Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Marking Time

On the farm, you know it is Spring when the animals are not as influenced by a can of grain.  They would rather stay out and eat grass.  Yesterday, I had to use 2 days worth of patience because none of the animals wanted to be where I wanted them to be.

Four and a half bales of hay until my road trip.  Rosemary and I are celebrating 50 years of friendship.  We are hoping to take a spinning wheel with us and some fleece.  We want to see what different plants out west are used for dyeing.  We will take a couple large pots to steam over the camp fire while we are roasting marshmallows.  Not your typical vacation but perfect for Rosemary and me.

Most people think that rooster crow at the crack of dawn.  Actually, roosters crow throughout the day and way before dawn.  They are not good markers of time.  The lumber mill is a much better marker of a new day.  They start up at 5:45 week days.

It used to be you could mark time by when flowers and trees bloomed, especially daffodils.  They used to be a first marker of Spring but a few years ago, they bloomed in January and this year it was mid February.  The peach trees are just breaking bud and 2-5 inches of snow are on the way.  At least the temperature shouldn't be damaging.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

"As the Farm Turns"-- "All My Farm Animals"

Some times farming is like a soap opera; lots of drama.  In today's episode, we find someone isn't who we thought they were.

Yesterday, I brought 3 new hens to Cabin Spring Farm.  I waited till dusk to settle them in but Donald and Sister were aroused by the commotion.  Sister started pecking the first one to enter the coop.  John thought maybe she was jealous.  Donald put himself between the two and looked like he had things under control.  The other 2 went in.  There was a little scuffling but then things settled down.

As I approached the coop this morning there was a little more scuffling and when I opened the door, Sister came running out.  A few minutes later Donald came out but when the three Rachels didn't follow he went back in.  I put some grain out for Sister outside the gate and that made her happier.  After finishing the grain she decided to come back to the barnyard but first she stopped on top of the fence and crowed.  Yup, she crowed like a rooster.  Different than Donald's crow; stronger and louder.

Well, I have been telling myself for a month or so that Sister was looking kind of like a rooster.  She had gotten SO large (bigger than Donald) and had a couple of feathers on her tail that were looking like rooster tail feathers.  But no crowing.  Last fall, one of Little Mama's grown up chicks, laid an egg.  The two chicks looked identical until a couple of months ago when the other "sister" disappeared after the dog attack.  We don't usually get eggs in the winter so that didn't give me a clue.

When I told John the news he came up with a new name for Sister.  John is known for his naming capabilities (ha ha).  We now call Sister--- Heshe.  I like it.  It sounds a little Japanese to me.

Heshe spent the day hanging out near the coop but Donald and the 3 Rachels stayed in all day.  At dusk, Heshe waited until the others were settling in for the night and then tiptoed in.  John reminded me that we may get 2-5 inches of snow tonight so tomorrow could get very dramatic.  Stay tuned.

An aside:  The hens are all named Rachel because they were named by a girl named Rachel who wanted to name them after herself.  She and John must be related way back somewhere.