Sunday, September 25, 2016

Keep it clean, boys

The iguanas said they were thirsty. So I boobled over and filled their water trough, an old bathtub from the Ancestral Home. Well, first I scrubbed the tub out. There was a coating of red algae, and a greasy ring. Yuck. Then I dragged the hose over and began filling it. The boys were interested. Appalling didn't even spit at me.

He was drinking as soon as a few inches of clean water pooled in the bottom.  Then I scrubbed out the backup water supply, a couple of buckets over by the gate, while the tub filled.

I turned around, and there he was, regally immersed.

This certainly explains the ring around the tub.

After bathing, they made camel belching noises, and wandered off to the barn to eat.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Who likes apples?

Sheep like apples!

At least Bambi does. The others tried them and found them too much trouble. Maybe if I peeled and sliced them...

Hey! I could choke on this!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The hay man cometh

Bleth hith heart. Shane and his family backed up to the barn and unloaded and stacked three tons of mixed-grass hay.

The rubber-lipped iguanas take a proprietary pride in their full barn. They eat first, of course; then the goats; then the sheep, if the goats are feeling benevolent. We've set up a feeder outside the barn so the sheep don't starve, and plan to sell the goats in the spring. Buttheads.

The hay bales are stacked all the way to the roof joists – we'll have to get up there and pull some bales down so we can put the tarp over the pile, as the roof has some minor leaks. But the big animals have some serious food security. 

I missed my garden club meeting Tuesday to help bring in all the tomatoes and beans before the frost got them. We have pounds and pounds of green tomatoes since it was a cool summer.

They'll ripen slowly and we'll have sandwiches, and poke some into the freezer. C. pulled up the shell-bean plants and we have them hanging in the old entryway to ripen and dry.

And we actually got corn! C. planted two small stands of field corn. The robust black ears are Indian corn, and the little weedy one is "stained-glass" corn, from Barbara in my garden club. We'll start plants in the greenhouse earlier next year, and try for more. Maybe even some sweet corn, since we know corn is attainable.

And in another experiment, C. grew rice. What a nut.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


It's the day of the second-to-last book sale of the season, and we're having breakfast (scrambled guinea eggs, and biscuits with homemade strawberry jam) and getting ready to go.

We had a bat in the living quarters last night, but are pretty sure he made it out again. The pink bat net is full of holes – must replace the rotten tulle with something more durable today.

OK, we're off.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Alas, little bat

We have Townsend's big earred bats here, small, handsome fellows who keep the motion-detector porch light on most nights as they hunt. They're considered a "whisper" bat, with relatively quiet echolocation so they can sneak up on the wily moth. Sometimes they fly through the hallways, and maybe once a year one will get stuck in the big, echoing building and die here. I'm always bummed.

C. found this little dead one under the buffet.

Aren't those ears magnificent?

He's like a little dog with an umbrella. And rabbit ears – though he could furl those ears and pass as an ordinary bat when he was alive. They mate in the fall and bear only one pup, so it's no wonder their numbers are low.

We usually get the pink tule bat net out and help the little guys outside, but we missed this one. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Thud. The sound of fall.

It's cooler, and the light is different. Autumn for sure. (I suppose flipping the calendar to September provided the first clue.)

Our little Subaru refused to start Friday. I was due in to work, where all new-logo hell was breaking loose. Not good. I called Em and Richard and they came out and saved me. Bless their hearts. What lovely people. R. had been up since 3, worked most of the day, then came up and wrangled the car. At one point he drove 30 miles back to town and swapped the wrong part for the right one (does Napa ever give you the right part the first time?). He finished up near midnight. C., being a tiny person, crawled under the car to undo some bolts. My contribution during all of this was to hold a flashlight, fetch a  tool or two, and play with the baby. The baby was sweet, funny and charming. As usual. And horribly cute in his moo-cow jammies.

Man, I hate being without the car. Freaks me out as much as breaking my glasses. (You'd have to be familiar with a certain episode of the Twilight Zone, with Burgess Meredith, to understand.) 

We're probably past the point of cranking the windows and doors open in the evening to cool the place off. I guess I'll start buttoning things up for winter. Getting wood is the next big thing, along with hauling everything in from the garden as it ripens. We've had quite a few smallish tomatoes, but none of the big meaty ones have reddened yet. Not a great tomato year, but not a terrible tomato year, I hope.

Three eggs today. And I'm heading up the hill soon to buy milk and eggs from Rose (two gallons of milk, one dozen eggs).

We brought Crystal in for a good brushing and a little plucking. What a sweet rabbit. Then C. got out the vacuum and chased little parachutes of bunny fuzz through the air.

The chicks are thriving. The Hairdos, Dovey's spring chicks, are turning out to be mostly roosters, dammit. Big, striped gay roosters with helmet hair.

OK, I'm off to start the annual wood ritual with the Gathering of the Kindling.