Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October at Jubilee Farm

This morning was very cold at the farm. All of us on kale definitely had some cold hands. I love the farm right when I show up and it is quiet and still uncrowded. I love the look of the October decorated farmhouse in the fog.

Eventually the fog burned off and the sun came out! This view is from under the grape trellis with the sun coming through. This season I had concord grapes for the first time. It was kind of an amazing experience for me. Basically like eating grape juice.

When you have a concord grape that is truly ripe it is incredibly good.

The tomatoes I assume are nearing the end of their season, but I love how they are strung in the houses. The first thing I did was plant tomatoes way back in May and I learned so much just doing that!

There are 2 new pigs on the grounds. Perhaps they will bring the next batches of piglets.

The sunflowers are starting to wilt down a bit, but still beautiful in the sun.

I never could get a good photo of the chicken coop. You will have to trust me that it is impressive. It involves a very large wagon structure.

I was so grateful to have sun on this workshare day!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

NW2 K9 Nose Work Trial and Fort Borst Park, Centralia, WA

I highly doubt that when Gypsy woke up this morning, the first thought on her mind was "I would really love a road trip with Nim." And yet, on this rainy Saturday, she found herself in exactly that situation.

Her feelings on this matter:

Mom and I took the dogs to a NW2 K9 Nose Work Trial in Centralia, WA. I was not allow to film, or even view some of the searches, so this is Gypsy working the warm up scent boxes.

I really liked this trial location. It was based out of Centralia Middle School. The location was pretty and the parking was easy. It was actually one of the more easy going Nose Work trials I have been too.

I got to see Gypsy in her new hot pink harness. All the searches I saw her do she passed. She ended up timing out on one of the first hides in the beginning, but otherwise she was doing well. On a couple of the searches I would see her torn by something she was concerned about or noticing, but you could always tell when she was pulled back into scent.

Meanwhile, I had done some exploring on the lunch break and knew that we had to walk the Fort Borst Park as soon as she was done trialing. I consider it a major bonus when a dog event is located near a beautiful walking area.

What a really peaceful area. If I lived in this area, I would visit often.

A rare photos of Nim and Gypsy together...without a barrier. This is about as close as we can get them right now. That is in front of the historic Borst House.

For history enthusiasts, you might want to scan the following information on the site and the history of Fort Borst:

Fort Borst
Time has passed, but their presence remains
A historic lesson

There was a small tour group while we were there, and several women in truly stunning period attire. It was the one downside of having the dogs is that it kept me a little removed while moving around the site.

I wasn't going to post the photo with the lady coming out of the school house, but it is the better photo I got of the complete structure. She had gorgeous long skirt that unfortunately you can't see well as she was accidentally captured in that photo.

Despite periods of rain, we mostly lucked out until it was time to drive home. This walk was a great way to finish a fun day.

I have no doubt that between the road trip, a little walk with Nim, and working hard at her searches, Gypsy will sleep very soundly tonight. And dream of Nim.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Welcome Fall!

This has been the strangest summer. Perhaps because I haven't had as much hiking and outdoor time as normal, but it felt way to short. As long as this fall stays on the drier side, it is generally one of my favorite times of year and hopefully will help make up for a chaotic summer.

This was the view one morning getting ready for work.

I keep trying to work on my henna skills. After redecorating my legs over and over I decided to move on to other objects. Such as logs. Nim totally judged.

In the middle of October I will take my first real henna class.

Farming is going strong. That shift will also end in October. I was riding out on the tractor last week next to someone I hadn't worked with before. I finally found the word I was looking for in terms of farm shift work...endurance.

I have had some great veggies all summer long and definitely had some variety in my diet I wouldn't normally have. I will say that when I am in the grocery store now I no longer look at produce the same way. I know that somewhere there is someone, probably older than me, putting in far longer shifts to make that produce happen. It is humbling in a way.

My own gardens were kind of weak this year, but I did try something new with all the Coleus starts I get each year. I actually took the time to read up more on them and ended up planting them all around the bases of some trees. I really like how it looked. They are already starting to wilt with out cold mornings, but I enjoyed them during the summer.

Despite the cold nights and mornings, we are still getting some days of sun and sun babies. Everyone gets so demanding when they know the sun is outside. I get bossed around so much. :)

My Gunnera is still alive! I am going to be reading up on mulching and tarping this lovely. It should feel honored, I don't give my outside plants that much love.

Even the indoor plants are sort of on their own, thanks to the cats. But I did bring my Mother-in-law Tongue plant in for the cold weather. She is over 20 years old now. I am super attached to her, it is terrible. I am actually trying to plan a shelving system this winter complete with lighting to try and keep my plants safe from the cats. I have a lot to move in the house this winter.

At the end of  September I gave up and started up the pellet stove. Emile was maintaining a morning vigil anyway, and who am I to deny his happiness? Beside, the house gets smelly and damp as the cold mornings come in.

And yes. The beloved electric blanket is back in the rotation.

Have a great October!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Baby Bunnies on the Move

As of yesterday evening, babies were on the move. I could hear the mama and assumed she was in the nest but she was actually just outside it with them all upside down underneath her.

She is now always present too, although I don't always see her right away.

Meanwhile they are all over the place. I am guessing it will be another week before I mow. When they catch me looking at them some of them will charge for the nest and then I hear them all chattering.

Unfortunately for all of us I was up at midnight due to the heat, but I did also take that opportunity to send the owl packing again. She didn't go very far but as near I as I can tell, no casualties last night.

The bolder ones will prop up and stare at me.

Right now I want them to stay in the dog yard as they have more of a fighting chance in there, but bunnies will do what bunnies want. :)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Baby Bunny Watch

Happy Friday! Today is going to be a hot one out here. My gardening may be lack luster this year, but the begonias my friend gave me have been out of control. I had actually sworn off this flower, but for the last 2 years the ones I have received as gifts have done amazing.

The baby bunnies seem to be doing great. They have been very hard to photograph between their size, location, and the mama's nightly rearranging of the nest. Last night I was able to fully count 6 of them.

Today I am starting to get clear photos.

I desperately wanted to work in the outside office today before the heat came in, so I had to great creative and get them sectioned off so Nim could be out there too. The only reason this works is because they aren't leaving the nest yet - which I think is very close to happening.

Why yes. The nest is right against the house. :| At night when the mama comes back I can look at my window and watch her. Since it has been hot out and I have been sleeping with the windows open I can hear her when she goes to the nest.

The xpen is to keep Nim out, the card table is to keep the owl out.

Nim and I are back in the house now because mama also showed up and Nim chased her. I think she only ever half believes him because often I know she is in the yard with him, but right now, I can't have her getting killed.

It must be very close to time for the babies to start following her around if she is coming by during the day. Sigh. Thankfully I will be at dog shows this weekend and not be around for whatever hunting is about to happen as they leave the nest.

For being such a outdoors and rural lover, I am terribly soft when it comes to the cruel realities of nature. I am trying to enjoy them while I can.

Nim naturally forgot he ever found the nest in the first place and just settled in for some chewing. I got a lot of homework done, and the babies are safe in their nest just a little longer.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fuller Mountain Partial Fail, Weyerhaeuser "Loop"

Before I talk about Fuller Mountain, I am going to talk about the owl again. On Saturday I spotted this owl in the plum. Notice how angelic he looks. So peaceful. So serene. I thought to myself, how lucky am I, and proceeded the mow the lawn with him never leaving.

After mowing the lawn, I realized Nim had exposed a baby bunny nest. He was curious, and I am sure they were nosed, but thankfully no carnage. I did some quick reading, repaired the nest, and then prepared myself for adult bunny monitoring to make a decision on taking the babies to rescue.

Well I think that owl knew that nest was there all along. The evening ended on a crazy note in which the mail person arrived late with a package and witnessed me chasing off the owl. :|

In happier news the adult bunny has returned, I can tell she is going to the nest as she fixed my repair job, and I appear to have about 4 baby rabbits with eyes almost open. I would have a better feeling about this if it was not for the owl and that they have taken over the dog yard.

Fortunately. It is hiking season.

I don't know why I tend to think of Fuller Mountain is an "easier" hike. I suppose it is because I know it well and because it is not terribly high mileage, but my own history should have long ago taught me otherwise. If nothing else, it can be an unpredictable hike and shouldn't be underestimated.

On Sunday Nim and I hit the trail a bit later than we should have with the heat. We started at the Weyerhaeuser "Loop" which isn't a loop at all. Campbell Global recently purchased the land from Hancock. Somehow I think this trail will never happen, but I really wish it would. I wish they would ask me to design it.

As you can see, there is basically no trail left. In the above photo Nim and I are about to cross the creek on an overgrown log which happily is still there, however it was slick in spots and I wasn't very happy about that. The fall wouldn't kill you, but you wouldn't be happy about it.

We made it across and Nim went into the creek while I negotiated with my day pack which is long overdue to be retired.

Against all odds, I found the Fuller Mountain "trail head" on the first try. That doesn't even always happen when it has higher use. Can you see it?

The Fuller Mountain trail itself is honestly not much worse off than normal. Someone came through a did a lot of work on the blow down from 3 years ago which is a blessing. There was one area with an alarming amount of flagging that I am going to assume was for bees, but I didn't see them.

This particular crossing never makes any dog happy. On the way back I accidentally let a large log loose. Nim was definitely not happy with me then. Truth be told, I wasn't happy about it either.

Because of the heat, I made Nim rest on the hike up. He seemed sort of ambivalent about it, but it made me feel better. The large flies were out of control. Had I had any bug spray I would have sprayed his vest or collar.

The closer we got to the top, the harder the trail got to find. Nim is resting in the ferns on the "trail" while I tried to figure out my route.

I am sure were were about 1/4 mile from the top, but this is about where we gave up. We had started too late, and it was too hot to deal with me tromping all over the place. I have decided we will do it again early fall when the vegetation has died down a bit, it is cooler, and I leave early enough to deal with getting off trail.

Despite not finding the top, it still remains one of my most favorite areas.