Fall On The Farm

A lady told me the other day that she often goes for drives in the country and it is quite lovely but it looks like too much work.

Before I moved to the farm I never thought of it that way. I always thought it looked like freedom and horses and a great place to raise my kids. I found out it was true. All of it.

Actually the work isn’t evenly distributed over the year. It is directed by the season and the weather more than anything. The busiest season is fall (although spring can be nearly as busy). Getting the harvest done and things put away for winter is a big job. And the weather doesn’t always cooperate. So every “nice” day you need to spend getting “the fall work” done with the pressure that winter could arrive and end your harvest and fall chores at any time.

Cooperative Care

I read an article today about “Cooperative Care”. It made me think about how animal handling has changed in my lifetime.

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Suggesting “training an animal to not only tolerate handling and husbandry procedures, but to be an active, willing participant in these experiences” would have got you scoffed out of the group of farmers drinking coffee at the local auction mart when I was a kid. Continue reading “Cooperative Care”

Slow Feeder

Eddie is too fat.

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He has been living in the Jenny Craig pen all summer even though he has been my main riding horse. It is true this wasn’t a great summer for horseback riding. Some days were just too hot. Many days were too smoky. Then suddenly it was cold, snowing and windy.¬†Eddie might not be quite so fat if I rode him more.

He used to get more exercise come fall and winter when he got to go out on winter pasture with the herd but he ended that luxury a couple of weeks ago when he decided he was now the boss of the herd and beat hell out of Dreamweaver.¬† Continue reading “Slow Feeder”

The Barn Cats

We have a few cats here on the ranch.

Most of our cats originated from a female whose previous owner dropped at the ranch. Pregnant of course. She managed to get herself run over on the highway about the time the kittens got their beautiful green eyes open. One of the grandchildren found them crying in the Quonset. We raised them the rest of the way and got them on the ranch medicare plan. I have a special bond with them. They think I am their mother.

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Then there is FuzzyWuzzy. I’m not quite sure where she comes from but she meows to me, runs beside me, eats 2 feet away from me but doesn’t like me to touch her. She is afraid of the other cats. She will only come to the barn and eat if I am there. She is afraid of anything that moves. She has the same green eyes. Continue reading “The Barn Cats”

Spring on the Ranch

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Procreation. Really it is all about procreation. All the excitement. Twice yesterday while working in the garden I literally had to duck because one of the male hummingbirds was graced with a female audience in the cherry tree and absolutely had to perform some of his best “look at me girls and how virile I am” swoops while his iridescent greenness flashes in the sun.

Needless to say, I don’t have any photos of this.

Nor do I have photos of the same hummingbird explaining to one of the male finches why he cannot possibly land on this cherry tree. I almost got sideswiped in that deal too.

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The wrens are dropping down from above to gather sticks for their nests. Sometimes it takes them quite a bit of time to get them into their house but they usually make it happen. Not so much the swallow that is trying to move into the Martin House. When she drops the stick, she just flies away – not to be seen again for hours.

Some days I would like to be like her. A free spirit or so she appears.

But I suck at “relaxing”. I am truly grateful to be able to do all the things I can do. I can think up even more things to do while doing things.

As I planted the 2nd bag of onions, I told myself I will give all my kids some beautiful home grown onions this fall. Then as I planted the 3rd bag of onions, I told myself I will give all my kids some nice little bundles of green onions.

Now I am trying to remember if any of them like onions or if I am about to become known as the “onion lady” instead of the “pepper lady” at the food bank this year.

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The mares are at the breeding farms. I miss the babies a lot. It is raining. I don’t have to water gardens. Perhaps I’ll make a pot of coffee, sit on the deck, listen to the rain and spend a little time enjoying this bursting of life and procreation called spring.

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