Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bad Tree Falling

Several weeks ago, while Mom was still in the hospital, we had a night of severe storms that went through the area. While we really had very little storm activity, we had lots of rain here at home. However in the middle of the night a rather strange strong wind came up and blew things about. The sky was clear at the time.

The next morning, I did chores as usual, and headed off to the hospital. When I got home later that evening, I decided to walk into the back upper paddock Blue (the Merino ram) and his buddy wether, Lanny Wilson normally run in, so I could rearrange fences and move them over to the other side of the ruins. It was with consternation that I saw this huge tree down on the fence. All the way down the fence. It managed to fall in a straight line, and took out at least 20 foot of fence. Squashed flat from what I can see. Posts all smashed too. It was very fortunate that I had penned Blue and Lanny up in a smaller paddock for a week or two, so that I could load a Bale Box Feeder for them and not have to worry about feeding them, since I would be gone so much.
This particular tree has been a burr under my saddle for some time. It's a Wild Cherry Tree and once they wilt they can be deadly to livestock as they contain cyanide. The Tree has been half dead for years. I was sure it would go down in the ice storm---a nice time for it to collapse since it wouldn't have leaves. But no, healthy big trees went down all around it, but it stayed firm. This year it seems to have revived itself and had put on a profusion of leaves and blossoms, just in time to crash to the ground. The tree was on the neighbors side of the fence, so is 'technically' his tree. He runs heifers in the adjoining field. In fact, when I discovered the downed tree the heifers were happily lined up snacking on the leaves. Uh oh. Well, the word was passed along to the owner, and he came and put up some tube gate panels around the leaves on his side. I stacked some limbs across the trunk to keep the cows from hopping over into my sorry little pasture. He has promised to 'take care of it', so I hope he does. I'll donate fence posts and wire, but I suspect that I'll have to be doing some internal fencing as well, since those deadly leaves will be laying about a good bit of the summer.

In the end, I had to re-route Blue and Lanny through the ewe paddock (while the ewes were shut out into the pasture) and into their second pasture on the other side of the ruins. It got a little dicey when Blue ran allot faster than I thought an old fat ram should, but it actually went smoother than I anticipated.

It's amazing what all mischief can happen on a farm (even a small pretend one), when you have your attention focused elsewhere!

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