One of the things we have really enjoyed is the herd of bison that is literally just outside our camper. The first picture has a corner of our picnic table so you can see it is perhaps 10-15 feet from us. They have a large field to graze in but come by to see us most every day and it has been fascinating to become more familiar with them. They have a long blue tongue that they continually seem to be licking their lips but are probably working the grass and oats around in their mouth. They seem to just meander, eating all the time, but on a few occasions (we haven’t figured out why) they have run up and down the fence line and then take their horns to dig a hole. One interesting fact – you can not tell if they are pregnant until a calf appears so that is always a special event!
Everything on the farm is done the way it would have been done 100 years ago – and that includes the slaughtering & processing of the meat. It is a very busy week on the farm as it has to be done in a timely manner which is not an easy task without power tools. It was ‘all hands on deck’ for this operation and we still had to greet and guide the visitors in each process. I snuck these few pictures as I don’t have a 1915 camera. We butchered an 850# hog and 1100# steer in a week, including stuffing 175 sausages, ham and bacon and then smoked. From the pig’s fat, fresh lard is made. The meat is put into large crocks and the lard is poured over it to preserve the meat for up to a year.
Do you remember our parents saying “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? Trust me, there are no idle hands on a farm as these two ‘city slickers’ have learned. There is always wood to be chopped, animals to be fed, eggs to be gathered and even when taking a break, a rag rug to be made.
The picture to the left was taken when we first arrived. Most, but not all, trees lost their leaves down here and everything was rather colorless. February seems to be bringing Spring. It has been an exceptionally warm winter with record-setting temperatures 25 days so far this year. They are predicting a good wildflower season but thus far, we haven’t seen a bluebonnet. The picture on the right represents the way the trees are now coming to life. I have always seen trees bud on all the branches but these trees develop clusters of green leaves while many branches remain bare.
March is Texas History Month. We gave tours today to about 100 school children and are bracing for spring break. We are told there will be 500-700 people a day – a busy way to finish our TX winter experience. Hope you have enjoyed the ride!