Sunday, March 12, 2023

Spring, Glorious Almost Spring

Yes, that is Almost Spring, as we have had a blast of wintry weather this last week. 

After three days of rain and clouds, we have sun today, thank heavens, or your blogger was about ready to give up the ghost.  

Bulbs are raising their heads, and buds are trying to open.  We do have some rain in the forecast this coming week, and I wish it were going to be a little warmer, but Jax, my grandson, who will be on vacation, will be working getting my yard ready for spring with me. 

This is the eighteenth year I have been here, and seen this daffodils come up.  You see the tree has grown so much that the box someone built around it has burst.  Oscar, my heart dog min pin, is buried under this tree.  
The people here directly before me were a father and two sons... I doubt they planted them, so I am grateful to someone in the far past for this spring surprise every year. 

This is the treeline of the 26 acre undeveloped piece of land directly across the road from me.  Before I moved here, there was a fire on it, but as you see, it has grown back and is nearly impenetrable.  I am told there is only enough water on it for one house, and we have fought as neighbors to not see it developed as a strip mall OR a fueling point for the local propane coop.  
At night, I often hear coyotes there. 
A week ago, I heard coyotes on both sides of me, haunting at 3 AM.  Several of my friends asked me to record them at that time, and I would, except I invariably forget to grab the phone when I take the dogs out.  This morning at 1:30, I heard a few calling to each other from "The Wild Area", as I call it. 
There is a communications tower on this land, and it brings in 800.00 a month rent, and a local realtor is the owner now.  It scares me that it will be developed with something totally inappropriate for the neighborhood, but we have banded together three times to fight developments... one was a putting green!  

Something cool happened here this week. 

Last November, a tree man who had worked here before stopped by to give me an estimate.  There had been a storm the night before, and I had a walnut with numerous hanging branches over my old hen house.  Parats (his name) was kind enough to climb up and pull them all down, and his sons stacked them neatly for me. He gave me the estimate then, for the work I wanted done in the pasture. 
I had decided to trim under many trees, and eliminate some saplings that were getting out of control. 

Six weeks ago, he called me one day to see if they could work that afternoon, but I was away from home. 
This week, he called to see if they could come Wednesday.  I said YES. 

(it was only a half day's work for them, so they were fitting me in). 

They brought in three big vehicles. 

I had two mulberry trees that had so many big branches down that I could no longer cut under them. You see one almost down on the left, and there were many more.  These guys cut them up, threw them in the wood chipper, and then raked under both trees, it looks like a park down there. 

The white thing you see is boards from my raised beds, they are on the brush pile.  I can actually SEE the brush pile from my porch now, because all the branches are gone. 
They also took down about ten big saplings that were going to be problems, three were in the rings of these trees. 
They painted everything with Tordon. 

Those trees where you see the man working had branches so low I had trouble cutting underneath them. I am so grateful to get them removed and painted over. 

The whole operation was not without drama, though... as the big truck came out, he became stuck in the mud in the gateway.  If you squint, you can see there is a winch on the front of the truck, and it was being slowly winched out.  The crazy thing was, nothing got stuck UNTIL they got to the gate, and the pasture was soft from the rain we have been getting. 
I have a highly and I mean HIGHLY rutted gate right now that will take months to heal.  But, I am indebted to Forest Keepers Tree Service for another job well done! 

The week before, Good Neighbor Troy came over with his Kubota, and carefully pulled into the sheep yard and pushed into a pile all the boulders that had become embedded in the ground and prevented me from mowing well in there.  While we were in the Big House, the renter here had put two hogs in there.  They had taken the piled boulders in the middle (for our goats) and spread them out, and some became buried.  It was almost impossible to cut in there, and even the sheep could not keep the grass trimmed. 

Troy also moved a huge boulder at the back of the house that made me swerve out of my cutting line, and another on the side, and both moves will make it so much easier to cut this summer.  

Troy picked up three huge engineered posts that had become embedded in the ground on the pad for the Barn That Was Never Built, and moved them down to the brush pile. 

I don't know what I did to deserve such good friends. 

Teenie is back to sleeping in the wood stove.  She is the most-picked on cat here, and very tiny.  She is one of my favorites.  I had her neutered by a local rescue a year ago. 

We went from 70's back to thirties this week, and Wanda has been sleeping in a nest box again.  She and Coco hurry to get in when I lock everyone up at night, Wanda in the Big Hen House and Coco in the old hen house. 

I started some flower seeds, but nothing like as many as I started vegetables and flowers last year.  These are out in the shop. 

The Egg Dam is slowly breaking.  Chickens lay less in the winter, with the shorter days. 
On Wednesday, I got six 18 month old chickens.  They are production reds, meaning hybrid layers designed to lay a lot of eggs for a year or so, and then be replaced.  
They are in the old hen house with Singleton, the rooster and four other hens. 
I have not seen a huge outlay from them yet, but it is early days, and my seven original red hens have begun laying again. 

This is Sunday, and so far, I have eight... and there was a hen on a nest with at least two under her, and another hen with one. 
I also have not checked here yet. 

Can you see the hen?  I have to get on my hands and knees to get the egg out, and so help me, if there is something in there that goes for me, that's IT! 

This is the doghouse that the possum died in in December, no one has been using it, until this hen. 

I found a lot of blood in the shop one morning, and other spots in the garage. 
(That's the beautiful Cleo) 

This guy turned up with a swollen paw, and then a wound that was leaking blood. 

Bullseye was NOT happy to go to the vet, and let me know in no uncertain terms. 
His wound is healing... the vet thinks he was bitten.  He has all his shots, so got a two week antibiotic shot to get him over the hump.  The leg looks much better.  

I am so grateful for blue skies today, the days of clouds were getting me down. 
Can you see the moon between the trees? 

I hope the weather is calming down whereever you are reading this.  


Monday, March 6, 2023

An Unusual Post

This is going to be kind of an unusual post... I am going to use pictures (mostly) from the game cameras that I put out around the place. 

That's Buddy and Bob, formerly called "Alien".  Bob has been around for about four months now, but... he disappears during the day sometimes for hours.  He has always been in good flesh, and I believe he is neutered.  I suspect he belongs to someone down the road, but he is sleeping here.  

Bob at the door. 

If I leave the inside door open... I can look up sometimes from the computer and see Bob on his hind legs, looking in.  He has come as far as 3 feet into the kitchen three times, then freaked out and ran outside.  His buddy Buddy is what drew him in. 

Bob adores Buddy. 

Mama adores Buddy, there she is wrapping herself around him. 

There they are out by the garage, she will come running across the yard if she sees him come out of the house.  

I don't know what he has, but it's magnetism! 

Bullseye is part of the Buddy Club, too.  

Yesterday morning, I discovered dark red blood on the floor in the shop, near the Kuranda bed.  I looked everywhere for a body, and checked the cats.  I was worried for a while because they are all picking on Teenie again, and I could not find her.  That was really dark blood. 
I found a few more drops at the back of the shop. (That's Cleo) 

I found a dark one with congealed blood in it this morning. 

And then, when I took the bowl I keep in the garage during the day outside, I found 
some more in the garage... I always leave a small pile of food in there at night when I lock the food up. 

Imagine my happiness when this ran across the yard to greet me this morning, in one piece....

I was so glad. 


No wounds on her, either.  

I can pick everyone up but Cleo and Bob.  

All three of my big roosters have pretty much quit roosting.  Singleton here is the head honcho... but I notice that he is sleeping in the brooder pen in the old hen house more and more, tho he is sometimes on the roost still with his four girls.  

He is getting six more girls this week to watch over, they are hens coming from a large flock here that is turned over every 18 months.   Since the old hen house is flat, and has only five birds in it, they are going to be put there.  Singleton will take good care of them. 

This is his daddy, Ferdinand, who does not go outside any more.  
He is sleeping in this corner in the big henhouse, and stays inside every day. 
His toes mostly have frozen off, though he can still hop around... but I am going to have to make a decision soon.  A vet at the practice in Tongie where I take my pets now has offered to euthanize him for me, and I suspect that is what will have to happen.  I know some of you are laughing at my taking him to a vet.... since I lost Keith, I don't have the guts to do the dirty deed myself, I admit it.  And... she will do it humanely, while I am there talking to him. 

Buddy (not to be confused with canine Buddy), the other brown rooster... is still going out, but also has lost some toes.  

The reason I don't hatch is fear of being stuck with more roosters! 

Wanda is still living in the big hen house.  I let her stay out later than the birds, and then, about six pm, I go out and call her and she is ready to go in and go to bed. 

We have had balmy temps the last few days, but after today, we are going to be in the thirties and forties this week.... she loves to lay under the warming light I leave on for the old ones. 

Can you blame her? 

See Pipsqueak? 

I was not sure what to do with him after I lost Mary, his partner. 

I began to leave him down on the floor with the other birds... that's Ferdie there. 
I was carrying him out to his little pen (actually a big pen) every morning, and carrying the cat carrier so he had a shelter during the day. 

One day, I left him in.  He took himself out with the other birds. 
That is what we are doing now, he goes out, hangs out.... and in the evening I usually take the net, stop him, and carry him in.  We have a routine now. 

My friend Diane raises Mille Fleurs.  I have asked her if I can buy a couple when she is ready to cull... I used to keep them, too... I had a whole pen full.  They are diminutive and would make a nice partner for little Pip. 

I am starting to get four to eight eggs a day. 
I was able to gift five dozen eggs last week, but some of those were from the previous week. 
I am hoping with the addition of the new birds, I will be back to giving away that many regularly. 

These are pictures of the Budmeister when he was found on September 5 last year, 
astray out in the county.  Bless the people who found him, they got hold of the Bonner Springs ACO, and Officer Kendra went out and got him.  She told me over the weekend that she had to hold his hind end up, he was so weak. 

Here's The Bud today, Inspiration of all Cats at Calamity Acres. 

I know he is in his last year, he is moving slower and slower, and it is evident... he is eating far less and sleeping a LOT more... but gosh, he is just the best old boy.  Anyone that can give a home to a senior is a gem, in my book... he has been so deserving.  A friend met him over the weekend... Buddy LOVES men, and he scared this guy because he wanted to be loved on.  When we went outside when my friend was leaving.... he turned around and said... no one would ever try to hurt you with that boy at your side. 

I believe he is right. 

Early this morning, something startled Mama and Cleo in the shop.... I leave the warming light on at night.  If you look under the Kuranda bed on the left, it looks like a cat coming in through the hole...maybe Bob, but it might have been Teenie, trying to get back to the wood stove where she sleeps.  Both of these girls beat up on Teenie, who is much smaller than both of them. 

A few hours later, this girl had come back, she had been in and out all night, but I'll tell you something odd... I can never smell her, even when her tail is on high alert.  If you look closely, you will see that both Cleo, in the bed on top of the chest, and Mama, who is curled up in the chair on the right, did not even wake up and look up.  I have noticed that they are wary but are not bothered by the possums, the raccoons and the skunk that comes in at night, mostly to drink out of the heated water. 

(If you want to know how I know it's a girl, she has backed up to the camera while drinking water many times) 

Jupiter and Venus in alignment, and it won't happen again in my lifetime.  It's crazy to say that. 

I am so lucky to live out here, I know that. 

I thank God every day. 

I know my time here grows short, age will get me in the end. 
If I can afford to pay someone to do the heavy yardwork at some point, I would do it, just so I can stay, but we will see. 

I am not sure if the sheep will be back this year, I have not heard yet, but... I think I can do one more year with their water tank, too, and then we will see about that, too.  

Thank you, friends, for reading about our days here at Calamity Acres.