Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Finding Solutions

I am happy to report that all is calm in the world of roosters.

Milton, Milroy, Millard, George, and Statler and Waldorf spend the day
together out and about.

While Milford is quite happy around the barn.

There was a question in yesterday's comments asking why Milford had to move to the barn.
My understanding of chickens is that they are very social animals.

And much like humans, chickens can be quite bigoted...
ostracizing a member of their flock for no apparent reason.
This is precisely what happened to Milford.
Perhaps he was perceived as weak... 
and a weak chicken makes the rest of the flock more susceptible to predators.
For whatever reason, he was the low man on the totem pole and subject to 
physical abuse.
Hence, the rescue and move to the barn.

On another note, we recently became aware that our hemlock trees have been struck
by the wooly adelgid.

This microscopic bug was accidentally introduced into North America from Asia...
yet another price we pay for intercontinental travel and commerce.
The fluffy white substances at the base of the hemlock needles are egg sacs.

Sadly, scientists predict that this bug will almost completely wipe out the 
hemlock forests within the next ten years.
Solutions for the wooly adelgid, at this point, lie in the use of pesticides.
There is also some research into finding another insect species that will destroy the adelgid.
Somehow it always seems that solutions become a sort of Pandora's box in the end.

At least half of our 100 Acre Wood is populated by hemlocks.
If you look down the road, here, our woods are to the left of the road.

Further down the road, you can see all of the hemlocks.

We've made a plan to begin harvesting the infected hemlocks,
a little at a time, so that the young deciduous trees can begin to take over the forest.

Harvesting the trees while the wood is still alive gives us the opportunity to sell the wood, rather than wait until the trees die...at which point the wood becomes useless.
Hopefully, over the next ten years we can encourage another species of tree to take hold
and repopulate our woods.

Life on the farm is never as simple as just taking care of the gardens
or the animals.

Both plants and animals present us with problems for which we must find solutions...
making farming somewhat of a biology experiment!


  1. oh no! i have lots of hemlocks here. especially in the front of my house but along my borders too. am i going to lose them?

  2. Interesting. We have some Hemlock trees, one very large in the front yard. I will have to look them over!

    Happy Milford has found some respite from being picked on and is enjoying his "new digs!".

  3. I'm sorry your trees have been invaded. We took down 5 trees yesterday that were 50'+. Just so sad. So we too are looking for appropriate replacements.

    I want to thank you for your blog. I would guess there are days it is challenging to complete it, but it is always the first on my agenda in the morning. You are inspiring.


  4. So sorry to hear about the hemlock trees- they are some of my favorites.
    Also, we had to "dispatch" one of our hens last night. She was being ruthlessly pecked by the others. We tried to keep her separated from them for awhile, but they were never going to accept her again. So sad...

  5. So sad to hear about the hemlocks. My row of 100 yr old trees are gone. Yes, bugs!! It was only 6 trees but I sure do miss them, I feel naked! Two had already died and were in danger of snapping in a good wind, so down they came. I had to wait two years to replace on the advice of the tree doctor. It's now time so I'm in the process of figuring out what I want.

    Enjoyed my mini vacation but so good to be home and back to my favorite morning blog and a good cup of coffee, Hugs!!

  6. So sorry about your Hemlocks..They are pretty trees..I was thinking about planting a small variety out front..Probably won't do that now..Glad Milford is happy now..Have a good day..It's cooling down a bit..still frizzy hair humid !!

  7. Oh how devastating, the loss of another species of tree. International travel has certainly changed our world in many many ways.

  8. we have the same problem here in Ct and we can just watch as our trees are very tall, you have my sympathy as it is heart braking to see this happening.

    Annie v.

  9. Our hemlocks don't look happy either.. I'm going out now to see if they have the same issues yours do. I hate losing trees :-(

    And, your minis are a healthier weight than mine.. who tend toward FATNESS. Can you tell me what measures you take to keep them at a healthy weight? Mine only get literally a handful of pelleted grain in the am and they split a flake of hay am and pm. A little grazing, but not alot because of their fatness.

  10. So sorry to hear about your Hemlock trees. We have had to cut down three trees in our yard over 20 years. One cracked in half, another died and another was leaning over the house and we were afraid it would become a part of the house come hurricane season. We are always sad when we have to cut down a tree. We have planted three Japanese maples but they are young and don't bring the same shade as the others did. I do love my trees!


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