In Mickey's mind, he's the youthful Ranch Manager, responsible for all things Moondance. In reality, he's an older dog who should stay in the nice warm house on these cold mornings. We've reached a compromise. He's coming to the barn to supervise chores, but he's wearing his blanket just like the horses do. And he's learned "mat", which means get-on-your-mat-and-warm-up.
He's plugged in.
But Mickey, I'm telling you, when it gets really cold this winter,
It's cold and snowing. Wawawa. I haven't taken any snow pics yet, so I thought I'd post a couple of little odds and ends.
We live on the plains. There's precious little water here, and consequently precious little waterfowl. A Great Blue Heron visited back when we had torrential rains that filled the pond, and once we saw a few misguided Canadian Geese fly by. That's it. So imagine our surprise last week when we saw thousands of waterfowl in V formations, very high in the sky. I only caught the last of them on camera, and it's not the best footage, but if you crank the volume up, you might be able to tell that it's...
For more information on Sandhill Cranes, and a much better look at them, click here for a youtube clip by National Geographic.
Neighbor Doyle owns most of the land between our house and town. He once owned the land where our ranch is, and the land of all of our immediate neighbors. His family homesteaded this area. Lately he's been decorating the drive into town with old pieces of horse drawn farm equipment.
Two Row Seed Planter
When David was a little boy on the farm, he'd man a drill like this one while his father pulled it with a tractor.
Wind has tipped this Double Row Plow onto its side.
I think this is part of a reaper,
but I'm not sure.
If you know what this is,
I will ask Doyle what the heck this is the next time we see him. He comes up our lane to let us know how much he appreciates all of David's hard work making the ranch look great. I appreciate it too.
The old farm implements make me think about all those hard working horses that pulled the equipment.
One of our favorite sounds on the ranch is the soft hooting of the Great Horned Owl. In the warmer months when the hunting is easy, we hear him away in the pines. As the days get shorter and cooler, his hunting brings him closer to the house and barn. Many winter mornings he perches on the barn's weather vane, keeping a sharp eye out for mice. This morning was the season's first sighting of him perched on the barn roof.
I couldn't find my camera (hadn't finished my coffee), so I grabbed my cell phone. That blob on the left is the owl.
I love living here, but there's a few things I miss, like a nice vegetable garden. Living in an almost-desert at 6,880' elevation and with howling winds, gardening is a challenge. This year I decided that perhaps an underground vegetable like potatoes would do better than the pitiful tomatoes, etc, I've grown. Here is my entire fall harvest -
The only thing that grew halfway well for me was an accidental garlic. Being too cheap to throw a withered old clove away, I shoved it into the veggie bed, and I'll be darn, it grew. It didn't produce a nice big bulb, but it grew. So this year I decided to try garlic. As a long-time reader of The Skoog Farm Journal, I know that garlic is planted in the Fall. I prepared my garden bed, and off to the local garden supply store I went. The clerk told me that they didn't have garlic just yet because the soil was too warm for planting, but they would have it Friday. So back I went Friday, and selected one of each of their hardneck (cold weather) varieties. And I picked up their handout, "How to Grow Great Garlic", for evening reading. Imagine my surprise when I read "Plant your garlic cloves in autumn allowing 4-6 weeks of growing before a hard freeze." What??? We don't have 4-6 weeks of growing before a hard freeze. We don't have 4-6 days.
I've planted my garlic, but I don't exactly have hope in my heart for a bountiful harvest. I'm guessing my garlic harvest will resemble my potato harvest.