Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pasture Surprise

We have had downpours of rain since last Friday morning.

Early Friday, in the rain, I went down to find the cows. I was in all my rain gear and on my way to work.

The cows were in a valley in a new field with tall grass and about 1/8 of a mile away from the road I had access to.  Too far to walk in the rain in my dress-up clothes.....and...

Hard to see anything without binoculars or a zoom lens.      Good thing I brought my camera.

To the naked eye in the downpour, it looked like there was no calf yet, as Google was as huge as ever and was laying down chewing her cud.      I was really surprised.     It had been a full 7 days since she had 'blown her plug' and the unborn calf started heading for the exit.   I thought for sure with all the rain the calf would have been born already.   "oh well."      I was about to jump in my truck and head to work when I grabbed my camera and took 5 more steps up the road.  I thought I saw "something" but absolutely couldn't see it from the distance I was at because the tall grass obscured what might be hiding: a calf OR a clump of white clover.  I really wasn't sure.    I snapped a few photos and headed to work.

When I peaked at my photos later, this is what I saw:

From that one good photo ( all the others were white clover!) I determined that this looked like a heifer and around 94 lbs.    

I couldn't wait to head home that night and get a better look.

And when I returned I still wasn't sure what the white spots were, but I snapped a bunch of photos anyways and rushed home and opened them quick with anticipation.  

By then the calf had moved and was in a different position taking a nap in the rain, but still a good distance away and still impossible to really see it.  But still a calf, not clover this time  : )   I was wondering if it was indeed a heifer or not.

Finally Saturday morning,  The cows came to me when I called them and Google brought her well hidden new calf, a big daughter.    I quickly tagged her and weighed her.    96 lbs.

The other cows came over to meet the new herd member.

Auntie Jillian came to check out her new tags and introduce herself.

So here is the last calf of the season. A hefty,wet, girl with no name.

Give me some "G" names and anything else you think might work.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It's that time of year again when your fluid intake should increase dramatically.

Working outside in the sun, heat and humidity can do bad things to your body, and your brain, if you do not drink enough.

I recently experienced a case of heatstroke because I lost track of time working 90 degree weather without anything to drink.

The next day, after I recovered, I went to the store and loaded up on the good stuff I should be drinking.

Carbonated and alcoholic drinks should not be consumed if you are working outside for long hours.  They do more damage than good.         My downfall is I drink gallons of milk, and its not helpful in extreme heat.       As you sweat you lose tons of electrolytes and need to replace them and water too.

For every hour you work outside you should be consuming ONE QUART of good fluids.

Two of them Gatoraid bottles, with electrolytes, equals a quart.

They are very easy to slug down when they are cold.

Potassium is lost at a faster rate in some people, like me, and I find that V8 has the most potassium of any drink.

With all the affordable healthy energy drinks on the market today, there is no excuse not to have a few of them on hand for your outside activities.

Farmers are notorious for not drinking enough fluids while they are on their tractors or working in the fields.

Some older tractors have no cup holders (can you imagine!) or there is no way to securely strap a bottle on.  OR the water bottle bounces off the tractor on the first bump (always happens to me).

So.... the next time you see a farmer out in the field, please bring them something cold and good to drink.

You will both be glad you did!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Best Dressed Scarecrow

The scarecrow contest is heating up.  Competition is getting tough, but there are not many submissions.

 I decided I needed to make another entry to get folks motivated to make a scarecrow.

So last week I went to 2 thrift stores and came home with 5 beautiful outfits for my scarecrow.

I don't even have 5 complete outfits for myself!!

Most of the shirts and the swimsuit still had new tags on them!

And I somehow coordinated the outfits.  I can hardly dress myself, yet I was able to really get some great color cooordinated clothes for a cedar post! 

A dear friend lent me her real grass skirt from her Hawaiian trip and I added a Hawaiian shirt, swimsuit, habiscus flower and sun hat to finish off the post and turn it into "Hula Hannah."

So, what do you think ?

Any suggestions for more accessories ?

Mavis thinks Hannah needs to be "watched."

I am going to try the other 4 outfits on the scarecrow later in the week.

Today, all the neighbors were driving by slow and looking at my latest garden creation.

The local Chamber of Commerce has been inspired and they are going to do scarecrows in the fall outside of their businesses.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Barns of June, 5

Traveling the back roads of Vermont can be hazardous since many roads were washed out last month in the big floods.   I have to do alot of "drive by" photo taking of barns as I have to pay attention to the road as I drive.  Really.  I do.

Here is a barn.

Here is the road near the barn.

A collapsed wooden silo and a sinking barn roof ridgeline with wooden supports under the beams to keep it from all falling down.


Buttercup calves


The end of a great day in Vermont

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Barns of June, 4

True farmhouse hospitality invites me in.  Sometimes I just have to go inside to see some amazing sights.

This woman is multi talented and creates beautiful things out of recyclables.
I tried hard to photograph them.

I am much better with livestock and barns, so please bear with me as I give you a small tour of a real neat and crafty home.

These hard working farm hands are made of used cardboard.

The table was set for coffee and snacks.    Farm kitchen style.

Old boots and pretty flowers.

If my muck boots ever wear out I now know what to do with them.

Thrift store finds.

These hens are made out of plastic milk jugs and newspaper.

A simple collection that makes the entire room into a rainbow when the sun hits the crystals.

Fabric art.  Simple.

Do not throw your old shutters away!!!

Put them on each side of your head board.

I got 12 of them in the garage!

Her Pride and Joy.

Her #1 vehicle.

I noticed her neighbors ancient wooden silo and had to go sneak across the field to see if I could get a good shot of it.

Never seen one like this.

Heading home I saw these:

Its been a very sweet kind of day.

**Wooden silos are rare. Most have fallen down or rotted away. They are expensive to repair and are not as efficient as other means of storing silage.   Finding one in pristine condition, such as this pig one, was a real surprise!  Wooden silos in Vermont are usually 60-100 years old.   I have a photo of one built in 1907 that I just discovered.  Stay tuned!