Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wake Up Call

I'm a bad farmer.  Or at least, I'm having a bad year.  A couple of days ago while watering, I said to Dorie, "You fat cow, when are you going to have that baby?"  She just gave me one of those looks.  Little did I know she was probably thinking, 'Hey, stupid, I did that last week...'

So yesterday I looked up through the window as I was washing dishes.  A little yellow dog ran through the pasture chasing Nelly.  I washed another dish.

Wait a minute.  We don't have a little yellow dog.  The little yellow dog disappeared.  Paw prints were found of dogs tracking or chasing a bear from the tack room to the woods.  Smitty came home without a collar.
The other...

I looked again. Little yellow dog in the pasture. Cindy is tied up. Little yellow dog has a white tail tip. It must be a neighbour's dog. I headed outside.

I yelled to the boys as I walked out the door.  They're just about as deaf as me.  I yelled again as I kept walking.  By the time I was close enough for them to hear me, I was also close enough to see.  "Get that dog out of the pasture!" changed to "How long has THAT been living in our pasture?"  #1 looked up, confused.  "That little thing beside Dorie."  I said.  "Holy crap", says he.  Then he was off to investigate.

#1 got close enough to look him over.  He claims it's a boy anyway- I'll wait until I get a better look.  Toothless was in a mood, so I didn't go in to see.  #1 took a squirt of milk- no colostrum.

Dorie brought him right up to the fence for me, right between the other cows.  He snuggled right close beside her.  She ate some fresh weeds from the garden.  He wandered off- right into the barn behind the horses.  She didn't fret and they didn't move. 

I'm guessing he's a week old already, since she's brought him out of hiding, and he's running and kicking and playing.  This morning they're all out grazing, followed by the little brown dot.

Thinking back, all I can remember out of the ordinary last week, was Sharlotte mooing incessantly for a couple of days.  I kept checking her water, asking her what was wrong, telling her to go and play.  It never even occurred to me to check on her mother!

Looking back further- I really think Dorie stole that baby!  Sharlotte never snuggled up to her the way the new one is.  In fact, she raced back away from Dorie in those early days.  This one is definitely Dorie's.  Man I love that cow!  She thinks I'm weird when I try to hug her though.

In other news...


 Husband took the boys fishing, and they finally caught some fish.  17 pike- 6 meals.  Yum!
 Afterwards I sprayed the seams on #4's boat.  It's been leaking just a little since Grandpa gave it to him when he was four years old.  I watched the flex seal infomercial a couple of times last winter and thought I really ought to try that.  Then I couldn't remember the name of it, so I went googling.  One site I found was a review site, and in the comments somebody posted something like, "I can't believe they're making all that money off of rubberized automotive undercoating..."  $6 a can at Canadian Tire, no waiting for shipping.  We haven't had it back in the water yet, but it's held up well in the rain, not running or anything, not gooey to the touch.

 The birds are eating me out of house and home.  They're currently going through two bags of feed in about 6 days- one cut corn, one turkey grower.  They still have lots of raspberry bushes and other greens in their pen, and I'm picking four buckets of weeds for them almost every day.
The days I miss-raining all day- the little carnivores attack the ducks over night.  We fenced off a corner of the shack for the ducks but they hated it, and some of the chicks would fly over top with the ducks trapped inside.
I decided to move the little chicks into it instead.  It gives them a fairly safe haven to get away from some of the bigger birds.

The ducks have a barrel outside for now.  We haven't had any fox problems this year, so far, so I figure they're safer outside than in the shack, at least until their wings grow in.

I think the bears may have eaten the foxes.  Last year you couldn't go anywhere without seeing at least tracks, but often seeing the foxes themselves on the sides of the roads.  This year it's rare to see tracks.  Bears and moose seem to be everywhere this year.  Mama bear, who lives on our property, has three cubs.  Papa bear (the really big one) has been seen three times on our side of the creek.  And we have a young one (2ish) sticking pretty close as well.  Papa bear usually chases the young ones off, but this one seems persistent, telling me there is a lack of territory available this year.

#2 left for camp on Saturday.  He won't be back until mid August.  I miss him like crazy.

The boys and I racked and bottled the apple and elderberry wines last week.  The apple finally tastes somewhat like wine- enough so that I managed to swallow it instead of spitting it back out.  It was supposed to be a quick, ready to drink in 6 months wine, but I think it's going to take closer to a year.  The elderberry doesn't taste as much like elderberry jam now, a bit bitter, but I think it will age well.

No chicks from the last batch of eggs in the incubator.  I left the thermometer out, thinking that someone was playing with the temperature since I had to constantly adjust it with the previous batch.  The thermometer got broken at some point- why leave it alone on a shelf?- so this time I'm using an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer that tracks the low and high for the day.  It appears that my incubator is either temperamental, or the unstable temperature in my house really affects the temp in the incubator.  Either way, I'm back to fiddling with it regularly.

Cows and goats broke into the garden- Mildred!!- so it appears that I only have three bean plants left.  I'm going to put in more seed, but I doubt that it'll have time to do much.  The beets are coming along nicely, and the peas are flowering.The Russian banana potatoes are doing well, the rest are spotty.   Greenhouses are coming along fairly well, although something was in greenhouse #2 and devoured half of the cabbage.

Mom and I went strawberry picking yesterday (opening day here in the north!), so today I'll be making a big batch of jam.  It's raining, so I think a vanilla cake with a strawberry topping is also in order.  And a roast.  I'm already sick of summer food.


  1. geesh louise - you have been a busy girl! i laughed my head off when you thought the baby was a stray dog - bahahahahah! jambaloney is crying - he loves pike fishing and misses it terribly as there are no pike on our island! tell the boys "awesome catch!"!!!

    your friend,

    1. Thanks, kymber. Will do. I was very, very impressed with my little fishermen!

  2. You have been busy! The yellow "pup" is adorable LOL! Your place sounds like ours (with out the 4 legged critters) if its not one thing its another. Sounds like the garden, or whats left of it is doing great

    1. Thank you! Yeah, there's always SOMETHING... lol

  3. You certainly are distracted, thinking a calf was a yellow dog. That gave me a good laugh! Bears on your property scares me for you and your children. Those are beautiful fish, quite a catch. You have been busy with all the wines and strawberry picking.

    1. I meant to say that is not as bad as my amazement that our tom cat was nursing three kittens. Then, the other tom cat was nursing the same three the next day. Someone lied when they gave me two male barn cats to deal with mice.

    2. Yeah, I'm still walking around in a daze.

      The bears aren't so bad. Not that I'd want to get up close and personal with either Papa bear or Mama bear, but they're older bears. They were both here before us, and full grown, so at least 8 years old. They hear humans in the woods and they get moving.

      The young ones are the dangerous ones. This little one that's hanging around might make it. We've only seen him once, in the ditch down the road. He's been close to the house, but not in the yard, and not in the pasture. It's the little ones who think they can get an easy meal from dog food, gardens and bbqs that end up getting put down. Either they're too hungry to care, or not smart enough to realize, that humans are a very big danger to them. And of course, walking out your door and finding one face to face with you is dangerous to people. I don't mind the ones who keep their distance.

      Cute, lol. Well, on the other hand, females make better mousers. Toms tend to lay around, lol.

  4. Yellow dog indeed! :-)

    I can't get the image of that henpecked duck out of my mind, Wendy. Animals sure can be cruel. I hope it heals okay.