My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

That Sheep Has a Blue Butt!

There we were, driving along a country road, taking in the sights and trying to acclimated to long drive to town. Enjoying the sites... horses, cattle, goats, alpacas, donkeys and ... sheep! Yes, here I'm driving along and a sheep with a blue butt catches my eye. And yes, I'm the one who said, out loud, "that sheep has a blue butt"! Just popped out of my mouth. Of course, I realize that the sheep's owner marked that ewe with a special dye so that when a ram mounts her, he gets the blue on him. That way, the owner knows when and if they mate. Makes sense, but was just an odd sight.

Yes, I'm a greenhorn. I'll learn.

Talkin' about wildlife...

We have a lot of cotton-tail rabbits around here. Almost hit one on our road as we slowly drove down the street. See one or two a day, hopping around our property. Cute but ... I'm concerned about the future of our garden. Does anyone know what plants will help deter rabbits?

And the foxes and coyotes ... they won't eat our garden, but will attempt to get to our goaties and chickens. We're giving it some hard thought to keep the quail and rabbits in the garage, so we'll need to keep their population down. However, the chickens and goats need to be outside. When we build our barn, we'll need to make sure it has chicken wire against the ground to prevent a predator from digging in and devouring our friends.

Heard rumors of a mountain lion in the area, and was confirmed last night. Were talking with the neighbors in the back (the ones with the chickens, turkeys, goats, etc.) about property lines so we can put up a fence. He said the house across the street from him had a cougar in his yard just the night before. Wow. Didn't realize they come this far onto the plains. I think I'll be requesting the Kid to be home before dusk from now on. As a teen, I don't need to worry about him being outside before dawn!

Listening to the songbirds is nice. Quite a few sparrows visit the tree outside our bedroom window. Kinda hard to hear over the strangling cockadoodledoo of the roosters in the back! Poor things. Sounds like they are screeching over laryngitis. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice sound and doesn't bother us that roosters crow ALL day (where on earth did that morning business start?!?!).

Speaking of intruders... we've given those boys (who cut across our property) a lot of thought. We're hoping that our 6-foot fence with chicken wire will deter them. Hopefully they won't be able to get a toe-hold in the tight squares of the chicken wire. Plus we'll post "no trespassing" signs at the front and back.

Any suggestions to "wildlife-proof'' our property?

Can any one recommend a fairly inexpensive but large, sturdy (high winds, heavy snow loads) greenhouse?

= = = =

We had the architect from the HOA out yesterday afternoon to help us find our property line. Only 2 of our markers showed up. Unsure what to do. Plus he informed us that we need a 10' easement around the perimeter of the property for utility trucks to access utility poles. Although most people don't do that.

Our backyard neighbor whispered to me that most people in the area just put up fences and barns etc where they feel like it and ignore the HOA. Yep, I regret giving the HOA a heads' up.


Bellen said...

For all your fencing, protection of animals, gardening, etc. check with your county's Extension Service. It is a division of your, and every, state's higher education.

Usually can be accessed on-line and they have specialists in everything and usually free handouts.

In CT we contacted a pond specialist for advice on revitalizing our pond, a forester for thinning trees, a Master Gardener for particular varieties of veggies that grew best in our area. Here in FL we've taken in leaves of damaged plants for ID of pests, recommendation of varieties of veggies to plant and fruit trees.

This 'service' is paid by part of your State taxes - take advantage.

Vikki said...

I actually called our county's extension service yesterday, and she took down my question and will get back to me with the information. Meanwhile, I made other calls yesterday to nurserys for info about what grows best here. Although we're zone 5, the elevation varies 35 degrees from our ridge to the bottom of our property. We have lots of microclimates, and huge wind gusts. Thanks, B. Vikki

MEB said...

Wabbits won't eat your onions, but they do enjoy nice, green salads, esp. as plants first come up, young and tender. The best thing for thse pesky wabbits is a 22 long. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Regarding your trespassers, you have two choices: Fight of friendship. On the one hand, bratty kids walking across your property can lead to missing or damaged stuff. On the other hand, if you give them permission and make them stay on specific paths, (possibly bribe them with milk and cookies or just water on a hot day) they provide another pair of eyes to watch for stuff on your place.

If you choose to fight them, you risk vandalism (at Halloween, if nothing else) and invite defiance.

I think trying to make friends with your new neighbors should at least get a chance - until they trample your garden, or something.

A fake (or real) security camera might deter impulses, too.

Vikki said...

MEB: Have to figure out gun laws here ... it's a whole different county. I'm thinking I need the greenhouse sooner rather than later!

Anon: Good thinking, about making friends. I don't think they cut through our property maliciously. I think it's just convenient. A trip to the store out here in the country takes quite a long walk, and they did have a bag with things in it. Plus there's never been a fence here. I'm hoping once we get the fence up with a no trespassing sign and evidence of livestock, they'll get the hint. Just about everyone here has livestock so they should understand. I'll try to casually "catch them" on a nice day and chat it up.