The Night-Stalker…the Daily Farm Adventures {66}

Well, I posted on Monday asking how everyone felt about pictures here on the blog–do you mind my sometimes blurry, sometimes grainy, sometimes shady pictures? Or would you prefer for me to find only good photography to share (which would probably not be my own!!). All the comments and emails I got were “yes, we like your pictures!” so here’s some more! {smile}

owl at night 1

I mentioned on Monday that we’ve got an owl in the neighborhood that seems to have made himself quite comfortable and is settling in. Well, he’s taken it a step farther this week and is now roosting in the tree right in our driveway in the evening, and screeching. I’ve searched All About Birds high and low for a recording of the sound we’ve been hearing from this owl. (That’s our go-to source for bird calls!) When I say “screeching” I’m not kidding. If you go here, and scroll down to “adult song, juvenile call” and play that sound for a minute, at first you don’t hear anything but very soft hooting, then there’s this bone-chilling shriek…yep, that’s what we’re listening to in our driveway, or the back field every. night. right now.

owl at night 2

I studied those sounds for a while and I’m 99% sure it’s a juvile call.  The female “squawk” is just a little too high-pitched at the end of the call. That juvenile scream fits exactly.

We think he’s maybe stalking our free-range chickens. They’re pretty canny about roosting before dark, so he hasn’t caught anyone yet. But he’s not very shy and it’s making me a little nervous. I mean, even when I went out in the driveway to take pictures of him, he just turned, look at me, and then turned back to staring at the field as if I wasn’t even there. Thankfully Pixie is in a pretty secure pen in the backyard and sleeps in a small dog crate so she’s safe. I would miss any chicken, but I would be really upset if we lost her now. I’m telling ya, don’t name the farm animals. It’s all downhill from there! {smile}

owl at night 3

In the meantime, we’re trying to round the chickens up again. {sigh} It’s really important to us that they can free-range and be outside…and dust bath in my flower beds and hunt grasshoppers and eat our tomatoes and knock over things in the feed shed and lay eggs in the garage…but sometimes they take it to extremes–like trying to nest on the front porch. It makes a mess. So we have to round them all up again and coop them up for a while to get them back in the habit of coming “home” on a regular basis. Especially when we’ve got a new predator in town!

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And Mr. Fix-It is not happy that someone has decided to start leaving eggs on his tool box. (Seriously, she jumps up 4 feet onto the top of his 3-stack tool box and leaves a nice, warm, fresh egg for him every morning. Right next to the wire cutters.) So Speedracer and I have been putting up some chicken wire and coaxing everyone back to the chicken house. Hopefully they’ll get back in a routine before bad weather shows up, or that owl gets someone.

What’s new around your homeplace these days?

By the way, if you’re interested, there’s a bunch of fun owl information in this post from last year…I think that owl might have been this owls momma or daddy. I don’t know how to tell male from female yet.

Nature Encounters: The Great Horned Owl...pictures, websites and books {@ www.walkinginhighcotton.net}

 

And here’s a few great bird study resources you might like…

Or you can find these and more nature study resources on my Nature Study pinterest board!

Follow Jamie Oliver {Walking In High Cotton}’s board Nature Study & Natural Sciences on Pinterest.

See where I’m sharing this week

boots footer 2014

In the Fields…the Daily Farm Adventures {65}

Our whole lamb crop is reserved, now we're on to the rest of the fall work at The Lowe Farm {www.walkinginhighcotton.net}

Saturday afternoon we took reservations on all our lambs. Yep, the whole crop is spoken for. Customers will be coming on Oct 3rd and Oct 4th to pick up or process their animals. We also sold all our eggs and a handful of chickens. Remember all those free chicks we ended up with in the spring? We’ve been able to raise them and sell birds to several other folks to turn them into a profit. So what’s next, right? Fall is also breeding season, so in addition to keeping our lambs healthy and growing for the next few weeks to … Continue Reading…

Canadian Visitors…the Daily Farm Adventures {64}

We have a new bird of prey moving into the neighborhood and I'm a little nervous. I think he's eyeing my chickens! {www.walkinginhighcotton.net} #naturestudy #owls #homestead

We have some new visitors in the neighborhood. A flock of Canadian geese has taken up residence in our big front field every morning for the last two weeks or so. I’m a little frustrated that most of my pictures are either far away or of them moving away. They don’t get “scared” when we’re around, they just turn and mosey off across the field and all I get are pictures of their tails. It sounds very Fall-ish as they honk on their fly-overs. As usual, everyone else on the farm is {shrug} undisturbed. We’re not quite so casual about the … Continue Reading…

The Value of Serving TOGETHER

The value of serving TOGETHER, as a couple, in your church or community. {via www.walkinginhighcotton.net}

If you follow us on Facebook, you might have seen some of our summer posts about Mr. Fix-It and I leading a VBS class together this past summer. Not just being someone else’s helper, but planning, teaching, and leading our own class. Together. It was a completely new experience for us, as individuals and as a couple. I’ll just come right out and admit that I was nervous. One, because it was new. And two, because Mr. Fix-It and I are very different personality-wise and this kind of activity really, really highlights those differences. I’m a planner (literally, my job … Continue Reading…

Back-To-School Means It Must Be Fall

the crew b2s2014

Be still my poor, pounding, Momma-heart…my munchkins are so grown now! Getting ready for school, getting them off to school, getting them home from school, and getting them use to school has taken up pretty much my every waking minute lately. Oh yeah, and then soccer, and lamb sorting (lamb harvest is just a few weeks away!), and now Mr. Fix-It and I are teaching 4th-6th graders at church on Wednesday nights. We’ve had friends over for football and friends over for lunch and friends over for shooting…sigh…life simply never stops. At all. As I’ve noted on our Facebook page, … Continue Reading…

Are They Grown, Or Not?

ladybug 1

Mr. Fix-It and I have spent a lot of time talking about current events lately. Always dangerous! {smile} And about our munchkins growing up so fast and all the new things just over the horizon for our family…like public school and riding the bus and the Ladybug mentioning that she wants a TV in her own room. (Um…no.) Something that has long been on my mind because of my other job (the full-time, in an office, get a paycheck, one) and now is on his mind too, is the almost schizophrenic American culture of childhood safety and risk assessment. For … Continue Reading…

Sailboats, Birthdays, and Blue Chairs..the Daily Farm Adventures {63}

sailboat regatta 1

Usually the Daily Farm Adventures are filled with…well…farm adventures. {smile} But this weekend our days were filled with sailboats and shopping for the Ladybug’s birthday. She turns 10 today, ya know. And she celebrated in grand style by winning the church’s first Sailboat Regatta! The kiddos and Mr. Fix-It have been working on their first sailboats for a week now. They sanded, and sanded, and sanded, and sanded some more, and then painted. This was the first time they used spray paint. There were a few runs, but mostly on the curved bottom, so you don’t notice. The Ladybug went … Continue Reading…