Sunday, April 27, 2014
We have thunderstorms rolling through this afternoon. With any luck, that's all it will be. Unfortunately, this region has a long history of April tornadoes. It wouldn't surprise me to see a few of those blow up. They usually tear up the counties to the Southwest of us. I can remember driving through two adjacent counties a few years back and seeing great views where there had been none before, because the forest had been uprooted.
In some places, where there had been little groups of houses, there were only flat cement foundations with pipes sticking up out of them. In general, we have been lucky here, only one tornado has touched down in our county in five years, and that was up by the North Carolina border.
I have new chicks running around outside. Four black chicks and two yellow ones, all with the same hen. My dogs are good at finding the nests and eating the eggs, so this hen must have done an outstanding job of camouflage with her nest. We have big clay pots on the porch, and the hens like to lay in those. My old labrador makes the rounds checking the pots several times a day. When she gets an egg, she carries it off and just keeps it for awhile. finally she cracks the egg very gently and eats the contents. Good for her, and good for me because I already have more chickens than I need. The roosters kill each other wholesale in spring, so too many roosters isn't a problem. I should cull the hens, but my wife and daughter forbid the shooting of the "chickies" so that's out.
It's also the time of new kittens. The mother of this batch won't keep them in a box. She moves them to the porch. So I put an old robe down for them and walled it in with diesel jugs. Doesn't look very homey but I find they have a higher survival rate if you comply with what the Queen wants. Otherwise she tries to carry them off and they die.
I'm very grateful that Spring is finally here. This last winter nearly finished me off. The leaves are all back on the trees now, the meadow is full of blue flowers and green grass. At this point the climate is perfect, I don't have to run the heater or the air. In a few more weeks, I'll be running the air conditioning in the house, the shop, and the apartment full tilt all day and night The main culprit is humidity. The humidity here will hit 90% on a normal day, and you have to keep the enclosed spaces dry and cool. Not just for the humans and ferrets, but to prevent mold and mildew.
This is the time of year when gold panning is best, because it's comfortable by the streams. I'll probably do some panning this week, near the house.
Last year my son came down for a visit and we did some panning way back out there. It would be nice if he could make it down again but I don't know what the status of his vacation time is at work.
This time last year I was spending a lot of time walking around the lake for exercise. I think I might start doing that again. It's only about a ten minute drive if I cut through the forest on an old forest service road. That's an early morning activity, you have to do it before it gets hot. But it's a nice start to a day.