There are a lot of “too’s” in our life right now. Too hot! Too muggy. Too dry. We’ve been hunkering down and not doing too much. We’re butchering the remaining chickens on Saturday so we’re really hoping that the temps come down a bit more. That’s about all I have to say today. I’m sure we’ll be able to bring you up to date later. Just wanted to leave something for today. Until then, as always~
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You know how Sherlock Holmes craves data? Well, I don’t know that I agree with the need for so much data! I I received the data from NOAA and wow! there was a lot of data, and I only asked for precipitation. I spent a few hours sorting and sifting trying to figure out what I could tell from it. I’m not too sure I trust it completely, because the elevations they gave did not match the elevations around here, and the days that we had snow, they showed no snow. So given that, I can only take the information with a grain of salt. Regardless, following is what I crunched out of it.

They sent me data from 10 different weather stations in the Hereford area. I whittled them down to three of the highest elevation and what seemed to be the closest to what I remembered we were getting in the months we had info. Anyway, I averaged the three stations’ info to find each year’s precipitation. The bottom line is, over the last five years the rainfall has decreased remarkably. If the trend for the first six months of this year continues, we will have 12 fewer inches of rain than the year we moved here – declining each year. HOWEVER, we have not been through the Monsoon yet (actually just started a few days ago). We had rain on Saturday, but it wasn’t even enough to measure. If you are the praying kind, we’d ask that you pray for rain for us. Like California, we are high into the fire season. Arizona has well over 15 fires going on right now and we really need some rain! I included the fire map just to give weight to that last statement.

Luckily, the last couple of days the heat has come down about 10 degrees or so. On Saturday, we started butchering the next batch of chickens. By 10am we had processed 8 chickens, it was 100° and we had 12 more to do. Took a few minutes, but we decided that we weren’t going to make it through the remaining birds the way the temperatures were climbing. So, we decided that we would stop after 10 and clean up. By the time we were all cleaned up, it was just after noon and temperature had climbed up to 106°, by 3pm it was 110°. The last couple of days it’s stayed in the high 90’s and that has actually been a relief. So, next weekend we have a few more chickens to process; we’re hoping that the weather will stay “cool” for us. Or even rain. That’d be fine. Keep us in mind, please. I’ll eventually let you know how everything ends up. Until then, as always~
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Currently we are trending upwards on the ol’ thermo meter. I know it’s hot outside when I see Sue in shorts! (Holly says, “Pics or it didn’t happen, but y’all just gonna have to take my word for it!) It seems that the winds and the temps keep getting longer and hotter each year. That got Sue to wondering if there was somewhere to go to find the data over the last 100 years or so. So, I took myself to the interwebs.

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What garden? Lately I’ve been contemplating buying a few dozen of these rocks and stationing them around the property. Sometimes, it seems that I’ve killed more plants than I’ve planted. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but there were a lot of things here when we got here. And we have a nursery with about 30+ bushes and trees waiting to be planted. But so many that have actually already been planted have died for various reasons: gophers, squirrels, wind, heat, frost, and lately – chickens. I just want to keep what we’ve got hanging in there until we get some rain from the monsoons.

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Sometimes we are a bit melancholy. Sometimes we wonder what the heck are we doing. Sometimes it is difficult to make sense of the things that happen on a farm, or to understand why. We’ve had a hard few days.

We ended up being unable to save the beautiful Easter Egger with the sour crop. Even though there were a couple of days there that we thought she was getting better, we were unable to fix whatever issue gave her the inability to clear her crop, which is what makes it sour. She tried and we tried, but it just didn’t work. It’s always difficult when you’ve worked so long to heal a critter, and it just can’t be.

We lost one of the new meat chicks yesterday morning. I found him just stretched out dead. No apparent physical reason. Just didn’t survive. We don’t like it when we can’t pinpoint a cause. We always wonder what happened, or what we could have done better.

Roma lost both of her goslings. The first to some type of accident with the egg. It ended up crushed a few days before the little one was ready to hatch. It didn’t survive the premature hatch. Then, the other one hatched out ok, but was attacked by a chicken (or several) and died. It is so sad. If she is ready to sit next year, we’ll make sure to put her in a brooder or try to hatch them in an incubator the last few days. We’ll see how it works out.

I don’t have anything else to add to that really. We have one banty hen that is sitting still, she is in a brooder and we think she’ll be fine in there for a while. We need to move the water babies somewhere, but are, I think, a bit reluctant after all the troubles lately. For now, they are ok where they are, but soon the teen meat birds are going to need more space and the opportunity to go outside. When we make up our minds, we’ll let you know how that turns out. Until then, as always~
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I always say that we are traveling on an adventure with what we are doing here. Sometimes, though, we engage in experimentation. Truthfully… that’s how all of my gardening gets done lately. “Let’s try this plant. Let’s try this on the grasshoppers. Let’s try this on the gophers.” Sometimes things work, but more often than not, they don’t. It can be very disheartening. But we continue along.

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