Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sheep Nibble. Horses Rip

Was a long day today and I used every bit of daylight I had and then all of the evening into dusk pushing to get as much mowing finished as possible. For the first time in months I am almost completely caught up on mowing except for a little trimming yet to do and some major weed control around some buildings that is going to have to be done with a hand scythe. No way I can get the brush hog in close enough and it's too thick for the smaller riding mowers.

The motto of the day was "All hands on deck" as there was a job for everyone this fine day. I put my Dad on one lawn tractor, my Mother on the other one and my son with the weedeater as I ran the brush hog. I was about halfway finished with the front pasture when I remembered to take a couple pictures of the overgrown, weed choked mess that pasture had become.

Most of the tall stuff you see in the two pics is Milkweed, Pigweed and some other stuff that the sheep actually like but the super picky useless nags of pasture destruction (ie horses) won't touch. However there is a couple of large concentrations of Jimson weed which is particularly toxic to just about everything. I never have problems with the stuff in the sheep pastures but it is a real pain in the horse areas. I had it under control until these awful daily rains started and it grew like well... A weed.

A curious thing though I did notice. Honey Bees LOVE Jimson Weed blooms. Up until this year I never allowed it to bloom so much to see honey bees working the flowers but they have been all over it the last two months.

Above is the trumpet-like flower and below is the seed pod when opened and dropping the seeds.

I swiped those pics from Wikipedia so you would know what I am talking about. It's a pretty interesting plant and is actually cultivated for medicinal purposes in places but it can be deadly to livestock if eaten and will shade out more desirable plants and grass if left to grow. All the other weeds the sheep will take care of on their own but this one I needed to get cut before the seed pods ripened.

Here's a shot toward the neighbors after I got the field mowed. The one spot of tall stuff  on the right is actually around a concrete pad that I think originally held an old grain silo. My plan is to cover it for shade as a shelter when I fence this section in for the sheep. The spot on the left is around the loafing shed where I will have to cut it with a hand sickle.

And here I exposed the old equipment/loafing shed and can now see one of the useless horses hanging out in there. I actually had to gently nudge one of the pain in the ass horses out of my way with the weed guard of the tractor this afternoon because it wouldn't move. It just stood there looking at me like "I dare ya". The horses really hate it when I am on the big loud iron horse because they know I will run into them if they don't move. Still they have to try and test me every chance they get.

So day one of the great hay gamble is done with no rain and the top is actually drying nicely. I am going to try turning it over tomorrow late afternoon or early evening and shooting for baling it Friday. Slight chance of rain tomorrow and so far they are saying 20% for late Friday....

Haven't come up snake eyes yet...

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. Did you read that Jimson weed was originally Jamestown weed and the first soldiers at Jamestown VA were starving and ate it. The ones that didn't die were like monkeys and had to be pulled out of trees naked. It is a hallucinogenic drug that put them out of their minds. I still see some as the seed must last a long time since I declared war on it here years ago.
    I don't think I have heard of horses being that dumb, they have to realize you aren't the horse whisperer.

  2. glad to see you get caught up. Rain here the next two or three days. And temps cooling into the 70"s. A cool fall?? Who knows.

  3. Any sign of the donkey yet? I love the idea of them but never had one. Julia

  4. Someday those horses might come in handy. :)

  5. We have jimson here too. I've been meaning to do something with it. Congrats on being caught up on mowing!


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