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Autumn Harvests

15 Oct

Jay bought a new bow this fall.  The first new bow in over 20 years.  On one of his first times out hunting with it, he shot a turkey.  He was hunting deer.For a week or so Jay has been watching the deer which come to feed on the neighbor’s oak mast in the evenings, figuring their routes, the wind, where to put a blind, etc.

When he put the blind up in a small spot of woods near the oaks, the deer changed their route.  You might change the way you came to table too if a small box appeared in a corner of your dining room.

So he put up a stand in a white pine higher on the trail they use.  Friday night the wind was right.  He left a walkie-talkie with me and went out. About 30 minutes before dusk he called to say he shot a fawn.B y the time I made it over there, he had also shot a buck.  Two deer on one hunt with bow!

When we walked up the trail the buck had taken and crested a rise, there were two deer in the distance- a buck and a doe.  Two much larger bucks appeared in the further distance.  We eventually retreated and Jay waited for full dark.  Henry came to help him look.

The first buck we had spied had started and turned while we were watching it; the guys eventually found it had startled at the carcass of the buck Jay had shot.

 

A nice 8 point buck which Jay and Daren have yet to decide whether it is a yearling or two year old.

Friday night was also the coldest night so far this fall.  It got down to the low 20’s F.  Sunday I picked these:  a large acorn, one of the few horse chestnuts from our tree, and in the middle one of the first (very small) persimmons from the tree Jay started from a whip.

 

I nibbled just a tad on the persimmon.  This morning, though, I ate most of it.  Then promptly ran to the bathroom to brush my tongue and mouth before I vomited.  The sites I read afterward are correct: unripe persimmon is like talcum powder on the tongue.  We will leave the rest until after frost.  Or put them in a bag with some apples as ethylene gas ripens them.

Stalking the Wild Antlered Beast

18 Dec

Hunting was not as productive this year.  Yet for the first time in his hunting career Jay sighted,  stalked, and shot this 7-pt yearling buck the Thursday afternoon before gun season ended in a fallow huckleberry field a tenth of a mile from our home.

Catch and Release

9 Oct

The forefinger largehairy caterpillar eating on the Milkweed fell off the plant I picked so it did not come home to be photographed.  It sure was not a monarch larva.  It was a caterpillar.

The red darning needle dragonfly was rattling under a piece of grass.  Freeing it, holding it in my hand, wondering if I should set it free or keep it for cards.  It was a spectacular  bright red.  It flew off just then and I was happy the decision was made for me.

The Black Swallowtaillarva went back out into the dill and promptly disappeared.  It overwinters as a pupa so perhaps it got ready for winter.

We found one Katydid still alive and kicking in the long grass verge on the side of the corn field.

Earl and Merle Squirrel have increased their range dramatically.  They now go over the lower roof to the west side of the house, they meet us at the door, and this afternoon Earl was on top of the freezer in the back room; I gave him a chestnut, got hold of him and he jumped onto the door and up over the roof.

Jay took Isabelle hunting Saturday and they came home with one goose.

 

And while we were cleaning up the garden, we thought maybe the answer to higher food prices is to feed out the turnips.  One of these would feed a family for a couple days.  Or even longer if no one likes turnips! Turnips as large as your head.


Sunday Breakfast Tale

2 Oct

Daren called this morning.  It rained off and on all night and into the morning.  Again.  But he was determined to go out turkey hunting so when he got up he glassed the alfalfa field across the road and saw a small flock of jakes grazing in the rain.

He got dressed and looked out the window just as he left to go downstairs.  The birds had crossed the road and were heading for the house.

He ran downstairs and got the gun ready, but before he got out the door, there they were, coming around the corner of the basement.  He fought with a door he does not usually use, eventually getting it open in time to shoot the last jak.

The turkeys had walked right in front of him, across the lawn, up the bank, and were entering the woods behind and beside the house.

We had buttermilk pancakes for breakfast.  I recommend them.   Honey cinnamon butter and hot maple syrup go well with them.  Nuke butter until soft but not melted, add honey and cinnamon until it tasted nice.  Put the syrup in a microwave-safe container before nuking.  Much easier than heating over the stove.

That is steam rising from them.  Hot off the griddle.

Buttermilk Pancakes

from my old Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, with changes, of course.  Pancake recipes make a batter that is too darn stiff and thick.  Adding more liquid results in nicer pancakes that cook better.  See above.

3/4 cup  each whole wheat and white flours

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 T. sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg

1 cup buttermilk

2 T. oil

extra water or milk–1/3+ cup

Mix dry ingredients together.  I use a whisk.  Add the wet ingredients and mix until blended.  Add extra moisture until the batter is moderately thick but will run.  Bake on a hot griddle.  Makes enough for three or four.  Doubles easily.

 

It is now almost 9PM.  It is raining.  Again.  It rained this afternoon, also.

Turkey and Quilts

1 Oct

Happy October First!  The Morning Glories were glorious indeed this morning.  There were more than 45 blooms.  Perhaps they sense their time is just about up?

Jay went turkey hunting this first morning of the season and returned with a nice hen he met on the edge of the cornfield.

Hawthorne was very excited by the arrival of the bird.

 

Ellie and I went to the perennial county quilt show.  There were about 10 Civil War era quilts on display there from the county history museum which were made in this county.  Here are two:

This was made by a member of the Treman family of Trumansburg.  Lots pf striped fabrics. 

Incredibly beautiful.  And below, a silk quilt, perhaps made by Quakers since it is backed with the same drab brown cotton they used to line their silk dresses.

The docent from the museum who shared a bit about these quilts said that the silk in this quilt came from Paris and was of higher quality than Victorian era silks and thus had not shattered.  I asked what the difference in the silks was.

It seems that silk from China was sold on a weight per pound basis and to make the fabric weigh more the element lead was added during processing.  It also gave the silk the nice weight and rustle when used in dresses. The lead, though, also caused the premature decay (shatter) of the silk itself.

French silk, on the other hand, contains no lead.  It also does not rustle.  It shsh’s.

Fish and Squirrels

8 Sep

Over six inches of rain have fallen here since Monday.  The county roads are all closed.  The girl’s second day of school cancelled.  But thanks to Jay’s efforts, our basement is drier than it would normally be after this much rain.  He spent a long time working on redirecting roof water into and onto eaves troughs pointing away from the house.

Monday during the downpour he went fishing and brought back: Two bass and a catfish.  We had them for supper last night and will have them again for lunch today.

Monday Angela came to visit.  We played games, napped, watched a documentary on origami and Angela served as comforter for Merle.

He took a long nap on her.

Yes, the squidgjums now have names: Merle for the larger and Earl for the smaller.  Other names I liked were vociferously shot down: Nic and Nac, Zig and Zag, Ric and Rac.   But Jay liked Earl and Merle Squirrel. And Isabelle conceded the point.  I, as little red hen, thought I should be able to name them what I wished.  You understand the allusion, do you not?

Last night Sue and Max came.  They are the ones who brought us Earl and Merle a a week ago Tuesday night.  They were pleased to see how well they were and how much they had grown.

Notice Earl’s nice new splint.  The fourth he has had.  This one is Tygon tubing held in place by duct tape.  The last one, also Tygon, was held by masking tape.  He removed it after two days.  Here he is basking in a typical squirrlkin pose.

It is not only children who get in one’s hair.  Squirrels do so in a more direct fashion:

I am busy feeding Earl.  Merle decided he needed to go hunting for milk and worked his way up through my hair.  And then back down.  Ow!

All the way to where there was actual food.

Both Merle and Earl are now grinding walnut pieces to very small bits in between milk feedings.  I am assuming some bits are being ingested.  Although there are a terrific number of  nut granules to shake out of their bedding.

12.5 hours and 333 miles

20 Aug

Those are the bald measurements of the day Isabelle and I spent going up to Uncle Harold’s memorial service.  In the process we stopped at the farm twice, stopped to take Aunt Janice with us and then deposit her back home, and went for a quick shop at Sephora at a large mall on the way home.  Oh, and ice cream cones for supper along the lake.

Uncle Harold was a large man who did a lot of things large.  He loved to fish and hunt.  He loved to eat.  He grew vast crops of fruit and vegetables.  He grew pigs to which he fed the rejected ice cream from the plant where he worked.  He grew mammoth sized turkeys.  Who ever heard of cooking a 42 pound turkey? Harold is the tall one in the center.

Harold is on the far right.  He helped people in the same manner in which he did all other things:  largely, joyously, generously.

Harold in the middle.  Jay on the left, Daren at right, and our first dog, Boomer licking his chops  over the large buck.

His last month was, as his daughter aptly put, “brutal”.  For him, for his wife, for those who loved him and watched him suffer.  He died on the day and at the time he usually met his best friend each week for breakfast and then a fishing outing.  This week it was his Savior.

Since we left in a rush early this morning I forwent making breakfast.  But here was yesterday’s: Uncle Harold would approve if meat had also been involved.

Before.  Yes.  It is orange.

Ready to eat.  The orange tomato was slightly sweeter than a regular red.

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