Thursday, March 31, 2016

"And Jerry Mathers as The Beaver!"

Who remembers those words from the old tv show 'Leave it to Beaver?' It was a cute show with 'The Beave' always getting into scrapes, his annoying big brother, Wally and indulgent parents, June, who vacuumed in high heels and Ward. Well, the real life beavers are a pain in the butt!

If it isn't the Wascally Wabbits, it's the Dang Beavers! Bruce really didn't mind the beaver working down the road at the bridge, he didn't care if they cut every tree down there. But beavers are never satisfied and had to go to the pond and start in there.

The dogs and I went over one day last week, parked in the first driveway and walked through to the picnic area where the overflow is. It was a gorgeous day and the geese were everywhere, a flock took off from one of the ponds and flew in circles over head, waiting for us to get out of there so they could land again.

"Circling, circling, intruders are still there."

"Abort mission, make another pass."

I knew the overflow was plugged because water was nearly to the top of the dock. We have an old rake stashed against a tree just for these times and I raked away what I could reach from my precarious spot. I didn't have my high boots on so couldn't do the entire area, but I got the water moving again.

The dogs went in for a dip....

.....Murphy has made a water dog out of Mollie.

Murphy demonstrates the running shake, one way....

....then the other, as she is always on the move.

I reported on the beaver when I got home but a week went by before Bruce decided to check it out for himself. The first clue was the dock completely under water.....

...."Oh man! That dang beaver!"

But first he must acknowledge the arrival of his trusty canine companions.

Bruce was prepared with his knee boots....'s a lot of work tearing out a beaver dam as they have engineering degrees. They pull grasses and pack them in with mud mixed with branches they have cut and gnawed free of bark.... want to be darned sure you have good footing so you don't go over the falls and down the creek.

I imagined the banjo's playing 'Deliverance' as the water rushed over rocks and branches down the spillway into Bear Creek.

This will last for a few days but we know they will be back, unless Bruce blows them to smithereens, which I'm 99% sure won't happen.

Thus is the start of a running battle between man and supersized rodent, may the best one win.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's Tuesday and another new baby

Our favorite cow on the farm had her baby this morning, #1. I know, you aren't supposed to have favorites but she comes from a long line of favorite cows and this morning she showed the reason why she is #1, literally.

Bruce drove the tractor with crate into the yard where the calf was and I was on foot. The calf didn't stay in one spot, she toddled around bawling and her mother was right behind her. I guided the calf to the crate right under her mother's nose and she never made a threatening gesture but remained calm.

The calf had sucked so Bruce decided to bypass the barn and put the pair in with the other cow and calf already in the lean-to. 

Not only is #1 a gentle cow, she is smart, she knows we ALWAYS go to the barn! She stood in the doorway for a few minutes before giving up, going back down the ramp, around the fence and into the lean-to.

"This just isn't right!"
Bruce gave baby #1 her new ear tag, ouch....

.....and released her into her watchful mother's care.

A better picture of #78, our Easter baby.

And another reminder of why I don't kiss my dog on the lips, she is eating baby calf poop! There is nothing as delectable as baby calf poop!

Then we loaded up and went to the pond to see what was going on over there and came across this goose egg laying out in the field. 

She probably thought it was just gas.

The dogs made a great discovery, a beaver den!

They found it yesterday on a point of land south of the picnic area that the beavers have covered with trimmed branches. Mollie found an entrance hole on top and was determined to dig the beaver (s) out but I called her off. I don't know how dangerous they might be but anyone with teeth like they have can't be good.

Instead I set up the game camera to, once again, I've tried before, get a picture of the big rodent.

It's a good thing Bruce can't get hold of dynamite, he'd blast them to smithereens! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter, time for new mothers and mother wannabees

Our snow is nearly a distant memory as this Easter morning dawned bright and sunny with calm winds. We had early church and then breakfast afterwards, so all the chores were put off until we arrived home later in the morning.

Bruce found an Easter surprise in the cow yard, #78 had a bouncing baby boy (He thinks!).

(I know the photo leaves much to be desired but new cow mothers are not eager to show off their babies, instead they paw the shucks under foot and throw snot on you. Tomorrow will be a better day.)

We were surprised because we did not expect a calf this early, Bruce shoots for mid April by turning the bull down on July 4th. This year the big bull decided it was time to go visit the ladies, put his head under a gate and lifted it off the hinges, went down the lane, wrecked the gate to the pasture and went about the business of spreading his seed around. Obviously he was quite successful.

So baby watch 2016 is officially on and off to a great start!

Baby watch indeed as the mother wannabees line up at the gate......

....and wish for a glimpse of the future king. (Oh, sorry, I was thinking of when the new baby was born at Buckingham Palace.)

They do so love a new baby!

Back at home I watched the little frizzle chick, give in to her hormones and attempt to incubate 3 normal size eggs. She went into a nest to lay her tiny, pigeon like egg, and came upon the bounty. She settled in over one egg, carefully tucked her beak around another and maneuvered the second egg under her and tried her darndest to cover the third one also, but there was no more room at the inn.

She fluffed out her feathers and concentrated on the job at hand, to produce one of her own. 

"There now babies, I'll keep you warm."

Later I found that she had just been playing house for awhile when I spotted her out scratching for bugs. One broody hen at a time is good for me.

The dogs and I decided to check out the pond and, as I was driving out of the lane, I spotted another sign of spring, the first striped gopher of the season. He was a fat little guy and looked as startled as I was and dove down his hole.

When we came home and I turned in the driveway, I saw what looked like a pile of fur in the same vicinity of the gopher and did a u-turn. Then the pile of fur moved and Bruiser looked over his shoulder at me!

He saw the gopher too and was envisioning fresh meat for supper.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Our snow is bigger than your snow!

I was really enjoying this view from the road as the dogs and I traveled back and forth from our house to the farm to hunt the dastardly rats.

This is the view we were greeted with yesterday, what a revolting development!!

Earlier in the week, our weatherman, Ben, gave his best forecast for the upcoming snow event, some models called for us to get 7 - 8 inches and he thought that was off the mark, more like 2 - 3. They were both wrong, we got 13 inches!!! YIKES!!

It is a heavy, wet snow....

....that stuck to everything....

....the chicken weather vane frozen in time.

The good thing about a late spring snowstorm is that it won't last long. After a morning cleaning yards and plowing paths, the chickens are once again out, tip toeing around the remaining snow. Ben says it will take about 5 - 7 days for this to melt. 

We hope it melts slowly so we don't see this again.

But we aren't holding our breath.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


  1. mem·o·ry   something remembered from the past; a recollection
It's hard to watch the old house that Bruce and his sisters grew up in, slowly deteriorate but it's also a  hard decision to tear it down since no one will ever live in it again. It was the house with a neat, white picket fence and filled with memories.

With the flowers that Mama took such pride in.

Where father and son showed off their abundant catch.

Where mother and son have heart to heart talks.

Where naps were required after a large meal, Bruce with his head under the pillow, Big Foof and John R. in the recliners.

Where holidays were celebrated, if I remember right, Jean sent this bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day. Since it was cooler out on the porch, they left the flowers out there and would go to visit them every so often!

15 years have passed since Leo died and the house sits empty, Carol wanted the kitchen cabinets for her craft room and Bruce has replaced some windows at the MN cabin with windows out of the house. One big thing left in the house was the pool table and we finally found a home for it in WI, Bruce's cousin, Dennis' son, Brad wanted it.

Yesterday, Tuesday, Dennis and Brad made the 5 hour drive, arriving in time for a country dinner of beef roast with potatoes and gravy, carrots, lime salad and almost fresh rolls warmed in the oven. Then it was off to the house to take apart the pool table with the directions Dennis printed out, 'How to Take Apart a Pool Table in 10 Easy Steps.' 

With the help of two DeWalt drills it went surprisingly well. 

With the bumpers removed, it shows the original color of the felt. Brad made the good decision to have the table re-felted, years of neglect, an invasion of Asian Lady Beetles, and few stupid birds who somehow got in the room and pooped all over the table, made it pretty tacky.

The dogs love an outing, especially if it means exploring the house and they charge upstairs to check out the empty rooms where childrens voices used to echo.

And back down....first Murphy....

....then Mollie.

The decision is being made to sacrifice the felt....

....and under the felt is the precious and extremely heavy slate sections....

.....that are carefully carried out to the pickup and nestled between layers of foam rubber to cushion the ride back to WI.

They were down to the skeleton!

And, after some careful measuring, they decided it could travel un-assembled, standing over the slate sections and securely tied down to the bed of the pickup.

The trio, back at our house, stopping long enough to get a soda for the road, and they were off with the precious cargo.

It was bittersweet memories of pool tournaments on school snow days along with cooking over the fireplace in the pool room and hot chocolate. But now Brad will make his own memories with the pool table and family and friends.

Bruce, too, was off, to the field, discing bean stubble in the first step toward planting season.

Since I had the camera, I'd always wanted to take these pictures, like mother..... daughter. The little frizzle pullet that was hatched last fall, now she is laying a teeny, tiny egg and it's so cute!!

It was a beautiful day, sweatshirt weather so the dogs and I went to the pond to check out the bees and the beavers, both of which are alive and well but that is another story for another day.

I'll keep you posted.