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.