The forest creatures know that winter is coming - our raptor activity is at an all time high with red tail hawks, cooper’s hawks, and owls circulating the barnyard. The poultry spends their day in the forest, under their Caravan canopy, or tucked under shrubs. One pheasant was eaten (we found her remains) but the ducks, geese, guineas, and chickens are all healthy.
At night, the barred owls are calling. Our Great Pyrenees hear them in the woods and bark to keep them away from the barnyard. The call of the barred owl is very distinctive , it sounds something like “WHO barks for you”
The Shitake mushroom logs are fruiting with the onset of cold, moist nights, Here’s what 50 pounds of fresh gathered Shitakes looks like.
All the pumpkins, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers have been harvested. The lettuces and root vegetables are timed for weekly winter harvests.
The tree house has been working out well, but it’s challenging to carry honey lager up the ladder, so I built a hoist on a nearby tree. I’m working on a plan to add walls, a roof and a small cast iron wood burning stove to the tree house. It will require an insulated stovepipe and protections against fire. Burning wood in a tree house does sound a bit odd, but watching the snow fall while warm inside the tree house will be magical. For the moment I'm using my tree house desk for writing.
This weekend I’m engineering a 300 foot zip line from the tree house to the farm house, aiming for an 8% grade and taking into account 2% sag of the 5/16 aircraft cable due to the weight of the rider. There are many unknowns (i.e. I do not know what I’m doing). I’ll safety test it with a simulated human (logs) before I climb aboard wearing full protective climbing gear and a helmet. Wish me luck.
Cider pressing begins this weekend and we'll be fermenting McIntosh, Macoun, Gala, and Northern Spy. The work of summer is waning and now the joys of the harvest are upon us.