Monday was repair-the-horse-fence day which I wrote about last post. Tuesday was my monthly raptor run starting from our farm. This time we met my former (before stroke) raptor running pal Marilyn with her escort Sue part way through the route so Marilyn could revisit a couple of the "hot birding spots" on our route. She proved to be a bird magnet. We saw a distant eagle perched under about a zillion ravens at our first stop, as well as several Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks. But most exciting was this close-up view of a White-tailed Kite, the only one Dawn and I saw on our 80 mile route that day.
The next stop, at Oregon Wildlife Center, gave us a close-up view of a beautiful Dama Gazelle.
And close-up views of bluebirds although I never did get one in focus.
Marilyn and Sue headed home, then, while Dawn and I finished my route. We were surprised to find a Red-shouldered Hawk on a wire near Fort Hill Restaurant. That was the second Red-shouldered of the day. The first had been seen 3 miles north on the Willamina side of the hill.
I was tired when we got home but since I had not yet sent my monthly column off to United Caprine News and that day was the deadline, I gave my draft a quick go-over, called it good, and emailed it to the editor. Then it was off to the barn for evening chores. Sweetheart, the goat I didn't know was bred until a few weeks ago, (the buck jumped out back in September), needed help that night delivering her twin bucklings. I was even more tired after untangling those kids and helping them out. It took the kids a couple days to get the hang of nursing but they're doing well now.
On Wednesday, I made a feed run for the last of the low-carb hay pellets that will be available until next summer. I'm scrambling to find a replacement for my easy keeper Morgans who cannot be out on our lush spring grass, come spring. It looks like my horse hobby is about to get more expensive. Ah well, as horse people always say, it's cheaper than therapy.
Yesterday (Friday) was tree planting day after my trip on Thursday to pick up pre-ordered trees from the Yamhill County Soil and Water Conservation District annual tree sale. I bought Western Dogwoods, Pacific Yews and Pacific Madrones. And surrounded each of them with rocks that we had brought out of the hills last Sunday. The rocks are to protect them from gophers and my lawnmower. The baby trees are tiny now, but so were the Sequoia and Cedar near this little Madrone when I planted them not so many years ago. Trees grow fast (the ones that survive) in our temperate rainforest climate. And tree planting is good therapy, too.
After tree planting and lunch, the greenhouse was begging for water so I provided the jungle plants with their occasional monsoon rains... and noticed buds coming again on the rick rack type cactus. It gets buds often but they almost always turn black and die. It's too cold in our unheated greenhouse for them. The cymbidium orchid, though, seems to like cool temperatures just fine and is in full bloom... more good therapy for wickedly busy me.
Today, after morning chores, I walked around the farm gathering trail camera cards. Raccoons and deer predominated in the videos. But the camera I had moved to the horse escape location where I had done temporary fence repairs on Monday had many videos of Jessie Anne, the fence tester, marching past. In one she stops and looks at my fencing handiwork. Horses are creatures of the plains, not the forest, yet all but one video was taken at night, in the dark, when no horse should be deep in the woods. The other horses must have agreed as they were not following her until the last video, when Nightingale examined the camera.
Jessie Anne must be really determined to escape again, although there is absolutely nothing to eat in the jungle on the other side of the fence. No rest for the wicked, indeed.