Monday, January 30, 2006

Release the hounds!

One of the projects that have been going on longer than seems reasonable is making the fences around here dog tight. This is to keep dog in, not out. The dogs we have on the inside will keep other dogs on the outside.

Our dogs, Bo (Bocephus, like Hank Jr.) and Sarah are Great Pyrenees brand woofers that have been willing and eager to patrol their territory since they moved in here about a year ago.

The problem is that they believe that their territory includes quite a bit of ground that does not belong to us. This brings us back to dog tight fences. We don't have the whole place dog tight yet, but we did finish the front pasture, and area of about 10 acres.

The third photo here shows the small building I have fixed up for cleaning chickens. No broiler are growing now, the laying hens are elsewhere on the farm.

After the last fence fixing Saturday we set the beasties loose. They have been here many times before of course, but it was never safe to let them off a lead, they would just slipp under a gate and go explore.

We still have not left them out unsupervised, but the goal is to turn them out at night so they can guard the stock, and let them in the house or the yard to snooze during the day.

Sunday was spent finishing (or nearly so) brush hog work around the place. I know it's January, but this is the deep south. The thing that struck me was the birds. I don't have pictures because I was on the tractor but it was interesting.

First was the egrets. Any time I cut grass I get followed around by egrets. They hang around the tractor to eat the bugs that get stirred up, mostly grasshoppers. They move like s school of fish, all together in a group.

A half a dozen crows also showed up. We don't have crows in huge numbers like they do in some places. I approve of crows because they tend to harasss the hawks which we do have in large numbers. The hawks like to eat young chickens.

Next was a pair of kestrels that have been hanging out lately. One sat for a long while on a fence post just watching the show. Looking for a rat or a snake no doubt.

Then there are bluebirds. The old cedar tree in the fence line (2nd picture) contained a cloud of them, like about 20. I never knew that bluebirds hung out in big groups like that, but my bride has been encouraging them and now we have gangs of them.

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