Friday, May 29, 2009

A Perfect Storm

On May 15th we had what some have been calling a "land hurricane". I've seen a lot of storms in my day, but this was the worst one I'd ever personally experienced. The rain was falling in circles and the air was filled with shredded bits of leaves so that it looked like it was raining green. Totally wild. Because it has rained so much, the ground was saturated and soft, and the trees were coming up out of the ground by the roots. Along the creek that runs in front of our house we have (had) some gigantic cedar trees. I watched as two of these monsters literally lifted out of the ground and fell over. I'm not usually scared during storms, but I was getting a bit shaky during this one! Here are some pics of the aftermath.

Here are the cedars that fell over by the creek. The big one decided to take the front license plate of my car with it. Close call!

A closer pic of the biggest cedar:

Flooding under the little bridge that leads to the chicken house:

A walnut tree that fell in the chicken yard. Dad's going to come cut this one up for some woodworking projects:

The hickory tree where we boil water for chicken butchering. Looks like I'll have to set up a new processing area! We'll use this wood for smoking meats. Mmmm.. hickory!

This is the walnut tree that Craig used to use for target practice. Looks like the bullet holes weakened it enough to just break off. It was scheduled for removal anyway to make way for more orchard area.

The water that pours down off the mountainside tends to bottleneck by the fence, flooding the goat yard.

Then it fills up the granite pond then overflows, swelling that poor little creek:

The goat yard got quite a bit of flooding:

An oak tree and a hickory tree went down in the south part of the goat yard. The goats, being the optimists they are, just viewed them as a free buffet & playground:

Sweet Abby loved her task of babysitting while the goat moms went out to investigate the downed trees:

The giant cedar by the cattle gate lost a few of its lower limbs:

The creek across the road was WAY flooded. No power and no exit for a few days left us all pretty grumpy. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I hate snakes. There, I said it. I know - I'm supposed to love all the critters on this green earth. But... *shudder*... snakes creep me right on out. I had no idea I could scream that loudly!

The other day a speckled king snake took all the eggs from a runner duck nest. Yesterday I was moving a pile of brush and found a small copperhead. Earlier this month a snake was in a raised garden bed. Pat and I saw two snakes in the creek last week. GAH!!!

I don't mind black snakes so much, until they get in the hen house. If they can't content themselves with eating other snakes and start going for my eggs and chicks, then they have to become hiss-tory. (ha.. cracked myself up)

Today Craig dispatched a huge black snake that was in the chicken house. There's a couple chicks missing, so he had to go. Check it out:

Pardon the weeds in the flower bed, I can't pull them - there might be snakes in there!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring Crop

All the rain this spring has prevented us from doing much in the way of gardening just yet. We did manage to get a lovely little pyramid bed installed.

First, we removed the sod from a 6 foot circle:

Then, we dug the soil fairly deep and raked the seedbed fine:

Then, we installed a metal ring around the bed:

Next we filled that metal ring with some well-aged compost and ran the water hose to the middle:

Now the middle ring is in place, hose ran and compost started. After this, the top ring will be installed and filled as well, and the hose will run to the top.

After all our hard work and weeks of waiting, the crop looks to be ready to harvest!