After dragging myself and my suitcase across America and back again I was more than happy to put on my work clothes and get stuck in to farming again.

After being away a few days in the tidy suburbs It strikes me is what a lot of junk we have accumulated over the last few years or am I still clearing out junk that accumulated over the years before my arrival here eleven or so years ago.

Anyway, even though we are in the shortest days the chickens are still laying quite well, the ducks still give around a dozen a day, I think runaway Molly is pregnant though she made a real mess of the old gate she broke through – that needs replacing. Both sets of cows are up on the concrete waiting for the fields to dry up a bit.

Poppy and Sheila are all good in the rat house ( called the rat house because when I first arrived it housed whole families of enormous rats – then I sold the grain bin and got cats and housed the chooks in the rat house and they soon sorted that out). No rats now.

Jude the little rescue pig is fat and happy – yesterday I sorted his house and bed back out and set him free again. He loves to run all over the yard. In fact he seems quieter and less manic after a week without me.

Tima and Tane are well, Wai is vigorous though his skin is so thin. Tane the crippled boar is so grateful for this incredibly warm winter so far.

Who else? Cats, dogs – all good. Mr Flowers and Pania present and accounted for.

On our way back from the railway station the night before last we saw four coyotes – big healthy animals – caught by the drift of our headlights in a field a mile from here. They watched us pass with interest. There have been wolves and cougars sighted around these parts but I have never seen one. We have no large stands of trees for them to hide in. I am saving for one of those motion activated field cameras to put down by the creek. Anyone have any recommendations for a reasonably priced one? The long grass and young trees down the back houses many pheasants and wild birds – my ‘no shooting’ signs (as well as my attack dogs and waving arms) have taught strangers to keep out for a few years now. With a little protection and the trees, the birds are flourishing. It stands to reason that other species might be there too.

Anyway- today I hope to get my teaching assignment finished in the nick of time – you were right I had NO TIME to write in California. Sorry about that.

I still have all your questions listed though and will answer them as we meander into the new year.

Take care. I will do the chores then come back in to chat!


55 Comments on “HOME, AND IT IS STILL WET

  1. Teaching assignment? I think I missed something…wait…you’re teaching English, yes? How exciting. Another new adventure. Can’t wait to hear about that. Funny how the mud puddles stayed on to welcome you back. (I do hate mud. Which is why I LOVE rubber boots.) Take care.

  2. I’m so glad you found everything to be good & fine (except that gate) & are suited back up & ready to welcome the New Year with plans, ideas & familiar routines. Those gorgeous California lemons will certainly brighten the darkest winter days. Happy New Year to all at the Farmy & in the Fellowship.

  3. Good to be back on the farm with you again. Judes legs look like they grew six inches while you were away. So pleased you took time off to enjoy the family. Laura

  4. Welcome home Celi!!! Thanks for the update on the farmy animals! Seems like all is well and animals and humans are ready to welcome in the New Year!!! xoxoxo

  5. We watch for good sales on game cameras. We have several different brands, though I can’t say any of them are outstanding. We’ve had the best luck with Browning cameras – decent still photos and video. And we use lithium batteries – they last amazingly long and endure the heat and the cold well.

    Thankfully, I do not think wolves have ventured this far south, though we do have mountain lions. Smaller species of cats exist too. And the coyote population is completely overrun here. We see them venture into town now and then… I no longer write on my blog about taking out coyotes, due to horrible comments about being “killers”. Many people do not understand the threat and disease of overpopulation of any species. We’ve seen mange in the coyote population for a couple of years now. Quite sad to see, especially in the winter months. And because of the competition for food, we rarely see small mammals like skunk, opossum, rabbit, and armadillo anymore. Even the foul that visit the slough and old river channel are prey to the coyote. It is no wonder the deer have fled the area. A single coyote is not a threat but when they run in packs they are certainly killers.

    • I agree with your comment on the Brownings. I have many brands of trail cams and always get the best pix and video with the Brownings. I live in upstate NY and always use the lithium batteries. I have twenty plus cams out year round and those lithium batteries last like crazy! Well worth the extra cost.

  6. Welcome home! I think coyotes must be amazingly versatile. You see them there, which seems normal to me, but then we get reports of them resident in a massive park in downtown Toronto, which doesn’t seem normal. Very mild here yesterday (11c./mid-50’sF) but won’t get above freezing today, so I guess time to hunker down now for a long winter’s snooze. Would be nice, though, if the milder weather held on. Have a great day ~ Mame🙃

  7. Welcome back! Didn’t that go fast! One minute looking forward to Christmas and whoosh it’s gone.

  8. Glad you’re home safe and sound. Those lemons look spectacular.
    I’ve said it before but I just can’t help wishing little Jude would stay little. He’s so cute the way he is.
    I feel sorry for coyotes and think they should be humanely culled. Same with deer. There are too many and often starving. You never see tubby ones!

  9. Welcome home. I’m sure you were missed by one and all especially Jude. Are those duck eggs (3rd pic down from the top with Jude and the chicken in it)? Or balls/toys? Or veggies? I can’t tell. 🙂

  10. A healthy coyote population is a good thing where I live, in a riparian farming valley in California. We have a creek at one side and a river on the other, with levees on both. Coyotes keep the ground squirrels under control. Poison is also effective, but is dangerous to other animals and birds. The coyotes also work on the jackrabbits and cottontails, which make them an asset in the alfalfa fields and row crops. The only loss I’ve had to coyotes is barn cats. We need the cats for rodent control. If the coyotes would just catch and eat rats and mice in and around the barns, that would be fine.

    • Yes – I feel we have a similar balance around here. I have never had a problem with them – though I don’t leave baby animals out or anything silly like that .

  11. That looks like duck heaven! Jude is looking tall.
    GoPro make very good small cameras which are often used for film and TV. They are modular and can be operated by a phone app. They are multi purpose and could be used for many things on the farmy. I’ve just seen older models (new) on eBay for about $20.

  12. I have three of the small Browning cameras, have had them for 2 or 3 years now and I like them. They’re simple to operate and use AA batteries. I use the red and gold DuraCells and they seem to last forever. Once a week I make the rounds and swap out the sd cards to see what’s going on out there. Funny but on the one closest to the house and barn I usually have at least one pic of a coyote. We have some fellas who regularly hunt them so they’re kept in check around here. Whoa to a coyote who gets inside the fence with Winston the donkey! Apparently there are wolves in the general area though I’ve never seen or heard them (I think it’s the coyotes I hear at night). We have had cougar and bear sightings too. It’s been unseasonably warm here also though we did have a bit of snow over night and have a couple of cold days predicted. All in all some squirrely weather!

  13. It’s good that you could come back and find everyone fit and healthy and all the systems working. Shows they were good systems and everyone was in good shape when you left. Cold and rain sound rather good from the peak of the Wet in northern Queensland. We have the rain, just not the cold; the temperatures are in the crazy range all over Australia. I’m also keeping a weather eye on my favourite forecast site, Windy.TV, which is showing another potential cyclone brewing in the Coral and Arafura Seas. That’d be a jolly start to the New Year, eh? I’d love to see night vision of your local wildlife, by the way…

  14. I have to go and move a pile of 20 sheets of roofing tin we’ve got in to fix the big shed, or it could turn into flying death. Happy days… We’re good for 4 or 5 days yet, so maybe I’ll wait till the Husband’s off shift and we can do it together.

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