Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wild Kitty Update

Momma kitty moved her brood away from the hay shed, and I didn't see her for a couple weeks. Then I spotted her a couple times. I continued to put food in places I've seen her frequent in the past, and the food disappeared.

Today I was walking up the back porch of my second house, and heard a rustle. Momma cat was staring me down.

She followed me, hissing and growling, making sure I knew I wasn't to interfere with her family. She is definitely a brave little thing.

I managed to catch one of the kittens making a beeline to safety - off the deck to the depth of the den. I've seen two kittens here. I don't know how many she has, and probably won't get a chance to count.

The interesting thing about this location is it is guarded by Charlie, my Great Pyrenees Elder. He has retired to the yard surrounding this house, where he is first in line to scare away predators. This cat moved her kittens into a fenced area with a 120 lb dog in residence. How did she know he would protect and not attack? I was wondering why he had started eating so much.

Friday, July 13, 2012


While I was clearing trees and berry vines from the road (a continual project) I noticed that the thimble berries are ripe. I ate a handful before deciding I needed to pick them for the birds. Nature is so wonderful - the salmon berries are ebbing just as the thimble berries ripen. I was able to get a nice supply of both. The native ground blackberries are also beginning to ripen. These little beauties fill the mouth with surprisingly intense sweet lushness.

I kept hearing booming noises, and finally realized it was a thunder storm to the north. That explained the humidity. As the clouds moved in a nice breeze came with them, and it was very pleasant along the lane. I was overwhelmed with a sense of abundance.

The growth along the road is varied and lush. I cut out the things I don't want (blackberries, alder and maple trees) and trim back things I want but that are overzealous in their growth (native berries, shrubs). I save some of the saplings for perches, and some of the maple for sheep browsing.

I love this task. I feel so much a part of nature, and a part of this farm as I do it. I look at all the plants closely, deciding what needs to go and what can be encouraged to stay. It is quiet, solitary work, and my mind can relax while my body works.

The mosquitos are no doubt feeling the abundance as well, as they seem to have feasted well on human blood.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peacock Pride

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Friends?

A young raven was avidly pulling at something on the top of a tall stump. Pheroah, the Arab stallion grazing nearby, noticed this and came to investigate. He put his nose right up to the raven, who stopped pulling and turned towards the horse. It looked like they touched nose to beak. They held that pose for a moment, then both returned to their important work. Perhaps they introduced themselves and had a quick chat.

Monday, July 02, 2012

A Meandering Tale

Keeping my 1/4 mile lane free of trees, berries, and other flora is a continual process. Today I gathered my gloves, loppers and saw, and started cutting down the alder trees that miraculously appear on the side of the road.

I've cleared to the first curve when I notice a stand of ripe salmon berries. The parrots would love these. I find a container and start picking. As I clear the first bush I notice more at the edge of the woods, and follow them along. I've removed my right glove to improve my picking skills.

As I go deeper into the woods, I'm drawn to the many paths created by chickens, dogs, and other feathered and four-legged beings. I dig out my camera and take some pictures.

I love these paths. They are enticing, and I often start down them without considering that they are made by short creatures. They are well cleared up to a couple feet, and then all bets are off.

I resist going back to the strange woodland highway, a wide cleared area popular with the chickens, that always makes me ponder it's creation - it's a rectangular clearing in a densely wooded area with lots of undergrowth. After all, I'm clearing the lane, not exploring the woods.

I get back to where I started picking berries, and realize I've lost my right glove. I go back to the berry bushes, follow my tracks, eyes down, searching for my glove. I don't find it. I go back to the starting point, and try again. No luck. The woods have made my glove their own.

I continue down the road, cutting down the small alders, the intrusive Himalayan blackberries, and the thistles. I miss my right glove.

I've been at this some time, and haven't gone very far. I do have a nice supply of berries. And I'm beginning to understand why I never seem to complete any one task.

Oh, look, around the bend, more ripe salmon berries...

Sheltering From The Rain

Sunday, July 01, 2012


July. Summer, in most of the northern hemisphere. While the rest of the USA bakes, Western Washington and Oregon continue to have cool temps and overcast skies.

The good news is that all the idiots setting off fireworks all week (into the wee hours of the mornings) are unlikely to set unintentional fires.