Animal


I wanted to enjoy the snow a bit before it is gone again, it is already thawing. Going to the woods in winter has its advantages, there is plenty clean drinking water, it is really easy to track animals and there is nobody else. The only disadvantage is that I need to take my old military sleeping bag. I am not a big fan of military gear, but nothing beats the low price of that sleeping bag. It keeps me warm but weighs a ton and takes up all the space in my backpack.

It was sunny and dry, but still cold enough for the snow to stay a little bit. I went to an aera called the Chaamse Bossen (Forest of Chaam). Located in those woods are 4 or 5 pole camp-sites (paalkamperen dutch link). At these sites you can stay for maximum 72 hours and there can only be 3 tents around a pole. There are no facilities except a water pump. This is the closest (legal) way you can get to camping in the wild.

I put up the tarp, made camp and collected firewood, which was all very wet. So making the fire was a bit harder then normally. But then I could melt snow and cook. At night I let it go off because it was to much hassle to keep it going with all that wet wood. There was some shooting going on in the evening, either early new year or the hunting season.

At night it froze a couple of degrees, there was some water on the tarp that froze. As usually I took my shoes off, my clother off, got comfortable in my sleeping bag, closed my eyes and discovered that I need to pee. During the night a mouse tried to get into my backpack to steal some food. I heard it and the saw it walking on top of my backpack.

Tracking was great, the tracks where easy to follow. I’ve found tracks of deer, roe deer, foxes and Martens. I saw a couple of deer and some roe deer. I didn’t take any pictures because I was to slow with changing lenses. I’ve been looking for a fox but they where all hiding too well.

This track I can’t Identify yet, wonder what happened here.

Our new organic de-weeding units perform very well, they eat almost everything. They seem to have a preference for rotten fruits and dandelion, which is good we have lots of that. They also really liked rotten tomatoes. It became more fun to de-weed. Everything you pull out becomes a play, will it be eaten or not and with what amount of enthusiasm. And most of the time it will be eaten. For the maximum amount of excitement and running about, I throw in some snails in the coop.

Here is the business end of the de-weeder.

Doing very well too are the poppies, we have had tons of flowers, and now we have tons of seed pods. Not only we can get opium (biological!) from the seed-pots, which is nice,  but we can also use the seeds for baking and poppyseed oil. These large amount of poppies do attract some unwanted visitors tough.

Unwanted visitors.

Yesterday we picked up the 2 chickens, it ended up being 4 chickens with one where the femininity is disputed (the middle one of these three). The race is called Barnevelder, but we didn’t really got them because of a specific race. Barnevelders lay lots of eggs an if everything goes right we should have the first eggs in oktober.

In the mean time the chickens are busy eating, scratching an pooping, fertilizing the soil and helping us get rid of the weeds and food waste.

Seba is really happy with them, he keeps looking at them and feeding them. The dog however is not at all pleased.

Tomorrow we get two chickens, who are going to be our gardeners. Also they have to take care of leftover food and produce an egg or two in the mean time. Mrs wife is not completly conviced about this project, but Sebastián can’t wat until the chickens arrive.

This is the arc we made for them, it is also called a chicken tractor. The Idea is that every couple of days we place the arc at a new spot so they can eat, scratch the soil and poo throughout the garden. Leaving me more time to lay in the hammock, which is something I have not done much this year.

I’ve made the arc using leftover wood from the atelier and a couple of old window frames. Most of the parts are recycled or just thing that I allready had laying aroud gathering dust.

Note the retractable ramp so the chickens are safe at night, I can pull a string on the side and the ramp goes up.

I went with my son the wildpark in Gangelt (Germany). Normally I’m not the locked up animal kind of guy, but these animals seemed to have quite some space and my son loves them. They have European animals that (once used to) live here in the wild. They have wild pig, bears, wolves and tons of deer. Here are some snapshots. As you see we had a lot of fun and in the evening Seba and I where really tired!

Carefull we bite

Carefull we bite, parents are responsible for their children, from behind a flimsy looking fence.

The tour guide

The navigator.

White Deer

White Deer….