technical difficulties

… that were self-induced. I have no idea what happened but the blog reverted to ‘draft mode’ for several days or so which eventually was brought to my attention. The error was corrected and then promptly followed by inactivity…. of the blog. I’ve been AWOL due to all sorts of various excuses like tax paperwork, prepping the greenhouse and garden, cleanup around the yard and outbuildings, chores, employment, etc… so time to check in. Pic heavy but hopefully you won’t loose interest.

The Month of Mud arrived in usual fashion.

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Thaw/freeze mode persists for a while so that we’d take advantage of the frozen ground to utilize the equipment needed for that moment of time. We will be glad when we don’t have to purchase hay anymore and the livestock can do what they are designed to do.

Cleaning out wet/soiled bedding, tackling unexpected ‘issues’ that pop up in daily life, and still get the chores done that need to be done, with supervision of course.

You don’t really notice too much at first that the Month of Mud is beginning but soon all that snow and ice thaws and melts nearly as fast as it arrived. Well, maybe a little bit faster. There is flooding and ponds that develop all over the place and then it eventually becomes a memory.

Then there is always the unexpected that pops up and sometimes on the same day within minutes of each other. It makes the day interesting…

Some areas are still muddy but overall it is drying up fairly quick. The crazy wind assists with that. The fields where the cattle have been contained and fed are dragged to break up the clods of poop and hay. There was even some ice and mud under the thicker layers of hay. But we want to work all these areas over as they dry out so the birds that will nest in those fields can do so undisturbed.

The robins, blackbirds and ducks have been here for several weeks. The eagles have taught their offspring flight and have left for the river or reservoir. Now we have sandhill cranes, sandpipers, canadian geese, sparrows, chickadees, gnat catchers, Wilsons snipe and more wild ducks. The bullfrog and little frogs are enjoying themselves throughout the night and rockchucks have come out of their burrows to sun themselves and gather food. Most importantly are the arrival of the meadowlarks and the curlews out in the pastures and fields. They are kind of like the exclamation point that spring is here.

The hills are greening up, except for some of the badly burned areas from the Woodhead fire. It will be years before those areas recover. But life can appear even in the ashes.

As for the poultry the young tom turkeys are working out their pecking order and require separation from the two older toms. It’s breeding season and all those young tom turkeys want to do is battle for top spot. The turkey hens are laying eggs along with the chickens as daylight hours increase. The roosters perform their rooster dance for their ladies but again one too many roos. The two barred rock roos challenge each other through the fencing. No fighting is ever involved, more like they are just looking at themselves in the mirror or some sort of exercise program than any battle between them… a lot of posturing, unlike the toms.

Cous-Cous the goose is now in egg laying mode and is ‘mooish’. When she was a couple years old she would ‘moo’ when you pat her on the back but only during this time of year. She doesn’t entertain us like that anymore but she still is a nuisance when she starts to lay eggs. That’s the only time you can touch her and she starts to hang out by the house more. I think she needs a gander…

The bulls are starting to crest up and the cows are getting close to calving. We’ll be looking at the backside of cows a lot during this time. Little bulls have been pulled from their dams and with the big boys. In a few days bees will be picked up to replace the ones that were killed off last spring. There are farms that aerial spray their fields and they flew over the house and the property when they turned around to spray. Coincidence that the hives died? Maybe, but we didn’t see any swarms at all last year either.

Next month turkey poults we ordered in December will arrive. And as the temperatures warm seeds are started, some onion sets planted and wild flowers in bloom. Clean up of the inside of the barn to bring out hoses, lawn chairs, bee hives, bale covers, and clean out of old bedding where the goats & L the sheep sleep. And we’ve been on the hunt for thistle to chop before it goes to seed. We’ve found that chopping out the rosettes are far more effective than spraying. Sometimes we miss a patch but removing the heads before they seed and cutting them down works just as well.

So as you see a lot of activities going on and not enough daylight hours to get it all done… or so it seems. And fencing still needs work from the wildfire and we’ll be assessing what needs to be rehabilitated from the fire, like cutting out the twiggy remnants of hawthorns, chokecherries and sagebrush so that animals or us don’t trip over them and we can get in there to re-seed if the grasses don’t grow.

Spring is here and the Month of Mud has for the most part come and gone. It doesn’t last long. And now we can start looking forward to that time of the year when there is a flurry of activity.

Until next time (it will much sooner than the last!)

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