Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Mouse Tale and Other Stories

Another week gone. Fall has a strong hold on Northern Colorado and the Garden Spot. The ash trees here are nearly bare, the garden is totally done following a hard enough freeze that took the breath out of what few tomatoes were still clinging to the vines, and the days are cooler. The garden will rest, but I won't until I  get those 85 daffodil bulbs planted or given away.

So here's a question for you in the from of Monday's Mosaic: What do bales of hay, a rooster, and a broom have in common? Today's Bog Post.

Looking like something from outer space, this praying mantis won't as I try to snap his photo with the iPhone camera. I think he was rather annoyed. Nathan, visiting for the weekend, found him while he was shooting baskets. We see at least one every year. I think if I would tromp around the hay field I would find more. They are always fun to find and play with for a short time. I don't think he really enjoyed being a curiosity. We left him on the hay bale so that he could find his way elsewhere.

Next, Chanticleer the resident rooster gets a new home. The Head Gardener spent days building this rooster hut so that he would have a warm place to spend the long, cold winter nights.

The hens got a short visit. They were curious about this side of the hen pen that they share with the rooster, only he is fenced off from them--for obvious reasons. 

He is a handsome fellow, but he does tend to bite, the HG says. I cropped this photo, losing some of the quality.

Now for A Real Mouse Tale

The Head Gardener has left me. He has gone to Eastern Colorado to help our friends with corn harvest, so those of you have been with me for while know that I am on chore duty. It's not that big a deal. The HG has worked very hard to make tending the animals easy. The horses get two scoops of pellets. Sundance gets a couple of flakes of hay, too. The chickens get a scoop of scratch, and at night I gather the eggs. Fresh water in the morning.

Heather and the boys were here for the weekend, so I had my little helper, 7 year old Nathan who knows exactly what to do and is very good help.

Only Friday night we had a bit of a challenge: A mouse.

With the cooler weather the mice have moved in. Fortunately they haven't found their way into the house. Either the house is tight or they are sacred off by a lazy cat and the dog. I don't much like mice, but I can keep my cool when I am confronted by one. 

Right away when I opened the door to the chick coop I saw the lid was off of the scratch storage can. And look what I found:

While I am not scared of mice as long as we keep a safe distance between us. I don't want to have to handle them. Really, who does? The question now was how to get him out of the can?

Easy. I put a broom down in the can, thinking that he would climb out. After a couple of attempts, he finally just hid himself in the broom straws and I was able to lift him out.

We had quite a chuckle watching the little guy. He was clinging for dear life, hiding in the broom perfectly still,  his little heart beating the only sign of life. I put the broom back in place and left him there to come out when he felt safe.

Meanwhile, out east on the farm, the crew gathers to start the corn harvest. The HG left Friday. 

New storage bins have been erected to meed the demands of an ever expanding farm operation. They will thrash 23-2500 acres of dry-land corn.

Here's the HG's office for two weeks.

Command Center.  He sends a lot texts.

Let the thrashing begin. The combine leads, while the tractor pulling the grain cart follows to take on the corn once the combine is full.  

The routine for the next several days.

Looking forward to this week: tomorrow a museum committee meeting late Monday. Laundry. Wednesday, tutoring at the Writing Center. Thursday, Weight Watchers and lunch with my friend. She has had her back surgery. Her recovery is long, difficult, and painful. For one who has been so active, taking it easy and resting has been a bit hard on her. I'll take lunch in or fix something there and we will have a nice chat. Oh and planting daffodils. I'll let you know how that goes. 

What will you be doing? 

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'll be linking with Maggie for Mosaic Monday. See you over there.


  1. I so enjoy your posts about life on the farm. So interesting and enlightening.

    I always feel a bit lost when my husband leaves town and I don't nearly have the responsibilities you have. Thankfully you have loving help!

    The mouse story had me laughing. What a stubborn little guy! We get them here in the city and the country. Here, they simply come in from the cold and I think its because we have an attached garage. I wish I had a cat but instead I'm cruel and hide poison here and there. They go back into the walls and we never see them again. My only funny story is when we had one running back and forth across as kitchen counter while my daughter Abby and I screamed. It finally made a leap and landed in the pocket of my apron hanging nearby. We gave up and never saw it again. I washed that apron with a lot of bleach!

    Thank you for your great comment on my blog. When I write something from my heart I really appreciate a thoughtful responses and you always deliver, Ann. Straight from your heart. :)


  2. It sounds like you'll be busy while the HG is out of town helping bring the corn in. That's a massive operation and the equipment front seat looks as complicated as an airplane cockpit!

  3. The farming community here are just about at the end of bringing in the maize crop (food for cattle not humans) and as a result the roads and lanes are caked with thick mud and so is our care. It'll soon be over though so mustn't complain.
    Chanticleer doesn't look very happy with his new digs or perhaps he just has a naturally "grumpy resting face", which I'm told I have occasionally!
    I had to smile at the little mouse, we get field mice in the outbuildings but never in the house. We see the occasional rat as well so we do have to leave poison hidden away in corners out there.
    Your week ahead sounds full on, DH will be back home before you know it, take care.
    Happy MM,

  4. I could not help laughing about your mouse story. Yes, here it´s also about time for them to come in. They love to overwinter in my greenhouse eating tulipbulbs I planted in pots. It´s a shame but have to use poison sometimes. I´m not afraid of them at all but rats are a different story. The photo of your rooster Chanticleer is priceless, he is a really ugly one, haha. Corn harvest is almost finished here by now, I suppose it will not take long either on your side and your HG will be home again.
    Regards, Janneke

  5. Well good for you for braving the chores and the mouse. You are very nice to let it just be and leave it in the hiding spot. Hope your week is going well with no more mouse incidents.

  6. Meeces do get themselves into some scrapes - serves them right for being so greedy at least yours survived to live another day.

  7. The HG is a nice helper! YOU are a good chore doer!
    The mouse is tiny like Mousekin (remember those books?)
    Let me know when you want to come down to Norm's and Pom Pom's! xo

  8. Unfortunately the mice do get inside our home and like you, I don't want to touch them. I have traps set but will set them free outside if able like the baby I found in my kitchen sink one morning last year. Ugh!

  9. Oh Ann, this is a funny post. :-D I must say that Chanticleer doesn't look at all friendly; I feel like he's giving us the evil eye. ;) Those mouse pictures are so cute! I don't hate mice, but I definitely don't want them in the house. Our first house in Greensboro was rather old (built in 1924) and every winter we would get two mice, all set to have a little family if we gave them a chance. We always tried to get them out as soon as possible, but they're crafty. They don't fall for those traps as quickly as we'd like them to.

    Have a great weekend, Ann!