Tracks and trees
This past week has been a very busy one. We spent all day Wednesday in New York State at the VA hospital and then we did a months worth of grocery shopping, so you can imagine how much stuff that was. We've been hauling in people and animal food to stock up over Christmas.
Tuesday Kevin cleaned the chimney again since it was really needed. We clean it about 4 or so times a year usually.
It's been getting cold here, -20 Celsius was the coldest so far, which is about -4 Fahrenheit
It's suppose to go down to -30 C this week. Tonight it's blowing ice pellets and storming, we are suppose to get a big storm this weekend.
We went out Tuesday afternoon to scout for a Christmas tree. The one I had been eyeing up earlier turned out to be too small when measured, so we'll save him for another year. We only had a couple hours before dark so we checked the closer spots first.
In an area we call our nursery we found one possible tree, and we found another tree in another spot. The second tree we have considered taking in past years but it's a perfect tree. Too perfect to take, we feel guilty about it. So we decided we would wait and check another spot that is more difficult to get to.
I did drag through the bush a small tree which we cut to let some of the larger trees have more room since they were way too crowded. I dragged the tree out almost to the mule, that's when I finally wore out and with the mule in sight, Kevin dragged it the rest of the way and loaded it. It was dark when I finished putting the animals in the barn for the night and went to my gate to bring the tree into the barn for the night. Wrambler, my Haflinger promptly ripped one of the branches off as I was carrying it through the barnyard. I told him he's going to get put on Santa's naughty list if he goes around doing things like that!
Yesterday I went out after the fresh snow to check on the tracks. I found out that a coyote walked right up to our bedroom window the night before. I was surprised he was that gutsy.
These are beaver tracks:
and here is his trail down to his pond
This was a mouse, notice the tail trail...
I followed the coyote tracks all over the farm. He walked for miles in both directions looking for food. We even found trees that small animals live in that he checked. He was hungry.
all those tracks going up our trail are coyote, nothing else walked there.
It's possible they were wolf tracks, we found definate wolf tracks in another area we hiked. Wolf tracks are about the size of my Great Pyrenees tracks, Coyote is a bit smaller. Fox is close to Chihuahua size tracks!
Today we went out to go across the creek to check our other Christmas tree area. On the way out, by one of our apple trees we can see from our bedroom window, Deer Norman was lying there staring at us. He didn't get up, he never does.
We hiked in the long way to this certain spot so we could see what kind of tracks were back there. We found lots of Porcupine sign, which is normal, this is a huge porcupine area.
We also found a ton of Fisher tracks.
and lots of deer beds
It was about 3:00 PM when we got to our spot and started looking at trees. There are lots of trees there but we can't take one too big because that's wasteful, and one too small isn't worth it. When you see the right tree, you just know it.
Just as we were heading home and Kevin had started walking out of the area, I found the tree. I didn't even have to look twice, I just knew right then, that was it.
So Kevin came back and cut it down. It's a 14 foot tree.
Yes, 14 feet. We always go big. Or should I say, I always go big. One of the things Kevin has to put up with, dragging giant 14 foot Balsam's out of the bush for Christmas for me.
We got it to the edge of the creek and had to leave it. It was almost 4 PM, and dark and the storm had started moving in so we left it there for the night. Tomorrow we'll take the tractor out. We can only get so close because of juniper bushes and rock, but we can pull the winch out and use ropes to get it across the porcupine creek and to this side, so we can drag it up and tow it home.
One the way home we checked a few other spots for tracks and found more wolf tracks, lots of deer, and a couple big buck trails.
The marshes looked pretty and sleepy.
Torn Ear has been here, he comes and goes. His eye is healing slowly. He never stays very long lately. He is 8-9 years old now. His drop tine was beautiful earlier this year but it got broken during the fight that damaged his eye this fall.
Tomorrow we'll go out and bring home our Christmas tree. Tonight we are staying warm by the fire, the animals are all tucked in, and all is right with the world. Even with the pooch patrol, Norman and Douglas.