Monday, November 30, 2015

November Farm Wrap-Up

We had a lot of pleasant weather for the first half of November, and the chickens enjoyed every nice day by scouring the yard for anything edible:

I collected windfall apples in five gallon buckets and stored them in the barn to feed the cattle - one bucket every afternoon. Alas, the mice discovered them and began helping themselves during the night. I had to put out D-Con:

I took down the cornstalks, which I'd used as Halloween decorations in October, and fed them to the cattle. The two pumpkins had already been hollowed out by wildlife:

The Wild Cucumbers set their seed in November and the pods turned brown:

The temperatures began to drop and the winds began to blow in the middle of November. My little chickens only went out in the nicer weather, staying indoors when it was too cold and windy:

Canada Geese flew overhead, honking loudly, both day and night. They often landed in fields. Alas, I only saw two small flocks of Snow Geese this year and was unable to get any photos either time:

The fantail pigeons enjoyed going outdoors on the days with nice weather. They had two babies, though, so I kept their window closed whenever it was too chilly:

The Rugosa Roses turned golden, which made a lovely match with the bright red rose hips:

Upstairs in my bedroom, my Christmas Cactus bloomed early. I guess it's really a Thanksgiving Cactus:

Fearful of a power outage during the ravages of winter, I purchased a generator and my friend, Rick, drove up from central New York to hook it up. We built a little shed to protect it from the weather:

It's a powerful Generac 8000 Watt generator:

Inside the house, Rick installed a transfer switch to control the electrical flow when the generator is running. Of course we all are hoping there won't be any power outages this winter, but if there is, I plan to live through it:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Santa Clara Access To The St. Regis River - Part 3

The dogs and I were enjoying a hike along the St. Regis River (see also previous two posts). The skies darkened just as we arrived at the edge of a bog:

The rain held off until we were back in the car, so we continued to enjoy exploring the bog. It was too wet for me to step foot in the actual marsh, but Seamus had no such fears and went right into it:

And then we pulled away and continued to follow the trail. Little Jack seldom stopped running:

It was a fun romp:

This is perhaps my favorite photo because it shows Seamus, having recently slimmed down, frolicking like a puppy. You can see his ears flopping as he bounced along:

The dogs slowed down only slightly as we neared the end of the trail:

The birch, pine and tamarack trees made nice frames for our hiking photos:

The trail was a loop and brought us back to our car. But we took one last trip to the river's edge before we left:

Daphne and Seamus are my two most water loving dogs:

But all the dogs went into the water at some point on this hike:

And then we all climbed back into the car. It was only fifteen miles from home:

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Santa Clara Access To The St. Regis River - Part 2

The dogs and I were hiking near the St. Regis River on a surprisingly warm day for November (see also Part 1, posted yesterday):

It was a fine day with beautiful scenery and we all had a good time:

And the dogs truly enjoyed getting wet and muddy. The last time we were here, the Cardinal Flowers were in full bloom right in this spot (here):

The calm waters of the St. Regis River reflected the blue skies and puffy clouds above, as well as the green spruce trees on the opposite shore:

Happy dogs:

But it was time to leave the river's edge once again and return to the trail, so I gave the dogs a call:

Back on the trail, the dogs ran and played. Jack ran too far ahead and didn't come when called, so I took the other dogs with me and hid, causing Jack to panic when he looked back and didn't see us. He came running, but only time will tell if he learned his lesson:

There were Milkweed seed pods bursting everywhere. I hope these fields produced a lot of Monarch butterflies this year:

The trail turned away from the river and toward the forest. We continued to explore:

The dogs stopped to sniff many spots:

Glorious scenery made this a pleasant excursion. But we still weren't at the end of our hike. I'll post Part 3 tomorrow:

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Santa Clara Access To The St. Regis River - Part 1

Our Indian Summer continued, so I put the dogs into the car and drove fifteen miles south to the river access for the Santa Clara Tract of the Adirondacks:

There was only one other vehicle parked there, and it belonged to someone who had launched a boat on the St. Regis River. So the dogs and I headed out on the trail:

We stopped at the St. Regis River every time I saw an easy access point and the dogs thoroughly enjoyed each opportunity to get wet and muddy:

They are all going into the water now - even Jack:

The weather and the scenery were beautiful. It was a fine day to be outdoors:

The dogs raced up and down the shoreline. At one point, they scared off a deer which had been hiding near by, but they didn't chase it:

After each visit to the river's edge, we'd get back on the trail and begin walking again:

This area is not deep forest, but largely open:

Clover tends to run too far ahead and I have to call her back many times. But she was much better about it this time:

Daphne is usually very happy to stick close to me but this time showed that she too has a bit of adventurous spirit:

And it was all great fun, a joyful romp through lovely scenery. But we'd just gotten started and there was still more to see. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Red Poll Girls (And Apples) In November

The daily bucket of apples continued well into November, though eventually I ran out of good apples to feed the cattle. I was amazed after each feeding to find so many good windfall apples on the ground with which to refill the bucket for the next feeding. The fruit stayed good after many freezes and I began to realize why the pioneers valued apple trees so highly. Such a hardy, productive and reliable source of abundant, delicious fruit which could be stored for long periods truly seemed a miracle from God:

 Pearl has become very playful:

When I hauled a bucketful of apples into the field, the cows ran to begin chowing down on them. The calves took longer to arrive, perhaps because their bellies were already filled with milk:

I've given the Red Poll girls pears as well as apples. They ate the pears, but it was the apples which held a special place in their hearts:

Their coats glistened red in the afternoon sun on this day, but they've been losing red color and becoming more brown as the weather turned colder. I noticed that same phenomenon last year also. Apparently their winter coats are less red:

 Gladys, with milk still covering her face, came over to take a closer look at me:

"Yes, indeed," she must have been thinking. "You are a strange looking biped, but you give us good hay, grain and apples:"

If you wonder why so many photos show apples, it's because the daily apple feedings were the best times for me to take pictures of the cattle:

Rosella, on the left, is a yearling and Gladys, on the right, is six months old. You can see how well this year's calves have grown:

Rosella was fifteen months old when I had her artificially inseminated. The A.I. technician was impressed at how tame she was:

The daily apple feast:

Gladys, Merlin and Annie all came to the empty bucket, hoping to score some more apples which the big cows didn't know about. Sadly for them, they found it empty: