Saturday, June 18, 2016


I subscribe to the state DEC's Hudson River Almanac and I highly recommend it. The citizen generated reports are fascinating, some as simple as what is happening in someone's backyard, some as complex as the contents of fish sampling traps running down on the big river. Alewives to Black Bears, it's all pretty cool.

I realized as I read it this morning that this missive is a lot like that almanac, except that it covers a much smaller bit of territory.

So here is today's Northview Farm Almanac

This morning I was awakened by an owl....a Great Horned I think....didn't sound right for a Barred. I have been trying to count an owl for several years now, and even though I find signs all the time I simply haven't seen one. Two years ago one was hunting the barnyards every morning when the guys went out.....however, if I went out too it was never there.

I was excited about this one and jumped right up and went out, but the distant hooting was drowned by the noise of a train and Thruway traffic. No go for positive ID. Maybe it will be back.

The sunrise was worth it though, as sunrises often are.

Yesterday the boss went out just after dawn to mow hay and had his own story to tell of the deer. A different doe was coddling twin fawns when he got to the field. She sprang away and one followed, but the other lingered to stare in wonder. Mama quickly hopped out of the hedgerow and gave him a solid spanking with her head and then butted him out of sight.

Lessons learned the hard way even in the world of the Whitetail. Tough love.

The first load of hay went into the mow yesterday afternoon. What a comedy of errors. First I dropped my hay hook into the maw of the big elevator. We had to shut everything down to look for it....never did find it, so we'll have to be on the lookout.

Then a big pile of bales came crashing off the top of the load right into me. Back in the day I would just stand up to such as that, let them bump around me and crash to the deck and just go to unloading. Yesterday I was much buffeted and am sporting a nice new set of hay punctures on arms and legs. 

Getting old is not for weenies.... And that should larn me to wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt....and maybe football pads too....when pulling apart loads.....

But it won't.

In the fields fledgling Savannah Sparrows use the hay wagons for observation perches. Ditto Song Sparrow youngsters. At the house various birds are bringing the new hatch in to learn the feeders. A quarter of noisy White-breasted Nuthatches peep around all day, and the Purple and House Finches are both joined by tufted youth. The Chickadees mostly look as if they were run over by a train....I think the tidier, well-feathered among them are chicks of the year....

And so it goes. More hay today if all goes well.

Ghost bunny on the daybreak lawn


Cathy said...

" hay punctures on arms and legs"

Yep. I'd be goin' for the body armor. Old skin just doesn't bounce back like it used to.

And : Lucky Ducky! Owls and purple finches :)

Terry and Linda said...

Goodness! I love my hay hooks, hate grabbing by the strings. Terry does the string. We use aprons, otherwise our knees wear out. I'm glad you were hurt...getting hit with a 60-80 pound hay bale is getting HIT!


Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thank you for this catalog of wonders. And of work! Makes my skin itch and burn just imagining getting hit with all that hay! I have missed reading your posts for a few days, and so I just found out about Daisy's passing. My heart goes out to you. I know how much it hurts to lose a beloved pet. Makes my own eyes sting with tears to learn of your loss. So sorry.

threecollie said...

Cathy, I was just grateful not to get tossed off the wagon or break any bones. Dang! I am fine, but I sure was grateful yesterday that Alan was home to unload and store hay. Nothing like a young guy to do things like that and make it look easy. And not lose the hay hook. lol I have a brand new one now though.

Linda, aprons! What a good idea. I hadn't planned to unload so I was in shorts. Ouch!

Jacqueline, thank you. I miss her. Keep forgetting she won't be there behind the baby gate in the kitchen when I get up in the morning. She was in a great deal of pain though and wouldn't eat so.....She is next to Nick and Mike now, and near Gael, the three collies, and has her own lovely flowers planted over her.....I guess I have a garden of dear old dogs, all blanketed with lilies and rocks of the field and driftwood from our...and their...favorite lake.