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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mostly pictures and some explanations:

The red sun is from the smoke coming from the West coast forest fires.  Those have pretty much ended now and the sun is back to normal.



The garden did pretty well considering it was cool and wet for May and June, then 90 degrees for all of July.  The peas even managed to hang in there until about the middle of August.  I did use shade covers over them much of July.



The zucchini is odd shaped 
due to growing around the 
stem of the plant.
The tomatoes didn't get a chance to ripen much before frost became common overnight, so I took them inside to ripen.  The cupcake paper cups were my husband's idea.  They keep the tomatoes from touching.  I then made newspaper squares and set individual tomatoes in those to do the same thing.  The tomatoes ripened faster than in the past, and were wonderful eating.  I also froze a lot of them whole for soup and sauces later on.  They're a colorful array of tomatoes!

Next are the two swift foxes we caught in the yard.  One was a young fox, the other full-grown.  They make the loudest growling and barking when you get close to them in the trap!  We just turn them loose.  They are harmless and rather cute except for the snarling!   

Skunks are captured and disposed of, however.  One tried to dig into the garden and go after the ducks.  After twice he/she dug under the gate as far as they could, I put the trap across the gate opening, with the gate closed, and set the trap.  That skunk will not be bothering the ducks again.  

It's funny, when there's a predator like a skunk or an owl, you can tell because the ducks are all huddled together on the far side of the garden.  They stayed far away from the skunk in the trap, even after it was dead.  As long as they could see it, they stayed away.

I had not purchased a gas can in years and discovered they were made useless by government regulation.  I "adjusted" the spout, removing all the impediments to getting gas out.  When I finished (picture is part way through the process), the spout looked normal again and gas flowed freely!

Remodeled gas can spout

The next picture is a window leak, which we now have stopped.

This is the "we have too many ducks" stage!  We ended up butchering 16 total over the summer.  Now, there's just 6 left.  It's time to clip wings again—one was out of the garden this morning!

Pictures from here on:

Peek-a-boo


Yes?









Wolf spider I found in dog's toy box




Something nested on the outhouse at the cabin!

That's it for now!



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Enjoying nature

Today I was startled by a sparrow trying to build a nest under my window air conditioner.  This is not uncommon.  In the past, they have even built under the cover.



I thought maybe just putting in pictures of the critters around here might be fun.  It's springtime right now, meaning it goes from snowing to 80°F (27°C) about once a week here!  Icicles form from the rain sometimes.

We have a wide variety of critters around:

Deer 


Doe

Yearling



Rabbits:
Tiny bunny


Bunny right outside my door


The tiny bunnies are now about one and half times the size shown in the photo.  These bunnies live under the platform outside my door (seen in the above photo).  I have nearly stepped on them several times.  They have no fear of me.  Nor do the deer.

Grackle

The grackle comes to where I toss bird seed out the window.   There's no feeder, I just toss the seed on the ground.  I have gotten a surprising variety of birds to come in and eat.  April and May are the best time, as the birds are migrating through during that period.

Last spring snow:

Pigeon in tree

Springtime daffodils:




Head outside and see what nature has to offer where you are!  


Sunday, March 12, 2017

The roller coaster weather of Wyoming

Wyoming's roller coaster of weather is in full force.  We have had two snow storms in the last couple of weeks.  The first was 12 inches of snow, followed by 40 mph wind.  That snow stayed around for a few days, then the weather warmed and it was gone except the drifts.  Then March 6th, when .5" of snow was predicted, there was 4.5 inches of snow, 40 mph winds with 50 mph gusts.  The next two days had high wind warnings with winds in excess of 40 mph and gusting over 60.  The temperatures rose, the snow is melting and we're in the 50's now, above average for this time of the year.

Today, the 12th, it snowed a bit this morning and now it's sunny and kind of windy.  Ah, Wyoming in the spring!

I bought supplies to start plants indoors when we went shopping.  It's a bit early and I'm still waiting on the seed, but I figured I should start the peppers and eggplants early.  I have an eggplant and a pepper in containers in the house from last year.  The pepper still makes little bitty peppers but the eggplant hasn't produced.  I guess it's not getting pollinated.

Soon enought it will be planting time and I can go outside and "play".  This week I'm going to clear the asparagus patch.  The tulips and daffodils in there will be coming up and blooming in less than a month, barring more nasty snow storms!

Deer using a drift as a wind block!

Antelope in the yard (photo by my husband)

Fox tracks

Snow!



Scene driving back from Rawlins Feb. 27, 2017

Driving back from Rawlins    February 27, 2017

Then there's the adorable dog:

There's a nose in there somewhere! 
Arent' I soooo cute?



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Myth of the non-flying male muscovies

Perpetrator of escape is on the left

While I have read over and over and over that male muscovy ducks cannot fly, that information is actually quite inaccurate.

Extreme cold is coming and my hubby and I were trying to move the ducks into the greenhouse due to impending subzero temperatures when New Male decided he did not want to go in.  He took off, soared 20 feet in the air and landed 100 yards away in the neighbor's yard.  He had gotten off the ground once before, but only about 6 feet.  Every blog I've read says males cannot fly.  They obviously have not met New Male.

My husband manage to chase him down and corner him.  I notice when Tiny flew off to the neighbor's yard earlier this summer, she wouldn't fly back over the fence.  When I penned her close to the fence, she finally flew over.  Then, I just waited until she walked back to the duck area and she went right into a pen.

Since cold was coming, we wanted to catch New Male and stuff him in the greenhouse now.  After being caught (the neighbor has a lot of piles of junk'n'stuff) in a dead end area, New Male was brought back to our yard and his wings immediately clipped.  He was then tossed into the greenhouse.

There is one more female whose wings are not clipped but I couldn't catch her in the greenhouse, so when it warms back up, we'll run them out one at a time.

Ducks are an endless source of new and different experiences.  Henceforth, I shall assume ALL muscovies can fly and clip away on those flight feathers.

Happy new year!















Thursday, December 29, 2016

Winter finally arrives

Seems like my blog posts mostly rely on the weather for names.  It's been busy here, so I'm going with mostly photos and a few comments.

Winter is here and it's COLD out there.  December 8th it was -33F overnight.  Today, the wind is blowing and it's around 17 degrees.  The snow we had Friday is moving all around now!

Before the wind

Before the wind




December 29th update and finishing!

The deer are back:

Scratching an itch

Bedded down for the snowy night



Winter also returned with very strong winds and snow.  The road that goes around the south end of Casper near Casper Mountain had gusts to 88 mph this week and nearly that high last week.  Many places had hurricane force winds.  Clark, Wyoming, topped 100 mph at least twice since the start of December.  There is a high wind warning for tonight through tomorrow at 11 am.  It's welcome to Wyoming Wind time!!

We also have had snow, which blows all over and closes roads.  The snow then blows into rock hard drifts and leaves open spaces everywhere.  It's a white and tan Christmas!

After the wind

Before the wind





That's it.  More next year!