Friday, September 15, 2023

Fall is Almost Here

The summer flowers have still been going strong... 

But the fact is, things are starting to fade now.  I have already pulled the 
amaranthus out of the two planters it was in. 

I won't plant it again, I had planted it in the ground years ago, but I did not like how it looked in it's planters over the summer

I absolutely loved the wildflower mixes I planted this year, but they were extremely water-hungry, and I could not keep up with dead heading the many zinnias.  As much as I loved the unusual wildflowers in the mixes, I won't plant these next year. 

My well has to pump up after I use a lot of water, and I had to pace myself all summer in our hot weather.  
I'm going for something much easier to take care of next summer. 

The hanging baskets I made still look really good on the shaded edge of the porch roof. 

They smell good, too. 

My one tomato plant, a cherry, is still bearing, and that blue flower is an example of the wildflowers in one of the mixes.  I really enjoyed them. 

The grass is dying already, and I have not had to cut often these last two weeks.  I am going to get the mower out today to do along the road and a couple of other spots, but really... we have had so little rain it has not been necessary. 

My friends in the big sheep flock went home three weeks ago, and three 

individuals came over to stay with me for a while... 

Snickers the Jersey heifer, Doodles the goat, whose mama Apple was here for two summers... 

and Snowball, one of the first sheep my friends who board here owned.  

I have so enjoyed watching these three, I told their owner I was in love with them and they had to stay forever! 

Seeing their faces at the fence makes my day brighter!

We have had some losses here, too, including one very sad one, yesterday. 

I took this picture one day last week, when I randomly walked around with my camera one evening.  I had let the chickens over on the "house side" of the yard... and I found Singleton out by the deck as I came out.  

Singleton was the boss rooster.  He was one of two sons of brown Ferdinand, who died over the summer.  Singie was the only chick in his clutch to hatch, and his mama raised him for a few weeks way back six years ago, thus his name, Singleton.  He bossed his daddy around unmercifully... and his brother Buddy and the smaller rooster, Doug, the Silkie.  

On Wednesday, I heard him crow oddly... and turned around and teased him for it.  
That morning, when I let them out, I heard him give a barking cough, twice, and I turned quickly to see who had done it, because it is an indication of respiratory infection. 

I told him he had better not get sick on me.  He took wonderful care of his hens, and I could trust him to get them in safely every single night.  Indeed, Wednesday night they were all in at seven, waiting for me to lock up. 

I found him gone in the brooder pen yesterday morning.  I was stunned. 
The ground is like iron here, or he would have been buried. 

I could not get a shovel into it out in the garden to dig a hole, and my oldest son was out of town this weekend.   

I had to put him in the pasture, where I put other offerings for the coyotes. 

It broke my heart; of all, he should have been buried here. 

The day before, I had lost my last Ameracauna hen, 
she had been fading over the course of a week... not going outside.... not able to stand for long.  She was not in pain, just fading.  (no coughing) 
She was on the floor, gone, when I walked in on Wednesday. 

I feel like this girl will be the next.  She is very old, already eight... she is the last of the Brown Leghorns, and laid a wonderful huge white egg for years.  She is the first one in every evening, and is not roosting anymore, though she does fly up to the next boxes in the big hen house and make herself comfortable in a nest for the night. 

It saddens me to see my birds grow old.  I only get a few eggs daily now... though I do have the three pullets from this year to come on in the spring.  Cochins are not prolific layers, though. 

They are still being carried in and out daily, though they are almost full grown... because I am afraid for them to go under the big hen house and then have to struggle to get them out.  
It has to come sometime, I know that.  

I am wondering if maybe it is time to move them over to the old hen house which is on level ground, and introduce them to the girls there. 

(Singleton's old house). 

There's Bob... cause of my rabies shot series that I just finished. 
I am not dead, so he must not have had it. 
He is going to get rabies and distemper shots in the next few weeks, so I don't ever have to worry again. 

The trees are already turning, and poison ivy growing in them has turned bright red. 
Fall is here.