Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ben asks . . .

Does this saddle make my butt look big?

We are thinking of all the folks and animals on the east coast and wishing them well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Plugged In

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,
 you're staying in the house.
"Yeah, right."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Odds and Ends

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...

Sandhill Cranes

For more information on Sandhill Cranes, and a much better look at them, click here for a youtube clip by National Geographic.

Remember this? 
Ron Stone left a comment identifying this as a hammermill.  He uses one to grind barley into flour.  Thanks, Ron.

The End

Friday, October 19, 2012

50 Shades of Hay

Stolen from Ted and Bunny - 
     (with permission, of course!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Leaves for Leontien

so many friends are thinking of you
and sending good wishes your way.

Our aspens are covered
with leaves changing to gold.

With every leaf,
I am sending a wish
your way.

If you would like to send your own best wishes to Leontien in her fight against melanoma, please visit "A Rural Journal" to see how to participate in "Leaves for Leontien".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pretty Boy

What's that on your nose, Ben?
Brown sugar.  And dirt.

Oh Ben, let's get that cleaned up.
There.  That's better.
But look at those whiskers!  Let's take care of those too.

Good boy, Ben.  Now you look handsome.
Thanks.  Can I have some brown sugar?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Horse Drawn Farm Equipment

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

Seed Drill
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.

Hay Rake


I think this is part of a reaper,
but I'm not sure.

Gleaner Combine

Gleaner Combine

And last,
a mystery.
If you know what this is,
please share.

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. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Great Horned Owl

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.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I'm going to try to keep track of our snowfall this year, so I've added a gadget to my sidebar.  I'm calling it my Slog (snow log) gadget.  Why now?  Why, because we've had a dusting yesterday and today.


It's nasty out there today.  The high was right around freezing.  It's been spitting hard little snow pellets all day, and the wind cuts right through you. 

Frozen sage

We're headed to the 50s tomorrow and the 60s Monday.  Yay.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Harvest

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.