Coyote Soup

Bringing life back to the family ranch with three young free range braves and lots of organic elbow grease.

The Ones That Got Away October 12, 2011

Filed under: Fishing — Piper Long @ 10:55 pm
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Because it was such a beautiful evening and I had no other source of outdoor entertainment, I decided to tag along with the boys on their fishing/hunting trip. The two youngest were on a fishing expedition and my oldest was leading the way with a pellet gun, just in case a squirrel happened by.

We ended up at the fishing dock which is actually an enormous rock naturally protruding into the creek.

Being that the little cowboys were on a hunting/fishing excursion, their attire was a little confusing. Please understand that I had no control over this issue.

Fortunately, the fish were biting anyhow.

My youngest caught a few keepers right away.

His big brothers helped him take them off the hook and put them on the stringer each time. Some of the fish would wiggle out of their little hands and flop around on the rock, but eventually one of the boys would take hold of it, give it a nice little lecture and carefully place it on the stringer.

Then my little towhead hooked a biggin’.

Thankfully, his brothers were there to help him bring it in.

It was this big.

It really wore him out.

Plum out.

That’s about the time the big brothers realized the keepers took off with the stringer they’d secured between two rocks. Meaning, they had no place to put the biggin’.

After some debate as to who rigged up the stringer in the first place and whether to keep the biggin’ on a vine or branch, they settled on using the tackle bucket as a makeshift livewell.

So they cleaned it out, filled it with water, dropped the biggin’ in and went on about their fishin.

Unfortunately, it was getting a bit dark out and being that I’d left my cell phone at the house and we didn’t have any flashlights or flares, I decided it was time to pack up and head back to the house.

Halfway down the trail, I heard a cell phone ringing.

Then I noticed my 6-year-old set down his bucket, fish and fishing pole, reach into his pocket and flip open his cell phone.

“Hello?… Oh we went fishin’! Yeah, she’s with us. Boy, we caught a biggin’…

…yep, only one, the others got away.”

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A Girl on the Ranch September 26, 2011

Filed under: Musings,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:12 am
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I always enjoy having people out to the ranch for the fist time. And I especially love when those people are children who have never been on a ranch before. This weekend, my boys had a few friends over, and surprisingly, one of the boys’ sister wanted to tag along.

No one was more excited about this than me!

My excitement soon turned to panic as I realized I hadn’t been around a young girl in many years. I wasn’t sure I remembered how to do girlie things.

Luckily, she was game for anything, including a trip to the creek for some fishing.

I couldn’t help but smile at some of the things she said along the way. It reminded me of myself at one point in time. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“Ugh! I just hit a tree.”

“Ew! I just stepped in poop!”

“I fell in.” (…the creek)

“SNAKE!!”

“Oh! What a pretty flower!”

“I think it was a girl cause it didn’t have that stuff on its head.” (…on seeing a doe)

“What’s a doe?”

“A who?” (…on catching a carp)

“How do you get your cows to stay in without a fence?”

“You meant to say resting, right?” (…on telling her the chickens were roosting.)

“It’s a snake egg!”

I love girls. I think I need one.

 

On my windowsill September 16, 2011

Lately, my windowsills have been quite the popular hangout. Aside from my kids, here are a few of the animals hanging out on my windowsill.

1. Chickens

I got a new rooster.
He was given to my Papa’s friend, Ken, who before Fred The Rooster arrived, had exactly no chickens. Apparently, Ken was driving down the road with one hand on the wheel and the other around the rooster when he met my Papa coming in the opposite direction.

“Ken, what on earth are you doing driving around with a rooster?” Papa asked.

“Do you need one?” Ken countered.

“Well, I bet my granddaughter could use one,” Papa volunteered.

So now I have a rooster.

The rooster still doesn’t realize we have a chicken coop.

Fred immediately took a liking to the feathered females running loose in my yard. In fact, he’s been so preoccupied with them that he hasn’t even noticed we have a chicken coop on the premises. And being so tired by days end, he has since made himself at home on the front porch. Along with all 7 of my hens.

If you’ve ever owned chickens for any amount of time, you know that having them on your porch for even a minute is catastrophic. But when they go and roost on your porch for 10 hours, you may as well find another exit.

So every night we move him and all 7 hens to the chicken coop. Fred is so tired he doesn’t even realize he’s been relocated to his appropriate sleeping quarters. All he knows by morning is that he’s got a lot of work to do.

2. Kittens
One of my antique windows in the kitchen is somehow missing it’s screen. I’m not sure how this has happened, but I think it means I need a new RED window to replace it. Regardless, because of the missing screen, it is always adorned with kitten drool. The drool, of course, dries and leaves the window with a rather dirty appearance. Partly because it is dirty, but mostly because the kittens are relentless in their efforts.

And just between you, me and the fence post… I was the instigator of the kitten drool.

One morning, while clearing the table after a full breakfast of fried eggs, sausage and biscuits, I noticed one of the kittens sleeping peacefully on the windowsill. So before heading out to give the dogs their morning treats, I woke the adorable sleeping kitten to offer a few scraps. It really wasn’t much, just a little nibble of leftover egg.

And I have regretted it ever since and will probably continue to regret it ’till my dyin’ day.

From now on I will always let sleeping cats lie.

That little stinker told his brother, then his brother told his mother, and now every time I look out any given window in my house, there is a kitten with it’s wet nose pressed up against the glass begging me for food.

Now all of my windows have kitten slobber on them.

And I can’t even blame my kids for it.

3. Tree Frogs
Every evening, there is a tree frog on my dining room window sill. And every evening, we watch him for a bit and try to see if we can catch his tongue in action.

We assume it is a male since he is alone. We reason that females are probably not alone. I’m not sure why we reason this. There is no scientific evidence to support this hypothesis. It just is. Earlier this week, our suspicions were confirmed when we noticed two tree frogs dining on the bugs outside our dining room window. The male frog had obviously brought a date.

Apparently, though, it didn’t work out. We haven’t seen the female since.

 

Fishing with a Blue Tick Pup September 14, 2011

This pond has been the major source of entertainment for my boys throughtout the entire summer. As you can see, they always come prepared.

Poles… check
Worms… check
Tacklebox… check
Coonhound pup… check

Giant Net… check

Beautiful day to daydream… double check

 

A Guest for Breakfast June 16, 2011

Filed under: Country Life,Musings,Nature,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 6:35 pm
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A few days ago, while looking for night crawlers, my middle child stumbled upon a middle-aged box turtle. And of course, he wanted to keep it. Being the good mom that I am, I said, “No.”

He whined and begged and pleaded.

I responded, “Absolutely not.”

Don’t get the wrong idea. I love turtles. I truly do. I think they are wonderful creatures.

You see, my middle child already has 3 very small red-eared sliders in a bucket in his room. The line had to be drawn somewhere.

Plus, on the numerous occasions that I have tried to cage a wild turtle and cater to its needs, I have failed. Mainly in the food department. And for fear of starving them to death, I let them go.

So my 6-year-old reluctantly let the passing turtle go on its way.

This morning, when I was on my morning jog, I saw the same little box turtle making his way down the drive toward the house.

Being the good mom that I am, I told my middle child that his turtle had come for breakfast.

So he generously served him one of the night crawlers he had in his bait bucket.

The turtle graciously gobbled it right up.

Not wanting to use up all his bait on a passing turtle, or send our guest on his way with a half empty stomach, he went digging through the fridge for some tasty fruit.

Hence the cherry.

Then he was gone. Leaving us nothing but a pool of cherry juice and a pit.

 

Birds May 8, 2011

Filed under: Nature,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:13 pm
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1.

There was a hummingbird IN my house this weekend.

The ranch house is nestled so far back in the countryside that on nice spring days we tend to leave the exterior doors wide open so we may run in and out as much as we please without the hassle of turning a knob. When you work all day long, it’s really the little conveniences in life that make it SO much more enjoyable. Not that I work all day long, but if I did, I doubt I would feel like opening the door.

Apparently the hummingbirds were of the same mindset, because one decided to march right on in and help herself in the kitchen. I’m starting to get the feeling that she was staked out in front of the house for more than just a measly sugar fix last week.

Now I find myself telling the kids…

“SHUT THE DOOR!! YOU’RE LETTING ALL THE HUMMINGBIRDS IN!!”

2.

There is an egg missing from the killdeer nest. I’m not sure if I should be worried, angry or concerned.

Worried that something terrible happened to the 4th egg. Angry that I missed the birth of the first born. Concerned as to why it is that I have the time to check up on this little nest, yet have no time to watch the popular sitcoms and reality shows.

3.

The ranch is home to some of THE most beautiful birds.

And the best part?

I don’t even have to feed them to entice them to visit… except of course for the hummingbirds. Who have started to overstep some boundaries.

I think I am becoming a bird watcher.

 

Wildlife sightings May 2, 2011

Filed under: Country Life,Musings,Nature — Piper Long @ 12:28 pm
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On the way into town today, we saw lots of wildlife, as usual.

– 7 turkeys
– 6 deer
– 1 coyote
– 1 donkey

Yes, I said donkey. Obviously someone was out donkey dumping and dumped Eeyore off on my road.

Normally this probably wouldn’t cause much of a ruckus, but when you have three little cowboys stuck way out in the middle of nowhere, a domesticated four-legged creature that runs neither toward you or away from you has transportation written all over it.

And Donkey was no exception. If Donkey is still on our road this afternoon, which I figure is about how long it will take him to travel the remainder of our gravel roadway, he will probably be claimed by one of my poor two-legged children.

 

 
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