Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Posts tagged ‘Summer’

Hot Weather and Predators

Summer, the real heat of summer arrived in the Pacific Northwest this week.    Temps in the high 90’s and low 100’s permeated the State of Oregon bringing with it skies……..

August 2016

Our Oregon sky!!

…..as blue as any sky you’ve every imagined.  Thankfully, this summer, there has not been any large fires proximally close enough to cause smokey air, or dingy skies.  The air has been clean, warm….well, hot….and easy breathe.  It feels good, actually, as the humidity that can sometimes accompany the heat, is really nonexistent this time of year.  Well, let me clarify that….sitting, sitting in the heat feels good….working out in it beats you down pretty quickly.  This really has been a lovely summer.

August 2016

Okay….don’t laugh at my scrawny watermelon…..hahahaha!!

Something else arrived on the homestead this week…..something less desirable, something lying in wait, opportunistic in nature, watchful and observant….waiting for a chance.  I let my guard down, and it turned it’s instinct into an opportunity…and, without hesitation, ran with it.  The chicken house was the intended target…..cunningly, or more like a rushing train, “It”, the predator, took advantage of my unwarranted trustfulness in what I had not yet experienced…a predator had broken into the chicken house.

June 2016

See the screen….these guys ripped that screen one day when they roagly entered the, Chickens Only, yard. We keep the chicken feed in this area…the goats L-O-V-E chicken feed!! See the empty feeder on the ground…UGGHH!!

Due to the heat, I had opened that little window, from the picture above, on the chicken house to create a little air flow through the night.  One larger window we leave open in the summer, but it is covered by mesh wire (not a window screen.)  This window had a screen, however,  it had been torn away…..so no screen, no wire mesh.  I had placed a fan in the window and held it in place by wooden dowels, thinking the sound of the fan and the supporting dowel structure would keep predators at bay.  It had worked for numerous nights, but not that night.

March 2016

I heard commotion from the flock, it was about 2:30 a.m.  It woke me up.  The flock was upset.  Sometimes, Benedict, our rooster will call out in the middle of the night….that is not an unusual sound.  The cackling that was going on that night, was not that sound.  Half asleep, I got up, and listened….Penni, my Great Dane, barked just a single bark…..I was in the process of thinking, “Should I go out there?” …. I did not instinctually run out in my jammies and bare feet ….. I listened, and the sound rescinded.  I listened a while longer, and all was quiet.

I had already cleaned up here a bit before snapping this shot.

I had already cleaned up here a bit before snapping this shot. Notice the struggle in the sand. 😦

Morning chores revealed the struggle my birds went through that night.  The first clue was noticing that I did not see one hen or rooster, anywhere.  Seeing the open window, no fan, or dowels remained within the open space.  Opening the door of the chicken house….there were feathers…there were many feathers.  In the corner of the droppings tray lay the body of a Rhode Island Red hen.   My heart sank.  I checked her legs…..she did not have a red band so I knew it was not Chardonnay, our #1 broody hen for hatching chicks.  Chardonnay is a sweet, sweet hen.  I was happy to see that.  So, this meant it was either, Don Pedro, or Chablis (I only had three true Rhode Island Reds at that point.)  Her head and neck were gone…the rest of her body untouched, but still I knew….this was Don Pedro.

Don Pedro....hen in the foremost of the picture.

Don Pedro….hen in the foremost of the picture.

Don Pedro was the lead hen of the flock….she ruled, second only to Benedict.  Sometimes she ruled with an iron beak, but one thing is for sure, she was respected among the other hens.  We will miss, Don Pedro!!  She had the largest, floppy comb of the hens, and I could always tell which of the hens were her actual offspring…they were the ones with the larger floppy combs…but none of them as grand has hers.  RIP, Don Pedro.

Foot print in the sand

Foot print in the sand

 

It seems that this was probably the work of a racoon.  There were suttle foot prints among the signs of the struggle within the sand of the droppings tray.  Also, a Google search told me that if just the head and neck are missing, the predator is either a mink, a racoon, a hawk or an owl.  I’m pretty confident I can eliminate all three except the raccoon…I don’t think we have mink up here…I’m not sure….but I’m pretty sure an owl or a hawk would not enter the hen house through a partially blocked small 2 x 2 window.

A claw mark, I think.

A claw mark, I think.

Needless to say that window will remained closed until I put a wire mesh screen over it.  On a good note, when the flock emerged from their hiding place, we found that only the one hen was taken from us that night.  It could have been so much worse.

Don Pedro showing off her personality as a young chick.

Don Pedro showing off her personality as a young chick.

Don Pedro….she was quite a character!!  Hahahaha!!  I’m glad I knew this funny, demanding hen!

Happier news on the homestead…..our Great Dane, Penni, has a confirmed pregnancy!!  Puppies due Sept. 21, 2016.  Check out http://www.haveadanehilldanes.com

Thank you for visiting today!!  Have a wonderful Sunday, and an awesome week!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

#racoonattacksonchickens  #whatanimalwillonlyeattheheadandneckoffachickenandleavethebody  #predatorsagainstchickens

 

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…

YUCK!!

YUCK!!

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,
Tami

A Study in Purple

Do you like the color purple?? According to http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/personality-color-purple.html , “Having either purple or violet as your favorite color means you are sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself – you are the person others come to for help – being needed motivates you but sometimes people take advantage of you.

Purple Aug. 2014

You are a gentle and free spirit. Your feelings run deep and you can be quite sensitive to hurtful comments from others, although you would never show it…you have a peaceful and tranquil quality…You are usually introverted rather than extroverted and may give the impression of being shy although this is not the case.”

We’ve had a lot of purple on the farm lately, mostly propagated by those things that I spend hours mowing down. They are spiky, intrusive, and relentless in their pursuit to dwell on this land. However, there is beauty, if just for a moment….

Purple Aug. 2014

Purple Aug. 2014

The purple dot in the middle of this abundant weed tells me this is probably the versatile Queens Ann’s Lace….

See the purple dot?

See the purple dot?

…as opposed to this, very similar looking weed, which is highly toxic (hemlock??) The lack of that purple dot is a HUGE red flag!!

Poison Hemlock?? No purple dot!!

Poison Hemlock?? No purple dot!!

This purple bed (and the two furry babies next to it) are missing the furry guy who used to lay upon it. (See https://haveadanehill.com/2014/07/29/morning-has-broken/ )

RIP Tucker...we miss you.

RIP Tucker…we miss you.

The purple flowers of wild blackberry bushes…

Purple Aug. 2014

…bring a bowl full of deliciousness!!

First wild blackberry harvest of 2014

First wild blackberry harvest of 2014

The beautiful sunset on a night full of thunder and lightning. Gorgeous!

A beautiful sunset!

A beautiful sunset!

Purple is a beautiful color…don’t you think?!!! Do you see purple in your area of the world?

Thanks for sharing my morning…I hope yours is fantastic!! Tami

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.
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I can see the future…salsa, salads, tomato sauce…….
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The deep blue of a beautiful Oregon sky.
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A basketful full of a friend’s Beagle puppies.
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At the cusp of spring into summer, the first & last of the cauliflower.
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A visit from our neighbor’s peacock.
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OMGosh…how gorgeous is this??!!
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My Penni girl basking in the warm sunshine.
IMG_6201 June 2014

“Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight…..”
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Strawberries on the vine.
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A cute little visitor…I moved her to bushy young oak growing from a stump.
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Dark blue of the night-time sky.
July 2014

C-A-N-T-E-L-O-U-P-E!!!!!
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The last of the broccoli; the first onion and sweet pea harvest.
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Baked beans from scratch for the 4th of July barbecue!
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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!

Tami

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