Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pasture possibilites

Walking to the mailbox yesterday I spotted a small herd of deer across the road in the neighbor's pasture and slid down into the ditch to get a clearer view.

They must know hunting season's over
That's when I noticed that the creekbed and fenceline on his side of the road is 85-90% porcupine quill-studded honey locust trees. 

Honey Locusts
Sweet name, prickly personality
The birds don't seem to mind them - there are nests galore tucked back into the crotches of even the prickliest looking ones.  And apparently the cows weren't too deterred because there are paths winding under and through, but I hate to think what those needless would do to horsehide.  Or me!  Ouch!!!

We walked the creekbed before supper last night.  It's a slice of pie-shaped section of dry wash/gully boarded on the east by the road, the west by the horse pasture and on the south by the cow pasture.  It's full of live trees and old deadfalls washed into heaps by the spring flooding.  It has one nasty patch of baby locust trees but only a couple large ones.  And it has a good amount of grass.

Since it shares two sides with what's already fenced horse and cow pasture and it's fenced along the road, as well, it's potentially a more immediate option for added grazing space than the tree grove, which doesn't and isn't.  And it offers the added bonus that if the horses eat it down this fall, if there's any moisture whatsoever this winter, the grass down there will come back when the creek starts flowing in the spring.  We just (hah!) need to do some clean-up and decide where to put a gate at.

While we were down in the gully, the horses could hear us but not see us, and the dead leaves and small branches going crunch and crack underfoot had Thunder snorting and blowing at us.  When we emerged they'd retreated to the far edge of the pasture and were standing in a cavalry-straight row, poised to dash away in all directions.  Goofy beasties!  Of course, once they saw us they headed right over to see if just possibly there might be something tasty in the offing. 

In other accomplishments, I did more laundry (I swear, laundry and dirty dishes breed like rabbits when I'm not looking), T finished up the carpet in the north bedroom, trimmed out the inside of the south door and we finally hung the second set of curtains in the living room.  I'd planned to do more tiling in the bathroom, but I didn't have enough mortar left to start the section I need to finish next, so that's on hold until we get back to Home Depot later this week.

Oh, and put I put new batteries in the fencer.  It was dead this morning, I'm guessing due to the cold (and the fact that one of the batteries was starting to rust).  The little light that blinks on the fencer itself can be difficult to check in daylight, but when we strung the fence I mounted one of these babies:

Peace of mind on a stick!
Right where I can see it easily from the kitchen window or the front door.  If you haven't run across them, they're battery-powered, clip on like a clothespin, have a high and low setting depending on your fencer's power, and this is the best part, they flash when the fencer goes down or something cuts the power.  And they're bright enough to be noticed even when it's light out.  I picked this one up for $8 on sale at Orschlens - they were originally about $24, but I think it might still be worth it. 

Today we pick up the tank heater and a new gate for the corral which I should have gotten on Friday but didn't.  It's supposed to get progressively warmer the next few days, but the ice I broke in the water tank yesterday and fished out barehanded because I didn't think to use a pitchfork was about 2" thick.  Of course, it was all of 1'F when we got up.  I broke a hole for them in the morning, and then had to break it again around noon, but by 2 o'clock it was nearly 40', and the ice that I pitched out was melting.

It wasn't quite that cold last night, thank goodness!


Kellie said...

Crazy looking trees those are! Those little pricklers look deadly..

Laundry/dishes breed like rabbits at my house too.

Peace of mind on a stick is worth millions! especially in a new place :)

SunnySD said...

You betcha! I'm really anxious to get permanent fence up. I like the step-in posts & electric tape/wire for ease of set-up, but it's not as secure as real fence. The ground is so dry that everyone says we're going to have a hard time getting poles set. Apparently it's dig down a foot, pour in a 5 gallon bucket of water, and then keep digging. Sounds like great fun, doesn't it...