Thursday, December 21, 2006

Whew! It's been a while since I've posted, hasn't it? Well, there's not been much happening. I did finally decide to give my goat Frosty away. He was a cute little bugger, and I really liked him a lot, but I was afraid the coyotes would have him for dinner before long. He kept following the dogs up the mountain and they'd stay out all night, and he'd just follow them home when they came home. I still don't know where exactly they were going and what for. Another thing I found out that he was doing, was helping Badger eat the eggs. Badger would keep checking to see if the hen had laid yet, and then Frosty would pick up the egg in his mouth and bust it and then spit it back down in the nest for Badger to eat. What a hoot!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

...later the same day...
the dogs came home, finally, after lunch and the goat was right behind them. They don't look like they've had to fight for their lives, but are covered with briars and hitchikers. Silly animals! I hope they don't do that again.
Okay. Now I have two dogs and a goat missing. The goat, Frosty, actually thinks he's a dog, so I am sure they are all three together somewhere. I am thinking that the dogs may have gone up the mountain to look for deer bones and skin from hunters and the goat followed. Once up there, where the coyotes are ALSO looking for such treats, the goat probably realized he was in a bad neighborhood. I'm hoping that they didn't all get into a scrap with a pack of coyotes. They've been missing since yesterday, and I sure hope they get home soon because some really cold weather is on its way here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The bridges over Felkins creek and Kings river were flooded this morning, so I had to take the back way out to work. On a normal morning, the back way would take me, oh about 30 minutes or so to reach highway 74. And if the bridge on THAT route is flooded, then I have to take the other back way, which turns off of the first back way, out to Hwy 21. That route takes about 45 minutes on a normal morning. Well, this morning was not a normal morning. It was misty rain and very heavy fog. I could not see beyond a few feet in front of me, so basically all I could see was the ground right in front of the jeep. The road was covered with leaves, but so was the sides of the road, and so was the forest floor after the sides of the road. This made it very difficult to actually see the road!! The only way I could really tell I was on the road was the absence of trees right in front of me, which can be misleading because the road is very curvy and steep, so sometimes the trees are in front until you complete the turn. It was so foggy that I could not see the county road signs at the junctions where I either needed to turn or continue straight, and all of the driveways look like junctions that might be where I need to turn when it is that foggy. At long last I finally came upon the aforementioned bridge on the original back way out. And there was the school bus which had left a full 20 minutes before me just reaching the bridge too. I was never so happy to see tail-lights, haha, because a.) that meant that I was on the right path (I could not see the bridge yet at the point where I came upon the tail-lights), and b.) someone else would have to cross the bridge first if it were flooded and I could watch and see how high the water was. Fortunately, it was not flooded, but the water was rising. This was also King's river, but it takes longer for the water to crest here than it does on our road, so sometimes if you're lucky you can gamble and make it out in time. Otherwise, if you lost your gamble, you have to turn around and go all the way back to the junction where you can turn to take the other back way out. It took almost an hour to get to the pavement this morning, but it was a very nice and quiet drive nonetheless.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

This morning was cold! I wasn't expecting it to get to 21*F last night, but that's what the thermometer read when I woke up. On my way down the county road I stopped to watch another beaver, this one was waddling through the shallows at the Kings' river bridge. I told him he'd better hurry on up before Samson sees him there - Samson shoots some things on sight, beaver being one of them.

Frost flowers littered the sides of Hwy 74. At first I thought a chicken truck or turkey truck had recently passed by, there were so many that it looked like feathers all on the roadside, haha.

I'm posting a picture of Comanche, my new baby. He's still living with his mother right now, but he'll come to live with my horses in a few months. He's about 6 months old, isn't he such a cutie?!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The colors of Autumn were so vivid this weekend! It's so hard to capture them on a photo, but the sun was shining on the hill behind the house just right and Gary took a good one on our way to Church Sunday. The winds have been blowing hard today, though, so there might not be many leaves left before long. In the woods, the ginseng have all lost their leaves, but I spotted a goldenseal plant still holding yellowed foliage. The garden is almost all ready for winter now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Last weekend I had a lot of family visiting at the farm. My grandparents came up, as well as my parents, Uncle Larry, and my sister and her husband and kids. It was really nice to have them all here, but I wish my house was built so there would have been a place for them to stay. Instead, they stayed at the hotel over in Huntsville. Mawmaw and pawpaw are in their 80's, so it was especially nice that they came to visit, because I don't know when I'll get to go back down to visit them in Louisiana. It's very possible that it wouldn't happen in their lifetimes and I would have been very sad to not have had the opportunity see them again.

My neighbor Beth killed a bear yesterday evening. I called her to congratulate her and also to ask if she'd save me some fat. I thought she might find that a strange request, but as it turns out someone else had already asked her for some before me! I want to use it for ointment and they wanted it for liniment.

Carolina moonseed vines are showing off their berries these days. They are sucha pretty bright red adornment on the trees and I can't wait to harvest some to add to my christmas wreath. I'll try to get a picture of them to post, they're really pretty.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On the way home the other night I saw my very first real live beaver! I knew they were here, the dams they build are all around, but this was the first sighting for me. They're beautiful creatures and I wish some lived on our property, but I don't think our creek has enough water to keep them there.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well, it appears that this year's garden was almost a total flop! My watermelon vines are dying (and the melons aren't ripe yet), the pumpkin that was supposed to make a GIANT pumpkin is dying, the cantaloupes are biting the dust as we speak, and the horses came in and ate the corn right down to the ground. I guess the horses didn't help the melons much when they crossed over them to get to the tasty little morsels of corn. The only thing that's left is one lonely fig tree with several green figs...don't think they'll make it to ripeness before the cold gets here, and the tomato vines that are still hanging in there, and the strawberry plants who actually are looking pretty good. I haven't had time this week to get into the garden at all, so that's a tentative list, lol. I am sure hoping that my next garden produces more food than this one did!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Okay, I guess I'm ready to post about my little farmstead's recent loss. Floppy, the evil goat, died a few nights ago. Everyone hated this goat, but it was a love/hate relationship. She could be very sweet, but she was also sneaky with her horns and frequently would check to see if she might be able to disembowel you from time to time. But I loved her from the beginning and could see past her faults to the wonderful goatie that she really was. I'm not sure what happened, but I'd been working late and didn't really pay her enough attention until the day I got home and could immediately tell something was wrong with her. She was breathing funny and obviously in distress. I thought maybe she'd eaten too much and was bloated. All the treatments I tried seemed to make her feel better and when I left her to go in for the night, I really thought she'd make it through the ordeal. She's been much sicker in the past, when she ate a poisonous plant. But she was dead the next morning. I'm not going to get any more goats until I'm home more often to care for them. And I'm selling Frosty, the little goat I had recently gotten for Floppy's companion.

Monday, August 28, 2006

This morning I left out for work pretty early. I was wondering how the traffic would be at such an early hour and I was not disappointed to find it much better. Usually it takes me close to 2 hours to get to work; this morning it only took 1 1/2 hours, but getting up at 4 a.m. might become a hassle if I try to do it every day. The only reason it would be hard is because I don't usually get to sleep before 10p.m., but maybe I can work on that. The traffic in Rogers is the worst part of the trip to and from Kingston to Bentonville, AR. I used to go into work for 4:30 a.m. when working for Honeywell, though, so I should easily be able to keep this schedule if the supervisors approve. We'll see, and I'll keep you posted.

This weekend I worked on Saturday, so I didn't get anything done around the farm. If you can really call it a farm, even. At least I caught a glimpse of my garden.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I had such an interesting day yesterday. It was the younger kids' first day of school for this year, so I took a day of vacation to see them off to school. After that my plans were to transplant my ginseng babies, dig a little goldenseal, and just generally enjoy the company of trees and rocks in the woods. I was also hoping to catch a glimpse of some more exciting wildlife, but alas, the dogs followed me up the mountain, so that was nixed from the get-go. I brought my camera anyway, and that was a good thing because I got to experience my first close encounter with a rattlesnake! And I did get pictures, but I don't have them downloaded to my computer yet. When I get a chance, I'll upload one here so you can see him, too. The first thought that ran through my head when I saw him was to kill him. After poking him a bit with a stick and seeing how much he just wanted to get away and wasn't very interested in biting, I decided to just poke at him a bit more and then let him live in peace. Besides, he was in the wilderness and I was out of my element, not him. When we bought the land I had decided that the wild animals can live in the wild and as long as they don't invade the little space we live in and the livestock range on, that the wildlife would be unharmed. It was a little difficult convincing my son, who was with me and had machete on hand ready to kill, that this was a reasonable attitude to take. And of course all the neighbors think I am nuts. But I felt better at the end of the day for it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I saw something surreal on the way to work this morning. A coyote was eating a deer carcass located in a cow pasture close to the roadside. What made it so surreal was the fact that I was only able to catch a glimpse of the whole scene, and the contrast between the furtive and edgey coyote, grabbing bites between hurried looks around and the placid calm natures of the cows at the scene. They were paying no attention to the predator in their midst. It was so strange!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Although to me, it has been looking like fall lately, it hasn't felt that way. This morning felt very fall-ish, though! I played with the puppy and Bobbie Sue and enjoyed the cool breeze this morning before heading out for work. Bobbie Sue is the dog we rescued from the Harrison animal shelter last year. She's being a good big sister to our new pup, Badger. Badger is a replacement for our Great Pyr dog that never came home after heading out on a mission a few weeks ago. Cathy was the first GP I've ever owned and I really came to love her. She did a great job guarding the whole household and associated animals. However, I think she may have gone up against a bear mother with cubs, because that's about the only thing I think could have killed her. Badger is also a GP, but he's still too young to do a lot of guarding. He's only 9 weeks old. I'll get another one in a few weeks when the litter is ready to wean and hopefully two of them together will keep each other safe. Maybe they can convince the bears to take the ridge tops instead of our valley to travel between their destinations.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Day before yesterday, I discovered the most awful garden bug I think I've ever seen. Blister beetles had invaded and totally destroyed, decimated, ANNILHIATED my tomatoes!!!! All in one day! And I thought the hornworms were bad about that, but this was incredible. I've never seen a blister beetle before, so didn't recognize it at first until I did a little googling. It seems that it must not be a common garden pest, because I've never heard anyone lamenting about this bug, tis always the hornworm I'm hearing about. And none of the links gave any advice on what to do about it. So I used DE with pyrethrins and dusted the entire tomatoe patch good with it on my way out to work yesterday morning. When I got in yesterday evening, they were no where in sight. I hope that means they're gone for good, but I am not convinced that easily. So, I am on blister beetle patrol for the rest of my life, I guess. That is one bug that will never find an easy living in my garden.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


This is my first post here. Hopefully, it will be easier to update and add to my journal by using blogspot. Welcome, and if you love foraging for herbs, rocks, photographs or anything else to do with the natural world, I hope you will join me regularly. I also enjoy things from the homesteading and gardening world.

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