Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Old stuff

Since we've been building a new road by the house, they've been using the big digger by what was the old horse stable. They uncovered all kinds of stuff today, including a medicine bottle that still had medicine in it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From the trail camera yesterday

We put one of the cameras on one of my apple trees.

Guess who showed up?

He's eating my apples! This is no stranger to us either, it's Deer Norman. For newer blog readers, we watch and have gotten to know a lot of the resident wildlife on the property, especially the deer... over several years. He's a 5 year old buck, or older, that's how long it's been since we met him.

I drove out to another one of the cameras to check earlier today and a huge Owl was nearby on the ground, as I got out of the ATV, he flew up off the ground and startled me... his wing span was incredible. I'm hoping he'll come by the camera for a picture!

I'm heading for a hike now to our big creek, I have a feeling it's turning red, it's gorgeous this time of year. We cannot access it with the ATV because the road is washed away from the dam right now. Kevin is going to fix it but it won't be for a few days or so yet, and I just can't wait. I'll take something with me to hopefully scare away any bears in the area. Hopefully I'll get some nice pictures. It's too nice of a day to not squeeze in a good hike, I've been waiting for this kind of weather, I've got to take advantage of it.

A baby porcupine ran out in front of me today on my way home from the cameras, so the animals are also on the move taking advantage of the cooler weather and I think mainly, less bugs!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dustbunnies and things

Have you ever had one of these dustbunnies in your house?

This one was behind some window trim that was in a corner. The other 6 were in the livingroom.

These little guys are drinking formula but just to help boost their immune system, they are also eating pellets and hay.

Awful cute for dustbunnies aren't they?

Do I have milk on my face?

Better wash it just in case...

Someone is not impressed with the recent increase of dustbunnies in the house...

You ever seen a face this annoyed?

Peaches - the bunny who was nameless is healthy now and allowed to be around the other rabbits. She's sweet as pie too. Thanks for all the name suggestions! I was planning on another name but I kept calling her this name because I've had peaches on the mind... so it's stuck.

Blueberry was very curious about the new girl....

Yesterday when we went out to check the trail camera I took some pictures of the trails Kevin groomed the other day. It's great for driving and walking having the trails trimmed.

We tested some of the apples, they are still a little tart but they are starting to fall from the trees.

This picture below is where our trail camera that caught the bears on film was located.

On the way home Kevin wanted to show me something he found when he was cutting the brush away from our fences... Jack was pretty excited to see us coming, I'm sure he was hoping for cookies.

He found elderberries! He's been looking for them for a long time and has never found them until now.

He'd like us to try making wine with them. I've never had jam or pie from them, have any of you?

It was so windy as we were across the pond in front of the house...

That the lily pads were up in the air!

It was super windy all day, and cool. Kevin stopped to pick up this rock he found, he just had to bring it home.

In the evening, the wind calmed down and the sky turned pink... it was a beautiful end to the day.

Today has been warm, breezy, and quite fall like. Our road man came in here this morning to start  tearing rocks out and fix the areas on our road that are the least 5th wheel friendly. We won't be moving the 5th wheel until spring, but we needed him in to build a turn around road at the house so we can move the 5th wheel because it's in the way right now for when we start bringing loads of wood to the house, and it's impossible to move as it sits, so we figured, he might as well do all the work that needs to be done now, or as much of it as we can afford right now.

This is where the 5th wheel got stuck on the way in... actually, slipped off the road!

It's all been filled in and widened. I can't believe the size of some of the rocks they pulled out.

The also widened the road near one of the big ponds that usually floods our road in the spring...

I was surprised to see since I've been out last, one of the soft maples has completely turned red!

I guess it was more fall like today than I realized.

Tomorrow they'll be back at the road, working closer to the house. Tomorrow evening, if things work out, we'll be off to pick up three small new additions to the farm, something we've never had here before... it's very exciting :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

First check of our trail cameras...

And we've got...


I couldn't believe it. The cameras have been out less than a week... and we caught a family of 4, a mama and three cubs walking on one of our trails (thankfully this is not near the house). It's so exciting. I walk back there alone a lot, so now I'll just be a little extra cautious. When I was picking blackberries last week I saw a few paths that look like bear, and I'm pretty sure now that's what they were.

We know they are here, but we have tried to catch them on the cameras before in places we know for sure they frequent, and haven't been able to. This was pure luck to catch them on our trail.

I drove by this exact spot with our cousin's wife not an hour later, and we got out to walk so I could show her one of our look outs at the creek.

This doe was there just before the bears came through if you look at the times...

Our number 1 camera which is just behind the goat yard and barn areas in our apple tree field had pictures of a coyote on it from last night... Not what I wanted to see, but I know they hang around there often... explains why the dogs were so upset.

It's been very windy today, overcast, and cool enough for us to close all the windows in the house. We are getting some winds from Irene. Tonight my last three bucklings go to their new home to settle in.

Back to making tortillas now... I was making some for dinner tonight and then realized, since I've started, I might as well make a few dozen and freeze them so they'll be handy when I need them.

I've got to take my camera chip back out too, so we can see who else has been using our trails!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Season of the corn

Two nights ago I caught Kevin in the garden eating fresh corn off the cob raw. He said it was good, sweet, and ready to eat. I tried some, and agreed. Since we traveled so much earlier this summer we did not do three plantings of corn as we planned, but just one. However this is our first ever corn grown on the farm successfully. We've grown corn many times but the soil hasn't been good enough, until now. We put tons and tons of manure in the garden this year and the corn loved it. (Thank you goaties, sheep, horses, rabbits...)

So yesterday afternoon, I picked a bunch. All the while thinking of the old movie "children of the corn" which was a favorite joke between me and a friend of mine, most of our lives. While I was picking corn, Gladys, the only one of my red hens right now, came over to say hello, she likes to be held and petted. I offered her some corn and she happily ate it right out of my hand.
I husked the corn I wanted to freeze, boiled it for a few minutes and then cut the kernels off and froze them. I saved several ears for us to grill, and there is still some left in the garden that wasn't ready to pick.

I picked 31 ears of corn.

Douglas was getting ready for the long haul, he knew we'd be working for a while.

 After I was done processing the corn, I took the leavings out to the goats who look forward to this time of year for this reason, and soon, it will be pumpkin time...

 Somebody got in the way while I was dumping cobs and husks...

Beatrice is a cookie monster, she'll eat anything, and she'll eat as much of it as she can stand...

Clearly, Flavious didn't care and he just went to sleep.

Two of the best friends on the farm, Buckwheat, one of the biggest goats, and Hilda, the smallest.

Brie testing to see if it's worth eating...

Well, mama is eating it, so it must be alright...

Miss Bea, stuffing it in...

Happy Bucket

Happy Biscuit with a mouthful!

Sammy was pretty preoccupied, there was stained grape juice in the basket that he wanted...

Izzie thought she better check out the basket too, since she wasn't interested in the corn.

Who can eat the most?

Snickerdoodle and his clan

The three amigos already had their corn treat today

Izzie and Sammy stuffed into the empty bushel basket

Happy Butternut

Max feels confident everything is under control....

Mini Nut with a mouthful

Sammy wonders if Bulrush has a better piece

Max decided to have a few bites for himself

Bulrush the hog - don't be fooled, he's a piggie in a goats clothing

Corn husks flying

Silly Bucket...

Once the corn was all frozen, and eaten, we put our three new trail camera out in new locations. We'll start seeing whos hanging around the house, and what's going on in the forest.

 This tree is one of the most beautiful on the property in the fall... I hope it turns out to be a good year for color. Remember this tree in a month or so when I show you her all orange. We went out in the forest for a bit to look around now that the bugs are down, it's a lot nicer walking in the forest.

There are so many strange mushrooms out now that it's been so wet... I take pictures of all of them so I can come home and look them up.

A partridge (Grouse) feather

Giant mushroom

These are dolls eyes - baneberry. They are very poisonous and while it's normal for them to be out this time of year, we've never seen so much of it in the bush, usually you are lucky (or not lucky, however you want to look at it) if you see one of them, but we saw well over a dozen.

I love this fungus, so pretty, like a whole other world growing on this log

We've never seen this before and I haven't been able to find it in my books yet...

Just before we got home by the apple tree you can see from our bedroom, this doe was standing there watching us... She's been hanging around early this year. The does we've seen are nice are round which is a great sign. Last year at this time of year they were already thin, standing in the tall grass. They are all going to be going into the winter a lot stronger this year than they did last year.

And lastly a recipe to share... I made these a few days ago, we had them with stuffed meatballs. They are really nice, and I'll make these again, but I'll add a lot more garlic! I found the recipe here.

Garlic Knots

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, give or take a few tablespoons
4-6 garlic cloves finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Parmesan cheese
Dried parsley flakes
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour). Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels. The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.
Knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (this usually takes about an hour). While dough is rising melt butter and add garlic.
Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased counter top. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a four to six-inch rope. Brush rope with garlic butter making sure to get a few small pieces of garlic on each rope. Form into a knot, tucking the loose ends into the center of the knot. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap taking care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten while rising. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. Brush each roll with extra garlic butter (you might have to make more depending on how much you put on your rolls prior to baking) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley flakes (mostly just for color). Return to oven for another minute if you want your parmesan melted on top.
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