Showing posts from September, 2015

In which there is a Circle of Life and we Moil for Gold in the woods

On the farm, we are in close proximity to the circle of life.

Lots of people like to talk about "the circle of life" but we're a little more up-close-and-personal with the whole thing than most folks we know.  
Today was no exception: one of our older hens was clearly failing this morning.  She was wet (despite ready access to shelter from the rain) and quite unwell.  Monica wrapped her in a dry towel for an hour or two, but chicken veterinary stuff is pretty straightforward:  either they bounce back fast or they fail fast.  
It was pretty clear to all of us that Minerva Louise was failing.   Jim and I escorted her to the Next World.  
When we got back to the house, we discovered that Wynette had laid her first pullet egg.

Although predators or egg-binding sometimes claims a hen, we have a relatively substantial flock, including 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Lavender Orpingtons, and Twelve (an elderly Barred Rock hen)
 plus the Junior Varsity Squad of Silver-Laced Wyandottes, i…

In which we ride the fifty miler in Central Nowhere, Oregon

"Hey, wanna drive down to the Oregon 100 with me?"  Gail asked me via FB, and I immediately wrote back:  "YES!"
Thursday morning, I drove east over the mountains to Gail and Mike's place near Yakima, and we quickly slid my junk into Gail's trailer before loading up the Dragon and driving south to the ridecamp.

The weather forecast said, "Expect everything."  

It's a long drive--about 9 hours total from my house to camp.  Fiddle got a grazing break at Gail's while we were transferring gear, and another break at the Cow Canyon rest area.

We arrived in camp right at sunset.   This is truly High Desert, with nothing between us and the weather except some pretty colors.

It was COLD on Thursday night--temps in the 20's.  Then warm during the days, up to the mid-80's.  Apparently it rained in camp a few hours before we arrived, but things were dry when we showed up.

By mid-day on Friday, camp begins to fill up with rigs.

Fiddle and I took a quick…

In which we travel to the Middle of Nowhere (a preview, with vids)

We went to the Middle of Nowhere

and we trotted through the desert for 50 miles.

It was fun.  We completed in a little under 8 hours (and not dead-last, either!).

We are home now.

I am clean.  The Dragon is muddy.  It's the way we love to end a ride weekend.

More details coming soon!

In which things have changed since 1974, but not everything

Karen at the Horse Tails blog has been doing endurance for a long time. Recently, she dug up a 1974 AERC newsletter, and posted pictures from it on Facebook.

Fiddle and I plan to head out to the 2015edition of the Oregon 100 ride next weekend.  Wish us luck!

(We're signed up for the 50-miler, not the 100.  That can be confusing, given the name of the ride).

Want to see what the ride looks like?

Back in February 2015, Oregon Field Guide aired a documentary about endurance riding filmed at the OR100.  You can watch it HERE.


In which it must be lunchtime because I'm thinking about FOOD again

A lot of our traditions here in the Swampland involve food.
I have very early memories of picking blackberries with my parents when I was almost too small to carry the coffee can necklace my folks constructed for me--a little 1-pound Folgers tin, hung 'round my neck with a string so I could use both of my grubby little hands to pick berries.

When Will and Lisa came to live with us, of course blackberry hunting was one of the skills I taught them.  
Blackberries aren't native to our Swamp, by the way.  They are noxious weeds purposely introduced on the east coast of North America by Luther Burbank in 1885.  The plants moved into our region around 1945, and good luck if you think you'll ever get them to leave again.  The vines are truly obnoxious, but the berries are delicious.

But blackberries aren't the only seasonal food we hunt around here.

Right now, of course, all eyes are on the ground.  Chanterelles are the treasure we want to find.

I'm new to mushroom huntin…