Search This Blog

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rain on Opening Day of West Virginia's Bow Season (Blog 261)

For several months, I have looked foward to opening day of West Virginia's bow season, which is today, September 26.  But all week the forecast has been for rain today, and, unfortunately, the forecast was accurate.

Ten or so days ago, I had made a quick visit to our Gap Mills land in Monroe County to check out the acorn situation.  I had determined my stand site and made my game plan for the day, which was simple - stay on stand until noon, go back to the truck for lunch and a nap, and be back on stand by 2:30, and stay there until dark or until I arrowed a deer.

The rainy forecast was so ominous last night that I didn't even bother to set the alarm.  As I write this, it is now 10:47 A.M. and the forecast remains poor for the rest of the day.  I imagine my bow will remain where it is.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Locavore Weekend: Deer Butchering, Grape Jelly, and More (Blog 260)

Elaine and I experienced a very busy weekend last week.  On Friday evening, we gathered wild summer grapes.  On Saturday, she and I prepared the grapes so that our daughter Sarah and Elaine could make the actual jelly on Sunday.

Saturday morning, I killed a doe, and we spent part of Saturday and Sunday butchering it.  We saved the heart and tongue for lunches this week, froze the top and bottom loins, and canned the rest.

Our last task, food wise, was to pick crabapples from our Dolgo crabapple tree.  Elaine made crabapple/walnut muffins this week.

A busy weekend, but a productive one.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Buff Orpington Hen Lays First Egg (Blog 259)

Elaine and I were thrilled to discover this week that our heritage Buff Orpington hen, Ophelia, had laid her first egg.  In fact, Ophelia has laid an egg per day from Monday through Thursday.

Normally, from our experience, first time layers don't lay every day the first several weeks after they begin.  But Ophelia has not read the handbook on egg laying and her consistency has been amazing.

In the run adjacent to the Buff's, we have three heritage Rhode Island Red hens that are just a week younger than Ophelia.  Perhaps they will begin their egg laying careers next week.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Passing of a Pigeon (Blog 258)

I recently received a call from a neighbor that said she had a strange bird, which appeared to be sick, in her back field.  Always curious about wildlife and ready for a photo op, I came over after school.

What I found was a common pigeon that was unable to fly and looked to have suffered some sort of internal injury.  The neigbor, a very kind individual, wanted to know if she should contact the local animal control and have the folks there rescue the bird.

I explained that the pigeon is an invasive species, that farmers despise this bird, and that pigeons compete negatively with native birds.  I also said that animal control would be unlikely to respond to her request, although obviously I could not speak for that agency.

I followed up with what her options were.
She could easily capture the bird and attempt to nurse it back to health.
She could put the bird out of its misery, as it was likely to die before morning.
She could bring the pigeon to a vet, but that option was likely to be futile and expensive.
She could do nothing, and nature would decide the issue before morning.

The lady decided on the last option, and the next day she told me that the bird was gone.  I replied that what had happened to the pigeon was what eventually happens to all wild animals, it had become part of the food chain as no doubt some predator's proverbial ship had come in overnight.

I write this blog not out of cruelty toward pigeons or any animal, but such is the way of the wild world.  It is truly a jungle out there.