Beavers, dams, deer, and arrowroot cookies

Douglas and Norman

It's at Zero degrees today, Celsius, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Right at freezing, but the sun is shining and it's quite lovely outside. The boys decided to try out their new parkas though and make sure they are warm and comfortable.

Norman was to the Veterinarian yesterday to check up on his recent health troubles. The lump has decreased to half the size it was, so clearly it was an infection caused by some of the yucky anal gland fluid. So he's going to be on antibiotics for 12 more days to make sure we kill whatever infection is there for good. He's doing great, feeling 100% better, and so am I now that I know it's not a tumor, I don't want to go through that again, especially not twice in the same year.

water coming out of the break in the dam

Kevin is still fighting the Beavers who are really doing damage to our main road, there was water running across it in three places yesterday. But today he got a good hole in two of the dams so we could lower the water level, at least a little bit.

To be honest, I don't know about Kevin, but I'm ready for it to start freezing. I don't want bad weather, but this warmer weather this time of year to me, is a pain. The beavers are just flooding everything, and all the bugs on the farm that went to sleep have been starting to wake up. The ticks are out in full form so every time me or the dogs go out we are bothered by them. That's one thing I love about this time of year, no bugs, and NO ticks! But so far we are still dealing with them. There were even flies awake in my barn yesterday. It's much nicer today with the air a little crisper.

Kevin standing on the dam

A lot of people who have beavers that have huge ponds next to their roads and are starting to clog up their culverts, and flood their roads to make their ponds larger, just kill the beavers, or trap them, if they have their own license or they let someone else who has a trapping license trap on their property. Because we try our very best to co exist with the wildlife on our farm, we don't kill the beavers if we can help it. Kevin spends hours out there, busting holes in the dams so that we can lower the water level. The beavers will build it back up, but as long as the water level is maintainable, it's fine. Most people would find this crazy. But no one said we were sane!

the beaver house is behind the feed pile... they've really been stocking up for winter

If a coyote was after my sheep or goats, yes, we'd shoot it. We've had to kill predators in the past that have been killing our livestock. However, it's a last resort, and unless something wild here is doing harm or trying to, we are not going to kill it. That's just our policy.

The other side of the big pond, where the beaver dam is... looking across at a place we call "the pines" for obvious reasons!

One of our bucks, Deer Norman, who has been coming here for going on 5 years now, showed up last night. He was standing by the chicken coop eating grass. His one side is bothering him, he kept chewing at it and shaking. He looks in good condition, and he appears to still be in rut since his neck is still swollen. He stuck around for a few minutes eating grass by the coop and then wandered off. I'm glad to see he's still here. Torn Ear has not been seen since before hunting season when we noticed his eye was gouged out. I remember almost 6 winters ago now when we  would see 5-7 bucks in the winter, all different ones. We are lucky to see one buck around now between the extended seasons and the high wolf population. But we've got some nice fawns this year so it's good to see healthy animals in the forest, especially since we saw so many wolf kills last winter.

Of course, nature has it's balance, and that's important.

I checked our trail camera today in it's new position... so far just a picture of two does. I replaced the chip and I'm going to give it two more days and then move it.

On my way home I spotted our big eyed doe and her two fawns in the maples, hanging out in the sunshine. She's one of our regular does who lives in this area but this is the first year we've known for sure she had fawns, and she's got two!

One of the big eyed does fawns

The big eyed doe

Something in my gut told me to take a walk out to the big butternut tree. From there you can look out across a big pond to the cedar swamp. I almost didn't go, but then I decided it was such a nice day a short walk would be good.

I got to the butternut tree and took a picture looking out across the pond.

I could see something across the pond, on the edge of the cedar swamp, you can see it in the big shot, if you look close.

I zoomed in as far as I could go. It was a doe standing on the edge of the water drinking! What a great surprise. I was so excited to see her and to get pictures of her just going about her business.

I picked up some arrowroot flour while we were in town yesterday so this afternoon I decided to try and make some arrowroot cookies. They turned out sooo good! I was in love with these cookies and had some with a hot cup of tea. These cookies are great for tea but also for an upset tummy. And they are easy to make.

The big test was how the man with the tractor felt about them. He ate almost every single one before dinner!

I got this recipe from

Arrowroot cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
Stir remaining ingredients together and add. Mix well.
Roll 1/8 inch thick on floured surface. Cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds. Prick with fork. Grease baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow a bit more baking time if rolled thicker.

I made my first batch in squares, and the second I just made round cookies which saved time. They taste the same either way, it just depends on how you want them to look. You could use a fluted pastry cutter to get the look of the arrowroot cookies you can buy in the store.

I'm off to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate before bed. We've got an early start tomorrow.

I got this tiramisu hot chocolate the other day....

It's really good. Coffee, chocolate, cookies, whipped cream... how can you go wrong with that?

Oh! I almost forgot to show you my new bell I mentioned my friend Gracey (in Vancouver) sent me. We hung it up on the barn the other day :)


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