I spotted the first brown field mushroom of the season. This variety is closely related to the white button mushroom you find in your local grocery store but these are larger. These mushrooms have a seemingly short growth window and it is rare to get more than one picking during the fall.
I would have happily grabbed this mushroom and changed dinner plans to mushroom omelets except for a few important facts.
1. This mushroom is a little past its prime, the gills are overripe and this tends to make the mushroom ‘mushy’ when cooked rather than keeping the mushroom texture. Two or three days ago would have been prime time to harvest.
2. (rather important to me) I did not find this mushroom, the herd of cows found it as they walked through the pasture. One of their hooves actually dislodged the mushroom from the ground. In essence, there is more than dirt on the mushroom and I just didn’t want to deal with that.
I’ll go around to my old field mushroom locations (areas that produced in the past) in the next few days to so see if I can get some that are younger without quite so much nature on them.
Since it was a rainy fall day, I moved inside the barn across the river after the morning feeding. My plan was to split dry firewood into kindling and ultimately to wrap into sell-able bundles. I was using the Super Split and loading the kindling into the Gator when I realized that I had spectators at the gate.
The calves had just finished their morning meal and came by to gawk at the noise in the barn.
Sometimes I feel that I am being judged. Perhaps they were simply waiting for the next load of hay, but they seemed interested in all the activity. I am glad that I remembered to close the gates behind me before I started work or I would have had more than just fans in the gallery.
The large herd of elk were scattered across the open 60 acre field just beyond the fence line from our show cows. Cows and elk have been known to graze in the same field but they usually don’t get into close proximity with each other.
Closest to the fence were two branch bulls (male animals with horns that have points that branch off of main spike). The branch bulls are the dominate masters of the herd and eventually a battle will determine which of the two masters will retain control.
Being only about 40 yards from the house and less than 10 yards from the cows, this herd was not rushed or spooked by very distant gunfire. They seem to understand that the area is currently in deer season and that they are safe from any kind of harassment.
The fall weather, with quick changes from bright and sunny to breezy and showers, highlights the colors on the farm. But on this day as we were beginning the evening chores, it was a surprise to see the red nose and lips of one of the cows nearly light up as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.
It was a long shot to be able to show the antics of this particular cow because we were inside the barn loading hay onto the Gator when she was spotted ‘looking good.’
This cow was separate from the herd, she had gone out of the pasture and out behind the barn to snarf up some of the red colored loose minerals we had set out for free choice.
Her nose must have been damp before she stuck her head into the mineral tub. The result looked like perfectly applied lipstick.
Looking good Topanga, looking real good.
The apple trees were loaded this year and it was causing a problem with the overabundance. My brother had a couple of trees that needed all the fallen fruit removed from beneath the tree so he could mow his lawn. We filled a pickup bed with fruit and still had not completely cleaned up under one of the trees.
The fruit is in various stages of decomposition and many of the apples would melt between fingers as we grabbed them off the ground. We filled tubs (empty 200 lb. mineral tubs) and 5 gallon buckets to transport the apples home then fed a tub at a time during hay feeding to the main herd across the river. Continue reading
This is one of the heifers that we brought home from the neighbor farm after they kept his grass mowed all summer.
She is a character and a major slobber animal. The other two heifers begin eating hay while I chop apples, Zion keeps a close eye on me and the more important apple bucket. Continue reading
The three cows and three heifers that are currently residing in the far side of the barn with access down into the woods came over to see what the fence building hoopla was all about.
They would come up and sniff the dirt that was augured out around the new post holes. They would test the flavor of the new tractor from stem to stern. And they would harass the dogs that were obediently defending the Gator along with the bed full of tools. The noise of the generator, or the pounding of nails didn’t deter them from checking out the whole project.
Once they tired of bothering us, they headed down to the woods until it became their dinner time.
PS Just in case some of you wisenheimers want to mention that the fence post by the cow is very crooked, I wanted to state for the record that this was one of the old posts from the fence that was removed. The crooked post will be pulled and re-set, hopefully the end result will be much straighter than in this current state.