Friday, September 19, 2014

Autumn Things

Having my exam and the back issues behind me, I have started working outside in the flower bed and garden this week.  I am trying to be wise and only work a maximum of 2 hours at a time, and to remember to lift and bend correctly. 

Since I have not spent any time in my perenniel bed this year, it is in terrible shape.  I didn't start working on it right away in the Spring because I was waiting to see what came back after our terrible winter.  Now it is overgrown with grass and wild violets.  I have now spent parts of 3 days working out there, and have found my stepping stones again!  I have also dead-headed most of the flowers, and things are looking MUCH better!

This morning, I decided to head down to the garden.  I planted the corn in hills this year, and planted squash between some of the hills, trying to emulate the old Native American style of planting.  Unfortunately, it became jungle-like, with long squash vines climbing up and over the corn and asparagus and even the fence!  This made it difficult to pick the corn, let alone weed in there.  Consequently, because of that and 6 weeks of neglect while I was studying and recovering, the weeds are shoulder high.

I picked all of the winter squash, except for a butternut or two that appear to still be ripening.  I also pulled about 1/3 of the corn, and weeded about 1/3 of the corn patch.  Things are shaping up down there, and we got quite the haul of winter squash this year!

The chickens are beginning to molt again, thus the egg production is down.  We lost our last red hen (and excellent layer) a couple of weeks ago.  The girls found her in a nest box with her head tucked under her wing.  It appeared to be a peaceful demise, especially since I saw her happily pecking up corn the day before.

I must now extol the virtues of this stuff:

I have posted before about my naked hens.  Actually the aprons worked very well...that and getting rid of the rooster helped make them look pretty good!  They still are stupid birds, and enjoy pecking each other, so several have places on their back sides or back of their necks with missing feathers.  One poor lady, whom we have been calling "Baldy Butt" for almost a year, has had every single one of her tail feathers pecked out!

I found this lotion at Tractor Supply the last time I was there stocking up on chicken feed, and thought I'd give it a try.  The stuff is colored a vivid purple, and smells like grape lollipops.  I applied it twice to Baldy Butt's hind quarters, and now, 2 months later, she is sporting about half a dozen small tail feathers!

Of course, her tail SHOULD look more like this, but she looks so much better that I don't have the heart to tell her that she doesn't blend in.

Things are busy up here on the Ridge this Fall, but it's all good.  My next mission is to procure apples for the making of apple sauce...a definite Autumn tradition!

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