Eggs from the barn after getting washed this morning
I bought a dozen eggs at the grocery store last week because I needed a lot for a couple recipes I was making and my girls just couldn't give me enough. Every single egg yolk had thick white stretchy things coming off either end. I've never come across this in an egg, so pronounced, so I've never thought much about it. I just cleaned them off the yolk and got rid of them. But curiosity got me. So I did some research and found out that it is this:
The Chalazae: As the egg goes down through the oviduct, it is continually rotating within the spiraling tube. This movement twists the structural fibers (called the chalazae), which form rope-like strands that anchor the yolk in the thick egg white. There are two chalazae anchoring each yolk, on opposite ends of the egg.
(photo from Enchantedlearning.com)
This is what the American egg board says:
Question: Please clarify what the white stringy stuff is inside of an egg when you crack it.
These strands are the chalazae which anchor the yolk in the center of the thick white. They are neither imperfections nor beginning embryos. The more prominent the chalazae, the fresher the egg. Chalazae do not interfere with the cooking or beating of the white and need not be removed, although some cooks like to strain them from stirred custard.
I found this extremely interesting. I get eggs fresh from the barn nearly every morning and never have I had such a pronounced chalazae. So I wonder why all of these eggs did.
I keep mentioning how the soft maples are turning red, and yesterday when we went out for the first time since Wednesday of last week, we were surprised how many had changed color. You can read a great little article on what happens when the trees turn color on the Science made simple website, here
Put simply: As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter.
Of course we know the days are getting shorter but sometimes one doesn't realize right away, just how quickly. We've noticed in the evening when we are outside working, the light leaves us quicker, and I have begun putting the animals in the barn earlier. They go away around 6:30 now, in the summer about 8 PM. In December they will be going in around 4 PM. The soft maples always change first. It's interesting to read about what the trees do to when preparing for winter, and during.
The changing of the seasons, every year, is fascinating.
Kevin was finishing up any work he had left with the bush hog (tractor implement) so we can take it off and put the log winch on. It's time for us to get started hauling in our winter wood.
Ferd is growing, and absolutely loves the dogs, especially Douglas, which is a huge... shock. But Ferd loves to play, so it makes sense he'd favor Douglas. Most of the rabbits prefer Norman because he just likes to be quiet and lie in bed with them. Ferd wants to chase, and, run, and, jump. A rabbit version of Doug the Pug. They had fun playing this afternoon while I was cleaning and cooking. I did manage some pictures of them playing together, an adorable sight....
I wanted to mention something else that I've been meaning to for a long time. It's about goats (gee what a surprise!) it's about fencing actually, but fencing and goats. I read and hear from people so often, goats will get out of anything. While it's mostly true that they can get out of most enclosures (if they want to) it's not true that a good fence will not hold a goat. When we adopted our first two goats in 2006, Bucket and Hilda, the people were getting rid of them because they could not keep them fenced in no matter what, so they locked them in a shed for months. Well, they had rail horse fence. Obviously not going to work. But people have used all kinds of fencing and even in some events, electric fence does not work.
Bucket and Hilda have never left our fences, nor has any of our goats (except for Sammy but that's because he currently fits between the gate and the gate post. But he never goes anywhere, just stands there eating grass next to the gate.) We use, and always have, red brand, no climb fence. Most of our fences are 47 inches high, but our barnyard fence is only 32 inches high. All of our pastures have one single strand of electric wire which is to keep the big animals off the fence. However over the half the year the electric fence is not even on. Doesn't need to be. Goats, as with most animals, just need proper fencing. It can be costly to do, but if you are planning on keep a goat or two, or twenty, it's worth the investment. They say "fences make good neighbours" meaning keeping your animals fenced and not running loose keeps good relations between you and your nearest neighbours. But good fences also makes for good goat guardianship.
This however is an impossible thing to stop with goats or sheep... or Llamas. If they can get their head through, they'll do it.
This fence also keeps our Great Pyrenees fenced. However they are not escape artists like some breeds and once they know home, they generally stay there. A Beagle on the other hand could somehow find a way out of a concrete pen I think from past experience.
This evening I went out for a quick drive, it's cool out and a lovely evening. For the second time this past week my old friend has showed himself in one of our bush fields. Torn Ear has come to say hello. As with every year when I see him for the first time, my heart stands still and I feel like everything around me disappears except his eyes locked onto mine.
We seem to have an unusal amount of Monarch butterflies this year. They always pass through, but there are just so many of them this year, it's wonderful, everywhere you walk in the fields there are butterflies landing. We have a ton of goldenrod this summer, way more than past years and I think this must be the reason for the increased number of butterflies, since thye are always around it. I'm allergic so I'm not pleased with the excess amounts of this weed, but I'll tolerate the sneezing in exchange for the butterflies.
While I was driving this guy decided to hitch a ride to another area with me:
We have not been feeling well for a few days, just a case of the blahs and upset tummies, so we had a simple meal of fresh homemade french bread and soup for dinner. This soup is perfect for cool evenings.
Carrot and Sweet potato soup.
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 1/2 pounds peeled and chopped carrots
1 apple (such as golden delicious)
6 cups vegetable stock or chicken
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
pinch of nutmeg
In a large pot, melt 2 tbs butter, over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in carrots, cook for 3 minutes. Peel, core, and chop one apple. Stir in the chopped apple, the broth, sweet potatoes, bay leaves, and nutmeg into carrot mixture. Cover and simmer for 20 -25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Discard bay leaves, cool soup slightly. Use your hand blender to blend the soup or transfer to blended. Blend until smooth. I added salt and pepper to taste when the soup was done.
Now it's time for bed, we've got an early morning again tomorrow and a very busy day ahead of us.