Dog Log

Black and white dog on log pile.You would think that Jackson the dog would have been tired after spending the day running the woods while we were scarifying the clearings and bringing turns of timber down the hill.

But being tired didn’t stop him from finding a high vantage point on the top of the log pile in the landing. Once up there he spent several minutes looking each direction just in case there was something about that needed to be chased down. There has been a gray squirrel that has been hiding around the log pile and both dogs spend hours running around and around trying to lure the critter out of its secure hiding hole under the pile.

Jackson always runs on logs. He is very good at it and he does it for fun. It surprised us when he posted up on this tallest vantage point over 5 feet in the air.


Calendar Watching

It is hard to imagine it from the blistering weeks we experienced through August that any day we could have the first frost nip back the garden, but here on the farm we have had frost as early as the first week of September.

Watching the calendar and the thermometer as the days come and go help keep me on track to harvest, dry and freeze all the summer goodness that comes from the garden. We have made it past halfway in the month and have had no close calls with frost yet and the garden is still busy producing squash, beans and loads of tomatoes.

Since the weather has cooled a bit, I have also been sneaking out to the blackberry row on cool mornings and evenings to get my share of the crop that I couldn’t get close to while the bees took over the sweet berries during the warm weather.

Not Autumn Red

While feeding the main herd of cows in the far field, a spot of red showed bright in the forest of green. The needles on the tree turned color in just the last couple of weeks. Since this is the in the area that we think we have a spot of root rot, we will get the tree felled and out of the woods to keep the disease from spreading.

A dying fir tree in the woods shows red in the green forest.We were able to get up the hill later in the day to take this tree down.

Once it was felled I had a chance to get a good look at the stump and was surprised to see no evidence of spangle or root rot diseases. Continue reading

Habitat And Nutrient Piles

We are slowly getting the debris cleaned up on top of the hill after our logging contract with only a few more patches to go.

The piles that Mike has raked together via the bulldozer are filling spaces around the bases of the trees that are around the openings. These piles are good for small animals to create burrows, dens and nests.

As they decay, the piles will add nutrients to the soil to feed the existing trees and for the trees we will be planting over the next few years.

Within 5 years the piles will be less than half their original size. In 10 years it will be hard to see many of the piles. In 20 years, only the biggest stumps will be still around.

Weather Gives Opportunity

This week has been a welcome relief as we are finally getting some moisture that we desperately needed. Most of the week has been pucker and spit (growing up we always assumed a rain shower was near when people talked about the sky puckering up and spit is just a drop or two, barely enough to get our hopes up before breaking off to sunshine again). But once and a while, we got a good shower to wet things down and to calm the dust. Continue reading

Nose Clips Removed

Newly weaned bulls in barn.The three bulls that had the green weaner clips installed have now been moved away from the main herd and are spending quality time in the show barn.

I have removed the plastic nose clips and the bulls are enjoying the TLC of close quarters in the barn and lots of food including sliced pears and apples with each meal.

One of the mothers did complain the first day when we moved these guys away, but it was uneventful and short-lived.The bulls did not get upset during the weaning process and did not bellow for their mothers. They do however keep a close eye on me to make sure I give them their allotment of fruit with all the hay and grain they want.

The 3 bulls will remain in this barn pen until Sunday, when we will move them to the actual bull pen. The bull pen has its own barn where they can freely move in to eat, or go outside to hang out under large trees, or nibble grass around the large pasture.


Thunderstorms In Forecast

Not long ago, Mike and I had been having a conversation about clouds. He looked to the sky and said that he could see virga. I don’t know how I have lived this long and not realized that there is a name for rain that falls from the clouds but doesn’t hit the ground. I had to look it up in Wikipedia to make sure he wasn’t pulling a fast one.

In meteorology, a virga is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation falling from a cloud that evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground. A shaft of precipitation that doesn’t evaporate before reaching the ground is a precipitation shaft.

Dynamic clouds.Asking family and friends, they all stated that sure they knew about virga.

So with thunderstorms in the forecast for today, I thought it was high time that I enjoyed observing virga before the rain really starts in earnest.

And this way you can enjoy it also.