Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Next New Project

New small project in the works, as usual

Welcome to the Fall Storm Season

No, really.  Especially those of us who depend on the rains to feed livestock.  We do rain dances towards the end of summer, hoping for a fertile rainy season.  We started a bit early this year, and I hope that doesn't mean we end early next year, as we did the past rainy season where we saw the driest November, December and February in decades.
In the meantime, NOAA keeps predicting a series of killer storms, somewhat thankfully none that have actually lived up to their hype.  The definite upside is that we are all green again.  The downside is that means leaf pickup season is about to get serious.  We have a well used AgFab leaf mulcher/picker upper that we bought after our first fall here.  Love, love, LOVE those ancient Oregon white oaks and black walnuts and maples during the spring and summer; but all of that massive leaf canopy must fall at some point, and then it's less love and more cussing.  The mulching machine made life quite a bit easier, but we still have to get the leaves to where the machine can run them over and mulch them up, which isn't in the flower beds and on the deck and up against the fences.  Still, I grew the most productive batch of melons and pumpkins this year on a 3' high bed of last years mulched leaves.  Can't argue with that.
Pellet stove, fall colours, hot coffee, hearty stews, fresh baked bread and other goodies, hoodies, muck boots, clean cows.  It's all good this time of year up here.
Click on the first pix and try to see it on the big screen for best viewing
 This morning, it was just a perfect shot with the light and mist
 The tree line along Dawson in the north pasture.  Revving up

 'Brandywine' crabapple and the fall d├ęcor, a perfect pairing

I rarely ever notice the barometer except when something doesn't look normal.  This morning, a popped breaker in the kitchen let us know that the battery backup for the weather station wasn't backing anymore.  Once we got the batteries replaced, I had to go figure out how to reset everything back to normal (notice I still hadn't gotten the rain year back, it's still on rain rate per hour).  That's when I noticed the barometer.  Bet that's about the lowest I've ever noticed!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just Because

Still flowering....
 A happy little flower, some sort of Hawai'ian name I can't remember anymore
 Pansy riot in a pot
 This looked better in real time.  Trying to capture the light shining thru the petals of this deep purple pansy
 The three stages of bloom with 'Savoy Hotel'.  Marvelous fragrance fills the air all around it, all day long

One of the zonal geraniums puts on a blinding show.  Martha Washingtons are all in the greenhouse for the winter already, altho they probably would still be okayish

Little Coop of Horrors

The time had come.  This big monster 'coon has been back several nights in a row, and he was checking out all the weak spots in Fort Hen.  I was pretty sure he'd eventually find one and that would be that for the New Gangsta Girls.  Thus, this morning I went out and fortified the coop, making it as intruder proof as I could, and also give the hens some measure of comfort.  As you can see in the trail cam shots below, this guy startled them out of their sleep and they slept all night in the worst possible place, right up against the coop door.  They sure were glad to get out this morning, but tonite, they took one look at the remodel and decided they'd rather take their chances with the 'coon.  I shooed them in and there they will stay for a few days until the regain their comfort level with the new digs.  After all, I spent a lot of time on the remodel, they darn well better appreciate it!

 Startled hens flee to the gate
 And then leave the gate when the 'coon shows up there
 That is one BIG 'coon.  Trap set tonite, not sure he'll fit in it but ya never know
 He's where they normally roost at night, an area that had some weaknesses
 Cleared out and ready to remodel and fortify
 OSB on the outside of the coop, secured with 2X4 stringers from the inside, which double as nest box hangers.  Tarping the roof for the winter is next up

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Fine Fall Morning

Now, if Mother Nature would just figure out we are so DONE with summer, our average is 68 degrees right now, NOT 85!!
Click on the first pix and see on a big screen to appreciate the beauty that fall mornings surround us with here at the ranch

Sunday, October 5, 2014

More Happy Autumn

More autumn pix to enjoy.
Don't forget to click the first pix to start the slideshow and see on a big screen if you can for best viewing

 Bonyparte was a bit lonely, so we moved him over to the poo flinger with shy Sheilah the Scarecrow
 A trip to Michaels and the gate got its fall colours installed.  While I was working on that, two people stopped their cars to compliment us on our fall display.  Guess people DO sometimes pay attention to the scenery hereabouts
 Cricket poses with the Ugly Planter full of pansies in full bloom
 The gate is also pleasing from the backside
 'Maximillion' sunflower, a perennial sunflower that comes back every year.  It was planted in the corner by the west side of the dog run with a penstemmon 'Margurita BOP', who also preferred to simply be left alone, no watering or anything.  That is, until Dale accidently mistook it, out of bloom, for a weed and whacked it to the ground.  A few sprigs popped up this spring, so maybe next year it'll come back.  The sunflower is the toughest thing I've ever seen, next to the purple petunia growing in the gravel parking area next to the dairy barn garage, which is STILL blooming
What's fall colour without mums?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Happy Autumn!!

For those of you roasting yet again in California, here are some soothing fall scenes to help you cool off.
Don't forget to click the first pix to start the slideshow!
 Sybil, on a stump, surrounded by 'Kakai' pumpkins of the ripe variety
 The pumpkin that was growing thru the fence that I was too late in catching.  Ended up cutting the fence around it
 There are 5 more outside the gate and two more not yet ripe in the garden.  From ONE plant.  Not bad for a variety that supposedly yields 2-3 fruits per plant

Yes, that is what's left of the last guy who asked what Sybil was mixed with

It's Not Stopping

For the record - the 'Kakai' baby pumpkin from September 18th, and below that picture, from today.
Plus, Jan took home a nice, ripe 'Li'l Sweet' cantaloupe, and there are 14 more baby ones in various stages of growth. 
Don't any of these critters know it's OCTOBER???