Shopping With Zee Zee

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Crazy year this fall 2017.  Warm, but not too warm.  The grass is still growing the cows are munching.  No hay needed to be fed.  … but a bit nippy.  So, we, the grasspunk girls, went to get some warm things.  Shopping with Z is not easy.  She’s a bit wild.  Not noisy, just not aware that there are rules and norms in public spaces.  “Where’s Z?!?!?” is something I’ve said for YEARS.  We went to a few shops, got what we needed.  Bought things we didn’t need and all is well. … no, we didn’t buy the faux fur ear muffs 🙂

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There are some army chopper drills happening this week.  We were buzzed heavily by them.  Looks like fun.

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We fixed some pot holes in our driveway.  While M. Grasspunk shovelled, I manned the truck, listened to podcasts and watched the planes fly over our flatland.

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We are clear, cold and warmish in the day for the next few weeks which makes for amazeballs star gazing and beautiful sunsests.

 

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Chickens On The Move

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Brent and Otto moved the chooks for the second time today.  The chickens are young, so they are still working out how to work the pasture.  They are always on fresh grass for them to pull out the bugs and worms and nibble the alfalfa leaves.

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Lovely day today, not too hot.  Otto refreshes their water.

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He likes to see how high he can raise the hose while still making it in the tank.  I know I’ve set myself up for “boy jokes,” but he is very specific about his work.

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The herd are fat fat.  So much grass.  They got so bored today, they did a little jog then hung out by the water cooler.  I’m not a fan of a herd jog, but they settled in.  It’s nice to see them work a paddock.

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The Wind Began To Switch

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The coop to pitch.  Suddenly, the hinges started to unhitch.

Big winds here in France.  We’ve done well with our moveable coop ( chicken tractor ) in the past, but these winds had the right approach with this construction.  Normally, we have our meat chickens in there.  Thankfully, they were not there.  While we wait for the meat chicks to get big enough to put in the chicken tractor, we used it for our breed hens.  And the “chief” as Zelie calls the cockerel.

Sadly we lost four hens to a predator and one hen to shock.  When we found her, she looked like the Wicked Witch of the East.  She was killed neatly and completely.

 

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Fifty Shades Of Brown

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Spring!  Spring.  spring.  Spring is here.  The eggs, they cometh.

We have brown eggs.  Other brown eggs.  Some green eggs.  Some dark brown eggs.  Where are the white ones?  Still searching for white egg layers.  Our American children … they need to dye some eggs!

To Fell A Tree

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There was a solar eclipse today.  I didn’t take a photo, but this is what it looked like.  Partial eclipse, total let down.  Too cloudy.

We’ve been wanting to take this tree down for awhile.  As you can see, it’s right next to the power lines.  We get very strong winds here.  When the wind comes, our sleep is interrupted as we worry about that damn tree.

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The tree died because it was strangled by steel wire used for a clothes line.  When we moved to the farm, Brent pushed in a post next to the tree. I took the wire off of the tree and onto the new post.  But, it was too late.

We aren’t experts with giant tree felling.  But we have friends that know this area.  He came over to get ‘er done.

A very long rope was placed high in the tree then attached to Brent’s tractor in the distance.  Mr. Fellow made sure the rope was taut and then did the first cut.  I thought I was there to take photos, but no I was to raise my arm when the tree began to move.  I had been crunching numbers for hours before this with a small break to look at the clouds and envision what a solar eclipse might look like.  Head in a fog, I wasn’t prepared to signal the moment when the tree moved.  What if I got it wrong?!  I started mentally playing out the scenarios when the tree falls in an unexpected direction.  What do I say?  Mr. Fellow has noise cancelling ear muffs on!  We agreed on one signal, the one where the tree moves in the right direction.  I scoot back because one of my mentally construed scenarios was that it might fall on me.  I focused and had my arm ready.   The tree made a move, I raised my arm, Mr. Fellow signalled Brent, Brent eased the tractor forward and the tree fell.

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Right where we wanted it to.

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I’m bummed that I didn’t catch photos of the tree mid-fall.  It was impressive.  You didn’t see it fall, but it made a sound.

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Milk Nose and Ear Tags

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After a calf has a feed, they get milk nose.  Milk all over their face.  They really get into feeding.  They butt their mother’s udders with their head and then feed.  I’ve fed a bottle calf before, you must watch out because they will butt you too.  They’ll butt anything to get more milk.

Brent tagged another calf today.  Can you see him?  He’s in the middle of a curious herd.  Don’t try this at home.  He has a technique.  A technique based on a foundation of calm.  If you are calm, then they are calm.  We’ve tried other ways of tagging a calf that were successful, but this year has been smooth.  He also castrates the boys as well.

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I’m not a fan of tagging calves.  It can be dangerous.  Have you seen those horns?  But regulations say we have to.  In France, you tag both ears.  I see that America has gotten off easy with one ear tag.  If you don’t tag the calf the first day, you will never catch it.  I believe there are rodeo events based on this principle.