So I am on a “Farmcation”.  After our trip to the Oregon Coast, we went to a music festival.  (As it is in no way farm related I didn’t blog about it, but there are some photos on my Facebook page.)  I came back yesterday and am now on a Farmcation until Friday.

Yesterday I did the usual returning from vacation stuff: unpacked the van, dishes, laundry, pick up mail, check on critters, pick up dog from kennel, check emails, etc.

So today the Farmcation really begins.  I did extra critter stuff this morning: rotated pastures, cleaned water pans, added bedding, cleaned rabbit hutches, unloaded feed.  Nothing too glamourous.  I did noticed something about Diddley though.  I had been watching him as his horns are growing more quickly than the other wethers.  And before we left he butted me.  I checked his scrotum before, and it had definitely dried up and fallen off after banding, and I did not feel a testicle there.  So today I checked him again.  And guess what….I found a round smooth mass between his nipples (not sure the correct term for these on a male sheep).  So he is not a wether but a one nut wonder.  I know I had both testicles down when I banded him but one must have somehow snuck above the band.  This is a first for me.  So now I will have to drag him to the vet and find out how much this is going to cost us.  I do not want to keep him as a ram or butcher him as he is friendly, and I have learned the hard way not to have friendly rams on the property, even for one year.  Here he is with his gang, leader of the pack.

This afternoon I attacked the garden.  First I picked peas.  Can you believe I am only now harvesting peas, and it is late July!?!  Then I weeded the garden.  In the area between the corn and the tomatoes I noticed something move to the right.  It looked like a long brown streak.  I would have thought it was a snake, but it kind of jumped.  I could not find it so went on about my business.  Then I pulled out the weed wacker to trim around the garden.  This is in my vain attempt to keep the grass down so the slugs will not hang out near the garden.  While whacking I noticed the same brown streak.  This time I saw him, a frog in my garden!

We have a lot of tree frogs here out back, but I have not seen a frog like this one here.  Here’s a look at his back.

Pretty cool, huh?  I figure he’s not doing any harm amongst the tomatoes and corn, and he may be doing some good.  It is yet another sign of how wet this spring/summer has been that he thinks our vegetable garden is a frog oasis.  After whacking I decided I should check on the tadpoles out back.  Every year it is a race to see if the tadpoles get their legs or the water dries up first.  We have performed some tadpole rescues in the past.  This year with the moisture I figured we were OK but thought I would make sure.

En route I noticed that the grass out back is getting quite tall.  In the past few years we have let the sheep and goats graze it down.  But since we do not have the cows anymore there’s plenty of grass in the pastures and in the “Back Forty” the fiber animals tended to get seeds and blackberry vines in their wool.  Plus they invariably ate trees as well as the grass and blackberries.  So I was quite surprised to see how tall thee grass has gotten.  It is taller than me (and I am not short).  Plus there’s indentations in it that make me think something else is visiting it.  Then I noticed flowers (or weeds depending on your perspective) growing in it.

As the grass was quite difficult to walk in I crossed the ditch to our fenceline for easier walking.  Here I noticed a pretty bird.  I have taken several local birding classes but still cannot recognized all the birds that live on our property.  Here he/she is in flight ( I know it’s out of focus but it shows the color hidden under the wings.)

I finally made it to the tadpole pond.  They are doing just fine.  So hopefully they will get their legs soon and hop on outahere before it becomes dirt.  You can see them better in the shadow.

Here’s a bird handing out on a cedar branch near the pond.  Now as pretty but still photogenic (I thought).  This cedar tree has almost been killed by our goats but is still struggling along.

So this evening is pea shucking and freezing, ideally while watching a rare Mariners win.

Tomorrow is cheese making.  I am planning on making goats milk cheddar for the first time.  Plus I will make a Fromage Blanc with some of the sheep milk.

I hope to find time to get some pasture mowing in with the tractor between cheese making steps.  The next big project is fixing the western barn wall.

I do not know if you can appreciate it well in this photo, but the roof line is quite irregular.  This project will require removing the totally inadequate posts (currently 2 x 4s), jacking up the roof, putting in new hefty posts, cementing them in and securing them well to the roof joists (rather than the current plumbers tape) and a new (this time metal) wall with windows.  I will wait for Tom before tackling this one.

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13 Responses to Farmcation

  1. Teresa says:

    It looks like your farmcation is going to keep you really busy. We’re so wet here that my cat brought a frog up and left on the patio. I never see frogs here.

    • It is going to keep me busy but you’ll notice I did take a little time to look around and observe things (birds, grass, etc.) which normally here I am so focused on getting tasks completed in a short amount of time I cannot enjoy my surroundings as much.
      We aren’t the only ones with unexpected frogs.

  2. Michelle says:

    That orange and black bird looks like a black-headed grosbeak. I saw a Western Tanager here today; that was a pretty surprise!

  3. Thanks Michelle.

  4. eric says:

    Sounds like you have a full farmcation planned.
    I would love to know how thw barn wall repairs come out. I am going to have to do the same thing to one of my buildings here before too long.

  5. rabbtux says:

    Enjoyed the photos. I like frogs and toads. We get an occasional toad by our cistern. Sorry to hear about Didley. Our Grover is like that. I need to have him checked by the vet and decide what to do with him. He is ramming us too. This year, I was too chicken to band Roosevelt so paid the vet to neuter him. A financial OUCH. But I do have peace of mind.

    • Diddley will be a financial ouch- that’s for sure. But I do band myself to save money and this is the first banding failure so I guess I am not doing too bad.

  6. sheepsclothing says:

    We have a pretty good frog population here by our concrete fish pond- but I haven’t seen one like that. Ours are mostly little green guys.
    Sorry to hear about the Diddley situation. His brother Chone is doing great- and is such a sweetie. He’s my best little woolly buddy. Comes running over to me when I go out to the pasture to visit, and just loves to have me pet and fuss over him.

  7. Chai Chai says:

    Great post. Our wether Chip has been “riding” Becca and making a clicking noise, I know I saw a sack fall off, maybe I need to check him again.

    It must be nice to have water on your land, some day we will put a pond in here.

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