pink peony

pink peony
old-fashioned peony

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Someone is out standing in his field, yes he is. Truly outstanding.
I'm always glad when he asks me to go along on a ramble. This morning we were heading out to a remote location, but first we stopped to check the green-graze. It's nearly ready to harvest, to be turned into juicy silage for next winter's feeding. That will happen near the end of this week.
It was a beautiful morning, and we needed to go to the way-to-the-back-of-beyond place to close some gates in preparation for getting up cattle the next morning.

Sadly, not all the wildlife in our country is desirable. Wild hogs are becoming a terrible scourge. The conservation department is working to help get rid of them, and they've trapped quite a few off this place. Lately they are trying something new. Believing there are 30 or more staying in this locale, they've set up this big net.

See the pile of corn around the base of the center pole? It looks like something has been scratching in it...hope it's hogs and not just coon. It's an awful big net just to catch an ornery coon or two.

There is something surprising near the silos.

Usually, the farmers in this family are diligent about cleaning up the pastures of debris, but I guess this was sort of unique. It has been sitting in this same spot for all of the 50 years since our family purchased this farm. All this area was brush and woods at one time, but as the clearing and grass planting and pasture establishing progressed, this relic was left to sit, a reminder of days gone by.

Looking into the hopper of the old pull-type combine, the only harvest it now anticipates might be a few wild blackberries.

Ripe ones are few and far between yet. See the one lonely black one?

Model no. 76, McCormick. Wish I knew what year it was made.

The guys have worked hard to get rid of blackberries, which are invasive and a nuisance to deal with, but I'm always glad to find a few still surviving. They aren't quite ripe yet, but there's a pretty decent crop coming on.

My morning snack.

We didn't see any sign of cattle as we progressed toward the big mountain to the west ...

... nor as we looked south toward Caney Mtn.

This is why. Mamas and babies were all congregated in this oasis, where there is welcome shade from the hot sun and a supply of fresh, cold spring water.

The cattle know how to find the best water.

The stream gets low in the middle of a hot summer, but this year, because we've gotten consistent rains, the flow is strong.

Such a cool, inviting place -- no wonder the cattle gather here and stay during the heat of the day.

You've all heard of Watergate? Well, this is a homemade one.

He's pulling some fencewire a bit tighter where it has gotten loose.

These walnuts are already nice and big, and the trees are really loaded. A good crop this year ...

... but not many gooseberries.

As we were leaving this farm, I saw this reminder of the farmwife who lived here long ago -- common daylilies were scattered all around the old homesite, all that is left of her handiwork. There was once a lovely white lilac here, but it died a long time ago. When it was still living, I tried digging up a start and took it to Mississippi, but it didn't make it. Dug at the wrong time of year to transplant. Still, I remember.

Masses of fleabane grew around the gate, having escaped a hard-working farmer's efforts to eradicate weeds. Do you think there is some flea-repelling property to this pretty plant, to have given it such a name? Most people just call them weeds, but I think they are so sweet and pretty and daisy-like.