A week on the ranch (June 8 - June 14, 2009)
by, 06-15-2009 at 11:17 AM (1268 Views)
Wow, every day this week was crazy! Work was super-charged, ending with being out on the range all day on Friday (and still being sore). The rest of the week was meetings and interviews and running from one location to the next! This week is going to be similar, T-Th, with a day on each end to prepare and recover!
On the ranch, the garden is really starting to produce. Right now, I am collecting all sorts of summer squash, and the beans are right behind. Green tomatoes, so it will be a month or so before they are ready.
The weather is unbelievably spring-like! I know summer doesn't officially hit until next week, but usually, by mid-June, I am hiding inside with the air-conditioning on. This whole week has been cool, almost cold, with beautiful afternoons perfect for working outside! Except for the flies, which are always a problem this time of year, it has been a great time for the animals. They are traveling to the far ends of the property, because they aren't feeling the need to come back in for water, and they are doing a great job of mowing everything down!
I have not been home to enjoy the weather much, unfortunately. On Saturday, I went to the flea market (which, due hopefully just to reports of impending rain, was a bust again), then did some chores. Sunday was my turn at the store for a four-hour stint, followed by picking up some composting worms from a woman who advertised them on FreeCycle.
Rudy the Roo seems completely healed from his leg infection. Other than taking a wide berth around me and glaring at me suspiciously, he seems to have suffered no PTSD from my grabbing him and dosing him with antibiotics for weeks on end. My baby chicks are now chickens, with at least two boys in the group. Happily, one of the Black Giant Jersey chicks is one of the boys, so I am hoping he will hook up with some of the hens. It will be a few months still before the hens start producing eggs, but I am hoping they will start producing reliably by the end of summer, in fall, when the weather is nice and the egg production tends to go up anyway. Meanwhile, I am still collecting an average of a dozen eggs a day from the other hens.
Still working on business ideas, trying to find my niche. I am thinking that I will be concentrating on plants for the Saturday flea market, if it ever gets off the ground, but plants don't work well in my booth, because the lighting isn't strong enough, unless I want to switch out plants every week. In the booth, the earrings and the bracelets sell, but they aren't exactly flying off the shelves. I think all the crafters are in the same boat, except for the florist, who does custom work and has been busy with graduations, but I keep thinking that there HAS to be some "gotta have it" item that I'm just not thinking about and that I could make.
Attached a pic of some of my tabletop watergardens. Not a great pic, as the sun was behind the plants, so they are somewhat shadowed, but you get the idea.
Riley Dog dug his way out of the fenceline AGAIN. That dog is unstoppable. He respects his run, and when I keep him locked in, he doesn't try to escape. But as soon as I give him access to the property, it suddenly becomes too constraining for him to have JUST 10 acres, and he tries to find a way out. It takes him a few days, usually, and then one day I find him standing outside the fenceline, looking contrite. I bring him back in, find the hole and fill it, leave him locked in for a few days, and then we start the process over again. I wouldn't care, except I know that Riley is a troublemaker, and in this area, troublemakers get shot. I have been procrastinating setting up hotwire around the perimeter, because it is going to be a MAJOR job, but it seems to be the only thing that keeps Riley from digging. He really HATES hotwire.
Flymasks and bands ordered and hopefully on their way for the donkeys. Poor Buddy is getting his front legs eaten alive. I put leg protectors on him, but he keeps getting them off. I am mentally engineering a HM version with mesh and velcro, as the manufacturers of masks and leg protectors apparently don't know that donkeys exist, as everything is sized for horses and ponies. Donkeys fall in the middle, so nothing fits them just right. In the case of the leg protectors, they are too tall, and they get in his way when he wants to lay down. The bands that I ordered are an experiment, but they had a number of good customer reviews. They are just little bands, similar to flea collars, that supposedly contain a fly repellent. You attach one to each leg of the donkey. If they work well, I'll use them BEFORE the flybites start next year.
The tadpoles in the goldfish pond are getting big and fat, probably because they just hang around all day and eat fishfood. The pond plants (lotus, water lettuce, and parrots' feather) are also responding to the warm weather and are sending out new growth. I have been lucky enough to get lotus blossoms for several years now, so I'm looking forward to seeing those again! The little bogs I established when I put in the pond are doing so well, they are almost out of control! It is very relaxing to sit up by the pond and watch the small ecosystem that surrounds it, with critters that just don't show up if there is no water, and with the birds playing in the shade of the birches and willows. I may have to invest in a bench and make that my morning coffee spot, weather permitting.
Speaking of morning spots, I went to my truck this morning, to get something out of it. I left the window open when I drove home yesterday, and when I opened the door, I found that one of my hens apparently thought the cab of my truck was just the right place to sit and lay an egg!! She was still there, looking at me as if to say, "Yes, did you need something?" I left the door open, just in case she can't figure out how to get out again, but she looked so comfortable, I didn't have the heart to evict her. Oh, well, I was going to try to take my truck in for detailing this week anyway....