Monday, June 29, 2009

One Big Snake

Two of my neighbors, Clay Newcomb and Steve Schultz came over on Sunday while I was fencing and we went to the top of the pasture. This snake ran under a large cedar and Clay and I caught it. Clay's pretty sure it's a rat snake; this guy's probably downed quite a few critters in his life. She didn't like me holding her that's for sure!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Musical Fruit

I'm talking about beans. We've got several types of beans growing in the garden plot right now. Our plantings from spring this year didn't make because of 3 weeks of rainy, cool weather, that rotted the beans in the ground and delayed replantings. We did have some spotty germination that made it through of a gorgeous heirloom wax bean called Dragon Tounge. They are delicious, but we're only getting enough for our needs, no surplus to sell.

Purty huh?

All told, we've got around 70 ft of pole beans and 50 feet of green bush beans (both old timey types). The pole bean is actually a purple green bean and is the variety is mysteriously called Purple Podded Pole. It's actually an Ozark native, found on an Ozark homestead in the 30s or 40s.

Carla and I like pole beans because we're both tall people. We trellis pole beans. This year I used 8 ft sections of rebar which I hammered into the ground at 10 ft intervals. I cut small trees, limbed them and wired them to the top of the rebar. Carla and I tied tomato twine to the top of the tree/rebar frame so the beans can vine up. They grow up to half a foot a day, which is kind of scary. The beans create a wall of foilage, and their purple flowers are occupied by fuzzy bumblebees from sun up to sun down.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finally Back Online

So the internet's been an elusive jewel this week. We got a new computer last week when our last one gave up the ghost. So we set up a wireless router, and all kinds of craziness ensued. After spending the past couple of evenings with tech support from both our internet provider (who tried to charge us 100 bucks since the router didn't have thier sticker on it) and Linksys, the wireless router people.

After three nights of working with the Linksys people, I got a guy tonight who did an awesome job and finally worked through the quirky problems we were having. I highly recommend Linksys products now because of the killer tech support all the way from Chennai.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Roux and Bechamel



These two goofballs are our not so new anymore Great Pyrrennes pups. The white one is a boy named Bechamel and the mottled one is his sibling named Roux. We got them in the midst of the "Great Coyote & Great Horned Owl Free-For-All" back in May. They've been penned up with the hens now down in the holler for nearly a month, and have started to get the idea that they're guardian dogs. They're not much more than bark right now, but for most of your woodland critters that have a hankerin' for chicken (and that would be all of them) two barking puppies make them jittery enough to skiddadle and go eat someone's pet that got dropped off out here in nowheresville.

Feeding times are pretty frustrating as the two dogs insist on trying to eat out of the same bowl, which leads to them growling and barking at each other for half and hour while the chickens eat all the unguarded dogfood out of the second bowl.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Clipping Turkey Wings

The turkey poults we're growing for folks for Thanksgiving are now 4 weeks old. One of the things about turkeys is that they fly very well when they're young. Heading into the brooder building, we're almost guarnteed to be greeted by a few poults roosting high on top of the fencing that's supposed to keep the chicks and poults in.

So after dinner tonight, Carla and I went out to clip some turkey wings.

This is a old/heritage breed of turkey, the Standard Bronze. This little guy will be magnificent when he grows up. He'll look like the cheesy pilgrim turkey decorations (without the pilgrim hat) that abound during the holidays. Carla is holding his wing out to display the flight feathers.

You can see this poult's (a bourbon red) wing after being clipped. Feathers are like hair, so as long as we don't trim them too close, it doesn't hurt the birds in the slightest. We only trim one wing; this throws the bird's flight off balance, and they can't get to far. If you clip both wings, they'll just flap harder to get where they need to go. We clip the right wing, so that way we can easily see if any birds have missed thier hair cut.