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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It's already March

Seems like things just keep getting in the way of updating blogs.  My teeth and mouth are a constant source of distraction, what with dental visits and so forth.  Hopefully, that's over soon.

Sasha is doing very well.  Cute little critter, we think anyway.   She's all of 3 1/2 pounds but very sturdy for such a small dog.  She likes to jump from chairs onto the dining room table and then jump off when caught standing on the table.  The chairs now stay pushed up so she can't do that!  Sasha is also confined to walking on a leash because she just can't resist bunny chasing, right through the fence.  While she has learned sit, stay and off fairly well, stop or come is not yet in her list of accomplishments.  She does tolerate snow better than at the beginning of the winter, but still doesn't like "the white stuff" on her ramp and in her yard.  She does love coming in and jumping on Jim or I while she's soaking wet, however!  She will not wear a sweater.  I tried it and she just sits still and won't move.  We'll work on it.

It's been an interesting winter.   There have been a couple of very strong snow storms and a huge amount of wind.  My garden greenhouse had the fiberglass torn off the frame, so I will be rebuilding that.  There was a prairie fire this fall (courtesy of the landfill not knowing what to do with a burning compost pile in 50 mph winds—burned down 12 houses and many, many acres of prairie) so when the wind hits the 25 to 30 mph range, we get sand blowing everywhere.  Much of the area looks like sand dunes.  When spring comes, the grass will come back somewhat and it will look better.

Winds have hit 38 mph sustained several times and have taken their toll on structures out here.  One trailer lost its roof (fortunately, it was a "false roof" built over a metal trailer roof, so no leaking or raining in).  We now have a weather station to tell us how fast the wild is blowing and a wind sock so we can tell direction.

This month, we had several antelope go through our yard.   It's kind of unusual for antelope to be in so close to houses, though they have become less afraid of people in the thirty years I've lived here.  

The ducks have been doing well this winter.  A couple of times they had to go in the greenhouse and off and on they had to go in their pen due to a great horned owl in the area, but most of the time they were in the garden area.  Our "pet" duck, Baby, was alone in her pen as she does not like the other ducks (I saved her by bringing her into the house, but in doing so, kept her from imprinting on other ducks, so she's a pet).  Then the male decided he liked the duck we called Tiny (hatched last summer as a single egg by one of our female ducks) and proceeded to show his interest by breeding her almost exclusively.  As a result, he pulled out a ton of her feathers around her neck.  She looked so sad and pathetic, I decided to separate her from the others.  She and Baby did okay together—they don't like each other, but they don't fight. 

Now we are getting to the season where the hens start laying eggs for broading, so I have the ducks divided into pens and Baby and Tiny are in the garden.  Tiny is laying eggs, but I don't think she's old enough to actually raise baby ducks.  The male is alone in a pen since he seems to be the source of the most angst in the flock.  He's not happy, but when the weather is better, I will let him out with a couple of the hens at a time, so he can enjoy female companionship.

I planted seeds for garden plants.  It's a bit early, but with the warmth of the house and a flourescent light, I think I can get the seeds to come up.  Last year I waited too long and the plants were not big enough by May/June.  I really love growing tomatoes that I can eat.  They are all heirloom varieties and I freeze them for making soups and sauces in the winter.  Homemade tomato soup can't be beat!

That's it for now.  Happy Spring!