Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready for snow

I was able to get the garden ready for winter, the fairy garden put away, flower pots put away, summer pasture fence taken down, stuff on the back porch covered with a tarp or put away, and a few other miscellaneous chores down yesterday. I feel like it can now snow and I won't be rushing around doing things. It helps to not have snow until the end of Oct/first of November. Last year it started at the beginning of October and many things were left undone.

The Halloween lights are even up down by the chicken house :)
It's nice to have that orange glow as I put the chickens to bed, particularly since it is getting dark earlier and earlier.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall activities

Since it's been cooler and damp the last week, more cats are showing up for dinner. The big brothers of the new kittens have been rather scarce this summer, but now they are here on a regular basis. The only two cats I saw everyday during the summer were Midnight and Sparkie (and of course Bernedette - she's always here). Even Merlin - the patriarch - has been here. This is only the second time I've seen him since Aug 1. He may actually come to eat more often but just doesn't stay long. Usually he's friendly but this time he only hissed at me (maybe Midnight had just introduced him to his new kittens ). Hehe.....

The raccoon is still passing through every few days. It rearranges stuff in the barn, but I've been diligent in removing the cat food and other snacks at night. Hopefully it will give up soon.

Made some delicious pumpkin bread with some fresh pumpkin. Used my favorite banana bread recipe and added pumpkin spices.

I'm hoping to get the terraced garden beds rototilled today and then plant garlic. I think this should be perfect timing for the garlic as we may get a hard freeze this week.

More and more hens are FINALLY starting to grow their feathers back!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And more...

Actually it turns out there are 3 kittens: two black and one gray. And I petted the gray one for quite a while - of course it was concentrating on drinking goat's milk and didn't really notice :)

The circle of life

Friday night when I closed up the chickens, I found my blue cochin bantam hen Fatima, lying dead on the floor. No signs of being killed, and she hadn't appeared sick, so I don't know what happened. As my grandmother, Mimi used to say "chickens just die" - I always need to remember this.
I took Fatima's body to the end of the property so something wild could have dinner. The next morning only a few feathers were left. I don't mind giving up the bodies to feed the foxes and raccoons, just as long as they leave the live ones alone!

The raccoon has been back a couple more times but hasn't been able to get into any barrels of food (the new sack of cat food is still in the house).

Now for the exciting news: Midnight has brought her kittens back to the barn. They were born about Aug 15 under the toolbox in the barn, but she moved them a couple weeks later when I was doing too much cleaning and banging around in there. She moved them over under the neighbors A-frame shed and I hadn't seen them since. I knew they were ok, as Midnight is obviously nursing. So yesterday morning there were two little fuzzy heads peeking over the hay. They actually came out to eat and have goat's milk so I could see them fairly well. Don't know the sex of them yet, but the black one's name is Onyx. The gray one will be Pearl if it is a female, if a male then maybe Cloudy or Foggy

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I may have discouraged the raccoon -FINALLY. The barrels were extra secure and the cat is in the house :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where did fall go?

My favorite season of the year - autumn and it has hardly been here this year. It was summer last week - at least temperature wise. One week of fall temps and then winter?!
We've had over an inch of rain in the last few days - FINALLY! But yesterday part of that moisture was falling as large white flakes, it did melt when it hit the ground thank goodness.
Maybe wildfire season is over and I can relax.

But this reminds me I still have a solid list of things to do at the barn before it really snows. Oh and I want to plant garlic again this year. Last year the snows in October prevented the planting.

Darn Raccoon!

Monday night the raccoon managed to open the metal trash can and eat 5# of cat food. So last night the cat food came in the house. I double secured the chicken feed and other possible goodies - keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Silly Hens

I found two eggs in Stewart's feed bucket when I closed him up for the night last evening. Guess I need to look more carefully in the goat houses for eggs.....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Renegade Raccoon!

Now there is a raccoon invading the hay barn at night. First night it knocked over the cat food container, ate its fill and pooped on the grain barrel. Second night I "secured" the cat food - yah right. It got into it again! Third night the cat food is now in a heavy metal trash can with the lid bungy corded on. So the raccoon can't get to the cat food, therefore it turns over everything else: milk cases, container of goat collars, straw bales...... gads what a mess. We'll see what happens tonight....