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Showing posts from January, 2019

Garden Cleanup and Nature Art Walk

The sun peeked out long enough that we decided to go outside and work in the yard.  We'd left the garden a mess at the end of the season last fall.  Today seemed like a good time to finally remove all the tomato cages and  wooden plant stakes, and stack them in the shop.  My husband then recruited my daughter to help get the tractor out.  They used the bucket on the tractor to move a few things around.  Firewood mostly, and some fallen limbs. Once done in the yard, it was time for some fun. We'd heard about a nearby park where nature and art converge in surprising ways.  Apparently a number of people have left objects there in artful ways. Out in the woods, there is a clearing with gate oddly standing there in the middle of it. No fence runs alongside it. It was a relaxing way to spend a winter afternoon.  We were fortunate to have a bit of sunshine and a week of mild weather in January.

Building Our First Field Fence, Or...How NOT to Build a Field Fence

Hopefully my husband won't take offense to the title of this blog article...but as newbie wannabe farmers, I figure we can't expect to do everything right the first time around. So when we set out to erect a field fence in order to give our chickens a nice outside play, I mean chicken run...we shouldn't expect it would be perfectly straight.  Nor perfectly the right height.  Our first challenge was the fact that they gave us steel T posts that were too short.  Of course, we realized this after we'd already pounded all of them into the ground and were starting to unroll the fencing. Duh. So...tip #1 for installing field fencing: Make sure that the posts are extra long. When they sell you 5-foot tall posts, you should realize they are not tall enough for 5-foot high fencing.  You need 6 foot -- or even better 7 foot -- tall T-posts in order to have enough height left over so that your fence doesn't look weird. We were too tired to pull all the posts o

Chickens Attacked by Dogs

One of our neighbors was walking his Great Dane and Sheepdog off-leash along the path behind our house while our chickens were out on the property.  I had let the chickens out of their coop earlier that morning so they could enjoy free-ranging in our nearly three acres of yard.  We had just finished breakfast and as I was clearing the table I saw something large and black zoom across the window.  I realized it was the rooster. He was chasing the sheepdog away from the hens.  Being the chicken mama that I am, I ran outside in my pajamas and robe, with only my wool socks to protect my feet.  It was a cold and wet winter morning, but there I was rushing around looking to see where the chickens were.  My daughter and husband joined me and the dog owner also, all of us concerned about the welfare of the 10 chickens who were running to save their lives. One of our hens had lost two dozen feathers in the side yard, and my heart leapt into my throat as I imagined her dead under the shrubb

Sunny Skies on a Cold Northwest Winter Day

A cheerful blue sky greeted us on Sunday morning, and so we headed out for a walk.  With dog in tow, we ambled across the backyard and onto the path that winds its way along Morse Creek. A thick grove of alder trees lines the banks of Morse Creek and surrounds the path.  There's a path along each side of the creek.  Usually we walk down the creek on one path and then return back up the creek along the other side.  Two bridges cross the creek. Along the way, we see glimpses of the private golf course that is part of our neighborhood association.  We sometimes walk on the golf course - there is hardly ever anyone there. Once we reach the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we climb over the logs onto the rocky shore to explore. It's fun to beachcomb, looking for shells, unusual-looking rocks and crustaceans hiding under rocks, along with whatever the sea has brought in that day. Just watching the tide, and the sea birds, is enjoyable, too.  It's a nice spo