Thursday, July 20, 2006

National Berry Week!

Here we are, its just about that time of year for my proposed national holiday to be celebrated.

Let's hear it for....National Berry Week!

For all of the new members out there, this is something I push every year about his time.

A national holiday, a whole week off from work (with pay) so everyone can take off and head out to the woods to pick berries.

And this is an especially good year for wild berries.

We've been picking berries for the past week. Wine berries. Black Berries, even wild Blue berries and huckleberries.

In fact, last night when I walked up the drive to lock up the chickens for the night I couldn't help but stop, using the flashlight, to pick several handfuls of delicious wine berries from the wine berry patch just up the hill from the chickens.

And then on the way back, there are some really plump and sweet wild blackberries.

We've also been eating the wild blueberries. They're OK this year, but not great. I think the birds are eating most of them.

And, you know, my holiday proposal must be catching on because two days ago I got a visit from a government helicopter.

For about 15 minutes a helicopter with, I think, Coast Guard markings, circled the farm, over and over and over again. Spending a good bit of time (and I'm sure, our tax money), hovering right over our greenhouses.

What else could they have been doing but looking for the locations of the best berry patches. Right?

Well, this year there are plenty of berries to go around, but we picked the ones growing down by the greenhouse last Sunday. They could have asked instead of using their (our?) expensive to operate and very noisy helicopter.

And if they were looking for something else, they sure wasted a lot more of our money because there isn't anything there to look for.

Obviously, if you haven't figured it out, I'm being facetious about the visit (not the berries, I'm always serious about berries).

Two days ago we apparently got a visit from some government agency looking to see what was growing on our farm.

I feel somewhat violated.

Do they fly around that farm where the Vice President had his shotgun accident? Looking to see what's growing in the various outbuildings and bird hatcheries (I understand those birds were domestically raised).

And the careless, noisy flight over and around our farm scared my nutty turkeys, all twelve of them, causing them to take off running and gobbling and heading through the fields and down into the woods.

It took us over an hour to round them up again and get them back in their fenced in pasture. I should send whoever was flying the helicopter a bill for the extra work he caused me.

But, back to the farm news:

Grouse chicks. Well they aren't chicks any more. Last night I went out to the greenhouse to check and there was one of the longest black snakes I have seen recently. When I caught him (her?) and held her up by her head and looked at her eye to eye, she was still touching the ground. And I'm 6 feet tall. I took her out of the greenhouse and let her go in the woods. She hadn't, yet, eaten a grouse. The grouse, I carried up to the chicken pasture and deposited them in the hen house for the night. It's a cruel, cruel world out there with many things that would love to eat nice tasty little baby birds.

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