Sunday, December 1, 2019

Digging Out

To start the post, and update from Kevin and the hunting party. As a group of 9 we filled 7 tags with 2 bucks, 3 does, and 2 fawns. We did not see the amount of deer as we have in past years, and from the reports we hear from others we had great success. We decided after the second weekend to be done. We will see how the deer do over the winter now.

Sorry about the fuzziness of some of the pictures in this post - guess I was in a hurry!

As most of you know, Thanksgiving was followed up by a pretty major snowstorm in our area.  We estimate anywhere from 18 to 24 inches at our farm.  The wind really piled the snow up in places so it is pretty hard to be accurate on that.

The snow got started early on Saturday.

By late morning today it was done and the clean-up began.  Kevin spent the entire day plowing, pushing, and piling snow.  Thank goodness for Bob - he earned his keep today!

I got reacquainted with the shovel.  I worked on the front deck and then shoveled a path the the back door of the Winter Coop.  Later this afternoon I spread some straw out there to entice the poultry out. 
 Tom and Peanut were disinclined to exit.

Good news from the coop - the hens are picking up their egg production - 15 eggs today - we haven't had that many for a long, long time.

Tamarack and Poppy were snug in their little house through the storm but their outdoor quarters filled up deep.  They are made of sterner stuff than their mama though (prima donna Vinca does not care to get her feet wet!)- they waded right out when I came out to shovel. 

After clearing away much of the snow, Kevin threw some straw out to make their place a little more comfortable.

In the big shed, quite a bit of snow was blown in the little goat door.  It is unusual for so much to come in on the north side - there is also a solid fence just a few feet away.  The wind was going every direction it seemed.  Fortunately we have expanded the goat area and Vinca, Echo, and Hickory have plenty of snow free space.

Sunset was brief but beautiful this evening.  
 Thank you for visiting our blog.  Until next time, be well friends!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Deer Hunt far

What a difference a year and in this case a couple months make in the hunting world. The area we hunt is area 155 and this year we are listed as a bonus zone so each hunter could harvest 2 deer if they want to, just like last year.

Last year we had deer all around us and this spring we saw a lot of deer out in the fields. Even early this fall while we were harvesting grain we saw quite a few deer. Then about a month ago after Kellen was here hunting over the MEA weekend, the deer seemed to disappear.

We were not real worried; opening morning we had 8 hunters going afield, a smaller group then usual but we had a plan. After a full day of hunting we had 1 deer. Nick harvested his first buck right away in the morning. The text messages started flying like 30 seconds after the shot, it was so much fun. This is one of the biggest reasons I love to hunt, the excitement and fun we have as a group together. The pictures will be below so those who do not like to see harvested deer can stop before the pictures.

Nick has now shot more deer than his Dad and after this season has shot twice as many bucks as his Dad (just had to throw in that little jab Tim) As a group this year we saw a total of 8 deer opening weekend. Last year we saw over 40. Maybe it was just the cold weather that was the reason; all three mornings we woke up to single and low teen temps.

After 3 days of cold hunting, we had 3 deer; 2 bucks that Nick shot, a 8 point and a 6 point, and a fawn that someone (not naming names Kevin) shot. so opening weekend was a real slow one.

Now for this weekend. On Saturday Kori and I harvested some does, 3 of them in fact. I counted a total of 6 shots before 1:00 pm and 3 of them were us. It was so quiet. Just a little fun fact, both Kori and I shoot rifles chambered in 7mm-08. I have really become a believer in this little caliber, it does not beat you up when shooting and it does all that it needs to do down range and is very accurate. If someone was looking for a new or used gun, especially for youngsters and people who are sensitive to recoil, this is a great little cartridge.

Anyway, back to the post. These were the only deer seen this weekend; a whole day spent in the field today (Sunday) we saw no deer. It is just really weird, all the deer that we did see were traveling, either moving in a quick walk, trotting or most likely running. Normally we have deer out in the fields feeding and just milling around, especially the dumb little fawns. This year we saw just a couple fawns and none just really hanging out.

So after two weekends of hunting we have a total of 7 deer for 9 hunters which is still a great season, just not what we were expecting. We may be done for the year; we have venison to eat and because we are seeing so few we will let the ones we have in the woods try to make it through the winter.

Now the pictures of Nick with his two bucks. Great shooting young man.

First Buck, nice smile.

2nd buck. Does he look cold?
Be well everyone

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November Goat Moves

November has arrived and with it the excitement of the impending deer hunting season - for some folks anyway. The weather has been pretty chilly with freezing temps every night and sometimes all day too.  This weekend getting the heated water pails organized was a priority.

Out in the barnyard, there is another kind of excitement going on - and a big change.  Our buck Ranger has moved to a new farm, and a new buck has come to ours - meet Hickory!

Poppy and Tamarack have moved to a nearby pen and shelter while Hickory visits Vinca and Echo.  The kids aren't thrilled with the arrangement but Kevin has been making their temporary home as comfortable as possible.  In the picture you can see the straw bales he has piled up on the right - when he was finished they had straw bales on both sides and the back to keep them snug and keep the drafts down.

Last weekend was my first indoor market of the fall/winter season - this is what my set up looked like.   I sure wish I had noticed the crooked tablecloth, but otherwise it looked pretty good.

My last pictures to share are kind of fun - I caught Tom napping today!


The next post you will see from us will likely be from Kevin with a hunting update. Until then, be well friends!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Feeling a Little Fall

This post is just a few bits of things

The latest View from the Milking Stand, taken just today  - about half of the leaves are down already.  There are at least three deer in this picture although it's really hard to see the out there. 
Preparations for the regular deer hunting season have begun and these past few days Kevin's brother Kent and nephew Kellen visited from Wyoming for a special early youth hunt.  Kellen didn't get the buck that he would have liked, but he still was successful and hopefully had a good time visiting Minnesota anyway. We know he learned a little more about that favorite chore that comes after your deer is down. Don't have lunch first.

Kevin and Rollie started to harvest the small field of buckwheat this weekend.  -The swather behaved pretty well (after acting up with some of the other grain) but the crop turned out to have too much moisture in it and the combine got all bound up.  The guys were struggling to dislodge a lot of ground up stems in the bowels of the machine when I happened along. 

I was in there, digging out the silage-like plant material and remarked that Kevin ought to take a picture.  I was thinking a side view of the machine with my feet sticking out the end would be amusing - this is the picture he took instead!

It was pretty cramped in there but we got it done.

The turkeys are within days of  being processed for the freezer.  We have most of them rounded up and jailed in the summer coop now.  They are not easy to catch!

Stray cat Scruff has been making more appearances - usually around milking time.  I am hoping she stays around.

Winky, Tulip, and Daffodil left today for a new farm home in southern Minnesota.  It's always a little sad to see the youngsters move on but we just can't keep them all.

As always, thank you for stopping by to read the blog. Until next time, be well friends!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Soggy Start to October

October, I am not impressed with you so far.... cold, wet, Very Wet - enough with the rain!

I didn't have a post last week because there just wasn't much to say - and not too much this week either.  It's just that time of year.  I will probably be posting every couple weeks for a while, or maybe even every third week.  This one is just a few tidbits.

Good news for the little orphan turkeys.  They had the smaller room in the Winter Coop to themselves for a while - a lot of valuable coop space for just a few ounces of poultry. Then they were adopted by friend Dana - doesn't she look happy about it?  What a great smile! Her first turkeys.  Thank you Dana!!!

In an all too brief interval between rain showers, I captured the latest View from the Milking Stand.  The woods are too soggy for woodcutting, but are getting pretty to look at.

Out in the barn, lots of hay is being consumed - the goats are constantly reminding me that they are water soluble, the slightest sprinkle will prevent them from going out!
I finished bringing the pumpkins and squash out of the garden today.  Many of them are stacked out on the front deck at the time being.  I'll be cooking and freezing them as time allows.
These leaf prints are from the sidewalk near my work.  Nature's art will not last but I think it's pretty cool.

And that's all I have!  Thanks for stopping by the blog, and until next time, be well friends!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Turkey Dinner

Farmers have livestock because most humans are omnivores.  We like dairy, we like eggs, we like meat.  Livestock are not pets.  That does not mean that we do not become fond of them

Last week I had a picture of Penelope and her poults.  This week the pictures tell a very different story.

We heard the coyotes not long after we went to bed last Sunday evening.  Did they have her already then?  Hard to say.

I had the day off work on Monday and California cousins Russ and Margaret came for lunch and a visit.  They ended up helping me find the survivors who were mostly in the very long tangled grass south of the winter coop. They were not easy to find or catch.
We recovered a total of six but some of them died in the following days.  Right now there are just two little orphan poults left.

On to a less sad subject.  The field that was brown just a few days ago is now green.  The winter wheat is up and looks great!
And a couple of random items - I am fascinated by the varied colors and shapes of wild mushrooms.  This picture is from Long Lake Conservation Center.  I was there Wednesday after work for a 5K put on by our health promotion team.  It's a beautiful place and I had to pause along the way to take this picture.

Supper tonight was chicken and spaghetti squash with alfredo sauce.  I just want to show you this huge spaghetti squash - not the usual type in appearance. My co-worker shared it with me - thank you Lois!  I think it is a variety called Sugaretti - that's the only thing I could find with a google search that looked anything like it.  It was very sweet and we enjoyed it.

I am finally getting tomatoes - good thing we haven't had a frost yet!  My own squash and pumpkins are looking pretty good - they like the straw bales I guess.  I will try to get some pictures of them for next time. 

I will be back next week - hopefully with a happier post.  Until then, be well friends.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Another Harvest and a Poultry Update

Today got off to a rocky start...  This year's stone crop was pretty slim.

Ha!  OK, I deserve those eye-rolls, but I just couldn't pass up the pun.  We don't have many stones in our fields, thank goodness.  Just a few in the far southwest of the property.  Every year there are a few to pick up. 

I am sure you want to know about Penelope and the poults - right?  We had such a cold and wet week, I was very worried about these little ones.  I got a good head count this morning and there are 11 of them.  So she has lost 2 or 3 but considering the weather, I think that is pretty good.  If these were hatched in the incubator I would have them in the coop with the heater on up to 80 degrees.  With their mama they've been running around in 58 degree rain, then she warms them up.

We have a new rooster.  We've been without one for a while, other than the cockerels who hatched last spring.  Those lads (there are 8 of them) have a date with the butcher next week.  On Monday I picked up a fine Buckeye rooster from farmer friend Joe.  On Tuesday morning I opened up the coop to find him dead on the floor.  Uh Joe??  Wednesday I picked up his replacement on my way home from work.  So far, so good - meet Rafael!
The hens and Rafael are penned up in the coop yard right for the time being.  I wanted to see if we would get more eggs but we aren't. 

There is more going on around here but I didn't get a lot of photos this week.  That is it for this evening then - thanks for stopping by the blog.  Until next time, be well friends!