HOW DANGEROUS IS YOUR GARDENING?

This question came up while I was driving by a farmer the other day.  He was out on one of their huge new-fangled tractors (you know, the kind with the cab over it for heating and A/C), with the strangest thing I ever saw behind it.

My father’s influence made me pull over and watch it for a bit.  He is long gone now, but I still look at all the newest farm stuff with him in mind.  The thing behind the tractor, at first, looked like a normal plow – no way.  It turned out to be anything but “normal” in my eyes.

(ours – pretty close anyway)                     (the newbies)

We used to have to take wide swatches when we plowed because it was not easy or safe to turn a tractor pulling any heavy equipment in tight formation.  So, the common practice was to begin in the center of the field, plow through it and along the far side bottom to the farthest corner.  Turn and plow up to the top, across the top, then go back down next to the row you first created.  You simply drove in a type of rectangle/circle formation moving one row over each time until you got back to the gate where you entered the field.  It worked perfectly fine.

Well, this new creation would have made my cousin squeal with joy.  Before he even got his drivers license, he was elected (pretty sure he didn’t volunteer for the job) to plow up one of our fields.  He was kind of cocky so when he got the general gist of the project he took off.

We happened to be riding along the lane next to the field when it happened.  He was going too fast and not paying attention to the plow in the back.  Took a corner too fast and too tight, and the tractor wheel got caught in the plow and lifted the front end of the tractor right up off the ground.  Luckily he was so scared and shook up that he took his foot off the peddles too fast, and the tractor quit right there.  He could not get it all undone by hand and had to go, teary-eyed, back up to the house for dad’s help.

I am glad I was there to see it. However, this new-fangled plow would never do that.  The farmer had some type of hydraulic system that actually picked up the plow into the air, flipped it around, and set it back down.  He was able to go whipping back-and-forth, up-and-down through the whole field with barely slowing down – AMAZING!

Pretty sure my dad is in heaven somewhere, wetting himself, watching me watching that.

angel dad humor

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Please also check me out on:  https://wordpress.com/post/lifelessonslived.com  for things I have lived through in my life.

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Are You As Concerned As I Am?

It is Wednesday, February 8, 2017, and it will be over 50°F. in Brush, Colorado.  We are expecting 70°+ on Friday – BUT IT’S FEBRUARY???   This is so not normal.  We have started seeds, but I am afraid they may be in for as much of a shock as we are.

Starting long-growers this time of year is nothing new, but my sister is looking at starting a bunch of flowers?  She wants to replace all the Iris’s around the pond in the front yard with a multitude of flowers and colors.  Great idea, however; starting them right now may not be.

the-pond-in-feb-normal

This is the normal pond area this time of year.  Last Thursday (2/2/17) we had such a bad ice storm that they shut down over half of the state (schools, businesses, and roads).  I tried to approach her on this, but she has spring fever extremely bad!  The flowers she is thinking of are of fantastic colors and strange looks, but they must have a “no freeze” time to make it.  We are zone 5 (click on the zone 5, and you can locate your growing zone) and are still susceptible to a deep freeze.

We historically put in our onions and potatoes about the middle to end of March.  Then we cover them with a very thick layer of straw mulch (this year I am adding chicken wire and my feathery monsters decided that was the best place ever to dig for bugs, and dug up everything I put in – grrr!).  They will last through most any freeze here.

One of the best things I have always loved about Colorado is our weather, however; a couple of years ago, was a real freaker.  It was 90° on Friday, then less than 30° and snowing on Monday.  We had planted our corn in mid-April – normal –  but lost it all to the wicked, weird weather.  This warm in February worries me a lot.

I love the strange and abby-normal things, but not when it comes to my food sources.  We grow our own and rely on the seasons to determine when to start what.  Yes, we are lucky to have a Godzilla-size greenhouse, but we do not keep it heated throughout.  We usually let the weather (the sun mainly, but even on a cloudy day it can get over 70° in there easy) manage most of it.  We keep a single electric heater on the west side for the herbs and ever-bearing strawberries.  The heater only maintains those two rows.  There are four other rows for seasonal things.

greenhouse-interior-before-plants (This was before we filled it. You can see the very first plot on the far right side – that is our “east” side of the greenhouse.  The ladder in the center is 6′ tall, the edges (where the plot and the dog are) are 3′ underground.  From the outside it looks like you could easily reach the top – not – it’s about 20′ up.)

 

We are looking at cabbages, spinach, carrots, broccoli and other “cold weather” crops this time of year.  But if that greenhouse gets over 70° for more than half a day, we could lose those in a heartbeat.  We have a swamp cooler that covers the whole north end for the hot summer days, but it is in storage right now.

We also hope to build a “starter area” in the southeast corner this summer.  Right now, all the starts are done in the house and the porch.  It is enclosed and attached to the house, but no heat vent to it – just small space heater to keep it over 50°, and a HUGE south facing window that warms it up to over 80° when the sun is out.  These wild changes in weather have us worried about what may happen in the greenhouse starter area?

I have a lot of family in the upper Midwest area (MI, WI, OH) and I watch what their weather is doing also.  They started out with a mild winter then –BAM­ – getting nailed with tons of snow and freezing storms.  Their storms have been so bad that they have gone without power for short periods of time.  One other reason to fear to start seeds now.  If we cannot keep the heat consistently above a certain temp, they won’t germinate and grow.

The other great thing about Colorado and weather is that when the sun shines here, even as low as 20 degrees, it will make it warm enough to melt the ice.  Place that sun in a huge window or greenhouse, and you have instant warmth.  As I said earlier, even on a cloudy day, we can be warm.  It is the fluctuations that are freaking me out.  The abby-normal warm temperatures are no help either.

miser-brothers

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AM I REALLY THANKFUL FOR THIS?

  1. 1. MY HEALTH: Who am I kidding – it sucks! My sister has started with the nick-name of Bionic Woman – ha ha ha – not funny! Almost all of my major joints (shoulders, knees) have been replaced with metal, plastic, and pins. My grandson gets a huge kick out of the knees when they pop out of joint (yes it hurts). You can see and feel it, and it goes “thunk” when it pops back in. He gets a great giggle out of it.
  2. MY FAMILY: They are all still here – THAT’S A GOOD THING MARTHA!! I am glad for that – I think? I have not been picked on for a while, makes me worry. One of our biggest family motto’s is: If we don’t pick on you, we don’t like you. It’s true. We grew up with very humorous, sarcastic parents and it rubbed off on all of us. Every year for Christmas, someone gets something that is a slam.
  3. MY FRIENDS: Actually, I feel sorry for them. We treat most of them AS family, so they get the same bashing – woo hoo! I hope they all know that we are always there the minute they need anything! They have been there for us during our darkest hours, and I would not trade them for anything in the world (oh man, got sappy when I was not going to do it – grr hee hee)
  4. MY FINANCES: hahahahahahahahahahahaha…AND THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT!
  5. OUR LIFE ON THE FARM: Where do I start? Oh yes – here goes:
    a. The break in one of our hydrant lines that has apparently been leaking for over a year now. At least we did figure out when one it was and that it was happening:
    b. The coyotes that just absconded with 3 of our chickens (so I guess they get Thanksgiving Dinner too – jerks!).
    c. The chickens that are molting. Down to about two eggs a day from, what was, about a dozen a day. Hey, at least we are still getting them!
    d. The freezer full of meat. This was due to the generosity of Sida. Side-a-beef that is. He was the property of the guy that leases our big field. He had come of age (and size) that it was time to provide for those that provided for him. Grass and grain fed. All natural. Yummy!
    e. The mild weather – NOT! This just is not right. Eighty degrees yesterday?? This is not my wonderful fall! This is also making everything really dry – double grr! By this time of year, we should have had at least a couple of rain or snow falls. Our rain barrels are empty.

Well, that about covers it for this Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to see what the new year will bring – OH JOY!

jim-carrey-happy-dance

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THE CORN ROAST or HOW TO THROW A PARTY.

A kids’ life on a farm can be amazing!  We were lucky that we had such a fantastic family with such great family and friends.  When it came time to bale hay (yep all small bales only back then), plant crops, pick rock, fix fence – whatever – a load of people would show up to help.  In turn, we would help them with their tasks (chicken butchering was more fun that rabbits – but that is another story).  The amazing part was a large number of people that would show up to help.  

My father was a cook-a-holic.  He loved being in the kitchen, at a grill, where ever as long as he was the cook.  The highlight of every year was our annual fall corn roast.  It started out simple enough, a small thank-you-type afternoon with family to show our appreciation for everyone’s help.  Soon, family extended to friends, then extended to friends of a friend.  The roast went from a small charcoal cooker, closest family (Aunts uncles, cousins, etc.), drinks and a quiet evening; into a full blown whole day event!

 It starts at the crack of dawn.  My sisters and I get dragged out of bed just as the sun is trying to rise.  We get thrown onto the back of the flat-bed wagon, which is still damp from the morning dew, and hauled out to the corn field. Thank goodness we never put away our winter mittens!

The machine corn pickers have already been through the fields.  They pick up most of it, but not all, for the canning company (hee hee – I know where your canned corn comes from!).  They flatten everything as they go.  Now it’s our turn.

corn-picker

Dad drives the tractor this time (we all know now that baby sister CAN NOT drive a straight line – or is that would not?), and all of we girls jump off and start picking up the leftover cobs and throwing them onto the wagon.  This goes on for about an hour or so; then it’s time to head back up to the house.

Dad pulls the tractor up next to a shiny horse tank.  We help him to unload a portion of the corn.  Dad has the garden hose running in the tank at the same time, then tops it all off with a ton of ice cubes (I have no clue where they all came from because our freezers could never hold that much – the mysterious Ice Fairy?).

Dad and a couple of my Uncles took an old metal drum, cut it in half (length-wise – I know you have seen these because they are on almost every farm now), and turned it into one huge grill.  The coals get to the right temp and the corn, husks and all, goes on.

outdoor-cooker

(This is sort of what it looked like, but no wheels or wagon.  It had welded legs on the bottom to stand on)

People start to swarm in.  Some have brought their own food to cook or share – several salads, hamburgers, hotdogs for the kids, sodas, beer, chips, you name it, it all starts pouring in.  By now it is only about 10 a.m.

The day finally starts to kick into full gear. 

·         The grill is in high heat and cooking away.

·         The ladies (moms mostly) are running stuff back and forth from the house to the grill.

·         The kids are running amok everywhere.

·         Our main job for part of the day was giving the no-horse kids rides.  This was done by plopping them up in the saddle, then leading the horse around (boring, but our job – plus the kids LOVED it!!)

·         The volleyball net goes up; the lawn chairs come out, and all the games begin.

Everyone eats and people are scattered everywhere.  It is mostly a lawn type of activity (at least that’s where all the kids get to sit, our choice.) after all.  Once Dad is sure most everyone had been fed, he checks the wagon.  The last of the corn is off the wagon and in the ice tank, so it’s time to move the wagon.  Now was a great time for young and old alike.  Everyone piles onto the wagon in groups (can’t hold more than about 20-25, and there are over 100 bodies here now).  It’s hay/wagon ride time.  Dad’s favorite part!

Everyone on the wagon is having a ball, but I loved to watch dad.  His face would light up when he would pop the clutch to make the wagon jump.  Everybody would fall back and bust out laughing – especially dad.  Our farm was very hilly.  He would drive up and down the hills on purpose just to watch the riders flopping all over laughing.  Then it was back up to the yard to get another group and repeat.

  wagon-ride

(We looked very much like this except for one HUGE difference – DAD ALWAYS WORE A BLACK FELT COWBOY HAT – no lame weed woven thing for him! LMAO)

(To Be Continued Next Wednesday 10-12-16.)

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OH NO – NOT ANOTHER COOL DAD STORY?

To properly explain this one, I am going to have to write you a picture:

  • Two sisters, one about four the other about six.
  • It is early1960’s in Wisconsin.
  • Our farm is several miles from the nearest major highway, so a trip is required for everything.
  • The main road: County Trunk W.
  • The type of road: 2-lane, HUGE hills (cannot see the other side until you are on top of them type hills).
  • And so our story begins:

It is a beautiful fall day.  The leaves are either turning or falling, and this part of Wisconsin has such an amazing variety of trees that you are awestruck by colors.  The air is crisp, even in the mid-afternoon.  Dad decides we have to go to the grocery store in Adell (not the closest city, but a larger selection) to pick up some stuff.  We are taking the farm truck (I have no clue year, make or model – have to ask my older sister since she totaled it – but that’s another story).  No seatbelts (neither in it or required to have it- go figure?).

Dad grabs the girls and throws them into the front seat of the truck, then slides in on the driver’s side and starts her up.  Varoom, rumble, rumble, rumble (yes, this is how an old farm pickup truck sounds) and off we go.

From the end of our driveway, you turn onto County Trunk W and go east toward Adell.  We sit at the top of a hill, so the start is fun picking up speed on the way down.  Now remember, it is early 1960’s so cops really didn’t look for speeders on all the county roads (most of them were still gravel anyway – now ours.)

Down the hill, up a smaller one, and over – picking up some more speed.  Down again, up again, down again; this continues for about five or six miles, and THERE IT IS – SKUNK HILL.  The reason for the name is because of all the dead skunks on it.  You cannot see over to the other side, so there is no time to slow down.

  • Once over,
    • you see it,
      • it’s dead – and
        • your car/truck will stink for a month

It was the tallest hill around.  Dad was beatin feet to get up that puppy.  Hit the top and it happened, up we went off the seat into the air!  Squeals of joy and laughter rung out!  Dad was laughing even harder at us and our excitement just over a jump on a hill.  Great joy in the little things.  The laughter did not stop for another 3 or so miles until we got to the store.

NOW, some of you will be seeing the danger here.

Some of you will be seeing bad parenting here.

But some of you, just some of you will see this:

calvin-n-hobbes-laughing

  silly-minion-1

silly-minions-2

farm-dad-1

     great-dad2

Our parents were great!  Loving, funny, caring, sharing, encouraging, outstanding.  So please do not judge too harshly the decade we grew up in because it was all good. 

They were not rich, but our lives were.  If I could, I would wish that all children would have at least a couple of summers, and maybe a few falls, on a farm.

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“SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE” – remember the movie? Now this is scary stuff!

OK, now I’m gonna light some people up.  Maybe it is my age; maybe it is my experience, maybe it is just my love of movies?  When I think of the word “Soylent,” I remember a movie from the 70’s with Charlton Heston called Soylent Green (click here if you want to see a trailer-best part!).

Soylent Green movie poster

When it came out in 1973, it was a freaker.  What a great story line, creepy, but great!  Of course, about the same time, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes came out too (see the previous post) which was a really wild freaker movie.   The whole concept of screwing around with food started coming to light.  This, for me, was the first time I started taking an interest in what goes on (or into) with my food.  I was about 15 then, and we grew our own food on the farm.  Some things like sugar, coffee, flour we bought from the store.  But everything that was possible to grow in Wisconsin.  We did and then preserved it for the year to come.  We saved our own seeds, took our own cutting, and knew what we were eating.

Not anymore.  It’s a scary world of food out there now!  Hybrids, GMO’s, can’t save your own seeds because they won’t grow or because you may be stepping on some corporate’s toes.  REALLY??  How did we come to this?

A company has created a food and used the word Soylent in its title.  I don’t know if they are too young to connect with the old movie, or if they just thought this was a really good idea?  Either way, I just don’t know what to make of it.

They sent me a “request to follow” on tumbler.  Before I agree to any requests, I go and take a look at them.  Well, those of you that know me and know about our farming/gardening methods know that we are “natural” promoters.  We like to do things the normal, natural way with our gardens.  Pull our weeds by hand, use companion planting, save our own seeds, use natural pest control measures – no chemicals allowed here!  So for this company to want me to “follow” them is kind of stupid.  They have chosen to follow me, I’m sure, for marketing reasons.  Trying to tap into a bigger audience.  However, I am thinking that they did not read my fine print (which is actually normal size and ALLL over the place) on my/our decision to be natural in our methods.

They are pushing “Soylent” as a way to feed more people (hmm??).  How about if we teach more people how to grow their own?  Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, kind of thing.

scared fishNow, I’m all for live and let live; this is why I do not usually talk about this type of stuff (along with politics or religion), but they contacted me first.  So, they gave me the opportunity to dig into them (something I love doing – research!!).  They have some good products listed on the back of their bag:

soylent powder

HOWEVER, soy is one of their key ingredients.  As much as I love tofu, I also know that a majority of the crops are now grown using GMO seeds (Go here and check out the info for yourselves!).    So I either do not eat it or find something that is organically grown (even this I have issues with, but that’s another story).

So, unless there is some type of zombie apocalypse and I have no other choice to feed my family, I will not eat people, GMO’s, clones or any other type of un-natural type foods.

  • I will dig in my weedy dirt
  • Create my own compost to throw on my weedy dirt
  • Save my own seeds
  • Grow my own food
  • Process it in as many ways as possible to preserve the freshness
  • And enjoy the fruits of all my hard labor.

I also choose to do the following:

  • Share with my family
  • Share with our friends.
  • Teach others to grow this way
  • Help those that want to learn this method.
  • Encourage more to grow naturally

If you want to follow me, friend me, pin me and request me to do it back; you better have your ducks in a row because I will be digging!

ducks in a row

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IS IT OUR JOB? THEN WHY DO I FELL LIKE A JESTER?

I believe it is our job as humans to take care of the other creatures we share the planet with – yes, even spiders (yucky!).

brown spider pic

We try to keep at least one or 2 spiders in our home (as long as they stay up on the ceiling out of reach) to help control flies and other bothersome pests. We have Bull Snakes which help to keep the rodent population down (as long as I don’t confront one while weeding, I’m cool with it). We have free-range fowl that help to keep the grasshopper population at bay (just gotta watch the turkeys – they will steal your hot peppers, and the ducks will take up residence between the tomato plants and pluck the fruit at the peak of ripeness – jerks!).

We have learned a ton of natural gardening methods to deter all different kinds of critters. We would prefer to deter, then eliminate. However, once in a while, you get something that you just do not want anywhere on your property! For us, that is the Yellow Jacket Wasp!

yellow jacket wasp pic

I know it is our job as humans to tend to the creatures of the planet, but I have a real hard time when it comes to the Yellow Jacket. It is a mean monster that will sting for no reason, and do it over and over and over again. The poor Honey bee loses its guts if it stings you! I am pretty sure I wouldn’t want to sting anything if it meant having my insides pulled out – yucky and OUCH!

Please don’t confuse them with our wonderful Honey Bees:

honey bee pic

I am posting pics of both at a fairly close distance so you can learn the differences. We also love our Mason Bees

mason bee pic

I call them my Fuzzy Bees. They are about the same size as a black fly (another nasty pest), but they are all fuzzy looking here. I have heard that some are black; I have never seen a black one, just our creamy tan little cuties (yes, I love it when they rest on me – too fun!)

Then we also have what is called a Mud Wasp (also called Mud Dauber or Dirt Digger):

mud wasp

(Don’t let this pic fool you – they are only about ½ inch long when full grown, would rather walk and flick their wings they fly around after you.) Do NOT confuse them with the mean wasp family as they are not a baddy but a goodie. They usually travel alone and eat the baddies in your gardens. They like to hang around buildings collecting mud for their nests. Ours made a home between the bricks on the patio off the east porch steps. We also have a small crack in the steps when the house shifted, and she will fly from patio to porch and back. Never hurt any of us, have seen her attack a daddy long legs spider, and a pill bug. So she can stay!

In all fairness, I went to Wikipedia, which then led me to UC Davis Edu. This finally gave me the answer to my question – What are they good for? According to this article – little to nothing, which is what I thought. They are very predatory and will keep other pests away, however; I have seen them take out a Honey Bee hive (ticked me off!). So unless one of my readers can give me a good reason to keep them around, I will continue to eliminate them every chance I get!

I was weeding around a wagon of ours, it had some pretty tall grasses and some picker weeds – time for it all to go. I felt a burning sensation on the back of my hand (yep – no gloves, stupid me!) and when I pulled my hand up and flipped it over – 3 of the nasty monsters were going to town on my hand – grrr! I brushed them off and stomped on them, then went to the pump, got some cold water and made a mud pack. Slapped it on my hand which, by now, was about doubled in size and tight as a drum! Please note that I am not allergic to these buggers, or bees for that matter, but their sting is that bad!

So my takeaway today is “kill the hornet, kill the hornet, kill the hornet” (you have to sing that to the Bugs Bunny Opera episode – Elmer is a Viking, Bugs is Brunhilda – hee hee)Whats opera doc

(FYI – One of my all-time favorite Cartoons!)

 

 
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WHAT IS THIS? HINT – ITS NOT SNOW.

fog day in herb garden

(the flash from my camera made it a lot brighter out than it was – only about 5:30 a.m. here)

Nope – it’s not snow.  Looked like it was to me at first then I saw this:

DSC_0003 (2)

Normally you can see the woods and the highway to the upper left very VERY clearly.  Not this day.  The longer I watched the more shaded the trees became until they completely disappeared (sadly the battery on my camera died-figures LOL)…it was FOG!!

We get fog quite often here.  When the weather comes down from the Rockies, dips deep into the foothills of Denver, then follows the Platte River out our way – we never know what it will bring/do.

This time was amazing.  We have snow on the ground already from a couple of good previous snows – but this was unusual.  The fog was so dense, wet, and heavy that it formed a layer on everything. 

Eventually, and unfortunately briefly, even the far fence line in this photo disappeared – can you say Twilight Zone again?? I encountered fog this thick once before back in Wisconsin.  I was about 19 years old, was heading from Plymouth to Sheboygan for an interview.  The fog came in so fast and so thick off of Lake Michigan that I had to open my door to see the center line.  Of course, the chicken that I am when it comes to driving blind, I then turned around and changed my appointment.

It’s a very creepy feeling when you cannot see more than about five feet in front of you!  This time I was safe in my home and wishing it had hung around longer.  It was early morning and, once the sun comes up in Colorado, it will burn off anything hanging (yep – bad pun- LOL) around.  Gotta love livin here – never a dull moment!

DSC_0005 (1)

 

AN ODE TO MY MOTHER – OR – IS THAT A TURKEY?

A little over a year since the fire. Second Holiday season since, and I am thinking about my mom. She loved to read and write, just not good at the latter but loved to try. So, as a tribute to her this Thanksgiving, I give you the following:

THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING (or a turkey revenge).

So it’s (or Twas) the day before Thanksgiving, the turkey was spry.

The peacock he chased said, “You’re gonna fry!”

The peacock then giggled, “Your butt is so big.”

“They’ll cook you and eat you served up like a pig.”

The turkey not worried, not scared not a bit.

Replied to the peacock, ”I’m not fat, I’m just fit!”

“I’ll hide with the chickens, and blend in just fine.”

 “You’re the bird of the day dear, the family will dine!”

DSC_0006

They have to find me to eat me.” The turkey said with a snort

The peacock not knowing the turkey’s cohort.

While the peacock was taking his afternoon rest,

The gang got together, and doing their best.

They pinned down the snooty bird, his tail went first,

Glued on some feathers, all doing their worst.

They disguised the peacock, a turkey he looked.

Soon the farmer came out with the ax and a hook.

peacock with tail

He found the peacock all dressed as a turkey,

Thought the thing looks a bit skinny, odd and whacky?

But a bird is a bird and its Thanksgiving day,

So he picked up the callous bird and went on his way.

The moral of the story my friends now is this,

Don’t’ tick off a farm bird, you could end up like this:

 

turkey dinner

Yours Truly,

the bad poet’s society

(aka: mom xxxooo)

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day

 

 

IS IT REAL? A BLAST FROM THE PREHISTORIC PAST? A BIRD, PLANE, OR SUPERMAN?

How many of you know what this is:

male silver guinea bird(see a video here)

The head of a dino, body of some crazy speckled fish-like-thingy, legs of a chicken – runs like the wind, but never seems to be going in a straight line (loves spinning in place with several others at a time). It’s a Guinea Bird/fowl.

We purchased our first ones a little over 10 years ago and got the surprise of our life. The first came to us as babies, looked almost like the baby chickens until tguinea babieshey started to “form”. Early on their heads looked strange – but, as they grew, the noise they made was even worse than their head. The eggs are not very good for breakfast but, like duck eggs, make great noodles. They are shaped like a huge upside down teardrop, short legs but man could they cruise!

 

It’s a summer Saturday evening, cocktails by the fire pit, and then it happened. We have a huge circular driveway around our house, of which the guineas took full advantage of – the race was on!

Sun setting, frogs having a party down in the pond croaking away, faint call of a coyote in the distance (yea – stay there!), and the guineas were at full speed. Three of the dino-birds started racing around the house via the driveway. They would run around about 3 times then stop in the center of the yard/drive and start spinning in circles! WWHHAATT?? I had never even heard of a guinea before we bought them, but they were supposed to be good pest controllers. So what was with the racing and, more important, how could they spin around like that without falling over? They looked funnier than a dog chasing its tail – and that’s funny! It was a mystery.

guinea fowl

Of course, we never once tried to stop them. It didn’t seem to be hurting them, they actually seemed to like it (could tell by all the squawking they were doing) so no harm no foul (ok, bad pun). We also had the issue of not being able to stop laughing at them (biggest reason why we didn’t stop them). Then, of course we all picked a bird and watched the races till the sun set.

When the sun was finally down low enough for the yard light to come on, they finally settled down. This also meant another oddity of them – they flew up and perched in the tree at night. Chickens do not do that! They like to perch on racks we built in their barn, but you would never find them up in a tree. The biggest reason why not is that they can’t get their butts up there. Well, take another look at this silly bird – how does it get off the ground shaped like that? Have no clue, but they do.

There are a couple of great benefits to having them. 1) They are better guard dogs. Anything odd and they sound off – person, vehicle, or critter – doesn’t matter. If it’s out of the norm and they will let you know. 2) The best at pest control! You should see them rip apart a mouse, snake, or a grasshoppers doesn’t matter to them. If they can catch it, it’s theirs. They will beat the snot out of it till dead. Grab it, throw it in the air, stomp on it, or split it (literally) with a fellow guinea….ahh, bonus protein meal.

guinea-fowl-vs-rattlesnake

Rattle snakes are in Colorado, but we have never (knock-on-wood) seen one on our property. We love our guineas. Think we will keep them in stock (pun intended).