Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Scrape

The Scrape
Midday scouting hike about the deer woods, I found an interesting development on the trail not far from my south stand! A buck has created a sign post we hunters call a scrape. The scrape is much like the fire hydrant on a street corner is to dogs. The story the scrape tells other deer is; who has recently passed by, who is nearing heat, what bucks are in the area. So, as to a hunter, the scrape is a great place to keep an eye on during season. It's no guarantee mind you, but a place of interest to watch.

This scrape was made within the past few days and is not 30 yards, if that, from one of my stands. So, keeping an eye on it will be somewhat easy.

The Scrape be will freshened by the Buck that created it and by other Buck that can stand as a challenge. The Scrape is pawed by the Buck hoofs, leaving scent from glands. Raked by their antlers and peed upon. Does, will visit these scrapes and leave her signature by also peeing upon the scrape.

The Licking Branch
A Licking Branch was also created by this but. If you are familiar with a licking branch, well it is nothing more than a different type of sign post, most often above the scrape. The bucks will rake their racks on these branches, leaving behind scent from a gland at the base of the antlers. Often the branch is broken, but not torn off. It hangs down just above the scrape below. My guess for why the branch is broken is, so the does that are much smaller in size compared to buck are able to smell the branch. In this case, this branch was at least head high, and I am about 5'11. I've witness many scrapes under branches that are much closer to the ground and these are not broken. The breaking of the branch is just a guess mind you.

The Stand
The relationship between this Scrape and Licking Branch to my South Stand, is my luck. So keeping an eye on it will be easy enough.

Again, this is signs posts are not a slam dunk in getting a deer. It's a spot of interest to the deer and hunter, which both can and will end up ignoring as the season progresses.

To those that hunt, be careful and make sure of what you are shooting at. To those that don't hunt, this is who I am and it is my winter's meat supply. -Bill

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Meep! Meep! Are you mom?

Honey Bees
Click me!
Took the camera for a walk this morning to see what is blooming and the change the SD cards in the trail cams. I just love seeing what's move out there when I'm not. After changing the first camera's card, I moved down the trail as quietly as I can. The trail breaks out of the wood lot into an old field full on Goldenrod yet to bloom. Then, after a bit the trail bends west through a Willow swamp and into an open small open space in the Popples. As I rounded a small bend in the Willow swamp, I froze in my tracks as a doe was but 40 yards away standing on the trail at the far end of the Popple opening just where the trail dead end into the brush. We stood there for the longest time. I don't think she spotted me. As I watched she continued eating and milling around the spot. Every once in awhile she would to the north which was to my right. I knew what that meant! After a few more minutes she bleated, stamped her right foot, turned and walked off into the brush, which Im now noticing is blooming.

As I stood there, a fawn came out onto the trail about half way from me and where the doe stood.
Click me!

Now, here a child is not listening to her mother, I thought to myself. It quickly ushered itself down the trail towards the doe and out of sight.

Not wanting to disturb the doe and fawn, I wander about in the open area looking for Monarch eggs or caterpillars on the Milkweed. After search for some 15 minutes or so, it was time to check out what was blooming where the doe stood earlier.

I quietly walk over and found the Pagoda Dogwoods were blooming and the bees are all over it. As I was trying to capture flower and bee in the same shot, I heard this soft meep sound to my right. At first it kinda sound like a Catbird, but I knew better. The call at first was getting closer, then it veered to the west of me, but not far. Then, right in front of me another meep meep sound and a suddle (I know its spelt wrong, but I like it) movement of the brush. Yes, I knew what was making the sound, but didn't want to frighten it. I continued my efforts of getting a shot of the bees on the flower. Then, a bump on my left knee cap brought my attention back to the little critter walking about in the brush.

Click me!
Yes, it was the fawn! It was now bumping my knee with its nose and calling. I said hello in the quietest and softest voice I could muster. It just stood there looking about. I bent down to get under the tops of the brush to get a better look. That proved to be too much movement as the fawn moved away a few feet in distance.

I continued talking to the little fellow not wanting to frighten it into getting lost from mom. I was able to take some quick shots
Click me!
before it moved off into the brush. I slowly and quietly backed out to the trail and out of the area of the Popple opening. I'm sure mom was worried and wanted to get back to her fawn.

I just love it when Mother Nature says hello!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

HomeMade Ice Cream

Got bored waiting out the rain this morning, so I broke out the 2 quart Cuisinart Ice cream Maker for its first batch.

Following the simple ice cream recipe in the booklet, it made some outstanding ice cream!  Well, I think so and that's what counts

1.5 cups Whole Milk*
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream**
1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

* I used store bought Organic milk for this batch, since I was out of Raw Milk
** I used store bought heavy cream, again I was out of Raw Milk

Next batch will bee using Raw Milk (local dairy farmer) Honey (Our bees) and Eggs (Our chickens)

4 c Raw Milk (with cream still in it)
.5 c honey
3 whole eggs

Allow raw milk to settle so that the cream comes to the top (in a half gallon container). Poor the top 4 cups off into a bowl or your ice cream maker (this will make sure you get as much cream in there as possible).

Add 1/2 cup honey and mix. We use a plunge hand mixer to make sure the honey is incorporated well before we add the eggs. Next add the three eggs and mix the same as with the honey. The honey has a nice flavor but you can also add any flavoring you would like at this point.

I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE!  Following the second recipe, using nothing but raw milk, eggs and honey I whipped up this batch of ice cream!

This will be my base vanilla recipe from now on!  Can't wait for the strawberries to coming!

The above recipe was found at SparkRecipes

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins

No this is not a secret family recipe, one can find it anywhere on the internet.  Nothing like using ones own fresh chicken eggs and rhubarb.

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*The butter and sour cream gives this Rhubarb muffin a special texture

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1.4 inch slices

1 tablespoon granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375°
Beat brown sugar and butter in a bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat until well mixed.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon; stir mixture into a creamed mixture by hand just until moistened.  Stir in rhubarb.  Spoon into a greased or paper lined muffin pan.

Sprinkle tops equally with granulated sugar mixture.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  Let stand at least 5 minutes, then remove from muffin pan.  Cool on wire rack.

Make 12 muffins

Friday, March 20, 2015


Juneberry or is it Shadberry, Serviceberry or Saskatoon berry and many other local names. It's a small tree or bush in the Rose family (Rosaceae). In many areas this berry is known to be fruit ready in the month of June, therefore the common name Juneberry. The Shadberry name is commonly used in areas that have spring runs of Shad (a small fish).  And yet others known this berry that blooms when the ground as thawed enough in spring to conduct Services for those that passed in winter.  Up in many regions of Canada, this same berry is called the Saskatoon.

Leafcutter Bee

  In most areas, the pollinator will be native bees like the Bumble Bees and Leaf Cutter Bees.  However, if there are Honey Bees in the area, they too will work the blossoms if there are enough in bloom to draw the attention of the Honey Bee.
Honey bee on Juneberry

No matter what you call this berry, seek them out and enjoy this blueberry like wild fruit.  Most all recipes that one would use for blueberries, this wild fruit can be used instead.

Click each image to exploded the size for easier viewing.  You can find me on Facebook talking about Honey bees in a group called Northern Beekeeping.  Please read the ABOUT for instruction on how to join the group.