Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family Pheasant Hunting

A good day at our farm in South Dakota.  All four of our children were here for opening pheasant hunting, along with a daughter-in-law and three of our grandchildren.  They got their limit, had great fun visiting and playing cards after good venison chili made by Troy.  We will hunt again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wind in South Dakota

Would be remiss if I did not write about the wind October 17th and 18th.
I cannot ever remember the wind blowing this hard.  At least 50 MPH, with gusts yesterday 60-70 MPH.

When we went to bed last night, the sounds were like the worst blizzard Roger and I had ever seen or heard.  You could just imagine snow flying around, and zero visibility.

Yet this wind is only blowing dirt.  I was in our small town yesterday at the Church, on the West side of town.  The wind is always bad there anyway, but in order to get in and out the door, someone on the inside had to hold the bar on the door while the other went out.  Our cars in the lot were moving back and forth.  We could watch them from the window.

As I left town and drove the mile north to turn east, the dirt blowing and scant visibility made me think of the books I have read of the dirty thirty’s, only this would not be close to what they endured.  

I think the temp yesterday was in the 40’s, so it was a cold wind.  I can’t imagine how much fine dirt is coming into our houses these two days.  It was bad enough with all the trucks and pups that have been going by all summer, and the increase during harvest, but this wind is driving the dust into all the nooks and crannies.  Fine layers everywhere!  I wonder about the air vents on top of the house.  Maybe the extra layers of dirt in the attic will help with insulation!!

I remember Roger’s Mom talking about the 30’s, how bad it was, how they laid wet rags on the windowsills to try to catch the dirt.  Of course, I don’t think houses then had much insulation, and their windows did not fit tight like ours should.  And from what I have read, the Dakotas were on the north side of the worst of wind and drought.

Waiting for the wind to die down in SD!!

Monday, October 15, 2012


August 2, 2012

Last week, Roger is asleep, I can’t get to sleep.  Got up and wrote out some bills.  Windows are open, as we do almost every night, in spite of how hot it has been.  Don't have to run the air conditioner.

I smell skunk, run to the windows, crank them shut.  Look out the porch door, I see a spotted skunk prowling around the flower pots and the cement blocks we have ready for a project.
I watch thru the porch window, he looks at me with beady eyes.  I think, Can I get Roger awake and get a gun?   .Woke Roger up, but of course skunk was gone.

A night or so goes by.  This night I am sound asleep, and wake to the smell of skunk filling the bedroom, shut the window, run to the kitchen.  Too late, now the whole house is full of smell.  Besides that, the porch door window was left open.  No skunk in sight by the time I look.  Hard to go back to sleep.

Both the car and tracker were sitting outside.  I used the car the next day, skunk smell floats out of it. 
The next evening, Saturday, we went to the Bull Riding at Desparado Days in Kimball, the guy who told Roger where to park said…”You hit a skunk on the way in, didn’t you?”

We bring up the live animal traps, and set 3 of them…one right in front of the house, between front and back steps, the other two on west and north side of garage.
Next AM, a cat only.    Smell lingers a little outdoors today.   Catch an occasional cat.

Now we are to Wednesday AM the next week.  I wake up about 4:30 AM, watch taped Olympics, windows are open.  Roger gets up at 5:30, and skunk smell starts its penetration.
Sure enough, a skunk in the trap in front of the house.  Roger is leaving for a sale, I implore him to get rid of the skunk before he goes.  He does not want to start his day smelling like a skunk, but he fetches his 12 foot wire with a hook, and drags the trap down to the calf yard.  It was still dark.  At 8:30, I go check the trap, curious…is it a big skunk, or a smaller spotted one that I saw?  THE TRAP IS EMPTY!!  The door is still tightly latched, the entire screen on this trap is 1 inch by 1 ½ inches.

That night,still Wednesday, we set the traps again.  I toss and turn, remembering the spotted skunks that daughter Kim had in her house, wondering if I have any small entry places around my house. Checked before I went to bed, and released 2 of our wild/tame cats. Reset the traps.  We don’t think it will come back tonight, since it was caught just this AM.

Roger goes to bed, he has an early meeting Thursday.  Before I can get to bed,  I smell skunk, take a peek, there is a skunk in the garage trap.  Wake Roger up anyway.  He says,  “It can’t get out of that trap, the screens are even smaller..they are 1 inch square.”

Thursday AM, Roger dresses for skunk job, and sure enough, THE TRAP IS EMPTY again! 

Conclusion, but not the end of the story:  This must be a young civet cat, and we now think it is getting out BETWEEN the sprung down catch door and the side of the trap, again, I measured, there is only 1 inch of space, but the space is about 12 inches long.   A 12 by 1 inch space??  They must be like a rat, if they can get their head thru a space, then the body will follow.

Will set again tonight, with gun by the door!  Wish us luck!!
The saga will continue, hopefully with better results.

Wish us luck,
From the Smelly Farm!