Saturday, August 14, 2010


It is 98 degrees here right now, too hot to work outside and I'm tired of sorting all the junk on the kitchen table. (How do I manage to accumulate so much stuff?) So I'll throw together some unrelated photos and comments to try to catch up a bit on this journal/blog. I intended to write a column on all the work I've been doing on the farm, since I tend to only post our fun, coastal adventures. I was going to post a photo of the sheep and llamas before I sheared them and after. However, I've yet to shear the poor things. It's too hot to put them and myself through that ordeal. Besides, wool insulates against heat as well as cold, right?

But here is a photo of the huge mound of bushes I whacked off the driveway so people could drive down without getting smacked in the face. The box and sacks are full of thistles and tansy I pulled out of our fields. The sacks are now covered with a blue tarp because the horses were in the orchard where that burn pile resides and decided that sacked thistles must be tasty, scattering them and the sacks all over the place. I had to resack all those thistles that I'd spent many days pulling. I was not happy. The horses are now banned from the orchard. Also pictured is the driveway, de-brushed. One can even drive to the barn now without getting attacked by blackberry vines. At least until they grow back out again.

I also cleaned two buck pens that had not been cleaned in a very long time. Many many loads like this one went to the chicken yard. I have two more pens to clean, much deeper than the first two. They'll have to wait for cooler weather. One of the pens I cleaned will temporarily house the new Livestock Guardian puppy that is due to arrive next week. More about that another time.

Johnny, when he's not being dragged to the coast to assist in Black Oystercatcher surveys, has been working on the new barn design and doing ground work. The water and electric lines are laid, holes dug for posts; all's ready for the concrete people. Johnny also seems to have oozed back into working for other people a bit... small jobs... for neighbors and friends. His back is good most of the time, but not all of the time.

In bird news (and there's always bird news), many families of quail patrol the driveway and the area in front of the barn where grain magically appears most mornings. So many quail patrol the driveway that we're making signs to encourage people to slow down. More about that another time. A barn owl is nesting again in the loft... I'm not sure if it's the same one that nested earlier in the year or a different one.

And, of course, there have been those trips to the coast. Johnny has hiked a few of them with me... probably more than he should have. This sign says the first half mile of the Hart's Cove trail is rather steep. "Rather steep" is like "rather pregnant". It's steep. Period. But it didn't seem half as steep going down as it did coming back up. And we didn't even find any Oystercatchers.

The view, though, was, as always, lovely. Sea lions were sacked out all over the rocks by the waterfall. They have the right idea for what to do on a hot day.

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