Thursday, July 30, 2009

Faaarrrm Livin, that's the life... (Picture Heavy)

Ok, for anyone that now has Green Acres song worm in the brain... Yes, I did intend that. Heh.

So, been promising some pics of various and sundry items, so my first is a not too close up of the paper wasp nest, (I found out it was not a Yellowjacket nest). We stayed in the house while the man came out and took the bugs. I was pleased he wanted them, and it was really interesting to see the way he got them, he had a big shop vac, with a box that would hold them, but not suck them into the canister. Then he just whacked the nest a bit, the bugs would come boiling out, he'd suck them into the little box, then when he was finished, he'd put the bugs into dry ice. I thought this would kill them, but it just immobilizes them. He then sells them to places that make anti-venom shots.

We then showed him all the nests near our door (!), and in our barn, (!!), and he was excited about it. He even took some, they were actually Yellowjackets, I think. He didn't have enough room in the ice chest, so he just put them in... A PAPER BAG. I kid you not, the man just stuck them in a bag, rolled up the top, and secured it. Husband and I noticed that he had nothing on the outside of his car denoting the contents. We both sincerely hope that he never gets in a car accident. The first responders will have the devil's own time!

This stupid economy has even affected his work, however. I guess that he used to be getting labs begging for bugs, but now people aren't getting the desensitising shots, so he isn't getting all the offers he used to. But, hopefully he can return to full time bug money sooner or later...

Well, the hen got a taste of freedom, and she wanted OUT of the hen house. Took the kids, and was out exploring the world. (We cut the wings on the rest of the flock, as they were getting out and heading for the neighbors. Who have dogs. That chase anything that moves. And eats same. So, to keep peace with the next door folk, we clipped wings. Guess who we forgot?

But she has been quite happy to stay in my garden, (sigh), near the bird feeder, so it hasn't been too bad. I get to restack a pile of leaves and such I was going to compost, but the chicks were so cute digging through it, that it didn't bother me... Much.

I helped shear my llamas on my birthday, this is the bunch pre-shear. Not real happy to be so close together, or corralled.

The gent showed up in a light shirt, shorts, and light duty shoes. I nearly flipped, wondering what he'd smoked, I knew he knew better than that. I held my tongue, and good thing, too, he opened the truck door, and lo, what did I see but a set of heavy coveralls, and boots.

After setting up the stanchion for the shearing, we got them sheared, one after the other. I don't know how much I will end up with after cleaning and carding, but I have (I think) 5 garbage bags of belly fiber for the efforts. IT IS DIRTY, however! Llamas love to roll. In dirt. And bracken. And whatever else is handy. Eeeep. But if the fiber cleans up like I think it will, I will be spinning llama for quite a bit! Some to share with a few spinning pals, even.

After shearing, I could give them a good all over body check, and other than a minor problem with Rama's teeth, (she has a condition called Wry Mouth, and her teeth stick out a lot more than they should, so are more susceptible to getting chipped), they came out looking very well filled out and clean, under the fiber. I am hoping to do shearing more or less by myself next year, but with my ankle still kinda weak, I decided not to tempt fate.)

We were worried about Ding Dong, she panicked last year, and so Husband raised the corral to 6 feet or so, so she couldn't jump out. I guess I have worked with her enough, she was nervous, but didn't kick, spit or jump, this year. In fact, the only one to protest at all was Llama. She turned mule on us, forcing Husband and I to push from the rear, while the shearer pulled from the front. We earned getting her sheared, she isn't that big, but she is strong, and strong willed.

This is Ding Dong and Llama, post shear. Sorry about the distance, they weren't of a mind to have me around when I snapped this. (Can you blame them?) But since it went to about 106 in the last few days, I am quite happy we had this taken care of.

Lastly, is a birthday present. I have wanted a windmill for sometime. I guess this came in kit form to Mom and Dad, and was... Shall we say, not exactly high craftsmanship. Dad had to bore holes where they either hadn't put them, or didn't match with the holes put in the matching parts, etc. The instructions were a real great help, too. It consisted of a picture of the finished mill. I guess that my windmill knows some Navy language now, too! (Heh, gotcha, Dad...)

Anyway, it's temporarily in my garden, but I am going to put it in the hen house yard. I have named it Mercedes. Why? The connectors for the blades form that symbol. And because I name dang near everything. And probably because I am more than a little mental. Eh.

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