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Sunday, December 25, 2016

The HighPoint of My Christmas: Going Walking with My Grandson Sam (Blog 326)

Christmas was very enjoyable this weekend.  Elaine and I had dinner at Sarah and David's house on Saturday evening with David's parents and our son Mark and his girlfriend Ashley.  And Sunday, we had Sarah and David over with their boys Sam and Eli, plus Mark came, too to open presents and eat brunch.

All of that was nice, but the highpoint for me was my grandson Sam wanting to go walking with me.  He could have stayed inside to play with his presents, but when I told everyone that I was going to walk up the road a little bit, Sam announced that he wanted to come, too.

It was a small thing, but to me it was really special.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Befuddled by Virginia's Fall Turkeys Again (Post 325)

The next time I hear someone saying that they don't hunt fall turkeys because they're too easy and/or they are saving their tags for the spring season, I may give them a lecture on the spot.  I have pursued autumn birds after school this week and this morning (Saturday) without hearing or seeing any.  The  cold weather, the poor hatch last spring, the heavy mast crop, and the supreme difficulty of going after mature gobblers or hens in the fall have combined to befuddle me.

I suppose I could try again somewhere this afternoon.  Instead, I've decided to go climb a tree and try to kill a doe with my Parker Thunderhawk crossbow.  It's going to be a warm, relatively speaking, evening so perhaps the deer will be moving.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Chasing Turkeys in the Cold (Blog 324)

I spent a glorious cold, December morning trying to call in three mature gobblers today.  I had gone to the top of a Botetourt County, Virginia mountain in an attempt to find a flock, but only encountered the trio of toms when I came back down the mountain.  Ironically, the lead gobbler was not far from where my car was parked.

The lead tom scudded into the woods and the other two went in a different direction.  But a short time later, the lead turkey began yelping and the other two birds began gobbling.  I promptly sat down in between them and engaged in some serious male talk.  But in the end, the lead tom circled around me and rejoined his small flock and they went off again - who knows where.  I'm going to try to find them again this afternoon, but am not optimistic.

I relish pursuing winter turkeys, though my success rate is poor when I'm after mature gobblers and hens.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rhode Island Red Chickens Working Hard in Garden (Blog 323)

Friday and Saturday, Elaine and I let our two flocks of heritage Rhode Island Reds take turns working in the garden.  Actually, work is not the right word for our chickens, but what they accomplish for us is.  The Reds truly enjoy their time in the garden, turning over soil, scratching up insects and their larva, and depositing their poop throughout.

For us, we have a free hoeing and insecticide service, plus fertilizing on delivery.  It's a win-win for the chickens and us.  Our chickens will continue performing their yeoman work until February, when it will be time to let their waste fully decompose and us plan for the April planting of onions and spinach.