Skeet and Squirrel, Critters and Chicks?

We do live in the country and technically on a farm since we do have our free-range chickens and one really cantankerous rooster plus two cats and a dog … and maybe some baby chicks very soon. In the meantime, aren’t these eggs just beautiful?

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People ask me all the time if we really eat the eggs and do we like them. They also ask how many we use a week. Let’s see: Yes, we really eat them and yes, most of us like them. We have one child who is really turned off from eggs of any kind, not just “our” eggs. He is fine to eat them cooked in something, just not scrambled or fried.

We typically will use about 4 dozen a week. Yes, 4 dozen. If we scramble them or make omelets or cook them with spinach, we use at least 12 so it doesn’t take long to use 4 dozen. We also sell on average 4-6 dozen a week in addition to the ones we eat. Our ladies are quite the layers!

I *might* have suggested to the Prez that one valid reason for him bringing home the baby chicks would be for blog-worthy material as we observe nature. The Prez was the one who came home yesterday telling me about how the local Tractor*Supply has the chicks.

Seriously, aren’t they so cute? Don’t remind me of the incubators and keeping them warm … and the freezing temps outside currently.

I thought while on the subject of the possibility of baby chicks coming home to our little farm soon, I would take a moment to post some photos that I never got around to posting in the last few months. The theme will be of an animal nature, and I will warn you now that some of the photos will show deceased animals and/or animals that we have hunted and used to fill our table … and our bellies.

This blog after all is in part about large family living in the country, which for us includes living off the land to a certain degree. Without further ado, I’ll share with you how you might find our large family on a sunny, summer, Sunday afternoon: skeet shooting on the top of our hill of course.

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Yes, Momma can hold her own with the skeet shooting! I came in second on this particular day, only behind Mo. It was the last time the Prez let me out-shoot him on the skeet “range.”

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The younger three are learning how to shoot safely too, and as soon as they are old enough they will have to take the State’s Youth Hunter Safety Ed Course just as our older three have done.

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While it was getting dark, it wasn’t quite this dark. I was messing with camera settings to try and get the next photo of the sun setting at just the right light.

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I just love this photo. I long for summer days again, when I see this genuine smile more often.

This is just another group of photos that makes me smile. This little dude had been wanting overalls “with a pocket just like Daddy’s” for so long.

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Finally Grammy found some. He was thrilled to open a package with these overalls in them along with a few other things from all of his grandparents back in June.

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On this summer afternoon, I saw him following his Daddy around, and I had to ask them to stop and let me snap a few shots. I’m so glad I did. He won’t be little forever (though don’t tell him he is still little).

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While we’re on the subject of Daddy and his sons, I thought it would be a good time to interject these photos I took just before they headed out into the woods in search of deer. This particular hunt proved fruitless, but before the season was over we had four deer in our freezer. We’ve been eating deer sausage, deer steaks, and used it for chili and spaghetti (very good! I promise!). It is also very lean and healthy for you.

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And here the two deer hunters are again: both of them killed a buck this season.

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This poor critter hopped unsuspectingly into Papa’s pool, which left Mo no choice but to rescue him. I’m not sure if he survived or not, but he hopped and looked to be OK.

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She chased and chased and chased until she finally caught one of the ladies. They are amazingly quick and agile, and not at all easy to catch if they don’t want to be.

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This hen was the sweetest little lady though once Li’l Miss had her in her arms. She didn’t move a muscle nor did she let anything else loose. Thank goodness!

This next photo is just a rare glimpse of Dori, who likes to stay on the down low around here. I snapped this photo early one morning as I sat on the couch reading and sipping my morning coffee. I heard the strangest noise, only to realize it was Dori scratching the window right behind my head. She is smart if not affectionate. It didn’t take her long to convince me I needed to get up and come outside and feed her!

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One early, chilly October morning, I noticed the trees FULL of spider webs. An old wive’s tale states that the spiders building webs taller in the trees signifies a harsh winter is coming … they predicted accurately for our area. It has been our coldest winter in more than 20 years.

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And this one: isn’t this just BEAUTIFUL?!

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This young man was a squirrel hunting expert. He filled our table with fresh squirrel meat more than a few meals in the fall. I have to admit, once I felt convicted to try what the good Lord had provided, it was quite tasty. It is a light meat for anyone who wonders and it wasn’t greasy or grimy. I promise!

PHOTO WARNING: Don’t look if squeamish!

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Just another photo of our ladies out in the yard grazing. They are very spoiled and expect scraps ANYTIME we come outside. Very, very spoiled (thanks to Grammy and their days at her house!).

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One of the many creatures who share an abode with us on our property. I wish I could say it is uncommon for Mo to bring little creepy-crawlies to show to me, but it is quite common. This one was particularly alarming as he blended so well with the grass! ICK!

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I mentioned the little ones taking their turns with shooting practice. I still own my childhood BB gun, and they have loved shooting it.

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They now have their own from Christmas, but these photos were taken in October before they got their new ones. Nothing like shooting hedge apples apart with BBs!

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And some more skeet shooting with my niece, who was visiting and had never shot skeet before. She handled herself quite well!

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This next series just cracks me up. My aforementioned niece wanted to pet one of the hens, so her Uncle was determined to catch one and hold it so she could pet a chicken. I love the facial expressions!

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We headed to the creek the next day and found lots of crawdads. And yes, we put some in a Doritos bag for some temporary observations. We did let the creatures go before leaving the creek.

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Mo spotted this lovely creature on the road on the way back, and proceeded to give the creature a safer haven beside the road. Guess he still hasn’t learned you don’t pick up hairy caterpillars. Fortunately, this one didn’t land us at the Doctor’s office.

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Yes, he killed four in one afternoon, which is within the legal limit of “there is no limit. ” And yes, we ate them! I know, some of y’all are not impressed LOL!

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This is just a photo of one of our deer steaks. They are yummy! They also make very good jerky.

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Papa and my nephew came out one day for what we had hoped would be a bountiful hunt. Larry did have success, but no one else got one that day. I snapped some photos before they headed into the woods.

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PHOTO WARNING: Don’t look if squeamish!

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This one was harvested on New Year’s Day. The Prez had hit it but it ran off, so it was very good that the boys, who had already come back in from the woods, were out back throwing the football. They grabbed their guns and Mo took it down up the hill from our house.

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Here is a photo of the squirrel, which the Prez battered and fried in a skillet.

I love this photo because these two guys, Mo and Larry, are working TOGETHER on something, which happens to be skinning squirrels. They are still learning and need the Prez’s assistance to finish the job, but I love that they are trying and the working together part is priceless!

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My final shot will be a “Where’s Waldo?” photo, except this one will be titled, “Where’s the creature?” who happens to be in our chicken’s feed!

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6 thoughts on “Skeet and Squirrel, Critters and Chicks?

  1. LOVE this post and the pictures (with no snow!!)! What a phenomenal place to raise kids. I am having a case of severe home envy 🙂 Gorgeous spot and such fun with all the activities and critters!

  2. You are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place and one that gives your child such wonderful opportunities and experienced!

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