Monday, December 27, 2010

Petunia is alive and well

IMG_5376.jpg

Good news regarding Petunia!! I'd mentioned in a recent post that I'd not seen her and that I was worried she might have been shot during hunting season. I took a walk into the woods the other day and spotted the little group she hangs with. I was talking loudly to myself so that if she was around she'd hear me. It was funny, I was watching the group as they leaped off into the woods, about 200 feet away and I just kept walking slowly down the trail thinking that if she was in the group she'd come back to me. Then I glanced to my left and she was right there, just 20 feet away and coming to me. Ah, so sweet. Relief. We hung out for about 15 minutes and then I left her. She followed me for a few minutes but then turned and went back in the direction of her friends. She seems healthy. We had a fantastic acorn crop so she's got plenty to eat. In fact I'd taken some apple out there and offered it to her, she wasn't interested. Didn't even take a nibble. I wonder if she mated this year and if she'll be having her first fawns this year?

The picture above was taken last winter. Amazing just how fluffy they look with their winter coats. The hair is hollow to hold air for insulation. I'm not too sure of the mechanics of it but it seems that when it gets really cold their skin contracts and the hair stands up creating the fluffy appearance and probably increasing the insulation effect of the hollow hair.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

MacProductive

I don't do this often here on my personal blog but every so often I drop a plug in for the freelance work I do as MacProductive. Most of the work  I do is website design or FileMaker Pro database development which is perfect for my life in my little cabin as I can do that kind of work from here. I've decided that every so often I'm going to offer up a deal via my facebook page, this being the first time. If you need a website or know someone who does, drop by my MacProductive Facebook page and click the Like button. You'll see a post right there towards the top regarding the special which will be 10% off a new website. The first 5 folks to Like my page and leave a comment on that post get the discount. Most of my recent work has been focused on local Fredericktown websites for small businesses and non-profits. You can follow one of those links above to see some of my work or check one of the most recent: Thal's Hardware is our local and independent hardware store here in Fredericktown and the Fredericktown Revitalization Initiative is our local Main Street group.

The Quiet of Winter

 

I love every season. Winter no less than the others. The quiet only makes the song of birds more amazing. The lake has frozen with the below normal temperatures of December and the ice makes these haunting sounds as it cracks as a part of the freezing process. I don't really know the mechanics of it but the sound is really amazing and even though I expect it the cracks and strange echos often take me by surprise.

It's been two months since my last post!! I've spent most of that time doing the usual fall/winter chores. Winterizing the waterline behind my cabin was the top priority and beyond that it is the usual of chopping wood, keeping the wood stove going and keeping an eye on the chickens. We've already dipped into the single digits and had about a whole week below freezing. Last December was pretty cold too but I think not quite as prolonged. I think I prefer the extreme cold of winter to the extreme heat of summer. At least in the winter I can put on as many layers as needed and I'm plenty toasty. In the summer one can only be so naked.

Another thing to love about winter is soup and I make it constantly once the cold sets in. Mostly variations of vegetable soup and pumpkin coconut curry. Not only is it hot and tasty but you can't make a cheaper meal.

We never got the door on the greenhouse and while the improvised door put on when we built it does a fine job of mostly keeping out the wind and cold, it does nothing to keep out mice. It fits pretty well but does have some entry points for mice and so my winter greens, mostly kale, have largely gone towards keeping those furry little shits well nourished. Really need to figure out a way to deal with them. Yes, yes I know traps would work but honestly, I think there are quite a few in and around the chicken coop, I'm not sure traps would really do the job. Maybe that is the only way. It goes without saying that I don't use poison... (wait I just said so I guess it doesn't go without saying). Funny, I never really thought about mice as an issue with a greenhouse until I had one.

The girls have finally started laying more eggs. For a couple months I was getting no eggs, or very few. While I think it is fairly rare in the U.S. I'm convinced they had a virus called egg drop syndrome as they had numerous symptoms that matched such as weak shells, bumpy, rough shells, and sometimes no shell at all, just a membrane. Some have told me maybe it was the combination of the extreme heat of summer and molting but I don't think that totally explains at and the shell irregularities point to something else. At this point not only are they laying again but their shells are much thicker and pretty much back to their normal color and texture.

Potentially sad news regarding Petunia the deer... I've not seen her in almost a month. Now, she might be fine but she's never been absent this long before. I'm hoping she was not shot during deer season and it may be that she really is fine, I don't know. She might well have mated with a buck this year and perhaps that might change her behavior? I know that there is a little cluster of deer that she seemed to be hanging out with so maybe she's just with them. Still, I would not think that she would just completely stop visiting me after being so consistent for the past 16 months.

Okie Dokely, I think that's it for the moment. Hope you all are doing well.