We received the holiday catalog from the Vermont Country Store. I don’t think there was anything in it that wouldn’t have been there 50 years ago.

I rescued a young hawk that accidentally flew in the door of my workshop this afternoon and couldn’t figure out how to leave. Fortunately, I was wearing gloves, and it let me pick it up. I released it outside apparently unharmed. It’s hard to say, but I would guess it was a sharp-shinned or goshawk.

As I was doing the morning chores I had the full moon setting in one direction,

moonset

and sunrise in the opposite direction.

sunrise

It looks like lawn mowing season is over.

Snowy back yard

A peaceful scene out our front window this morning. Peaceful morning scene with a horse

A pair of nighttime plum aficionados in our orchard.

2 raccoons at night

Nice sunset tonight.

Sunset

Gopher vs. human. The eternal contest.

Gopher mound in pasture

RSV and covid vaccines are in my arm. The covid vaccine effects were much milder than the previous 4 boosters. Now for the flu shot next week and I’ll be ready for winter.

A Farm Mystery

3 chickens

We have a small flock of chickens, 15 hens and a rooster. The birds have a large fenced yard and a spacious coop. A month ago I noticed that one of the new hens we had purchased as a chick this year was missing. My wife and I searched the birds’ pen carefully, and then the area around the pen. Occasionally a chicken will fly over the fence, but they never go far. Our search was unsuccessful. We concluded the hen had fallen prey to a predator. This isn’t common but happens occasionally. In the past we have had problems with raccoons and weasels. We also have coyotes, and had watched a hawk make an aborted attack this past Spring. Attacks by any predator usually leave an explosion of feathers, which was missing in this case. We were disappointed as the hen had just started to lay, and produced eggs that were a dark brown. She was one of a trio of chicks we purchased this year. Even after they were big enough to be released into the general population, they hung out as a cohort separate from the rest of the flock. It was sad to see the trio reduced to a pair.

Several weeks went by and I was emptying the compost bucket into pen when I noticed the prodigal hen had returned. She seemed no worse for her absence, and immediately started contributing her dark brown eggs to the daily production. We are at a loss to come up with a logical explanation for her disappearance. Chickens are not solitary animals, and it seems unlikely that she could have been nearby without our notice. We are glad to have her back, and will have to let it go at that.

Dark brown egg

A warm October evening brings out clouds of woolly aphids.

Aphid swarm

The Economist quote of the day: “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present." - Catherine Booth ( founder of the Salvation Army )

Good morning!

Sunrise

I ordered a trail camera and set it up in the orchard. We’re curious to see who has been munching on the fallen fruit at night.

Trail camera attached to a tree.

I went 30 for 30 on the September Photoblogging Challenge. I hope it strengthened my daily posting muscle, which was pretty wimpy.

The prompt for day 30 of September Photoblogging Challenge is treasure.

Full bookcase

The prompt for day 29 of September Photoblogging Challenge is contrast.

Red and yellow tomatos

The prompt for day 28 of September Photoblogging Challenge is workout. After the workout.

Tired dogs

The prompt for day 27 of the September Photoblogging Challenge is embrace. (rugby scrum)

Rugby scrum

The prompt for day 26 of the September Photoblogging Challenge is beverage. This is a current favorite.

Beer