|Brad - announcing his latest blog post!|
Brad here. I know, it has been a long time since I posted any stories about life on the farm but I am turning over a new leaf for 2013 and plan to post a short story every month or so. Life on our farm is always busy and our caretaker, Renée keeps everything running smoothly. She is amazing and we all love her!
I believe it is Winter 2012 but the weather has been unseasonably warm. The laying ladies and I have been able to continue foraging not only in our little yard but also the horse pasture and the neighboring soybean field.
I LOVE it when the crops are harvested. The machines always leave yummy treats behind with soil that is loosened up and perfect to scratch around in, looking for grubs, worms and other underground insect life.
The composting horse manure pile is a perfect place to start the day. Sometimes we find leftover bits of grain but always lots of yummy earthworms. I especially love to find the little red ones. Sweet, succulent with a hint of earthiness. Ah, Heaven on Earth is a nicely composted manure pile . . . but I digress.
|Snoozing with the Laying Ladies|
|Do NOT be deceived by the |
cute-ness of this image!
He is terrifyingly fast and loves fresh chicken.
What could have committed such a bloodthirsty crime? A MINK! We tried to tell Renée about him but she didn’t seem to understand until her husband found the mink curled up in a sunny corner of the pigeon coop. Since the pigeon coop has better rodent protection, once he got in, he couldn’t get out unless he slipped out the door when one of the humans opened it. He had done this successfully before, relishing in the fresh water and spilled grain from the fancy pigeons.
Somehow, Renée and Bashir caught the mink in a cat carrier and had a friend come over to help in disposing of this evil menace. All I can say is - good riddance! We haven’t had any random, midnight attacks since and I am hoping his friends or family doesn’t decide to come looking for him.
The next day, after the mink had been taken care of, I wandered into the barn to check for leftover kitty or dog treats and there was Renée, highly focused and carefully skinning the mink. I wonder what she plans to do with his hide? He was good sized but I don’t think he is big enough to make anything with. I’ll keep you posted on what she ends up doing with it.
|Hide from a doe, left on our road, mostly |
fleshed, salted, tanning oil applied.
Apparently, people like to dump deer carcuses on our quiet country road and Renée spotted a fresh kill of a large doe on her way home from work. She went about her business and later decided to go back to check it out since it looked like the hide was still intact, meaning no coyotes had found it yet and maybe it was salvageable.
Late into the night, the two humans worked, sharing stories, listening to music and honoring the beautiful way nature has created us critters. The artist inside of both women, took joy in the divine patterns found on the skin, left by the placement of muscles, tendons and other fibers. The scientist in both women, admired the complex connections of seemingly simple layers of skin, adipose connecting tissue and muscles, as they carefully “fleshed” the hide. The doe was thanked for giving her life to feed the hunter’s family and for the future warmth, her hide would give to Renée.
|Buck skin, given to Renée by a neighbor.|
Well, he is right about the trashed TV set, as Renée has often been a vocal opponent of the brain drain but I think she has a long way to go before she is truly a pioneer wife.
|Curious George |
- repurposed as a laprobe.
|Handmade dish towel by Renée.|