Tornado Season

April 10, 2009

Spring is one thing, but tornado season comes along at the same time, and that’s quite another thing!

I’ve got the tv on listening to reports of severe thunderstorms, hail the size of softballs, and tornadoes on the ground!

Fortunately, I think the worst has passed us.  Yes, we had a severe thunderstorm.

Rain

And we had some hail, though not near the size of softballs.  We didn’t even make it to ping-pong ball size.

Hailstones

And while I didn’t see a tornado, we had LOTS of wind.  I can’t show you the wind, but I can show you one of the effects:

Here’s another view:

The gutter is a wreck, but I’m hopeful that the roof itself is not actually damaged. However, one of the limbs knocked out part of the fence.

Considering a bad tornado went through north of us that did a lot of damage and the reports are that a couple of people were killed, I’d say we were pretty lucky.

But I guess we’d better get used to spending more time in the basement.

Flooded Creek

March 27, 2009

Rain Gauge

There seems to be a lot of rain falling all over the country.  We’ve had a bunch here lately, but at least we don’t have to worry about the record level flooding of the Red River like the folks in Fargo, North Dakota, and on into the Manitoba, Canada, area do.

Nevertheless, we still got a lot of rain a little too fast, and by yesterday morning the creek that runs along one side of our property was flooded. 

It backs up a lot when it gets to the culvert/bridge just down the road from us.  There’s just too much water and not enough space for it to run through!  The culvert also gets clogged with debris, and that constricts the water flow even more, and it has to go somewhere.

Flooded creek and pond.

The Farmer decided to check out the flood waters before he left for work and walked down as close as he could get to the bridge, then headed back.

Flood waters over the bridge.

Thankfully, since the bridge is past our driveway, we don’t have to worry about flood waters over the road when we want to drive somewhere.

However, The Farmer was worried about the flood waters getting into his pond.  When it was built, they made a high bank on the side closest to the road, hoping to prevent that.  So far it had worked, but he decided to check it out.

The Farmer looking at the flood waters near the pond.

It almost worked this time, but in a couple of spots there were trickles of water flowing into the pond.

Water flowing into pond.

There wasn’t enough water to worry about, but we’ll just have to see what happens next time we get a lot of heavy rains.

When the creek floods, the water also backs up into our bottom pasture and flows through the adjacent woods.

Flooded field.

As you can see, the water runs over the fence line, which is why we have an electric fence there.  It’s easier to fix when the fast waters tear the wire away from the posts, or the debris just flat out breaks the wires.

The ground was so saturated with water, the earthworms were bailing out everywhere.  The grass was polluted with them, and I could barely walk down the driveway without stepping on one.

Earthworms on driveway.

The guineas chose to stay high in the treetops, even though it rained on them all night. 

Guineas in treetops.

Of course, I wouldn’t accuse guineas of having an excess of intelligence.  They obviously don’t even know enough to come in out of the rain!

All this wet weather makes our Maremma LGD (livestock guardian dog) look pretty ragged since she’s all white.

Muddy Maremma/

She probably looks like a lot of folks in dangerously flooded areas feel – a little rough around the edges.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re done with the rainy weather, so time to hunker down and wait it out!  I’m just thankful we got the basement water-proofed a couple of years ago, so I no longer have to spend hours and hours with a shop vac trying to drain the rising pool of water in the basement!

I guess there’s a silver lining in every cloud after all.

The Joke’s On Us!

March 1, 2009

After numerous times this winter of hearing the weatherman tell us we might get snow and nothing ever happened, last night we kind of laughed off all predictions of the white stuff.  After all, we got through December, January and February without much more than a few flakes, so the first of March would seem pretty safe, right?

Wrong!  The joke was on us when we got up this morning and there was snow swirling around in gusty winds, and even a layer of snow on the ground.  Amazing!

Church services and other Sunday activities screeched to a halt as closing after closing scrolled by on the tv and computer screens.  The animals hunkered down in their sheds, not sure what to make of so much white stuff carried around in wicked gusts of wind.

The sheep, being the hardy souls they are and protected by a nice layer of insulating wool, were the first to stir out of their shed once the weather cleared a little.

Sheep in Snow.

A few of the guineas also ventured out, though the strong wind made things a little precarious. This guinea was hanging on for dear life while the fence swayed back and forth.

Guinea on Fence

After fixing some blueberry muffins for breakfast, I got on my layers of winter clothing and ventured out into the cold, cruel world.  Once all the animals had feed, hay and water, I figured Toby and I needed to take a walk in the woods while we had an opportunity to take pictures of so much snow.

Going into the woods.

Now I’m sure our northern neighbors are rolling their eyes at my definition of “so much snow”, but remember, it’s all relative!  And to us, this much snow is relatively lots!

We walked back to the creek first thing.

Creek with snowy banks.

From there, I looked across at the neighbors woods.  It was obvious to see which way the wind had been blowing from the snow plastered on the sides of the trees.

Snowy Trees

The snowy creek banks lent a bit of softness to the scene we don’t often see.

Creek and snowy trees.

It didn’t last long however.  It had obviously stopped snowing by the time I went out walking, and by the time Toby and I got out of the woods the sun was shining brightly.  There was a hawk flying high overhead enjoying the better weather.   (At least I suppose it would rather have sunny skies, but maybe it was just looking for dinner.)

Blue skies with hawk flying.

The daffodils in the yard were in the shade and still surrounded by snow.

Daffodils in Snow

Now when I look out the windows, I see bright sunshine, and just a few little patches of snow left behind here and there in the shade.

Mother Nature’s snowy joke didn’t last long!

What A Difference A Day Makes

October 17, 2008

Yesterday I went out to do the morning chores wearing shorts and a tee shirt.
Today when I went out to do chores, I wore jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and a light jacket.

It is past the middle of October, so I guess I should expect this to happen.  A cold front and a little rain moved in during the night, but I don’t think the rain amounted to much. 

I’m afraid this weekend won’t be as warm as last weekend either!  Since it was up in the 80’s last Saturday, after all the hay was in the quonset hut, I decided it was time to give Toby a bath.  I’d put some “spot-on” flea meds on him a few days previously, but he was still polluted with fleas, digging and scratching almost constantly.

You can thank The Farmer for this picture.  And just so ya know, I’ve got gray shorts
on the same color as my baggy shirt, so they kind of blend together, but they’re there!

I used cold water from a hose (or hose pipe as one of my southern born & bred friends says), but Toby didn’t seem to mind.  He loves to play in the water anyway, and seemed to enjoy being scrubbed all over.

And at least now he’s not scratching at fleas!

What’s Happening on the Farm

July 20, 2008

We’ve been working on several different projects here on the farm. Here’s an update on what’s happening:

Bathroom remodeling. We’ve got geared back up with that. We’ve got the trim stained and a couple coats of polyacrylic on them. The Farmer put part of the trim up today, but discovered we need one more corner (some funny jigs & jags in there). So it didn’t get finished today but we’re making progress.

Orchard: The apple and pear trees are loaded down.  I’m going to have to decide what to do with all that fruit soon.

Starking Delicious Pear

Starking Delicious Pear

Moonglow Pear

Moonglow Pear

Red Rome Apple

Red Rome AppleRed Delicious Apple

 Peafowl Eggs: I still have 3 incubators pretty well filled up. I’m disappointed with the hatch rate, and worse, the ones that did hatch didn’t fare too well when I put them outside. They seemed fine for a week or two, then all of a sudden, I found dead bodies, and now there is only 1 peachick left out with the chicken chicks, and two younger peachicks in a bird cage on the porch.

“School” – I’m working hard and just about ready to switch from learning to doing. Which is one of the things keeping me super busy these days.

Weather: Affecting everything is the weather. It’s hot. It’s humid. There are air quality warnings because of high ozone and high particulate levels. It’s summer in the south. Break out the super-sweet iced tea and endure.

Wool: I put an ad on an egroup list for selling fleece yesterday evening and wowsers! Within an hour I had 20 responses. I never expected so many responses so quickly. The emails are still coming in this morning. Last I looked I had over 35 people wanting wool. Guess in all my “spare” time I’ll be pulling out bags of wool and getting them mailed off.

So, my friends…. 

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