Settling In

Summer has begun, culturally and meteorologically,  and we’re starting to get a handle on what we have to work with here.

Obviously, the recent pattern of long warm autumn — into December as often as not, and then a cool wet Spring, downright cold this year, has continued. This year we really did have to defer the planting until Memorial Day.

Everything on the interwebs, state, federal or private, says that this place is colder than Marlow. The vegetation disagrees. The woods are full of barberry and honeysuckle. We had neither in Marlow. I found one lone honeysuckle in 2011 and showed it to the sheep. We have dogwood everywhere, and it blooms profusely. In Marlow we had a few, that bloomed rarely. North side of the mountain or not, this place is warmer.

Temp fencing on the left We do have sun issues for gardening. It’s a north slope, albeit with lovely flat spots, and surrounded by trees. On the other hand, the sod can simply be rototilled and the soil everywhere is deep enough for root crops. In Marlow we had no choice but to use raised beds and had to make them double height for carrots and sweet potatoes. This soil is a lovely brown loam too.

Happy babies The biggest downside is that all the critters seem magically attracted to the busy road we are on, Route 44. That makes fencing hypercritical. Today we lined Maggie’s paddock with four foot tall, one-inch chicken wire and put the fledglings in, poults and chicks that we incubated. They love it, and their coop is now free for the next batch.

Waterfowl. By the water. Speaking of baby birds, the geese are just chugging alone. A first time mama hatched just two goslings. Another one of her eggs pipped but that’s it, and she finally got off the nest today. It was two weeks since the last batch of goslings, and we still have three still setting. Lisa ordered us a batch of Muscovy ducklings, whose mama not only hatched them, but took care of them afterwards. Hope springs eternal. We have officially given up on mama raised turkeys. Our Midget Whites hatch them well, but then lose them. We will simply grab any poults hatched, and raise them ourselves.

Rudy comes to visit Lisa got us into a beta test for a radio fence thing. We don’t have it up and running yet, and the firm is understandably getting testy. It’s largely our fault for not putting in the time. Unfortunately, the current need for time is for debugging. It’s set up, and it isn’t making the collar beep. I had to recharge the collar today, or I’d be out diddling with it now. We really have to work hard on keeping Bjarki at home. He’s got the devil dog look in his eye lately and will slip away if you don’t keep track of him for just a minute, gone exploring. He has a new girlfriend (Rudy) who comes by for a visit several times a day, but somehow that’s not enough for him not want ALL the girlfriends.

Tomorrow’s job is to finish tilling and fencing the garden, so Lisa can plant.

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