Monday, January 17, 2011

5 Things

Do you know what these are? Those things hanging from the rusty bells? I noticed them hanging on a hook under my kitchen porch eave today:

After I harvested my garlic last July, I hung a few of them here to dry:

and promptly forgot about them:

I wonder what would happen if I just stuck them in the ground like this, without breaking them into individual cloves:

Look who I ran into:

I found him living in our wood pile:

He's an Oregon Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina escholtzii oregonensis):

Ensatinas are the only salamanders with the tail constricted at base and 5 toes on their hind feet:

We had visitors to the farm yesterday. The donkeys were highly entertained:

A bizarre wind blew through here last night. It knocked the goat chairs over in the middle pasture:

And blew off three of the chicken run roof panels:

I found the panels in various places in the chicken pasture:

...along with the bricks I had used to keep them from blowing off:

Sparrow let me know this evening that it is starting to get colder again. See how puffed up she is? I have a weather forecasting chicken.

The talent here on Critter Farm boggles my mind sometimes.


  1. Hey Danni, not a garlic expert, but why not, they have shot together, maybe they want to stay together. Your goat chairs even tipped over evenly. Your little woodpile salamander is so cute, obviously your woodpile is a safe 'warm' place for the winter, with plenty of little critters to eat.

    My God I love your little Sparrow... weather forecasting chicken LOL

    LiBBiE in Oz

  2. oh wow...i want a weather predicting chicken. and a couple donkeys. and goats. and a salamander!

  3. Jenny in MN now in AZJanuary 18, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    Thank you SO much for the flurry of posts lately! I recently had to move back to the city life from my farm life due to health reasons. I found a wonderful family that was looking for a guard animal and adopted my donkey and mini-horse. It breaks my heart everyday to not go out and spend time with them. However, I know they are enjoying the new human family and flock of sheep they live with now. I LOVE all your photos and stories. Really....just THANK YOU!

  4. I've been meaning to plant garlic for three years and still haven't gotten around to it!

    Wishing you sunshine and gentle breezes...

  5. Wow, that must have been some wind! I'm glad there wasn't more damage done.
    I love learning cool new stuff about animals--thanks for the salamander tutorial.
    I'm hoping Sparrow is wrong.

  6. I was gonna guess onions..they look big to be garlic..
    Pic's are fab as usual..J would love the salamander..he is pretty cute:)

  7. I love the tiny salamander!!!

  8. Hi Dani,
    Thank you for your comment and questions. As for weight, Ted looked at Isabella and said "I'm guessing 160". He was right. On the directions for getting the weight it says to pull it snug. It seemed to work well. We really don't have any other way to weigh them. I couldn't pick Isabella up. LOL. I took a "Goat School" with Stony Knolls Farm and they have been raising goats for 25 years. Wonderful couple with so much knowledge. So much information out there. It is confusing and contradictory at the best. I refer back to the manual all the time and am thinking about taking the class again. In Maine we have cold winters, wet and cool spring and falls. All seem to contribute to worms. I don't usually give anything "off label" but the manual refers to this product. I checked and rechecked my math. Had Ted check my math again. Goats are very resistant to de wormer. I would love to learn how to do the fecal counts. It would save me money. I plan to use this with the sheep. Now that is an animal that is just waiting for a chance to die. We are trying to develop more areas for browse to keep the parasite population down. Good luck with the boys. They are adorable. At least when you catch them you can stop them. When Isabella knows meds are coming she can drag me if I don't have help. I hope this helps. Try measuring the boys and compare it to an actual weight. :)

  9. Great photos. Love your post. If you plant the sprouting garlic just like that without breaking it up, it will grow just like that in a big clump. The resulting bulbs will likely be smaller since they have less room to spread out. I have some "volunteers" growing in my garden like that now. I missed harvesting a few bulbs last summer, so they decided to grow this season. Good thing too, since I was VERY late getting my current crop into the ground. At least I will have *some* garlic!

  10. That must have been quite a wind to take the roof panels off the chicken yard along with the bricks! The salamander is very interesting.

  11. Sparrow, be thankful you weren't born a goldfish, is all I'm sayin'...

  12. That is what I would do. Hang the garlic and forget it. I'd say go for it and plant it. It's obviously doing quite well right now. :-)

    I hope I get luck enough to have a weather forcasting chicken. And then I hope I'm smart enough to understand it. :-)

  13. You hardly ever get strong winds. Strange. It's almost as if a giant had time to play during the night, kicking the chairs over with his boot and flipping roof panels and bricks off the chicken run. If I were you I'd put an offering out for him/her. Like a pumpkin, for example.

  14. I can honestly say that I have never heard of a "chicken pasture" prior to this post. Your chickens have their own pasture?

  15. yea,uh Danni...I'm gonna be needing you to write a work excuse for me. I have not been able to add the extra 10 minutes back into my mornings that I take to read your post and the boss is getting a little miffed on my tardiness.... :)

    but seriously, still lovin' reading every morning! I am super impressed that you picked up the salamander and let it wiggle on your leg. I am all about watching things that creep and crawl, but picking them up is a different story! you go girl! Maybe I'll send mine out to you when she is a little bit older so you can toughen her up!

  16. Oh, the weather this winter. A bit different, a little stronger. We are having lots of FOG, which usually stays down in the valley. It's just different this year.
    Glad the panels didn't hit anyone. Glad Sparrow is giving you weather reports. How brilliant these farm animals are.
    Stay warm....


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