Most of the day has been sunny, occasional cloud cover and a light mist once or twice, but no rain yet. The next 4 days look like there will really be rain, so after delivering the masks and some asparagus to daughter’s house, I tackled the chicken problem.
First part of the job was to remove the inside fence that they were getting under when they were in the garden run. It was rolled and tossed over the fence on the east of the garden, the stakes pulled and sorted. I have two sizes of the garden stakes, one is right at 4 feet when pounded in the depth you are supposed to pound them, the rest are about a foot shorter. The longer ones and some sturdier T posts that are 4 feet when pounded in were set 3 feet to the east of the sturdy garden fence. The wire that had been removed was fastened to those posts. The chickens lost about 4 square feet of pen, I gained 4 square feet of compost, and that fence was attached to the other piece to change the configuration of their pen to a smaller square with a long 3 foot wide run off of it. The second piece of wire that I had removed was then used to provide a cover to the new run so the hawk can’t catch a chicken in that area. It was a fair amount of work and I didn’t finish cleaning up because I was worn out and it was time to prep dinner. There are about 15 T posts laying in the grass that need to be gathered and stored and several sizable rocks that were inside the pen blocking holes that need to be returned to one of the many rock piles.
It won’t take them long to make it a barren wasteland, but I have been putting large sheets of the spoiled hay bale in there and using more of it in the garden so that when the hay men come, they can give me a fresh bale for the upcoming year. I usually get one that either didn’t get properly tied or one that wasn’t full sized for me to use in their run and in the garden as mulch.
About a dozen years ago, I planted this Dogwood on the hill by the driveway. It had to be protected year after year from the deer nipping off the new growth. All of the native Dogwoods have bloomed out, but this one is just beginning.
Our kitchen window and French doors from the dining room face south to the depth of our property. When I went down to prep dinner, I spotted a bear in the lower hay field. This is zoomed as much as the camera would zoom, then the photo cropped so that you can actually see the bear. This one is much larger than the little one we saw a few weeks ago, probably 125 to 150 pounds. It was a couple football fields away and seemed totally unaware of me on the deck taking it’s picture. It finally moved closer to the house, but stayed on the other side of the lower hay field fence, the disappeared into the woods to the west. Some years we don’t see any, this year we have had three sightings, two on our property and one near the bottom of the road near the creek.
Ah, the rain has begun, the veggie starts and seeds will get watered, I will take a few days off to read, spin, and knit. After the storms end around weeks end, there is weeding to be done between the garden proper and the outer fence. The chickens did a pretty good job when they were allowed in there, but they don’t like Creeping Charlie and a plant I haven’t identified that has a similar shaped leaf but is larger, spreading out 360 degrees from a substantial stem. They will eat the catmint leaves, but where it grows right under the fence, it needs to be dug out. I’m sure after 4 days of rain, there will be more found mint to dig out as well. It is less each time I work that area, but man that stuff is tenacious. After a few days of rain, the soil will be softer and easier to rid the fence line of grass and the outer path of weeds. I need more cardboard to put down so I can pile spoiled hay on it, that helps too.