Sunday, June 04, 2006

Only three Leeches!


Yesterday and the day before we cleaned up a spot on the shore of our lake and went swimming. It wasn't that simple. We had to use hand pruners and clip a trail through thick brush to get there, cut down three trees to put across the four foot deep beaver canal in order to get across the span of about fifteen feet, pull up logs that were across the path, scrape weeds out of the water, and haul logs from the lake. Even though there was a lot of work we still had fun! On the edge of the lake there are a lot of dead diamond willow brush in the water so you have to swim around them and not step onto any of the sticks that are sticking upright. At about 30 feet out I can just feel the weeds with my feet on the bottom so I suppose that the water would be about 6' deep. I'm not a real good swimmer but good enough to keep my head out of the water and get where I want to go. When we see some duck droppings in the water we say that it looks like "wild apple sauce." It sort of does look like store bought apple sauce! When we were done swimming I got out and I had three leeches stuck on my ankle. It is hard to pull them off. They are very slippery and suck pretty hard. David had one that after it was pulled off wouldn't stop bleeding for quite a while but now it is fine. I have a lot of mosquito bites on my legs and arms and one really itchy one on my cheek. When I milk the goat there is a whole roof full of mosquitos just sitting (or standing, I can't quite tell) and they fly down and bzzzzzz and bother the goat. We have lost a lot of milk because the mosquitoes bother her and then she kicks and, ah! the milk spilled!

The gardens are doing good. The corn in the hoop house is almost knee high. Dad showed me how to get water in the tank at the lake. You have to: drive down to the lake, back up with the trailer (which I am not perfect at), unhook a hose, put a different one in the pump, pull the cord and play with the choke until it goes good, wait until it is filled enough, unhook, drive up and start watering. I've only done it once by myself.

I can't forget to write about our sheep being sheared. Our neighbor Mr. Pozarnski and his wife came over with a piece of ply wood and the electric shearers. The plywood was to put the sheep on when you shear. We caught one and he started shearing. He started on the belly and and sheared up to the neck and then sheared the half of the back that was facing up, turned it over and then did the other side. The sheep we have, have two years of wool on them so it made them more difficult to shear. He did nick their skin in some places so the sheep bled a little and it stained them so the don't look very good right now. I bet the sheep feel a lot cooler now without having about 4-6 inches of wool on them. How would you like to wear a winter coat in the middle of summer? I wouldn't like it. Almost lunch so I'll write again some other time.



Lynn said...

Good job, Peter! I didn't realize how much work it was to get to the swimming area. I guess that is why I stayed near the house! Next time I'll send salt with you; when you sprinkle that on a leech they tend to let go. Love, Mom

Marci said...

If you have any electricity in your goat shed, put a small fan out there. Turn it on you and the goat while milking. It keeps mosquitos off and keeps most of the flies away.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter

Good blog, interesting.

Glad to hear about making a clearing at the lake edge. I am sure if you keep working on it it will eventually clean up.

If the goat pen is down near the lake, that is where mosquitos live, they like standing water. Could you bring them and the milking stand some where that would be less infested? And near electricity so a fan could be used. That idea sounded
good to me. Sounds like Farm Girl has "been there done that".

What are you using to pull the water trailer with?

Gp B

Peter Bartlett said...

We have been using our 4WD van. Somtimes you can't get around out here without 4WD. I think we need a pickup truck.


Grammy B. said...

Peter you do a great job of describing your activities on the farm. Salt really does work to make the leeches let go.

Your swimming area sounds like fun for you even if it was a lot of work.

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