The Day Full of the Hum of Bumblebees—-Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer….one thing about hot summer days and warm summer evenings is:

BABIES

Lots of babies…the Barn Swallow nests on our house there are about 8 nests all full of various stages of ‘kids’

I still have not seen any little baby hummingbirds…although, I keep looking and watching.  I would have thought there would have been something by now.

But…not yet.

I will keep watch.  Surely I will get to see something soon!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

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Mid-Summer Days—Monday, June 29, 2015

Morning StartTo some working on the land is lonely. Only you and the sky and the earth.  But to me (and to Terry) it isn’t lonely.

CornThere are plants who need our care and plants

Nodding-Thistlewe despair of (the nodding thistle, lovely but a huge nuisance).

Light floods the air and heat shimmers up off the land.  Just to glace upon the brilliance is to think there is nothing but silence there.  But it isn’t true…the song birds fill the air with music and bugs (the good bugs and the not-so-good bugs).

SHIThe new momma deer and her brand new little fawn scamper close to us, not afraid.  They are many generations of deer, who have lived here safe.  We feed them so they stay out of the crops.  They do their part and eat at the pastures.

PAthThe thought always runs in the back of the mind…’my this is pretty.  I feel so tremendously blessed’…all the while acknowledging the inadequacy of the word blessed.

Your friend on a western Colorado Farm

Linda

 

A Bluebird Day February 11, 2014

Yesterday was a very wet day.  The clouds sat heavily upon the land, breaking forth in huge copious drops of rain that fell and fell and fell.  Gradually all the snow turned to slush and then to mud.  Since the ground is still frozen the water stayed on top…filling in where the snow used to be.  Huge squishy puddles that would be fun to walk through if it were August instead of February.

All day the rain drops fell, plinking and plonking on the roofs of the house, the barn, and Terry’s work shops.  Sheets of water pouring off the sides of the roofs melting any snow that had accumulated there over the winter.

Rain always makes one feel like it is warm outside; not this rain, this was winter’s rain.  A very rare experience for us.

Then sometime in the late morning or early afternoon the rain stopped and a chill wind fresh from the snow on the Uncompahgre (Un-come-pah-gray—accent on the pah) shoved and pushed the remaining heavy clouds from us and swept them on toward Paonia. A blue sky appeared giving all of us, Terry, myself, the dogs and cats a huge desire to be outside.

Gathering the dogs up and loading them into the back of the pick-up we took off for a short ride…just to get out of the house.  Up we went toward Pea Green, then into the out-reaches of Olathe, down in the valley of Monoken (Mo-no-ken) back to Delta, where I mailed a letter, then home.

Refreshed! Open to the thoughts of spring.

fThis morning a huge cloud had drifted down over-night from the Plateau covering our Mesa (California Mesa), blocking the bright and joyful sun rays for our view.

sThe little buff hen is gradually doing better.  Every evening she comes in to sleep in her laundry basket nest, cooing and talking to us as we walk by going here and there.  As the night closes in and I’m done washing the dishes I cover her little basket with towels shutting out the light and helping her stay warm.

When morning comes I take her back out to the hen house.  She needs to stretch and fluff and eat and poop at will…in the house is not a good place for all of that.

But today, she took her little fluffy self out into the plastic covered chicken run and started digging and scratching.  A first!  I was delighted to see her busy searching for interesting things to eat.  The soil is dry in there so she will be able to dust herself–a beauty bath is always refreshing.

While watching her two little bluebirds flew right by me and sat down on the wood pile.  I was extremely grateful the dogs had stayed in the house.  They stayed a short while (of course I didn’t have my camera with me) then lifted up their little wings, turning their blue backs to me and flew off toward the fence along the lane.

Spring is coming!  I always know, once I see the bluebirds.  Sometimes there are only a few hardy souls braving the cold, then we will see more and more.  I hope I have my camera the next time I see them…to capture a bluebird’s photo is one of my photographing goals.

dFor now we live under a cloud, but not such a bad cloud, as we can see the sun surrounding us.

And the bluebirds are returning. How grand is that?

Linda

 

 

The Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer on Friday — Thirteen Years and Counting

This is my BIRTHDAY month!

Birthday

Mom says I have a whole month for a birthday!  That is because she doesn’t really know when I was born!  I was a lost dog when Mom and Misty found me.

I was also five years old when Mom and Misty found me.

You see I was ‘dumped off’ in the country by my other people.  Since I am part Border collie and part Sheltie (that is what my vet says) I sat by the side of the road where they dumped me for days and days and days.  Anytime Mom or Misty would try to get me I would run off…I was waiting for my people to come back, you see.

I waited until I went from 40 pounds to 25 pounds.  I was sooooooooooo hungry I almost couldn’t run anymore.  But I waited!

Then Misty came out with ROAST BEEF!  That was it…I was Mom’s for life.  Mom took me home and gave me lots of love and took me to the vet and well…here we are eight years later!

Beautiful-Fuzzy

Since Mom brought me home in June that is when my birthday is…I get a whole month…because neither she nor I could figure out a good day.

Fuzzy

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!!!

Dad had a meeting so Mom, Boomer and I did the water without Dad.  We had lots to do.

Dead-Skunk

A skunk got in one of the gated pipes so we had to get it out and then bury it.

WAY COOL!

Boomer and I wanted to sniff it up really well, but Mom didn’t let us….  “Leave the dead alone you guys!” she said.

Beans-are-up

We had to walk up to the middle of the pinto bean field and check on a pipe there…it was horribly HOT!

What's-out-there

Then we rode the four-wheeler up to the hay field to see how the alfalfa was in the hay making process.  Boomer jumped off because he smelled a cool smell and had to run home.

With-the-dogs

Then we sat outside and had a couple of really yummy Dog Treats and a milk bone for my Birthday while Mom watched the hummingbirds. And I got lots and lots and lots of pets.  Boomer got some too, but it was my special day so Boomer had to let me have the most!

Night-food

Then around 10 o’clock that night we all went back out and changed the water in the front corn field.

It sure was a nice day!

A perfect Birthday just for me!

Fuzzy

 

Monday, June 3, 2013

We had great fun with Linkin.  A day with just one of the grandchildren…their day..is always nice.  She is still here and will go with me later on this morning to ‘pet the kitties’ at the shelter while I walk the dogs.  A child has to be fourteen to walk dogs, but the shelter manager lets Linki pet all the kitties and play with them in the big walk-in cage.  This works out for everyone, me, Linkin (who adores cats), the dogs and the kitties.

It’s nicely warm here 88* yesterday with some clouds drifting by and a little breeze or so.

Terry has decided today he will cut the alfalfa…the long-range forecast is for hot, drying weather for a least a week.  Good!  At the end of the week, the alfalfa will be dry as toast and morph into hay.  Then we pray for dew in the morning so he can go out and bale the hay.  After he gets it baled he will haul it in and the dogs and I will work on the hauling in of the ends of the fields.

Bumble-b33-3

My favorite little bugs are very active right now…I just adore these fat, furry buzzy bees!

Bumblebee-1

She was very intent on her work so didn’t mind that I was shooting away with my camera.

Bumble-bee-4

She also posed several times, I just sure she loved having a photo shot going on while she was so very busy!

Linda

The Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer on Friday — A Little Bit

This is about a little bit

Pink-Clouds

A Little bit of THIS

A Little bit of THAT

Wing

Tee Hee!

We have a new bird on the farm.  There isn’t much to say about him except he is really loud…talks all the time and does this drumming thing.  He is Dad’s turkey…he hangs out wherever Dad is…in the shop, in the other shop…out by the grain bins.  Fuzzy and I don’t care ‘cause WE HANG WITH MOM!

Shannon just came over and took Tom back…she has to take her turkey back as she really misses him.  Well, that works … Tom told us he really misses home!

Hi-Houston

The dog cousins come over for a walk every day.  We LOVE IT!

Last-one-in

Fuzzy’s favorite thing to do is ….

Water's-here-Mom

Hang on now…

Waiting-for-the-water...wha

it’s coming…

WAIT-FOR-ME

THE WATER!!!!

COme-Play-Mom

I try it with him every once in a while,

Paly-with-me-Fuzzy

I guess its sorta fun…

SplashI guess.

We have lots more fun taking care of the yard…

COON

At night

SKUNK

Can you can see why!

Although, I HAVE been sprayed by a skunk and so has Fuzzy  we say far away and just bark at where the skunk is so Mom and Dad have to come out and see what is up.

Cat-and-Plants

We all helped Mom work in the yard…Sam the cat hogged the Catmint, but guess what?  Fuzzy and I DID NOT CARE!

HEE HEE

The cat can have all the catmint he wants! 🙂

Fence

So not much really happening, but Fuzzy and I like it just fine!!

Boomer

 

 

What’s New?

Remember this post?

Well, now he is our bird…what a character he is.

Tommy-The-Turk

Tommy had to come live with us, because he kept getting on the road.  Shannon didn’t want ‘smashed Tom’.

He is the sweetest Tom…loves people, you can pick him and rock him to sleep (huge for a lap, but he does love it) and he will follow you around everywhere… strutting and showing off.

Turk-the-Tom

 

Tom, the Royal Palm Turkey!

Thanks for stopping by,

Linda

 

A Short Primer on Coyotes —Proceed Only if You Want to be Educated, not to Attack Me

Since we had a really bad problem with coyotes a year or so ago, we talked to a Government Trapper (yes, there really is such a person).  Remember the information below is FROM THE GOVERNMENT TRAPPER, I am NOT an Expert!!!

Please do NOT send me horrible emails telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about…I only have my experience and what the expert has told us.

A couple of times Terry was actually stalked by a coyote—probably defending the den, while he was changing water late in the evening……and once the dogs and I were stalked.

We have had coyotes come into the yard….sending in Missey Coyote to lure the dogs out so they can …well…have killing sport with the dogs.

We have had to train the grandchildren not to run around on back of the farm in the late evening…ever!

I never leave dog food or cat food outside, nor do we throw scraps out for the hens, all scraps are in a pan in the hen house.

The dogs do like to sleep outside in the summer and we let them.  We also are very diligent to check on everything and everyone the minute we hear anything out of the ordinary.

The other thing we have here are very stupid people who dump their dogs off, thinking they will find a home on the farm.  Usually what happens is they gather together and form dog packs.  Dog packs are just as bad or maybe worse than coyotes as they love to kill for fun and sport and are NOT in any way afraid of humans since they once lived with humans.

Sometimes the dogs mate with coyotes…then what happens the result is called a cy-dog.  Not a good mix.

We also learned some of the language of the coyotes:

Howling – communication with other coyotes in the area. Also, an announcement that “I am here and this is my area.”

Yelping – a celebration or criticism within a small group of coyotes. Often heard during play among pups or young animals.

Bark – The scientific name for coyotes means “barking dog,” Canis latrans. The bark is thought to be a threat display when a coyote is protecting a den or a kill.

Huffing – is usually used for calling pups without making a great deal of noise.

One way to tell if an attack was by a dog or a coyote is to look at the size of their tracks and the spacing of canine tooth punctures.  Dogs aren’t known for killing sheep or calves for food and dogs are random in how and where they attack.  Coyote tracks have more of an oval shape and seem more compact that a domestic or wild dog tracks.

Tracks

Damage Problems–In the western United States, coyotes are the main predator of domestic sheep, causing significant losses in select areas. They can also prey upon goats, calves, hogs, poultry and watermelons. Coyotes will also kill domestic dogs and house cats. They most often kill larger prey by biting the throat, causing death by suffocation. Coyotes frequently adjust their grip on the prey’s neck, leaving multiple bite marks.

Coyotes may attack fleeing animals from the rear, biting the legs or tail to slow them down. Coyotes typically begin feeding behind the ribs, often eating the stomach of nursing animals. The nose and hindquarters are typically eaten on calves. Coyotes have been known to attack cows in labor, feeding on both the emerging calf and mother.

We have other known predators here…if you ever walk in Confluence Park you will see that we have Mountain lions that move through the area, signs are everywhere informing you of what to do and how to protect yourself if you cross paths with one.  We have fox…lots of fox, but they don’t harm cattle.  Randomly a bear will wander in, but that is random.

Some of you live in places that have other predators, animals we have never had here or if we did are now gone–like the wolf.

I’m sure you are tired of this subject so this is my last post on on predators for a while.  I hope you have found it educational, which is what is intended to be.

Once more, thanks ever so much for stopping by.

Linda

 

 

Cows and Coyotes—What I Know—and It Might Not Be Enough

Coyotes and Cows….  here is what I know —  and I am very…. I STRESS VERY ... reluctant to post this as I’m sure that I will get hate mail, since I have had it happen before.  (Years ago when I first started blogging).

Cows are domesticated animals…they are people animals.  Many people think that cows are stupid and dumb.  I’ve had people tell me that cows are the stupidest animal on earth.  This usually is said by people who have only seen a cow in a pasture or read about a cow somewhere, some place, at some time.

Cows are not stupid, nor are they dumb.

They are herding animals, therefore they think like a herd…band together, gather together, play together and protect each other.  Cattle are very similar to Buffalo Bison.  I have never heard anyone say a Buffalo is stupid and dumb, but they will say cattle are.

Beats me why.

Anyway…cows will band together if there is a perceived danger to each other or their calves…they group together in a huge group with the calves in the middle.  When we had that horrible fire last spring all the cows gathered together and pushed the babies into the middle and walked to the furthest point away from the fire and stayed there until THE FIRE WAS PUT OUT.

Doesn’t seem very dumb to me.

The-nursery

As the babies are born the new moms collect and stay in a group chatting and discussing all the new cute baby things that the calves do.  As the babies mature, one or two cows will stay with the calves (the babysitter cows) while the others graze, they then take turns with  watching the youngsters.

More-Nursery

Danger from coyotes come when a cow is in labor and/or as the calve emerges and/or if a young mother has a new calf and tells it to stay in a unprotected area while she wanders off.  Just like some women, these cows are very poor mothers putting their own needs first before the needs of the calf.

Just like women, cows do not LIKE to go into labor and have their baby with a bunch of prying eyes. The majority of the time a cow will have her calf as the edge of the herd, but there are always some that want to go to a hidden spot for a little more privacy.

When the calves are first born the mothers will lick the mucus off of the calf’s body until it is clean. This encourages the calf to attempt to stand and go find the udder. From that day forth they (the cows) watch out for the calves, let them suckle every 2 to 3 hours, babysit them, and teach them where to go, what to eat, and that the person looking after them is someone to be respected, and what a predator is.

Cows also communicate with their calves (and each other and sometimes to us humans) whenever they get separated by certain moos and loud calls.  This voice recognition is established at birth.

Cows protect their calves by using their heads, feet and chests to crush and stomp on a predator that threatens their calves or them.  They are HUGE animals weighting many, many pounds…they will even take on a human, if they perceive the human might be a threat to them or their calf or the herd.

Now just what I know for sure, …… what we have had happen to us/our ranching friends and other farmers in our area …. AND NO —- FEEDING THE COYOTES WILL NOT STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING!!! — Coyotes are known to attack cows in labor, feeding on both the emerging calf and possibly the mother.  IF the cow is not close enough for the herd to help protect her.

As to the other question of where do the cows stay for protection — we have lots of areas that are sheltered and protected by trees, bushes, and shrubs, areas the cows adore sleeping in.  It was one of the reason’s Terry and I were so upset with the fire…many of those areas were destroyed in the fire.

This year the cows are sleeping around the equipment area…which is another very protected place on our property.

Our storm blew in and blew out rapidly last night, most of the snow was dumped in the mountains which is perfect!

Linda

The Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer on Friday —First Babies

Yesterday was BATH DAY!!!!

Bath

Mom said that we had to go because Fuzzy needed to get his fur cleaned up from the surgery.

Boome-bath

So we went…

It wasn’t bad.  Fuzzy and I actually enjoyed it!

Then when we got home Mom, Fuzzy and I went for a walk.

We saw lots of birds again-

Birds-1

Ring necked doves,

WHAT

Our chickens,

Singing-birds

A tree full of blackbirds

Hawk-1

A hawk,

Cat-walk

Sammy the cat

Cat-walk-1

went with us…

Help-cow

First me, then Mom,

We-all-go

then Fuzzy and then Sam.

Yummm

It was great!

Where-are-the-cows

But, I must admit I stayed really close to Mom,

because…

You see…

Hum……….

New-baby-1

THERE WERE BABIES OUT THERE!!!

New-calf-2

We saw two babies!  Now every day there will be more and more!

Pretty Cool, isn’t it!?

Boom-bath

Boomer