Rialian's Realm

Thoughts and Considerations

Non-Euclidean Piping outside my door…

by rialian - August 10th, 2011

===So, I picked up 6 guinea fowl keets (6 week old birds) last night.

===I had not expected quite the morning concert, which sounds like there are multiple instances of the “Psycho” theme playing.  The peeping sounds like it can open up gates between worlds, and I am hopign that whatever might do so, is friendly to us. (chuckles)

===it is impressive.  And they are only 6 weeks old.

===Very sweet birds, though.  We got 3 pairs, one set “Coral Blue”, one set “Royal Purple”, and one set “Grey”.  Not sure of genders as of yet.  They have already proven they like eating ticks, as I found one on me, and then it was gone into the gullet of one of the keets.

In the morning….

by rialian - August 9th, 2011

===Sipping some coffee, having finished feeding the baby rabbits with a feeding syringe.  The other rabbit did not foster them, so it looks like I will be on feeding duty for a bit.

===A bit later I will be going up to the semi-local Sothern States to see what they have in terms of possible enclosures for the incoming guinea fowl that I am picking up this evening after Tai Chi.  We decided with the serpent invasion that we had been considering such fowl before, and this cemented the need for them. (They are noted for really ridding areas of ticks…and handling snakes pretty well. They are also very good about letting you know if something is amiss in the the yard.)

Snakes!  In A Crepe!

by rialian - August 8th, 2011

===Ok, today has been one of those days…

===I started the day by making crepes.  I made some very nice crepes, using my very nice cast iron pan that is perfect for making such things.

===I got a few things I needed to do, done.  I was about to go over to my neighbors to go help them get ready for some guests.

===I stop to check up on the rabbits.  Top cage?  All is fine and good.

===Middle cage?  All is fine and good.

===Bottom cage?  Snake body sticking out of nesting bin.

===Glance….that is not a black snake. 


===Oh, that is a rather large rattlesnake.  Time to get proper equipment.

===Proper equipment easily at hand is a Stirrup Hoe and a Machette. (Sword is upstairs, the axe is a bit further away than I would like.) I return to the cage, note in passing that the rabbit looks like she had been messing with the food bin, which loads from the outside of the cage, and dislodged it from the inside enough to let the snake have egress.  Not good.
I open the cage, and get the snake out with the hoe.  I dispatch the 4 foot+ snake with reasonable speed.

===Which is when I note a rattle a slight bit behind me and towards the house.  Oh, joy, an equally large snake that I suspect was the mate.  My mind says “glad I did not think “clever girl”, as that is NOT the ending I want for this adventure.”  It is time to use the stirrup hoe, and have a bit of a dance with that serpent.  It decides that it wants to go try to go back towards the front steps, and go over and under the planter with the sweet ivy in it.  I eventually pin it and dispatch it as well.

===Snakes dealt with for the moment, I check about (no more snakes), and check the damage.  Harmony (the new mother rabbit) has taken about 7 strikes, and is dying.  I am wondering why they decide to wait until I get there to twitch to the end (this happened with the heat-stroke rabbit as well), and 2 of her babies are no longer alive.  3 left.  I clean things up, and put the various bodies in the back freezer.  (I now have the two animals that died of the heatwave back there, and now 2 snakes, 2 baby rabbits, and one more large rabbit….)

===I decided to go to town to get formula in case I cannot get the surviving girl to foster the 3 just-opening-eyes rabbits. 

===This is, of course, when i get my paperwork notice that I am eligible to get that temporary social services license.  So I go to town (in this case, the town that is 45 minutes away), drop off the paperwork, get the supplies needed, and return home.

===Now, it is time to deal with the snakes.  I have now cleaned them, saved the skins, and have the meat in the freezer.

===I will be making Snakes!  In a Crepe!…because this is simply the proper way to acknowledge my day. (I am freezing the meat for a few days just to be cautious…)

===So this is how my day has been.


by rialian - August 4th, 2011

===It has been an interesting week of looking at how things work, how they do not, and deciding how I want to go about the future.

===Waiting on the licensing paperwork to see if I am eligible to work for CPS again, and then find out (once I get that paperwork), if they want to offer me the position.  It will be good to have reasonably clear delineations….(chuckles)

Summon rain…

by rialian - August 3rd, 2011

===I am glad for the rain, but it highly amuses me that we have been so very dry for a while now (with one good thunderstorm the other day)…and it decides to be rainy the day we are replacing our culvert.

===The one we have in now is about 16 inches, and plastic.  It carries the water that comes down the mountain in a small seasonal creek, which is dry now.  When it is running, it is pretty impressive, and it brings branches and leaves down off the mountain and clogs badly when the branches catch. 

===The new one is 2 sections (that will interlink) of 36 (ish) inches wide by 24 high oval concrete culvert.  We got them yesterday (my neighbor up the road does contracting work, and has the needed equipment to transport them, and today was goign to be the day to dig out the old one and lay in the new one.  That will not be happening, as it is raining and was may get heavy thunderstorms today.

===Ah, well…off to get ducks!


by rialian - July 29th, 2011

===Ok…if I ever need more bees, I am getting them as Nucs…(Nucleus hives)

===I just had the best experience I have ever had with a hive install.  There is a breeder reasonably local to me, who breeds Russians that he is adapting to the area.  I just got a nuc from him…5 frames of bees and brood, and a queen. 

===This was the happiest group of bees I have ever dealt with.  We were in the bee yard, they had no problems at all with the frames being lifted up and examined, as we made sure where the queen was….were fine being put into the cardboard nuc for transport, and they were fine when I got them here, pulled out the frames, and put them in the new hive.  Not a head-butt by a bee, not a sting, not even any complaint.  I probably would not have needed gloves or the veil, they were that relaxed.  We did not need to use a smoker at his beeyard, and no need to use one here.  The hive is now happily buzzing away by my Medlar tree.

===If I need to get more bees next year, to increase my beeyard…definitely getting this guys bees in nuc hive format.

Mithlond Weekend postponed…and other things!

by rialian - July 29th, 2011

===Indeed, we are re-scheduling…while seeing the one person that did not have scheduling issues would have been wonderful, it is not quite the “reconnect/hang with cool folks at Mithlond” weekend that could have been.  So I will be scheduling for the re-start of the regular event in August, and will post up when we choose that weekend to be.

===I am currently figuring out my Turkish drop spindle for spinning my own yarn…We have misplaced the spindle I had gotten for Helen a while back, so I decided on a whim to stop by the farm/shop of the folks I had gotten it from.  They had the Turkish one about….they are pretty much out of business, but have some of the old stuff left about.  (She had been doing ok for a bit, but when the economy decided to go down a bit, less folks coming for antiquing that were buying her yarns made it untenable.) We will probably be chatting more on things permaculture and weaving in the future…

===I will hopefully be getting the truck back today…I was supposed to have it yesterday, went over to get it…and thankfully I asked what he thought of the belts (which I had been concerned about.) They were bad, but this mechanic is the sort that does not add stuff onto your bill, and said I should replace them, but if I am only driving about for a short bit…it should be fine.  The truck is for hauling things like manure and sawdust and such for the garden…so the belts are getting done.  (Nice mechanic, though.  He actually fixes the part that needs to be done, rather than replacing the entire assembly of things to get some extra money.  Unfortunately, this also means that he might not replace something just this side of dead if it does not absolutely NEED to be done right this moment.  I prefer his sort to the ones that will be more than happy to add to your bill….)

===Also today, I will be picking up a locally-bred Nuc…(a Nuc is a mini-hive of bees, already going strong and ready to be put into a hivebody to get up and go.) I wanted to have at least 2 hives to go into the winter, and there is a good chance that this autumn will have a reasonable nectar flow in our area to get the hive up to snuff before the winter.

===it looks like it will be a hot day…putting ice in with the rabbits, and they are in a cooler area away from where the heat was building up under the trees from the cut down the hill….

===I need to work on my workshop for CTT..I might or might not be on site early, (depending on work issues), but I will be there, and I have been asked quite nicely to have something good to present on. (grins)

Link of the morning…

by rialian - July 28th, 2011

I Do Not Want Mercy, I Want You To Join Me

===Extraordinarily well written statement…I highly recommend reading it and then looking up what you can find on the case.

Mithlond weekend….this upcoming weekend.

by rialian - July 24th, 2011

===Things are still “go”: we have actually decided to put the air conditioners in due to to the heat that invaded the area this past week, and will be keeping them in case they are needed.

===For those that need internet (due to emergencies/work-ish things) , we do have DSL now, so it is rather stable.

===We will have fresh eggs, as the chickens are actually producing a bit better now, for some reason. 

===I have ordered a few things I needed for getting the loom started up, and hopefully we will get the loom set up this week.  (We ordered the yarn I wanted, and a special hook for threading the heddles and the reed.)

===There will be an excursion on Sunday into town to go to the various shops and the farmers market, if folks so desire.

===I have at least one definite, several “possibles”.  Let me know if you are coming!  I am not sure when the August one will be as of yet: I will get that up after this one.  If you have a weekend suggestion, let me know, and I will see what we have in the scheduling here to work things out!

Nothing quite like extremes to tell you something about design needs…

by rialian - July 22nd, 2011

===This heat has been educational…and not in the best of ways.

===The extreme heat we are experiencing took out one of my rabbits yesterday (she was a large one, and did not want to stay near the icepack in her cage setup.), and I lost a chicken this morning (looks like she had gone to lay eggs in the nesting area, and the other chickens may have crowded her a bit…and she overheated.)

===The rabbits are now inside, and the chickens are getting their coop sprayed down intermittently.

===One of the things I have figured out is whywe get so warm after 4 p.m.  For most of the day, I am under shade here….as are the rabbits and the chickens.  The slope and valley to our west got clear-cut a number of years ago, before we bought the place.  What appears to be happening is that the sun gets over there, and really heats up the air on that side…it rolls up the slope, and heat gets caught up UNDER the treecover.  Then the sun is coming in under the tree-line as it goes further west, and it heats us up a bit more.  The heat was not that bad until evening…and now I know why.

===So, changes in placement of things.  Rabbits and chickens will be on the eastern side of the house, where this effect is mitigated by a forested valley aspect, and better heat loss.  I already know where i am going to put the structures in. 

===There will also be a winter setup, that will be a combination greenhouse with coop/possible rabbitry in the field that gets good sun during the winter.

===This is all part of the permaculture mindset…get a feel for what your climate does, and work with it.  I am only really sorry that I lost two animals to the climate issues.