You're right Julia! I reread the original post. It was "weeks" ago, the pups were no more than 7 weeks, maybe less. It would be impossible for them to kill anything. I have been a professional obedience trainer for 45 years and a pet rescuer for most of my life and have never heard of 9 week old pups killing anything let alone a sibling. This is my area of expertize. Maybe the poor little female pup was injured internally outdoors sometime before the boys tried to play with her. In play, one pup will take on the role of the victim like saying "you're it!" and the boys had no way of understanding that she was really hurt. There is definitely some info missing of which the owner is unaware.
Nine week old pups are equivalent to a human toddler. They cannot be held accountable. It is probably a case of not knowing their own strength. Perhaps the female was sick or just fragile without showing signs and unable to withstand the rough play. Young pups like this want to play with anything and everything and don't understand that they can harm. They should not be encouraged to play roughly by children because by doing so, they are being taught to be rough. How are you determining aggression? Many people mistake mouthing like all puppies do as aggression but that behavior should not be allowed. If a pup mouths a human, they can gently catch its bottom jaw with the fingers for just a moment. Just long enough for the pup to begin to be uncomfortable. Stop playing immediately and even "talk dog" by whimpering. They will probably be surprised by the reaction and even try to console with kisses. They will soon learn that human parts get stuck if they are held in a dogs mouth. Take them out on leashes with the livestock and if they lunge toward the other animals, scold them in a deep resonating voice for several minutes. A mother dog talks to them in this way to teach her pups. When she is pleased with them, she uses a high pitched happy voice much like we do when we "baby talk" to our young. Starting at 7 weeks, puppies are ready to interact with the outside world and experiment. These have had an unfortunate start. They must be supervised when introduced to the livestock. It can be reversible with training. I understand that it is very difficult to forgive these accidents but remember that these are babies and give them a chance. I don't think you need to inform the new owners just give the rest to city people not farms. Hopefully the new owners will train the first two. Dogs who grow up to kill livestock don't turn on people any more than other dogs. Humans are the dominant species and are instinctually feared until a dog learns not to fear somewhat but stays respectful. Dogs that attack are trained to by a method that involves teasing and reward. Another thought. Has Mom been removed from the pups? Can she be allowed back with them to help with training? Perhaps her shyness keeps her from being a disciplinarian. That just means more work from people to pick up the slack. As far as the breeds in these pups should not be a problem. Mixes are usually well balance psychologically. The border collie does have bred in herding that can be kind of like OCD disorder in humans and Chows can be protective but since the parents are fine, those genes are too diluted to have any effect on the pups. I cant understand why people breed for herding ability (involves chasing and harassing) and then shoots dogs for chasing and harassing. Why do people breed dogs to bring back birds to the owner and the neighbor shoots him for carrying off his chickens? The dogs don't know the difference. I hope this helps because that is my intention.
p.s. I don't think they killed the goat. It would have been treated as a plaything and severely mauled.
It definitely had the head of a rattler. I didn't wait long enough to see if it had a rattle on the other end. It was in the process of coiling but not yet coiled. Kinda pulling its body together. It was a juvenile so maybe didn't have rattles yet? I wouldn't kill it regardless. I just want to relocate them a few miles away. I don't know if we have bull snakes. Does it have a wedge shaped head? We have coral snakes and garter snakes. I saw a sidewinder once and I think that is just another type of rattler. The garter snakes here look a lot like rattlers but the head is skinny. I don't like any of them even if they are considered good. I would rather have the mice! I catch mice in a humane trap and relocate them too. I do kill bugs if they are making themselves a nuisance. I have been letting the chickens out during the day and I haven't seen the snake since.
siu-yu man, I think you are 100% correct and I appreciate your suggestions. I have heard that the agency offered too little money for a buy out but that is in the eye of the beholder. In this real estate market, that might be a good offer. If I was offered the tax assessors appraised amount, I would happily accept. (That is about 1/2 of what this place cost me in 2007.) I will look into the planting idea and talk to any neighbors who will listen. I will also be watching that video when I can get to a computer that will play it. Thanks everyone.
Perfect for my Mom. I hope I can ship her ashes there and have them spread. She loved Victoria and was Canadian born as were her children. It has been over 10 years and I was waiting for a resolution like this. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks. We can look into a version of this. There is another community to the west of ours and we have to make sure we are not sending out problem to them. The levy is between us and them and runs from the south downhill to the north. On the east side is a mountain range just on the other side of the main paved road, so no room on that side. I appreciate the thought. I love the idea of planting, especially interested in the bamboo. Some people are afraid of bamboo. Would the less invasive type do as well? I was even thinking of beavers uphill because they wont have to go through the county permit process!
The water itself is less of a problem than the county management of that water. However, if we could show them that it can be controlled with our own efforts, they might stop trying to drive us out. I don't think it would control "the big one" but it might turn it into a smaller event in spite of the amount of water.
Maybe, I start small. If I can control the washout at the end of my street with some permie type engineering, the rest of the community would notice and might take some action of their own. So, with that thought in mind...My property is east of the levy but it has never been water overflowing the levy that caused a problem. My water comes off of the main paved road and puddles and erodes the soil right at the entrance to my dead end road. Overflow from that works its way down the road in front of my home but does not invade my land just the road. Gravel at the road entrance just gets washed away. Tried that. I was thinking of digging it out about 1 1/2 to 2 ft deep and installing a perforated tube embedded in gravel up against the edge of that paved road. I will need to keep debris and dirt from clogging the tube. I have a couple of pvc drainage tubes and a sleeve of cheesecloth to cover it with left from another project. Maybe metal screen would last longer. Maybe a trough (I would have to be able to drive over it)? I think that I need to keep that water moving downhill without pooling. What do you think?
Downhill about 1/4 of a mile, the water appears to be coming from the levy and/or from the mountains (so both from west and east direction) and washes mud onto the paved road. It seems to be mostly on the roads and not on the private property (due to compaction?).
(quote)I guess that the county water agency you mention don't want to take on the legal responsibility for your flood protection. I guess that if they failed and a flood reached the properties they would face a bill for property restoration substantially higher than the proposed levy cost?
They claim that they would not be liable for any damage to our properties. They used to pay for damage to the farm at the low end but have refused in recent years. There have been no big events since then but the farmer would have to take them to court.
(quote) It does sound like their proposal is excessively expensive - but then I have no idea of the scale of the work proposed. I'd ask the question - if you as a community bought an excavator and paid a man for a year to run it how much would it cost and what could he achieve? You can move alot of earth in a year!
This county has strictly controled building codes. We cant replace our roof without a permit. Moving earth requires a licensed engineers review and an environmental protection approval, insurance, permit fees, etc. The idea has been brought up half jokingly, that we just go clear out the levy and move the earth on a full moon but no one is brave enough so far. There are plenty of tractors and at least one backhoe owned in the neighborhood. I know for sure that the backhoe owner would not want to participate. We might end up doing that if an actual event occurred on the spur of the moment.
(quote) Why are the water board proposing an expensive concrete levy structure instead of enlarging the earthen bank?
They aren't proposing a concrete structure. The $4 mil plan only includes rebuilding the existing earthen bank. They were not even going to start the work until all of the money was collected. Since most if not all of us don't have the money, we would lose our homes and then we would be out of the way at no cost to the agency. Remember, the previous plan was to buy us out. I wish they would offer that now and pay the assessed value. I cant sell my home for that much in the marketplace due to the economy and this stuff hanging over it.
(quote)The permaculture approach to this is to design the problem away. In this case adapt your environment to mitigate against the high floods.
Thank you. That is the answer I am looking for.
(quote)You don't mention where you are in the watershed,
About the middle. When the properties were first subdivided, no one checked for potential problems. When a property changes ownership, the problem is downplayed by real estate agents. Actually, in the 22 years that I have been here, there have been only very minor inconveniences. Old timers tell a story of one large event in the '70's that took out some homes but now we have new foundation codes that may have prevented that. A mobile home on regular jacks sitting on top of the ground would understandably wash away.
(quote)On individual properties you can use earthworks to direct the flow of water around critical features, and create areas of still water where vulnerable structure are protected. (You don't mention if these floods are fast moving or more stationary water?). There was an excellent Geoff Lawton video on living in a flood environment published a few months ago.
Our present foundations have never had the opportunity to be tested. The water is fast moving in the levy but the roads have only mud problems.
My outlet from my dead end road caved in a couple of years ago due to runoff from the paved road that it ajoins. I had to dig out my jeep a couple of times when I tried to get out. The county would not repair it, claiming no responsibility. My neighbor came to the rescue with his Kabota. I will look up that video as soon as possible.
It should also be pointed out that we are mostly senior and disabled people on very low incomes who live here because it is cheap.
There is no river and only a seasonal stream that rarely has water in it due to the fact that we are lucky to get about 9 inches a year in precipitation. The water comes from snow melt and occasional torrential rains. Actual events are extremely rare. The water runs down the valley and empties into the Kern River and then into the lake which is supported by the dam. The water is not allowed to stay in the dam as mentioned before so it is drained off by the lower Kern River to Bakersfield, the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles.
I think that your suggestions are excellent and applicable and very much appreciated. Now if I can just get the community motivated out of their complacency. The attitude now is that the problem with the agency has been averted and no further action is needed on our part. I don't think that the agency expected to get community approval, obviously. They knew the money was not here. I am expecting the other shoe to fall.
We know we live in a flood zone. Kern County, California knows too. We have a levy in our neighborhood that the county water agency is responsible for. Recently, they made a proposal to improve this dirt levy to the tune of almost 4 million dollars. The cost was to be divided among 185 properties affected over the next 2 yrs according to tax assessor property values. The proposed assessment was 52% of our property values. For me, that meant $28,000 added to my property tax bill and if I cant pay it, after 5 years, the county takes my property. Tonight, we unanimously voted down the proposal. But, a similar proposal was voted down some years ago. That proposal was funded by a federal grant and the plan was to buy out the property owners at a nominal price. I didn't live here then and only became aware of that previous proposal tonight. After that previous attempt was voted down, the agency went to court to try to be relieved of the responsibility of maintaining the levy. (We have never seen anything done to it.) They lost and then tried to sue the homeowners which required the homeowners to hire a lawyer. The agency failed in that attempt also. We have wells individually and group owned. Our watershed provides some of the water for L.A. County so we are valuable but most of the property owners are on the bottom of the financial ladder since that money doesn't come to us. I am guessing that Kern County is the beneficiary and they want all of the water. They have already drained our lake and ruined the local economy by saying that our dam needs repair but no repair has been done and they tell us that it wont be done until 2020. They are waiting for engineering reports. They have told us now that they will find another plan to "help us" and that is what is worrying us now. This is a 100 year flood zone. The recent plan was only enough to protect us from a minimal flood which muddies the end of 3 or 4 of our dirt roads. We can handle these but there is a remote possibility of a major event. Almost every home is a manufactured home but most of them are on super permanent foundations. Mine has cement/rebar 3 ft underground and 3 ft above with the home bolted to the foundation and earthquake piers and tie downs on all four corners. The building inspector almost didn't pass me because he said it was overbuilt!
Here is the question. How can we avoid county help? Funny how the problem with the dam and our levy coincides with the drought.
For my own information, I compared the water absorption of rice hulls, straw and wood shavings by soaking them in separate plastic cement trays for 3 days. The water could be poured off of the rice hulls leaving them barely damp and they dried out completely and quickly with no odor. The straw absorbed most of the water and didn't dry out and smelled of rot. The shavings retained all of the water, didn't dry out and had an off odor. According to Wikipedia, the r-value of rice hulls is 3 per inch.
I lived in a 28 ft travel trailer with my then about 4-8 yr old daughter. It had a living room in front, then a kitchen, walk thru bedroom, and then a bathroom. The bedroom had a double bed on one side and closets on the other that extended from the bathroom into the kitchen. The bathroom had a tub/shower combo on one side with the sink in the middle and another good size closet on the other side. I sacrificed 3feet of the living room at the front to make a wall with a bunk on the other side and a playhouse below that contained my daughters many toys. I even recycled hardwood flooring for free and installed it throughout. I had an adorable apt size antique stove. There were no pop outs or outside patio covers. I loved it and we were very comfortable. I am planning another tiny home now for my retirement. It all depends on how it is laid out. I used graph paper to draw out floor plans until I was satisfied. I designed it around my furniture and things I love. Go RV window shopping at commercial lots or shows to get ideas. There are many tiny house websites online. tinyhousenation.com, tinyhousetalk.com and tinyhouseswoon.com are my favorites.
Read an old thread here but not too helpful. I don't have much to attract rodents for the snakes. My neighbor does and wont clean it up. Maybe it will go over there. People are clearing their weeds for the fire dept now so that may have rousted out the snake. My weeds are already done.
My heart is still in my throat! I heard my American Bulldog bark and went to check. She was on a chain with the house right behind her, the front steps on her left, a tree on her right and a rattlesnake in front of her. The snake was hissing and starting to coil. It didn't rattle but I recognized the wedge shape of the head and the pattern. It looked like the snake had the dog cornered. Fortunately, my dog is friendly with other animals in general and did not go after the snake, but to get to me, she jumped over the snake! It didn't strike and she is okay. I got her chain unsnapped and put her in the house and ran for a bucket and a lid about 20 ft away. The snake was gone. I rustled the weeds with a broom but it was gone. I looked around a 50 ft area but no sign. So quick! This was a medium size snake about 18 inches. Will it stay around? Can I do something to drive it/them away? Did my dog and I do something right to avoid a strike like this time that we can replicate another time? Please tell me about snake behavior.
I have humanely trapped over 600 feral cats for TNR (Trap Neuter Return) to reduce the population of ferals in my community. I have been badly scratched and bitten but have never gotten sick or infected. Cat bites swell due to a substance in their saliva but this is not infection and though painful it subsides in a couple of days.
Shelters euthanize feral cats because the law allows for it since there are more tame ones than there are adoptions anyway so they don't bother. People don't adopt a feral when they can adopt a tame cat by paying the $50-$80 in fees. It has nothing to do with illness. Remember, it is not the cats choice to be feral. He is only trying to survive in a world that has no room for him.
Most cats who land in the shelters are euthanized. More so than dogs. In the spring kitten season, so many cats are brought into the local shelter in my small town that the isles are lined with cats in a variety of cages and carriers for lack of space and by the end of the day they are gone and not adopted.
A dog that came from the animal shelter walked through fire to save my life, so, now I am a volunteer against animal euthanasia and abuse due to lack of human responsibility. If you don't believe that they have souls, just look into their eyes and if you don't become a believer, you are the one without a soul.
My steel is 2 1/2 inch tubular and the building frame is 20x30 feet so it will be a tiny house. This makes for a strong frame but not enough space for insulation. Straw bales will take up too much interior space so I was considering fibercrete blocks (homemade from some source of cheap fiber and cement). These blocks are R-2 to 3 per inch, strong and hard enough to need a chain saw to cut. They could be stacked and mortared together with more fibercrete outside and inside of the steel frame all on a foundation of rubble topped by cinderblock filled and rebarred and a wood top plate. I need to use a strip of foam wherever the blocks, cement or steel contact Spray foam from a can is also an adhesive and that would be a good thing too and it would fill in any tiny gaps. A wood bottom plate on top of the cinderblock would also allow me to bolt the steel frame into that as there is a bottom rail in this frame. I could attach a wood top plate on the blocks and attach the same wood top plate to the steel. I could leave the steel frame as airspace thus sandwiching the steel frame between fibercrete walls. The fibercrete would be top coated with mortar of some type. If each block is 6" thick, that would give me an R value of at least 24. I wonder if this system would keep the steel warm enough not to weep and if this would be a breathable wall. The contact between cement and steel and fiber and steel is interrupted by wood and a thin layer of foam. I am trying to limit the amount of wood, cement and foam from the build and reuse as much as possible. I have heard that foam off gasses and is not green in general and is expensive too. So, as long as cement doesn't touch metal and metal doesn't touch fiber with wood as the chaperone can they still be friends?
Cochise County, Arizona near Sierra Vista and Bisbee (Bisbee is the coolest!). Douglas is also near but too close to the Mexican border and is more desert then I like. Tucson is about 1 1/2 hours away and is a beautiful artistic city with lots of things to do.
I used Zillow.com to find my land and highly recommend real estate agent Dick Schutt (502)495-0751. He is also licensed in CA. In Cochise County, if you have 4 acres or more, you can go with the owner builder option and only have to get the septic approval (with a licensed person to plan the septic system which is about $600 and includes that part of the permit cost, $5000 complete or so if he puts it in for you) and the electric system will be checked for compliance. This doesn't mean that you have to get your hands dirty. You can be your own general contractor and hire tradesmen to do the work. Other than that, you can build anything you want up to 30 feet tall and as wide and as long as needed and use whatever materials you desire. They will tell you that you are still expected to conform to accepted codes but they wont inspect for it. They encourage diversity and creativity in building. The permits total to about $1000 with an additional $100 for each outbuilding or a guest house for a senior relative or a park model trailer (Aug 1996 or newer) for that relative.
I also used Accuweather.com to follow the weather, Bing Maps to check locations and Citi-Data.com for other info. Rainlog.org for precipitation info.
There are also occasionally existing off-grid homes available for sale.
One unusual thing is the border crossing into and out of Arizona. Surprised me but not a problem. I was just worried that I had forgotten my dog's rabies cert but they didn't ask. It is like crossing the border into Mexico or Canada. They are checking for fruits and vegetables coming in and illegals going out. Drug sniffing dogs included.
People are overly concerned about the illegals. You wont see them. They are just like scared animals hiding from view. If you stumble upon them, smile and wave. Just leave them alone or put in a toll booth!
I am also considering this type of build since I already have a steel skeleton. I think that Rose has asked the question better than I did in my previous query but I am not giving up yet. How about another type of infill like papercrete or fibrocrete? Or something else? So, would it work with the steel on the inside just as well as having it on the outside and perhaps covered with some type of aesthetically pleasing material encasing the steel posts? How about an airspace between the steel and the infill and the steel then covered with a siding material? I have DIY skills and wont be hiring much help just an electrician and some occasional muscle. I am able to build a timber frame house. I have done it before but I would rather use what I have.
I am not really discouraged but I do think that my electric usage could be made so low that it would not pay to install solar. I may just let the power company worry about it. I did pick up a small gas powered generator this weekend for emergencies and to power my tools when I build. This is not a green solution I realize but it is cost effective for my situation. If I do go solar, I wont be providing power to the grid or leasing.
The land in my area is going for about $1000 per acre for 4 acres plus. Plenty of land available and 15-18 inches of rain per year. I am hoping to harvest rainwater for all of my needs. My usage now is 1000 gallons a month and I can see that can be reduced. I also picked up a old time camper toilet that uses only 1 quart per flush (non-electric) for $3 at the same yard sale.
I think that I have most or all of my fixtures and appliances now and even the steel frame for my house and barn. These items have been collected from yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist, and eBay, etc.
My goal is to complete my project for under $35,000 including the land cost. I will start as soon as the land is paid off next May. I got a great deal at $500 per acre. There are 3 decent size cities within 10-20 miles and the fire dept down the street. There is a river 3 miles away. For now, I am stuck in CA getting my current house ready to sell and I am learning so much from Permies.
Rose, I suggest that you consider outside of CA. Just like so many other things, CA has commercialize green homesteading by wrapping it with red tape. With your budget, you could live like royalty in some areas. Good luck to you.
How discouraging! I started reading this thread thinking that I already own the land described! I have grid power available on my 40 acres in Cochise County, Az so, I will be connecting to it for certain now but I can still cut down my usage. I can still solar heat my water, passively heat and cool my home and convert a freezer to a refrigerator to save on my usage and practice rain water harvesting since I am too old to be affected much by global warming. I still have no building codes to worry about. I am about 10 miles from Home Depot and the county maintains the road 1000 ft away. So all is not lost. I just wont be 100% perfect but I never have been before.
Deb Stephens wrote:
The really interesting thing about domestic felines when it comes to prey is that studies show they actually INCREASE the populations of house mice in areas where those mice are not native and occur in competition with the less destructive native rodent species. Here is a short quote from that study... (cited on page 8 within this paper... "The impact of domestic cat (Felis catus) on wildlife welfare and conservation: a literature review..." http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/zoology/members/yom-tov/inbal/cats.pdf)
In California, a two-year study (Hawkins, 1998 ) was conducted in two parks with
grassland habitat in the East Bay Regional Park District. One park had no cats, and in
the other park there were more than 20 cats that were fed daily. There were almost
twice as many birds seen in the park with no cats than in the park with cats. California
thrashers (Toxostoma redivivum) and California quail (Callipepla californica),
common ground nesting birds were seen during surveys in the no-cat area while they
were never seen in the cat area. In addition, over 85 percent of the native deer mice
(Peromyscus maniculatus) and harvest mice (Reinthrodontomys megalotis) trapped
were in the no cat area, whereas 79 percent of the house mice (Mus musculus), which
is an exotic species to California and considered as pest, were found in the cat area.
According to Hawkins (1998 ) "cats at artificially high densities, sustained by
supplemental feeding, reduce abundance of native rodent and bird populations,
change the rodent species composition, and may facilitate the expansion of the house
mouse into new areas..." (Hawkins, 1998 ).
So, This study proves the birds and indigenous mice are smarter than foreign house mice! They moved to the safe area!
Dear Sherri, You are a dog person and not experienced with cats for sure. Most cats don't like riding in cars and she attacked your husband out of fear. If a cat must ride somewhere (to the vet to be spayed is a must IMO) they should always be in a safe crate. In a small space they are less likely to panic. Don't give up the search. It can take a long time to find a missing cat. She needs to be lucky once again to find a caring person like you who will help her come home again. As for her behavior in the house, if she is part Savannah (some wild genes) or just not experienced in a house environment, this will change. She needs time to adjust and toys of her own. Interactive toys (battery or human operated) are great.
As for barn cats: When feral cats have moved in, it is usually due to some food source available. If they are subsequently removed from the location, nature determines to restock the area with more of the species. This is natures way of keeping the balance. When balance is achieved, the overflow are driven away by the established cats and those will seek new digs and populate another place/farm or starve. Spay/neuter is important to keep peace with your neighbors and to benefit the cats. There will always be more cats dropped off so you will never run out of cats for your needs.
Adult cats will growl and hiss and even swat at a newcomer. The older cat is just establishing the pecking order and will eventually accept the new kid once he learns proper cat etiquette unless the inn is full as previously explained.
Thanks to all of you who appreciate cats! and a 10 thousand thanks to those who keep them indoor only cats and get them spayed or neutered. (1 female and her progeny can produce 10,000 cats in 6 years.)
Here is an interesting article ...abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/man-mission-build-tiny-houses-los-angeles-homeless-30891449. This guy is actually doing this in one of the most restricted zoning areas on the planet.
That's it...Chinaberry. I am very disappointed that it is poisonous to livestock. I wonder if they will avoid it like they do oleander. I am glad that I didn't turn my horse out there to weed abate! I still want at least one but it will be placed in front of the house again for sure. I haven't had it produce any seedlings but lots of pods. Thank you, well done since I didn't post a picture.
From my many years of experience with dogs past and present:
Cattle dog/shep(unsprayed as yet)...terrible with livestock, wants to kill
American Bulldog(spayed, purebred)....fantastic! Talent for herding and protection, too friendly to people but looks scary, smart
German Shepherd (neutered, purebred)...great! Herding, protection, intimidating but harmless unless needed, proud/stubborn
Rottweiler(spayed)....the very best ever!!! herding, protection, intimidating looking but harmless, willing and easy to train
Boxer/Pit (neutered)...has potential, good alarm dog, (boxers are bad for cats unless socialized early IMO), smart and willing
Dobie/shep(neutered)...serious protection, action now, question later!, good with livestock
Dobie (pure,neutered)...one was lazy and one was hyper and cat killer, smart
Chihuahuas(neutered, spayed)....would never have one on purpose, good thing they are small cuz they would like to kill something, alarm dogs
Terriers(neutered, spayed)...entertainers, most have been okay with livestock, good alarm dogs and brave for their size, one boy adopted
and raised orphan kittens with help from a bottle
Hounds(yep, spayed, neutered)...noisy but can be trained to control that, must run but will come home, mine were not good with livestock
Mastiff(spayed, neutered too)...great dogs but slow moving. Bad guys run even before the dog gets on his feet. Emotionally sensitive, giant hearts,
not long lived unfortunately
Springer Spaniel Mix(spayed late in life, I was a child, no pups)...walked through fire to save my life. (good with livestock too)
So, my conclusion is...It depends on the individual.
Can someone help me identify a tree? I am sorry but I am unable to post a picture. It appears to have an ash tree leaf (serrated, double pinnate, asymmetrical base, not fuzzy, not shiny, opposite, dark green) and had smooth dark gray bark when young which is now rough and deeply fissured. In spring, it produces tiny lavender star shaped (5 tiny petals) flowers with a prominent pistal and a wonderful perfume scent. The flowers appear as tiny bouquets or groups. It then produces pods that look just like garbanzo beans when they have dried to a tan color. I am in zone 7. I rescued the tree about 6 years ago in a 1 gallon pot and about 5 ft tall and almost dead from Walmart at the end of the season. It had lost the label. I felt sorry for the poor tree. It is now about 25 ft tall so it is fast growing. I thought it might be a flowering ash but they have white larger flowers unless I missed another variety. I took a college class in plant propagation and the professor could not identify it when samples were provided. I love this tree as it is well behaved and it is good for shade, aesthetics and scent and I want to take the pods for propagation at my new home in zone 8. I have not found another one like it. Thanks in advance.
Interesting about the temperature control. I had assumed that the sex was genetically controlled like mammals but I have read somewhere that reptile traits can be environmentally controlled so it makes sense. Is that how the commercial suppliers of chicks offer all female? I purchased 24 by mail and got 2 roosters out of the bunch. I have enough chickens now but I have been curious about this.
A friend of mine some years ago, told me she had met an old Chinese man who would select only the rounded eggs for his hens to raise into chicks so he would get only hen chicks. I tried it and ended up with a flock of 2 roosters and 25 hens not counting the chickens that I started with. I inspected the eggs when a hen went broody and only left eggs that were clearly rounded on the small end of the egg. I wonder if the eggs that were in between were infertile. The eggs that were more pointed were supposed to become roosters. It needs more testing if anyone is interested in experimenting.
I gave up my dream when my own mother who was raised on a farm without inside plumbing or electricity, threatened to turn me into CPS. Now that my daughter is grown, I am ready to pursue my dream again. My older brother has nothing, not even a vehicle to show for a lifetime of work and he has never had any dependents. I invited him to live on my land in a small house of his own but he wants me to sell my farm and purchase property in the San Francisco area. He says that if I agree to enter into counseling, he will be kind enough to put his name on my property! Well, I will never again have a relationship with that pompous a...!
CPS is a real and formidable danger to your lifestyle and I would distance myself from anyone who makes even a vague threat that involves them. DONOT invite them to see anything. Keep a low profile. Just enjoy your life and let your parents tell them how well you are doing because those kind of people will criticize anything that they see no matter how well done.
For Rebecca: If you can get the tom cat neutered, you have a better chance of keeping him around since neutered males usually don't wander. It also takes a lot of luck in order for him to learn about hazards to his survival. He may follow the lead of the spayed female.
Only if desparate, (and I really hesitate on this) they use banding on very young male goats but must be very careful to watch and protect from infection. It is momentarily painful but the alternative is worse (overpopulation). I have seen it done to a baby goat and once on a farm puppy and his discomfort was over it in seconds. If a dog or cat was young and less developed and could be given something for pain and the human was diligent about follow-up care, it would be better than the axe that some people use now. My own still go to the vet.
Regarding my post on dog shows, in my mind, I include field trials as a dog show. There are cat shows also so I don't see a difference.
Regarding comments from some of you here about keeping dogs natural: There is no evidence that working dogs are better if they are whole and no evidence that there is any increase in health issues. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I notice that you don't seem to make the same claim for females. That would indicate that you are of the opinion that females have no rights and are themselves to blame for unplanned pregnancy and the males are allowed to have a good time and bear no responsibility! Its interesting that you are applying human attributes to dogs and cats. If they had human rights to choose, I bet those females would want to be spayed. Then those working dogs could concentrate on work. It is not sex drive that makes a good herding dog. It is talent.
Wow! So much wisdom offered and I think you are all awesome! I wish I had had this much help with my marriage. I never saw what hit me and then realized it was my husband. From my experience as a single Mom since my daughter was 2, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't as far as the effect on your girls. Shortly after I became pregnant, my husband decided that he would no longer work but lay on the sofa and drink his life away while I worked (even though it was a difficult pregnancy). When my daughter was 9 days old after being delivered by C-section, I received the first beating. I don't think anyone with a PASSION for drinking, music or homesteading or whatever can change. He never tried to visit our daughter, never sent birthday or Christmas gifts, never called or wrote and never paid one cent of support. He died when my daughter was 11 from alcoholism. My daughter is now almost 33 and has not forgiven me for not having a relationship with her father. (I wonder if it is something in the genes!) I did not make that choice even though I am glad her father did. Obviously, I really had to divorce. IMO the only thing you can do is decide based on yourself. The children could hold it against you either way. My parents were also divorced when I was 12 and I was glad that the arguing was over and never wished it otherwise.
If you decide to stay, I suggest/agree that you should separate your finances completely. You could (while staying married), make an agreement that he pay child support and all of his own expenses just as though he was divorced. If he wrecks his car, it is up to him to resolve it. Perhaps that will help him be realistic about his responsibility. You could even make it a legal separation with court ordered support if necessary(Paralegals can do paperwork and you can represent yourself for little cost). Remember, though, that not all good guys stay that way when they find they cant have cake and eat it too. Meanwhile, you can experience diy living single. You might consider hiring help for certain projects and perhaps a family member can babysit while you learn and do these projects for yourself as I did. Help is here on Permies and other websites and the library is also a good source. I see that you have the confidence to do the job. Best Wishes.