Friday, July 23, 2010

Kind of like milking a cow

First I assess how much I've got:

Sticking my head in among the canes, I realize I'm going to be here for a while and should probably pull up a chair:

With my bottom now comfortably in a chair and the bucket at my feet, I start picking:

I pick predominantly with my left hand. I don't know why since I'm right-handed:

Very quickly, one bucket becomes two:

And two buckets ultimately become 6.19 pounds of raspberries:

Jam is in these beauties' future:

One downside to ripe raspberries is they don't keep long off the vine. Like milk from a cow, it's important to keep these berries cool until I'm ready to use them:

Unlike milk, though, I don't refrigerate them. Refrigeration seems to dehydrate raspberries and make them limp and dry. To keep them fresh and in tact until I make jam the next day, I spread them in single layers on cookie sheets and place them in my downstairs pantry:

The temperature here never gets much above 60 degrees:

The berries are coming on so quickly now. In just a couple days, I'll be out here again, feeling like I'm milking another cow:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You know your fly trap attractant is working when... notice not only the flies swarming to it:

...but giant buzzards are coming by to check out what that stench delicious aroma is:

You should've seen the shadow this guy cast as he flew over our garden.

If you have animals, you're going to have flies, but this year has been particularly bad.

The traps have made a difference in the fly population, I'm happy to say. The smell around our property, though, because of the traps is a bit difficult to tolerate. The liquid inside the traps... I can hardly begin to describe it. Eau de dead thing is my best shot. Hits you right between the eyes, it does. Hot weather seems to make it even more potent, if that's possible. It's been hot here lately. Nasty, nasty stuff. Flies - and buzzards - adore it, though.

It's lovely here right now. You should really come by for a visit.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The tiniest egg

Something caught my eye in the barn the other day.
On the inside of the garage door, I could see something that looked like a nest:

I watched it for a couple days but never saw any activity around it.
Finally, I needed to pull the nest down because I wouldn't be able to open that big door without dumping the nest's contents:

and, besides, I really wanted to see what was inside:

Can you see the hair in the bottom? That would be courtesy of either Beau the donkey or Dolly llama:

Sadly, this little egg will not ever hatch and I never did see the bird who laid it:

But, as I have a tendency to do, I needed to do a size comparison.
From left to right, here is a normal-size chicken egg from my girls (2.3 oz), a ridiculously small chicken egg one of my hens gifted me with the other day (.3 oz!) and the tiny barn egg (wouldn't register on my scale):

The tiny barn egg and a quarter:

Here's my little red farm truck with my normal sized chicken egg:

the ridiculously small chicken egg:

and the tiny barn egg:

For additional perspective, here's this:

What it that, you ask?

Roxy's such a good sport.