Tuesday, July 31, 2012

...they grow up so fast

Ol' Doc Cain and nurse Bonnie came by this morning to band Ben.  He took it like a champ...didn't even flinch.  Gotta steer in the makin now.  My friend Terry Burger came by for a first meeting - post op.  I think they bonded.  The little guy dropped what was left of his umbilical cord this afternoon....next thing you know, he will be going off to college.  98,105,72,0,C,0

Monday, July 30, 2012

TFL hat history

No TV here but I watched a reality western in my front yard this morning.  Ben found the porch mat today.  Just retired hat #4 to the Field Lab Archives.  93,103,69,0,B,0

Sunday, July 29, 2012

first weigh in

Good church morning then headed to Chuck's to pick up a scale.  First meeting with his new German Shepard puppy, Sage.  What she will lack in horns, she will make up for in fangs.  Picked up little Ben and he weighed it at 61 lbs.  Hard for me to tell how fast he is growing since I see him everyday - now I have a benchmark. The hens are doing well...should start laying in about a month.  First critters I've owned that I haven't really bonded with - I just feed and water them.  Their favorite meal is grated cabbage, carrots, and organic quinoa.  Swiss Chard to supplement dinner tonight.  92,100,70,0,B, .15

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012


The big plus side to having Ben Fogle spend a week here was that he helped me remove about a cubic yard of rock on the east side of the greenhouse.  If it wasn't for his assistance - I probably wouldn't have finished this till it was too late to catch the first extra water on this side.   Chipped away for 3 hours today and got tank #2 in place on the NE end.  Little Ben wandered quite a bit today but knows when the light is right in his pen.  80,101,72,0,B,0

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Carlton Leatherwood

Thanks Carlton! The first TFL press that didn't make me wince.  His "Big Bend People" contributions to the Alpine Daily Planet are short, sweet, and spot on.  http://alpinedailyplanet.typepad.com/alpine-daily-planet/2012/07/carlton-leatherwoods-big-bend-people-john-wells-survives-and-prospers.html
83,100,71,0,B, .20

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Julia Perlowski

Next to nothing accomplished here so news about an old friend of mine.  I met Julia way back in my NYC days.  I just got caught up with her on facebook today.  She used to come up and visit me once I moved upstate and she would make killer dirty martinis with Ketel One vodka and queen olives from Balducci's.  We used to take all the fixins and hike up to a small cliff on my property for happy hour.  Hiking back down was always a bit tricky.  Nowadays, she jets around the globe producing works as the rock star of the youth theatre world.  She is in Sweden now.  85,105,75,0,B,0

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Had to deal with a tire issue this morning.  I got a flat the day we winched Bob out of the creek.  When going to the spare I sheared off one stud and stripped another.  Got that all fixed now.  Did a late day weather check and decided to do a quick in an out to Alpine for Ben supplies.  There and back in just under 3 hours.  Raced a storm home that ended up just missing TFL.  Mr. Floppy brought in a new girlfriend today.

As for the plants....the spider mites love cherry tomato, cardinal, and squash.  They seem to be ignoring my 6' beefsteak tomato plant that is in dire need of pruning.  It should start setting fruit when it cools a bit in two months (if I can keep it alive that long).  Lemon cucumber plant is huge but no fruit....same with my melon plant.  Got one healthy avocado growing well.  79,103,73,0,B,0

Monday, July 23, 2012


Culled some plants that are pooping out in the greenhouse and prepped for planting more stuff that works.  My favorites so far are malabar spinach and swiss chard....both plants grow like mad and the spider mites leave them alone. 

Working on a plan for a large enclosure for Ben.  Coaxed the little guy back inside the hut this afternoon for a low fly/cool nap.  Took him an hour to settle down...then he was out like a light.  93,104,74,0,B,0

Sunday, July 22, 2012

bonding day

Little Ben hung out with some other longhorns today.  Not too interested in them.  He probably wondered why they have horns and no beard.  Drank a new personal best of 6.5 pints of milk replacer today.  94,105,67,0,B,0  BTW - checked all my catchement tank levels after that rainstorm:  I have 9900 gallons on tap now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Les Nouveaux Explorateurs

Did a quickie interview this morning for my new French friends Emmanuel and Sebastian.  They almost didn't get in to see me due to the heavy rain two nights ago.  I had to meet them a mile off the highway and ferry them to TFL on my quad.  One more press junket with my friend Carlton Leatherwood (for the Alpine Daily Planet) tomorrow afternoon then it's back to normal (I hope).  Spent some quality time will little Ben all afternoon.  93,107,72,0,B, .15

Friday, July 20, 2012


I read about this product somewhere online and decided to contact the company - US Rare Earth Minerals.  http://us-rem.com/  They graciously sent me some of their products to test out at The Field Lab.  As soon as some other projects are out of the way, I will set up an Excelerite experiment in the greenhouse.  84,98,68,0,C,0

Thursday, July 19, 2012

...and then it rained

Caught 1200 gallons off my roof systems and pumped 2500 gallons out of the creek. 
72,95,70, .70",W,0

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the Bens....

It has been a hectic week.  It was great to get to know my new friend Ben Fogle.  Little Ben the bull calf was named after him.  (hmmmm...there is a bit of Benita and Ben'n'Texas in the little critter too.)  79.95,65, .14,B,0

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Been kinda busy at TFL this week.  Carl has been a big help keeping tabs on the new addition.  80,96,74,0,T,0

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

extra special guests

Had a real treat today...my old next door neighbors from Spencertown, NY came out to visit me today.  Clare and her son Bernie.  88,99,70,0,B,0

ranch life


Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

the science of calf feeding

Early morning run to Alpine for a new bottle and powdered milk replacer.  Raising this little sucker will be rather labor intensive the next three months.  Each feeding has to be made fresh.  Water heated to 120°, mixed with precisely measured powder, then cooled to 100° before serving.  So far he is showing no sign of the scours.  The new bull calf is called Ben (Big Ben when he turns into a giant).  87,94,70,0,B,0

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Poor ol' Bob didn't make it.  She went back to water overnight and drowned.  Since my swamp killed his mama - I had one choice.  As soon as I found her, I went to get her 2 week old calf where I knew she had parked it.  Took a half hour to get him to take to the bottle, then he followed me home.  Penned him up, gave him two more feedings, then spent an hour in the pen with him to bond.  78,93,70,0,B,0

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Very long day today.  Poor old Bob the cow got stuck in the mud in the swamp.  She was stuck there for at least a day - possibly two.  I just happened to find her when my Facebook friend Keith Kidwell came out for a FL tour this morning.  I called the Cains, but Dick and his son were out herding some cattle.  I spent an hour digging the cow out when they finally arrived.  We got her loose but couldn't get her up with Dick's horse, so I brought out the truck and winch and we pulled her out of the swamp.  She still wouldn't stand and then it started to pour.  The Cains couldn't drive out with their truck and horse trailer so they rode home on horseback.  After the half hour downpour, I went to check on her - I reckoned that poor old Bob had drowned (she would have for sure if I hadn't found her this morning).  To my surprise she was standing just out of the water.  Too weak to walk much further, she laid back down.  I took her some food and water tonight which she happily accepted.  Hopefully she will be up and out on her own by morning.  At least she is high and dry now.  80,99,71, .38",B,0