Banana (I know, not very original) is one of our five Kakarikis... mostly the others are all named after places in Alaska, Kodiak, Kobuk... and then there is Banana. He is the only yellow Kak we have, and he is the son of Knik and Kobuk. He is very friendly and takes treats from you, but he's also the yappiest. While Kiwi actually talks, Banana just gets "Kaking" and often just goes nuts all by himself. He was having one of his fits the other afternoon, mostly it's when he's excited, and not five minutes later Norman came into the kitchen looking like this....
If he was a cat I would have really been alarmed!
I apologize for my lack of posting the past few days... between a lot of running around off the farm and my sinuses acting up, I've been getting behind in a few things. It's amazing to me that my allergies to dust and hay are bothering me right now because usually I only deal with them mostly in March and April.
We got a good amount of snow Thursday night... we were coming back from the city in a storm, the visibility wasn't great, and it just got worse as we got closer to home. By the time we unloaded all our groceries and feed, and I finished barn chores in the blowing cold snow, it stopped. But it left behind enough snow to warrant a good plow and a bit of shoveling the next day. I had a load of hay coming this morning, so yesterday Kevin plowed the barnyard so the truck could get in and not get stuck. The animals also appreciate the plowed areas so they don't have to walk in the snow. Well, the goats anyway, they hate getting their hooves in the snow.
Otherwise things have been calm here, just the normal rhythms and routines for this time of year. My last red hen, Gladys, whom some of you will remember seeing on the blog, passed away a few nights ago. I was sad to see her go, she was a great friend to me even after she had stopped laying from old age. I am left with the remaining white rocks and two white layers. Normally I'd be looking for chicks in the spring, but since we'll be traveling to our place in Tok this summer, I'll wait until Fall to get some year old Rhode Island Red's from the same farm Gladys came from...
The animals have been keeping warm, and also enjoying their usual lazy afternoons, which recently have been full of sunshine for them. They've enjoyed soaking up the sun... who doesn't?
The Prairie dogs favorite pass time is lying on their backs in the sunshine... it's difficult to get a picture because they always think I must have treats and they better get up and come check... they love being out on the porch in the summer, half in the sun, half in the shade, soaking up the heat.
Lying in the sun is also a favorite pass time of the ever elusive, long tongued Chihuahua.
I've had to take some time out with my head bothering me, and the dogs seem to think we should do this all the time, just lie around on the couch and do nothing.
On Wednesday, I went out to check my trail cameras. I wasn't sure the ATV would make it through the snow but I figured I'd give it a try anyway. On the way, I found a fresh critter trail... I couldn't figure out for sure if it was a porcupine who left the trail or a fisher, so I thought I'd follow it and find out.
I followed the trail into the bush a ways and it went to this tree, which had some pieces of bark at the base of it, and then past it to another tree behind it...
By that point, I knew it was a porcupine. He also peed all over the trail, but I didn't take a picture of that. He's been working on about five different trees in the area. I followed the trail for a ways hoping to find his house tree, but it led across a low pond and through a bunch of juniper bushes, which is where I left it. If I get out on a sunny day, I'm sure I'll find him in one of the trees he's been eating.
There wasn't much activity on the trail cameras... some deer, some ravens, but nothing else recently. There were coyote tracks by one of the cameras but the camera did not trigger. I think it would just be best to move the cameras to the house, since twice now in the past few days we've had coyotes at the house. While I was doing evening chores, Kevin spotted one on our pond, which the deer were watching closely, and the other night one was in the driveway by my goat yard gate, tormenting my dogs, screeching and screaming.
On the way back from my furthest trail camera, I got the ATV stuck. The snow was like sugar, and the mule couldn't get a hold of anything, so I couldn't make it up the hill. We just winched the machine up, so it was no big deal, but of course, it's always the furthest away from home that you get stuck! I can't imagine how we'd get along without a winch on that thing.
Our deer friends have been run by coyotes lately, but all have been accounted for and so far, everyone is still here, including our orphaned fawn, Buttons. This strange buck that has showed up a couple of times, has been hanging around for the past week consistently. We have no idea who he is- he doesn't look any of the bucks we've documented around here before, and he's comparable in size to our big buck, Torn Ear... he's not a young buck, although it's hard to say how big his antlers were never having seen him with them.... He'd already shed them when he showed up the first time. He's afraid of the house and the things that go on here, but yet he still hangs around.
Deer Norman and our spike buck, both have their antlers still. I hope we'll be able to find Deer Norman's when he sheds them, but who knows where he'll leave them. We have a couple of pairs of his antlers from past years. Something had his attention tonight, they've been very alert with the coyotes hanging around.
It was cold tonight, but really pretty outside... it looks like tomorrow will be another sunny day.
The wild turkeys were roosting by the house again, they've been doing this for a while now. You can see them from the living room of the house. It's really funny to look out and see them sitting up in the trees, going to sleep for the evening.
I'm looking forward to working outside tomorrow and also spending a full day on the farm without having to leave to do running around, that's going to be wonderful. I think the dogs will appreciate it too because they are getting tired of us having to leave.
For now, I'm off to taste this banana pudding. I didn't have any homemade cinnamon graham crackers handy for this quick dessert, but I did have honey graham cracks shaped like bunnies... so they did the trick! It takes about 5 minutes to make a quick custard, milk, an egg, a little cornstarch and sugar, and slice up a couple of bananas to toss in there with a little cocoa powder... five minutes of work, a dirty pot and bowl, and you have a a quick dessert to tame your sweet tooth - if it's hurting you :)