Monday, December 1, 2008

Open range (open season? Not!)

Hello again world. The movie was Rob Roy.

That's not to say we didn't do ANYTHING yesterday... ok. We pretty much didn't do anything.

Todays chore is driving into town, and picking up my driver's license. Ugh. Not a chore I wanted to do today. We have an appointment on Wednesday in town too, and I didn't want to have to go back until then. But I need my license, and I also need a few groceries and to do some laundry, hit the library and such too.

There is a wonderful book I have been reading called "wilderness cookery" I can't remember the author right off the bat, but it's great. the original copyright is from 1961, and then this copy is from 1970. It's stuffed full of some wonderful information including this tidbit I love. Vinegar. I use it a lot for cleaning, and deoderizing. I'm allergic to most chemicals in cleaning products and I am not allergic to vinegar so I use it everywhere. But, when you are out in the wilderness, you can run short in quick time. So, here is what you do. Start with 1 gallon of vinegar, and once you have used 1/2 of it, you refill the bottle to full using water. Then you dump in 1 cup of brown sugar, shake it to dissolve. Then leave it. The brown sugar will ferment and add to your vinegar! What the book DIDN'T say is how long it will take it to ferment. I am thinking your nose will tell you, so I am going to have to explore this and see how long it takes it to do the job.

We were in a resteraunt eating breakfast yesterday and heard a conversation on open range cattle. Where we have moved to is ALL open range, in towns and out of towns. The very nice lady who is the owners wife was giving an earful to someone about some cows, who broke down her fence, ate her lilacs, broke the bbq, and in general raised a mess at her house. They even had her mother locked in the house because they were right up on the porch. Now, I don't know if you know much about cows. But open range cows are pretty feral. They would just as soon stomp you as look at you, especially if they are cows with calves! Never go near a cow with a calf at her side if she is an open range cow, she'll stomp you into the next season. Anyway, we found out this. Open range is just that, open range. You get a cow or a horse, brand it and turn it loose. If someone doesn't want your animal on their property then they have to fence their property to keep the critter out. If it's not fenced, then you don't have any reason to cuss. Deal with it. Most of the time, the ranchers are nice, and if you are being bothered by the cows, they will come and try to drive them out of your property to go and bother someone else. Every once in a while you get some jerk who tells you to just deal with it. My idea was that if the cow comes in and is destructive I have steak for dinner. :D But, here's the rub, I have found out that it's ILLEGAL! If a cow comes in, breaks my fence, is a pain in the rump and I shoot him... If the rancher finds out, then I have to pay him the price of the cow, PLUS he can sue me for the loss of the cow! ACK! Stupid cows.

Right now we are at such a high elevation that the open range cows and horses are down lower by the rivers and such where it may have less snow and be a little warmer through the winter. But come spring and summer, this very nice resteraunt lady has told us, be ready for them to come up. In our frequent walk abouts here on the property we have seen some cow sign, but what we have seen a lot of is horse sign. I am hoping this means that we won't have a lot of cows up here, but just in case we are going to have to work on getting the fence up so we can keep them out of the front of the house. And keep the DOGS from running the cows. Last thing I want is some local shooting the dogs because they were chasing their open range cattle.

We need the fence up anyway for when the goats and chickens get here. Don't want my goats running all over the countryside. I know that you can train both of these critters to come back in the evening for feeding and milking so not worried about that. But we have OODLES AND TONS of coyotes up here. We frequently hear them yapping in the evenings. A coyote pack can definitely decimate your goats if you don't have them in a strong fence by day, and a sound stucture by night. And! They can eat about 15 chickens a night. Think on that one for a while.

Off to get dressed and ready to go to town. Stupid drive. LOL. I plan on getting a few new gadgets today, and I'll write about them in the next blog.

1 comment:

PlantBuddy said...

Just dropping in from Rick's blog where you left a comment on his roses. You've got me curious about the vinegar recipe. After it ferments, what is it used for?