Fowl Play?

We are in the midst of "hay-drying season."
The sky is as blue as can be,
and the air... warm and dry for once.

Our hayfield was cut on Sunday,

and baled yesterday.
That particular field used to feed our horses,
but not so much any more.
There was a day when a neighbor cut it,
and I fluffed it and raked it,
and then he baled it 2 to 3 days later when it was good and dry.
That neighbor quit farming, and there went the baling equipment.

A different neighbor leases our 2 hayfields (basically for free...
we ask for 10% of the hay to share with a different neighbor).
This particular farmer does not have the equipment to make 
square bales, and we do not have the muscles to deal
with round bales.

So, we still consider our recycling of manure to be full-circle...
it's just that now it's mostly cows that are eating the hay
from our fields.

Yesterday was a near-perfect day...
not a cloud in the sky, and not terribly hot.

The horses had spent the previous night in the pasture,
and returned to the barn in the morning quite tired.
(I like pasturing them at night time in the summer...
 the temperatures are cooler and the bugs are not an issue.)

Five zombie horses stood just like this,
without moving,
for a couple of hours.
(Napping under their fly masks)

You might remember that I mentioned that one of our five elder 
runner ducks has been hiding from the (over-amorous) others.
Although we found her, successfully, the first night,
she ran away again and has not been seen in two days now.

We are very sad... but hopeful that perhaps she might return.
Perhaps she is sitting on a nest?
Who knows.
Fingers crossed.
We have found no evidence of "fowl" play.

While out in the front pasture picking up manure, yesterday,

I heard the soft murmuring of a duck from across the street.

Hoping to find elder #5,
I climbed the fence and headed across the street to find...
these three knucklehead pond ducks 
on top of the hill walking through the woods.
I have no idea why they were on a walkabout.

Eventually they found their way down, crossed the street and
headed back to the pond.

It's weird duck behavior season, I fear.
Luckily, we have next-to-no traffic on our little road.

I was lucky to find a local farm selling homegrown strawberries.
I love homegrown strawberries... they beat store-bought hands down.
I have always been troubled, though, by the short shelf life.

It took 63 years for me to happen upon this tidbit:
(and once again I am so late to the party)
soak fresh strawberries in a vinegar/water solution to kill
any spores on the strawberries.

So, I filled a stainless steel bowl with cold water and dumped
a bit of white vinegar in it... soaked the berries for about 10 minutes...
rinsed... dried on a kitchen towel... placed in a bowl, covered and refrigerated.

I'll let you know if this made a significant difference.
It's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!

Unless of course the old dog is this one...
Sammie has no time for new tricks...
they would require way too much energy,
and he's conserving his!

Last, but not least... just a little bit of eye candy...

Fresh baked cookies!!
There's nothing better.

Happy Birthday, today, to my Mom!!
So sorry this one is so anti-climactic...
we'll double celebrate next year, for sure!


daisy g said…
Beautiful blue skies! Glad someone is having humidity-free days! Summer is upon us here in the Piedmont.

Those cookies look scrumptious! I will be making some oatmeal/pecan/chocolate chip cookies this week with absolutely no sugar in them. Love challenging myself with things like that.
Happy Birthday to your mom. She must be mighty proud of her girl.

Can you explain about the spores on the strawberries? Is the vinegar solution a way to make them last longer?

Have a stellar day!
There's nothing like the scent of freshly mown hay!
Unknown said…
I know you limit your plastics, but the Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers really do work. I find they are great for strawberries and love them for my broccoli too.
I do hope the runner duck shows back up! Lisa G in TN
This N That said…
I didn’t know you were growing hay anymore... Glad that this harvest did not get wet...Those cookies are tugging at my sweet tooth. I hope your duck is OK... If she is sitting on a nest I hope she is safe.... A mystery for sure. It is nesting season. Mallards are all over the place right now.Stay cool.. Have fun this week. Hugs��
Lynne said…
Reading you . . .
felt like summer.
Loved the blue sky feel . . .
Hope number five returns . . .
Happy Strawberry Eats . . .