Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Critters Everywhere Today

Despite the fact that we had thunderstorms blowing in. Today turned into a pretty nice work day. The garden is still way too wet to do anything with but we began getting some of the tomato and pepper seedlings into the raised beds and I began hauling the first couple of wheel barrow loads of grass clippings into the squash and zucchini area.

The grass clippings will be a real pain hauling some every time I mow for the next month or so but it sure saves massive weeding time and provides a nice bed for the ground vine crops. I will also use it to cover around the tomato and pepper plants. Typically I will have all the areas I want covered by about mid-June but this year I have much more time so perhaps I can get the garden covered by the end of the month. I will write a post about my grass clipping/wood ash garden method as usual before the season gets on much further.

No sprouts from the seeds I planted last week yet but we have only had two days of temps above the 50's so far so I am not expecting anything for another week more than likely.  The hoped for bee swarm never appeared and the traps remained empty today, not even a scout bee that I saw, so if there was a swarm checking them out it must have found a better home than what I had to offer.

The Tom Turkey that likes to hang out in the yard and hayfield sometimes made an appearance today. I am not sure why he shows up as I have never seen any hens around but every couple of months this Tom comes by and says howdy do. The remains of my mostly washed out farm pond (that I hope to fix this Summer if it dries out) actually had a mated pair of mallards hanging out on it today. I haven't seen it have enough water for ducks to show any interest in in years. With luck next year we may see more if I am able to fix the dam and drainage area myself this Summer.

The Killdeer hatch-lings are out and about now. I swear those birds should be extinct like the dodo, they are so stupid. A mated pair somehow got their four hatch-lings out on the road next to the house and were running up and down in traffic. I saw em when I went to check my outter hives this afternoon and avoided them but my guess is those little shotglass sized baby birds didn't last long out in the open running around. They typically do not get to hatch around here as they always choose the worst possible nesting sites and the farmers almost always end up plowing them over, but this year the rains have kept them safe and able to hatch. Only now they emerge into the "out in the open for all predators to see world". I bet the Blue Jays and small hawks made short work of em.

Speaking of babies. The kittens are now a force to be reckoned with. They managed to finally circumnavigate all blocking obstacles I placed in their way so we had to start rounding up kittens every time horses went through and putting them up at night in a cage. We have been allowing them to run free during the day as they have not ventured more than a few yards from their original birthing location. Mommy is on constant guard and keeps em fairly well rounded up but the last few days they have been seen leaving the protection of the barn and venturing out into the open. They haven't as yet attempted to enter the lamb and ewe nursery area but that can't be far away either. This is going to be the most dangerous time for the little ones now especially if they venture out in the open. The hawks around here are mean let me tell you.

So just a  mundane day of progress and upkeep. I hope for many more of them this Summer.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. I have to the grass clippings serve has a mulch of sorts? To lock in moisture? I have never heard to do that until now... will they work with cucumbers as well?

    1. uGM - Yes. The grass clippings in my opinion are the best mulch out there. If you pile them high and thick enough they have even been known to kill off Kudzu. They do not stop morning glory though. The drawbacks are that it can add massive amounts of nitrogen to the soil. I put a layer on and let it mat down and it keeps the ground moist and blocks most weeds. Usually by the time the clippings have broken up the heavy weed growth period has stopped as well.

      Of course laying down a coating of grass clippings is kinda labor intensive and has to be redone every year so it may not be doable for everyone.

  2. Too many cats are bad for the woodlot. Your squirrels bury a boatload of acorns then forget the location of about half of them, therby planting them. However, if the cats eat too many squirrels...

    A couple of years ago I got a socket wrench to pull a spark plug and when I went back in the shop to put it up; there was a half eaten squirrel laying on the toolbox. It got so bad there were hardly any squirrels to be seen around here.


    1. Dan - We have no squirrels around the Small Hold for at least a mile. I planted some walnut trees about 20 years ago that now put out about three five gallon buckets of walnuts a year but there was never anything to attract squirrels with before. We are surrounded by about half a mile of open fields in every direction, they have just never managed to come up here.

      We do have rabbits though and I hate them.

  3. I don't remember how much land do you have??

  4. Hey question for you, MapQuest has us going through MO. on US 61, MO 27 and or I 55 any roads we should avoid??

    You can post an answer on my blog page with today's posting or email me its on my blog page. Thanks buddy

    1. Done.

      The Small-Hold works out to 23.7 acres I believe but we are next to a large tract that belongs to my Step Dad and mom which greatly increases the land I can use to a point. They don't have a barn however lol.

  5. Sounds like springtime is fully engaged in your part of the country. The closest I've gotten to groundskeeping thus far is sweeping all the spruce needles & cones out of the driveway last night.


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