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Fly away

November 16, 2008


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A beautiful November sunrise.

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And a cold snake doctor.  We thought he was dead.  Seeing a dragon fly this late in the year is a definite treat, dead or alive.   Chore time in the morning is rather hectic, with lots of foot, hoof and paw traffic between the barns.  This guy was right in the path, and I didn’t see him until I was just buttoning up for the morning. 

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I slipped a chestnut leaf under him to get him out of harms way so we could photograph him with his dewy wings, and he grabbed onto the leaf like a life raft.

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We placed him on the bitchin hitchin’ post away from curious pups and kitties.

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As the sun warmed him, he started to flutter.  He looked exactly like a Christmas ornament that we have.  Only better.

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He kept shuddering and shaking and we thought he was on his last legs.  We were already making plans to put him in a jar. 

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But not before his photo shoot…


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We were captivated.  We left him for awhile, and when we came back he was gone. 

The other thing on our mind lately has been gathering chestnuts.  The crop was very light, with some burrs having one good nut and two blanks. 

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How to get this open?

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This guy is an expert and he doesn’t mind sharing…, some anyway. 

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This guy is good at it too, he cusses a little louder when we come near.  But we watch the squirrels and jays and when they cut a burr, and it falls to the ground, we get busy.  They work the day shift, and by 3:00pm they are off to their nests, we can find some burrs they have left behind. 

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Somebody got the good nut already. 

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I use my feet to scrunch open the burrs, and hit pay dirt.

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A chestnut bowl full of mahogany beauties!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2008 11:29 pm

    Lovely sunrise! My ‘pink girl’ wants me to print it out and frame it. She also wants me to tell you that Trace is “sooo koot!” She asked how far away you lived and I said “about two days”. She said “That’s not that far, really. He’s a koot dog!” lol

    What do you do with the chestnuts – besides roast them?

  2. November 17, 2008 12:35 am

    Beautiful, Nita!!

  3. November 17, 2008 2:46 am

    Wonderful! I have never eaten a chestnut but the idea of just picking them up off the ground is just delightful. And the stellars jay! What a beauty! Great post!

  4. November 17, 2008 5:58 am

    That blue jay is really pretty! I’ve never seen one that’s dark like that….all the ones around here are light blue around the rump and white near the head.

  5. November 17, 2008 8:36 am

    Great close ups of the dragon fly. Love the bowl that the chestnuts are in.

  6. November 17, 2008 8:43 am

    I picked a bunch of chestnuts a month or so ago. They’re in the fridge waiting for Thanksgiving day stuffing & roasting. I’ve never had them before, but I’m so excited!

  7. November 17, 2008 9:35 am

    I have always wanted to eat some fresh roasted chestnuts (like in the song).

    The dragon fly was neat, and your photos even better.

    While I am here I would like to ask you how you worm your poultry and de-lice them. Would you email me the answer at ?


  8. November 17, 2008 12:45 pm

    I spent a summer month picking chestnuts in Australia and by the end of those four weeks I never wanted to see another chestnut hull again. I had holes in my gloves, which made holes in my hands and even holes in my boots and socks, which made holes in my toes. Those little buggers will find a way to pierce through ANYTHING if you pick enough of them.

    But they sure do taste good!

  9. Tami permalink
    November 17, 2008 2:17 pm

    Wow, neat pictures! We have lots of acorns here, but no chestnuts! Seeing your boots in the one picture reminded me, how are your Bogs holding up? Thinking about asking Santa for a pair, do you like yours? Thanks for all the great recipes in your last posts, this weather always brings out the baker in me!

  10. November 17, 2008 5:24 pm

    Dragonflies are one of my favorites and you got some great shots. You should make a post with tips for photography.
    I have never seen the outer covering of a chestnut before, very cool, reminds me of a sea urchin.

  11. November 18, 2008 5:41 am

    your pictures just get better and better! I felt like I was taking a nature walk with you…we have blue jays here in the east but nothing as stunning as that jay in your photo. I had to show my Mom as she feeds the birds – such deep, rich color.

    I’m curious, what do you do with your chestnuts? I love them – we do not have chestnut trees in our area.

    Thanks for another great post!

  12. November 18, 2008 6:35 am

    Sarah, we actually eat the chestnuts raw more than anything else. Sweet and crunchy, they make a great snack.

    I told Trace he was koot! He loved it. 🙂

    Robbyn, thanks!

    TC, the chestnuts are great, the cows eat the nuts and the leaves. The leaves are 25% protein, so all the trees are “pruned” up to a certain height.

    The Steller’s are beautiful, I know they get a bad rap, but they are good watchdogs, and are a great winter bird. Their color is astonishing.

    Amanda, The Steller’s jay is our answer to the cardinal – the Scrub jays are around a little in the summer, but they don’t stay for the whole year.

    Paula, I always resize the photos before posting them, so some of the quality is lost, you should see the originals. The bowl is actually made out of piece of our chestnut firewood. It pays to have wood workers for friends. 🙂

    Susy, you will love them – the chestnuts have such a unique taste.

    Linda, I agree the lyrics of that song, make you just want to roast chestnuts and sit in front of the fire.

    I’ll get that info to you.

    Everett, I know what you mean, those spines are still lethal even after a year on the ground. The dogs walk gingerly around the trees.

    Tami. I have to report I already have a hole in one boot, I had just got over my fear of walking through puddles too. 😦 I’ve had them too long to take back, so I’m going to try Shoe goo, or some silicone or something. The boots are all being made of thinner material. So it is no wonder they don’t really hold up. But the price is what I don’t like.

    I know what you mean about baking. It must be the cooler weather, or being inside more – but geez, I need to lay off the baking. Luckily I can send most of it to HD’s workplace and it disappears. Instead of “eat it tonight, wear it tomorrow!”

    Kim, we love the dragoflies too. It is so hard to get close enough to them. I’m sure this guy thought he was in for it. I still can’t believe no one stepped on him or ran over him with a wheelbarrow before we saw him. I don’t think we know enough about photography to post about it. 😦 Just lucky I guess and with lots of subject matter.

    The kid gets most of the credit for the shots. I just take boring pictures of food and closeups of veggies, fruits and milk cows!

    Debi, thanks, we enjoy those guys and are especially delighted when we can find a feather.

    We eat the chestnuts raw mostly, and roast a few. but, they aren’t an oily nut, so keeping them for baking like walnuts for instance isn’t an option. Our neighbor dries them, and grinds them into flour. It makes a great bread, but is a LOT of work.

  13. November 18, 2008 6:30 pm

    The Kid does an AWESOME job on the photography!!!

  14. November 18, 2008 8:18 pm

    Stunning photos! We have black walnuts here. My sister who lives in the neighboring county has them by her creek. She bags them up, sits them by the road with a *Free* sign. She says they’re too much trouble to mess with.

  15. November 18, 2008 9:30 pm

    hehehehehe!!!!!!!!!! “Somebody got the good nut already”…….Lucky dog. Still laughing ……….Some people have all the luck.


  16. November 18, 2008 10:33 pm

    I’m back with another message. Just wanted to let you know that we’ve looked, my kids and I, at the dragonfly photos many times now. The expert nutcrackers and the nuts themselves were also studied. Thanks for coordinating your post with our science lessons!

    My daughter also likes the song a lot. 🙂

  17. November 20, 2008 6:08 am

    Kim, thanks I’ll let her know. 🙂

    Kat, I know what you mean on the black walnuts. They taste good, but geez what a lot of work!

    Chris, it’s a battle to beat those birds to the nuts, they are fast and they are smart, they only cut as many burrs as they think they can work over before their workday is done.

    Paula, glad to be of service – that song seemed fitting didn’t it?

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