Sunday, June 15, 2008

Spring pics

Since the last post had no photos, I thought I'd put lots in this one.

Here's a picture taken earlier in May. It's our neighbor burning off his corn fields across the road. I'm a bit of a pyrophob, so whenever I smell smoke or gas I start getting panic attacks and running around the house looking for the source. On this day it came from outside.

Spring is the season for burning. At work, we have prescribed prairie burns. At the farm, people burn off their corn fields. Not all farmers do this; most farmers till their corn stubble back into the ground in the fall. Some farmers that do no-till or minimum-till in the fall just grind it all back in the spring. Burning it first makes tilling easier, and breaks down the nutrients faster. I understand that. But it is a little nervous watching a fire run past your property line.

Here's four days worth of eggs from our hens. Sometimes we leave town for a few days, giving our chickens plenty of food and water. When we come back, we have loads of eggs. If the weather is cool, we keep them and use them. If the weather is warm, we give them to the cats. I especially liked the two-tone one on the lowest right. Makes me wish I knew how to blow eggs (and had time to do it).

Pepper cat had her babies in early May; here they are at about two to three weeks old. We recently brought Calico's baby kittens to the humane society in Brookings, SD. They've got a great place there; I brought Calico's last brood to Brookings. This time they made me promise to spay Calico, which we did last week. Have you ever brought an outdoor cat to the vet before? I've never seen a cat jump six feet in the air. Needless to say, she was not a happy kitten. But no more babies from her! Our other two outdoor female felines, Pepper and SallyCat, are much too wild to catch. So we'll still have more kitties outside, just fewer of them.

And lastly, a picture of our ex-rooster:

He was a beautiful speckled sussex that one day decided he enjoyed attacking my boys. I knew he had to go. I've never butchered a chicken by myself before. So I asked my dairy farm friends if I could slip him in on one of their butchering days. So yesterday at 7 am he and I took a trip to the farm. I didn't do the actual deed, but I did gut him out. It was a momentous moment; he is the first animal raised, butchered and eaten at (or near) our homestead.

I know you city-slicker folks out there might be appalled at this, and that's your right. For me, I am appalled at some of the things I find for sale at the supermarket, and by the industrialization of our food supply. Chicken doesn't come from the grocery store; chicken comes from the farm. This free-range rooster had a far better and far longer life than 99.9% of the other chickens out there. Time to get past the squeemies, and to get to know your food.

Okay, sermon over! I'll put pictures of our boys in another post, so this one isn't so long. Ta!

P.S. Heres a link to the Brookings Humane Society:

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