Unplug Billboard

Loved this USFS (United States Forest Service) street sign I walked past on a recent visit to San Francisco. Clear Channel: boy on top tubing/boy on bottom watching fireflies. Clear Message.

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Birds of a Feather

It’s no secret that I’m crazy about chickens. Been there, established that. But did you know that I also carry a torch for their free-flying cousins? Yep, birds of any feather tickle my fancy. Chickadees, woodpeckers, sparrows, even raptors and ravens inspire a kind of wide-eyed wonder in my heart, and I suppose that qualifies me as a birdwatcher. Throw in my trusty old pair of binoculars, and I might even be a bona fide “birder” (FYI: bird was first used as a verb in 1918).

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  1. I love to bird-watch. My father used to bird-watch and he’d point out birds to me when I was a girl. Became second nature…While I was in Ireland in 2005 I learned the British term for this activity when I was noticing the birds of Ireland and someone asked me if I “was a twitcher”? Cute!

  2. caroline says:

    my husband spent the last 2yrs. Turning our yard into a bird haven. We have 8bird houses and 13various feeders. He also puts food out on the ground for those birds that enjoy feeding on the ground. We have peanut butter feeders for our gang of woodpeckers too. As I am totally disabled this has become my paradise. I am able to help him with some of the feeding. We are keeping a list of all the birds that come to our yard, it has been wonderful. We take pictures of all our bird friends and I am making scrapbook pages. An added bonus is that is that the deer come to eat too! We seem to have a wildlife sanctuary in our own little corner of the world! It just goes to show that you don’t need acres of land to provide a place for the birds and animals to be taken care of and to be safe close to populated areas.

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Playing Possum

When it comes to my chickens, I’m a mother hen who doesn’t mess around. My girls have the run of the place, and I don’t take kindly to predatory folk prowling around, plundering nests, and ruffling feathers.

But every “Head Hencho” knows there are as many ways of tending a flock as there are chicken poops under a roost. You have your movable pens, laser deterrents, traps, and high-voltage hot wire. Plenty of armed and able farmgirls shoot to kill without batting an eyelash.

And then there’s another approach, one you might not want to try at home.

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  1. martha cook says:

    Bobcat!! The year we first moved back to my husband’s family farm area – with two sister cats and their new litters of kittens, we moved into another being’s terrain. From time to time during the first summer of moving in, building a deck, planting trees, garden, some lawn, I noticed that the cats were frightened, and later, that some kittens disappeared, but it was a cold night in January, 1993, when I realized that something was watching me thru the living room window as I held our new baby. The fearless creature was either a lynx or a bobcat, and was merely two feet from the back of my head, thru the glass. We put “the run” on it, but it appeared again, so we got a permit to shoot it, and did try to trap it. Bobcats are too smart for our trap, at least, but we did trap one skunk and one of the neighbor’s cats! Releasing the skunk took a LONG piece of rebar and a bit of stealth. By June, we had lost several cats and kittens, and feared we were providing a ready lunch for this bobcat. On a fine afternoon in July, we finally saw him creep around a shrub, in broad daylight, trying to sneak up on our newest group of kittens. My husband shot him, and by pre-agreement, turned him over to the Fish & Game Commission. One good thing from all this: knowing we had a predator on hand convinced me to NEVER take our baby out to the lawn, and then turn my back to go back in for a phone or blanket, etc. Now the “baby” is eighteen, so he goes with me to the compost pile or to turn off the garden water, if it is getting dark. A good reminder for all mothers who move to the country – all manner of animal predators can be watching for a small child as well as for your cat. (Martha Cook, Idaho)

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Gone Fishin’

You’ve seen ‘em—the “gone fishin’” bumper stickers:

><x>   hooked for life;

><x>   good things come to those who bait;

><x>   salmon—the other pink meat;

><x>   hook ‘em and cook ‘em;

><x>   be back dark thirty;

><x>   my other wife is the fishin’ life. (I made this last one up myself.)

Wherever fish are bountiful and bitin’, bumper-sticker philosophers keep themselves busy reeling us in.

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  1. MaryJane I remember the first time I caught a catfish; I was by myself at a pond while visiting friends. I couldn’t get the hook out of the fishes mouth. Then I nearly fell over when that catfish started squawking at me! Swear on my grannies grave; that fish was talking! So I put him in the pail with water and carried him back to the house, conversing with him all the way.

  2. Heather Tawney says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog! I grew up where Mama went to church and Dad and me went out fishing on Sunday mornings…I have been blessed with a outdoorsman husband and two beautiful children to pass the true country grit lifestyle onto…this blog speaks to me in so many ways; THANK YOU

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Give the Dog a Broken Bone

“Get out” is what I WON‘T be saying to my 104 pound, hair-shedding Great Pyrenees dog, one of two white (and often muddy) farm dogs that are supposed to be my OUTSIDE doggie-poohs. (I do love these girls. Pyrenees are sooooooooo gentle and stoical and kind and well-behaved.)

Well, one of my Pyrs (peers) pulled off an INSIDE job when she broke her foot. And because she’ll be in a cast for six weeks, I let the pampering begin.

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  1. lani kyea says:

    Love those pyrs. Thru the years we have had several as flock protectors. Currently’ as our flock is very small, we have only 1 pyr named Gus. I plant in old water tubs too but bottoms are out and filled with dirt only 1/2 way to help protect their start from harsh winds and I water with soaker hoses but now I am excited about doing the deep watering like you do. I cover the tubs with cut to size hog panels through which plants can grow but keeps Gus from crawling into the cool damp earth in the tubs.

  2. Katie says:

    I worked the last three years with four Great Pyrs( three started out as pups) . Bounding through all the garden beds, sleeping in the middle of the flowers.
    No matter how much we tried to train them they did what they wanted mostly, which was to be great friends and good guard dogs! Yeah ! How can you go wrong with that charm! They did well on their own as well after they got used to it. Not like my horses.

  3. Pingback: Porch for a Pooch? | Raising Jane Journal

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