Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We have eleven deer in the big group for sure. Got another count yesterday. In addition to the 11 feeding close to the house there were several does 150 yards away on the bluff waiting their turn. I saw four different fawns for sure. One fawn is very big and will probably be a big buck. (Fawns in photo)

It has been raining around us for a few days but we have not received anything as yet. It is our turn. We had .10 overnight which does help the trees, but isn't enough for the grass.

I was watching a Painted Bunting this morning on the feeder next to the window and sure enough a sparrow came and chased it away. I may have to get that trap out or invest in a good BB gun.

Poor Zulu. She was our first Boer Goat and she isn't doing well. She really has never recovered from the dog attacks that got her last kids. Both nannies who lost their goats were very stressed at the time and in fact I was afraid I would lose one. She recovered with some meds and TLC. I though Zulu would 'shake it off' too but she is older and although it's been several months she just acts like an old granny goat now. I gave her penicillan yesterday, but she is thin and looking frail. I will watch her closely. I can't sell her and she deserves respect as the 'mother doe' of all the goats we have ever had on the ranch.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July Heat Continues

The heat has continued. Most days over 100° for a high although there were two days of clouds and almost rain. Only .20 over the two days, but at least it was something. I was able to get some outside work done in addition to usual chores.

I checked the water meter yesterday (we read our own meters in the country) and we used 22,000 gallons of water this month. Normal is 4,000 gallons. Really the grass is not as bad as it could be for this heat. We are fortunate for that. We are allowing the grass around the house to go dormant now.

Set two records for number of deer behind the house at one time. It was ten for several days, but its actually eleven. They have come pretty consistently. Two big bucks, two average bucks, two yearlings, a doe with twin fawns, and a doe with one fawn. This seem to be the regulars. We get an occasional stray doe or big buck as well especially during the day now that I'm putting out corn in the mornings.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Continued Heat!

Well another week of 100+ degree heat. It's starting to take a toll. Fortunately the rain last week has kept everything from burning up, but if we don't get some relief soon though we'll lose the grass. It was cloudy this morning for the first time in a while, but that was all. We have a 20% chance of rain in the next few days so we'll hope for something.

I've given up on the sparrow trap. I had it out and there was no action at all until all the feeders where empty. The squirrels and raccoons empty the seed from the trap and I'm afraid the raccoons will damage it. No luck in getting a sparrow. They will eat from the ledge, but won't commit to enter the trap. I'm not sure I will get any. There are enough feeders that the Painted Buntings will find a place even with the sparrows and there are not really that many sparrows. I did catch one female Cardinal and two male Cardinals in the trap so the trap does work. Just too hard to get the 'bad' birds interested. Today I refilled all the bird feeders and I'm putting up the bird trap for a while.

The deer are getting active and the bucks are really getting their antlers now although still in felt. They go through 2 buckets (#10) of corn a day and empty the water trough in only a few days in this heat. I have got into the habit of putting the corn out in the mornings and not in the evenings. They have learned this and we get several deer in the middle of the day. Usually the does with fawns.

The goats are doing fine. Just feeding every few days as they still have grass. I did get a new salt block for them. The billy has been chasing the does for a week or so, so it's time for that routine again. Hopefully the kids won't come until mid to late December.

Monday, July 06, 2009

One day of Rain

We got some more relief from the heat. We had 2.3 inches of rain overnight and it is cloudy today. That's wonderful. This should keep grass in the goat pasture through the rest of July.

I took the photo of these two fawns in the back this afternoon. They are no longer hiding and they are obviously being weaned since they are interested in the grass. Note how fast the grass 'greened' up from the rain.

I saw a sparrow chasing a Painted Bunting off the feeder on the 4th so I have ordered a 'Sparrow Trap'. I got notice that it shipped today so I'll see if I can trap the sparrows. Hopefully it will work on cowbirds too.

We did have a great neighborhood gathering on July 4th. Wonderful friends and food.

Friday, July 03, 2009

July heat!

The heat has returned. It was over 100 degrees yesterday and that's the forecast for the next week as well. The county commissioners put into effect the 'burn ban' on Monday, but that's to be expected this time of year in the heat.

I got up VERY early this morning in order to work on the tractor. Where it's parked it will be in the sun by 7:30 am. so I wanted an early start to replace the battery. I normally don't adjust my outdoor work for the deer, but this morning I did delay as there were nine deer in the back of the house. Two big bucks, two average bucks, a doe with two fawns, and two other does. It was interesting watching them. The fawns are so curious and the big bucks walked right up to the window. They soon started to scatter so I got to work. It's amazing what can get done when you know it will soon be hot. I replaced the tractor battery, aired the tractor tires, pushed some cedar into piles that I hadn't been able to do, spread a bucket load of gravel on the road, scraped and leveled the road going up the mountain, and filled the deer feeders, all before 8:00 a.m. I have some other tractor chores to do now that it's running again. I was lucky that the local feed store had the correct battery for my John Deere tractor yesterday.