Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Posts tagged ‘Great Dane’

The Sounds of Silence…..

…..except in my head!!  There are so many words I have wanted to write…so many times I have wished to sit down in a quiet corner of the room and just talk with you all.  There are seasons.  This has been a quiet one…..HA!!!  Silence is deafening.  It truly is one of the loudest sounds in all of creation, however, there is one that is louder……

If you have visited my website http://haveadanehilldanes.com you will know what we have been up to the past few months.  As we move forward, with our Great Dane, Penni ‘s, one singleton pup life is exciting!!  Life for me on the homestead is focused within the house….because puppy is mostly indoors right now.  She is just five weeks old, yet an amazing amount of development has occurred in her short life.  We are actively house training, and she is doing remarkably well….and then there is this…..

October 2016

Four Weeks Old


…..how did that happen already??  Penni seems quite happy with it!!  Hahaha  She is able to close up the milk bar more often….

October 2016

Four Weeks Old

….and she is pretty pleased about that.  This week will be about finalizing the weaning process, and hopefully by next Saturday, the pup will be fully weaned.

October 2016

Three Weeks Old

You may notice that I keep calling the little one, puppy or pup?  Much to my surprise, the hardest part of this whole process (after the whelping, that is) has been naming this little girl.  We have rolled around so many names, and nothing has seemed to stick.  The one name that will be part of her registered name is Esther….somehow I will work that in.  She was Esther from the time I first saw her, but as a call name, it is not working out well…..so……what to call her???  If I say a name here, somehow I think it is then official.  I did that once on Facebook and then retracted the name, and somehow, it was odd because I had publicly announced it.  So, am I ready to do that here???????????????

October 2016

Three Weeks Old

I have a name…..I’m liking it very much!  I need to just decide, because I am starting her training to focus on me already, and I need to call her something.  Soooooooooooooooooooooooo…….here goes……!!!  OMGosh……….I can’t believe my reluctance to settle on a name!!   But, I am ready…….this time it is in stone!!

Drum roll please………………………………………..

October 2016

Introducing, Penelopi Mae Buoy’s little girl, whose call name is……… Alivia……”Livi”  for short!!!  I’m still working on her AKC registered name….but at least we know what to call her now!!

October 2016

Four Weeks Old

BTW, her name means “Peace.”  In this day and time in our world, we need a lot of peace to shower upon us all.  The political environment this past year, and the violence throughout the world has brought so many sad, aggravating, and frustrating moments….and when I look at her, when I hold her…..all I can think about is how peaceful life is in that moment.  Her name means, “Peace” …. a rendition of the name, Olivia, it represents the olive tree, an emblem of peace.  The root of this can be found in the Bible, Genesis 8:11, when a dove comes to Noah with a freshly plucked olive leaf after the floods subside.  The olive leaf became a symbol of impending peace….. as when one “extends an olive branch” to another.

October 2016

Four Weeks Old

Have I ever given so much thought to a dog’s name……No!!  I don’t have any idea why this has been such a pain staking task….or why there seems to have to be meaning to this little girl’s name.  I guess I’m just overthinking it….but she was the one little survivor.  Maybe that is why?


Four Weeks Old

Four Weeks Old

I do look forward to the amazing growth that will happen in the next few weeks and months ahead, as it will allow me time to get out and help with the other critters relying on us out there.  For now, however, I am basking in the littleness of the moment…because that littleness is very short lived in the life of a Great Dane.  Just look at those legs already!!  <sigh>

Thank you for visiting the homestead today.  I hope you find peace in the different moments of your day!!

Your friend from Oregon,








We’ve Left the Farm…


…it wasn’t easy to do.  The decision was the result of a few months of thinking, planning, and visiting options for the furry four legged, and feathery two legged residents of our little community.   The circumstances driving us away were/are important, equipped with their own unique pulls.  So, during this past week, we made the final arrangements for the animals, packed up, and left the farm.  To say it was a little emotional for me would be like saying, “The sky is blue” … a bit obvious.  I haven’t left, left my new home for 3.5 years….except for a short trip to Disneyland a few months after we had moved here.  Our beautiful piece of God’s great creation has become my most favorite place to be in this world….sorry Walt.  Really, why would I want to leave it?

For my Bay Area peeps... Can you tell what area we were flying over?

For my Bay Area peeps… Can you tell what area we were flying over?

So, is this the end of our Oregon story?  No!!, because you see, although we did leave the farm, it was only for the weekend!!!  Hahaha….gotcha!!!  Since this blog is about the journey of moving from our life-long lives in the San Francisco Bay Area to a small town in Oregon, and how our lives change, grow, and expand, I thought it was only natural to write about the experience of my first time visiting home.  It was all so familiar, yet all so different.

Leaving is a struggle, it turns out, I don’t really like the “leaving” part.  My mind is filled with, “What if’s” and “look at those big brown eyes,

IMG_8469 - Version 2

she’s not going to understand why I’ve been gone so long.”  The longer the delay, the bigger the, “What if’s” become.  In contrast, the logical part of my mind works on the premise of the “to-do” list….the preparations so that leaving is actually possible.  It’s a little different now….it’s not just about packing….and it is helpful in keeping the “What if” bugs out of my head….they are definite energy zappers.  Studies show that, approximately, only 8% of the things we worry about are likely to occur, or actually impact our lives in some way…..Who studies these things??!!  Good to remember…..did it help…..well, I didn’t worry about the flock much at all while I was gone…LOL….they are pretty self-sufficient….with a little help…..

New Chicken House 2015

……like a quick, temporary fix to the new chicken house.  Wait….What??!!  I didn’t mention the new chicken house…….well, it’s not quite finished, but it has an automatic door that open and closes with light and darkness., hence nobody needs to do that for them.  I just looked around and grabbed what I could to make their lives comfortable.  I hope they were!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today!!  I hope your day is amazing!!!

Your friend from Oregon,




Got to Get Going

It’s just that kind of a Friday morning….wishing we could linger just a little longer!  We are close to the weekend….we are very, very close!!

IMG_8469 IMG_8604 IMG_8638 IMG_8679 IMG_8681 IMG_8620 IMG_8724 IMG_7743 IMG_7759 2 IMG_7859

Oh well…time to get going!  Hope you all have a lovely day!!

Thanks for sharing our morning!

Your friend from Oregon,


29 Hours on the Farm

I’ve come to realize that my life is all about the chickens…and of course Sir Benedict.

October 2014

They tell me, under no uncertain terms, when to wake up. On those rare mornings that I have not gotten out of bed before sunrise, Benedict loudly calls from his high roost, and the hens squawk and complain….and poop…everywhere. Since I clean their roosts, nesting boxes, and platforms in front of their nesting boxes every morning…it’s a good idea to get them out just as the sunlight crests the darkness. I fudge this timing, just a little on the weekends, but still need to get out there before the hens have need for their time of privacy.

No more rooms at the Inn!!

This flock dictates how late I can stay out at night…somebody has to close the door to the hen house after dark!! Predators in the forest = a definite need for security.

Moonlit Night Oct. 2014

The flock and I have a symbiotic relationship…..they poop…I pick it up. They eat…I buy more food. They get blown by the wind….I cover up the drafts…. (this will be the last time I do this….more on that in my next post.)

The UPS guy told me that that was the most "Red Neck" chicken coop he's ever seen...hahahaha!

The UPS guy told me that that was the most “Red Neck” chicken coop he’s ever seen…hahahaha!

…..they poop…I pick it up (yes, I said that twice…I spend a lot of time picking up chicken poop!) My flock free range. They follow their natural food sources, and always end up back in their house at night. Sometimes that means this……

Hey, get off the porch...that water is for the dogs!!

Hey, get off the porch…that water is for the dogs!!

….and this…..

Seriously...that is chicken poop...That's ridiculous!!!

Seriously…that is chicken poop…That’s ridiculous!!!

….so, I follow them around picking up their…not so golden surprises. In the end, I believe the flock is healthier (I know we are!) and happier.

If you have 41 seconds….take a look at our little video, 29 Hours on the Farm , …. this is the reason I let this flock run my life ….

….next stop….well, we’re looking at goats (any ideas?), but I think I need a trip to Disneyland first!!! I’ve definitely got the bug!!

Thank you, for visiting the farm this morning!! Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,

That Certain Age

Within these past several weeks, I turned that certain age. I’m not giving that age up, but most people who grew up with me, or have known me in these adult years have a good idea what age I am. This is that year in which I am forced to reflect on my life a bit. It is that age I have kind of dreaded…that I have watched my brothers reach and surpass, and when brought to mind, prayed for, earnestly, keeping in mind that lightning rarely strikes twice the same way…but knowing that sometimes it does.

August 2014

There is just enough irony in life that the nagging of the unknown around that certain age sometimes settles in the way the fog lingers over the Golden Gate Bridge.


Sometimes the fog looms, and my fears grow. I pray, I hug my dog, I take a walk, or busy myself with simple chores that take me outside and into the grandeur of the land around me. Other times I write…I write to you whom have become part of this journey…I write those stories that are the “maybe someday, somehow” unpublished pieces…and I read…I read the words of many others who have stories to tell, who ask nothing but to be read. They are out there…stories…wonderful stories baked in the lives of so many…when the fog settles in, these things help me to remember that the truth of this certain age is not necessarily the truth of that same certain age of another.

September Sunset 2014

I am that age…the age when my father died.

Daddy - 1990

My dad was a young man…he seemed older to me, at the time, than I feel now, but since I am that same age I realize how young he was, really. He died suddenly, his body failed him. That’s what bodies do…some earlier, some later, but they all fail. That Sunday morning left ripples, waves in my life lasting the entirety of these past 23 years.

Sept. 2014

So this year, the year of that certain age, I’m focusing on health…this little homestead helps with that, along with you, as I read your words and learn from your wisdom and recipes…and from new friends who have recently introduced me into the delicious world of squash, beyond zucchini…. 🙂 I’ve never been to this world before. Then there’s this TVP, Textured Vegetable Protein…..hmmmm, that’s a maybe.

Butternut Squash and Spinach

Mostly, I know that this body will fail at some point. Greater yet, I am assured of this….

John 10:27-29 (Jesus is speaking at the temple during a dispute at the feast of dedication)
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

Sunset June 2014

….my salvation through Christ is rock solid, nothing can snatch me from His hand!! When I actually do reach the age in which my time is done, I know where I’m going. That assurance makes being this certain age a much happier place to reside. In the meantime, life is good……


That's my Penni in the orange collar.

That’s my Penni in the orange collar.




August 2013 006

Don John

Tito August 2011

Sourdough Heaven



My sweet girls, Penni and Karli !

My sweet girls, Penni and Karli !

September 2014

July 2014

AND YOU…all of you..who walk through this forest, and visit this farm. Who’s words inspire, teach, encourage, and fill my kitchen with wonderful fragrances from delicious new recipes. As my thoughts turn inwards…you help me to look out from the window of this certain age, and I, once again, move away from my apprehension. And since the SF Giants are one step closer to getting into the World Series….October is looking pretty darn good!!!

Thanks for sharing this certain year with me!!

Your friend from Oregon,

An Incredible Find

Have you ever seen the artistry in the routine? Birds nest….an incredible, yet routine event in their lives…

The Muppets hatching.

The Muppets hatching.

Chickens do not really build a nest, they find a cozy, quiet spot. Many of the flock will then lay their eggs in that same location, resulting in this…

Six nesting boxes....this one was the hot spot today!!

Six nesting boxes….this one was the hot spot today!!

….that was all from one morning. Where is the artistry in a nesting box full of eggs? If you look closely, each egg is very different…size, shape, color, decorative “freckles”…they are each very unique….

July 2014

That's one big egg!!!

That’s one big egg!!!

That being said, I think the true artists reveal themselves every spring with the creation of an incredible piece of workmanship. The structure is amazing, and the question that usually arises in me every time I, happily, encounter one of these delicate yet strong, masterpieces of construction is …. “How did the bird build this without the use of hands?” You will not believe the incredibly gorgeous piece of true art that I am so blessed to have come upon while hiking with my Great Dane, Penni.
September 2014

It must have blown out from the trees this past week…. are you ready…..

Look at this closely...

Look at this closely…

So completely incredible...

So completely incredible…

Look at this closely…imagine the time it took to build. The supplies used were ingenious…feathers from the chickens supply softness, hair from the mane or tail of our neighbor’s horses provide structure, and a little peacock feather for a splash of color….completely, insanely gorgeous!!!

September 2014

By the size of it, my guess is a hummingbird nest. Truly amazing…

September 2014

I feel like it is truly a privilege to have found this little beauty, and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you!!

Thank you for taking a walk with me this morning, I hope this little gem of the forest will help to make your day just a bit more special.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tule (Tooley) Fog

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Okay, that’s pretty much true…unless I have a chance to sit on the couch and cuddle with this sweetheart…
Penni Sept. 2014

…..uuuhhhmmmmm, I mean this sweetie…
My Sweet Guy - April 2014

As if scripted by a professional screenwriter, Autumn rolled in, in the form of the very familiar covering of ground level fog…in the SF Bay Area, it’s called Tule (Tooley) Fog.
Oregon "Tule Fog" Sept. 2014

I called the valley fog here in Oregon, Tule Fog once…..I got blank stares accompanied by a smile or two…hahaha…nobody seemed to know what I was talking about..hahaha! So, I don’t really know what to call it…I guess just fog..haha. I had no idea that that particular weather terminology was specific to California.

Rain is in the forecast, in fact, it drizzled much of the day, and has now rained throughout the night. So at the great advice of two of my friends from work (thank you Sabrina and Angie) I picked the rest of my tomatoes. Many were immensely green, but off the vine they came.
Green Tomatoes Sept. 2014

These will, hopefully, ripen in a paper bag, and be no less than the quality of a tomato bought in a grocery store. At least I will know that these were grown without pesticides, and unnatural fertilizers.

Corn Stalks Sept 2014

The corn stalks came down today, as well, to keep them from molding. I like to use them for outdoor decorating…they don’t usually last very long…the chickens like them too!

Corn Stalks Sept 2014

While we wait for the rain, Penni promises to keep watch over the tomatoes.

The Guardian Sept. 2014

Thankfully, they don’t taste like blackberries…that bucket would be emptied by now!!

Looking forward to sharing this wonderful season with you….thanks for visiting the farm today! 🙂

Your friend from Oregon,

Autumn is Fall-ing

I had help writing this morning…

Penni Sept. 2014

We’ve been seeing the tell-tale signs of the wilting and turning of leaves…some are starting to drop. The season is beginning, yet summer is giving its best effort to hang on. Yesterday, the last day of summer, Se˜or Verano, decided to flex his muscles for one more day here in the Pacific Northwest. Take a quick look at this comparison to areas that are typically on the hotter side this time of year……

1:40 p.m. PST (time that I looked at it )... 3:40 p.m. EST (actual time of temp.)

1:40 p.m. PST (time that I looked at it )… 3:40 p.m. EST (actual time of temp.)

September 2014
Sept. 2014

……What….doesn’t everyone have Disney World and Disneyland programmed into their phones?? Typically, the Bay Area gets hit with a late Indian Summer in Sept…uhhmmm, hmmmmm. In contrast….

Take a look....this was at 6:00 P.M.

Take a look….this was at 6:00 P.M.

it seems since we moved up to Oregon the sustaining heat followed us….don’t laugh too loudly!!! It’s been a hot, very dry summer. We, on this little farm including our fine feathered friends…

Ready for Fall 2014

…have had a collective, sigh, as the forecast shows dropping temperatures and RAIN in the forecast. For the flock this means the emergence of bugs, worms, and a bit of fresh, greens growing up out of the dry soil….for the humans it means sweaters, warm coffee, an eventual lift in the burn restrictions equaling in the ability to mow down those darn weeds, and the chance to build outdoor / indoor fires…yes, we are ready!!

Tomatoes 2014

While we wait, there are tomatoes to harvest, watermelon and pumpkin yet to ripen, a new hen house to build (that’s a different story), and hopefully one more blackberry harvest. I do hope the watermelon ripens!!

Watermelon 2014

Thank you for visiting the farm today!

Your friend from Oregon,

My Least Favorite Time of Year

Do you like summertime? I do! I like harvesting, sharing, and eating the beauties from my garden….

Summer Corn 2014

I like the long days that stretch into the later hours…

July 2014

……and the hot summer night sounds from my neighbors Peacocks

I like the warmth of early summer….

June 2014

…..when the ground is still green…

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

THEN…..August thinks it can just come along and spoil the goodness of my green summer days……my least favorite time of the year!!

What's that???  Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

What’s that??? Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

August brings the heat, and the dryness to the land. It is the time for getting poked from stickers that get stuck in your socks as you walk through the dry grasses.

August 2014

August 2014

Unfortunately, a bolt on the mowing implement attached to the tractor was broken for awhile at the end of June. Burn restrictions went up on July 3rd…since we have rocks, and metal blades against rocks can create sparks…sparks against dry grasses can create fires…mowing season ended earlier than usual. I didn’t have a chance to do the final cutting…so, unfortunately, the weeds are larger, and uglier than I am happy with…



The chickens get hot, and scrounge the dry grasses for bugs and seeds. I hooked up a fan in the chicken house for relief of the hens while they conduct their “business”…then I turn the fan in the afternoon toward the roosting boards so they can find some relief as they need it.

August 2014

The pond has receded….thankfully it has never gone dry! But this summer…actually, the past two summers, have really tested our little pond….

The pond is way down...this "green" area is usually not as large.

The pond is way down…this “green” area is usually not as large.

See the green ridge above the water line? This is where the pond usually recedes too…the ridge above it is where the pond sits when it full…I call that the NORMAL part of the year!!

August 2014

Saturday, August 30th, did bring some relief…

Fall can’t come too soon!!

Thank you for sharing the first day of September with me. I hope your Labor Day is spectacular….put one on the barbie for me, and I’ll add a burger on my BBQ for you!!

Your friend from the NW,

Creating Boundaries

Harvest 2014

Fencing….the sport of fighting with swords, especially foils, épées, or sabers, according to a set of rules, in order to score points against an opponent.


Wait a minute….not that kind of fencing…this kind of fencing…

Not our farm...just an example.

Not our farm…just an example.

…lots and lots of fencing!! Three hundred and sixty seven feet to be approximately exact.

I think it is safe to say that every farm has fencing…lots of fencing. I am in the conflict stage of needing fencing, and wanting to keep the forest that merges with the farm in smooth transition. However, there are realities in the relationship between wildlife, farm production, dogs, and neighbors…the latter becomes the biggest issue.

We have neighbors…one of our neighbors has goats..see my earlier post https://haveadanehill.com/2013/10/27/my-neighbor-has-goats/ This same neighbor, has two big, white farm dogs that protect their goats. I like my neighbor’s dogs, they bark…often…but they are very nice dogs. Recently, however, the intact male has grown up. He has become a dominant boy, and adamantly protects the fence-line between us. Unfortunately, this means that the friendship he and Penni have had since his puppy-hood is now in contention. His mama dog,

which is now his wifey dog (yeah, it’s complicated…not really…just weird) is still friendly, but the boy dog – her puppy now her stud dog (I just think those are questionable breeding practices) does not agree with these friendly neighbor relations. Thus the need to create a secondary fence line buffer zone. It’s needed both for the safety of all three dogs, but for peace of mind. Do I really want to worry every time the dogs are out what might happen at the fence line? NO!!

The thing with fencing is when you start one line, it gets you thinking about other lines…where can you go from there? With the occasional coyote (or possibly coywolf – see my previous post https://haveadanehill.com/2014/05/29/my-coyote-theory/ ) and who knows what else (we are in Black Bear and Cougar country) we decided to create an area of 3 plus acres wherein the dogs can run freely, but still be controlled.

May 2014

It’s a big project, and takes a ton of muscle power to sink the wooden posts into this rocky ground. Thank goodness for a tractor sporting a post hole digger. Thank goodness even more for a husband who is willing to spend the past 3 days of his vacation breaking up rock where the post hole digger couldn’t get through…and the next 2 – 3 days pounding metal poles, stringing fencing, and hanging gates. He’s had some help from the male offspring when available after work. My assistance has been nonexistent due to my work schedule. So here’s a standing applause for the man on this farm…

…for a man who works hard to make sure we (including our animals) are safe, and is willing to work really hard at everything he does!!!

The work is in progress…and Penni is waiting very patiently…with bated breath…waiting to get off of her restriction…

"Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this stupid leash on?  I'll just lay here then."

“Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this stupid leash on? I’ll just lay here then.”

…and once again able to stretch her legs freely. It’s so wrong…34 acres, and nowhere to run…for the moment.

Hope you have a wonderful day…thanks for popping over and visiting the farm.

Harvest 2014

Your friend from Oregon,
***RETRACTION…I have been informed that the actual feet of fencing being constructed is 1063…not 367. My apologies to those who may be taking note…hahahahaha****

The Beauty of Summer

The beauty of summer presents in many forms. Just look around you!! Do you see it??

This is what I see when I look around our forest – farm in the summer….

Two big dogs catching some shade in the heat of the day.

I can see the future…salsa, salads, tomato sauce…….

The deep blue of a beautiful Oregon sky.

A basketful full of a friend’s Beagle puppies.

At the cusp of spring into summer, the first & last of the cauliflower.

A visit from our neighbor’s peacock.
IMG_6321 2

OMGosh…how gorgeous is this??!!

My Penni girl basking in the warm sunshine.
IMG_6201 June 2014

“Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight…..”

Strawberries on the vine.

A cute little visitor…I moved her to bushy young oak growing from a stump.

Dark blue of the night-time sky.
July 2014


The last of the broccoli; the first onion and sweet pea harvest.

Baked beans from scratch for the 4th of July barbecue!

The beauty of a summer wind against the tall summer grasses.

Sometimes, we wait to cut the grasses just to watch the “amber waves of grain,” if just for awhile.

I hope you find beauty in your summer…look for it, it’s all around you! Thanks for taking a walk in the forest with me today!


Fir Chips in the Garden

Remember my attempt to squelch the inevitable…??

That empty container is waiting for watermelon.
The Douglas Fir mulch lining the garden.

The Douglas Fir mulch lining the garden.

…You know, those dreaded parasites that continually steal water, minerals, and sunlight from their rightful heirs. What are they called? Oh yeah, malas hierbas, les mauvaises herbes, bagīcē mātama, …. weeds…garden weeds. Two months or so later, here’s how things look…

Uuugghhhh the invasion is on!!!

Uuugghhhh the invasion is on!!!

I'm glad the good stuff are in pots.

I’m glad the good stuff are in pots.

…well, I guess my experiment in Douglas Fir chips was a wash. Not exactly the results I was hoping for, but easily fixed….

Now that's better!

Now that’s better!

I can see the fir chips!!

I can see the fir chips!!

Lookin' purdy!

Lookin’ purdy!

…thank you Mr. Weed-Wacker!!! Nope, I didn’t get the roots, and yeah they will grow back. Mr. Weed-Wacker and I will have a few more dates this growing season, but you know, it’s easier than trying to pull them up, and healthier than using a weed killer. Anyway, there is more exciting news

The zucchini is blooming!

The zucchini is blooming!

Wee little strawberries.

Wee little strawberries.

The peas are awesome.

The peas are awesome.

Future bad boys...my Jalapeños are blooming!!

Future bad boys…my Jalapeños are blooming!!

And did I show you these beauties??

Look at those little red jewels!!

Look at those little red jewels!!

And the most important…. Penni’s happy!!

My happy girl!!

My happy girl!!

Thanks for taking a walk with me through the garden. Have an awesome day!

My Coyote Theory….

The coyote incident made me start thinking, “What if that wasn’t a coyote at all?” Okay…so here is what a coyote looks like that has a range within the Pacific Northwest….



….notice their thin style build, and pointy nose.

There is another carnivore in town, and no, it is not the grey wolf…however…..! Meet the Coywolf…

The Coywolf!

The Coywolf!

Although the link below talks about this hybrid originating in Canada and migrating down the eastern United States…as I have researched, I have found that they have migrated out west. There have been many sightings (sounds like I’m talking about Bigfoot, haha) in the Pacific Northwest…and I’m thinking right here in our little part of the grander forest that sits behind us.


Every year since we moved to our home in Oregon, we have experienced about four daytime coyote sightings from spring through the end of summer. However, many times I have thought that the canine running by or away did not quite look like a coyote…in fact…they have looked more husky…more like a wolf. Others that I have talked to in the area, have also noticed the same thing.

Granted, the only coyotes that I have seen (before seeing them on or near our property) have been in zoos. Maybe in the wild they look different…beefier….with a heavier coat and head; I don’t know. The coloring of their coats have basically been the iconic lighter brown with dark brown/grey ticking of a coyote…but they just seem larger…heavier…with a more rounded nose, and a very bushy tail. Could this be a coywolf rather than a coyote?

I’m ready with my camera if it decides to show up again…we have heard their calling…they (yes, more than one) are still near! Penni, our Great Dane, ……

Penni...protector of the flock!

Penni…protector of the flock!

…..once in awhile, lately, barks at the fringes of the fence lines, which are lined with 2 – 3 rows of Douglas Fir trees. Kind of creepy!! I’ve cut down the pasture grasses so if one aims to come out from the trees…we should readily see them…and then I’ll get a picture!

The Great Adventure – finale

(continued) “My attention now needed to be turned to helping the three in the brooder grow to the point of being released back into the wild. My daughter decided that little project belonged to her, and named them all Bernice.”

Would the three Bernices eat? That was the most critical question. Not having immediate turkey feed available, we used chick feed granules, soaked in water. They were not interested in the least. At 3:00 a.m., my daughter, Roni, woke me up concerned that they hadn’t eaten or drank…time for a little forced nutrition. Using a syringe, no needle, we worked together getting a soupy mixture into their mouths….waited for them to swallow, and added more. The next day, I stopped at the feed store and picked up flock raiser feed for turkeys.

Not completely soupy yet...but you get the picture.

Not completely soupy yet…but you get the picture.

The littlest poult, the first one we found after mama turkey had returned, was still quiet, but swallowed the food as the others. This little Bernice seemed to need a little extra attention, and was very happy to snuggle under a towel in Roni’s arms. The other two Bernices were less receptive to cuddle time, and were huge wiggle worms.

Littlest poult Bernice.  Believe it or not, she is fast asleep here...she loved to cuddle in Roni's hands.

Littlest poult Bernice. Believe it or not, she is fast asleep here…she loved to cuddle in Roni’s hands.

One of the other Bernices...fat and sassy!

One of the other Bernices…fat and sassy!

Every 2 – 3 hours we went through this feeding routine, taking shifts to support our differing schedules. Roni liked to take the poults outside to feed them. They seemed to perk up when taken outside. One of the three has a wing (or wing feathers) that sticks out away from its body. This may be the little one that Penni picked up by its wing when she originally found them. Hopefully, it is just a feather, cosmetic issue…it seems like it.

Two of the three Bernices

Two of the three Bernices

On the second night, Roni again woke me up afraid that the littlest Bernice was dying…it looked like she was. Her head was floppy, and she had no significant strength to her legs. I thought about my little rooster, Austin Healey, and how sugar water helped him to bounce back and ignite his appetite…it was worth a shot. The littlest Bernice readily swallowed the sugar water from the syringe…and we waited. A couple of hours later we fed her turkey feed softened with the sugar water. By morning, she was much stronger! She looked like she had turned the corner…one more meal, and I went off to work…by noon time, the littlest Bernice had died. 😦 It was very sad. She just never was as strong as the other two.

Still sleeping...her tummy was full, she was warm and safe. Notice the food crumbles on her beak.

Still sleeping…her tummy was full, she was warm and safe. Notice the food crumbles on her beak.

The other two Bernices gained in strength, and within a day of each other started eating and drinking on their own…YAY!! They are definitely wild birds, and do not look forward to human interaction…this is great news for their eventual release. We’ve had a couple of escapes…twice outside, once in the garage…and they immediately run and burrow under whatever they can find..it’s not easy to retrieve them.

Bernice and Bernice

Bernice and Bernice

One's a blur, the other showing off her long neck and legs. Notice that wing, it should be tucked tight against her body.

One’s a blur, the other showing off her long neck and legs. Notice that wing, it should be tucked tight against her body.

Within this first week, their legs are longer, and their necks are stretching. They are able to jump out of their brooder if the top is off, so feeding has become a bit of a challenge….but, today…they have graduated to eating turkey feed granules…no more soaking!!!

It’s a new, fun challenge…like many we are experiencing out here in the forest and on the farm….but wait, there is more….

Can’t wait to tell you of the early, morning wake-up we had a couple of days ago, opening up a new chapter to this year’s spring – summer management on the farm. Never a dull moment!!

Hope you all have a wonderful day….see you tomorrow as we walk through the forest.

The Great Adventure part 4

(cont.) “We watched from a distance, but it was hard to tell when a poult would reach her. Not wanting to affect the reunion we carefully, and quietly backed off. Nature was now leading the reunion…….”

The hardest thing to do was to walk away, but walk away we did…completely away….for about 45 minutes. Leaving the dogs in the house, I quietly walked out to check on the little wild family, hoping to find their absence. All was silent except the sound of the wind through the trees.

Here is the actual reunion…listen closely, you can hear some peeping, and at about :17 – :21 you can hear a faint call from mama turkey. The sounds in the background (besides the wind) are our neighbor’s Guinnea Hens.

Crouching down to make my profile as low as possible, I watched. There was absolutely no sign of mama turkey. Watching for movement within the grass was really a wasted effort as the wind kept the grass in constant flux. As I slowly approached the area where we had set the poults on their journey back to their matriarch, sadness bestowed my eyes. There lying in the grass was a little poult, right where we had set it free…it hadn’t followed mama turkey’s call. I wasn’t sure what to do…leave it in the grass or pick it up? My protective instinct won over, and I picked it up. It didn’t protest, and burrowed into the warmth of the pocket I had created within my shirt. This little one was tiny. Feeling that she needed to be warmed up, I quickly set up a small brooder with a heat lamp to warm her up.

Young little poult warming up in under the heat lamp.

Bernice, the young little poult warming up in under the heat lamp.

About 2 hours later, around 7:30 p.m. I decided to take one more look and listen. We had a little over an hour left of light, if more babies missed the call, I wanted to find them. As I stopped and listened, my heart sunk as I heard a familiar peeping. Peep, peep, peep…three in succession…peep, peep, peep….it was calling for mama turkey. What I heard in return was not the adult’s call, but a return peep, peep, peep from a different direction. They were trying to find each other. It was getting cold, they needed each other for warmth…I decided it was time to help them…I didn’t believe they would make it through the night with snakes, racoons, skunks, owls, and who knows what else, out on the hunt as nighttime fell.

I tried following the peeoping…but everytime I made a move in that direction, it would stop…and then I would hear the other call leading me in another direction. I stopped and watched the grasses for any sign of movement different from the rhythmic dance caused by the wind. All of a sudden I saw a tiny poult head pop up out of the grass, stumbling unevenly. I quickly swooped in and gathered the little poult up out of the grass. The I listened….the seconded source of calling was coming from behind me.

Staying still, the third little poult showed itself in the same stumbling-about manner. The two siblings were reunited. Another 20 minutes of quietly watching and listening resulted in no sign of additional little turkeys. Walking back to the house to add these two little ones to the brooder, I worried that there were more orphaned poults. I went back two more times that evening and found no signs of additional babies. My attention now needed to be turned to helping the three in the brooder grow to the point of being released back into the wild. My daughter decided that little project belonged to her, and named them all Bernice.

And two more make three.  Bernice, and Bernice.

And two more make three. Bernice, and Bernice.

To be Continued….tomorrow…find out about the challenges of supporting three wild turkey poults.

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day…thank you to all those current and past who have protected our great United States with their many, many sacrifices in military duty. My family and I are forever thankful and grateful for you! May God richly bless you, and your families!

See you back in the forest tomorrow…

The Great Adventure part 3

(continued) “Hoping that mama turkey would not be afraid to come back another time………By this time, my daughter had gotten home and joined me in the quest to reunite the family. She held a couple of the poults in her sweater, while we sat behind a tree….and we waited……”

The poults burrowed into their hiding place, nestled within our clothing.

Burrowing in for safety

Burrowing in for safety

They totally came alive, however, whenever the possibility of freedom enter into their sites. This was a great thing! Their quietness was instinctual, their flight response was crucial to their survival once released.

One of the poults jumped from my grasp into the tall grass. Even though I kept my eye on where it landed and the direction it headed, almost instantly it vanished…completely disappeared.

A hidden poult!  With her head slightly raised, this one was actually a little easier to see.

A hidden poult! With her head slightly raised, this one was actually a little easier to see.

Very carefully I searched…only me, we didn’t need two sets of feet potentially stepping on the invisible young turkey. All of a sudden, there it was! I scooped it up, hoping that mama turkey would soon return.

My daughter and I sat quietly, looking for any movement through the grass, which was a bit of a challenge since it was a windy day. All of a sudden, off to the right at about 200 ft. was the beautiful, bobbing head that we had been looking for.

This photo taken by http://www.caryinstitute.org

This photo taken by http://www.caryinstitute.org

As mama turkey reached the general area where Penni had found the poults,
May 2014
she called…our little ones woke up. We let them go, hoping they would find their way to her. This was a difficult. What if they didn’t find her, would we be able to find them again?? We wanted to walk up to mama turkey and say, “Here they are,” but we knew that wouldn’t be possible…she would leave again…would she then come back? We just had to let the poults go and hope for the best.

Getting close to release time, mama turkey is calling.

Getting close to release time, mama turkey is calling.

We released, and they ran. Mama turkey called,

the young poults chirped as they moved through the grass. We watched from a distance, but it was hard to tell when a poult would reach her. Not wanting to affect the reunion we carefully, and quietly backed off. Nature was now leading the reunion…….

(To be continued)…the story gets bigger…come on back for tomorrow’s chapter!

The Great Adventure part 2

The underside of a felled Douglas Fir tree.

The underside of a felled Douglas Fir tree.

(cont.) I gathered up these little babies, and out of the corner of my eye…I saw mama turkey carefully approaching……

….so did Penni, just fractions of a second before I did..but that was enough time for her brain to excite her body into “chase mode” and off she went. Mama turkey immediately took flight. I looked around the area, checking carefully before each step. Wild turkey poults instinctively hide, low and silent in tall grass. They are very difficult to see. Knowing that there were hidden babies right around me, I had to be careful not to step without caution.

A hidden poult!  With her head slightly raised, this one was actually a little easier to see.

A hidden poult! With her head slightly raised, this one was actually a little easier to see.

Penni’s distraction away from the hiding poults gave me a chance to assess the condition of the little ones I had been holding. If you will remember, Penni is a wanna-be-mama-dog. She has helped raise up all 4 broods of chicks, protecting them from hawks, and if Tucker or Karli got too close (she let them know in no uncertain terms that they shouldn’t get any closer to her chicks.)

Making sure all is right with her little puppy-chicks.

Making sure all is right with her little puppy-chicks.

I was confident that these beauties were perfectly fine. They were very young, and were still sporting that fashionable egg-tooth.

Still sporting a prominent egg tooth.

Still sporting a prominent egg tooth.

They were playing "possum" hoping I wouldn't see them.

They were playing “possum” hoping I wouldn’t see them.

My shirt was doing double duty, acting as, well, a shirt…and also a catch for the poults. They lay quietly in their cocoon, huddled together looking at me with their big eyes…I was surprised at how much larger their eyes are than chicken chicks eyes.

Wild Turkey poult #1.  The first little one found by Penni.

Wild Turkey poult #1. The first little one found by Penni.

Kermit!!!  See how much small her eyes are compared to the wild turkey poult.

Kermit!!! See how much small her eyes are compared to the wild turkey poult.

Following her nose, Penni came bounding back directly to me and the poults. She nudged the buldge in my slinged shirt, indicating that she needed to check on the babies. I let her take a quick look, and big sniff into the pile of young poults…and as is Penni’s style…she gave them a lick (No, not to taste them!!)

May 2014

Hoping that mama turkey would not be afraid to come back another time, I walked towards the house. My plan…as long as I had the poults, Penni would follow…she did! Securing her inside the garage, I headed back. In the background, Penni shouted her protests…loudly! By this time, my daughter had gotten home and joined me in the quest to reunite the family. She held a couple of the poults in her sweater, while we sat behind a tree….and we waited……

May 2014

(To be continued)….please come back tomorrow to read the rest of the story.

Hoping you have a wonderful weekend

The Great Adventure

The scene...a beautiful, sunny yet windy, spring day.  The grass is green and tall.

The scene…a beautiful, sunny yet windy, spring day. The grass is green and tall.

The forest brings many surprises, not the least of which are the various, unexpected, wildlife encounters. Sometimes you’re just standing there… movement hits your sight sensors…you look in that direction…and you catch a glimpse of a hawk taking off with its prey, two foxes playing in the snow, the annual, brief, return of the elk, a coyote traversing across the landscape…or a wild turkey being flushed out of the brush by your dog. The latter of these events happened this week, and what has ensued has been another grand adventure.

Picture this, a calm, partly sunny day. There is a steady wind culminating over the mountains behind us, funneling through the openness of the pastureland on this side of the creek. Suddenly, without warning, there is the sound of water, splashing water. Your mind quickly translates that sound to be the unmistakeable pattern of a dog…a very large dog moving at a fast pace through the shallows of a waning seasonal creek. You look in that direction just in time to see a very large winged bird taking flight.

It is hard at first to process the awkward style of the beautiful brown coloring of the bird’s underside. It just doesn’t compute…it’s not a hawk, it’s not the Great Blue Heron, it’s not a duck. And then it dawns on you…this distinctive fly-only-if-I-have-to style is that of a wild turkey.

The dog pursues, chasing this uncomfortable flyer down the hill. I call to her, but it is too late…she is fully engaged! Feeling confident that Penni…the dog…our Great Dane dog…

www.servicedogproject.org No...that's Hugo...a future service dog!!

http://www.servicedogproject.org No…that’s Hugo…a future service dog!!

…noooo…not that one…

2 year old, beautiful, fawn, Penni

Our 2 year old, beautiful, fawn, Penni

…will not come back with a turkey in her mouth, I go about my chores.

After a bit, Penni comes running back…not to me…completely still engaged, runs down the other side of the hill, back to the scene of the great flushing. As I’m watching her, she starts a very familiar game…she pounces! When Penni finds something of interest that she wants to “play” with, she will first pounce at it (sometimes on it) with her front paws a few times…

…..then she picks up whatever it is and runs with it…when I saw her pounce, my first thought was what did she find…immediately my second thought was…baby turkeys (poults! ) OH NOOOO!

Before I could get my thoughts from my head to my mouth and out to Penni, she had picked something up and was jumping around with it in her mouth. Running (of which I look as awkward doing as the turkey looks when it flies) I yelled for her to drop it. She did…then picked it up again…”Drop it!” was what she heard as I approached. She did, then looked at me and back at the little turkey in a very excited manner as if to say, “Look Ma…look what I found!” I picked it up, it seemed fine…soaking wet, but fine. Penni immediately went on the hunt. She found another, and another, and another…they were quite dispersed. I gathered up these little babies, and out of the corner of my eye…I saw mama turkey carefully approaching……

To Be Continued (please come back tomorrow to find out what happened next in this great saga on Haveadane Hill……….

What a gorgeous sky!!

What a gorgeous sky!!


Free Ranging Littles

Remember these beauties??!!

Chardonnay (Mama Hen), Kermit, Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf!!

Chardonnay (Mama Hen), Kermit, Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf!!

Here they are now!

Free Ranging and feeling great!!

Free Ranging and feeling great!!

The Littles (AKA the Muppets) are two months old today!! Honestly, I did not plan the writing of this post with the date…and I’m pretty sure we’re not celebrating with Twinkies…pretty sure!! 😉

So, as they’ve entered their awkward stage….

Definitely the awkward stage!

Definitely the awkward stage!

Sporting a wind-blown do!

Sporting a wind-blown do!

…..they have also found freedom to traverse around the farm as they see fit. The Littles are very integrated within the older flock and move around and within freely, although, they are the Littles…the newbies on the block…if an older hen wants to stand where they are, or eat what they have found, they do get “run out of dodge” for that moment. The word “hen” doesn’t really reflect the true nature of a female chicken’s attitude sometimes…they can be pretty…uhhmmm…what’s that “B” word??? Yeah…that one!

This Little flock within the flock are a pretty close knit group…..

They love to huddle together.

They love to huddle together.

Now that's a nice pile of Littles!!

Now that’s a nice pile of Littles!!

….and they love piling up next to each other to soak in the warmth of the sun. The older groups do this also…but usually in groups of 3 maybe 4 max.

These Littles…they’re fun…they’re adventurous…and they are very curious…

Penni and a Muppet (not sure which one) ...

Penni and a Muppet (not sure which one) …

…”Hey you, big dog…that’s my bug, go find your own!!”

The good news with this bunch…I have yet to completely identify a rooster (No, I’m not looking under their feathers!!) I have one that I suspect, possibly another, but none are standing out like in the other broods we’ve raised. A couple of the Littles have a bit of a larger comb, but I have had that with hens as well as roos. There is not the usual amount dominance posturing going on…a little, but young hens do that too. I’m just not seeing the difference in tail feathers…they’re mostly appearing like hens. Wouldn’t that be AWESOME!!!

Hoping you will have a wonderful day today! Thanks for taking this hike through the forest!

Change is in the Wind

These wild Lilies are growing everywhere in the shady/partial sunny places right now.

These wild Lilies are growing everywhere in the shady/partial sunny places right now.

My thoughts have been so distracted as of late. Really!! Can’t the world just step aside and stop threatening to take time from us? Time from the needs of our farm, from being physically present to care for our family, from being able to take the time to grow and prepare our own food, from the ability to write a simple blog post. I’m sure most of us feel this way … this past week has been especially hard for me due to changes at work which will directly affect my position, and my availability for those things I just mentioned. My husband has felt it all along, but he is driven to be a great provider. He, with God’s great blessings, have made this whole farming thing possible…I do not say, “Thank you,” to Tony enough…not nearly enough.

The outdoor brooder...now a roost...maybe we need more chickiepoohs! ;)

The outdoor brooder…now a roost…maybe we need more chickiepoohs! 😉

So life on this farm will be changing, soon. I’m going to have to figure out how to flip-flop some things, how to get ahead of the game on others, and how to get everything done in a timely fashion so that we are not eating dinner at 10:00 p.m. rather than 9:00 …. 7:00 p.m. which was my goal, definitely seems a bit out of the running, but we’ll see. Right now, through summer, the impact will seem less as the sun is up until about 9:00 p.m…it will be the dark, earlier evening hour seasons that will become much more difficult. Maybe this is the incentive I need to kick up my understanding and knowledge of an income producing small farm, and work towards that goal. I think that is a goal worth striving towards!

In the meantime, I must remember that change does not inherently equal a worsening of conditions…it may even result in a more enjoyable life experience (in this case, at work.) And, since I believe that Jesus Christ is the author of my story…the Pilot of whom I seek to follow…the Protector of my home and family…and the Great Counselor from whom I gain wisdom and guidance…my family, myself, and our farm are in great hands!!! Nothing shall befall me that He doesn’t already know, and that He can’t handle!!

Please enjoy this rainy, spring day of Oregon…..

Hoping you all have a wonderful day!

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Our French Oasis


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From blank block to new home in Mandurah, Western Australia.

Chantel Mickaela


A Bright Ray of Hope

I'm a temporarily staying-at-home mom of two living in Oregon, learning all over again (after 15 years of city life) how to garden, harvest, and put up food. You might see posts about baking, parenting, crafting, organization - anything that strikes my fancy!

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