WHAT WAS YOUR LAST SURPRISE?

I went out, as normal, last Wednesday morning to do the morning chores thingy. A few of the idiot guineas did not want to go in from the night before, so they were left out (can you say coyote bait?). Well, they were squawking up a storm, which usually means an uninvited visitor. Most times it is a fox or coyote and by the time I hear the ruckus someone is already a meal-deal.

Low and behold this is what I saw:

wild turkey 3

Sorry, it is a bit blurry, he was about 50 yards from the front pen and would not stop moving.

Then Thursday morning I found this (about 20 feet away from me):

wild turkey 1

Here’s another view in the same spot:

wild turkey 2

Check out the colors – amazing! He was now right up in our pens. I let our “boys” out (it’s only one extra rooster – Buddy, and one red turkey- Whiskey) and the boys decided to have a flirt-off.   All they did was follow each other around for about 3 hours, fanning and un-fanning their tail feathers – funny to watch though!

Our turkey,

Whiskey 4-20-16

Is of course much bigger, fatter and goofier than his wild cousin. Whiskey will follow me all over the yards and gardens when I am working outside. The Wild Thing proved that they are just as dense as domestics. We live right by an on-ramp to the highway. Wild Thing likes to walk our lane down to the field, except one morning he wanted a detour.

The stupid bird followed ON the road along the on-ramp fence line – eeek! My sister and I stood and watched for about 30 minutes. Every single vehicle didn’t matter the size, which came up on him he would fluff and strut right out in front of it!? The vehicles would slow down, come to a full stop, then slowly make their way around him. It was hysterical to watch. Then again, we also know the secret to him and his car heists…simply step out of the car (yes, I am still laughing out loud on this) and he runs like a scared chicken! Go figure? A 2 to 5-ton vehicle does not feel like a threat to him (even though it could turn him into Thanksgiving dinner in a heartbeat), but a two-legged human makes him duck-and-cover (yes, I am pun-ing all over the place – and not apologizing for it either, hee hee). He eventually gave up on his Goliaths’ and sauntered back down into the field, eventually back into the woods.

Today is now a week since he first ventured up and he is still doing it. I took my grandson to school today, came back home about 8 am; he met me at the gate to the driveway. I saw him in this field as I left fanning at a plastic bag stuck in the wire fence. I drove around to the fence at which point he came charging after my car. The minute I opened the door he screeched to a halt – watching me. I ventured a glance his way and softly spoke, “Hi Pretty Boy, want to come play with our birds?” He didn’t answer, just watched as I grabbed the bag, went back into my car, and drove back by the chicken coop. I decided to let the boys out again this morning, and as of this moment, he took me up on my offer and is back chasing with our Whiskey again.

I really do love our unexpected visitors – especially when they are wild ones. Oh, and, Arlene; you will be happy to know that we now have three new baby bunnies enjoying the fruits of our labors in our gardens. (They are about 4-5” long and no I do not have the heart to terminate them. As much as I hate them eating our efforts, I have decided to do some better fencing instead. Big Giant Pansie that I am, especially with anything “baby” critter-ish. You all can laugh at me now!)

bb bunny

Happy spring gardening! May you have your own uninvited visitors!

(P.S.  If you are not giggling wildly by now, go back and visit Whiskey’s pic – see that HUGE breast on him?  You should see it wobble when he gets excited and runs!  Then again, most of him wobbles when he runs.)

 

 

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WHEN THE BUTTERFLY COMES.

For Andrew

When the butterfly comes, and tickles my nose.

The bunny sneaks up, and touches my toes.

The wind in my ear whispers “Grandma, I’m here”

Then off you blow up in the tree.

 

When next in dirt we will play, making mud pies all day.

Smelling flowers, pulling weeds, digging holes, planting seeds.

While the bee’s gently hum, “Grandma please won’t you come,

Play more in the gardens with me?”

 

When the sun starts to set, I smile and I bet,

You are still by my side, watching dragonflies glide.

Feeling warmth and such bliss, close my eyes, feel your kiss.

Content now I always will be.

easter andrew 2014

1-28-10 to 4-20-16:

God needed a beautiful, gentle, giving little angel – so he picked you!

You may be gone physically, my sweet grandson; but you will never be gone from my heart!

Love you, miss you- Grandma!

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HOLY HAVEN BATMAN!

Being a small, natural, farmer/gardener – I dig any ideas that call for more greenery. I was doing my normal Monday morning email reading and came across this article: Want to fight crime in the city? Plant a tree by Jenn Savedge. The only thing that I could add is – what took so long to figure this out?

MORE GREENERY = MORE HAPPY CAMPERS – AMAZING!

Earthday 4-22

Our little farm gives us so many great things:

  • Dirt – even with the weeds I love playing in it! The feel, the smell and the way it takes so little to keep it healthy are all brilliant bodily benefits.
  • Greenery – trees, bushes, fruit, veggies, grass, weeds all of it – there is something so peaceful about working a garden or lawn. Nothing like being physical and not knowing it.
  • Smell – especially after a heavy rain (like what we just had – sorry Midwest, we only got the rain here.) everything smells outstanding. The flowers scents are feathering in the gentle breeze; nothing shouts spring finer than that when opening a window!
  • Critters – and lots of them. I’m not talking the pet dog or cat; I’m talking the bees, butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and my favorite – praying mantis, just to name a few.
  • Twitter-painted – hee hee, this one I think is favorite of all. In spring, everything is greening up, and not just the humans are affected by it. I hear the frogs finally popping out down in our pond. The birds (domestic and wild) all chasing each other around vying for the attention of a mate. The insects are all at it also, but there are some out here that prefer to eat their mate after hooking up – eeek!?!

(So sad, the poor male mantis is much smaller and brown in color – and she will take him out!)

I believe that everyone has some level of farmer/gardener in them. My elder sister has a brown thumb, and she announces it regularly as not to receive any plants as gifts (Makes her sad to see them die – lol). She loves to sit on their back patio, it is her “greenery space”, just as long as she does not have to do anything more than sit there and enjoy it. We (3 sisters) all grew up together on our 80-acre farm in Wisconsin, but somehow she missed inheriting the farmer gene (not to be confused with farmer jeans- of which she can handle quite well.)

I also believe that there is something inherently deep inside of all of us that naturally makes us feel calmer and more content when we are in a garden, lying on a lawn, or just sitting under a tree. I took a cell phone quickie just before the storm of my honeysuckle (one of my most fav birthday present years ago).

Honeysuckel 5-15-16

We put up the vinyl fence all around the front yard last year. Didn’t think about it at the time, but several plants became shaded where they were not before, or too much sun reflected and over-heated others. Well, everyone survived, and my beauty is coming back great guns this spring! She (of course she’s a “she” – tough, can tolerate a lot, and looks stunning in full dress – LOL!) is popping out new leaves everywhere and they are so full and healthy looking. I am thrilled! I had little more to do with her beauty than plant her and make sure she was taken care of (food, water, etc.) – and look how much she does for me!

The blooms are outstanding and, since it is right off the east porch, we get that outstanding smell whenever the wind blows in from the east

With Earth Day coming up this week, I can think of no better way to thank Mother Nature then to plant more greenery! Hope you all join me and remember – A Healthy Garden is a Happy Garden!

DSCF5287

 

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TO WHOM DO I OWE THIS ROTTEN “MANEUVER?”

Yes, it is a maneuver (For anyone that has ever watched Eddie Izzard stand-up comedy – this is perfectly stated here)! Someone somewhere has decreed that you must gain weight back quickly after it has cost you great time, pain, and effort to get it off! Jerks!!

I do not normally give a flying monkey butt about what people think about me or the way I look. I have fun!! When I dig in the dirt, I get dirty. When I clean the house, I get dusty. When I build or tear apart something for the farm, I get hot and (yes girls) sweaty. You would think that with all of that going on I would be the size of a twig – Nooot!

It is my birthday today! I now have the following:

  • Right shoulder – complete reverse replacement.
  • Left shoulder – gut/clean-up for bone spurs.
  • Right and left shoulder both – front tendons cut due to arthritis pulling them too far forward. (can lift things to a point, not as much weight and not at a certain angle – unfortunately, coffee pots are at the angle so now it takes two hands for my morning boost – boo hoo!)
  • Both knees – complete replacements.
  • Half my left foot – replaced with a metal plate, pins and joints.
  • All of the above due to osteoarthritis – oh lucky me!

Oops, almost forgot

  • Left index finger – half amputated from a severe infection (never try this one at home kiddies). The only bummers with this one are my typing (used to be over 100 wpm, not no more) and my yarn work (though this part is sometimes fun to watch – pick up the yarn with your left index finger and maneuver it over the needle – ya right?!). Luckily can still dig in the dirt!

All of the stuff bulleted above happened within a 1-year time and began just a couple months after our fire loss of 2014. Oddly enough, I am in a happy, happy, joy, joy mood today – what’s up with that?

peanuts happy dance

Before all of this hit, I had lost over 40 pounds doing physically hard work and my new jobs, which was the biggest thrill of doing them! It took over two years to get it down that much.

Well, I thought I was smart (idiot!), having the left foot done as soon as I was able to tolerate the left knee pain, but was semi-bed ridden for 3+ months for healing time. I was not allowed to put ANY pressure on the foot at all. I tried crutches – oops, not that coordinated (help, I fell and couldn’t get up because I couldn’t stop laughing at myself on the floor), then bought a “knee scooter” – BEST INVENTION EVER!!!

knee scooter

(you can see why he just had to fly around the house on it -p.s. love the basket!)

I got pretty good at the end of my 2nd month at whipping around on that hummer – weeee! My grandson loved it too, except he could actually sit on it and ride it around. Didn’t care until I needed to go to the bathroom, then somehow it was always out-of-reach? (little bugger!)

During this “down time,” I managed to gain back all the weight I worked so hard on getting off. My big question here is – why? I tried hard to watch what I ate, but the body decided it just did not like the idea of me lazin around.

It was a painfully long haul maneuvering (there’s that word again-grr), the metal and plastic parts. One of the first dumbest stunts was opening a door too fast and too far back! Swung that sucker wide and popped my right shoulder right out of socket – now doesn’t that just look pretty??!!! It sticks out like a 2nd head popping out of my shoulder. Can you say OUCH! Oh and here’s the other kicker – it doesn’t just “pop” back in – nooooo – I have to maneuver it around – gently – to get it to slide back in. Hard lesson learned real fast! (my father would be proud – “you dumb shit” – flew out of my mouth instantly, for those of you that don’t know, it was his pet name for me – and yes, I am laughing hysterically writing this!)

shoulder reverse replacement

(hee hee – picture that plate sliding right off that ball toward your chest – “dumb shit!” – LOL)

Yes, Mo (my outstanding Therapist, and he even knows how to guilt me like a dad – lol), I am doing my therapy! However, with two years of neglected gardens screaming at me, I can’t wait for my mess to heal. Throw on my shorts, head sweat band, grab my tools and to the gardens I go! I think I have subconsciously taught myself to watch how much I pick up, how I pick it up and how I maneuver (that wonderful “m” word once again attacks). So me, my metal and plastic parts, my wrinkles, and lightly graying hairs hope you all have such fun birthdays as this! (Oh, and it’s raining with a chance of snow – grr!)

cake silly face

 

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IF IT’S GREEN, IS IT LUCKY FOR THE GARDNER?

I love getting, what I like to call, left-field information! This is the stuff that you would not normally dig up, or even think to dig up. Such is the case of a recent email from my family – – -“ April 20th, 2016 will be a night of the “GREEN MOON”…this appearance only happens about every 420 years and will only last about 90 minutes.

green moon

So, being the OCD researcher that I am, I went digging for more information and found this on the earthsky.org website:

There are several versions this (completely untrue) story, and we’ve gotten many questions about it from within our community, from people wanting to know if it’s true. Here’s the main version: the moon will appear green for the first time in 420 years on April 20, 2016. True? No, not even kinda. Snopes called it:

… entirely humorous in nature.

And it is pretty funny when you think about April 20 (4-20) and 420 years, and realize that 420 is a code word for marijuana (invented, according to Urban Dictionary, by “dozen pot-smoking wiseacres” at San Rafael High School in 1971) and that the date April 20 has special meaning to some as Weed Day.

All of that notwithstanding, many appear to be taking April 20, 2016, green moon literally.

And we repeat … it’s not true.

pot moon

Sad but true – it’s not real – boo hoo hoo! I love watching the moon, especially on a perfect fall evening. The crispness in the air, maybe a distant owl hooting, calm (or no) breeze, the smells of the fading harvest starting to diminish, and that big glowing moon up above. We have a couple of fire pits so, of course, at least one would be crackling. It feels like my younger camping out days, but now with the modern conveniences (mainly indoor toilets – what a relief! – yes, pun intended, sorry.)

I have seen bright white ones, ones that appeared so HUGE that you could almost reach out and touch it. Blood moons (ahh, brings out that little-hidden witch in me – hee hee), Blue moons, and, of course, Circle moons.

Blood Moon   Blue Moon

Circle moons are the type of which my mother would swear a storm was coming soon. She has me watching for it to this day. If you have a big bright moon, bright enough with all the right conditions to bring on what looks like an outer ring around it – that is your circle moon. Now check and see if there are any stars in that space between the moon and its outer circle. Count the number of starts and that is supposed to be the number of days until your storm. See – left field information – gotta love it!

Circle Moon

Silly me forgot to check it last night. According to actual weather people, we are in for a wild one over the next several (yep – several) days. It is supposed to dump two months of wet on us in just a few days. Not real sure how I want to take that. We can always use more moisture here. Since all the spring sprouting is going on, it may be perfect timing. Then again, with the weird winters we have had, (and they hint this may hold snow in it) this could be the totally wrong time of year for a wicked freeze. Not really unusual here, just another year of bad timing on Mother Nature’s part.

So my Fellow Dirt Dwellers, hang around for a few days, and I will share with you what messes we can get into. Hope for at least a few puddles to jump in when it’s all over and the sun comes back?!

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THEY’RE BACK (No, it’s not poltergeist)!

I was checking out the storm Thursday morning, and that’s when I spotted it. Hanging low in our woods, almost aiming for the pond, then back up again. I’m sure it was trying to stay out of the wind gusts, but it moved like it was not affected by them at all.

Turkey Vultures!

vulture at library 4-1-16

Yep, we officially know it is spring when they show back up. They fly over heading north-northeast every spring. Then we get to see them going back in the fall. Have no clue where they are going to or from, but love to see them.

They are not as big as a Condor, but much larger than our area hawks. Guess I am just too much of a bird watching nut, so I naturally get excited when I see them. They are such smooth operators, even in our gust storms!

The first one I spotted was Thursday (3/31/16). It was all by itself which is very odd. Normally we see them like this:

vultures are back 3 31 16This group I spotted at our local small town library about an hour ago. They were dipping in between the trees there – odd? I have seen them in groups of about 5 to around 10, and I know they do not fly straight. They do this huge loop-de-loop in the air, gradually floating off in the direction they want to go. Ducks and geese fly over all year long. They are in a “V” formation, but they still move like an arrow in a straight direction. The loop-de-loop is usually how I spot the vultures. Dead give away (ha ha – yes, pun intended!)

The way they were bobbing in and out of the trees, they seemed to be playing at the library. Shame on them! They were just far enough away and moved fast enough that I could not get a clean shot of one with my cell phone – Boo Hoo! Oh well, at least, I have a couple of pics. Would love to have one close up in the wild. I think they are a bit camera shy! Too bad, I have a business proposition for them…I will set out some of my chicken feed as a treat if they pick off some of our huge ugly gophers? Think they will bite?

plains pocket gopher 2                         prarie dog

Pocket Gopher:                                                                                Prarie Dog

  1. Can’t tell here, but they have very long sharp teeth and claws.
  2. Are almost as big as a Prarie Dog.
  3. Take out the roots of EVERYTHING!
  4. Neither is cute or cuddly
  5. Both are dangerous (I actually saw some in a pet shop in WI – oooh nooo Mr. Bill! Now I hear they are having a prairie dog problem – duh!) and do not make good pets!
  6. Both will dig holes large enough for a goat, cow, or horse to break a leg in!
  7. Cattlemen and/or a good hunter can pick off a prairie dog on the plains – they are bold and brazen.
  8. Gophers are sneaky! If a cat or dog is patient, they may get one. Our guineas would rip it off if it ever had the guts to show its face to them – but nooo – they have too much fun tearing up all of our good fruit tree roots – jerks.

Well, I have news for them…soon it will be warm enough for our Bull snake momma to come out – wooo hooo – love her!!!

 

 

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