Chasing Bunnies

A few months ago, after a long hard winter, I decided that our “Pet bunnies” had been prisoner long enough. They had almost burrowed themselves out of the nice room shed they had been able to dwell in all winter. It has a dirt floor and its previous tenant’s (turkeys) were very pleased with their housing.  These bunnies dug DEEP  holes in the ground till one actually dug enough  that it reached the other side of the wall and was free.

The Buck…is a deep brown and he is huge. I turned him loose before winter as they were multiplying like rabbits . haha. He has been free all this time, he is not afraid of us humans and he eats the scratch grain and feed right along side the chickens and cows and his life seems content.

With one escapee I figure I would set the other three grown bunnies free and let them really live. I cannot tell you how much I love looking out the windows or walking around the farmyard and seeing large fat bunnies frolicking in the yard. They are not afraid of us and my faithful dog Brutus does not touch them. I believe he wants to…but he knows better. He watches them and then looks at me as if I will grant him permission to “get em”.  Which I wont.

Funny things, a short 30-40 days later I look out the window and there are lots of little baby bunnies playing in the yard. I have counted about 9. The moms are all white with black or brown or tan spots and the buck is solid chocolate so you can imagine how sweet all these bunnies are.

Our older grandchildren from Syracuse Indiana came up for a visit a week ago, and second born Leah wanted a bunny. I told her they were basically wild and she would not be able to catch one. Her Dad…our Son….contributed to the conversation by stating “Leah, if you can catch one you can take it home”.

OH MY GOODNESS. That silly little girl wanted a bunny so bad. She would chase them under the farmers porch that is built onto our shop, from one end to another. I looked one time and she found a ten foot piece of plastic waterline and was trying to “coax” them out of hiding. I looked another time and she had gotten a small dog kennel out of the barn, had it set up at the end of the farmers porch and had gotten carrots out of my refrigerator to bait her trap with.  ALL DAY LONG she was in hot pursuit of those bunnies. She would run and chase them, she would lay on the ground and call them, at one point she begged to be able to crawl under the porch! lol

About 4 o’clock I decided to run to town and grab some dinner fixings…… As I was walking out the door  I heard Leah begging her Daddy to help her catch a bunny.  Finally Thom  give in and decided to try and help her catch one. He enlisted the help of Mommy,  along with her Uncle Josh and Uncle Jason. I couldn’t believe when I arrived back to the farm and found out they had in fact caught a little black and  white  bunny.  Before the next  hour was over they had another one. The persistence of  this small child was impressive to me.  She has grit at her young age.

The comical part of this whole scenario was watching their daddy (our son) build a make shift bunny cage to get them home it. He used rodent wire I had here as they could escape through the chicken wire…his cage looks exactly like a large mailbox. Round top…flat bottom. Its cute.

Days later, these are the photos their mom sent to me.  Leah and Savannah are spoiling these little bunnies. They hold them, cuddle them, feed them, and they are working hard at getting mom and dad to approve a liter box in the house and allow the bunnies to be like a cat. I am not so sure they are going to win that debate  but I know that those little bunnies are very special to those girls. And I learned a few precious things myself that day…..about a little girls desire for a bunny of her own and how hard she was willing to work to get it.

Leah and her Bunny

Leah and her Bunny

Savannah and her Bunny

UPDATE:  Both of these little bunnies died about a week later and our granddaughters were completely and utterly crushed. Nothing would do but Omie (me) had to put out an all points bulletin on facebook, and yard sale sight seeking bunnies.

Within hours I had found some healthy Californian Baby Bunnies that are used to being held and interacting with humans. The girls were thrilled and so was I.  As I had to care for them a week before we could connect bunnies with the children. Last report the bunnies were thriving. THeir Daddy on the other hand isn’t so happy and does not want to endure any more “bunny funerals”.  The old softy…

Sad to say ….Death in pets helps prepare children for the harsh reality of losing a person.

 

My Crazy ,Busy, Farm

Its  a little past ” Springtime o’clock” here on the farm. I can finally say the crops are in. This is no small feat when you see just how “Antiquated ” I really farm.  My equipment is old, and for being hunks of metal they all seem to have minds of their own. One moment they work very well and the next minute you repair 30 minutes for a 15 minute proper run.

I chisel plowed the fields, then  I run across them with a 14 foot OLD OLIVER disk, then I disk the field again  on a “Kitter” so that when I do plant my  planter markers can leave an imprint in the dirt that I can easily follow with  each round I make in hopes that the rows turn out straight.

MY John Deere planter is old. I love the girl. Bought it from an amish men down in Topeka Indiana. He assured me it worked fine. Well it does, for the most part but its those “little” parts that get wore our and don’t operate correctly that makes for a long …exhausting…yet a fulfilling day for me.

I get the planter out, and I fill the two large bins with dry fertilizer. Each bin holds 8 ..fifty pound bags.  Then I dump my seed corn into the four seed hoppers in the back and after I have checked the planter discs and hoses…etc. I am ready to go. I head to the field.  I  drop the planter and make 3-4 rounds as we plant off the ends first.  Then I plant as I am driving down the length of the field to get to the opposite side  so I can plant off that end. Then you plant back and forth always picking up the planter when you get to the end of your already planted rows…make your turn and as you drop the planter down each time to begin again the left or right marker is suppose to drop down also marking the spot for your next row.

That’s how it suppose to go.  My seed was going down uniformly….but I noticed the fertilizer wasn’t. The sprockets are turning but nothing is dropping down. I rationalize this out and think it will just take a few rounds to loosen up the mechanical parts. Wrong. Half a field later as I am driving in the hot sun, at a slow pace, I recall being about 12 years old and riding with my Dad while he was planting and he had the same issue. I also remember that he and I used coffee cans to empty the fertilizer bins back into  bags because he had put the augers in backwards and instead of auguring out the fertilizer it was mixing it within the bin. Shoot !  Now I go back to the barn, find a container and all the empty bags from the fertilizer and start to empty the dry fertilizer bag into the bags. This was exhausting.

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Sure enough, the augers were put in backwards and were turning the dry fertilizers beads  into a fine pink powder.  I switched the augers…and refilled the bins with the bags of fertilizer again. Back to the field to finish planting. A few more rounds and still the fertilizer isn’t going down like it should. Drats!  I know from my cell phone that there is a rain coming by 6 or 7 p.m. and it sure would be great if I could get this field planted before the rain. Its perfect if it rains after you plant. I get off the tractor….mess with the fertilizer bins again and I see the bolts have sheared off from turning the wrong way so much, and pieces of the auger are broke off. Perfect. I make the “executive decision” to plant with the  dry fertilizer and I will break out the old “Galvanized Gobble Spreader” that mounts to the back of the tractor and will broadcast the fertilizer later.

Its about this time I should also tell you that every single time I get to the west end of the field I have to throw my tractor in neutral, jumped off the tractor and  walk around to the back of the planter and click a little pin that is suppose to let my RIGHT marker drop but the mechanism is wore out and I have to do it manually each time.  ARE YOU LAUGHING YET. Its a full blown procedure to farm this crazy way.  I had that field planted by 8 p.m.

Then I dig  the old Galvanized Spreader out from the back of the barn which hasn’t been used seriously in 20 years… and we spend two more hours getting it  mounted to the back of the tractor and the PTO loosed up. Saturday morning, again…I off load all the dry fertilizer out of the  fertilizer bins with a container….into their bags. I load those bags onto the back  of the pickup and drive it to the end of the field.  Now every couple rounds I stop, dump two bags into the spreader and broadcast the fertilizer the really old fashioned way.

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I know that my way of farming is so antiquated its almost humorous. Yet, it fills my heart with so much joy and contentment and peace. Its time consuming, I eat a lot of dirt and dust, my take in a lot of diesel fuel odor and I LOVE IT.    I feel that sustainable farming is even more important that ever. I Want to grow my own corn and hay to feed our cows, pigs, goats, sheep… so I know what went into them.  That’s  important to me.

And I farm in honor of  “Burt”