Virginia HawthornIn my last posting, I mentioned that Hurricane Norbert had bypassed us last month. Well, I spoke too soon about the relative rarity of Pacific-side hurricanes bringing moisture to our part of the country. The last remains of Hurricane Odile came sweeping our way in late September, bringing heavy rains throughout the Southwest and then proceeding onward through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and into the Midwest. Usually our local weather reporters are dancing and singing every time there is the slightest chance of rain, so it was a rare event to hear them apologizing for predicting more rain day after day. Rivers overflowed, streets and highways washed out, and crops in the southeastern part of New Mexico are rotting in the fields because it is too muddy to get harvesting equipment and crews out to them.

We had about a week of lovely drying-out weather after Odile finally traveled onward, but now Hurricane Simon, yet another Pacific storm, is lashing his tail and flooding things again. Our Monsoon Season officially ended on September 30, but evidently hurricanes pay no attention to the rules. It has been raining off and on since yesterday afternoon and thunder is rumbling and black clouds are gathering again as I write this post. Irrigation boots are the local fashion statement, and some folks joke about switching to rice as a cash crop.

And More Mud! 

Mud, Mud, Mud 

Muddy Shoes

Wet weather aside, it’s time to start introducing our farm animals, beginning with the chickens, our first and most numerous “livestock” so far. In the early spring of 2013, we acquired 24 Buff Orpington chicks, which rapidly outgrew their box in the sunroom, then their temporary home in the barn – a stock tank equipped with a warming lamp, clean straw, and everything a growing chick could want. We lost only one chick when she was just 3 days old; the rest grew up strong and healthy. Meanwhile, we completed their A-Frame coop, which was placed in the front pasture area of the farm where the hoop houses are scheduled to be built. Eventually. But for the time being, we installed a temporary solar-powered electric fence to keep the Buffies in and other critters out, and after a few months, our first beautiful brown egg appeared. Since the brood included only two roosters, we soon had a rather surprising number of eggs every day.

Our Buffies

10/30/2014 9:59:55 PM

Wow, I never new the extent of the drama with chickens. I was on the edge of my seat. Now I'm perched here just waiting to find out what happens next! And the terminology, geez, do you have a tech manual somewhere to keep it all straight? -Brian

10/27/2014 7:32:11 PM

Green eggs, ham & chile; what could be better? Oops, pigs were not on that list of critters. My bad! Maybe in the future. I love roast and fried chicken too :-)

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