Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Saturday

Today was one of those days where we were here, there and everywhere.  The snow from Thursday finally melted just about everywhere in the yard, except in small patches under the spruce trees.  Joel was off on a kayaking expedition early this morning as was Dave on his own adventure. 

This morning, Carl and I managed to get the car washed, make a trip to the library, and bring two tractors down here to use for remodeling the east side of the quarry garden.  I had a baby shower to attend in Black Creek today at 1PM.   I managed to be home by 3:30 to work on the garden. 

Just as I was getting ready to go outside, I noticed the chickens scrambling in all directions and then I saw the reason why:  a German Shepherd loping across the backyard.  I yelled to Carl who said he saw a Black Lab running the other way.  We both went tearing out of the house to the rescue of our nine little hens.
We lost one of our nice hens to a neighbor's dog about three weeks ago.  The neighbor was here rabbit hunting but his dog decided our chickens were much easier prey, catching and killing my oldest laying hen.  Our neighbor was absolutely mortified about this, and offered to make it right in any way he could.  I assured him I knew it was an accident, but he insisted.  (His wife brought over the biggest apple pie I have ever seen!)

We've been having an outbreak (don't know if that's the right word) of stray dogs lately.  Unfortunately, when you live in the country, some not-too-smart people think if they have unwanted cats or dogs they can simply drop them off out here and their former pets will either a: find a new home or b: simply somehow survive.  In fact, this morning we saw a van drive by and turn into the lane up the road and drive back of the woods and disappear.  Then about five minutes later, the same van drove by at a good rate of speed with a large black dog in hot pursuit.  If their intent was to drop off their dog and drive away, they were absolutely heartless for that dog was giving it all he had to keep up with the vehicle.  The van turned the corner a half mile away and the dog did, too.  Either they were trying to get rid of their dog or this was some cruel type of 'dog walking'.  I wish I had gotten a license number.  Grrrr....
 Dave and Little Ann, the Chicken
.  It may sound silly to think of chickens as 'pets' but they are adorable, hard-working little hens, keeping us in more eggs than we need and patrolling tirelessly all over the yard catching bugs.  I do have to confine them to their chicken run right after I plant the annuals, or they will scratch the seedlings out,  but once the flowers have grown a bit, the 'girls' are turned loose to do their thing.  I know I take a chance every day when I let them out to free range, but they are remarkably smart and keep a sharp lookout for predators; however, dogs are hard to escape from. Today, luck was on their side and we managed to distract the dogs from them. 

After we chased the dogs away, both of them came back towards me, which made me a bit uneasy, since they were such large animals.  The German Shepherd was wearing a collar, the black lab wasn't and they were both dirty and encrusted with burdock.  When we called them to 'come' they both came a bit closer, but then changed their minds and headed north.  The last I saw of them was when they entered the woods behind our property.  We were going to call animal control, but by the time I got the phone, the dogs were nowhere to be seen.  It could be they live somewhere near here, or maybe they are two more strays left to 'roam free and have a good life in the country'.   Foolish people!  Ok, I'll get down off my soap box, but it does make me angry.

After the dog drama was over, we went back to work on the east side of the quarry.  We hauled in more dirt and some bigger stones, which took the rest of the daylight.
Here's what
it looked like before we started

 We hauled in more dirt and some bigger rocks; the steel bar is bending under this one.

 I drive the 574 with the old dump trailer and Carl handles the 'H' with the loader.

Even though they are old machines, the tractors make our life so much easier!

Joel came home from kayaking around 6PM, so after dark, we all headed into town for a quick restaurant meal.  While we were in town, I found out our friend was at a local motel celebrating her daughter's birthday party poolside, so we were invited to stop in.  Ended up playing Sheepshead for an hour or two sitting by the pool; now that's the LAST place I would have thought we'd go this morning!  Just goes to show, you never know what will happen; there's a surprise around every corner.

Off to get some rest....karen

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