Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Skin rashes and other fun summer ailments!

"Calamine lotion ain't got nothing on me-!"


As a kid growing up in Massachusetts I didn't know what poison ivy was. Not because our great Commonwealth doesn't have an abundance of it- but because I could roll in it and never get it. I never had any terribly blistered, agonizingly itchy skin. The kind of skin that itches SO bad that you look up and diagnose yourself with every skin disease there is on the internet kind of itch. The only time I ever had a terrible reaction which caused my skin to break out in hives was when I got bit by a spider when I was five. was it a radioactive spider you ask? I will never tell.

Anyways- upon moving down below the Mason Dixon four years ago, I started to receive allergies as if they were going out of style. In Mass I grew out of those allergies but here in MD I have them tenfold. Fall allergies, winter asthma, and now this- poison flippin ivy. I had a bout of it last year that lasted well into the winter and left me scarred.

This time:
I was playing in one of my weed gardens the other day being careful to annihilate anything and everything that didn't resemble a flower and I saw it. Red/green shiny leaves. I yanked the jerk out of the ground and chucked it. But alas- somehow I manage to (in the process) get it on my neck, wrist, back and shin (pictured above) 

Its agonizing.

 Partly because shaving that part of your leg is impossible and I have an strong aversion to leg hair. The other part being that not only does it itch, but it feels as though that part of my leg is being eaten from the inside out.

Cool part of the story- the itch on my neck has been scratched into looking like a vampire bite.






Lessons learned.

Next summer requires a biohazard suit when working outside.
Anti itch cream needs to be called into the docs alot sooner.
Vampire like looking bite marks on your neck are only noticed by yourself.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The queen-

video
Here she is! She came with some worker bee's in her little coop to feed her. what I did here was place her on the frames of the hive to see the reaction of the Buckfast bee's when they get her scent. It could go two ways. It could go the way of her death- meaning the bee's would "ball," her. Balling is a honey bee's  defense mechanism. what they do is clump together over the opposing item (whether it bee a foreign bee or a new queen) and beat their wings so fast as to heat up the item. Thus cooking it. My fear was they would do this to the queen- but as I sat and watched they instead cleaned their tongues, and immediately fed her. So it went "well."  Check out the background bee's- see any "vibrating? These gals are doing the bee dance to let the others know that there is something tasty at "insert gps location here." Yah- they are THAT right on. Certain movements mean a certain direction.

Any cracking noises you hear are my gloves getting stuck to the camera. Propolis up the wahzoo on my gloves.

If you at all like things, then you will like this.

video
I set the camera up at the bee' entrance. I think this is one of the coolest videos of them. You get to see from their porch their flight pattern. Any bee's that fly off to the the right of the screen are heading straight over our driveway to the field across the street. Any bee's flying low and to the left are going to the bird feeder for water. The bee's coming in with their legs splayed are carrying a load of nectar or water.

Comin in hot!

video
Here's m carni friends coming in heavy with pollen. Check out the pollen they carry on their "baskets." You'll see bright yellow- most likely pollen from clover and other like weeds.

Bee feedings

video
This lil gal decided to clean off my gloves when I was done working.

Bee Fight!!!!!!

video
While working in the hive today I saw a good ol barroom brawl going on. My guess is its related to turf wars. Another bee from another hive landed on the wrong side of he tracks.


Come on Eileen? No, No, its Irene...

Queen Irene arrives in the mail today.

Story goes like this.

Buckfast hive swarmed and then went back into the hive.
I spilt the hive to trick them into thinking they did in fact swarmed.
Hive swarmed anyways.
Queen cells in both hives hatched.
Queen left spilt never to return
Queen in original hive took off never to return
Both hives have female workers laying terribly.
Ordered a queen in mail
They only had Carniolan queens.
Ordered anyways.
Will requeen Buckfast hive today with a Carniolan queen
Could produce a "hot hive," that way- or an awesome hive?
If they don't accept her- will spilt my other hive (Carniolans) and give them a queen


This could be the worst or best thing I can do for the hives before winter. Tisaft will tell.

The poor bee's don't know what kind of disruption they are in for.


Isn't her name appropriate though:)?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ain't no Mamma hen in the den.


The latest on the golden gals:

Out of the three hives (or more like - two and a half hives) only one is doing EXACTLY what it should be doing.  This one here pictured above is the Carniolans (my middle hive) and their beautiful meeting outside on their porch last night.  I assume they congregated to discuss hurricane plans for Sunday and also to discuss how they wish the bee charmer who interrupts them regularly would interrupt them right now with more sugar syrup.

As far as the Buckfast hive ( the one that swarmed and the one I split) I was a little dissapointed when I opened them up. 

The week before I HAD seen a queen. One had emerged and was being followed by the worker bee's.  I know I saw it cause I sat and watched her unmistakable body move about the hive investigating. She was lovely looking. But upon opening the hive soon after- I saw no queen. and no good brood pattern.  I know the queen isn't in there because the eggs that have been laid have been laid multiple times in one cell.

You see what happens in a queenless hive is the female workers bees will begin to lay eggs. Since they are not a fertilized bee they lay unfertilized eggs, and not well either. I found about thirty eggs in one cell and then random eggs in other random cells.  If the queen was present you would see one egg per cell in. She lays a "good brood pattern,"meaning the eggs and cells are in groupings. Usually the middle of the frame underneath a rainbow pattern of pollen. I kid you not.

The same goes for the split portion of the hive (or the other half of them.) No queen and wacky egg patterns.

The bee's however look healthy and busy. Bringing in pollen and capping honey. Even building comb. 

So what do I do?

If this was a month ago I'd probably cry. But as my first year of beekeeping is coming to an end I find that mistakes made and natures way of telling us "you can't control me," I am more taking the punches as they come..... ( I mean I am from Mass- I should know about unwelcomed punches.)

Anyways- I cannot find a Buckfast queen anywhere these days. (Yah you order bee's online much like you order shoes off Amazon) However- I did find a Carniolan Queen and read that you can have a Buckfast Carniolan cross breed.....

I ordered- we will see what happens.

worst case scenario I will spilt the Carniolans and form them into two hive giving the spilt the new queen.

So what will happens to the queenless Buckfast if they do not except the new Majesty? 
They will die.
Its sad. But as well as their choice in the making. 

They could have all swarmed but half stayed feeling an importance to their hive. They raised a queen but she is no longer found. They can either except the one I ordered or not. We will see and hope for the best.

In the meantime, with the up and coming Hurricane Irene, I have to say I have been watching their beehavior.

Its interesting- they are very, very quiet.......and still.

They still amaze me and I am forever their fan.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How to feed a fox (and not insult him)

Cat food-

It was a great idea.
Full of protein and cheaper than chicken and steak.

Mix it with some wet cat food and volia! It'd be like Top Chef Animals. (anyone from Bravo reading?)



But no.

It didn't work.

It didn't work so much in fact that the cat food sat dormant on the steps for a solid three days.
At first I thought- hmmm Ash didn't show that night (the first night I put the cat concoction out)
Of course when I woke up the next morning and saw that it was untouched I went thru all the possibilities of why he didn't come. It was thunderstormy, it was a bit cool, it was a full moon. Anything except "he didn't like it?"

So the next night I left the cat food in the dish and put some hotdogs on top of it.

The next morning the hot dogs were gone, and the cat concoction untouched- still.

So last night, being Ash's med night I emptied the cat food out (next to the steps like a good farmer would- why waste the energy walking across the field to dump it in the woods?) and I put his favorable hotdogs in his dish with the cat food dumped on the side of the steps.

And this is what happened-

Not only did he come an eat his hotdogs, but he later came back and reclaimed his now aged cat concoction.

Lesson learned.

When feeding a Fox whose palate has been trained on warmed cooked chicken, grilled steak and 88 cent hotdogs, how dare I try and feed him mere cat food.

If attempting to feed a Fox the dish of cat concoction (wet and dried cat food mixed together) please allow it to age a matter of three non Fox days. Or in Fox time 4 and 1/2 weeks later.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the depths of the jowels....



Being a dog owner is one of the best jobs in the world. Its so good in fact that to say you "own a dog," is almost an insult.  I prefer to say that we have two dogs sharing a residence. Or better yet- we have two, four legged children. The latter being the more precise description of what our "ownership,"entails. (Or shall I say enstubs.)

Anyways- one of the fun things about chilling with dogs is finding out what they put in their mouth. Since our two, four legged children our boxers by race, this discovery happens pretty often for us. To top it off they have jowels. (Please see previous post about "Jowel Crop.")
When your dogs have jowels- the "search and rescue," mission of what is in their mouth can sometimes be a bit of a pursuit. It doesn't just meerly involve and "open the mouth and look down the gullet." Oh no- this involves "raising the jowels and rooting around till you find what they are storing in dem dere jowels," sort of action.

Upon doing so tonight with our youngest Indie, I found this- exhibit "a." My first reaction was - "Oh gross its a half eaten bug." But upon further investigation I was left dumbfounded. 
You see exhibit "a," looks like a piece of wood, has soft texture, and one side is covered with white wax. She found it in the kitchen with much guilt written across her face.

I wish I could say that I hae a suggestion as to what exhibit "a," is- but alas, I do not.
If there be any sleuths out there- please gum up your shoes an help a lass out.

Adjustments.



Life isn't always black and white...sometimes there is a little gray.

Or red.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicken Ball Park


The RedCoat is coming!

Great! Linda! Lutra Lutra - you got some dry paper?

Its been a bit since I last caught up, but quite literally I haven't sat down until now.
And I do have a blister the size of Texas on my foot.

So what has been happening? Well let me list.

New chicken yard
Bee's actually swarmed
Tree fell in the yard
I'm in love with a fox

Welp- looks like its nothing really new!
But wait- before you leave this page and go play farm/fishville or upload pics of yourself using instagr, let me try at least once......or thrice to keep your attention.

I thank thee if you have made it this far.

So lets take it from the top in order of first appearance.

The chickens:

It was pretty brutal watching the original nine chickens haze the new eleven chickens when we got them two weeks ago.  It wasn't that they were drawing blood (thank God) or ripping feathers out, but it was heartbreaking none the less. It was as if they were the dorky kids trying to break into the super cool high school cheerleading squad. They would make them pay before they earned a makeover.

The new gals are still young. Although they "look," like chickens they are still pullets and make sweet peep noises. They would stay up on the roost and rather starve themselves instead of growing a set and facing the music of the floor below, where the original nine and food and water was. But since they ARE hens I guess they wouldn't be able to grow a set any ways.

SO in comes my husband Huck:)

What he did is get some chicken fencing (not wire) and create a huge yard that goes around the entire back of the coop. He wove twine over the top of it to block out hawk and other flying predators. All I have to do is open the door and let the gals out. Let me tell you- what a change in attitude amougst the whole flock. The original nine are as happy as can be and the Roving Gang of Betties (as a whole) has grown more confident by the day. They do hang out together- but when it comes to feeding they now butt their way into the flock and get their share. Its really cool watching how the pecking order does change and how the popular gals hearts has softened.  Is the new yard ground predator proof? No. But it offers more protection than the our open backyard does. Our girls are still open range cruelty free and never caged. If you buy "free range, organic and cage free eggs," I urge you to look up what that REALLY means. You are not doing anything better by buying them. In fact you'd be doing better by kicking a chicken until an egg pops out of her. Buy local. See where your eggs come from. Come see how our chickens are cared for.... you'll see and taste the difference.

Ok soap box step down.

Next in order of appearance:

The bee's.

So yah- they swarmed.
*Que the doom and gloom music! *lightning and  thunder strikes! *Meteors fall *Earthquakes erupt!

ok....not really
Once again this was a God given surreal moment of my life. If your not into the poetics then I urge you at this point to play your farm/fishville....but if you upload pics of yourself using instagr, then I assume you will keep on reading....

I watched at 11:30 as the bee's quietly poured out of the hive.  It was Tuesday and the weather was hot and muggy. I had just come home from running errands and the Buckfast were at it again.

I didn't panic. Partly because I have seen them do it three time previously, and partly because I was expecting it.
I watched as they lazily came out and collected in a different tree. This time the bee's didn't make much noise and he swarm themselves seemed a whole lot less frantic. I saw quiet buzzing around the clump of them as they settled into their temporary spot, and watched as bee's still went in and out of the hive. I knew that not all of the hive had left, but I was unsure if that would remain the case.

I ran down the street to my beekeeping equip supplier. (Pretty cool that there is one 3 miles down the street!) and i grabbed some equip. My game plan was to set up a swarm trap, meaning I put a hive box in the middle of the yard on top of some trashcans and dowse it in lemon juice. Bee's like lemons cause they smell like a queen. If I had any chance of getting them into the box I was praying for it.

They stayed there for an entire day. It rained, actually poured, and the winds blew like crazy- but they remained. The next morning they were still there as still as ever, with bee's still going in and out of the hive.

When David woke u that morning we watched them for a bit before he got ready for work. The bee's resilance and determination was something to admire, and I feel like a clump of bee's hanging out in your tree is not something to just "pass by." Its cool. Plain and simple. When will you see stuff like that? A car passing by on your street is something you can get used to- but a horse drawn carriage would be something you would stop and watch right? Exactly.

So as David got ready for work I gave one last look at the clump of bee's and started doing some dishes in the kitchen. I had full view of the bee's and as I did the dishes I did something I often do- I prayed for them.
I am a Christian girl and do not take lightly to the "God gave dominion over the animals," part of the Bible (clearly) so praying for animals, and bee's is something I often do- "All creatures of our God and King," right? :)
So in the ten minutes (count them- ten) I asked God that "no matter where the bee's end up may they do well. May they stay strong, healthy, and tolerant. May they be safe." When I was done (with both the dishes and praying- ten minutes mind you) I looked out the window.

They were gone.

Not a bee in sight.

I screamed to David (yup I did) and we ran outside expecting to see the swarm in flight and at least hear them and see where they flew to....

But there wasn't a bee in sight.

Its as if it never even happened. Its as if i dreamed the swarm up in the first place. Its as if they never existed. Not a noise. Not and odd be out flying. Nothing.

I smiled.

As I prayed for these sweet, strong gals- they left.

I hope this doesn't get too "in your face with faith," but I can't help but help having m heart warmed knowing that as God heard my prayers for these little gifts- He lifted their wings and had them take flight.

Now some of you might not have any faith and might be thinking that while I prayed for the bee's they took off was mearly a coincidence- but I have to tell you the word "coincidence," does not ever appear in the Bible

Thank you God.

Next order:
A tree fell in the yard.


Well yes- it did.

But we have alot of them and it should be expected.

Thats it.

End of that story.

Next order:
Fell in love with a fox.

I have to say that our little Ash is looking mighty fine. Better and better and he is getting braver and braver.
His time patterns have been a little off lately but we have been getting rain at night. Even so, he has been taking his meds and looks like he is gaining some weight! His coat on his body is getting a rich red and his boots are getting blacker. His tail looks healthy, and still has some filling out to do, but I am confident the meds are doing something good to him. Last night he was jumping for his food, and he now has no fear to run up onto the porch to eat out of his dish.

Side story- The other morning we went fishing with some friends. As we were packing the car at 4:30 am, Ash was running around us watching. He ran in between our friends with not too much skiddishness, and I am pretty sure that if we had hotdogs in the car and he knew we were going fishing he would have jumped in with us.  I'd bet he would be good at fishing too.

That little red coat makes my heart red<3

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hmm.


so much depends upon
a red wheel barrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.
I was 18, just out of high school and in college for my English Lit major. (yah- I went and got two degrees?! Who wouldva thunk?)
In class after the professor read this poem, as we read along with it, I thought to myself. "This is terribly stupid."   
I was into reading Victorian literature (what a girl) and I snobbily looked down on most forms of poetry, unless of course it was Billy Shakes and his oh so loving sonnets...
look- I was young.
But back to the story-
As I thought to myself that this was simply the dumbest poem in history something occured that didn't quite happen that often- I started paying attention.
The professor at the time broke this poem down word by word, and little by little my heart lightened and my mind opened. This "stupid," poem now was the center of my thinking, and eventually the one poem that I always resort back to in my mind.  Anytime I wanted to impress someone with my knowledge of someone else's pen- I talked about this poem particularly.
You see I have this "thing," about me. When I really enjoy something whether it be a chocolate bar, a rock, dancing, or this poem- I want other people to get the same enjoyment out of it as well. Its almost like I want to tell them all about it to see the estatic reaction that I assume they would have. And when I don't get that reaction out of someone its almost as if I want to force them to like it. Sometimes this entails beating someone into submission with a sneaker but that doesn't happen that often. (kidding.......really.)
Example:
I always danced. Since I was a four year old I have been on the dance floor. I grew up in dance shoes and I loved every second of it. Later when I was in college I took some ballroom lessons and I was hooked. I begged the owner of the studio to let me work there even if it meant just sweeping floors and he gave me a chance. I later went on to compete in the New England circuit for seven years placing first in swing, and smooth. By teaching the thing that I loved most at the time, helped me to get other people to love it as well. When you have a deep passion for a subject and pass that passion on to someone else it gives you such a high. 
But that passion got taken away from me from a serious car wreck. I could drawl on about that but I'd rather not bore you to tears, and it was a good thing. I would not be who I am, or where I am if it wasn't from that "beautiful collision." Anyone catch my drift on that phrase? If not I encourage you to look it up<3
Anyways, the reason why I am posting this poem is for you to enjoy its simplistic meaning. And also because I now (after eleven years) I enjoy the signifigance of this poem on a daily basis. 
So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow (red= color of life and heart and love. wheel barrow= work, toil and earth. Notice that wheel and barrow are seperate? Don't reinvent the wheel, its perfect the way it is:) )
Glazed with rain water (Glazed meaning its cold representing the seasons. Rain and water= weather and the importance of water for life. Life being the red wheelbarrow. Back to Red=life, love, heart and wheelbarrow = dirt, clay, earth)
beside the white chicken (white= new, pure, as snow. Clean. Chicken= food provided in form of flesh, and the egg=ing birth and newity. Feed on the flesh it is provided for you. The chicken is dependent on what comes out of the red wheelbarrow and the water that will quench its thirst.)
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your lifeSince you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?    “Consider how the lillies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.     “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

"My friends call me "Whiskers," cause I'm curious like a cat..."


Here's our lil shorty......ok, ok, bad attempt at sounding cool and unique.
Here's our little buddy boy (much better)
Coming in, early again, to eat his fill!

This night was de-wormer spiked chicken that apparently tasted great. The little bugger grabbed as much chicken as he could in his mouth and would take it off the porch to eat it. When he was done with his fill, he came back for more. As I sat there handing him pieces of chicken he would tuck them into the back of his mouth and wait for the next. When the chicken was just about falling out and he could stuff no more, he ran and ate them. Only to promptly return for more.  A behavior I hadn't seen in him before.

Side note; I was on the phone with my StepMom when he came trotting over. I was just getting done talking about how he comes at the same time every night when "trot, trot, trot," up he comes. When I asked her what time it was she told me- "9:55."
Our little boy is appreciative of tea time being on time.

Side story;

Last night was the first night in awhile that we weren't gonna be home around ten p.m. (Should I be admitting that?) Any ways, I left some canned cat food out in his dish and we put it on the steps. It began pouring- his food got soaked and by the time we got home we could see that the wet cat food became to wet to eat. Especially now for such a proper fox.  So - we drained it the best we could and let it be. (I secretly went to bed thinking that the only reason why Ash didn't show is that he had a previous dinner arrangement that he felt would be rude to cancel on) (hey- it helped me to sleep)
So our beautiful sister came home at 1 a.m. and she told us she saw Ash. When we got the story from her this morning I was much warmed.....
It appears that he was in the driveway- sitting when she pulled in. When she got out of her car he came trotting up to her. He then followed her all the way to the back steps where his dish was. She sat. And so did he. He waited for her to give him some food and when she drew her hand over to his dish (which was right next to them full of the wet, wet cat food, he ate.

So cool.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Subtitles should be read.

Bad news first-

I'm miffed for lack of a better term.

Not mad, not angry but just eh-

at the bee's.

Now see I went in there tonight and upset them a great deal. I moved stuff around. Opened the first brood box and took out frames. And its August. Wrong time to do it- but it needed to be done.

The bee's give me a roller coaster of emotions. For the past three days they have been coming in HEAVY with pollen! Hooray! Thats a sure sign that babies are being born-  I was elated. All THREE HIVES were bringing in pollen.

So tonight I go in to feed them with high hopes that I will see a gazillion babies.... And as I get down to the main brood box- nothing. Shcotamoe. I saw some swarm cells (queen babies) so I left them.  Second guessing my every move. And ever so reluctant.

Moving onto the Carniolans (second hive) the first one was so peeved at me that I could hardly do a thing. And it was getting dark. Boo hiss I went into the house and called my Mom.....

Telling her the story and telling her how dissapointed I was and feeling like  failure in bee charming, she lifted up my spirits- she told me in only a way a Mother can, "Lauren, Let Mother Nature do what it does."

sigh*

I feel better.

On a brighter note: The new chickens have "been installed." Meaning, we waited until it was dark and then put the "Roving Gang of Betties, (as a whole)," into the hive, er I mean coop. We put a bunch of them on the roost where they did what any sweet young chicken would do- they cuddle up to the two bullies, and David Ortiz who doesn't like to be touched. That was def a run on sentence but I'm too lazy to fix it and too honest to let you know, that I really don't know how.

Anyways- they are cute but David made a really good point. "The Roving Gang od Betties, (as a whole)," need subtitles. The four Golden ones are aptly named; Blanche, Sophia, Dorothy, and Rose. The seven darker ones will be named; The Unity. Because they are dark and united.

On another brighter note- Ash came up to the porch as I wrote this. 9:55 pm. He was five minutes early tonight.  He ate his three hotdogs tonight and looked into the door and hung out on the porch all by himself.


I don't know if I'll ever get used to having a fox for company.

The New Betties have Arrived!



These gals will now be known as "The Roving Gang of Betties! (as a whole)"

You know, you really are... fantastic.



"Basically, there's three grabbers, three taggers, five twig runners, and a player at Whackbat. Center tagger lights a pine cone and chucks it over the basket and the whack-batter tries to hit the cedar stick off the cross rock. Then the twig runners dash back and forth until the pine cone burns out and the umpire calls hotbox. Finally, you count up however many score-downs it adds up to and divide that by nine."

"Got it."

Ash came by for his first round of treatments. The Ivermectin will wipe out any worm, parasite or lice that the little bugger might have on or in him.  This here makes me feel good.

I have been learning alot about foxes in the past couple days. Alot of reading and videos make me fall in love with the speicies even more. If you know my husband and I well you will know that our favorite movie (which we watch weekly) is Fantastic Mr. Fox.

We saw it in theaters, on a whim, when it first came out.  We had no idea what the movie was about but when it was over we wanted to stay in the theater and watch it again.  It embraces our sense of humor and look on life situations.  Mr Fox, has and always will remind me of my husband.......There has been times where I thought he was mimicking the character Mr. Fox- but only to realize he wasn't.

So, to have a little fox show up on our doorstep and not leave, just feels all to right.  (I encourage you to watch the movie to see how Ash got his name:) )

One thing that I had found interesting about our little boy was that when he approached us he seemed to let the air out of his lungs.  He wasn't wheezing persay, but almost like a push of air out of his mouth.  He would do this as he climbed up the stairs and then as he grabbed his food. Come to find out this is a sort of greeting- here's a video to back it up and show what he was doing: (not actually our fox-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__aX9OQDMYo

I'm hoping that his trend continues as he grows more comfortable with us. I assure you that our intention is to not disrupt his wild animal life- but to instead give him a fighting chance.  In the way I see it - he found us- and came back each night. We provide food for him, and it is up to him if he wants it or not.  He provides us sweet company. He is a young kit, and I am sure that his familia was killed outside our driveway a month before he appeared. In all the terrible things we do to mother nature I see this as a form of debt being repaid. The more I learn the more I love and the more I love this animal the more I see the Beauty of God, and His creations.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Its a triple header."

"All creatures of our God and King."

<3

Chicken- check
Cat food for when we are not here- check
hotdogs- check
lime (sp) to kill an mite eggs who fall off onto the ground- check
Ivermectin- check
Hand sanitizer-  check
Calendar marking the dates of proclaimed treatments- check

Operation: "Fix Ash," is on like Donkey Kong.

"What's with the cape? Why the pants tucked into the tube socks?"

So as I have previously posted - we now have a "pet," fox.

It started one month ago today. We were having our weekly prayer group meeting at our house. The guys were outside sitting in the yard while us ladies were chatting it up in the house. Around 9 David comes into the house saying "there is a fox hanging around."

It seems as if he fearlessly come trotting up and stumbled upon David and his friend sitting in the yard. Knowing that foxes "like," chickens David got up and started yelling at it to scare it off- he ran but came right back. By the time the us girls came out side, this little fox was hanging around near our porch and looking oh so cute. I had grabbed some hotdogs so David started feeding him.

This little guy came around ten each night. Not a night went by that he wasn't there. Whether we were outside or just coming home around that time, he would be there. Each night whether we saw him or not I left out a chunk of meat or a hotdog, and by morning it would be gone. (Please see previous post about the chickens too) He was beautiful- big bushy tail, big ears, big red eyes, big white teeth, and I had melted.

He took to David first. Coming up to him and just being wary of me. Throwing him food he got closer and closer until last Thursday- he ate a chunk of steak out of David's hand (previous post) Since this last Thursday he has eaten out of our hands each night, and has started to lose his fear of us. My parents are here this week and as we sit on the porch at night, he comes trotting up and patiently waits as one of us goes inside to get his handout on the steps. Last night was his big breakthrough- he sat on the porch and waiting for each piece of meat instead of running off after he took a chunk. He just stayed there.....

Now last night we could really see that his big bushy tail was barely there- and that his black book were scabby and not too good looking. Looking it up we found out that he has mange and this could be devastating to his health.  A fox left untreated could be dead in four months. As I have mentioned before- God gave me a soft heart for soft things, and as this little guy comes around my Fantastic Mr. Fox ( David) has grown a soft heart for him too. I am an avid animal lover, and have cared for wild animals before. I am not going into this without any lack of knowledge, or understanding of wild animals.

Today we are heading to Tractor Supply ( the coolest place ) to get some treatments for him. It will be an injection that we can inject into his food and treat him over the course of six weeks.

The more he comes into my mind the more I look up about these animals and more I learn the more I love.  I know that it is not suggested to feed wild animals, and domesticate them, but we are looking to be kind to one of God's beautiful creatures that obviously needs a little love. My game plan is to not have the fox living in our house by any means ( and I feel that I need to say that to anyone who might be reading this from that Peta, Sarah McLachlan company who will pull a nutty) But our objective is to remain friendly with a creature who has been remaining friendly with us.  Its nice company at ten each night to see his big red eyes look at us and quietly chomping on what he's trusting us to give him. For anyone who knows us- Fantastic Mr. Fox is our favorite movie. If you haven't seen it I highly suggest you do, but bring your weird sense of humor with you. So having a little fox in our company, is pretty cool.....

More to follow ( of course) and as always ask away any question:)