Saturday, June 27, 2009

Around and About

. . . odds and ends from the past few days . . .

I'm still trying to get a picture of all four banty chicks but Mama hustles them indoors as soon as I point the camera their way.

They are feathering out and are beginning to need more space -- in the next few days, I believe, John plans to move the little family to Justin's chicken tractor, currently occupied by two banty hens.

When I was on my way to the grocery store a few days ago, I was stopped by an outbreak of two naughty calves. They had slipped under the fence and were out for an explore. The mother in the lower left corner is saying something like, "You better get back in here this minute!"

Fortunately, Justin and Claui were taking their dogs for a morning stroll (click on the picture to see what's happening) and quickly turned the bad babies back in with their mamas.
You can see that the calfies aren't a lick repentant and will probably get out again as soon as we move on.

The garden is coming along well -- squash plants are bigging up; tomatoes look good -- thanks to John who mulched them heavily. The broccoli, however, was so full of worms ( I know how well the bt stuff works -- but with all the rain we had, there wasn't a chance for the spray to get a foothold. When I plant more, I'll use row cover to protect them.) So yesterday I yanked out the wormy, buggy plants and gave them to the chickens -- who were delighted.

I'm trying to get out in the garden in the cool of the morning -- then spend my afternoon and evenings writing. Just now I'm back in 1887, with the DeVine sisters at the Mountain Park Hotel in Hot Springs, NC (formerly Warm Springs). I'll tell you more about the hotel (which unlike the DeVine sisters really existed) tomorrow.

Posted by Picasa


Pat in east TN said...

Such is life in the summertime on a farm. Those little calves will always find that greener grass, or so they think .. ha! The chicks are really pretty little things, and worms in the broccoli ... whew, I've never had a mess such as this year! It's hot here too ... work is done early morning and late evening and we're drying up quickly. Little rain, if any, in our forecast.

Carol Murdock said...

Those new mothers are very protective aren't they? I can tell you L, M & C have changed the whole routine around here! Who would have thought?
Your gardens sound like they are coming on! Those baby calves are sometimes nosey!Have a great day Vicki!

Indrani said...

Simple an interesting observations! I need to stand and observe more. This was a lovely read.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Vicki! Lovely photos. I like the calves but their mothers are right to be that protective. My daughter had three turkey chicks last year. One of them was very nosey too and kept escaping from the cage, no matter hoe often we put him back. A few days later we only saw two of them. We suspect the goanna that lives in the wood around the house, to have caught the chick. He was always sneaking around.

Vicki Lane said...

Been there, done that, H
huh, Pat? Yes, we're missing those daily rain showers now. So hot this morning that I came back in by 9:30.

Carol, I reckon those puppies are claiming lots of attention just now -- so much fun watching them grow and develop.

Indrani - Thanks for stopping by! I'll be visiting your blog again for a further look at India.

Reader Wil -- We've never raised turkeys -- we have lots of wild one though. There are lots of predators that love to go after poultry -- blacksnakes, raccoons, possums, coyotes, foxes, bobcats --
everyone loves a chicken dinner. No goanas, thank goodness (is your daughter in Australia?)

Merisi said...

I grew up in a little hamlet where cows went to pasture in the morning and returned to the barns in the evening. Sometimes they grew tired of waiting for the Angelus bell to ring and decided to start walking home on their own. They would file out of the fenced meadow under the guide of their leader and walk straight through the village to whatever barn was their home. Every now and then they decided to stampede through the village, with their tials high and their full udders swooshing back and forth. There was no stopping them untile they peacefully filed one by one into their enclosures, pretending nothing was amiss. I always thought they were great actresses!

Tammy said...

Hi Vicki,
Gosh your place is so pretty----all that green grass and those shiny healthy cows. Very lovely. The picture of the calves being put back in reminded me so much of when I was a kid on my Grandma's dairy farm. We moved the cows to pasture and back to the milk barn, via the gravel road--similar to yours. We were just little squirts but we knew how to get the job done...except sometimes that old bull would put the fear in us.

Vicki Lane said...

Merisi - Love your story of cows running amok. The American cartoonist Gary Larson (The Far Side) has some wonderful insights into the true nature of cows. (Yes, they are wonderful actresses.)

Tammy - We've been blessed with plenty of rain and sun recently -- the pastures are the best they've been in ages. And the cows have mostly shed their ratty old winter coats -- they do look good!

Yep, my boys also learned how to move cattle around pretty early. Once we all learned that screaming and shouting just makes things worse, we got along better in the cow herding business.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Well, I have some cow stories I could tell. Most recently one about my brother being chased by an escapee,and having to leap up on top of his car at the last possible minute. I'll have to say I enjoyed raising hogs more than steers. My steer didn't do squat in the steer show, but my hogs won Grand Champ 2 years straight. I just didn't "connect" with that animal.
But oh, the sound of the mothers mourning after their calves had been moved to another pasture. It went on all night long.

Vicki Lane said...

Kay, you farm girl, you!

Of course pigs are far more intelligent and personality-enabled than steers. If they didn't get so huge and eat so much I'd be tempted to keep one as a pet -- but even pot-bellied pigs get right large. And they can tear up a garden in no time.

But we are considering raising a couple of feeder pigs to put meat in the freezer -- once we have a milk cow again.