Sunday, June 17, 2018

Operation Free Range

Since my laying hens aren't living up to the first part of their names anymore, I decided to rechristen them instead. A couple weeks ago when I was going to be at home all day catering, I hatched a plan...

My favorite hen, Poppy, has gone broody and hardly leaves the nest.  A little change of scenery perhaps will cure here.

In accordance to my reference book, I clipped the flight feathers on one wing to keep them from flying out of the garden.

What a day they had.
Pure torture for Dax.

They even followed me back to the coop in the evening. 

I thought 'this is going to be so easy'... the next morning when I let them out a red tailed hawk flew overhead and cawed at them.  The girls hightailed it back to the pen and refused to come out of the coop.
New Plan:  Supervised Free Range. Nothing is ever simple!!!

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Pool Boy

I might just run away with the pool boy, I can't help it.  I'm in love.

And he loves his Sugar Mama. Because she took her old horse tank out of retirement to make him a wading pool.

I came home from work just before dusk for the maiden swim.
Will he like it?

See for your self:

I look forward to busting my butt in my own house, undone
by the water puddles he's already applied in all the high traffic areas

He kept trying to get Peter off the couch to come join him.

...still out there.

I know, he's a mess, but he's all mine!

Thursday, June 14, 2018


This guy +

beaver dam eradication 

=torn meniscus.
While we navigate the slow moving waters of Workman's Compensation, Flynn is stuck off work, yet busy developing ulcers from lack of work, and I'm looking down the barrel of a couple of months without a day off.  
Even before the official diagnosis, I'd twiddled with his knee cap and knew it wasn't just a sprain.  I sprung into action calling up folks to enlist to Farm Camp.
Good Providence had brought Dr. Simmons to us from Auburn University earlier this month. The Good Doctor had time on her hands this Summer and was looking to broaden her repertoire of skills (and experience chiggers, heat stroke, being so dirty after work that you mistake your new complexion for a tan).

She's come to the right place.

We have yet to find anything she doesn't nor can't learn to do.

Fresh out of 3D printers, we can't run multiples of her, so she found us a few more folks from the ranks of disenchanted college profs. 
Spawning this idea:

Having found just enough hands to help and not too much to congest progress...if everyone puts in half a day a week, I may survive this crucible!

Come to find out a new neighbor across the road grew up on a farm in Indiana.  She's a new mom with a few hours to donate to the farm every week.  If she can manage the smaller bushhog, as she swears up and down, I can take over the big batwing cutter and we can be back in business.
I spent a day practicing with it.

And that's just the half of it.

No demolished fences, no clipped gates, no getting tangles up in trees.

I don't think I'll be taking on the 30' incline of the big dam just yet, but it doesn't intimidate me anymore.  I need to show you how the articulating wings work... seriously cool.
Meanwhile, with my days off vanishing into the ether, I wondered how I was supposed to get this lump and his wench to the vet school for their regular foot trims on Thursday.  

Tommy and Daphne ONLY see Dr. Edmondson.  She never lames them and they never stay on the tilt table longer than the safe 15 minute limit.  Otherwise permanent damage occurs to their GI tract from the tight cinches they have to use. Not only is our Dr. E the best bovine vet, but she amended her schedule to have us come in before they make their rounds, allowing me to come in 2 hours earlier than regular appointments, so that I could try to zip back home on time for the Senior horses' lunchtime.
So, this morning, the horses were getting fed at 6:30 AM, permitting me to load Tommy and Daphne for our 8 AM appointment in Auburn.
I always stay out of the way, but with a window onto the tilt table, inside a meeting room.
Cole always came with me.  He stuck to me like glue and ignored strangers.  As I've said many times before, Dax is a different animal.  
Actually, he's a gigolo.

The Cheer Section

I've been burning the midnight oil around here.
After work, it's all about catching up on personal chores.

Thank goodness for Dax who is always at my side providing moral support.

By the time I got around to changing the oil in my dually, it was 11 PM and I was starting to lose my motivation.  Dax was all rah-rahed out.
At the eleventh hour, reinforcements arrive in the form of beetles.

Two years of waiting paid off:  the rescued grubs I set up in piles of grub colonies everywhere are hatching.
I finish my oil change with beetles flying around me.
Welcome home, my babies:

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Just Daylilies

Daylilies are going strong in the garden.

Y'all have a great day!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Dax's Birthday Bash!!!

June 1, 2018, Dax turned 1...

To honor the little man, I set up a triathlon for him at 6:30 AM Friday.
Do what you love and love what you do.  Plus, it helps to rope in an innocent bystander into being your cameraman:

Huge thanks to Flynn for not only being a good sport, but participating in our event.

Here goes:

          Triathlon video Go big or go home.
In our case, we returned to the barn to start our day's work.

Meanwhile, Dax took the day to lay on his docking station to recharge.
Later on, his birthday presents arrived.
He's not spoiled.

He's 'special'. 

After eviscerating his new squeak toy and mauling his other gifts, we take off after work for the next phase of our adventure:

The Wehle Conservation.  Mr. Wehle wrote what was and still is the authoritative text on training upland hunting dogs.  When I contacted Dax's breeder early in my tumultuous relationship with the Demon Dog, I was told to ditch all my other training books and to find a copy of this 1964 book. I diligently did as I was told, but as any of you who have met Dax can attest, I haven't made it very far into the book's teachings... Nevertheless, I have read it, not put it into practice yet, minor detail.
Here's the magic:  Dax on his 1st birthday, got to lay paws on hallowed ground.  Where generations of the best bred and trained dogs once worked and hunted.  Maybe some of that spirit was absorbed into his being.

A family outing.
Before his passing, Mr. Wehle donated over 1000 acres to the Forever Wild Trust.  His plantation in Bullock County is now forever safe and open to interloping admirers such as ourselves.

Allergic as he is to exercise, Garrett promptly jumped into Peter's wagon. Peter attempted to hike with us, but after 20 yards, he abruptly stopped and got in his wagon unassisted.

Never leave a man behind.
Next we went to Wiley's Pit BBQ in Smuteye, Bullock County.

Runner Up for the best ribs in Alabama.
The owner is gracious enough to give me a tour.
Delicous!  Worth the hour drive to the middle of nowhere!
It's been an entertaining year with Dax in the family!
Dax is fearless.
                David versus Goliath video
And, Dax is a bully who'll bark at you if you deign ignore his demands.  Dax will take off in an instant if off-leash and make you chase him for an hour. My beloved F-350 had its radio chewed to death, lost three seat belt buckles and three gear shifters eaten to the canine termite... grand total over $1000.  Let's not count how many hoses, shoes, socks, books, pillows he decimated. El Destructo. Yet, he's now capable of spending a whole day in the office or at home without demolishing anything, as long as Peter is beside him.

Dax's personality couldn't more diametrically opposed to Cole's, but Lord All Mighty, we love him anyway!

       1 year compilation video