Typical Fall Tasks
Now it’s our turn for heat and dry conditions. The worst thing about this time of year is the fear of forest fires. The air is heavy with smoke from several fires burning right now in eastern Oregon. The smell is unsettling, you don’t know how close the fire could really be and the worry is always there in the back of your mind. Historically some really bad fires have roared through this area in the fall. Everything is tinder dry and conifers are full of pitch.
The last fire that came close to here was in 1991. Called the Falls Fire because the lodge at Multnomah Falls was threatened, it made a lasting scar on the landscape on the Columbia Gorge hiking trails. It’s funny looking back at these photos and seeing that the field just west of the house was worked up giving us a place to park equipment. A ready-made fire line. What’s even funnier is thinking back to all the time I spent on that little D2 cat discing the crap out of that pasture! If I only knew then what I know now about making good pasture…sigh.
This was also when we discovered that the cows wouldn’t drink treated water. All available heavy equipment and fire tankers were at the ready and we filled a trough from the tanker for the cows since we had them locked up in this pasture. They refused to drink for two days and then finally had to give up their water boycott. They realized they weren’t going to the springs anytime soon and we were feeding them hay so they were very thirsty.
But despite the smokiness and worry, fall marches on. Jobs that are nicer to do when it is dry need to get done. Like finding a waterline that we were just sure was over here…thank heavens for dowsing.
Fall also means pullet eggs. It’s always exciting to find the first egg, and then watch the double and once-in-awhile triple yolker appear in the breakfast pan!
Another fall task is cleaning out the old and making way for the new. Winter squash we didn’t eat and won’t. Now you can see why I say the Sweet Meat winter squash should be on the homesteaders seed list. What’s not to like about a squash that keeps for a year with no fuss until you’re ready to eat it? The hens are enjoying these and making that squash into eggs.
How’s fall shaping up for you?