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.