Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garden produce

This has been the year of the garden.   
The cucumbers have gone crazy.  I have picked 46 this week alone.
I also have been getting tomatoes this week.  Well, tommy toes anyway.  I think this may been the first year we've gotten any tomato before August. 
I planted 2 short rows of beans and have ended up with more than we can eat.
And of course we still have a few more cabbages to give away.  This one weighed 9.4 pounds.  It is amazing what a season with some rain will do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This and That

Here are a few miscellaneous items.
I saw this "most unusual" moth on my back door this morning.  J glanced at the picture and ask "what is thelittleredhen knitting now?"  He didn't think it looked real.
I finally had an inspiration for the bank above the driveway.  The crepe myrtle was a good idea but it is just too cold for them here.  They don't bloom until almost frost.  So today I thought, butterfly bushes.  I have so many volunteering it won't be a problem getting them started.  By the way, that's Spot with his fly mask on in the back ground.
We never know what we will find when we check the cattle.  This one had a large limb tangled in her tail.
A week and a half ago I saw a large coyote chasing the goats early in the morning.  Since then we have been losing almost one a day.  J is checking this dead one we found this evening.  I have ordered an electric netting to make a lot to keep them in at night.  Anyone  who romanticizes about the introduction of coyotes into SW Virginia as in the book The Prodigal Summer, doesn't know what they are talking about.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

NRV Fair

We took the girls and heifers to our first fair.  The cattle show we usually go to in the spring is just a cattle show.  This time there was a lot more going on.
V washed both heifers while E competed in a Stockman's Contest.  She place 2nd in the Junior 4-H division.
L just couldn't keep her hands off.
Papa R and Grandma S even came to watch.
V getting ready to go into the show ring.  She did really well in showmanship, but I think the judge may have been influenced by the fitting job.  The rule book stated clean, dry and UNFITTED.  J had clipped the head and neck but we didn't do anything with all the body hair, so they did look a little shaggy.  But they were both calm and under control.  The girls did well watching the judge and keeping their heifers set up.
E also did well showing her heifer.
After going through the exhibit hall E has decided she could win everything there.  They didn't have a cabbage that would compare to our 10 pounders.  She was also unimpressed by the sunflowers, glads, cucumbers, beans, onions, house plants.  If she remembers to enter next year, we'll be going down with a truckload. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Brief update

The bull underwent surgery for a ruptured bladder.  Vet school vet had not seen one present with his symptoms before.  He is expected to make a full recovery.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hereford Bull

Well, our Hereford bull didn't last long.  We bought him in February.  He has been in the bull lot for the last 2 weeks after being out with 80 cows (and another bull).  Saturday J thought he looked a little full.  He didn't check the bulls Sunday.  Then Monday evening he said the bull looked as big as a barn.  It turned out not to be bloat but abdominal fluid, most likely urine. Usually, a bull will become obstructed with bladder stones blocking the outflow of urine and eventually rupturing the bladder.  But in his case he has still been able to urinate and he is still eating and not dehydrated.  We ended up draining about 20 gallons of fluid off of his abdomen which was probably only half of what was there.
In less than 24 hours the fluid was building back up significantly.
We decided to donate him to the Vet School.  If by some chance they are able to fix him, we will be able to buy him back.
We are not holding out much hope of seeing him again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wildflowers II

Here are a few more of the wildflowers in our field.
Red clover
Horse Nettle
And Queen Ann's Lace

Sunday, July 19, 2009


There is a whole host of wildflowers in the field just walking from the house to the barn.
Viper's Bugloss (I love the name)
Star Thistle 
Common Mullein
Bull Thistle
Deptford Pink (you have to look carefully for this one, it is very tiny)
Dwarf Dandelion.
I'll add more to the list tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


It is pretty unusual if I come up the driveway and don't see any wildlife.  I happened to have my camera with me the other day while this deer was grazing close by.  I have seen her several times. 

A few days after this, I saw her with twins that still had their spots.  Very cute.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Sorry for the short absence.  We made it away from the farm for a few days to go to the beach.
We only had one day of rain, which probable saved us anyway from more sunburn.
We did some shark tooth hunting with mild success.  This type of shell deposit seems to yield the most teeth, but after awhile it can make you crazy.  Some times I would see shark teeth in my sleep.  We also played some entertaining games of Cranium.
Of course the worst part of the vacation is that it didn't last long enough. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finally Done

J baled the last of the hay today.  What a relief.
I think he ended up with about 360 bales, which is a little more than usual but we will still have to buy more.
He did this steep rough field last.  It is his least favorite to bale.  One year he had one almost roll off and through the fence.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mini Cattle Drive

With J's rotational grazing, he is moving at least one group of cattle every 3 days.
The cattle are so use to moving they come running when he calls.
They then stream through the gate anxious to get to the new grass.
This gives J a chance to check the herd as they pass by.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cucumber count

The cukes are outdoing themselves.
I planted 4 hills.
count so far:  30

Thursday, July 2, 2009


We harvested our first cabbage head ever.  It weighed 5 1/2 pounds.
Anyone got a good cabbage recipe?
I also picked 11 cucumbers today.  This is in addition to the 8 E picked yesterday.

From the Farmers' Almanac:  A child, like your stomach, doesn't need all you can afford to give it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day Lilies

My 25 foot long sweep of day lilies is in full bloom.
Some years I've missed the peak because we were at the beach.
They are usually beautiful for about 2-3 weeks.  It makes coming down the driveway a pleasure.
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