the last 3 weeks, someone began clearing the red cedar from the pasture, and this morning, a quarter mile of fenceline had been cut down. 

When I pulled off the road to get my camera up, the bison began approaching the fence line. 


I counted 25.  You can see that the trunks were left in the fenceline, probably a good idea. 


I only saw three calves... one is in the middle here. 


I saw at least two huge bulls. 

The house here had burned years ago, but there are still two big barns. 

The brush and saplings that had grown up on the driveway are all down, too. 
I am not sure what this all means. 

Another van pulled up behind me when they noticed me taking pictures (from the car). 

That man WALKED UP TO THE FENCE, I could see him as I pulled away. 

I would not want to be so close to thousands of pounds of inquisitive 
buffalo. 
So, I really WILL try to post more often.  

Think of me agonizing over my choices!  



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Tour Around the County

We have been in a drought, a "moderate" drought as the weathermen call it. 

Remember last fall???  (I don't, very much, actually) 
The Farmer's Almanac warned that our area was going to have a bitter winter, 
with lots of snow and prolonged cold. 

Did.Not.Happen. 


We need moisture.



This was my favorite little pasture pond last week. 



Look at it tonight!  In fact, that was this afternoon before the last big rain tonight. 

If you squint, you will see four blue winged teal on it. 


Hmmmm... maybe two mallards, two teal (one was to the left). 

This is the drain at the park where we walk all the time on the 5th: 


It's not your eyes, the picture is blurry.  I was watching this daily, 
knowing that the water source for the animals in the park was 
drying up day by day. 


This is the drainage ditch that goes into it. 

I take weird pictures. 




Oh, yes. 


My side yard. 


And my back yard. 


There were a LOT of good smells in the park. 


video

Turn up the volume and hear the frogs! 


Sunday, March 26, 2017

How Could It Be March 26?

Despite promises to post more frequently, I have not posted for 2 weeks! 

I'm sorry.  Life keeps intervening. 

For those of you who have been widowed, you know what I mean. 

My son Jim has been ill... he is normally in good health, 
works out at a gym at 4 AM daily, has, for years.  
He was playing catch with Jax, swung his head around suddenly, 
and caused calcium deposits to move in his inner ear.  He 
has had vertigo for going on ten days now.  For someone 
who delivers for a living, this is not good! 

Next Thursday, I'll take him to a specialist (he has been 
to Urgent Care and the ER) to see if there is anything 
that can be done for him, he cannot drive, and cannot 
walk hardly at all.  He is on FMLA to protect his job. 

Prayers requested for his quick recovery. 

Or just his recovery!  

I have taken many pictures. but I find that I
delete as many as half now.  I do not get satisfied with 
them as easily as I did in the past. 

I'll share a few with you. 

Oh... and I have a surprise coming up, but 
am not able to share it for another week or so. 


Look who was visiting at the Ag Hall one morning! 

He came back by a few minutes later. 


I kept Jax and Paiton on the first day of their spring break. 
For the first time, I let Paiton roll out her own cookies, and she did a GREAT job. 
I should have taken pictures of the final product. 


More visitors at the Ag. 


The geraniums are blooming again.  The tomato plant 
bore flowers, and then faded, but I took a look at what 
was left of it today (not this picture) and it is STILL alive. 
In fact, it looks a LOT better than it did in this picture, taken 
about the 12th. 


This one talked all the way down. 


This big guy attacked me yesterday... I have never been 
attacked quite like that before.  In fact... he broke skin on my leg 
two weeks ago, but yesterday was an escalation.  I moved him back with the 
help of a young woman who will be my future backup.... I was grateful she was there. 
This morning, I went in with a broom, and moved him back before he could get 
near me.  It's not fun collecting eggs and worrying about spurs in your tush! 

I'm guessing breeding maturity is kicking in, he has turned one year old.  
He is a Speckled Sussex, (heavy)  by the way, and now I am wondering if he really DID 
kill his brother two weeks ago, and I just didn't find the wounds amongst the feathers. 


Not in trouble, lifting his leg. 


Also not in trouble, just worshiping the sun. 


Can you see him on the left? 


That's a heron at the Ag. 


Here is a not-very-clear picture of it! 

I have never seen one land in a tree! 


This, I don't know what to say about. 

Sister went to the vet last week. 

Sister is a BROTHER! 

He had been neutered previously. 

Name to come soon. 


I had to put this in Kansas Birding on Facebook to find out what it was. 

I thought it was a fancy sparrow of some kind. 

I will reveal the answer below.  

I had NO IDEA. 


Another deck visitor! 


Action Jackson. 


My hawk nest I have followed for three years appears to be unoccupied. 
I checked on it again today, and still do not see any birds using it. 

I also am not seeing hawks along this road, where they have been so plentiful. 
Amazing just the hawks are gone. 
(yes, I'm suspicious) 


On my way to mass last night, I cut across country.  Movement at the back 
of this field caught my eye, and I thought I was FINALLY seeing a turkey. 

Nope. 


Well... it IS a turkey vulture! 


It rained for two hours yesterday morning, and we need it so badly. 
This kildeer was happy at the little pond. 


Michelle at Boulderneigh , this last set of pictures 
is for you. 



I could not get the black and white lambs, and the "black" lambs that were 
to the right, they were moving around too fast. 
I know these all have Shetland names for their colors, and Michelle, 
you will know what they are. 


We are expecting more rain in the next few days... HURRAH!!!

( It's a female red-winged blackbird)