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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On again off again, bits of progress, wasps and rodents

Nate, Cori and the kids are in Honduras this morning. I remember those mornings as I traveled with my parents and my siblings when I woke and listened to the sounds of the morning in a different country; not just a different bed in a different house, but in a different country. I hope the kids feel that experience this morning. I assume their flight went without issue once they were able to take off. As I understand it, they were on the plane waiting to seal up the cabin door when all passengers were asked to deplane. For some reason, the pilots took notice of the kids and invited them into the cockpit. Since this was their first time on a plane, I am sure that will add to the overall experience. Blake stated early on that he wanted to be able to look out the window and see the what things looked like from that high up. Hopefully, he got his wish. He certainly got the right seat.

When I got home yesterday evening, the Wycoff’s were there getting two more of the little piglets. This time from Molly’s litter. That still leaves us three piglets to sell off. They also gave us five hens from a batch of chicks recently purchased. We are raising hens and roosters from the same batch and are also disappointed with the lack of growth in the birds. But we have allowed ours to continue to grow. The Wycoff’s have killed off the skinny roosters and started with a new batch of chicks. They did not believe the birds were worth the feed they were being given. They took five of our skinny roosters with them. They will not survive the week. With the new hens unfamiliar with the routine of the coop, it was a bit of a chore to get everyone into the coop for the night, but we managed to get most of them bedded down properly. Those that do not adapt will not survive long. Coyotes and coons make short work of any un-cooped, exposed chickens.

After the Wycoff’s left, I had to do a couple of repairs for Mama before I was able to get to work on the shop but still managed to get a portion of the front wall done. The activity does the rest of my body good. It is not always good for my back but I have faith my back will heal as I continue to gently press forward with the work I need to be doing on the farm. With us now at the middle of August, I only have about ten weeks before I have to be prepared for freezing weather. That time will pass all too quickly and I have to be careful to get the right things done on the farm to make the best use of it. As for work, I will be traveling for at least three of those ten weeks which shortens the timeframe considerably. I am sure it will all work out.        

Since Nate and I discovered a wasp nest under the metal siding last week, I took the tractor and lifted the stack so I could see the nest. It was a big one. It was the red wasps. I do not know if they are really more aggressive than any other wasps but I have always held that belief. Maybe it is because they are red and look angry. Just the gentle lifting of the bundle of siding got them stirred up but it gave me opportunity to spray the nest and kill most of them – once they settled down from the initial disruption. It should be safe to start using the siding now. As with all areas of the farm, if we leave anything sit still the wasps and the rodents will find a way to make a home in it; whether it is a bundle of metal sheets, a steel drum, a pallet or the suitcases in our closet, they will build their nests and store this scavenged food in any dark, dry place.

Mama is scared of the wasps – regardless of the type – but her loathing and fear of the rodents is visceral. Unfortunately, having farm animals only invites them in. So far, her love for the animals has won out over her hatred for the rats and mice. But that is subject to change at any time. In the meanwhile, it costs me time to put in barriers, move things around and hunt down scratching noises in the ceiling and walls.

All part of the fun!


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