Friday, September 14, 2007

This is something E has been talking about doing, for several years. Well the way the hay situation is, he decided to bite the bullet and actually do it. We went to the Soil and Water Conservation Office and rented their no-till drill and planted orchard grass in the existing fescue back pasture. It makes a 1 inch deep furrow and plants seeds in the furrows. Hopefully it will rain a bit and get it started and we will have some decent hay for next year. Pray that it works. He also wants to add some fertilizer too, soon.

Elliot is getting bigger. He must feel a lot better now, because he doesn't sit and cry at all and he plays non stop. He chases anything that will move and he climbs up on anything that will hold still long enough. Here, he is trying to 'kill' his stuffed mouse! He had so much fun with that mouse, but he has lost it or the dog has carried it off somewhere. We can't find it anywhere. I've seen him knock it off the porch and he would run out in the yard and pick it up with his teeth and it carry it back and play with it some more!! Another hummer photo. I liked this, because of the birds' little feet. I thought that was so neat! It was late evening, hence the silhouette look. They are still fighting over the the three feeders. How do people get several hummers to feed at the same time. I've seen photos of up to 16 hummers all sitting and drinking at the same time. This feeder has six ports but there is never more than one on it at a time. I wish I knew how they accomplished the 'dining room' effect.

Here is a male Indigo Bunting that I spotted on my finch feeder this summer. He is so blue and bright and pretty. This feeder was right outside my kitchen window, so I would prop my camera on the window sill and snap photos. Then...the woodpeckers found the finch feeder and drilled it full of holes so that it wouldn't hold the finch seed anymore. We gave up and quit feeding the birds. We will do it again when it gets cold, but waaaaaaa, in the summer there are a lot of different birds that won't be here when it gets winter cold.
Today being E's birthday, I took him out to eat and he chose a Mexican Restaurant that we have eaten at one other time. It was yummy then, and it was yummy tonight. Yummo!! to get right back on my eating plan again. Oh it was so good too!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hay, Hummers, and Horsepower

E and I drove to Elnora Indiana today to the 23rd Antique Show. They had over 700 antique tractors. Antique cars and trucks, steam engines, gas engines and lots more. They were making cider, sorghum syrup, soap, homemade ice cream, (and was it ever tasty!) and lots of other things. There were rows and rows of booths of antiques of every description! We didn't get to see it all, because we didn't get there until late morning, I think about 10:30. If you go, get there EARLY! Sorry, you will have to plan to go next year, as Sept. 9 is the last day. It is so worth a whole day to see it. Seeing the antique machinery running was what I liked best, and of course the people watching. It is located in an area that has a lot of Amish and Mennonite people and there were many of them there, enjoying the day. It threatened rain all day, but didn't rain a drop, until we were about half way home to Spencer.
Here are some images from our day:

This is a steam powered sawmill. These men cut a huge log into boards,

and this is the steam engine that made it possible. Her name was Kitten and she burned coal.
This is a horsepowered threshing machine. It is a treadmill for horses! These three horses sure weren't getting anywhere fast on this piece of machinery.
Here is the rear view

and the front view. It looked like hard work for these horses. But they just walked and walked, as the straw was fed into the thresher.

And this was a mule powered straw baler. After it was threshed, it came over here to be baled as the mules walked around in a circle packing it into wire tied bales.

This is a corn shucker if I remember right. The stalks were fed into it, and the ears were seperated from the stalks. An Amish young man with his young son about 3 years old stopped as we were watching this work, and told E that he and his dad used one of these every year to shuck their corn crop.

This is what E and I did earlier this week. E bought a used sickle bar mower and after adjusting, repairing, oiling and carving down a board to make a new pitman arm, he cut our back pasture for hay. A couple of days later,

he baled it and used his bigger tractor for the first time in the fields. We got a grand total of 38 bales of hay!! Last year we got about 100 bales! But this has been the driest year since we have been here, and the hay just didn't grow. But it was not just us, everyone is having hay problems. They are selling for 5.00 a bale and up. In a normal year they sell for 2.50 in the field and 3.25 off of the wagon. And that is for cheap mixed grass! I'm afraid to ask what orchard grass/alfalfa sells for! Yikes! Lets hope we don't have a longggg, coldddd, winter!

The hummingbirds are thick around my feeders. I have three feeders up, and there are sometimes 5 or 6 hummers, all fighting each other, over the right to defend that feeder from any or all others! They squeak and zoom past my head when I am standing on the porch. They aren't after me, but just the other hummers that take every opportunity to rush in and get a drink! They are fun to watch, but it looks exhausting, all that constant chasing of each other. It is both males and females that do it. This one paused on a branch by my kitchen window long enough for me to take her photo.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The other day, I stopped to fill my little pickup truck with some 'go-juice' and this is what pulled in to the air pump. Those black cows were packed in the trailer, but they were wanting to see what was going on out there! There were a couple of cowboys or farmers or whatever you want to call them in the truck. They put air in all the trailer tires, then headed to wherever it was that they were going with their 'mooies'.
This little kitty is a new addition to our pet family. E went outside to feed one morning a couple of weeks ago about 5:00 AM. When he and the dog stepped outside on the porch the dog discovered this kitten hiding in the shrubs along side the house. E called off the dog, but the kitten was too skittish to get his hands on it. He went on and fed the horses and chickens, and we had breakfast and E went to off to work. We kept the dog inside, and I went out and sat down on the porch as close as I could get to the kitten, about 3 feet away. I talked to it and edged closer until I could touch it. I picked it up and it was so skinny and its eyes were all goopy and it cried almost non stop. It was scared, lost, sick, and hungry. I fed it, decided to call it Ella. We had a large cage on the porch that we had hauled some chickens in. I put her in there, with food and water and went to work. She wasn't afraid of dog at all, so a few days later, I had let her out of the cage and gone into the house and forgot about her. Well, when I came back out about an hour later, the dog was chewing on her pretty badly. She acted injured, wouldn't put any weight on her left front at all. I took her to the vet because I thought something was broken. When I picked her up, they told me that my kittens name was Elliot! and that the dog had just bruised him pretty badly. He is fine now, (but has been an expensive kitten!) We still have to watch them all the time if the dog and Elliot are out together. The dog isn't being mean, just playing but the kitten is just too young and fragile. Here he is relaxing in the dog house, on the front porch.
We were getting a load of fire wood and the loggers had left for the day when we went up there. Some of their logs were there waiting for them to load them, and E stepped off this one. It was 72 feet long!! There were several more that were almost that long. Wow! They cut them into much shorter lengths to truck them out. The farm owners told us that they hauled 29 loads of logs out of their woods. They have lived there 47 years. He is 83 and she is a tad younger. He has never lived more than 1/8 mile from where he was born! Wow! I just thought that was amazing, to have lived in one place so long!