Cow Pasture Virtual Reality

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Good fences make good neighbors . . . .

A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal “Startups Give Livestock Fencing a Jolt – April 8, 2018″ seemed far-fetched, amusing and downright silly.  One of the latest technology start-ups is devoted to high-tech collars for cattle, sheep, goats and other livestock to round-up and relocate the animals using electric shocks and audio signals to direct movement.  The goal appears to be to eliminate fencing, which in the U.S. “cost $300 million last year,” and to give more control of pastures and animals.  Now what could be wrong with that?

Imagine–a virtual fence that the bossies won’t cross because they have been conditioned by electric signals not to.  Only critical requirements are a large supply of solar-powered collars (only $155 per collar for each cow, sheep, goat, or whatever,)  and an internet or mobile phone connection.  The companies producing the collars claim shifting a herd can be as easy as drawing a line on a smart phone app.  Really?  I can see the protests coming from People for the Ethical Treatment of animals or PETA (known in some parts as People Eating Tasty Animals!)

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Mama and baby boy . . . .

What is to happen to the cowboys and cowgirls, herders, dogs and even helicopters that are currently employed to gather herds of livestock for branding, pasture relocation and shipping in the fall?  I can see it now.  Mother cows standing in a virtual corral as their bawling, howling babies are thrown to the ground, vaccinated, castrated, branded and turned loose crying pitifully for their mamas.  Same scene come weaning time.  Anyone who has spent time with a mother cow separated from her baby will understand what I am getting at.  Virtual fencing around the bull pasture?  Are they kidding?

My technical know-how simply doesn’t stretch far enough to understand how the annual migration to the Big Horn Mountains will play out.  The stock trail is fenced with real barbed wire for a good reason.  I challenge some computer geek to keep everybody in line to prevent commingling with other herds long the route.  That should take some app!

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Don’t mess with me! . . . .

I am reminded of my dad’s colorful description of our cattle drive to summer pasture when a couple of guys on motorcycles chose an inopportune time to plow through our herd, scattering cows in ten directions.  The air turned blue with invective as the day was spent rounding up spooked cows.  I doubt very much if a smart phone app would have been much help.

Dad usually managed the drive each year with the help of a lead cow who was his prize assistant (the term “bell cow” must have come from this tradition) and the 60+mile journey up the mountain and back down usually came off without a hitch.  I think placing our faith in a smart old lead cow will have a better return than putting electric collars on everyone and expecting some farmer or rancher with five thumbs on each hand to sort it all out.

Home On The Range

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Homestead at Nine Mile – home in foreground was Ernest and Clara Ullery’s built in 1921

Samuel Ullery and his son Ernest filed on homesteads in an area known as Nine Mile in 1921, receiving patent and the seal of the General Land Office authorized by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.  Samuel had “proved up” on 480 acres and Ernest on 320 acres.  The home pictured above was built from logs hauled from the Mayoworth sawmill.  It consisted of two large rooms with a full porch that extended the length of the house on the east. This photograph was taken of the west side.  Unusual in early-day construction in the area, the exterior of the logs were covered with cedar shingles on all sides.  The Ullery family compound included this house, as well as the home of Samuel and Clara, and later on, the home of newlyweds Jim and Nella Ullery.

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Bird hunting . . .

The group standing in front of the porch appear to be holding recently killed birds.  I don’t know who the members of this party are, or what kind of birds they are holding.  My grandmother raised a huge flock of chickens and turkeys, so perhaps this was a sale transaction with neighbors.  Note the cold frame resting against the foundation where she likely grew some lettuce or other vegetables during the colder months.

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Gone but not forgotten . . . .

Until recently, this is what remained of Ernie and Clara’s homestead house.  Ernie had it relocated from Nine Mile in the late 1950’s to ranch headquarters on Dry Creek.  And there it has been, still resting on temporary supports, all these years.  A microburst windstorm tore the roof off four years ago, which shot down any plans I might have had for restoration.  The porch had collapsed many years ago and hangs on the side of the house.  But still . . . .

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Planed logs nearing 100 years old . . . .

The chinking is falling out but the logs look like they could be reclaimed, if I could figure out how to dismantle them and reuse them.  The only ones with serious rot are along the top of the structure.  We decided to start cleaning up the site last month on a couple of nice days (rare in March).

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Peeling away the porch . . . .

The boards are tough and tenacious – we finally had to hook up a rope and pull the remaining porch structure down.  It didn’t help that a currant bush loaded with spiky thorns was standing in the way!

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Salvage pile . . . .

A pile of boards literally full of nails grows on the side.  I love old wood and will find some way to recycle most of it, similar to what we did with Granny’s old poultry shed.  Much of that salvage went on the old horse barn we restored last spring and appears to be holding up well.  The age, color and character blend well with the existing structure and the whole appears to have been standing forever, except for a few new boards that had to be added.

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This old house . . . .

What stories could be told of the lives herein from 1922 until about 1940 when the family relocated.  They could survive the depression in the thirties, but not the dry years that brought no rain.  When the reservoir that irrigated the garden and two wells that furnished a little domestic water dried up, it was time to move on.

What I have trouble understanding is why, after moving the sturdy log structure from Nine Mile, my grandparents didn’t restore and live in it when they retired, sold the Telephone Store in Kaycee, and moved to the ranch. They purchased a new mobile home, incurring far greater expense than it likely would have cost to restore the old cabin to its former glory.  When it was relocated in the late 1950’s, it was still in very good condition.  Oh well, it was an opportunity lost that makes me sad.  I must do something to save what I can of the remains.

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Sam Ullery’s homestead house . . . .

This little cottage was relocated at the same time as the log house.  We used it as a bunkhouse for a string of hired hands and then for storage.  Restoration is detailed in a previous blog post, and not a day goes by that I don’t look upon this little house and feel glad that I saved it.

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Clara, granddaughter Janet and Sam, circa 1922 . . . .

Little house on the prairie.

R.I.P., Rosie

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“I’ll just have a little nap” . . . .

A little dog came into my life one winter day, and soon came to be my best friend, protector, and daily shadow.  She was fearsome, and stood her ground when a vet-tech brought her into my home in Laramie.  She was wet from a bath and it was February.  I remember going for a towel to dry her and gave her a good rub to reduce her shivering. A friend’s big dog (about 10 times her size as a 4-month-old puppy) tried to offer a friendly sniff and she bristled and barked, approaching the much larger dog in an aggressive stance that said, “don’t mess with me!”  I had no need of a dog and tried to convince the kindly vet-tech that, although this little dog desperately needed a home, I was much too busy to get involved with owning a dog.

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“I know this is TuTu’s throne, but I can fit!” . . . .

Sooooo, ten years later I am left with trying to figure out how to fill the hole left in my life by the loss of this little dog, who I named Rosie (my mother’s nickname) and came to love dearly.  She died after a four-day struggle with what we can only surmise was due to ingesting something poisonous or toxic.  We are still puzzling over what it could be–a dead animal carcass?  The vet said that can cause botulism but Rosie’s symptoms would have been more severe immediately.  Rat poison?  Again, the vet said they ran a test that ruled out that as a cause.  Fertilizer?  We have none on the premises, having used all we purchased last fall on the lawn.  Our garden fertilizer is kept in a secure place.  A dispenser with Round-up was sitting on the porch where I left it recently, but would have required Rosie to open the handle, depress the pump and drink out of the hose.  Not likely she would have been attracted to the taste or smell even if she could have managed to drink it.

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“A little sun is nice” . . . .

We were on the way home from a trip to Colorado when we got a call from Joyce, our caregiver.  She was alarmed that Rosie was nowhere to be found as she was doing evening chores.  A little dog who for 10 years has always been at the gate or nearby, waiting for the people who matter to her to return, had disappeared.  When we arrived home it was growing dark but we began the search with flashlights.  We called her name, whistled and poked into all the sheds and likely places for her, to no avail.  By 10:00 p.m. we gave up and went to bed.  I did not sleep but tried to imagine why Rosie would have vanished.  And shed a lot of tears.

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“They could make these cat beds a little bigger!”

We put a photo of her in the post office and hoped if she had decided to leave home to find us, someone would have seen her along the highway.  We knew something was really wrong with her, because there were dark ominous stains on her sleeping pad out on the porch and her nighttime perch on our sofa was stained.  Rosie must have been mortified, because she has never in her entire life left a mess in the house. Later that morning Michael was coming from dropping off a salt block at the pond, and saw a white blob near a neighbor’s cattle guard.  He drove closer and found Rosie, still alive but barely.  When I saw him walking up the road toward our house with her in his arms I thought she was dead.  When I called to her,  she lifted her head.  We wrapped her in a blanket and raced to the vet clinic in Kaycee with her, knowing there wasn’t much time.

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The straw boss . . . .

Rosie never left our side.  Our daily travels are as varied and taxing as can be imagined but Rosie was not to be left behind.  She would snarl at Ricky, our goose if he became too aggressive when I penned them at night; she flew at Cromwell, our rooster when he decided to get too frisky as I was placing feed in his pan; she nipped at Michael and the entire universe of visitors if they came too close to me, which could be exasperating.  We tried a variety of things to reduce her insistence on protecting me, fearing she would eventually bite someone and we’d be in real trouble.  Nothing would deter her.  Michael fed her daily, warming her food and trying to win her over.  After nearly eight years, it didn’t make any difference.  She loved him too, but not enough to alter her fierce protection of me.

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“Bleu is bugging me!” . . . .

Competition for attention was foremost in Rosie’s mind.  If our cats Bleu, Oscar, TuTu or Mr. Mouse came around for a rub or a scratch, Rosie could not tolerate it.  Consequently, the cats migrated to Michael’s lap, leaving me off limits and bereft if Rosie was around. When I worked with Tilly, our horse, Rosie was vigilant and would try to sneak in a nip at her tail, which would get her a scolding and banishment from the barn.  She would wait patiently in a shady spot nearby, watching and waiting for me to finish.  To understand her psychosis, one must merely know that she is half Border Collie and half Australian Shepherd.  She looks more Aussie, but her obsessive compulsive personality is pure Border Collie.  She loves to herd the guineas and chickens and while her methods are not always successful, her failures can largely be attributed to her mistress who has done a lousy job of training her!

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“More critters to herd!” . . . .

X-rays determined Rosie had no broken bones or bruising, nor obstructions from a bone in her digestive tract.  She had suffered from severe diarrhea which had evolved into a yellow fluid leaking from her behind which she seemed unable to control. She was severely dehydrated.  She could stand for a short period, but could not walk. Diagnosis was inconclusive.   We were referred to a clinic in Sheridan, 84 miles north.  As we neared town, Rosie seemed to rally a bit.  She moved around on her pad into a new position and when I looked back at her, she was trying to sit up, panting and grinning like she always does when she gets to go with us for a ride.  High on her list of favorite things to do was go for a ride and her only regular opportunity was a monthly trip to the landfill in Brownie, our old trash truck.  Now here she was, getting a real long ride!

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Coming up Rosie . . . .

We answered a battery of questions regarding Rosie’s environment as they prepared to do more X-rays, ultrasound and get her on fluids and antibiotics. We left her believing she would perk up and overcome whatever illness she was suffering from.  A lengthy message from the vet when we returned home confirmed all the ongoing tests and efforts being made in her behalf throughout the day since we had departed. We were to pick her up in two days since we had dental appointments in Sheridan and we were confident that she would recover. The next morning we had another message from the vet with a lengthy update and a request that we call her.  The update was not encouraging and I began to fall apart again. After a thorough discussion with the vet, we concluded we should return to Sheridan right away and bring Rosie home.  We would care for her over the weekend and have her euthanized at home.

The only diagnosis the vet could come up with was a wild card and quite rare–dysautonomia–a condition currently under study at the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab.  Some, but not all of Rosie’s symptoms seemed similar.  It typically appears in dogs age three or younger; living in rural areas; spend half time outdoors; and it is prevalent in Kansas, Missouri, and some reports in Oklahoma.  The vet had arrived at no conclusions on this diagnosis. She was not optimistic they could do more for her, however.  Rosie’s vital signs were all pointing in the wrong direction.  She offered to euthanize but we declined, deciding to bring Rosie home and say our goodbyes.  We picked up some supplies for her care and when we arrived at the Sheridan clinic, we were ushered into the waiting room while they prepped Rosie to go home.  After what seemed an interminable amount of time, the vet came to us with the bad news that Rosie had just died, probably just a few moments before we arrived.  Her IV pump had stopped and they did not notice right away.  We were devastated.  I only wanted to hold her once more and tell her how much I loved her.  I was too late.

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A quiet place in the orchard . . . .

We buried her wrapped in a shroud in a white cardboard coffin furnished by the vet, with a few mementos tucked inside.  The fruit trees and flowering shrubs are just beginning to bloom, and the Maine bell hanging above her chimes softly in the breeze.  I will plant a climbing rose bush in the hope it will cling to the rustic metal stock panel we erected in the orchard as yard art.  It will be a place we visit often.

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R.I.P., Rosie . . . .

Tilly Goes To School

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“So, what’s up?” . . . .

The Ides of March

Monday, March 13, 2017 was a noteworthy day.  Call it bad luck, bad Karma, bad timing or just plain bad news.  The minute the stock trailer rolled into the barnyard, Tilly started having fits.  She knew it wasn’t her trailer and I guess she smelled a rat.

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Nothing to get excited about, Tilly . . . .

The following photographs of Tilly capture her typical fit.  The actual events of March 13 could not be photographed because all hands were on the end of a rope.  This is how things went.

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“I’m going to act up a bit here” . . . .

At four years old, Tilly is ready for the next step in her development–saddle training by a pro who can get her attention.  She has been a fine filly since we got her at six months as a weanling, giving us fits at times but basically being cooperative and showing real signs of intelligence.  I had her in a daily routine of desensitizing tactics, lunge exercises, and a pretty thorough grooming ritual.

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“I hope they’re watching me” . . . .

We had previously worked with Tilly tying her to a patience pole, saddling her with a bareback pad and then a real saddle.  She was reasonably calm.  She crow-hopped a couple of times with the saddle, but settled down to her lunge routine.  Being very head strong and sensitive about her mouth, she gave us resistance to a snaffle bit.  We succeeded in getting it on her but not without a fight.  I attribute some of this resistance to several nasty procedures she has undergone to clear up infection in her throat and gutteral pouches, as well as treating an eye for a corneal tear from a weed stem that poked through her face mask.  Ah, horses can be a wonder!

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“I’m really getting wound up” . . . .

But I digress.  Back to March 13th, an unlucky day if you see it from Tilly’s perspective. Not only did she start to act up in the corral, she carried on her tantrum and resisted getting into the stock trailer.  Ord and Michael had to push her from behind with a large cotton rope (this was not our first rodeo) while I hung onto her lead rope and tried to steer her into the trailer.  Finally she knew she had to do it and jumped in.  I fastened her lead to the ring at the end of the trailer and closed the inner gate on her.  We loaded several bales of hay, closed the end gate and she was ready to ride, wide-eyed with fear.

Memories

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“I think I’ll have a bite of this straw” . . . .

I miss her terribly and spend time looking at all the photographs we have captured of her since she was a weanling.  This is one of my favorites which I used on our Christmas card.  She is wearing a personalized halter which was a gift from Kristin and Chris.

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“Can’t scare me!” . . . .

We borrowed a youth saddle to place on her first, since it would not be so heavy and cause her much alarm.  Her expression says it all.

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“I’ll get rid of this thing” . . . .

She is trying to dislocate her snaffle bit, which she found quite annoying.  Boy is she in for some surprises!

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“I’m just a little girl” . . . .

My first sight of Tilly, after waiting eleven months for her birth on Mother’s Day, 2012.   We engaged a mare that belonged to my niece Sue, selected a sire after a few months of research and we were on our way.

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Tia and her baby . . . .

Tilly’s sire is a handsome black and white tobiano paint, Sugs Tru Luck, and we hoped she would have his coloration.  When breeding for color, anything goes.  Tilly’s dam is a registered paint breeding mare, although she is predominantly sorrel.  Tilly seems to have taken on the colors of JB Classic, her grandfather who was a sorrel overo.  Tilly is registered as a bay tobiano/overo.  She has blue eyes.

Meanwhile, back at the barn

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Tilly’s new yoga mat . . . .

In Tilly’s absence we laid a wooden plank floor in her stall and covered it with heavy rubber stall mats.  The ancient barn where she lives had a dirt floor and she had dug a hole in her favorite corner that went down to hard-pan clay and was a mess to clean up.

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Oscar does a test drive . . . .

The mats will cushion Tilly’s legs and feet while she is indoors.  They are also easy to sweep clean and remove the wood chips that go down each day for her bedding.  We did some additional strengthening of the walls, patched a leak in the roof, and we are ready for Tilly when she comes home.  In the meantime, I have to wait for Ord to call me and tell me 1) he needs more hay; 2) she is ready for visitors; or 3) she is ready to come home. He made it perfectly clear HE WOULD CALL ME.  I got the message.

Chicken House Rules

My little flock of 21 laying hens (plus one rooster and a few guineas thrown in) are great fun.  Certain individuals become dear friends and have conversations with me when I visit the hen house in the morning and evening to fill their feeding stations and gather eggs. We recently watched my favorite film “Cider House Rules” yet again, and it set me to thinking about some Chicken House Rules for my girls.

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“Cards, anyone?” . . . .

On this particular day, the girls are hopeful to go outdoors.  They have been shut in for 24-hours due to a nasty spring snowstorm that dumped 6-8 inches of new snow.  I believe we can relate to how they feel!  A mix of Barred Rock, Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, Silver Lace Wyandotte, White Tufted Black Polish and Australorp round out a colorful display with personalities to match.  They give us eggs of all colors and so delicious to eat!

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“Carrot peelings for lunch again?!” . . . .

Goldie, an Ameraucana, is typical of her breed. Shy and aloof, these girls like to roost on the highest outpost–in this case on top of the screen door that hangs ajar inside their ancient chicken house. It allows just enough space to perch for the night and typically there are three of them teetering on top of the door.  I don’t know how they decide who gets to perch there – they must draw straws! A little bit wild, these girls can fly over the fence into the yard and do so regularly, which is discouraged. They have figured out there is a good snack in the garden shed where Oscar and TuTu reside and if I don’t lock the door, they clean up the bowl of dry kibble.  Ameraucanas lay the most beautiful green and blue eggs and are very hardy.  Some of the girls are getting old by chicken standards, but they keep on keepin’ on.

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“What’s this about Rules?” . . . .

Luvena and her Barred Rock sister Vonna are two favorites.  Inquisitive, gentle and always under foot, they like to carry on a conversation when you are close by.  Luvena in particular is very gregarious and even as a chick, she would come to the door and peer up at me with great curiosity while the other chicks would huddle in the corner, afraid to come forward. You can be sure she will be giving me a piece of her mind about the Rules.

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“Have you seen the Chicken House Rules?” . . . .

  1.  Please don’t dribble in the food bowl if you have been drinking.
  2. Please don’t smoke on the roost or use candles.
  3. Please don’t go up on the roof if you’ve been drinking–especially at night!
  4. Please don’t take bottles with you up on the roof.
  5. Please don’t go outside to sleep if you are very hot or have been drinking.
  6. Please give your food order to the chicken house keeper before 7:00 a.m.
  7. There should be no more than half dozen chickens on the roof at one time.
  8. Please don’t sit in the nest too long–other chickens need to use them!
  9. Please do not break any eggs in the nest.
  10. Please do not leave messes in the nest – Cleanliness is next to Godliness!
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Chicken Fruit . . . .

The Rules are posted where everyone can see them, and the girls for the most part are trying to observe them.  They know they will be rewarded with good groceries and lots of love.  What more can a chicken ask?  Nevertheless, I believe some of the commentary from the free-thinkers is rising to a Greek chorus.  “What do they think we are,  just dumb chickens?”  “Who decided we need rules?”  “We do the work around here, laying eggs right and left!””What about us?” “Are we just a basket of deplorables?””The sky is falling!”

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“Now where do I wish to sit?” . . . .

The girls are assembling on the roosts for the night and will rise at dawn to begin a new day. Perhaps tomorrow we will have a Town Hall and discuss the Rules.   Hopefully they will settle down before feathers begin to fly and the clucking chorus drowns out the voice of reason.

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Chicken tanning salon . . . .

Heat lamps have come on and the girls cozy up to catch the warmth.  And now, we close the day with “GOOD NIGHT ALL YOU PRINCESSES OF DRY CREEK, YOU QUEENS OF WYOMING!”

Year of The Rooster

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Man about town . . . .

The Chinese New Year has just begun and it seemed appropriate to crow a little bit about it.  First, it is my Chinese zodiac sign and 2017 has been declared the Year of The Rooster! Having established that, I will move on to the roosters in my life.  The fine specimen above is “Fonzie,” a white-crested Polish who approached his manhood last summer in a stop and start frenzy of crowing, strutting and running after the hens like a kabuki dancer.  His amorous forays in the chicken yard created hysteria among the hens and two roosters were not in the chicken yard plan.  It was only a matter of time until Cromwell, Rooster Number One escaped his pen and dispatched Fonzie into the great unknown.  Imagining the spectacle of that, I suggested we take Fonzie to the vet to be gently euthanized.  I received a derisive snort from the better half and he promised he would be “gentle” when he euthanized our errant rooster.  I don’t want to think about it.  Moving along.

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Center stage, Cromwell the Great . . . .

Cromwell’s arrival was a surprise also.  But he was so magnificent a specimen (we are not sure if he is a Leghorn, Orpington or fowl play) that it seemed only natural to allow him to establish his kingdom–for awhile.  He made a great contribution to the flock when he and Betty White hatched a nest of babies.

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Rite of spring . . . .

From this lovely batch of chicks it was determined we had two roosters.  How to tell?  Some suggested their combs were different.  Another suggestion was that if you grab them by the feet and hang them upside down, the roosters will . . . . .now I can’t remember what they are supposed to do?  By the time we had these chicks, I realized I had exceeded my self imposed limit of 22 laying hens if even half of these turned out to be hens.  After a few weeks, it was time to find four of these babies a new home.  I marched on the brooder house with a fishing net and after a tussle managed to capture four and placed them in a cage for their new owner.  Turns out, the two remaining were hens.  I was happy to be spared the trauma of disposing of another rooster.

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Portlandia rooster . . . .

A visit to a Portland import/export shop several years ago turned up this wood-carved fellow who won my heart.  He wasn’t all that much fun stuffing in the overhead bin of the airplane, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.  He keeps watch over the front yard a safe distance from Cromwell, and was joined by a motley crew of wood and tin imposters.

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Folk art frenzy . . . .

Roosters arrive in many forms at our house.  I believe I must have a subconscious attraction for them as they seem to have accumulated in various forms. I had to wipe some dust off before taking this picture of Archie, the most flamboyant of the collection.

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Reginald . . . .

Reggie came as a treasured Christmas gift from a nephew last year and won my heart with his bright colors.  We placed him out on the porch one day when Cromwell was given freedom to roam the yard, which in winter has been quite rare.  Snow drifts have been too deep for poor Cromwell to venture very far.  He ignored Reggie utterly and completely! Probably a good thing, as he might have come away the worse for wear pitted up against Reggie’s sharp metal feathers, comb and beak.

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Chinese Zodiak Rooster . . . .

This giant bronze was created by contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and displayed, along with the other Chinese zodiak symbols, at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming May-October, 2015.

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Imposing symbols . . . .

The artist of these bronzes, Ai Weiwei, was inspired by an 18th century zodiac fountain in an imperial garden in Beijing.  These images are at least 12 feet tall and were an awe-inspiring exhibit. For all the roosters everywhere, have a splendid year!  Cock-a-doodle- doo!

 

Hearty Irish Stew

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Ready for the oven . . . .

Great cold weather fare.  Enjoy!

Hearty Irish Stew

3 pounds of boneless beef short ribs, cut into one-inch cubes

3/4 cup flour

3 Tbsp. canola oil

3 Tbsp. tomato paste (I add 1 tsp. sugar)

3 Tbsp. whole grain Irish Stout Mustard

2 – 14.5 oz. cans beef broth

2 – 14.9 oz. cans Guinness draft beer

5 cloves garlic, coarsley chopped

3 Tbsp. dried, crumbled sage

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

16 fingerling carrots (12 larger carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces)

2 medium onions, cut into quarters

3 stalks celery, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Heat large, heavy bottomed soup kettle or crock pot on stove top, add 3 Tbsp. canola oil.  Roll cubed beef in flour until all sides are coated, brown in batches in pot on medium heat.  Remove beef to a platter, set aside.  Add one can beef broth and  tomato paste, simmer 3 minutes stirring vigorously.  Remove brown bits from bottom of pan with spatula, continue stirring until well mixed.  Add whole grain mustard, stir; add second can of beef broth; add garlic.  Simmer three minutes.  Return beef to pot, sprinkle with cracked black pepper and 3 Tbsp. of sage; add one can of Guinness (stir until foam subsides); add carrots, onions, celery and stir to mix all ingredients.  Cover with lid and place in oven, bake for two hours.  Remove, add second can of Guinness, stir well, bake an additional hour.  Garnish with chopped parsley and celery leaves.

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Ready to eat! . . . .

My version of Irish Stew can almost be eaten with a fork–once the beef and vegetables have been consumed the thick brown broth can be scooped up with a crust of bread. Follow with a cold draft of Guinness, and give a toast to the Irish!