Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You're never gonna believe this...

I still can't - and I've seen the whole thing first-hand. The other day when DH shot the skunk in the chicken shed (in the middle of Hurricane Irene) he got off three shots. He was basically shooting at the critter in a somewhat dim area of the shed as the skunk ran along a divider wall looking for a way out.

Here's the weird part - he killed 2 skunks. Yep. Found another body on the far side of that dividing wall today. The round from the .22 went through the thin wall and shot the other one dead.


(And I wondered why the smell didn't seem to be getting any better!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Do we know how to have fun in the rain, or WHAT?

The challenge is finding an activity the whole family can enjoy, preferably one that requires skill, creativity, and a moderate amount of physical activity.
Scrabble? Nope, too sedentary.
Charades? Hard to find categories that are equally meaningful to a 14 yr. old AND a 63 yr. old.
How about farm chores? Too routine you say? Well, how about farm chores with a skunk?
Yep. We might just be on to something here....

Game set-up: Place the animals needing to be fed and watered as far apart as possible on your property. Playing in hurricane style weather preferred.

Each player is only allowed one piece of weather-appropriate gear, because anyone possessing complete, matching and fitting raingear probably can afford to decamp to a theater or friend's house to wait out the storm.

Points are awarded for successful completion of game activities.

Play: Roll the dice to see who gets to stay inside. Lowest roll or busiest person goes first. Start by feeding the flock inside the 12x30 poultry shed on the upper lot. (1 point) Continue to the pig, then the turkey, then the sheep, all on the lower lot. (1 point awarded for each animal fed. Deduct one point for each dish that overturns when the animal steps in it, or if the animal head butts the scoop and spills the food.)

Return to the upper lot to see the flock rapidly departing the food in the (mostly) dry shed.

When you hear the new chickens clucking and carrying on a little too loudly for comfort, enter the poultry shed and discover something screaming and causing a stir behind the gate to the sheep stall.

As soon as you see the skunk locked in a death roll with either the bantam rooster or one of the teenage chickens, throw everything you have in reach at them, and run for the house. (1 point for every object that hits the skunk. Bonus points awarded if the kitchen bowl that held the apple peels for the sheep lands anywhere close. This now becomes a barn bowl.)

Scream at the next player to grab the .22 and meet you in the barn. If the next player is the 63 yr. old with challenged hearing, repeat the instructions several times.

Play resumes in the poultry shed, and the next player has to shoot the skunk dead. (1 point) If Player 2 cannot see the skunk immediately, Player 1 must run back in the shed to point out the skunk and receive the bulk of the Aromatic Bonus Spray (3 points).

Player 3 now joins the game by shouting out the office window, asking what is going on. ( 1 point for every question that receives an answer.)

Other game tasks that earn points: picking up the skunk and placing it in an empty feed bag (1 point), tranferring the dead skunk to the fire pit (1 point), and retrieving the thrown objects and returning them to their proper place (1 point each).

All game points are doubled if the player falls in the mud during execution of a task. Note: chances of falling in the mud are proportional to the degree to which the player desires to stay dry.

Winning the game: Player with the highest point score, gets the first shower.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene prep bonus

Like everyone around us, we are doing a season's worth of tidying chores in a few hours, in anticipation of high winds and lots of rain. We decided it might be timely to deal with a pile of large, loose brush left over from the winter, lest it become airborne and hit something (or someone!) Look what we found!

In all my life, millipedes have never been longer than an inch, and no more than the diameter of pencil lead. This specimen was almost 4 inches!

P.S. Both my DH and I thought it was really cool - the Teenager thought it was disgusting, and only agreed to take the photo so I would go back outside and leave her alone...(sigh)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Older I Get...

...the less I like people.

For example, who dumps 5 chickens by the roadside because they are too lazy/cruel/irresponsible/cheap/simple to care for them??? Were they thinking they would simply "go native", and live off the land??? That they would somehow "enjoy" this return to nature, and frolic in the fields? Did those dolts ever consider coyotes, dogs, cars, or hawks? No, probably not.

Luckily for the remaining 4 (#5 lost a game of chicken with an automobile) my daughter and I chased and wrassled them over the course of two days, pouring rain, prickers and muck and brought them back to our place to see what we could make of them...

Forgive the poor photos - the quarantine coop is kind of dark. Once Irene has passed, we may be able to get much better shots, but we are cleaning up the place and tying down what can't be stored, and getting ready for a whopper.

But we think we have a gorgeous Buff Cochin rooster, a Buff Cochin hen (foreground above), and a Rhode Island Red is hiding in the background.
The one on the perch is possibly a Buff Orpington. The apparent difference in color of plumage is actually different degrees of soaked feathers and poor lighting. But she may be a cross of some kind, as well.

Can't wait to see how they do in the "chicken yard" with the rest of the poultry community. We'll let you know next week after quarantine is over.

Aggravating footnote: If I go back to the quarter mile of country road we traversed to catch these guys and picked up all the beer and soda cans thrown out somebody's windows, I could probably buy a sizeable bag of poultry feed. When did we become a society that simply chucks out a window anything we are too lazy to put where it belongs?