Wednesday, May 12, 2010

meet the neighbors

コゲラ (ko-gera) Japanese Pygmy woodpecker

キセキレイ (ki-sekirei) Grey Wagtail

シジュカラ (shiju-kara) Great Tit

The girls discovered a new swimming hole just downstream from the house. It's only waist-deep to me but if I dam off the end with stones it'll fill up nicely. Not to worry, one good storm and the dam'll be washed away.

My first try at broccoli was delicious and trouble-free due to the cool weather I suspect.

Alas, aspargus season has just ended, but we got about 20 monsters like the spears below and double that of smaller ones. They were tender down to the bottom. Rarely did we have them cooked, right out of the garden raw was best.

The ducks are all enclosed with fencing and seperated. The hens have been laying an egg every other day. Usually they lay in the early AM in the nesting boxes, but occaisionally they are found outstide the coop.

I've found that covering the area around the coop with weeds,clover and vetch cut from the neighbors field acts like a free range for them. Insects live in the weeds and the ducks hunt and poke around while nibbling the clove and vetch. I'll change the weeds every week or so (no shortage of weeds around here). The ducks are also free ranging the side yard when we are home and can keep an eye out. Next year I hope to fence the side yard from the woods. But even that is no guarantee of safety.

Also, looks like I'll be getting a chance to use the field again. My neighbor surprised me with an offer to use it in exchange for cutting the weeds. I had not planned on this at all, but can't really say no. Now it is all soggy from the overflow coming from the irrigation ditch supplying water to the lower paddies. It needs a good 5 days of sun to dry out and then he can run the tractor over it once or twice, then I can take over with my rototiller. Maybe too late for potatoes, damn. But the warm weather staples should be ok.

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