Pacific Northwest


Bobtail2.JPGOh, wow, it has been a long time since I have blogged! In the blink of an eye, lambing season has come and gone, and I should write more about that! But today, here are some prized trail cam photos of a sneaky wildcat that lurks on a woodsy trail behind our barn. I’ve been getting blurry half-shots of him for some time, and keep thinking “is that a bobcat?”. But for some reason, the camera doesn’t catch him as easily as it does coyotes, which constantly come and go, and frequently pose for portrait-quality shots. I almost wonder if I’m placing it too high to catch this shorty kitteh?  (more…)

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The grass is looking fantastic this spring, we’ve had a great mix of warm weather and rain. The abundant feed is a gift, but it comes with the overhead of moving fencing every few days. I was able to start grass rotation on the south property March 5th, and the sheep just returned to that area two weeks ago. It is reed canarygrass (RCG) so though they grazed it down to nubbins in March, it is already taller than me and forming seed heads! It is both a very productive, and vexing grass.

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I am participating in a WSU compost trial this year. I received 40 yards of donated compost, which happened to come from Cedar Grove (though there are other participating compost companies as well). The idea is to apply it to about an acre of pasture grass, adjacent to an untreated section, and compare the results. The overall goal of the project is to facilitate the pairing of farms and municipal-waste compost product (read: this is kitchen and yard waste from the City People); and to investigate and overcome barriers to these pairings happening more frequently.

Our compost was delivered several weeks ago. They wanted to send a large truck which can deliver 50 yards of compost; but decided they couldn’t get it into our field driveway, because it slopes quite a bit from the road. (This is apparently one of several reasons why compost and farmers don’t pair more often).

 

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This goes under the people-always-ask-me hashtag #howdoyoudoit? How do you get home from a stressful, drama-coworker, overtime-ridden day at work, a Seattle-area traffic commute, then go out and do farm chores before eating dinner at 8pm (or later)?

I admit, on rainy, cold days, often I hesitate to go out. When I come home wearing my frail office Khakis and a semi-dress jacket, I shiver at the bitter winter cold (bitter, for us, my East Coast friends, is sub-forty…). I’m reluctant to embrace my farmy chores. But of course it’s mandatory, no avoiding it, animals need to be fed, no-matter-what. So, I suit-up in sweatpants, a hoodie, a flannel jacket; and my Muck Boots, toasty off the boot drier. And, out I go.

And then, there is this. Silence; clean air, and this nighttime view of almost nothingness. The whole world shrinks a thousand fold. It’s like submerging undersea from a metropolis land view, passing through a veil.

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Last weekend we went camping at the foot of Mt. Baker, near the town of Glacier. We camped at the Douglas Fir campground, which has great campsites along the Nooksack River. Normally, camping like this would be a swim fest for our dogs. But not this year: no swimming allowed. Why?

Because of this:

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