Well, our summer residents have arrived: a bear and a pair of hummingbirds!
Yes, you read that right–a bear!
“A bear was spotted in the draw.” This was all we received in an email sent last week to everyone in the draw.
Where? A black bear or a grizzly? Grown or juvenile?
I texted a neighbor who usually knows these things. It was a small black bear in the center of the draw; no cause for alarm, unless s/he decides to set up camp. About every other year around this time, someone spots a juvenile bear, though usually it is down near the road, acting bewildered. We suspect that the young bear is seeking its own territory.
And then I saw it in the draw while driving home Tuesday afternoon! Movement caught my eye, and when I looked, there it was. Love the light, and am wishing for the hundredth time that my camera phone would take better “zoom” photos. It’s in the middle, to the immediate right of the large tree.
I rolled down my window a bit and made a soft noise, hoping to catch the bear’s attention. Instead, I scared it half to death, and it bolted up a tree. After that, I decided to quietly drive off.
We will be ok as long as it does not get into anyone’s trash. Once a bear finds a food source, it finds a home.
A couple of weeks ago while I was on the back porch, a hummingbird stopped to investigate, so I hung the feeder, which it found immediately. I also hung fuschia, a hummingbird favorite, in two hanging baskets. Turns out we have a pair of hummingbirds, and they are great fun to watch! They join me every morning on the porch for coffee and nectar.
John finished a big project this week, adding wire fencing to the North pasture fence so that the goats can graze there. We needed to be able to better contain them, because as you can see, the goats like to participate. Ruthie likes to headbutt us.
See Sarah chewing on the end of the hammer? Here’s our experience: goats are like babies going through the stage where EVERYTHING goes into the mouth for exploration. Our goats nibble at just about anything, but we have not had any problems with them eating things they shouldn’t. We consider ourselves very fortunate in this regard.
And don’t you know that shortly after I drafted this, we let the goats loose one day, and Boaz got into the construction area for the new chicken coop. When John caught up with him, he found Boaz with a mouth full of SCREWS. He got them all out of Bo’s mouth, but did he swallow any? We watched him closely for a couple of days, and Bo appears to be none the worse for the experience.
(BTW, John would like for you to know that he owns clothes other than camo. He buys camo clothing at Goodwill and Salvation Army for just a few dollars. The pants and coats wear well, and it doesn’t matter if he gets grass, oil, dirt, paint, or gas on them. Many times he is mismatched, but the animals don’t care!)
This is why we needed a fenced-in area right in the middle of everything. They can get to the shade in the barn, the geo thermal well, a hay trough, and lots of grass. We thought this was all about us being able to keep an eye on them. We quickly learned that it is all about THEM keeping an eye on US.
They can see the current chicken coop, both duck coops, the new coop construction area, the house, the garden, and the shop with the wood shed and hay shed. If we step out of sight even for a moment, they start bleating indignantly.
I cannot even tell you how happy this fence makes me! Now I can get so much more done outside and see the goats at all times.
When we tacked up this fencing, we attached most of it to our wooden pasture fencing. There is one section that we attached to the garden fence, which is made of cattle panels. The openings are approximately six inches square. It took Ruthie about ten minutes to get her head stuck in the fence. I placed my potted plants too close to the fence, and I caught her eating the lilies that I had JUST transplanted into two large pots.
John came to the rescue with a section of the wire fencing we used over the pasture fencing, which has 2×4 inch squares. We tacked it to the cattle panel just as soon as we managed to dislodge Ruthie’s head. Fortunately, she was pretty smart about how to turn her head to get out.
Of course, my phone was in the house, charging, so no photos.
Our chickens LOVE watermelon rinds! They will eat all the pink fruit and even the white part, leaving only a thin green skin. Look who absconded with three of the rinds and wolfed them down entirely.
What I am thinking about, listening to, reading:
This week I had the opportunity to do something that makes me so happy, introducing two friends who have lifestyles and philosphies in common. The two friends I introduced this week are friends I have mentioned in this blog, Zenna and Dawn. I met Dawn last fall, and as I have begun to get to know her, I am learning that she shares the same interests in natural and holistic living that Zenna and I do. A couple of months ago when I drove to Dawn’s house to deliver eggs, I realized that she and Zenna live about a quarter mile apart!
So Tuesday the three of us met at City Brew North and I introduced them. We spent an hour together, and when we left they both exclaimed, “This was so much fun!”
Dawn later expressed her gratitude that I was excited about introducing them, citing the fact that so many women can be catty about friendships.
Too often, I think she is right. Women fear that this new friendship might usurp her individual friendships with each of them.
But we sell ourselves short. Each of us brings our own distinct qualities to a friendship; traits that create a unique relationship which cannot be duplicated. Let’s be secure in that!
I believe that when one woman introduces two friends who hit it off, the new friendship strengthens the two original friendships, creating a tighter bond. Now a woman shares commonalities with two people together, rather than separately.
In closing, I leave you with an eloquent tribute to Anthony Bourdain, written by my niece, Allie. In August 2014, she traveled to France for one semester of study. Four years and many adventures later, she is still there. She fell in love with both France and a certain charming Frenchman who she now calls her husband.