Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Name Game

Well, believe it or not, we settled on a farm name! Paul suggested it early on, but of course I have to overcomplicate things, and my loved ones may recognize my independent-streak from long ago, the "if anyone else has it, I don't want it" thing that led me to study Japanese and Latin in high school, and Ancient Greek in college. (Yeah, oh so useful, let me tell you.) I wanted something catchy, something unique, something not already taken by some other farm in Timbuktu, USA. After a couple days I came around (this after even using Google Map's territorial view to triple check there isn't some uniquely-named-yet-appropriate geographical feature in our area). How do you spell pathetic? :)

So, the farm name is...drum roll please...Skookumchuck Farm! After all, we're within a couple miles of the, uh, Skookumchuck River. Oh, yeah, that uniquely-named-yet-appropriate geographical feature in our area. I have passed along said choice to Tyler, the rancher we bought Bridgit and Sheila from, so that he can enroll us in the American Highland Cattle Association (AHCA) with our "proper" name, and transfer the registration for the girls to our farm name, too. Going forward, any named calves (if I understand how this works) will have names likely preceded by "Skookumchuck's". Such as Skookumchuck's Spookumchuck. (That would be funny..."Spooky" for short, or maybe "Caspar" if it's a white or yellow baby! Ok, maybe not.)

While we wait on all this, and on the arrival of the girls, we're still trying to connect with the Thurston Conservation District so we can have someone come out and tell us how perfect (or not) our pasture grass is, whether our plans for cross fencing and irrigating make sense, etc. Fun stuff.

Oblivious to the four legged critters that will join him in our pasture in another month or so, Mr. Pheasant has been be-bopping around, flapping and squawking up a storm. This morning he was so close I could actually hear the wing beats (through the closed window), so I tiptoed over to the bedroom window to look...and he was right there, perched on the wooden fence beam in the corner of our back yard, not 30 feet away. He's no dummy...he saw me probably before I saw him. I tiptoed (because quiet is important or something) across the carpet in my sock feet, ran down the hall, ripped open the closet door and grabbed my camera, then climbed on the couch for a better view and took two very poor quality photos of Mr. Pheasant. He was kind enough to stay put while I ran back down the hall and tiptoed back to the window, but before I could take Photo #3, he said a quick "Nice try!" and jumped into the tall grass, disappearing from view. It's ok...he'll be back this evening...within hearing distance, even if he stays out of sight.

If you'd like to hear what a pheasant sounds like (sort of a metal-on-metal screech, if you ask me), the Seattle Audubon Society's pheasant page has a button to "play" it: (For those of you who don't know, the photo at the top of the page is of a female. You can scroll down the page to see a photo of a male. It's sort of nice to see their photo of the male isn't the best, either. These boys always seem to be on the move, shucking and jiving between blades of grass and lumps of weeds. The females, on the other hand, seem to relish being seen. One of Mr. Pheasant's girlfriends perched herself on top of the electrical box right next to the street this weekend and preened, in full view of everyone!)

In other exciting news, Paul and I planted about half of the "big" garden last night with six rows of corn (two each of Early Sunglow, Supersweet Jubilee and Kandy Korn), and two rows of pole beans. Tonight we'll hopefully finish planting our spinach, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, and maybe my dill, basil and onion sets, too. I am very grateful for my workhorse of a husband...he thinks nothing of driving fence posts, bean poles, stakes, what have you, and the other night he hauled 12 wheelbarrow loads full of rocky garden soil from one end of the garden to the other (about 45 feet one way) to fill in the low spots. Wow. I would have passed out from the effort after maybe 3 loads...and that's if my arms hadn't fallen off first. I need to work out!


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