Friday, August 30, 2019

Annie & O.J. The Farm Report 08-30-2019

Annie & O.J.
The Farm Report 08-30-2019

Here's a quick update on the farm news for this Labor Day Weekend:

'Paper shredder? We don't need no stinking paper shredder, Tim. You've got me now! I can do all that shredding for you. It will be my pleasure.'
Fortunately, this document was in the waste basket and was headed for the shredder anyway.

'For that matter, you don't need no compost shredder either! I'm a working farm dog, and I can do compost shredding, too.'
I just love to tease her about her little beady eyes. With them, she's no poker player. You know what mood she's in just by looking at her eyes - and ears.

'Gotta be somethin' good in there,' she says.

There are books about how to stop dogs from digging. Me? I just put her to work at it.

Digging dog - Happy dog

Ever since Annie Oakley showed up at the farm, about 6 weeks ago, O.J. has been out on strike. During the super hot last weeks of July, he disappeared. I feared it might be 'for good.' O.J. is about 17 now, and he had been showing his age. But alas, there were still lives to be lived in that cat. He has returned, and he is not at all intimidated by this new barkie thing that boings around all day. Not intimidated even one little dropper full.

The 'maters are puttin' out. That's a good thing for me.

Whole canned tomatoes make the very best chili and goulash. Joyce and I canned hundreds and hundreds of jars from the garden over our summers together. You miss the little things the most, kids. If you'll look deep into the picture you'll see somebody having breakfast, and somebody else trying to pick a fight.

The roses in Joyce's Rose Garden have been producing, too.

I have discovered the wonders of drip irrigation and a simple little timer that keeps it regular. Add some fertilizer to the rain barrel that supplies the water and we've got roses!

I've also discovered the beauty of perennial hibiscus. I have two of these sitting on the front porch. I have them in wicking pots so they stay moist and I don't have to remember to water them all the time.

I let the chickens 'free range' in the afternoons. The Jerk III leads his hens down from the coop.

Annie instinctively herds and shepherds the flock around whenever they are out and about. It is amazing. She keeps her distance, but tries to control them all the time. She is 'pushy' but shows no interest in actually catching them or chasing them. How do they know?

But the story continues: She held her 'down' position for a long time. It is hard to see, but The Jerk III kept making direct eye contact. In animal-speak, that is a direct challenge.

It was like Annie was telling me, 'I don't know how much longer I can put up with him.'

Then TJIII began coming closer. Another direct challenge - to a Texas Heeler/Shepherd pup!

The last pic I have to show you is this one. It was like, 'On your mark, Get set, Charge!' I'll have to just tell you the rest of the story. When Annie let go, she just bounced like 'Pogo-Dog.' She wasn't on the run, but she was after TJIII. They disappeared going around the corner of the chicken coop. Then, there was a flutter and flapping event. THEN, Annie came back around the same corner only this time she was RUNNING! and TJIII was hot on HER tail. He caught her and literally rolled her on the ground. Then he wouldn't quit. He pushed her all the way back into the bushes at the left of this picture. They now seem to have a deeper mutual respect for each other. It was like a cartoon show!

This might look like sewer drain pipe to you, but to me? This is going to be my new hydroponic strawberry patch. Stay tuned.

I went out into the remains of the '019 garden to show you the Michigan State Carrot project. This is what we found. For you city kids reading this, field mice are thick as fleas in ... the field. O.J. thinks it is the edge of the desert bar here. He was minding his own business, politely waiting for his 'serving.'

Annie noodled him into moving right over to the Michigan State Carrot patch. Using oats as a nurse crop to help get the carrots started works like a charm. Try it next year!

Annie can't stand someone who won't play with her.

O.J. don't play....

You'll need to really zoom this picture up to get the full effect, but the expression on O.J.'s face is like, 'Just how much more of her crap do I have to put up with before I lower the boom - AGAIN!' ?

My peach harvest: 2 edible peaches. This is Hale Haven. Juice dripping off your chin from a fresh ripe summer peach is unbeatable.

Annie's collection moved to the spare bedroom. At least she got them all in pairs.

And the pullets are beginning to lay! Hooooray! Obviously, all is well at Oakdale Farm.


  1. What wonderful entertainment you have there! I've always said watching animals interact or play is WAY better than TV or movies!

  2. Ain't that the truth! An hour teaching a pet a new trick is so much more fun than watching fony news shows and their blathering heads. I feel sorry for folks that don't have animals around them to help keep touch with reality - and the creator of us all.

  3. Looks to me like Annie was 'ratting'; is the breed known for that? My Tomato bottling will be zero this year, we haven't even enough for a daily salad. Disaster. Luckily I still have a dozen or so jars from last year.

  4. I think if she actually dug out a rat she would just try to herd it. She is very curious, and high energy. She 'pinches' with her teeth, but doesn't clamp down and bite hard. My aunt had Jack Russel terriers. Now that is a ratter breed if ever there was one! My tomato crop is way under par too.


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