Such A Pretty Day

Our Greenhouse and the herb garden.
The weather we are having is just wonderful.  I love traveling down the highways seeing the hay meadows lush and green, many of them already being cut and baled.  What a change from last year.  Thank God for the rain, I don’t care how inconvenient it may have been- I will not complain.
Little Californian Bunnies
The farm has been bustling with activity.  Baby bunnies have been arriving with more on the way and the chicks & ducklings we purchased at TSC are growing.  To accommodate our growing flocks, Tony has been relocating our fencing supplies and extra materials to another paddock so that another pen can go up.  
Predators have been a bit of a problem lately.  We had a fantastic hunter in the way of our cat, Twister, but she has gone missing.  We are quite sad about the whole thing.  When she was here we rarely ever saw a snake, this year we have killed about 3 chicken snakes, seen 3 racers and a few garden snakes- the kind with tiny little heads that are a huge help in the garden.  Twister was born the night a tornado went through our backyard, about 9 yeas ago, hence the name.  Her mother was Raja, and she came from my grandmother’s house.  
Twister- a great cat, may she rest in peace.
Tony was never a fan of cats and continually said “NO” when the girls asked if they could have one.  I am not a cat lover either, but I did know the value of a good barn cat for keeping the snakes and mice at bay.  My grandmother’s cats were (and are) wild beasts that want nothing to do with people- my kind of cats.  Anyway, Tony thought he would be smart and told the girls (Cheyenne and Savannah were only about 8 and 6 at the time) if they could catch one they could keep it.  So, that next weekend was Easter and we spent the day a Grandmother’s house.  All afternoon those two were busy with the business of kitten catching.  We knew Savannah loved animals and had a way with them, but we really didn’t know just how good she was- yet.  Tony was quiet surprised to get a phone call at the ambulance station from Savannah stating that she had caught 5 kittens and wanted to bring them all home.  I still have no idea how she did it, I know Cheyenne helped her, but those kittens were well hid and wild.  So much for his well laid plan.  A compromise was reached and two kittens came home in a shoe box.  Only one kitten made it to adult hood, the mean one.  She was an excellent hunter and passed it on to her daughter.  Twister was friendly enough, but preferred to live in  the barn and hunt for her supper.  A good barn cat is worth their weight in gold!

So, with our faithful barn cat gone we have lost several chicks and many eggs to snakes.  Along with the snakes, raccoons have made themselves a pest as well as something that grabbed a rooster out of the hen house before we got the door shut the other night.  Tony has taken to keeping the shotgun by the bed and the spotlight handy.  Several times he has just popped up and ran out the door with no explanation whatsoever, only to return with no wild beast in his bag.  He hears things that I miss and it will pay off.  Tony has shot several coyotes and bobcats that were marauding in the hen house.  Chickens are just easy targets.  Because of this, anything we put up for poultry in way of pens or housing must be really safe.

Not only are snakes about, but all kinds of reptiles are being spotted in the gardens.  I am so happy to see all the life existing on our place.  About 6 years ago, before I began gardening organically, we didn’t have much in the way of lizards and such.  It seems that all the synthetic chemicals I was using in the gardens was harmful to the good insects and the reptiles.  Since we changed our ways, we have been rewarded with many new visitors- many who are deciding to call our farm home.
A bird feeder made from an old drawer.
I had an idea for a bird feeder when I spied an old drawer at a flea market.  I painted the drawer and screwed eyelets in all four corners.  I then ran wire through the eyelets and hung it on a Shepard’s hook.  It works really well.  It is not squirrel proof, but then what is?  

I love spring, everything is just so pretty.

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