Friday, August 29, 2008

Farm Life= Excitement! Part ONE

When you live on a farm, life is full of excitement no matter what time it is.

The following series contains a few stories. I'm not guaranteeing that you will be entertained by them. I am guaranteeing that this will be a long post. But, the stories were most definitely significant enough that I document them on this here blog.

A few nights ago, excitement peaked at about 11:30 pm. Jason and I were hanging out in the house. I was working on the website and he was sawing logs on the couch. We heard a cry of terror from one of our laying hens that was setting on a pile of eggs close by our house. I was annoyed at the sheer volume of her cry at such late hours of the night, but Farmer Jason knew something was wrong.

He took off out the front door and was gone for a bit. When he returned, he had major adrenaline pumping through his farmer veins. Folks, this is the stuff that farmers live for.

Apparently, a raccoon had wondered upon this hen setting on her eggs and decided that he wanted to feast upon them. Broody hens are fighters and bad-to-the-bone mamas. She wasn't about to go out like that!

During the scuffle, she had her eye popped out. Raccoons like to use the strategy of clawing their eyes out and tearing their heads off. Luckily Jason came out during phase one of his evil strategy.

Jason chased the raccoon off and right up a tree out in a pasture that OUR COWS WERE IN. When I came into the picture, Jason was coming back to the house to get his gun and wife (a.k.a. spot lighter).

We took off out to the pasture. Jason had his gun in hand and I had a poor excuse for a flashlight in mine. The search began for this raccoon who we were sure was going to pay for the missing eye of our broody hen. We looked for about 15 minutes in the top off an oak tree out in the pasture WHERE OUR COWS WERE AT (this is a significant detail).

I have a major phobia of walking in open fields in the dark night. I NEED to be able to see my toes at all times. But, I was trying to be a good farmer's wife and be tough.

Jason realized that we needed a bigger spotlight to see the raccoon in the tree (and not my toes) so he could get a good shot at him. Jason went off to the workshop with the buggy, while I stood in the pasture with my flashlight on the raccoon.

Meanwhile, the cows start getting a bit spooked. Cows are creatures of habit. They get freaked out if anything happens out of the norm- I think this is why Jason relates to them so well:). And we are normally in the pasture with our cows when we are moving them and its never in the middle of the night. Seeing us, means that they will be receiving new fresh green grass in another pasture.

This threw off their routine. The next hour is really a blur to me. It can be summarized in this order of events.

I heard a loud noise.

Then, I saw the cows running towards me through our garden and yard- a side of the fence that they should not be on.

Farmer Jason arrives with the spotlight and begins scratching his head. He does this when something simply cannot be explained.

I attempt to explain the unexplainable to him by simply stating that I was just standing there and here the cows now stand with me on another side of the fence.

Let me paint a picture for you. 60 cows in our front yard grazing in what was once our garden and pooping in our St. Augustine grass. This area is roughly 4 open acres. Imagine me standing in the midst of this with my pajamas on, Crocs on my feet, and holding a pathetic excuse for a flashlight.

But, in the midst of this, my farmer's wife instinct kicked in. I knew that I had to help Jason or the end result could be catastrophic. And we could possibly end up with absolutely no landscaping by the time the cows were finished rubbing up against every newly planted tree and eating every newly planted flower or shrub.

Rowdy (our blue heeler who is simply amazing) and I, worked the cows back into a small section while Jason put up temporary fencing around the cows. I say 'worked' but there were no horses involved here. Only my feet with Crocs on them and a blue heeler. I've always been afraid of cows charging at me. Some of them came within a few inches of my body, but I simply stood my ground and shouted,"Get, get. Get on cow. Get on." Sounds tough, doesn't it? You should have heard my accent that accompanied this phrase.

We finally got the cows fenced up. They ate everything in our garden down. Our asparagus was no more. The tomato plants vanished. The blackberry bushes became twigs. Good thing we were fed up the garden and ready to till it down and start over anyways! The cows did us a favor there.

I received these words from my husband. "Babe. You did awesome. I'm so proud of you." Wow! Talk about worth it! I felt like Anni Oakley in that very moment. Bring it on cows! Bring it on!

And the raccoon got off scot-free. He was probably laughing at us the entire time. Can you imagine this story from his perspective?

The hen is doing well. We had her in a crate for a few days so she could recover and rest. We are happy to report that we released her back with the others yesterday. But, she refused to set on what was left of her eggs and the eggs became Rowdy's treats. I hope she isn't traumatized forever.

I will leave you with this one image. It was my 'view' over breakfast and coffee this morning at 6:45 am. I will get to this story tomorrow for Part TWO of Farm Life= Excitement! Stay tuned!


QuiltedSimple said...

Oh how funny! And isn't farm life always interesting? Poor hen - hopefully she's ok now! danged racoons anyhow!

Anonymous said...

Yay! We farm wives rock! ;) And I see from your pic your little one was there during the processing. How does she do with it?

Anonymous said...

Life on a farm! We've had our ducks and guineas taken away by coons and opossums before too. And we had some laying ducks taken away by a great horned owl once.

Brandi said...

oh my goodness! i am very impressed. i'm guessing your girls were in bed during all of this?

mandi said...

sooo...what happened to the eye? was it just hanging there, or did it come completely out?

mimi said...

Get on cow, get on?
I love it!

Judy said... are my hero! Oh the stories you have! I'm so glad you are blogging them b/c later in life you will want to go back and read these!
Love you!

Anonymous said...

Isn't he and her amazing!

Js Dad

Amanda, Mandy, Manda, Tomato said...

What a great story! You had me laughing out loud. Can't wait for part 2.

shauna maness said...

hey lyns, this is totally random... but today, tonight, actually... i ate racoon for the first time- FOR REAL. on the pit. cooked like a cow... and it was good, really GOOD... seriously, you should let those little raccoons know that they can become bbq and i promise they will let your chickens alone!! that is when you know you are in the country... love you.

Jackie said...

Hi from Oregon! I came across your sight from clicking on some link through blogger and have been completely intrigued ever since. I linked to your photography sight and had to forward it to my photo loving friend. On top of that I love learning about your farm and what goes into a more natural way of living. What I love most of all is the fact that we have something in common - you love Jesus, your husband & kiddos too . . . and it shows.