It was a very nice day...well, it still is except for the clouds "joining hands" and forming some very powerful looking formations...and is that thunder I hear???
Our family is working the ground and getting the seed in. The weather and equipment have not cooperated...but, then, do they ever?..
Being as I am the official "camp tender" (so designated by myself)...this time of year brings the most greasy, dirty, awful smelling laundry...well, second to calving time which just was over...but grease is something else to get out of the shirts and jeans! There was a time when I, too, climbed aboard a tractor and went round and round and up and down in the fields -- that was possibly the most boring job I did on our farm. I would try and think of wonderful things -- do some mental designing...but the smell of diesel would interfere with my thoughts. I had the task of farming with the 806 IH, no cab and that exhaust on the top of the front of the tractor spewing that diesel back to me........ughie!
May was a very bad month for our family we lost a wonderful member, Sylvia Hendricks. Sylvia is Kara's sweet precious Mother. (Kara is our daughter-in-law.) Sylvia was here visiting during the bad snow storm the end of April. She became ill and Kara's Dad took her home. She went to the doctor and it was discovered that the cancer she had years earlier had metastasized and was attacking her liver and lungs. Sylvia died on May 31, 2009. It is hard to comprehend that within a month, Sylvia was diagnosed, treated, and died. A wonderful, delightful, gentle, caring, giving member of our family left us.
We may have lilacs in July sometime...who knows when the peonies will bloom. I see the irises are actually budding! The columbines want to bloom, perhaps they are scared to do it because they may get frosted at night! I have some lovely irises that just will not bloom again...they are a frilly variety...such a very hard place to grow any kind of flowers, trees, or what-have-you...the wind and the extreme temps are just too hard on plants.
When I was in Idaho Falls last week, I was astounded by all the blooming plants...rose bushes, trees, flowers of every kind...I remember all those lovely things from northern Illinois where I was raised and lived 27 years of my life before I came to Montana.
Our part of Montana is very hard on flowers, bushes, trees of any kind, and gardens. The growing season is very short. Flowers and folks have to be hardy to live where we do!!!
I went out the other evening to gather eggs (I was later than usual) and when I opened the door to the quonset it was very quiet...way too quiet...the hens always run clucking to me to see what I may have brought to them for treats. Not a hen in sight...I knew there was something really wrong and it would not be good. I called for the hens...nothing...then I heard a little chatter from the far corner of the quonset...some of the hens were hiding...I called to them...
With chickens there are always feathers around...but I could not believe the amount of feathers all over the quonset! I found a piece of feathers that use to be around the neck of one of my Araucana hens...with skin attached...this was the most injured hen...the skin and feathers had been ripped right off the back of her neck, and I could see her neck bones...she had more hanging from the front of her. Other hens were missing their tail feathers and back feathers! It was awful to see. Many were hiding in the wood pile...it is a good thing that there are so many hiding places in the quonset because whatever got in there and tore up my hens couldn't get them in the wood pile. The quonset is closed off on the NW end with a heavy four-foot metal section with 4" x 4" openings. We know our dogs were not in there, nor can they get in there. We have sighted a fox running around our area. I thought it was "neat" to see a red fox running around. I don't know if we will ever know what got in there and did all this destruction to my hens. I now go out every hour or so and check on them. I have put up chicken wire over the metal mesh section to close off the 4" x 4" openings. I sprayed the injured hens with emu oil first aide spray and hope for the best. I had a hen that had most of her feathers and some of her skin torn off by a dog and she made it back okay...her feathers eventurally all grew back as did her tail and injured wings. I kept her separate so the other hens would not peck at her.
Well, it is time for me to do a chicken check and collect eggs.
Everyone take care and stay well.......enjoy and be good to each other....