Monday, September 7, 2015
Labor Day 2015 Walk About (With Pictures)
I really should have been working on the back fence today so I could let the ewe and yearling flock back out in the hay field and get them off the West paddock that has been eaten down to dirt. I had actually planned on getting at least the rest of the T-posts put in today until I woke up and my muscles told me they had other ideas.
Getting old sucks.
I finally managed to roll out of bed for good and make a trip to the grocery store with Mrs. PP and even that made me want to take a nap. I didn't, I have too much to do but needless to say the rest of the day was spent getting a few light things done at a very slow speed.
There were still about four bales of hay out in the field that had broken when I tried to load em up. I thought about baling them again but then just decided to feed it to the sheep since they really are not getting enough forage off the West paddock. SO I hooked up the small flat bed trailer to the 8N and drove down to load them up. I made it about halfway back through the barn lot before the sheep noticed I was driving a large buffet table around on wheels and they attacked. I was actually kinda impressed with the quality of the hay I got. It was short of course but pretty well dried properly and still had enough light green in the mix to make me happy. The sheep obviously loved it.
It was mostly the "Special" ones at first that hopped on and started eating. Boris, Mrs. PP's whether, Seven, my favorite (and she knows it) Patch, Seven's daughter, and a few others who are not the least bit leery of me and have long since forgotten about being scared of the tractor noise. Boris just jumped right up on the trailer in the middle of the hay as I drove passed and dug in.
Finally I gave up and just left the trailer in the lot for them to eat their fill.
I then proceeded to just walk around and pick stuff up, visit each group of animals and spend some time with them checking them out etc. evaluating the field I cut already and generally assessing how far I have come along on various long term projects.
As you can see from the very top picture some of the Golden rod is now in full bloom so the flow has officially began. When I made it back to the hives at the North end of the property it was pretty obvious they were in full flow mode.
The air in front of the hives is full of bees coming and going from the entrances and heading the Goldenrod. This should be a Goldenrod harvest for the record books I think.
The squirrels have been hitting the Hickory nuts hard and leaving the shells all around the bee hives. Squirrels around here love bee hives as they also eat the dead bees that are left on the ground in front of the hives. It's taken me years to get the little woodlot built up enough for the Squirrels to start moving in once again. This year I anticipate getting at least five or six truck loads of wood out of there as well.
A little hay field evaluation on the way back left me feeling a bit better about it's future and how fast it will bounce back from being over used and then neglected for two years.
There is still a fair amount of seasonal grasses left out there although most of the Clover has been devoured.
The bare patches like the one above were actually more rare than I feared. I little Winter Frost seeding and the hay field should come back pretty good next year.
I was thinking about leaving some of the Goldenrod patches that had grown in the hay field but then decided not to. Just as well because the back pasture is full of the stuff and so are all the fencerows. The bees should have plenty to work this year.
When I made it back up to the barn lot I discovered Rocky had finally managed to get a good number of hens to follow him outside into the safety of the lot. They were having a good old time doing exactly what I got them to do. Until they saw me anyway, then a few ran back for the inside of the barn. Still I have to say things in the Chicken area seem to be finally heading in the right direction. They are learning where they can go and where they shouldn't and beginning to trust Rocky's lead to. Rocky actually started courting a couple of the younger hens today too which makes me think they are about ready to lay now. The barn is almost quiet most of the time now too and we went another day without losing a hen.
This Chicken adventure thing might just be starting to pay off as we actually got three eggs today as well.
I am sure those drama prone hens got something new cooked up for me soon though. The only squabbling I hear now is at roosting time.
So hopefully a little light duty day was all I need to bounce back and get into the groove again tomorrow. I really need to finish that back fence and get on some other projects that I have been putting off. Still the Small-Hold has come a long way and it's nice to just walk around and enjoy it every so often.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!