Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stinky Visitors

We have been having something that has been digging holes every where in the yard. The neighbor even said the other day that he's got the same problem too. Nathan has also noticed that something has been digging in the cow patties out in the pasture.

We think we may have figured out what is doing all this......skunks.

A week or so ago when we were about ready to go to bed, John looked out the patio door and saw one under the 2 pines trees (they are about 20 ft apart) right off the patio that have bird feeders in them. I grabbed the camera not knowing how the pics would turn out since it was so dark outside....this was about 1:00 am.

I (actually we) learned something from this picture.....

After I took it and looked at it, I notice (and maybe you did too) that the white stripe on his back doesn't go in one line from nose to tail. This is how a skunk is suppose to look right?!?! His goes into a V pattern after leaving the head. HUMM...... this is strange. I asked John about it and he didn't know either....and he knows his animals.

Can't say that I've seen a wild skunk up close before as they are largely nocturnal and seldom come out until late in the day and retire to their hideouts early in the morning. So we don't see them in daylight..... and if I did, I wouldn't stay very close anyway! So I got online to figure out who this guys was.

Well.... come to find out, the skunk that we have always thought was THEE skunk (the one that has a stripe down the back from nose to tail) doesn't even live around here. It's called a Hooded Skunk and lives in the southwest US and Mexico. The guy above is a Striped Skunk and they live everywhere and are the skunk that lives here in Ohio. Well didn't know that! Also learned that there is another skunk (which doesn't live around here either) that I would of never thought was a skunk if I ran into it...not that I would want to. It is the Spotted Skunk and it looks crazy! Click here to see a picture of one.

A few days later.......

Another skunk spotting so back out on the patio to take another pic.....good thing we have zoom. Actually most of the time I can get about 15 ft away from them (I'm still on the patio) as they don't notice I'm there as they are busy eating. this one doesn't have any stripes at all, or much of anything really.

We were thinking it was an immature one as it looks like it's thinking about getting stripes (you can faintly see some), but back online to find out for sure. Well this gets interesting......

This is what Wikipedia says:
Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey, and a few are cream-colored. All skunks are striped, even from birth. They may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes (in the case of the spotted skunk). Some also have stripes on their legs.

Another site says: Each Striped Skunk has a unique stripe pattern.

OK.... since skunks have strips at birth, then our theory that it's an immature one developing it's strip doesn't fit anymore. I guess about anything goes in the skunk strip world.

Skunk Convention........

The other night before going to bed, John again looked out the patio door and we had a party going on out there! There were 3 this time! Grabbed the camera again and back out I went.

These 2 were under one pine tree .....

.......and our 'no strip' skunk (or at least we think it's him) was under the other one.

I guess we now know why we have sooo many holes in our yards as it seems to of been a good year for skunks. I do get digging in my garden, but at the moment there isn't much out there, and it seems to happen more in the spring.....right after I plant.....but that can be raccoons doing that too.

Even though we have so many around, we seldom smell any. If the patio doors would of been open while they were all out there, their smell would not of tipped us off as there was no smell to them.

I'm glad they came to visit as we're all the smarter for it. You learn something everyday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Around the Farm I

I have been meaning all summer to put farm pics that I've taken here and there on to the blog but thought I should have some 'like' pics to go with them. I've waited for more as I don't want to post something for just a pic or 2 with no special topic. Well it never happened. Sooo I am giving up on that and just going to start a new category (or Label as it's called at the right of this page), called 'Around the Farm' and from now on when I get some, no matter if they go together or not, I will put them there.

Here are some that were taken this summer and some not too long ago........

I have a post further back about a rainbow that graced our farm a while back but then again this summer we were blessed with 2 more since then.

This one is later in the day , of course, and if you can see it (you can click on the pic to enlarge it) the end of the rainbow stops right at a white things in the pasture. That white thing would be the broiler pen-- which had chickens in it at the time too. Thought it neat on where the end stopped....maybe this means something?!?!?

This is a big Golden Rod plant.

Waiting for drinks.....

Happy hour!

Path between the fence and the woods.

I sometimes wonder how the electric fence can work with all this stuff in it.

Catching the cattle with the fall color.

I was out not too long ago weeding in the strawberry patch and heard a chicken squawk. We had been having predator problems so I went to see what was going on. There was nothing out there but did noticed that the chickens were following the cattle rather close.....really close that is. After watching for a bit, I figured out why. This year we seem to have more crickets and grasshoppers than normal. The chickens figured out that hanging with the cattle as they walked to graze, they would stir up the critters so the ladies could just grab them when they scoured away. This would be their version of fast food. So the squawk that I heard came from one of the birds not watching where Gabriell (one of our bulls) was walking and more than likely got stepped on.

I let some of my fall red raspberries go to bloom in the spring. It was nice having all these berries at one time. I didn't know which to eat first! But I do think from now on I will just keep the red ones for the fall as it was just too much picking and keeping up with all this when I had so many other things going on at the same time.

Wish I had some of these on the bushes right's going to be a long winter...fresh is best!

basil, squash and tomatoes

First of the Sungold cherry tomatoes turning color....YUM!

Blackberries just getting ripe. It was a very good year for these.

I bought some new fall red raspberry plants to help keep up with demand so these are not that big yet. Blueberry plants in the background....they turn a pretty red color in the fall.

Every now and then something unusual happens at the fairgrounds. This would be one of those occasions. This doesn't happen often (but I wish it would), a hot air balloon took off from there not too long ago. Grabbed the camera! This is actually a close-up.

This would be real life size. Took it from the backyard.

Had a bluebird hang around this spring so I put together a falling apart birdhouse on the fence post up by the house. Yes that is tape holding a section together! I broke the board when I was trying to get the roof was a bit brittle and didn't hold together for long. We didn't know if they would move in as it was close to the patio. Then ended up trusting us and moved in. It was nice to sit on the patio (when we could) and watch them.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pigs Arrive

Yesterday our new farm products arrived...PIGS!

We are not big pork eater but have had customers over the years ask us about doing pigs so Nathan decided to take on that task. Both he and John have experience with raising pigs, but me on the other hand....nodda.....nothing. I have not dealt with pigs ever, so this is going to be a new experience for me.

I wasn't doing anything at the moment when Nathan needed to go pick them up so I went along for the ride.

Here they are, all ready to be loaded up into the back of our truck. They are about 50 lbs..... a little smaller (and more expensive) than what Nathan wanted them to be, but they will do.

Since they were small enough to be transported in our truck, we had to dig out the old cap from our other 'since departed' truck and put that on so the little guys wouldn't jump out of the bed on the way home. The problem is, our new truck is red and the old cap that went with that old truck is green. It looked like a real nice classy carriage for the pigs ride home-- but I don't think they cared. Me, on the other hand, I was hoping I didn't see too many people I knew..... I was feeling a little bit like a hillbilly in that set up. It did get the job done though.

Nathan taking them out of the truck and getting them to go to the other side of the barn. They don't look that big (and they aren't) BUT they are really strong. I tried to get one to go further into the barn as it stop just after the concrete and it wasn't going anywhere.

It wasn't long and they started their routing. They route because they are looking for food. They can tear a place up pretty good after a while. I don't think they had the chance to do this at the place they were at so this was letting them do what pigs want to do....and they seemed to be enjoying it.

Checking things out.

I was right beside this guy (he was facing the other one you see in the pic) and he turned around and froze when he saw me.

The little guys were kind of cute to watch them play with each other, running in circles (and each other) once they got use to being in their new, very open place. I know they will be MUCH happier with their new home.

To change the topic slightly: If you are interested in any freezer pork, please let me know. I am forming a list now of those interested and when we have more info on prices and all I will get back to you. We are shooting for them to be finished in January.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Since we started the blog way back when, we have been using it as a blog but also as our website of sorts for the farm. One of our hopes was to get a real website up and going before too long. I'm happy to announce that Nathan has finally accomplished that task!!

In light of that, we won't be using this blog for that purpose anymore, but we'll still continue to use it for farm events or info (a more detailed look that the website may not give), recipes, health and political articles/info, etc....OH--and a little bit of family thrown in here and there.

If you come across some article, information, picture that you find interesting/helpful or a yummy recipe using our products that you would like share with all of us, please pass it along to me (by email) and we'll try to include it here for everyone to enjoy.

The website address is: