Sunday, April 28, 2013

In a Cow Pasture

Truck and Tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a motorsport competition, which requires modified tractors to pull a heavy sledge (sled) along a 300 ft length track, with the winner being the tractor that pulls the sledge farthest. The sport is known as the world's most powerful motorsport, due to the multi-engined modified tractor pullers.  Wikipedia.

Cal Poly Open House 2013
Truck and Tractor Pull Competition
April 20, 2013
The Minis:

The Mega Machines:

And Just Plain Awesome Fun:


Hehe, I don't think so

After the roar of engines, smell of burnt diesel and alcohol fuels, and being sprayed by clods of dirt and organic matter . . . a quiet moment before heading home.

In a few weeks the cows will return and the "track" will once again be their own until next year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Out and About Around the Central Coast 4/9/13

 See Canyon Rd to Prefumo Canyon Rd

Out for a stroll

Coming soon this Fall: See Canyon Apples

On a clear day you can see forever

101 North - Heading Home

Wild Mustard in Bloom

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Disappearing Goats

After writing my last post about Joe's Houdini goats, the chicken wire fence was taken down and rolled up.  With the fence gone we hoped it meant the goats would be moved but, no, Buck and the Mamas were still there and freely wandering about the adjacent properties.

Although we enjoyed them as our neighbors so too did the coyotes.  Buzzards flying overhead led us to the remains of two goats over two days.  With their haphazard fence they were easy prey.  With no fence at all they were a nightly all-you-can-eat-buffet.

Yesterday, Buck and the Mamas were goneWe caught a last glimpse of them as they were being trailered away.

Buck and The Mamas


We wish all the best for them: woody weeds and bushes to browse, a sunny spot, sweet alfalfa treats, and a sturdy fence.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Liquid Goats

There's a saying:  If you want to test a fence for keeping goats in then throw a bucket of water at the fence.  If the water goes through the fence then so will the goats.

Thanks to the previous owners of our home we have a "no-climb" fence around the entire property.  It keeps the critters out (looking at you, feral pig) and it keeps the Goaty Boys in.  Our goats haven't made any effort to escape; they seem to enjoy hanging with us, sunning themselves on the driveway, or sitting in their lawn chairs.

They did make an "escape" once by simply following The Man as he obliviously drove the tractor out the gate.  Luckily, our neighbor Jim, commented on how good the goats were looking as he admired them climbing up his nearest Oak tree.  Only then did The Man realize he had been followed.

On the other hand, Joe's goats pass through their makeshift fence as easily as if they were water.

"Fence" - sticks and stones and chicken wire

In addition to all the chores The Man does in his day, we've added "checking the Mamas" to his long list.  Each evening he walks down to the fence line and checks on Joe's herd and ensures that no goat has been left behind on the wrong side of the fence.  Many times he's helped a too large Mama find the hole large enough for her to squeeze through while the rest of the herd wait patiently for her on the other side.

Our "no-climb" fence on the left.

Not much of a surprise that Buck and the Mamas were nowhere to be found.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Infamous Beans

" . . . with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."  Dr Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs, (movie version).

We received ~ 2 lb fresh fava beans in last week's CSA box along with instructions to prepare these unusual beans:

Open the pods and remove the beans.

Blanch the beans for one minute in salty-as-the-sea boiling water, drain, then plunge in ice water for three to five minutes until completely cool.

Next remove the outer skins from the emerald green beans.

Saute in butter, add salt and pepper to taste.

Yes, they were good - tender and delicate - but a lot of work for a forkful of beans.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Scent of Spring

There was a fragrance in the air we couldn't identify.  The Man and I noticed it as soon as we walked outside.  It smelled of blossoms, and yet, we didn't have any flowering plants nearby.  We were wrong.  Overnight, the neighboring fields had been newly carpeted in purple and blue.

Wild Lupine

And while we were admiring the flowers that appeared out of nowhere The Man noticed another newcomer under a shady oak.

Spring Baby

A few hours after spotting the baby goat we went back to check on it and saw that it was gone from it's spot.  In the distance we could see the herd had moved away to a nearby hill.  Mele, on the other hand, was focused on something closer to us.

The Man climbed over the barbed wire fence and found the kid entirely hidden between the fence and an oak stump.  It seemed too small to be by itself.  The Man carried the baby back to it's Mama on the hill.  She sniffed the little one then they both walked off together.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chicken Reboot

(Reboot: to turn (a computer or operating system) off and then on again; restart.)

For some unknown reason, The Girls were laying fewer and fewer eggs.  They had been cranking out their four eggs per day like clockwork.  Then only three eggs, two eggs, then none.  We didn't see any broken eggshells so we didn't think a critter was getting into their nesting boxes. 

I checked under the deck where they had laid in the past but nothing there.  That was a relief.  After seeing the rattle snake on the porch last Fall I'm not so sure how eager I would have been to have to slither on my belly to collect a few eggs from a dark corner of the deck's crawl space.

On a whim, I checked the doghouse and, lo and behold, four perfect eggs.  The Girls had scratched together a little fuzzy nest made of carpet fibers from Mele's carpet pad.  Over the next several days we kept The Girls locked in the pen for most of the day.  It worked, they started laying in their nesting boxes again.  Unfortunately, we've still got a few misplaced eggs.  Somewhere.  I certainly hope we never find the missing clutch of eggs.   

Duke and The Girls

Good Girls- Sweetness, Sophia, Bowling Ball (BeBe), and Baby