“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Game Day - Penn State vs. Coastal Carolina

Now we know the twirlers are NOT barefoot...

Student section on the scoreboard- so cool!

Everyone's a photographer.

TOUCHDOWN - again. Today there were a few!

Joe Pa and the coaching staff.

Go Joe!

Today was Penn State's football opener and last night's pep rally had a memorable Joe Pa moment.

I am posting a couple clips from the Football Eve celebration which included the 1968-69 undefeated football team being honored and again today at the game.
(I have a good video clip. I just can't get it to upload, so here is someone else from the other side of the stadium.)
Will give it another shot. Try back...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beans, Buzzards and Rain

All three arrived yesterday.

The Matilda pole beans are up in the hoop house, and rather quickly. I hope they don't shoot too much, but the clouds that came in and cooled things off might help.

Then after many plops of raindrops all day, we finally got a steady, gentle rain last night and its been going all day today. I've lost some of my garden, but I think this might give the rest a second wind to finish out the season with a flourish.

Two days on the hill and the deer carcass still looked untouched on the morning walk. And although I only saw one bird swooping over the woods on the hill then, about ten were around the area of the carcass Wednesday, so I assume there has been some scavenging going on - finally. I'd like the feasting to go quickly before the dogs go up and roll in the entrails.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Deer vs. fence follow up

I guess we don't have a coyote problem or they are all out chasing tastier home fed poodles and tabbies.

The deer from yesterday's fence fight was laid out on the hill near the woods as agreed on with the game warden. As of the late morning walk with the dog, it remains untouched except for the flies, and they aren't even infesting yet. Perhaps without any real wounds there isn't enough smell. One day in the hot sun might change that.

Its a shame someone couldn't have taken the meat, but the concern was the medication used for the tranquilizing.

Leaving the goats out at night might be a safe option, with a good fence, based on this unofficial test.

Spotted goats

At the Westmoreland Fair there was a particular goat that I would have liked. Unfortunately it was a wether (castrated male), so aside from looks, it was of no use to me. Well, OK, they can all eat weeds.

My daughter sent me an outstanding photo from the Duchess County (NY) Fair last year and got me started on these goats. This week-end she sent a couple more photos and the artsy goat breeder in me is back. One of these days, if I stay in this goat business long enough, I will get one of these females to breed to a Boer buck and try for my own spotted goat.

Someone told me of a sale in Indiana where I can find spotted meat goats, but I want to be able to pick up this goat myself, not ship it on a plane.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Deer versus Fence

A totally wacky day. It started with me finding a deer stuck in the goat's electric netting.

I was heading up to do some watering before I let the goats out this morning when I noticed that the electric netting fence we use for rotating the pastures was down. I couldn't see any of it but for a small corner. There is 328 feet of this fence.

I walked closer and saw the white tail and wondered why it wasn't moving with me and the dog in the area. My usual response to a deer this close to the house or barn is to send the dog on a "git" mission. Chase the deer away. Something held me back today and I guess it was a good thing. As I walked closer to see the fence all stretched on the ground, around the shed and across the new grazing area, the deer put up his head. It was covered with the mesh fence. I immediately turned for the house and kept the dog away.

I had to call the Game Warden to either shot him or tranquilize him and get the fence off his head and antlers. The poor thing must have twisted at least 60 or 80 feet of fence in a knot around his head. I was lucky the warden was in his office and came within 20 minutes.

Tom used a prod to inject the medication into the deer and it worked fairly quickly. We were hoping a healthy deer, as this one appeared to be, would make it. Within about 5 minutes, he untangled the wires from the antlers and head and then tried to reposition the animal to help his breathing. It was a hot day and the deer was already exhausted and down before the tranquilizer. He was dead an hour later when Tom checked on him.

Meanwhile, I had to dash to the dentist.

Dashed back, as did Dave, to fix the other permanent fence and check on the goats who were in the corral with no power on because of the damaged wire. When that was done Dave had to drag the now deceased deer up in the woods with the quad.

Then I had to ref a game in Greensburg at 5pm.

As I told everyone, the dentist was the good part of my day!!!!!!!!

The deer had a worse day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

If you don't win, did you loose?

The Westmoreland Fair is over and I hope was a success for the 4-H kids and people involved. The weather was cooperative if not a little hot. The snow-cone booth girl was smiling.

I'm just learning how the fair and 4-H functions like Girl and Boy Scouts. Its an educational and a practical living tool. It depends on the generosity of parents, sponsors and fair goers - especially the first two.

The one problem I have is with the parents and leaders complaining that the kids don't make money. Especially talking about the kids who raise animals for market. Is that the point? I don't think it is. Just like many other learning and educational experiences - you pay - either with time, financially and by missing out on something else. Its called sacrifice. You make trade-offs.

Kids who participate in sports at any level have to put in the time. But they don't get the same thing out of it even if the time and sacrifice is equal. Some parents pay a lot to have their kids participate and a minute few get a financial return. Talent, luck and the grace of God sets the order of success. Someone always wins and comes out on top, but that doesn't mean the other efforts were worthless. The participation, fitness and camaraderie are sometimes even lacking in payback for what is put in, but it is all learning. The Olympics finish today and there were a lot of "loosers" but what an experience. I wish I were so lucky.

I think the parents and leaders need to realize that paying for several weeks of experience learning about whatever the child participates in is worth the cost. What is the child gaining down the line. Working kids need experience. College kids need resumes. Writing about a devastating loss is as important as writing about winning and making money. Its how we learn -from mistakes, from winning - and from loosing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We Need Rain

Unfortunately the state of the vegetables is going downhill fast. A week ago I sold my cukes. Today the vine is dead and the cucumbers are shrivelled and sun bleached. Weather is cruel.

The beets and the carrots have to wait for the ground to get softened up before we have a shot at harvesting more than greens. Speaking of which, I think I have something eating those too. Even with a fence.

Stayed up till 2am watching men's volleyball, only to give up when the Russians won the third set. Great game - what I saw of it. USA advanced.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Purslane Salad

Today I got an Epicurious email update and as I scanned through I found a recipe using purslane. Yep - the weed! Its actually a well used plant in eastern Euro cultures. I hope to join in.

One thing led to another and led me out to the garden for a picture and harvesting. I have pulled so much of this out of the garden paths and tossed it aside that it suddenly was hard to find. My initial taste says "pea pod" flavor. I started with tips. The larger leaves were not as sweet, but altogether a big fat GO!

Now I see it has fantastic health benefits too. http://www.greensense.com/~alnw/Features/Wild_garden/purslane.htm

I added the two sites that sent me on my new edible path today. Check them out for yourselves. More research to follow.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Perfect work weather

The goats are enjoying the brisk weather and a second day in new pastures. I think everyone is enjoying the drier days and cooler nights. Good day to get some work done after watching the Olympics with breakfast. Bringing some wood down from the hill.

Men's soccer was a good way to get the blood going in the morning. Both of their goals came in the second half and within about ten minutes of each other to put them ahead 2-1. Almost a win but for a yellow card and that 93rd minute goal.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Get the facts first

Well it seems that I didn't have all the facts from the Boro and still don't.

Second hand info - again - says that the Boro is trying to restrict the use of the outdoor burners as has been done in several states. If this is true, perhaps Ligonier Township will follow. As of today, I don't see it happening unless push comes to shove, but time will tell. Enough information might turn the tide.

Meanwhile, the Olympics are underway. Beautiful opening ceremonies.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Smoke Gets in my Eyes (Teeth, Hair, Clothes, Lungs)

I got wind that the Boro, of all seemingly progressive places, is considering allowing Outdoor Burners/wood boilers. I can't believe any resident, business owner or parent would approve such a development in a dense area such as Ligonier Borough. At least not with a few simple facts. Consider also that this affects the surrounding Township, and especially affects the schools located nearby. The health degradation from fine particulates is worse for young developing children, but it isn't good for any of us.
For those of you around the Diamond that can relate to truck traffic, a 2006 report from the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, a nonprofit association of Northeast air quality agencies, said one boiler can emit as much fine particulate matter as four diesel trucks. It also said it would take 205 oil furnaces or up to 8,000 gas furnaces to produce as much pollution as one wood boiler.
I already hear the cry of economics and understand that some individuals will benefit, but at the health care, real estate and quality of life costs of everyone else.
Start at this page which is a website for wood burners, by enthusiasts. Therefore I think an unbiased forum.

Then continue to the other sites and make your decision.