8.3.2012 Oddities

Wow!  August already.  Summer is drawing to a hot and humid end.  Very soon those first cold fronts will sneak in and I’ll shake the dust off the jacket to ward away the chill on morning rounds. . . .

Well, I can dream, can’t I?  I am so tired of being hot and sweaty and smelly.  The chickens are tired of keeping their wings up all day to ventilate.  The horses are being eaten by bugs I can’t see.  The bees aren’t doing much of anything these days except sitting on their front porches telling tall tales and tossing back homebrew.

I’ve seen a lot of new things this year, but in the past week, the things I’m seeing have taken on an air of queerness.

Take this guy for example:

Fuzzy picture of what I believe to be a Great Black Wasp. Feeds on katydids and crickets. Big dude. Very intimidating.











On the same hive, I found this thing:

I think this one is an Assassin Bug, but the picture doesn’t do him justice. His legs were really, really long. Like daddy long legs long. Despite his intimidating name, he’s probably a beneficial.

















A few days later, while trying to clear a path to the side door, I found this guy loafing on the Butterfly Bush.

A caterpillar feeding on the Butterfly Bush by the side door. Big fellow. If he survives the compost pile where his branch got dumped, he’ll likely emerge as a Tiger Swallowtail. And those dark spots on the stone, those are actual rain drops.


Then there’s Hubble.

One of the speckled sussex pullets from this year’s hatch. Since the derecho, she’s been unable to tuck her head under her wing. She sleeps with her head cocked upward and resting on her back. I call her Hubble because she spends her nights looking at the stars. During the day however, I can’t pick her out from the crowd. Moves and behaves just like her tractor mates.

And finally, the horses hooves have gone berserk in the last few days.

Both my horses have nice solid feet. They go barefoot and have never had any problems. But a couple of days ago, they started shedding their soles. Never seen a horse do that before. According to what I read though, this is normal when you get a little bit of moisture in the ground after a long hot and dry spell. There’s not much moisture in the ground, but last week’s 1/2 inch combined with a few sprinkles here and there, were apparently enough to set the grass to growing and hooves to sloughing. Just gotta keep them cleaned out until the peeling stops as the new growth underneath is susceptible to thrush infections. Learn something new every day.

And oh yeah, while I am talking about weirdness, a little black rain cloud slobbered on us yesterday.  15/100ths of an inch.  Weird!

P.S. This morning, while I was working chickens, the dog started barking.  She doesn’t come to the chicken yard, but generally loiters in the shade of the porch while I work.  She barked a lot and she kept at it for a long time.  It was the “I need help” bark, but I ignored her because well, I was busy with chickens, and there were three lazy kids up at the house who could help her.

My kids don’t speak dog though.  They ignored her too.  After the chickens were done.  I worked the horses and then came up to the house to cool off and get cleaned up for a trip into town.  My youngest went with me.  When I put the van into reverse we heard a very loud meow. The cat had been trapped in the van overnight and up until about 11:30 this morning.

It was really hot in the van, but surprisingly enough, Mushu didn’t go directly to the water dish.  No.  He was more hungry than anything else.  We’re very glad he’s okay.  We could have lost him, considering how long he’d been trapped and how hot it was.  I must pay closer attention to what the dog says when she says it.  Because by the time I came up to cool off, Moose had forgotten all about the cat.  Her attention span is about as long as my memory.


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