Thursday, September 29, 2005

Renegade Jerseys, Fur Report, John's Sermon, and the Dry Spell

I haven't had much time to waste on the computer lately. Chores always take a little longer this time of year. For some reason, as soon as fall comes, the cows have no desire to come to the barn. With grass so short this year, they are free to graze most of 100+ acres of pasture. All the little 2 acre lots are opened up and they also have access to what hay grew back in some of the hay fields. When fall comes they break up into little bands of 10 or 15 cows and all head in opposite directions. Some are apple lovers. This group is always finding new ways to get into the orchard areas. If there is not a gate, no problem, they make a new one! At milking time we spend an hour or more rounding up all the renegade bands of jerseys and forcing them down for milking. I have no idea why every fall they act like this, but sure as sun rises and sets, it happens every fall.

As trapping season approaches, I'm always scouting for fur. Saw a nice grey fox the other morning. I've seen some coon sign in the creek bank down by the "big woods". They tell me coon won't be worth much this year. Big carry over from last season. I was hoping for good coon prices, they are plentiful and easy to catch. Oh well. I'm still not seeing much 'rat sign at all. Its dry here, they probably headed for the gulf coast. The coyotes are singing every morning now. I think there are at least two packs running the valley. I'm seeing a few red fox now and then, but this is really grey country. The reds don't do well when the coyotes are here.

Hunting season is also near. There is never a shortage of whitetales around here. I'm watching 2 flocks of turkeys pretty close. A neighbor trapped 2 huge bobcats that were killing stock. They we're big boys! I have not seen much in the line of bear sign this year. Two seasons ago, one stuck his paw in a 220 bucket set I had out for coon. He tore the trap up good! We have a pretty good population of black bears around the farm. We don't have an open season on them yet, but it looks likely in the future.

Little John preached his first sermon the other day. Leah and I were sitting on the couch and the little guy cleared his throat to get our attention. He's standing in the middle of the room with his bible opened up. Looks at the page and then looks at us and says, "God is good, Jesus is good. The bible says so." He then closes the bible and says, "Lets us pray. Heaven in Father, thank you for food. Thank you for rain and animals, and Jesus......Amen" Not to bad for a 3 year old!

This drought has been tough on us. We are heading into winter with all of our feed gone. My pastures dried up in the end of June and the hay didn't yield worth a hoot. Fed all we had between then and now. We just now got some rain and the grass came back a little. The cows are back eating the green stuff till the first frost, which will be this week most likely. We will be buying hay all winter now, and that will take a big chunk of the milk check. We've made it through tough years before and Lord willin' will make it through this one.


At 9/29/2005 11:57 PM, Blogger KSmilkmaid said...

There must be something in the bloodline of Jersey's you have there. Ours don't do that in the fall. With weather changes though they get a bit squirrely. They start frolicing like little calves. They gallop and prance all over the pasture. Funny thing.

Sorry to hear about the drought up there. In central Kansas we had late season rains. Some grass based dairies are keeping the season going til November.

Any movement on the permit for raw milk sales yet? Praying that will work out for you. Do a little cheese and you will have a great value added program. Cows begin to pay for themselves that away.

At 9/30/2005 4:44 AM, Anonymous evermoor said...

Our cows follow the belief of up at first light which doesn't come till almost 7 am. Therefore the first couple of turns you really got to urge them in. I wish I could send some water your way. WE ggot aa fair amoount of hay, baleage; but the qualitiy is low (140-150). Not to mention the sialage guy didn't show up, wee'll be picking corn forever.

At 9/30/2005 5:19 AM, Blogger Randall Gerard said...


I'm always amazed at all the wildlife back east. To a westerner that seems counter-intuitive. We tend to think that big populations of people mean small populations of wild critters. I can see from observations that it aint necessarily so.

My youngest daughter used to love to get up and preach to us; she was crushed when we told her only men can do it for real. She's gotten over it though. ;-) Sounds like your raisin' those little men right, Scott.

At 9/30/2005 9:58 AM, Blogger JFC said...


Sounds like a great sermon to me, too. I always like to hear about what the up-and-coming generation is doing.


At 9/30/2005 5:08 PM, Blogger Northern Farmer said...

Sorry to hear about the drought Scott. We were so close to having a disaster here but it ended in the nick of time. Still fell short on alot of things.


At 10/01/2005 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of the book:

Trapping North America Furbearer
by, S. Stanley Hawbaker.

I was thinking about getting it and was wondering if you might know if its any good. Thanks

At 10/01/2005 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry its "Furbearers"

At 10/01/2005 4:31 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

Trapping North America Furbearers is a wonderful old book. I have been reading a chapter a day to my son. Lots of great timeless info on trapping. It was written in 1940 and covers a lot of stuff. I would highly recomend it to all.

At 10/01/2005 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your quick response, and for your opinion. I'll be sure to get it.

At 10/03/2005 8:55 PM, Blogger C.S. Hayden said...

I enjoyed your post. I try to read your blog pretty often, and I appreciate your simple, humble, and intelligent writings and lifestyle. Keep up the good work, and may God bless.

At 10/04/2005 4:52 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks Caleb. I enjoy your blog as well. It is young men like yourself that give me hope for the future! As a postmill man, I always have the "long term hope", but is refreshing to see folks such as yourself that will be fighting the battles that God has provided for the current generation.

At 10/04/2005 3:39 PM, Blogger Missouri Rev said...

Greetings Scott,

It seems as though drought has been sporadic throughout the nation. I wish I could send you some of the rain we have had this year, over 27 inches since June 1st and most of it spread out pretty well. There are some places just a few hours south of here that has received very little rain at all this year. I am encouraged by your peaceful determination to persevere through whatever the LORD sends your way.

At 10/05/2005 6:40 AM, Anonymous scott said...

Missouri Rev

Thats really the kind of rain we need to run the grazing system properly here in the hill country. The old timers plowed a lot of the hill sides and there is now no top soil to speak of. Some call it "hard pan" others call it "hill dirt". Whatever you call it, it don't hold water. Steady rain every week is needed. We are starting to see a little improvement in the land here. It will be sveral generations of stewardship before we have soil again.

At 10/06/2005 1:23 AM, Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

Would it be possible to find some other way to point out the costs of the war in Iraq? I ask because you see the Java that that little ditty uses makes the processor on computers displaying your blog pages work overtime. This burns more electricity thus contributing to the dependency on oil. All those little CRU add up and be for you know it we'll need to sink a new oil well just to support this little demonstration. Okay, well maybe it isn't that bad but that script is hard on older computers, does really waste electricity and processing power and is distracting on the page making it hard to read other text for those of use who are easily distracted. Any chance of making it not count but just display a static image? If you changed the script so the counting line is like this


it will update about every five seconds thus burning less electricity.


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