My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ma, Something Doesn't Smell Right
Sunday evening when I fed the critters and shut the birds in the coop for the night it smelled a little like skunk in the barn. Every summer we have a skunk cruise through the place. We usually smell them in the night pass by. Overall we haven't had any problems with them staying.

Monday the Mrs. took care of the animals so I didn't know anything was amiss. Tuesday morning at work I received an email that said there was a skunk in the barn, for sure. So I responded back to root it out and kill it. I didn't find out until much later that the lads had thumped it a few times with their Red Rider BB guns. Much to the dislike of the odor maker.

So Tuesday evening eldest lad and I got a .22 rifle and a flash light to go deal with the skunk. We found the skunk and it was tangled up in an old fishing net that we had used for catching chickens and wild cats. It was in a small space between the hay stack and the feed bins. While we were observing M. Le Pew it worked itself around until its backside was in our direction and ready for smelly action. We departed quickly!

We had to round up the camera and get a picture for the blog. As you can see the skunk was a bit camera shy. After a couple pix eldest lad exited. Dad had to take care of it...

Now shooting a skunk and not making it dead instantly could be a smelly situation. I took the cautious man's route with a point blank to the head lead injection. I gingerly made sure it had expired before I hauled it and the net out of the barn. I carefully untangled it and disposed of it. The air in the barn was heavy with the odor. I never got sprayed but just being in there had made my clothes skunky. My minor contact with two fingers at arms length had my hands stinking. I washed with soap, I washed with rubbing alcohol and I still had the faint essence of skunk the next day on my hands.

That is some serious stank! It was a young fellow by the size of it. I can't image what it would be like to have one several years old with lots of ammo. As usual there is never a dull moment around the farm. DMP

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You Know It's Hot When the Chickens are Panting

I don't have any great blog stories but a few little tid bits that are amusingly insteresting. Hot weather showed up in Oregon for 4 days. Around the farm making sure all the critters have water all the time is a bit of a chore. One after noon while filling up the various height water recepticles I looked over and there was a chicken with its beak open pretty wide panting. So alas there is your title.

Harvey the pig and the pair of geese are buddies now. They hang out together and mainly the geese follow Harv around. A couple times we have see come pretty funny interactions. I can never get a picture due to the geese being imprinted on people and running over to you when you go outside with the camera. One time the hen was pecking at Harvey's tail like it was a worm or something. Another time they were pulling the hair on his back. He didn't appreciate the hair pulling.

The geese now have an bizzar behavior. When I go out at dark to put them in the coop at night they will often run up the pasture honking and flapping their wings. It is goofy as heck! The wierd thing is they do want to go in at night and chow on the chicken feed.

We made an electric fence enclosure for the alpacas so they could have more grazing. After 2-3 weeks they had it cleaned up. Youngest lad and I expanded their fence saturday morning before it was too hot. We pull the wire out of one end of the old area so they could use the new area. Oh no. They wouldn't go into the new area. After a couple days we had to entice them into the new area with grain. After the revelation they were back in business grazing. Funny creatures.

The black berry picker has surpassed the 20 gallon mark. With the hot weather the cans and bottles business has been very productive. The people are really nice when Big C explains what he is doing. DMP

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Blues
I haven't blogged a awhile due to a lack of creativity and exciting happenings. We have learned that alpacas eat a lot more than goats. We made a electric fence enclosure in the lower pasture area. The fences are bad down there so that is why the electric fence.

The track loader radiator is bad so I bartered with the neighbor. He did the tractor work I needed on the driveway and I am taking down the tallest tree on his property. Of course it is a cotton wood. I would like to get started but the weather has turned out to be hot. Like the hottest of the summer.

Oldest lad is earning money for a trip to Europe next June with the Middle School. They will be learning about the renaissance. They will travel to London, Paris and Rome. He is working for a farmer on Saturdays and picking blackberries. I advertised for him at my work place and he got orders for about 20 gallons of berries.

As indicated in my previous post my job is not very rewarding. I am looking at my options. With the economy on a weird streak I will play it very cautious.

I've been having fun with the critters by sitting down in the pasture and feeding them little biscuit crackers. I'm trying to get Harvey to be a little a little more personable. Keeping the goats out of the way with food is a constant pushing match. DMP

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