Winter is coming

I finally had to cry uncle and take some time off of work to get stuff done around the farm. I had worked six weekends in a row and winter just keeps getting closer. I have several projects to get done. The first one I am attempting to complete is to get some flood control and water management ditches dug. It seems I always wait until it starts to rain then it is so muddy I cannot get any dirt moved. I have managed to dig ditches out in pasture #3 and #2, they are all ready to go. I have managed to get all of the roadside ditch done in field #1. This way when the flood comes from upstream over the road the ditch will catch it and let it flow back to the creek and not out through our pasture. I still need to finish the secondary ditch alongside the field so that if the creek bank gives (like it has the last two floods) there will be a secondary ditch and another dirt berm to keep the water from flooding out into the field. This has been a lot of tractor work. I have about 40 hours into just tractor work alone moving dirt. I am hoping to have the ditches finished in 1-2 more days then I am going to hook the mower up, mow weeds for a day then start dragging a disc around and then planting more grass and a couple of fields of triticale hay. I even have some fertilizer that I want to toss out this fall.

The ditch digging is really letting me get through the books on tape! I can get a whole book listened to every 1.5 days. At the current rate of diesel consumption I am going to have to get the diesel tank filled for a third time this year!

I also need to rearrange the machine shed and get all of the equipment under cover and out of the weather. I have nine days off so I am going to make the best of it and I may have to take some more time off to get everything done. I did let the sheep into the front yard and get in a good mow down on the yard. I think I will have to do it one more time this year before winter sets in. A few of the ewes are pretty skinny. We did not get all of the old ones culled and boy can you tell who is old and decrepit. The new ram is fitting right in. He did wait until I turned my back on him yesterday before hitting me in the leg with his head. He only did it once and it did not knock me down so when I swatted out at him and he dodged it I did not pursue smacking him. I just let it go.

I found another dead lamb in field #3 yesterday. We have been spotting a coyote up on the back hillside but have been unable to get a shot at it. I may have to actually get a coyote call and start taking some time to thin the coyotes. Time is the most precious commodity I have when it comes to chores on the farm.

We had to tag and band the last two calves that were born late. We ran them up to the corral today and separated off the two babies. The nephews were out working on their grandma’s deck so they took ten minutes and helped us. Calf number 35 yellow tag is really a girl not a boy. I had two boy tags and placed the ear tag before I checked the gender. We separated off the bull and put him in Alcatraz with the other two bulls and then pushed all of the cows into the upper fields as there is a lot of green grass after that last rain. Tomorrow I am going to push the three bulls down by the schoolhouse. There is not as much grass down there but for three cows there will be plenty. We can keep the two fence between rule going so we should not have any winter surprises. I keep seeing at least two large covey of quail when I go up to the far end of the property. We will see how many survived when they all band together this winter.

The back creek finally dried up a week ago. That is the latest it has ran since we have moved back to the farm.

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