Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Anniversary

It's been just over a year since I started this blog.  I did quite a bit in the beginning when David and I traveled to Washington DC and then when I was in pursuit of a peregrine falcon.  Once the relative routine of summer arrived, I tapered off and then when fall came I really settled into a groove and there just wasn't much to report.  Also in the fall I finally signed up for Facebook and found that to be an easy and convenient way to post "what's happening" updates.   However, this is a good place for me to write longer things and expound on things and no one can talk back like they can on Facebook! 

First, David- he's been on steroids since Thanksgiving.  He wasn't supposed to respond to them but guess what?  He has.  For the first time in his life  his hemoglobin has actually increased.  After a frightening series of transfusions around T-giving, he came home with a Hg of around 7.0.  A few weeks later, we tested him and he was up to 7.5.  Another couple of weeks and he was 8.5.  A little later, 9.2 g/dL.  Considering that he's lived most of his life at 4.5 g/dL, this is incredible.  And over this time, his dosage of steroids was cut, cut again, and cut some more.  This has kind of thrown all our diagnoses into turmoil.  We were supposed to go to Denver to investigate a bone marrow transfusion, but now, we don't know.  At this point, we're just thankful that's he's responded to steroids.  What this means is that he's put on some weight, is happy, and eats like you can't believe.  He's never been much of an eater, but all that's changed now.

On the ranch front, I'm getting fences ready for the upcoming season.  I have a fence that got washed away 2 years ago, 3 years ago someone hit a corner post and knocked a gate down, and 4 years ago I cut a hole in it so that cattle could pass at the windmill.   This has left 3 big holes in the fence with lots of wire on the ground. However, our cattle guy wants to separate some cattle and so, the fence must come up.  I'm untangling wire on the ground, putting many new posts in, and planting some new brace/corners posts.  I started off doing this by hand:

I have a skid steer, but I've never run anything off the auxiliary hydraulics and didn't want to rush out and buy an auger only to find that a) the auger doesn't do what I want it to do, b) my hydraulics don't work.  Turns out that a church member has just such an auger and offered to let me try it.  So, today after church we took the skid steer over and hooked up a cool looking auger.

Look out, post-holes!
We've got a storm coming tomorrow (it's actually here right now), but Tues I should be out drilling new holes.  Here's hoping it works.

Falconry-wise, I've pretty much put the prairie falcon up for the year.  I go into the mews and call her to the fist for a meal and she's responding just great to that.  I might get a couple of more flights in but duck season closed months ago and all I'll be doing is flying on pigeons.  At this time, I think I'd rather just keep her safe, let the pigeons breed, and look forward to next season. 

Speaking of next season, I hope to rebuild my pigeon loft and make 2 chambers- one for breeders and one for birds of the year that'll get flown. This way I won't have to disturb my breeding pairs during the falconry season.  Birds that survive the hawking year will get added to the breeding pool.  I hope to start next year's falconry season with 100 pigeons.  I had 65 at the start of this year and I could've used more.

The other thing I'd like to do is find a couple more prairie falcon nests and take an eyass tiercel prairie falcon.  I flew the peregrine this fall, but I want to try a prairie falcon now.  So, that's on the plate for this summer.

Other than this, I'm really, really hoping for a good cattle year.  Last year was rough for a lot of reasons and we're in a precarious position going into this year.  I'm sure we'll survive, but I just want to see green, healthy pastures out there.

Until next time!