Posted by: dragonfur | February 13, 2015

Garden Growing … Again

My garden has now expanded to 50′ x 50′!  I won’t be planting it all this spring, as some of it needs to age a bit (I’ve been emptying manure and shavings onto the new plots to enrich and “season” the soil.)  Instead of one plot, tilled and planted fence to fence–which has made it REALLY difficult to get through to the back–I have marked out 6 plots of varying sizes, plus about 60% of the original garden area.  I’ve left a path large enough to get the lawn tractor around the fence and between most of the plots (push mower will be necessary for a couple of places), so the weeds won’t be allowed to take over (can’t guarantee the grasshoppers won’t…).

I have onions out, planted at the end of January.  In the next couple of weeks, I will add cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, and whatever else I decide to add for an early spring crop.  Corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, and squash will come later.

Pictures coming later…

Posted by: dragonfur | June 23, 2013



It’s late June, and my garden is going great guns! This is a Black Krim heirloom tomato (that tasted REALLY good after it ripened!) about halfway through its growth.

Fenced in a 20′ x 26′ section in the front horse lot, learned how to use a tiller to till it up, and planted sweet corn, sunflowers, baby lima beans, black-eyed peas, Scarlet Runner beans, Christmas Lima beans, summer and winter squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and basil.

The water district has now limited us to watering once a week, which is NOT adequate for heavy feeding veggies like tomatoes (which are in the raised bed–even worse) and squash. I have found a partial solution. The water that I get when I empty, rinse & refill water buckets in the barn every day, I now pour into the wheelbarrow, rather than on the ground. The water gets hauled to a part of one of the gardens and poured onto it(using a bucket–directly dumping it out of the wheelbarrow would be too much too fast, and would damage the plants & wash the dirt away from their roots!). Not enough, but it works so far…

I’ve gotten a TON of tomatoes, a couple of bell peppers, and my first summer squash of the year, and look forward to the rest of the garden starting production. Not long, now!

Posted by: dragonfur | April 30, 2013

Spring Gardening

Last year I built a 4′ x 8′ raised bed garden, which has quickly proved to be nowhere near big enough!  

I’ve looked at the area in the front horse lot where my round pen used to be (it got moved behind the barn, rather than in front), and thinking about all the nice compost there is there.  I put a lot of used shavings & horse manure into the round pen because the black concrete (when it’s dry) or glue (when it’s wet) is not good to exercise horses in.  The shavings/manure gets broken down & packed down, and after a couple of years, there’s a nice layer of compost.

Instead of bringing that lovely compost to a new garden plot, I decided to bring the garden plot to the compost.  I’m fencing in a 26′ x 20′ area, got the tiller out there, and I’m in the process of breaking up the packed ground and loosening up the compost.  Planting will begin next week, barring weather delays!  (The 4’x8′ plot is full of tomato and bell pepper plants.)

I hope to have a decent garden for veggies this summer!  Wish me luck!

Posted by: dragonfur | April 18, 2013

West, Texas

Last night there was an explosion at a plant in the small town of West (between Dallas and Waco, on I-35W).  A fire first, to which a half-dozen volunteer firemen responded.  Cause of the explosion is at this time undetermined, but I’m sure that will change.  Only one of the firemen, one who is a police officer by profession, is accounted for at this time.  He is in hospital with serious injuries.

Nearby homes are gone, railroad tracks are twisted and warped, schools and businesses damaged.  A search and rescue operation going house to house is still underway.  The death toll stands at 5 to 15 (by the media–whether or not law enforcement agrees with that is questionable, as reporters seem to make up “news” as they go along if they have no information!), and injuries at 160.  Both are likely to go up.

First the Boston Marathon, terrorist attack, now this, accident/incident.  Latest in a string of tragedies.  Oh, one other tragedy for this week:  The Republicans in the Senate, along with a few chickenshit Democrats, prevented the background check bill from being voted on.  The NRA owns way too many of our “legislators”.  We need to change that.

Posted by: dragonfur | April 13, 2013

Ahhh, Springtime!

I went to the feedstore yesterday and looked at all the beautiful baby chicks they have.  So many lovely breeds!  And no, I did not come home with any.  I am content to look at them, and maybe hold one occasionally, but have no desire to acquire any more right now.  I’ve stored all my chicken-raising paraphernalia in the tool shed for now.  If I still enjoy being chicken-free next spring, I’ll offer them on craigslist or somewhere.

I’m kinda craving a baby goat. (shake head and cross eyes here)  I have wanted a couple of dairy goats, and it’s best to start with bottle babies, so you can raise them without getting the bad habits other people sometimes put into them–so easy to spoil a cocker spaniel-sized baby that weighs a couple of pounds!

Since I’ve turned vegan again–and it looks permanent this time!–dairy goats don’t seem a wise investment.  (Besides, to get goatsmilk, you have to breed the goats, which means you get babies.  Some of the babies will be male, which are hard to sell except for meat.  I’m not bringing mammal babies into this world for someone else to eat, sooooo, maybe not dairy goats!)  I’m still thinking about a wether, which is a castrated male.  You get the sweet temperament, and not the odiferous aggression of an adult buck.  I need to decide soon, as the babies are being born NOW!  

More on that later . . .

Posted by: dragonfur | March 8, 2013

No More Chickens (For Now)

No More Chickens (For Now)

I sold the last six hens last night. I’ve had such bad luck with the last couple of batches, they’ve just become too much trouble (although these six really weren’t).

Adding the two senior mares to my barn has changed things. I have enough energy & time for nine horses, but I just don’t have enough for nine horses AND chickens.

I may get more chickens later–next year, maybe?–but if I decide to, I’ve got some changes and repairs I need to make to the coop and pen before I do. (I’ve been toying with the idea of getting some Bantams. Little things, and SO beautiful, they’d fit right in with the little horses, don’t you think?)

But I think I’ll enjoy the lightening of my load for a bit.

Now, time to get the garden started . . .

Posted by: dragonfur | February 14, 2013

Radar, Trotting in the Round Pen

Radar, Trotting in the Round Pen

Isn’t he a handsome guy, winter fuzz and all? This is what gets me excited about him: Watching his HUGE, free-flowing trot. Incredible movement from one so small (38 1/2″ tall, makes him 1/2″ too tall to be a mini, and he’s the biggest one on the place, but still, that’s a BIG HORSE trot, not a mini or pony trot).

We are still working on trust issues–I haven’t worked with anyone much this winter. Hubs had a hip replaced at the end of August, and that occupied virtually ALL my time for a couple of months, and now the cold gets into my bones. (I hope Texas never really secedes from the USA, because I really, REALLY don’t want to move farther north to colder winters!)

Anyway, here’s Radar playing in the round pen, because everything is muddy and this is how I get them out of my way, and allow them a little exercise, while I’m cleaning their stalls. They are all grateful for the time outside in crummy weather!

Posted by: dragonfur | December 31, 2012

Who Says Old Ladies Can’t Run?

Who Says Old Ladies Can't Run?

Here’s my two senior citizens, Hope (the little one in front) and Polly, enjoying some round pen time while I cleaned their stalls yesterday. It’s still muddy (hate this Texas blackland!), so the only place they can’t get TOO muddy is the round pen. The girls–and all the other horses–took advantage of it to stretch their legs a bit. (Can’t tell they’re 28 & 29 years old from their activity levels!)

Posted by: dragonfur | December 27, 2012

Western Falcon

I went out to feed the chickens and horses this morning, and there are usually sparrows in the pen, feasting on the scratch grain the chickens missed yesterday.  This morning, there was a flurry of wings, but much too big to be a sparrow.  It made a couple of tries at the chicken wire in a bit of a panic (I stayed back far enough that it didn’t truly panic) and after 3 tries, it found the opening in the top of the small run between the coop and the pen.  I had realized by then that it was a falcon!  The smaller western falcon, in size between the kestrel and the red-tailed hawk that is so prevalent out here, had a big fat rat in its talons, also a benefactor of the chickens’ missed feed.

It landed in the open of the front lot, where I would have to go by it to get to the barn, so I finished with the chickens and went back into the house for a cup of coffee, to give it time to finish its breakfast.

After it left and I had tended/fed the horses, I went to check out the breakfast site, found a small amount of fur and blood from the rat, but also feathers from a sparrow.  I get the feeling that my chicken pen is a regular early morning stop for that fellow!  He’s too small to get my chickens (since I don’t have little ones), so he’s welcome, since he’s taking care of the rats that I can’t get rid of.  I’d love to see him there every morning!

The opening over the run part is too small for a red-tailed hawk to take off from, so the chickens are safe (except maybe for a youngster that hasn’t figured that out, but the parents here seem very good teachers–hasn’t been an issue, yet) from them, and the falcon is less than half their size, and preys on smaller critters.

I always feel privileged when Mother Nature allows me to see one of her creatures up close.  People that hurry through life have no idea what they are missing.  One of the best things about my life is being able to observe, from a garden spider with her long black-stockinged legs building her zipper-centric web, to a mockingbird’s mating dance, to a falcon snatching a mouse, to my horses interacting with each other in their non-verbal language.  What a great start to this day!

Mornin’, y’all!

Posted by: dragonfur | December 26, 2012

The 365 in 2013 Photo Challenge

Well, I’m going to try it again this year.  I am using my Dragonfur’s Blog for the 2013 challenge.  You can get there two ways:  Directly, by clicking on the Blogroll link “The 365 in 2013 Photo Challenge, directly to the right of the top post.  Or, you can take the scenic route, by clicking on the Dragonfur Flying! at the bottom left corner of the header picture, then repeating on the Dragonfur’s Blog tab at the bottom left corner of THAT header picture.  (If you take the scenic route, feel free to stop and view the photos!  Can’t say stop and smell the roses because 1) there are no rose photos on there and 2) you can’t smell roses on a computer screen!)

Enjoy, and I welcome comments and constructive criticism.  I will also have links on the Dragonfur’s Blog to other participants in the challenge.  There are a lot of talented photographers out there, and I strongly recommend you spend a little time visiting their blogs and checking out their dynamite photos, as well.

The challenge commences January 1, 2013, so get ready!

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