Fall Afternoon

Yesterday Keith let me know that today, in the afternoon after church and lunch,  that he wanted to get more wood cut and split.  The shed was about 3/4 full, which generally gets us through the winter, but he wants the shed full to make sure.  It turned out that today was a great day for such a task, as well as other outside chores, with a high temp around 50 degrees and not so much as a breeze.

Here’s a synopsis of our afternoon.

Duck reunion

While we were eating lunch, we got a phone call from a church friend whose car was dead.  She needed Keith to tow it to the shop for her.  So, while he was gone with Noah – and Andrew (who insists on being present for anything remotely exciting) – I caught all of the second batch of ducklings that we hatched.  They are big enough and feathered out enough to go out with the big ducks outside.  When the oldest ducklings got put out with the adult ducks there was some minor conflict between the two “clans”.  But both the older ducklings out there and the ones I was moving today used to be in the brood pen together.  They must have remembered each other because when I let the younger ones out, they ran right to the older ones and they had a little reunion.  The 4 adults still keep to themselves.  Apparently they are too mature to be socializing with the children.

 

Next I had Bethany, Hannah, and Ben rake up the leaves along the driveway so we could feed them to the goats.  The goats really like dried leaves.  It’s a special treat for them.  Before giving them to the goats, Hannah had to jump in them and bury herself in them.  Then Ben put his kitten in the pile and said, “Mom!  You have to take a picture!”  Sorry for the light rays.  I didn’t notice them till tonight and I’d only taken one picture.

Leaf PileHannah in leaf pileKitten in leaf pile

While we were finishing with the leaves, Keith and the other 2 boys arrived back home and got started on the wood.  We have several large tree trunk sections that have been lying in the yard for over a year.  Keith cut up four of them with the chainsaw and stacked them to dry better.  They will be split and used next year.  Noah was working on splitting the smaller pieces, and I used the wheelbarrow to roll them to the shed and stack them.  Here are the results of our labor:

Logs waiting to be splitFirewood Shed

The youngest four children were exploring the creek while we were working.  Better than computer games or Wii all afternoon!  When they came back, Hannah gave me a “creek bouquet” that she picked.  She’s so sweet!  I put it in the vase that came with the flowers Brandon sent me for Mother’s Day.

Creek Bouquet

I don’t know how long I’ll keep the cattails inside.  My mom had cattails in her house for well over a decade before getting rid of them.  When she was told that they’d explode, we all thought the person was nuts.  After all, they’d been in the house for many years with no problem.  But several years later she decided to not push her luck any longer.  I’ve only been able to keep cattails in the house for a year before they started to look suspicious.  And they regrow every year, so there’s no sense in risking the fluffy mess.

Milkweed

Speaking of fluffy things, here are milkweed pods exploding – outside.  Since I’ve heard about monarch butterfly habitats disappearing, I’ve been letting milkweed grow wherever it wants in my yard – unless it’s in a really bad spot, which hasn’t been a big issue so far.  Here is some on the edge of our asparagus patch.  And then a bigger picture of the asparagus.  I love the soft, dainty, fern-like asparagus greens in the fall. Asparagus Patch

 

Next are just a couple of miscellaneous pics.  First are the apple and pecan trees that we ordered to plant on our property in Missouri where we plan to retire.  We’re hoping that by planting them in the fall, their root systems will get established when there’s actually rain and by the time we move there we’ll start getting fruit.  Pecans are a little slower than apple trees, but still, maybe by the time we’re 60, we’ll start harvesting pecans.  And if we’re fortunate enough to live a long, healthy life, we could be harvesting those pecans for 30 years or more!

Missouri Fruit Trees

Here is our trailer.  Keith bought this car trailer last year for any hauling we need to do.  He’d already put some fencing together to strap down to hold animals, but that is only really good for summer time.  Since we had to haul 5 pigs to the butcher 3 weeks ago and it was cold, he didn’t want them to freeze on the hour-long drive at 60 mph with just open fencing.  So he designed and built some pretty good sides to box it in nice and tight.  It can also be taken apart and off the trailer for those times when we need to use it as a flat bed.  He’s pretty smart that way.

Trailer

Thanks for listening to me ramble about our afternoon.  I don’t expect many more nice afternoons like this one before next spring comes, so I really enjoyed it – work and all.  I hope you all had a good weekend, too!