Friday, August 5, 2016

Something the dog found

Ever since we've been visited by a bear, I've make sure to let the dog out as soon as she gets excited. That seems to have worked pretty well as I haven't seen a bear in a while. Lately it's been things like the squirrels invading the dog's space. Other times it's been the UPS man. (who's come to kill us all, apparently)

The other day it was something different. The surveyors were back. These were the same guys my neighbor hired to double check the boundary lines. That survey cost him another 3 feet of driveway. They lost enough of it that it's not used any more. This time the neighbor is looking to subdivide a 6 acre lot so his son can build. The property in question is quite some distance from my land. However, my land is the last lot with a really good reliable survey. All the original pins are still in place. Apparently that's a rarity with these old lots. Mine had been done by professionals who worked for the old paper company.

It's a small town and I actually know the surveyors. Once I introduced them to the dog everything was cool.

We've been in a moderate drought. I'm not sure what the bears have been eating. The strawberries early in the summer were sparse. Raspberries were none existent. Wild blueberries are having an off year. My nut trees are barely producing. The wild pin cherry tree at the top of my driveway produced nothing. Last year I was eating those little cherries by the handful every time I walked past the tree. The only thing that looks like it might produce are the black berries. Bears have been tearing up whole lawns to get at bugs and grubs. One place looked like the whole acre yard had been rototilled. Even raccoons are turning lawns over to get something to eat.

The farmers at the local market have produce to sell, but a lot of them make extensive use of greenhouses and hoops. Old fashioned open field farming has been hit or miss. However, there's fresh corn at the market so that's a good sign. That's one of the things that doesn't make sense for most home gardeners to grow. It takes an awful lot of space. I leave that to the big farms.

Our little gardens have been hit or miss. We have greens, beans, a few tomatoes and stuff. My lovely wife has managed to keep it all watered. Something got into my hops this year. The leaves are heavily chewed. In spite of that I'm hoping they produce enough flowers to make some decent beer.

The sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) are doing well. No wonder as they pretty much are weeds that can't be eliminated even if you wanted to. A lot of people look down on sunchokes, but I slice most of them up and dehydrate them. That way they keep for a long time. It's a pretty reliable survival food since the plants seem to thrive on poor soil and neglect -two things I have in abundance.

All in all it's been a pretty good summer so far. As far as the dog is concerned it's been the best one ever. Lots of interesting things to bark at, good boat rides, and plenty of sunny sleeping spots. Maybe the dog has the right idea about life.



  1. It's been a strange growing season this year. Except for the tomatoes and potatoes, the garden was a bust. Had lots of luck with the containers on the deck, though. Haven't seen one berry growing back in the woods. I guess the critters are getting ready for an early, long Winter.

    1. Looks like it's tough all over. No wonder the critters have been coming into town.

  2. Replies
    1. No sense in having a dog if you don't check out what's upsetting it.

  3. My dogs bring home deer heads out of the national forest. Hunters field dress their deer, the dogs seek out the offal piles, and find wonderful things they drag all the way back here.

    All I got out of my garden, which admittedly was not big, was lots of tomatoes. My watermelon, squash and peppers did not produce a thing. Overall, we are in drought conditions here, though we have some torrential thunderstorms that ran for ten minutes or so most afternoons.

    Sounds like life is tranquil up there.

    1. Lovely gifts your dogs bring you.

      Gardens seem to be pretty hit or miss all over.

      It's been a good summer. Lots of friends and family around. Good fun.

  4. I live about 100 miles south of bear country, so I'm not familiar with bear/dog protocol. Is it almost certain that the dog will chase the bear off without being injured?

    Been a while since we had a dog. I was always hesitant to let it out when barking. Fearful of a skunk sprayed dog and all that hassle.

    1. Sometimes I put on leash on her so she doesn't get into trouble with something she should not mess with, like a porcupine.

      A lot of dogs will chase bears until the bear turns around and smacks them. My dog knows her limits and just chases it off my property.

  5. I always try to use dog psychology, you know, if you can't eat it, screw it.