Friday, July 25, 2014

not quite ripe

Last winter was brutal cold. At this time of year it is usually the opposite here: so hot and humid it is hard to breathe.

The sun is out and it is almost noon. The temperature is 70° and there is no humidity.

We wonder at the low end what these need, temperature wise, to ripen.

It seems like this year we might be testing the lower limits.

These too.

I'm under the impression high temperatures are needed. Time will tell.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

a full day

We had a full and productive day. Egg layer peepers, 200 of them, arrived on the farm. Bee sting between my toes. Wasp sting on Homer's hand. Chickens moved from field to fridge. Cattle, pigs, poultry, ducks, dogs and farmers watered and fed.

It was hot and humid. In the evening we took a quick drive (about 12 miles round trip) to the boat dock at Pinchot Park. Here on the farm we are closer to the back side of this 2,000+ acre state park, and have to travel to the spot where kayaks and canoes can be stored. This area provides quick access to the lake and no need to transport, as privately owned watercraft can be stored there.

As we walked the lake edge it was nice and cool. We watched a heron fly just above the water a long distance. And then I saw movement just out of the corner of my eye.

Homer circled back to retrieve the moving object. A crayfish!

That thing made me freak out! It feels and looks like a creature from a different time, like it forgot to evolve to something cute. It looks so similar to a scorpion, and since I was still puffy from my bee sting I needed no more adventure.

We picked it up (we?! Homer touched it, no way was I gonna do that) and placed on a kayak for a quick photo.

And then it was set back on the ground were it backed straight into the water at a high rate of speed.

Our intent in visiting was to investigate access and to remind ourselved to ask our friend Jeanne if we can borrow a kayak or canoe. Our schedule depends on weather and snafus. Its a challenge to know exactly when we will be able to go for a paddle. We've lived here for years and have not been out on this beautiful lake that is so close to the farm. Kinda busy when its warm and no desire when it is cold.

We have been out in other waterways on little boats before and it is always lovely. Just above the water, able to see what's traveling above and below. A nice way to spend a hot summer evening.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

the no longer broody hen

We had separated out 3 broody hens. 2 sat with duck eggs under them and now we have a couple handfuls of ducklings.

Another was removed from her flock. We wanted to check and see if, like the other 2, she was really not making eggs but was willing to sit on a nest. Then the cover was removed from her nest box. She could get into the pen at night while wandering the farm during the day.

We have a rooster that was donated to us. He is calm and beautiful and does not crow very much. Most important for his survival is that he does not attack me. As long as he behaves he escapes the stew pot.

These two birds, on the loose, have survived for months now. Long enough for her to begin producing fertilized eggs, and for the chicks to hatch. She nested in the grass, inside her sort of open pen. I saw her off the eggs once, when the nest was in the direct sun and the temperature was above 90°.

Difficult to see right next to their momma, as they are tiny balls of fluff the same color.

So Miss A held one of the chicks to pose for a better photo. And because holding baby chicks is just a great start to a day.

Jasmine looks pretty interested too. The chicks will go into protective custody until they are larger, and not of such great interest to the dogs.

Growing a few egg layers here!


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