Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Kevin and Ian

Kestrel and Great Grandpa

Grandpa and Cedrus

Kestrel, Grandpa, Cedrus and Steve

Ian and Kevin

Kestrel and Grandpa

Cedrus, Kestrel and Steve

Dad's 80th Birthday ride in Mom's cart

Grandpa Johnny and Ian

Great Grandpa and Ian

Kevin and Ian

Dad and my brother Bob

Ian and Kevin
Ian and Kevin

Johnny and Kevin at Disneyland

Kevin, Ian, Johnny at Multnomah Falls

Kestrel, Steve, Cedrus
Ian and Kevin

Monday, June 11, 2018

An Early Summer

After months of rain, it quit. We got the hay in before the end of May with no rain. Then it rained for a couple of days. And now it's hot and dry again. Anyone who thinks the climate is not changing is not a farmer... at least not an old farmer. We "always" put up hay on the 4th of July. Not any more. The grass has long since headed out and dried up by then.

We have been pretty overwhelmed trying to get neighbor Irv's house ready for him to come home to. His therapist came out last week with him and approved Johnny's ramp but gave lots of other things that needed doing: raising a chair so Irv doesn't bend more than 90 degrees to sit down (until his hip heals), installing all sorts of helpful equipment in the bathroom, fixing every possible tripping hazard in the house. On top of that the rain exposed a leak in the roof and a totally plugged gutter running water into the carport. Johnny fixed them. Meanwhile several of us have been cleaning and washing and throwing away garbage. And trying to get the doggy smell out of everything. It's quite a project but we're making progress.

In between I work at weeding my flowerbeds, watering the veggie garden, and doing my once weekly Black Oystercatcher survey on the beautiful Oregon coast. Eagles are a common sight.

And so is lovely scenery and beautiful weather...

And, of course, Black Oystercatchers...

This one standing guard near the nest site...

And here is a third bird about to be chased off by the pair. They are very territorial when nesting.

As I sit writing this blog post at 11 p.m., I'm hearing "our" fledgling Barn Owls outside my window begging. This is the first time they have been vocal. Usually we hear this sound for weeks on end before they fly but not this year. I suspect the Barred Owl that was calling nightly is the reason. Barred Owls will prey on Barn Owl youngsters. Perhaps it has moved on. These fledglings return to the barn most days to roost. I guess it feels like the safest place.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Busy Days and Happy Photos

 Gardening, haying, taking care of neighbor Irv's chickens while he's in rehab from his hip replacement, taking care of our own livestock, trying to get ahead of the weeds, lawn, the list goes on and on. Plus surveying Black Oystercatchers during the month of May out at the coast... a wonderful reprieve from all the work on the farm.

But things are definitely looking up from last fall. Johnny is doing well and able to do most everything, albeit slower and with a limp. He raked the hay fields today and mowed under electric fence lines, repaired the horse fence and probably more I don't know about because I was busy weeding and watering and tending animals.

What a delight it was in the middle of our labors to get these photos from Kestrel and Cedrus' Auntie Fudge, taken this weekend while visiting her for a couple days. I think the photos were taken at the BART station and on the BART. She took them to the city (San Francisco) and let them pick out summer outfits. She loves buying them clothes. They loved trying on and rejecting many outfits until finding just the ones they wanted.

When I raved about these wonderful photos, Auntie Fudge sent me two of Cedrus taken on BART during a "sleepover" two years ago. What a day brightener!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spring Stories

The weather has warmed... and cooled... and dried up... and rained. It's spring in western Oregon! The flowers are lovely. As the earliest blooms fade, the next round opens. Kitty is cute, too. And always happy to accompany me.

The horses are enjoying spring, too.

Goats, more flowers and a beautiful snake...

two foot long garter snake sunning itself

Gertrude the Guinea Hen enjoys admiring herself wherever she can find her reflection.

We recently discovered that she is laying eggs again this year... a nest right by the path to the shop. Mister McCoy is standing next to the nest without knowing it's there. I didn't know it was there either until I weeded that flowerbed.

A less happy story happened today. 88-year-old friend and neighbor Irv fell and broke his hip. Luckily, he was scheduled to come down to our place this morning. When he didn't show up, Johnny went to check and found Irv unable to stand... where he had fallen two hours earlier. Johnny called 911 and followed the ambulance to the hospital. Irv will get a new hip tomorrow at the Salem hospital. We are feeding his chickens and dog and gathering eggs until he is home again. One never knows what the next day will bring, weather-wise or health wise. It's a good reminder to enjoy the flowers while we can.