Tag Archive: wildlife

Recently, several of our chickens have gone missing.
We are now down to four hens and one young chicken.
They are free range critters and only go into the coop at night or to lay eggs in the nest boxes. Not long ago, Hubby found a large black snake in the coop. It is no longer there.
Over the last couple of weeks, the outside dogs have been raising a ruckus at night, and a few times I have heard snarling noises around the place.
Yesterday, after the loss of two more of the young chickens we were out checking the game camera and there for us to see was a bobcat. May or may not be the decimater of chickens, but the evidence surly points that way.
In a court of law, I am pretty sure said bobcat would be convicted on circumstantial evidence.
We’ve had the live trap set for a few days, maybe we will catch the culprit, without losing any more chickens.

We went camping on the Mississippi River last week with family. Tents, no electricity, no running water.
“Real” camping, well sort of, I admit, we had portable sanitary facilities and propane stoves for cooking.
The stars were so bright along the river that you could see well without the lantern or flashlights. The campfire made a welcome glow late in the evening.
Night cries of owls, coyotes and herons complimented the quiet hours.
A fine added touch was watching a recreated paddle boat travel past one afternoon.

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so

Yes, it was a grand trip, and it makes us really appreciate hot showers when we get home.

Baby bluebirds
>blufbird 016 fledgling 2</a

Plenty of work for Dad to bring home enough groceries

jay in the peach tree 025 Mr. Blue brings food

New Tenants

The bluebirds are arriving

The bluebirds are arriving

Today, I noted the arrival of the first eastern bluebirds to Sunrise Ridge this year.
Early on, I could hear the male calling to inform others that he was staking his territory as he f9litted through the bare branches outside the window.
A bit later, Hubby and I were outside and we caught sight of a prospective new tenant checking the nest box on the pine tree.
We will be watching to see what happens.
For more information about bluebirds, please click on the link:


It was not quite like the Ray Stevens song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K16fG1sDagU but it did bring this to mind in quite a unique way.
On a bright Sunday morning, it is not unusual to walk into church and be greeted with a variety of scents. People are dressed up, and aftershave, perfume and lotions have been applied.
Yesterday however, at our little rural church parishoners were greeted with something completely different and sinus opening. The church basement had been visited this week by a skunk, and this little black and white vandal had left its mark! The odor permeated the small building!
Febreeze and open windows on a chilly February morning got us through the morning service, without a hitch. In fact, we had a great and moving service.
Pastor has determined the unwelcome guest was no longer in the basement and the hole it had used to access the space has been closed.
At least we all hope so!

pups, cardinal 005a
Looking out my kitchen window I was treated to this posing cardinal.
The dirty window and the screen kind of detracted from picture quality, but I still wanted to share it.

I would like to state that yes, there was a surprise this morning, new beagle pups were born here on Sunrise Ridge, however, the cold rain that developed shortly after I descoverd this wonder and Mama Rosie’s bad temper at being disturbed has not allowed pictures of that particular ‘surprise’.
So I went through my photo files and came up with another lovely ‘surprise’ from one of the walks Hubby and I took out beyond the barn into the woods.
on the ridge today 006a
Finding this little guy hiding in the brush while its mother was away was indeed a nice surprise.

Recently a young man and his mother asked Hubby if he would take him on his first deer hunt. Hubby has worked with him, teaching proper shooting and hunting techniques off and on over the summer and readily agreed. The boy has shown his skills and been out with us rabbit hunting a time or two.

He is big enough, and excited about this rite of passage in our rural society.

The first weekend of Youth Rifle Season begins tomorrow here in Missouri. It is followed by regular gun season, muzzle loader season and another weekend youth hunt.

They have been busy, up on the hill where I killed a big buck a couple of years ago. Scouting trips have been taken, there is plenty of ‘deer sign’.  Antler rubs, scrapes and tracks abound in the area.

The blind is up, most of the needed items are in it, waiting for the hunters arrival before daylight in the morning.

Pretty much all that is missing is the cooperation of a deer. That part is in the hands of God, I hope he knows how much it will help out in the life of our young man and feeding his family this winter.

October is on the wane. Most of the garden is done, in fact has been tilled and planted to turnips.

Since we finally have had some nice ground soaking rains, those are doing quite well. The tops are now big enough to cut for greens and soon there will be turnips to eat. Hubby plants them every fall, we share them with the deer.

Those deer have already been into the food plot patch and sampled some.

Here in the kitchen, a plate of cushaw seeds are drying as well as a couple of pods of okra. Those were exceptionally good and the seed will be planted in hopes of another crop.

The pretty green striped cushaw and its twin were given to me by a friend. We like them and will try growing our own next year.

Funny, we keep talking about scaling back the garden, but it seems to grow and grow as we add new things. I have no complaints about that. Growing our own, we know what is in it and what has been used on it. It gives us retirees something to do, and if there is more than we need something to share.


It’s a chilly damp day here in my slow land of country living.

It’s fall and orange abounds!  Out in the gardens, Pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash.

In the woods, bright-colored leaves on sassafras, maple and many berries ripen for birds and wildlife. Lots of little orange rose hips this year. They make good jelly, but it has been a rough year, I will leave them for God and the animals to take care of.

In my kitchen a box of sweet potatoes, gift from Hubby, some squash from a friend, some nice tart cooking apples and a pumpkin have raised a  clamor for attention. They await inspiration and energy to become lasting products in the pantry and freezer. Some, like caterpillars into a cocoon are already on the way to becoming ‘something else’.

Last night a friend asked about ways to use yams. Did you know that a yam is NOT a sweet potato? But here we consider them such and use them in the same ways.

I suggested fried,  mashed, and the way Hubby likes them, cut in small pieces, baked with butter and maple syrup.

I have to be honest, if a recipe calls for pumpkin and I don’t have any, I substitute winter squash, or sweet potatoes. Sometimes I have to adjust the spices or liquid, but it seems to work.

THis is a handy recipe for Pumpkin bread: This recipe makes 2 9X5 loaves. 3 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, 4 eggs, 2 cups pumpkin (or your choice of substitute) 2/3 cups water, 3 1/2 cups flour, pinch salt, 1/2 rsp each baking powder, cloves, nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 tsp baking soda. Mix all together until smooth and pour int greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, test as for cake.

Of course, you can use cooked squash or sweet potato instead of pumpkin and add in nuts or raisins if you want, In fact, another friend mentioned adding bananas.  I can see that I have some experimenting to do here in the Sunrise Ridge kitchen this winter.

I wonder if you could substitute sweet potatoes for carrots in a carrot cake? I may have to try that too.

If you don’t hear from me, I’ll be in the kitchen. Cooking, tasting and testing ideas.




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