Saturday, June 24, 2017

Master Joseph

Joseph's mom (Kendra) needed to head out to a church meeting on Wednesday evening, and his dad (Ricky) wasn't yet home from work, so young Joseph came over to "supervise" the milking of the cows. Dwayne got pictures of him with the long lens on his camera:
He was being so good...

...just leaned back in his stroller...

... tasting a fist or a foot in turn...

... resting his feet up on the "dashboard" ...

... wondering why Uncle Dwayne was way over there instead of coming over to see him!

Whoops, better pay attention to what's going on in the milking barn! They might need his guidance on what to do next!
Then, last evening, as Dwayne and I were in the pickup heading over to feed the "teenagers" (cows across the road), we stopped and I got these pictures:
Out the pickup truck window...

Just 3 guys hanging out sitting on top of rowboats...

3 generations of Talley men

Friday, June 23, 2017

Some of the deer that come to visit...

Dwayne was out with his long lens on the camera and got some pretty neat pictures of the deer feeding in the alfalfa over near Ricky and Kendra's place.
You may be able to see antlers on the one to the right. This is before they got into the alfalfa, I think.

Now they are enjoying the alfalfa...

It looks like they are chest deep in the alfalfa, but really the field curves over a hill so they are just beyond the hill.

Ricky came in the drive which caught nearly everyone's attention!
At this point in the year, the antlers are covered in velvet.
I found this article from the National Park Service about the difference between antlers and horns and the shedding of antlers:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Driving the tractor

Dwayne expressed interest in knowing how to operate the tractor to be able to help around the farm, so a couple of evenings ago, Jimmy started us on basic lessons.
Starting and gears

Dwayne trying it out in the field

The cows (these are the "momma cows" of the kindergartners and the teenagers -

Dwayne was making loops...

There is an eagle's nest nearby - and one of the eagles was on a branch outside the nest...

The blue arrow points to the left side of the next, and the eagle is just to the right of the nest where the red arrow is pointing.

I zoomed in with this picture so maybe you can kind of see them, though it is fuzzy.

The peanut gallery...

I got a turn on the tractor - I certainly have forgotten anything I knew...

"How did he say you put it into gear?!?!?"
After I drove it around a few times, I worked up to "PTO" speed (Power Take Off? - for running implements like the baler). It was *really* fast. I came back and told Dwayne he needed to try running at PTO speed in third... and this video documents the result: Watch closely at about 20 seconds into the video...
I think two of the "girls" behind me were having a chuckle over that! Or... they were wondering if they could get to his hat and was it eatable!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A painted pond turtle lays her eggs

Jimmy came by the bus one morning last week and rang the doorbell (yes, we have a doorbell, and it plays "Greensleeves") - he said that they had seen a painted pond turtle coming up through the yard and that she was on her way to lay eggs. We headed out and she was still on her way to find the ideal place for laying her eggs (we don't know the criteria for "ideal" but she evidently did).
She was still looking for just the right spot... we were over near Ricky and Kendra's place.

She had found a spot that satisfied her. She first dug out a nest, and then laid her eggs.

You can tell that she was hard to see - but she was making movements while digging and then covering the nest.

Jimmy continued with raking the hay.

She was working away...

Jimmy avoided disturbing her when he raked near where she was.

Hay is now raked on both sides of her.
I had moved to the other side of her by this point.
Video of her covering the eggs:
Dwayne and I went across the road to feed the "teenagers" (cattle) - when I got back, she was heading back to the pond.
She headed across the field to the lane between the two houses:
Then she headed down the lane

- on the lane
She was making pretty good time on the lane...
and then as she turned and headed through the pasture...

I went back to where she had been and could not find the nest...

Jimmy went back out there and marked it with a flag...
But I still really couldn't see it... Jimmy said that it is designed not to be found, and that he could only find it because of the disturbance in the dirt on the day she did it.

We saw another turtle apparently heading back toward the pond today. Jimmy said it is the season for laying eggs and it is not uncommon to see quite a few during this time.

Regina looked it up and the incubation time and it is about two months. We figure that the ones we saw being laid last week will be hatching somewhere around Joseph's birthday in August... the babies are going to hatch quite a distance from the pond - I guess their success in arriving at the pond identifies that they are strong and good for the survival of the species.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A new exterior door handle

Ever since we've had Miss Doozie, the exterior grab bar has had someone else's name on it - I guess the first owner...
This is a picture after it was taken off the bus.
I guess the Miller's may have been the ones who ordered this Wanderlodge from the factory.

We ordered a replacement handle since we've been here at Jimmy and Regina's and it came. It was a little long, but Dwayne was able to shave a bit off the length and get it installed.
Dwayne getting the last screws in

Looking good!

It lights up at night if the right side porch lights are on.

Another view of it lit up at night.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Taking advantage of a situation

I was reading this week's RV Travel Newsletter ( and saw this tidbit:

Some Northwest U.S. farmers are planning to mop up this summer. But with hay prices down they’re looking at an alternative cash source: a cash crop of RVs in the field. With the total eclipse of August 21, many farmers are turning fields into temporary RV parks. In eastern Idaho, per-night prices for dry camping are running $150 to $200 per rig. In Madras, Ore., one 65-acre site will house as many as 3,000 RVers and tent campers for the event, charging a mere $550 fee for five nights. Included in most campgrounds are such amenities as porta-potties, and the availability of bottled water – for an additional charge.
Oh my - glad we've got our reservations at Casper, WY Fairgrounds! Thankful for Joe and Larry who were proactive in booking the fairgrounds and making lots of Bluebird owners aware of it!

I mentioned this to my brother and sister-in-law and they commented on the long-term negative impact on the fields of using them for these purposes. Hopefully the farmers will get enough income from this one-time event to make it worthwhile longterm for them.

I did a little checking to make sure that RV Travel wasn't peddling fake news and found these sites:  -- $350 for 4 nights, 90 acres -- $480 for 4 nights -- $550 for 4 nights

And...  Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Poison Ivy Prevention

During the winter, we received mail at niece Ginny and Josh's house that contained a Poison Ivy Preventative that Jimmy had read about in a farm magazine. A compounding pharmacy in Oklahoma was the source for the preventative (Jimmy suggested we drive by there at some point but I figured it was easier to get it mailed to us).

When I was a kid, I would get *awful* cases of poison ivy. The worst was actually in the winter when dad had cleared some brush and we then ran through the smoke playing - as I recall - during my brother's birthday celebration which would have been end of January. I got such an awful case, only on my face - my face was swollen and I remember mom had to come in the mornings with a warm damp washcloth to wipe my eyes as they would have glued shut overnight. I probably wasn't more than 12 years old but I still remember it! Another time, in the summer, I got a bad case on my legs because I rode my pony bareback with me wearing shorts - and of course the pony had been rolling in poison ivy at some point and had the oil on his fur.

I haven't gotten a rash from poison ivy in many years, but I fanatically avoid coming in contact with it. I have been surprised how many campgrounds, particularly public campgrounds (state and national parks), have a lot of it growing around between the campsites. I guess it is "natural" (like mosquitoes).
There were 3 vials in the package. The instructions indicated that you should take the solution from one vial and hold it in your mouth for 30 seconds and then swallow it. The dose should be repeated on the same day of the week for 3 consecutive weeks. The recommendation was to take it during the winter months when it is unlikely that you will be exposed to the poisonous plants, so that was what I did. Needless to say, I avoided running through smoke during the winter months!
Dwayne and I both took it several months ago... so far, we haven't gotten any rash from poison ivy, but we also have avoided contact. However, now that we are at the farm, it is always possible that we'll come in contact with the plant...
It's a pretty plant, right?

Just trying to avoid contact!

Information from the pharmacy in case anyone wants to get some for their own use.