The Purple Martins may have left early this year, due to the drought I would imagine. They come every spring and usually don't leave until August, but I noticed they haven't been around for a couple of days. Just guessing there may not be enough food (flying bugs) to keep them fed as the heat and drought have affected many other things here - like bugs. The grasshoppers seem to be the only insect that is doing well in this heat. They are everywhere and are eating up everything they can.
A couple of momma birds raised their young in interesting places on the place this year. A swallow couple built their nest at the end of the front porch. They raised 5 little ones that flew the nest over the fourth of July. They are beautiful birds and we enjoyed having them around, along with the purple Martin's and hummingbirds that hang around the feeders on the porch as well.
A young Mockingbird built her nest inside the cherry tomato plant in the garden. She raised 5 little ones as well. We didn't pick the tomatoes around her nest for several weeks. Those little ones flew off last week and we hope they all make it. We look forward to seeing them all again next year!
The garden is winding down but still gives us much to enjoy. I've canned marinara sauce and salsa with the yummy, garden fresh tomatoes, as well as enjoyed Gazpacho several times during these warm summer weeks. Last night I canned several jars of new potatoes from the garden. Hopefully they will taste good this winter. I've never canned potatoes before! We've put up dozens of quarts of green beans, squash, and zucchini in the freezer, along with bell peppers and green chilies. Dozens of onions and potatoes are drying in the shop along with cayenne peppers, sunflowers, fennel and many other herbs and spices. We still have flowers blooming in the garden and the bees and other insects are loving the garden as much as I do.
The equine are doing very well, even with the heat. They spend much of their time dozing up by the barn since they have no pasture to munch on.The cows are goats are doing good also. They get up early in the morning and walk around the pasture for a couple of hours finding something they like. Then they spend the rest of the day munching on a round bale or sleeping in the shade of the trees during the heat of the day. They rouse themselves again in the late evening for another bite when the goats come in to get their feed and get put up in their pen. Everyone seems to just be taking it slow and easy during these dog days of summer. Hope you are too!
Well folks, this has been the lost month. Starting with the week of flu it seems we lost that entire week. The following week there was hip replacement surgery. That went very well and we were home the next day. Physical therapy with Jeff followed for the next 3 weeks, as well weekly nurse's visits. Last week was a trip back to the surgeon's and he was very pleased - released us to about 80% of 'back to real life' activities. I still can't chase goats, spend the night dancing, or ride the mules yet, but that will come soon!
The goatie kids have, for the most part, headed to their new homes. It looks like everyone went to very good homes this year. One of the Boer wethers is a companion for another little Boer guy named Bob, that has lost his sight. Thanks Karen for giving him such a great forever home! All the rest of the Boer kids will be shown either this fall, winter or next spring. RR Gene Autry went to a wonderful family that lives in Hattiesburg, MS. They drove a long ways to meet Gene and were very pleased with him. We think he will do exceptionally well in the ring and are excited to hear from Chip, Angela and Zachary as to how he does!
All four of the Lamancha girls are going to live with some very special folks that are learning about milk goats and doing a great job. Thanks Ann & Phil. :) We're so happy that they get to stay together and have such a nice couple to care for them!
Now it's time to care for the mommas and help them recover from raising their rowdy and demanding children. All the girls have been wormed and had their feet trimmed. Their figures are slowly returning to "normal" and they are getting used to the kids being gone. I believe that they miss their litttle ones, so we give then extra attention and care during this time.
The horses and mules are getting fat and sassy in the pasture. No riding for a while with the hip replacement, but they certainly don't seem to mind. I think that eating and horsing around are their primary concerns these days.
The cattle are fat as well. We have 5 older heifers that have been bred this spring along with Dolly and the two older cows that are raising their calves. The rest of the girls are still youngsters so it will be some time before they are bred. They like to come up by the house in the evenings to look for treats and good scratches. Most the girls are very gentle and enjoy the attention.
The garden is growing well. I put up 14 quarts of green beans last weekend. We've enjoyed some fresh squash, radishes, greens, onions and swiss chard. Can't wait to see how much the raised bed gardens produce this year as it's our first. Looks like a winner!
Hope you all had a great Memorial Day and long weekend. :)
Sorry for the delay on posting folks. I came down with a bad case of the flu last week and couldn't have posted if my life depended on it. I don't think I have ever been so ill. We managed to get through it with several visits to the doctor and a few shots to help keep things down, just in time for surgery last Monday! Yipee! But it's done now. We are currently in recovery mode. The shiny new titanium and ceramic hip is in and seems to be working well. I am mostly in bed this week, doing my exercises and trying to regain my strength from both the flu and surgery. Next week should be much easier! I must admit that this part isn't much fun, but will be worth it in the long run...
The goatie kids are starting to head to their new homes. I still have 2 wethers for sale due to a couple of people not following through on their end, but that will give someone that really cares an opportunity to own a really nice show kid! We just need to find them. :) 5 kids left last week and another 5 are scheduled to leave home this week. It's a sad, yet exciting time... Sad for us to watch them go, as they have been such a big part of our lives the last several weeks, yet happy to watch to joy and excitement on the faces of their new owners and handlers. We love keeping in touch with everyone and hearing how well all the 'kids' do in their show careers!
The garden is growing and getting way ahead of me now as we knew it would for a while. It's wonderful to eat fresh veges that you have grown yourself . I'm afraid we won't be able to grow quite as much as we usually do this year, but anything nature blesses us with will be greatly appreciated and enjoyed!
The animals are all healthy and happy. They are shedding thier winter coats and look a bit rough around the edges, but fat as ticks and getting sleek. The grass is green and growing, the ponds are full, rain fell this week, and life is good. We wish joy in your life and happiness with the simple things life gives us each and every day...
Russell Ranch is located in beautiful NE Oklahoma, just a few miles from the Illinois river in Green Country. There are lovely rolling hills, lots of wonderful lakes and rivers, and forests full of wildlife.