July 2, 2006

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

It seems like a good day to start a journal.. What do you all think?

First thing I did this morning was let the cows out to new pasture.. This always fascinates me. I set with coffee in hand to watch the goin's on.. My ol' girls have picked a new boss cow.. A hereford I like to call "Curly" .. She is by no means the biggest cow.. But the bossiest. She always starts bawling for everybody to come on... She also won't move on unless her calf is beside her.. I have such a mixture of breeds in my little herd.. The last boss cow was a hereford.. I had to sell her because of her age. We bought her as an old cow.. Hoping to get a couple of calves out of her.. So now I am wondering if no matter what a mixture of breeds we have if the herd matriach will always be a hereford.?

We have had two new calves the last week.. A heifer calved for the first time two days ago... She is going to be a good Mom.. and fusses over her tiny bull calf. This heifer's mother was the other cow that calved this week.. Which makes the older cow a Grandma ( I hope I worded this right to make sense ) cow..

Yesterday I picked a gallon of wild blackberries .. I need to D-mail Cuckoo4Blackberries and get his blackberry crisp recipe. I will try to pick more today and take to St. Louis for the 4th Holiday. One of my daughter's there is on Weight Watchers.. So I need to find something to make with less calories.. Just the unsweetened blackberries are wonderful though.

Dave719, I haven't heard anything from you since the Roundup.. How is business and did you ever get your goats?

Leaflady, I might not check Dave's before the 4th ... Would you please thank your husband for me being able to live in a free country?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Ran an informal insect count on Friday afternoon while pampering my 4 little fruit trees - 3 types of dragon flies, 4 types of ants, a tiny crab spider feeding on aphids, a standard garden spider with a black and yellow abdomin, 4 other types of spiders, 4 types of grasshoppers (the ones wearing "desert camo" being the most abundant) and generic looking aphids. The spider seemed to have the few aphids under control, so I left them, although the urge to smoosh them (the aphids) was strong. (I went back to look for the aphids yesterday and there were none, so I am hoping there is a very fat and happy crab spider hiding out somewhere!) Next time I run my informal survey, I think I'm going to write down how many of what and maybe take pictures where possible.

Our little hybrid poplar "sticks" that we planted a little while ago are about a foot tall. I killed several through lack of motivation to haul water way out back early in their lives...Also had trouble with dogs pulling the sticks out (and stripping the baby roots off in the process). ... but the ones within 200 ft of the house are looking good. Feeding them with 1/4 strength miracle grow every other week since they are pretty much planted in pure sand. Going to top dress with compost with large particle cedar mulch on top to keep it from blowing away (wishful thinking< I know - when the winds decide to really blow, not a whole much doesn't blow away).

The fires around our area a mostly under control. One has burnt itself out at nearly 6,000 acres and the other at about 3,000 acres is 80% under control. Relatively speaking, they were slow moving fires in many areas, so much of the wildlife was able to run ahead of them - so the jack rabbits and cotton tails are invading, and we are told that local snake population may also increase. The smoke smell and haze has lifted, which is a good thing for those with respiratory issues, but there are still enough particulates in the air to make some awsome sun sets.

The peach tree seems determined to make small angle crotches with its little 2" branches. I'll probably post in the fruit & nuts forum, but I was wondering if it is too early to put spreaders in. The nectarine seems to be better, but still seems to have a tendancy to have small angles. The two apple trees (sticks!) don't seem to have so much of a problem.

Mulch, mulch, mulch - the mantra of the desert!

Got my daffodil order in - going to make a few more dots of yellow around the place for next spring :-) Looking forward to seeing the ones from last year return. I figure, another decade or so and we'll have daffodils all over the place! Ah, something I like that the rabbits and chipmunks don't!

Have a safe 4th, everyone! So thankful to be living in "the home of the brave and the land of the free."

Falls Mills, VA

Beautiful weather here in Virginia this weekend. I mowed about 10 acres of hay this weekend, ran the tedder through an additional three acres. Built trellises for the half-runner beans to climb in the garden. Pulled weeds and chopped weeds in the garden, too. Built a few new roost poles for the chickens. Got rid of two varmits that had been killing chickens. Set up a pool for the kids. Mowed the yard. Whew!

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