Sunday, January 31, 2016

Back creek is running.


It is that time of year again. Our back creek is running.  It just started on Friday night.  It is composed entirely of snow melt and mountain water.  I hope it runs into July or later before it dries up.  It has started earlier in previous years, but here's to hoping it runs at least six months.  The good news is we can still see snow on the mountains from our living room window so there is still a lot of snow up there.  It continues to snow and build up a good frozen reserve.  Surprisingly, this has not stopped the horses from crossing the stream.  Usually at the first miniscule amount of running water the horses stop crossing the streambed.  This year they are still willing to cross the moving water, it will be a good thing if they get over their fear of water.
Back creek running January 29, 2016

I had a few things to do on Saturday while I was outside and in my mud boots so I decided to clean out the barn lot stream of all vegetation.  It looks good and I am hoping the banks will green up and firm up.  I am trying to get the creek to stay in a narrow channel with swift water instead of a slow wide stream full of detritus.  I did plant the back hillside behind the barn with grass seed but between the chickens and the sheep I am not sure how well it is going to turn out this spring.  We have moved the sheep off of it, but I am about to move the new momma cows onto it so I don't believe it is going to get the rest it needs.  Maybe I can move the new momma cows in with the horses and sheep and keep the back barn lot clear of any animals.  Its worth a shot.
Front creek back barn lot cleaned out

Saturday was cleanup day.  I had to haul the dead alpaca carcass and dead lamb carcasses up to the boneyard.  It is a slow and smelly project.  I managed to get it done without any gagging.  I am a nurse by trade so it has to be pretty awful before I gag (unlike some people I know).  I let mouse and zeke terrorize the farm and follow the tractor.  They had a hoot and wore themselves out running all over the farm.  Mouse has not gotten to go that far before off leash.  He did pretty good.  I stopped at the top of the rocky hillside and knocked rocks loose from the ground with the tractor for about 70 feet.  My goal is to create a smooth area, rock free for tractor and vehicle passage.  I have to knock the rocks out of the ground when the soil is wet otherwise I cannot get them out of the ground.  In the dead of summer when I actually pick up rocks the tractor cannot get them out of the ground.  Its a slow process but every year I move a few more rocks and cleanup the place a little more. 

The upper prime field is looking good!  I took a picture.  The greenest patches are the areas that had the most organic matter on the ground when I spread out the grass seeds.  This provided the seeds with added moisture and protection.  I am hoping the rest of the field will perk up when we get an actual Spring.  I will spray some broadleaf herbicide on the field when everything gets to about six inches tall.  This will help the grass establish itself. 
4 acre field I planted this fall by hand