Monday, August 30, 2010

GM crop escapes into the American wild

Transgenic canola found growing freely in North Dakota.

Natasha Gilbert

A genetically modified (GM) crop has been found thriving in the wild for the first time in the United States. Transgenic canola is growing freely in parts of North Dakota, researchers told the Ecological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, today.

The scientists behind the discovery say this highlights a lack of proper monitoring and control of GM crops in the United States.

US farmers have dramatically increased their use of GM crops since the plants were introduced in the early 1990s. Last year, nearly half the world's transgenic crops were grown in US soil — Brazil, the world's second heaviest user, grew just 16%. GM crops have broken free from cultivated land in several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan, but they have not previously been found in uncultivated land in the United States.

"The extent of the escape is unprecedented," says Cynthia Sagers, an ecologist at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, who led the research team that found the canola (Brassica napus, also known as rapeseed).

Click here for the full story.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fox skeleton

I think it was last year, a fox was trying to get our chickens in the middle of the day. Kelli had scared it off but, I took my 20 gauge shot gun out just in case it came back.

It did come back but, as I got close enough to pull off a shot at it, the varmint took off. By the time I reacted it had gotten a long way off, but I took a chance and pulled the trigger anyway. I saw the thing jump but, I figured I had only scared it. I hoped I had hit it but, it was along shot and scaring it was the best I figured for.

A number of days later, our daughter was out for a walk with one of the retrievers and they found the fox and it was indeed dead.

I went out and confirmed it to be the same fox I had shot at. Boy was I glad to have dispatched that varmint because it was going to do some damage to our birds if I had not. I prayed hard for that animal to be gone.

I never got around to removing the remains until just a few weeks ago and here are some pictures of it to illustrate my story.

My policy is if they don't bother me then I won't bother them. Hopefully with our new Livestock Guardian Dog I won't have to shoot many more varmints.

The new puppy is now 40 lbs. and growing fast.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are we tired of bear pictures yet?

These will probably be the last black bear pictures I post here in a while. The turkey remains are gone now and I don't plan on dumping any more out in the woods. The deer hunting season will begin in time and I don't want the bears hanging around and scaring away all the deer.

In the first picture above, I thought that it was a real nice head shot. Nice profile on this bear.

The next two pictures, I'm pretty sure are the same bear if you look at the close time frames.

Then these next two pictures look like a different bear, and they are taken much later in the day.

Look at the loose skin on the neck that hangs down. Seems like an older bear. And maybe a little heavier.

Tuesday is our CSA day. And this was today's harvest for 6 shares. We do full shares and half shares. This year we have 8 members.

We made a change in how we do half shares. In the past we found it was too hard to fill partial orders, so we decided to simply do a full share every other week. So now every one gets the same amount, it's just that some get it every week and other s get it bi-weekly. This helps us as we fill each share. Not near as confusing as it used to be with it now all being equal.

Our Kangal Dog puppy is growing like a weed.

She is now 13 weeks old. Keeping me very busy training her and taking care of her everyday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our first grapes

After more than 12 years of living here we finally have our own grapes! These here aren't quite ripe yet but, it won't be long.
Haven't got the grape vines trellised yet but, I hope to work on that this weekend Lord willing.

More bear pictures

On Tuesday I helped our neighbor butcher 8 turkeys, so we threw a fresh batch of remains out in the woods and got some more bear shots.

There were some pictures from 7 am this morning but, were not of good quality so I did not include them here.
I definitely look over my shoulder now when I check the camera!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's a BEAR!!!

I went out in the woods to check on the game camera and was surprised to see this big fella on the pics. Actually it's the only thing on the camera this time. Reckon he's higher up on the "food chain". It might be hard to judge it's size but, I know the area it is covering and it's a big'un. I have no idea whether it is a male or female just by looking at it. I'm leaning towards thinking it is a male because it seems masculine to me. Maybe someone out there would know by looking at the pictures what sex it really is.

I was surprised and not surprised all at the same time to see this black bear. I figured one would show up since we have many in this area. So every time I check the camera I wonder if one will show up. This time we hit the jack pot! There were 50 pictures in all. Guess it's more ham than it is bear! Ha, ha

Check out the size of this dudes paw!

In this picture you can see the width of it's head as it was taken from behind. I'm guessing the space between this black bears ears to be between 6" and 8" inches.

Just a side note. I thought it fitting to eat a piece of bear jerky while I did this post. It sure was good!

Until Next Time

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just came across this news story about food freedom

I just came across this news story about food freedom and I thought it was good so here is the first part of it. For the whole story click on the News With Views link below. I applaud the ladies efforts in standing up for freedom! I urge you to read the full story.

By Doreen HannesAugust 11, 2010

After more than five years of full time fighting and agitating for food freedom and the complete abandonment of NAIS or NAIS like things, I finally received a visit from compliance officers. What officers, you ask? They were Missouri Department of Agriculture Compliance Investigators, John Jordan and Joe Stropp.
They came past "No Trespassing” signs, had no paperwork to show me, ie. no written complaint. They were just 'investigating' a report that I was engaged in selling meat and poultry products. Well, even though I am not involved in selling meat, it is certainly something I am a strong advocate for, and I told them so. They said, "Do you know there are some exemptions you can apply for to sell poultry directly?"
Eeegads. I thought, “I don't want an 'exemption' because that grants you authority over me anyway.” but I didn't bother to get into that as I was a little cranky. To the agents, I said, “As you can see, we don’t have enough poultry to be selling to anyone.”

Game cam pics

After chicken butchering I usually dump the left over offal out in the deep woods far away from the homestead.
So I decided to put the game camera out there to see what we could see.

This turkey vulture showed up in the day time.

Then this coyote came out at night. The flash must have scared it because we never see it this clear again if at all.

Almost a half hour later this figure shows up. See the glowing eye, middle and to the right in the picture. You can almost see the body of it. Is it the coyote? I really can't tell. I call it the "mystery eye".
Unfortunately the batteries that power the flash died and we missed about 20 night time pictures of something or things, that came and fed all throughout the night.

But, for the most part this turkey vulture is the main clean up crew. I just put some fresh guts out there the other day. We have hundreds of pictures of this peculiar looking creature.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

At the lake

We took the puppy to the lake today. Read more about it at the new site.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Trials of life

Had some more good rain last night. It's funny that we have to adjust from draught gardening to wet weather gardening with conditions being quite different between the two. And I thought the weeds were bad before. This year they are growing by leaps and bounds. And of course with moisture comes bugs, bugs of every sort. Our radish bed down below got infected with some buggy thing that turned half of them to mush.

We've heard reports of tomato blight and potato blight sweeping lower portions of the state. We have some kind of something attacking the leaves on our Aspen trees and Tag Alders. With the moisture comes different molds as well. We've been hearing of people complaining about not being able to get good breath. I kind of feel that way myself this year. My lungs feel a little irritated.

I am very pleased however, that the grass is growing so well this summer. Plenty of grazing for the sheep, as well as for the chickens and turkeys out on pasture in movable pens.

The new puppy is keeping me very busy. I take her with me to do chores, with each time being a real life training session. Kelli calls her my "side kick". Arie will be 11 weeks old tomorrow, if I figured correctly. She was born on May 24th.

I'm having a blast with the new pup, seeing her little personality developing. She is already a fierce protector of her domain. I give her boiled chicken hearts and livers as treats and she absolutely loves them.

I keep saying, in regards to the puppy, "as if I didn't already have enough to do". But, this is something I've been wanting to do for some time now. And finally it is here, a person can somehow find ways to carve out time for things they really want to do.

The last few weeks has been something else. Kelli's mom passed away and to top off all that BOTH of my work trucks were down at the same time. Had to borrow my dad's pick up just to get the routes done. If it wasn't for my dad I'd have been in a pickle to say the least.

We have a little 6 yard compactor truck for doing garbage. After cycling the compactor for the millionth time it finally broke. And when it did it bent the hydraulic cylinder as well. We had the cylinder rebuilt shortly after we got it. It bent badly that time. I figure it was already tweaked when I got it and it gave out during just the right conditions. This time it wasn't bent badly and i might have been able to use it for a while but, as things go it would probably give out when it is well below zero outside. So, it was best to get it fixed now, when it is nice and warm out. And again for the other part that was broke my dad came to the rescue yet again. He is a very good welder and he was able to rebuild the broken compactor.

As a back up when the compactor truck is down I use a one ton pickup truck with a dump trailer and the pickup has a bad part in the transfer case. I had it fixed last year but, something about it came un-fixed again a few weeks ago. That happened just days before the compactor truck went down. I had hoped nothing would happen before I could get the one ton fixed but, my hoping was in vain. What I hoped wouldn't happen, happened. Oh well, it's always something. Nothing lasts forever. I always figure that the times when nothing is going wrong is just that, time between things going wrong. Nothing lasts forever. Without miraculous intervention from God , everything wears out. And I know from experience that some things will go and go, way beyond what is expected, these I count as miraculous interventions. It happens, I've seen it with my own eyes. But, for the normal course of things, under the "natural" laws, things decay, and they break down.

Can't get too attached to the things of this world. In regards to my mother in-law passing away I keep saying that there are way more dead people than there are alive people. Think about it! That's the truth. Think about all the people who came before us. There are way more of them than there are of us, us who are in the land of the living. However, in reality, life is forever, just depends on were we are going to spend eternity. In a good place or a bad place.

Until Next Time