Life slowed down just in time for Nana, the border collie, to get hurt. We stopped all our other outdoor activities on the homestead and have spent the last two weeks keeping Her Royal Border Collie company while binge-watching Babylon 5 from start to finish.
The first week was a blur. I worried a lot because it took a long time for her to have a bowel movement, but once that was established, we felt safer that she was improving on schedule.
Because she injured herself while on duty herding the chickens back into the coop, I felt it only right that she receive the Homestead Congressional Medal of Valor, Border Collie Division. What do you think?
Chickens: Speaking of chickens, we lost one of our roosters while they were free ranging. It was bound to happen. This is the time of year when coyotes and hawks are most bold. Now that the younger chickens are used to the older ones, I’ve regrouped them into one pen. They seem to have established their pecking order, so all is well.
I am a little peeved though. Just before Nana fell in battle, we put up a fence around my main garden. It’s kept the deer out but the chickens managed to get in. I haven’t yet seen how they get in. They’re either flying over the fence or squeezing through the holes. Greg wanted to get fence panels with the smaller squares, but that was more than twice the price. Still if they’re flying over, no fence will keep them out. I’ll figure something out eventually.
The hens are in molt right now. They’re bedraggled and scruffy, shedding feathers everywhere. This means no one is laying and their coop looks like a chicken exploded. I try to give them a little extra protein when I can so they can rebuild their strength for next year. As soon as I’m sure the last of them have finished molting I’ll do a thorough cleaning of their coop then fill it with extra deep litter to last them throughout the winter.
Goats: Everyone has finally settled down. For now, no one is in heat. Thank goodness! The boys keep pushing at their fence though. We really need to put something up as a brace. Goats are relentless and super smart at finding weaknesses in their pens.
Captain Jack has gotten taller, but still hasn’t filled out yet. Ray Charles, handsome as ever, smiled for my camera.
All the girls, except for Patch, the baby, have been bred. I don’t want those boys bothering Patch this early in life. That little girl is still a beauty, and very sociable.
Garden: The garden has pretty much been put to bed. I’ve got a few pots started with lettuces and a couple of late blooming tomatoes. In the raised beds, the okra and potatoes are still going strong. We’ll have fresh potatoes for Thanksgiving.
More than half my artichokes died. I don’t know if it was deer related or the blistering summer heat, but only three are left. They’ve lost some of their leaves and look puny, but are still very much alive. This isn’t their normal climate so I don’t know if that’s normal for dormancy or not. We’ll see if they make it to the spring.
I had a nice, long row of snow peas planted, but that’s how I discovered the chickens had sneaked into my garden. They’re gone now–the peas, not the chickens. (shakes fist)
It’s a little late in the year to start over. My one regret is that I didn’t plant garlic. I really needed it too. My original plan was to try a couple new varieties for southern climates, but I never got the order in on account of a certain dog.
Ah well. If I find some organic garlic locally, I might go ahead and plant some of them so I at least have something for next year.
Da dogs: Well, you know about Nana’s misadventures, but Iko should get a medal for being so good-natured in the face of getting ignored lately.
He’s always been like this though. He’s used to being second, and actually prefers it. If some dogs are alphas, Iko is definitely a beta. As long as he feels safe and gets fed on time, he asks for nothing. Instead of a medal, he should get a halo. He’s been so patient what with all the change in routine.
As I’m writing this, someone is target shooting in the distance. That always makes poor Iko nervous. He hates fireworks, thunder, and gunfire. Off to hug on him a little and let him know all is well.
What’s going on at your homestead? Have the seasons changed for you yet?
Anybody else a Babylon 5 fan? How about The Orville? Although it bills itself as partly comedy, it’s had a couple of deceptively deep-thought episodes. Last week they visited a planet where everyone was judged (and kept in check) by the mob mentality of a thinly veiled Facebook-style social media. Ridiculous? I’m not so sure anymore.