Sunday, August 09, 2020

I've got earworms

"And another one gone and another one gone; another one bites the dust." Yep, Poppy caught another mouse. But they just keep coming. Tonight I saw one in the tack room and tried to help Poppy find it, but it seemed to just disappear. Then I saw it – a hole in the corner. I'm going to get some steel wool tomorrow to stuff in it and see if that takes care of their access.

I try to check stock tanks and water buckets frequently, not just to make sure everyone has water, but also to make sure it's drinkable. Occasionally Lance poops in his stock tank, and occasionally I'll find a drowned mouse in one of the sheep buckets. This morning there was something much bigger:
UGH! At first glance I thought it was a RAT; at second glance I realized it was a ground squirrel. Needless to say; I dumped and scrubbed the tank before refilling.

That unpleasant find speaks to how dry it is right now. This is our typical summer weather, but it always seems to surprise some people who think of NW Oregon as perpetually wet and green. The other day after working Stella I hosed the sweat off her before turning her out. Freshly bathed horses invariably roll and Stella always chooses a fairly steep slope to do it on which is entertaining. The photos I took show that the grass is toast. Our lawn looks about the same.

Yesterday Rick and I took Poppy for an afternoon walk. Rick wanted to go somewhere other than up our hill or to Willamette Mission State Park, and chose the E. E. Wilson Wildlife Area. We found ourselves walking a long, straight, deserted blacktop road with gravel crossroads and rectangular concrete foundations visible in the weeds, faint reminders that this area used to be Camp Adair. Hard to believe that once upon a time this bucolic scene was once basically the second largest city in our state, had it been incorporated – and that it was such a flash in the pan!

There were dozens of apple trees on either side of that road, all of them different, so clearly planted and not volunteers. I was fascinated by the variety; these are just a few of them.

These were the darkest red apples I've ever seen

These were bronze!
Today was a rare Sunday that Brian didn't have to work (and Rick did), so I pressed my son into service. Our 'hay guy' had three tons of beautiful second cutting orchardgrass hay saved for us, and we needed to get it out of his barn and into ours. The bales were heavier than his first cutting, but we got 'er done. On top of that I watered, did laundry, and started a jar of fermented eggplant (using my new fermentation springs and lids that I first saw here), making me feel a little like the old Enjoli ad; "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan...."

And for those of you who come here just for Chuckie content (I'm looking at you, wyomingheart!), here he is with his friend Poppy on the deck this morning.

That's it for the weekend at . . .

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Three for three & potpourri

Call her Killer; Poppy killed two more mice in the tack room yesterday! One in the morning, and another in the evening. That makes three in three days; I sure hope that's all of them in there. It has been a mouse-proof room as long as the door is kept shut when not in use, but now I'm wondering if there's a hole somewhere.

This morning as we were walking up from the barn through pasture, she almost caught another one. She dove into a clump of grass and I thought she was just chasing bugs. But a little gray form scurried away and I couldn't redirect her attention before it got away.

Then she comes in and does her best supermodel impression. 🤣

My anniversary orchids are still blooming strong, and my littlest orchid has joined in. Its purple flowers are also little; the perspective in the photo makes them look much bigger.

I'm still spinning along with the Jenkins spindle group on Ravelry. My name was drawn for this braid of Southdown roving for participating in the Tour de Fleece; I got right to work on it and have a couple turtles spun up already.

How about some assorted wildlife just outside our door? English ivy is a big problem here, but I thought it was eye-catching crawling across this boulder.
Poppy saw this fawn from our bedroom window. I've seen it a couple times during the day by itself, and wonder if it has been orphaned.

 Pretty little striped snake on our driveway.

 And who is this little cutey competing with the moon? Someone in the Jenkins group said she got a couple of these solar nightlights at Walmart; I couldn't resist picking one up for myself!

This afternoon Poppy and I finally got to go to our first beginner agility class, after the last two weeks were cancelled. There are seven dogs and their handlers in our group, and it was very hard on Poppy not to meet and greet everyone there; in fact, it wore her out! I intended to snap some pictures but got so involved that I forgot; I especially wanted to get a picture of Poppy's almost-clone – a black try-color male Basenji! Maybe next week.... I did snap a photo of neighboring horse property; isn't it beautiful?

We're down and out at . . .

Monday, August 03, 2020

First kill!

A mouse got in our tack room awhile back, so when I go to the barn to do chores, I put Poppy in there. She can smell it and she wants it, but with all the 'cover' in there, she hasn't been able to nab it. I check on her every so often and at one point tonight, she was fixated in the back corner behind/beside a cabinet, so I poked a pole back there and two mice ran out and under a shelf unit. Ugh. Well, when I was done with chores tonight I went in to clip her leash on and 'drag' her back to the house, and there in the middle of the floor was a DEAD mouse! Yay Poppy!

No photos of our cluttered tack room or dead rodent, but I do have some Poppy pix taken recently. We found one of her tennis balls:

And here is our little snuggler, sleepy and not so sleepy:

Last night while Poppy hunted mice, Chuckie made love to my chore gloves. You'd think they were made of catnip! Cats are strange....

That's it for tonight from . . .

Sunday, August 02, 2020


Nearly a week has gotten away from me so I'm buried in blog fodder again. Kinda like housecleaning, or yard work, or pasture maintenance; if you don't stay on top of it, the work snowballs!

Last week started off with the hottest temperatures of the year so far. Fortunately that has moderated, but it's DRY (as summers here are) and the plants are sucking down all the water I can give them. I have pots on the deck and at the front of the house I water nearly every day, the vegetable garden that I water regularly, and this week I started water CPR on some landscaping plants that were clearly stressed. The sheep and horses are sucking down the water, too; stay strong, little well! The well is getting a bit of a breather starting today, because Brian's combine crew is up in Scappoose, OR for a few days' work. That boy goes through a lot of water in baths and showers.

Tuesday morning I picked up two lugs of peaches. They weren't as ripe as they looked, so I waited until Thursday evening and Friday to put them in the freezer. We also ate quite a few out of hand, and I made a fresh peach pie (not a baked peach pie) for Sabbath dinner. I met up with a friend on Wednesday, and she brought me a box of fresh figs from the parent tree of our little figlet (that still needs an in-ground home). This was the lunch I took to work Thursday:

Wednesday morning I spent hours chopping tansy and thistle. The tansy is really bad all over the area this year; I certainly don't want to add to the problem by letting any here go to seed. I still need to go through the upper pasture.... Anyway, I took some photos while I was working outside:

I've collected an assortment of skyscapes, some of them taken from Lance's back while riding down the lane. I tried to capture tonight's beauitful full moon, but my efforts weren't worth sharing.
several nights ago

the north neighbors' house now has windows, and most of it is roofed

Stella and the neighbors to the east

Stella has a new friend – the north neighbor discovered she LOVES carrots

click to biggify for the crows!

last night Rick rode with me!
the view tonight from Stella's window
I'll try to post again soon, as I have Poppy and Chuckie photos to share. I've been dealing with dental discomfort again, which is zapping my motivation and concentration. I'm praying it's temporary!

That's it for now from . . .