Sunday, November 16, 2008

Turkey road kill

Today I was going to take the kids on a cultural enrichment field trip to a turkey shoot. No, we were not going to shoot any turkeys. I was explaining to my wife what a turkey shoot is. “You pay a few dollars and you shoot 1 time with a shotgun at a piece of paper with a cross on it…” Wife interrupts: “So, it’s a religious thing?” (Grin) Me: “No, you shoot at the piece of paper with the cross (+) and the person in the round with the closest pellet hole to the cross (+) wins a store bought frozen turkey.”

The closest turkey shoot that I know of is a 40 minute drive and it was getting close to mid day. Instead, we stopped by a sport club that was closer, but they were not having a shoot. So we went about the rest of the errands we had planed.

About 1/8 of a mile from the house, I see some feathers in a pile of leaves on the side of the road. At first I just saw brown and thought it was a pheasant. But when I walked back to the bird I saw it was a turkey that had been hit. You put it out there and the universe will provide. It may not always look the way you expect it to, so be very clear about what you want.

In all seriousness, this morning I was thinking about doing a blog about manifestation, specifically, my wife manifesting a snake for our son, and the associated rodent spawning activity. The snake manifestation blog and companion video will have to wait.

I walk up to my wife’s painting studio to tell her about the turkey and tell her that I will probably just cut the breast out. She says “NOOOO, I want the dark meat!” My wife is a born again carnivore. (It happened during her first pregnancy.) You see, I am a breast man. Sharon goes over to the dark side of the bird, which leaves me with lots of white meat when we cook store bought birds. I told her she had to clean it if she wanted more then the breast.

She asks “what do I do?” I say go to the collective omniscient one; “you tube”. She goes to you tube and looks up a video on cleaning wild turkeys by Jonah of Str8eningTheCurves
My 10 year old daughter watches about a minute of the video and runs downstairs and outside to start plucking the turkey. A little of the skin is abraded off toward the rear of the breast but it does not look too bad. I sharpen up our boning knife and Sharon goes to work.

Twenty minutes later, it was in the cast iron Dutch oven with onion and garlic and some spices. The crop was full of corn, grass and autumn olive fruit. I hope the corn was not a GMO produced by the evil empire. The M word. The organization that must not be named.

I did not take any photos of the bird.
If you want to see it, go to you tube.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fluffy the baby skunk

Fluffy the Turd as a baby staring me down.

Fluffy is the name we give the skunks that live around our house.

Most are friendly and will sometimes visit the garage/barn when I am milking. I have accidentally opened the back door of the barn and thrown the strip cup milk on a skunk.
The skunks especially like it when my daughter over feeds the cat. The skunks yell out “Wooo Hooo, party in the barn, cat food for everyone!” I am not overly fond of the manure presents that they leave.

I did not think skunks were good climbers. But one night when the barn light was flipped on, there was a skunk standing on the top of two bales of hay about 6 feet away. She immediately started doing this skunk dance, trying to find a way off the top of the hay bales. Shimmy to the left, shimmy to the right, watch me slide off the back of these bales.
I guess she was shy and did not want to be in the spotlight of a barn dance party.

Skunks are very effective at removing yellow jacket ground hives, which we appreciate.
I am good at finding ground hives the hard way. One year I found three. Actually the goats found the third one and I avoided getting stung by out running the goats. It took them a moment to figure out what was going on. My wife said that she thought finding ground hives was becoming my new hobby.

Fluffy the Turd as an adult staring me down

Over the years, there have been many different Fluffy’s on the farm; Fluffy I, Fluffy II and a particularly bad-tempered skunk named Fluffy the Turd. Fluffy the third/turd was mostly white and was a very bold skunk since it was a little thing. Turd was the only skunk that would turn and try and face me down when I would follow it. Well actually, Fluffy the Turd would win when it would turn and run toward me because I am not dumb enough to let even a little half pound skunk spray me. Yet.

Yesterday morning I looked out the window to the winter goat pen and saw a skunk playing near the hay feed where Otter the baby goat was born. I grabbed the camera and ran out. Look it’s not a skunk, its two little Fluffys born this year.

Here is a link to the Fluffy video of the babys this year.

Or check the vibeo bar at the bottom of the blog.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Got Bees!

Well, the bees were finally ready. We purchased 2 nucs from a local apiary. After a minor mishap with a lid becoming loose on one nuc while transporting in the back seat of our 95 Accord, the bees and son are well. Note: the back seat of some passenger cars are not exactly flat. The slight difference in height caused one nuc to ride up above the adjesent nuc there by exerting a slight upward force on the lid that let some of the bees out. After traveling about a half of mile from the apiary I noticed 1 bee flying around. Oh well, one probably was hiding under the lid. Oh look, another bee. Oh boy, this does not look good. So I pulled over and lifted the towel that I placed over the nucs to keep the sun off of them. Oh look, about 30 bees under the towel. Houston, we have a situation, so we turned around and headed back to the apiary.

Did I mention that my son was in the back seat and he does not especially like bees yet? He huddled in the back with his head down and we made a successful reentry into the apiary without bee contact. The owner of the apiary was vacuuming the bees out of our car and I was thinking a truck sure would come in handy. At that moment, someone from our town with a pickup, who had come to pick up his nucs, pulled into the driveway. Talk about serendipity. Our nice friend put our two nucs with his and we were off. Other then being the hottest day that we have had all year, (it was 90F), the install went very smoothly.

Link to you tube video.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New kid on the farm

On Saturday, Snowflake was starting to look like she was getting ready to give birth: udder bagging up, vulva protruding with a little clear discharge, tail head slightly turning up.
Sunday, no change other then sometimes staying away from other goats and udder really getting hard.
So we gave her the food test. She ravenously munched fresh grass and attacked her small ration of grain, making sure she got each small grain.

Well, this is not behavior of a goat getting ready to give birth.

Woke up Monday at 4 A.M. to some varmint trying to have a chicken dinner. All three goats were walking back and forth on the hill side. The chickens squawking must have woken the goats also.

5:20 A.M.
I am making breakfast and wondering if the varmint is a possum or raccoon that tried to get the chicken dinner. I look out into the goat pen and see all three goats looking at something on the ground.

Wonder why the goats are playing with the skunk? I wonder if that is what was bothering the chickens. One of the chickens was missing some feathers and there was digging around the chicken yurt. That is usually possum or raccoon MO (modus operandi).

I grab my camera and head up the hill thinking this will make great video, the goats playing with a skunk. I hope they do not get sprayed as I don’t want to milk a stinky goat.

Hey, that’s not a skunk. It’s a baby goat.

Snowflake just pushed the 8.4 lb buck out no fuss. It has two small black spots
I am naming it “Otter”…… …. As in out of here.
I am glad its just two small spots instead of black and white cow markings which I really like. We knew that sable was a possible outcome since we bred line on line.
I have a habit of doing loose association with situations and songs so, when I first saw the black spot I though of the lyrics of the song by Sting & Police”, King of pain”.

My version went like this:

There's a little black spot on the goat today.
She plopped it out in the clean hay.
At least it’s not in the pouring rain.

But Snowflake is not the queen of pain, she was a quiet as can be.
She did not even wake Sharon or the kids who were sleeping with their windows open so they could hear when the goat was in labor.

This goat is a quiet as Sharon is when she gives birth. But that is another story or post.

Lets try this link to some You Tube footage of the baby goat: