Monday, January 22, 2007

More snow

Apparently we didn't have enough white stuff on the ground already. We woke up Sunday morning to discover another five inches on the ground. And the road out of here looking like this. We don't get a lot of traffic here, which is a good thing because in the best of times it's only wide enough for one vehicle and on the curve pictured above.

The greenhouse held up well through this latest winter storm. By 9 a.m., nearly all the snow had slid off the top. Inside we have mud. Mud, mud, everywhere.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'd be cranky too if I had frost on my whiskers every morning. Lottie, the Jersey milk cow, had a chapped udder, too -- ouch!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tom's been feeling pretty perky now that he's recovered from the injuries incurred during that unfortunate incident with the geese. Strutting around the barnyard with half his feathers missing couldn't have been much fun. Now that he's fully feathered again, he struts and preens all day. He also exhibits an annoying curiosity about the camera.

A few months ago, this guy was bottom turkey in the pecking order. We weren't even sure he was a tom. He didn't act like one, and he hadn't developed enough of a snood and wattle to distinguish him from the hens. As time passed, and the more dominant toms disappeared, one by one, our flock dwindled to this guy and one hen. Likely, it was his very meekness that saved him from the coyotes and bobcat that preyed on his braver flockmates. He didn't browse in the woods, and he usually was first to alight on a high roost near day's end . And thus he's survived predation thus far. With the more dominant Tom's gone, his hormones kicked in, and that long red drip over his beak, his snood, began to lengthen. The red wattles at his throat grew and deepened in color. I've seen this happen many times before when a dominant tom leaves the flock for whatever reason. One or two of the lesser toms will step up to take his place, and in turkeys, the signs include the physical developments as well as the behavior changes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The year of gates

This may be the year of the gates. I have nothing against a well-made 'farmer's gate' of whatever wire matches the fence, especially in locations that don't see a lot of through traffic. Unfortunately, most of the farmer's gates here at the farm aren't that manageable for a middle-aged gal with wimpy muscles. So I've made a list of gates to replace, as time and funds permit.

First on the list was this one between the cow pasture and the field where the greenhouse, orchard, and big garden are located. This was a life-changing event. I smiled. I might even have done a little dance out there in the sunlight as I considered the sheer volume of time and aggravation this new gate will spare me in the coming growing season.

Life is good.