Falling Weather

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

Rosie and Guildy are still good. They look like they’re finally growing. They’re still spending most of the day hiding under something, but they do come out and go in by themselves morning and night so that’s progress.

We lost one of the creamy colored adult ducks. Still the two black and white, one creamy, one poufy, and 6 mallards. And two guineas. And roughly 52 chickens. Daily egg count is somewhere between 7 and 12, down from summer peak. Newest hens haven’t started laying yet; late October they’ll be 6 months old and they start laying somewhere in there.

This is Rooster #3 — Kelly calls him ‘Top Gun’ because he thinks he’s hot stuff.

Some of the latest batch of chickens have more black around their eyes than other years. They are ‘Black Australorpe’ breed and they have good longevity, but they can be kind of ornery. I like them. Most chickens in a close up just look ornery.

I’ve been busy at the theaters this week. The HVAC being installed brought in a scissor lift and I use it when they’re not. Replaced a bunch of non-functioning fluorescent lights in the theater with LED retrofit kits. Pulled down all the cables for the stage lights so we could redo them. (It just turns into a rat’s nest after a while. Good to pull down and start fresh.)

Created some new doorways and redid other odds and ends over the summer break between shows. On Saturday all the platforms for the seating are going back in place so I must finish the bulk of the work that I want with the lift before that.

I’ve been saying there’s not much happening on the farm. That’s not true. I’M not doing much on the farm, but there’s a lot happening. The corn and beans are both maturing and drying out. Beans are losing their leaves and drying down, corn is turning brown, maturing, and drying out. Birds are migrating, bees are busy, deciduous trees are turning colors, the world rotates, planets are moving, the moon changes phases… there’s a lot happening. Just not by me.

I watch some youTube farming channels; they’re busy getting things ready for harvest. Soybeans could be going in our area in another week or two.

The pod right in the center of the photo has 4 beans in it. BONUS! Most only have 3. Four isn’t unusual, but it’s not the normal either. See the pods at the very top of the plant? Those are the ‘bonus’ pods. Not only because the deer didn’t eat the buds off the top, but the plant develops from the bottom up, so the better the conditions, the better resources the plant has, the more pods it can create. It’s looking like a pretty good year for my crops. Knock on Wood.




75 thoughts on “Falling Weather”

    1. I don’t know RBF either, possibilities: retro best friend?
      Red Bull feathers? Red or blue flowers?

      I googled it which came up with Resting B**** Face. That does not sound like our Ben.


        1. I know several people that have RBF’s…. I don’t mean to offend anyone, it’s just a curiosity, and my apologies if I have.
          The question is legitimate. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  1. At Sugarcreek Bird Farm, from where I purchase stuff for The Birds, is Nero, a black palm cockatoo. Mean looking but not.
    With this flare-up of TMJ, I definitely have a RBF.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know plenty people who are ornery looking, and just plain ornery. I can think of one woman here who I’ve had to deal with, and one guy.. but when you get to know them better, they are pussycats.

    This is fun – other possibilities for RBF:
    – Rat-bite fever
    – Radial base functions (in mathematics modeling!)
    – Reserve Bank of Fiji
    – Rockerfeller Brothers Fund

    Liked by 4 people

      1. WP doesn’t want me to mention the migraine hats that Jane swears by, that you keep in the freezer. Maybe it’s because you already know about them, and WP doesn’t want to waste your time.
        Third attempt, sending now.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I can be ornery when the mood hits me like it did yesterday for very good reason. So I went home and kept it to myself. I was often ornery as a child. I do not have an RBF I have a zoned out face because I zone out.
      Ben, you make me miss being around animals. We had a few ornery chickens along the way, a famously ornery rooster, an ornery holstein cow, Elsie, only cow we had not named after a flower. Maybe that made her ornery. An ornery horse my father did not keep long. An ornery steer. I kept telling my father that this steer was very bullish. He ignored me until the half bull charged at him, at which point my father removed the missed second testicle, a error of his.
      This morning I remembered an incident which should have gone in yesterday’s post. Sandra taught Sunday school at a church right by Dinkytown. She had the 4 and 5 year olds, including two sisters. One Sunday at the end of class the four year old asked for a second cookie because she wanted to get big and fat and have a baby in her tummy like her mommy. With impatience the five your old said, “We keep telling you the baby isn’t in her stomach. It’s in her uterus.”

      Liked by 5 people

        1. So…. You can enrol at five years old?
          Seriously, I like to believe I could read and write at five, but I certainly didn’t know what a uterus was.


  3. Fenton, I should explain to you that Dinkytown is right next to the University of Minnesota. Thus the scientific language.


  4. OT: cats.
    Jane looked again today at the field we’re being offered for the stray cats. I’ve fixed it in my own mind too, pending tomorrow. It forms a triangle between a main road and two slip roads. Jane says, cats will climb whatever fence is put there, and will go on the road one by one and be killed. So I’m still hopeful. One, maybe there’s some kind of fence they can’t climb, which costs less than a thousand euros a mere. Or two, maybe Jordin will remember that one of his sisters owns a derelict piece of land, outside the village, surrounded by other land.
    But I don’t think she has a generous nature, I’m not holding out much hope for that.
    I hear there’s an invincible “wall” we could maybe copy, down Mexico way.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. For one thing, that ground is going to waste. For another, it’s full of pine trees, and I’m lusting after them. I mean, just a few per year, right? With new ones coming on all the time.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. They’re firewood size. I’m trying to get ahead, so I’ve always got wood drying for next year. If I achieve that, then I’ll be aiming for the year after, etc. I believe it’s going to be illegal to burn green wood before long, and rightly so.


    1. i’ve thought about fencing with netting and a stainless steel cable
      go tall as you want and cost is pretty low
      not like climbing the curtains but if it’s 2-3 meters tall that should deter the climbing

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Regarding our garden harvest, I am happy to report we won’t have a killing frost for at least another week. Our beans are ripening in their pods (they are shell out beans, Hidatsa Shield Figure, which produce fat, white beans that I use in chili, and Hidatsa red, which are smaller and are red). The Hidatsa Indian tribe grew them here. They are pole beans . We harvested some Hamburg parsely root that I will use today to make chicken broth. Tomatoes are still ripening and we have lots of green ones still on the vines. Husband is determined not to let them go to waste, and informs me we will leave them go as long as we can and then can green tomato salsa with them. Our butternut squash are ripening, and we will have lots to take to the food pantry. All the canteloupes will be ready in the next couple of days. We had some rain earlier this week, and all the canteloupes turned slightly orange. Peppers are still green but slowly turning red and Husband will roast them when frost is imminent. We had a big poblano get completely red, and it was so sweet.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Puppy was on the deck with us when we were shelling the beans, and the discarded bean pods, stems, and leaves stuck to his fur and feet. The leaves make my skin break out in hives. He was patient while I peeled the pods off him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Husband gets broody, brooding about life’s important questions such as “do you cook the 5 grain cereal prior to using it in bread dough, or do you put it in uncooked?” He isn’t even making that kind of bread today, but he has been scowling over his phone trying to find the answer for half an hour.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is a little OT but I’m going to stretch for it. Since I’m not 100% sure where the line is between grumpy and ornery, I can tell you that on day two of Ukrainian eggs I was extremely grumpy. I broke three eggs that day, which is beyond unusual. One was absolutely my fault, and the other two were just eggs that weren’t up for that much handling. But considering the time that went into each of these three eggs before they broke, I was really crabby about it. But today I am over it and happy, because I have just finished the most dangerous part of the egg ornament journey, which is poking a little hole in the top to get the egg out. On average, I lose two a year during this part of the process, but this year… Zero!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So Ben, I understand the reason that my beans give me hives is the microscopic barbs on the leaves that irritate the skin. Although I grew up in a county with tremendous bean acreages,, I never got up close and personal with soybeans. Are soybeans as irritating?


    1. They’re not so bad just walking through them, and the beans themselves are OK, but yeah, the soybean dust, from the hulls and stalks coming out of the combine, that’s really itchy. I never investigated why, but I’ll bet it’s a similar reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. More OT: after thirty years, I’ve finally experienced Jane’s professional competence!
    Well, actually, no. Her competence in one of her professions.
    When we met she had a little French polishing business. So I did get to witness her great skill at that. She considered herself the second best polisher in South Molton, the small town where we met. But people expected a middle aged, pipe smoking guy with a beard, is how she put it. And she wanted to be a nurse.

    To keep herself going while that got considered and acted on, she relinquished the workshop she rented from the pioneering recycling company I’d started working for, and took on the running of the shop that we had as a side product of taking away people’s unwanted items. A slightly incorrect description, but never mind. She worked single handed six days a week to start with, and I don’t think she quite doubled the takings the first day. I think it took all week. She knew that job too.
    She decided to be an occupational therapist instead of nursing , I never can remember how that happened. Occupational therapy in England has gone far beyond flower arranging, maybe it has with you as well. It was hard going for her, because she refused to work AT ALL at the expensive private school she went to, so had an awful lot of catching up to do. And in fact her grammar and spelling were absolutely awful, right up until the time we left England and she retrained as an English teacher. She’s not bad now.
    But as an occupational therapist she was utterly outstanding, and as a control freak, rapidly went up the promotion ladder. You may know that in English hospitals, the head nurse, traditionally to be greatly feared, is called the Matron. The New Forest Health Trust, with whom Jane was eventually a highly respected team leader, became the first, and for all I know, still the only, to open up the position of Matron to other practicioners than nurses, as in any case the matron would be in charge of the therapy team as well. Jane’s then boss, Chris, a physiotherapist, became the first non nurse in the country to become a Matron, and for all I know, the first man. And soon afterwards, Jane applied, and succeeded, to become the second, as a female OT. She’d actually been in at the ground floor of a big initiative to integrate the nursing and therapy disciplines, therefore has a great deal of knowledge about, at least, physiotherapy as well as her own profession. She assured me years ago that she had a deep understanding of what every bone, muscle, etc in the body actually does, and I’ve never doubted her. And now this evening I’ve pulled a muscle in my arm and it’s giving me hell, and she’s demonstrated in a small way that she actually does know. That’s all.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Seriously, it’s furniture polishing. I don’t know if it differs from English or any other furniture polishing. Maybe the polish is French, but it doesn’t say that on the tin, as far as I remember. It’s just one of those things that I assumed everyone but me knew about.


  11. A cat that resides in the home of my sister and brother-in-law has a splendid RBF. She actually adores being picked up and held, but she gives you this look that, if you didn’t know better, would make you think she would like to murder you.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. in my shopping life i see lots of old people and it so interesting to note how a dave becomes what the person has been thinking fit all those years
    snarled and cantankerous , smiling and generous , off in space somewhere
    you can really see how they’ve been
    i try to keep the scowl off my face and my stress lines on my brow kept at a minimum

    Liked by 3 people

  13. But OT, Cats, wow!
    It’s not the place we thought. It’s at the back of a derelict concrete works away from the village. There’s a 15-20 foot wall along that side and across the top. The other side is beside a quiet road with local traffic only, with a reasonable fence down the side and across the lower end. Doesn’t matter if cats get out, they’ll come home for food after having fun in the campo. It’s just over a hundred yards by twenty yards, and filled right up with five lines of pines, six inches diameter upwards. I can’t really think of an excuse for suggesting I cut some of them down.
    But it’s great! Five of us went, and everybody is rampant to get going. I’m aggravated that I’m going to be out of action for a maybe a couple of weeks with my arm, but it’s best anyway to let the ajuntament (council) do whatever they feel they’ll do, in terms of shelters etc. We can start to catch cats, Chelo will pay to have them sterilised (she’s rich), and we’ll organised a feeding rota, which maybe Jane and I will do the lion’s share of.
    We want to not make it an official project. We’d likely be obligated to take any cat that any owner wanted to dump on us. So we’ll probably publicize what we’re doing (as in, we just took away the cat you were feeding on your doorstep. There are collecting tins in the village shops if you’d like to donate for food). When the council have gone, and my arms better, I can salvage my pride by taking my chicken house over there, along with other stuff from my garage, and making extra shelters. We’ll have a city over there in no time. But it will take a lot of food, no more leftovers maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. At the college when we do the first cast meeting and read-through of a show, the director Jerry, makes a big deal about me yelling. I sound like a real ogre to hear him tell it.
    When my turn comes around I ask the kids that know me if I really yelled at them much. (They always say no) And I tell the cast, I yell to be “heard” or to stop you from doing something you shouldn’t, or that might be dangerous. But I won’t yell at YOU personally. And I just have learned how to clench my butt muscles and YELL LOUD. I tell them, I learned how by calling the cows.
    Every now and then someone will tell me I scared them before they got to know me.

    At one theater meeting years ago, I must have been pretty serious about something and I heard a newbie lean over to someone and say “Geez, what a grump; who’s that guy?” And the other person said “Oh that’s Ben. He’s not that grumpy.”
    But sometimes it’s OK if they think I might be… 🙂

    Never been accused of having an RBF. I have been told to get that sh*tty grin off my face.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Right now I am grimacing with a sore back due to making an apple pie at Husband’s last minute request and finishing and straining and freezing 3 gallons of brodo from The Splendid Table cookbook. Lots of cleanup with pie crusts and brodo.

    Liked by 1 person

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