NATURAL HISTORY:
BOTTOMLAND FARM, HILL FARM and THIS OLD HOUSE
Sidney West Sullivan © 2006 et seq | email
Hill Farm Conservation Human History Missouri Conservation Links Missouri Hunting Seasons
Commencing 18 April 2006 and recorded lackadaisically.
Who knows a twitter from a tweet or a blog from a log? Still not s1dney.
One thought occurs repeatedly. Life is not data entry.
DATETIME/WEATHEROBSERVATION
12/16/2016 at Old HouseGray squirrels have taken up residence smack dab in the middle of the red squirrels. Natural wonders never cease. They move through the trees like Tarzan with their white tipped ears and gorgeous white fringed tails. Welcome aboard, my dears.
12/18/2015 at Old House
MO SkiesMissouri skies. I know I'm home.
12/19/2014 at Old HouseMild winter so far so good. Beautiful northern flicker pair still hanging around. I hear them drumming but don't think they're doing damage. May they make it to spring and nest. Flu shots, schmu shots!
5/7/2014 at Old HouseLydia and Luke were planted on the bank of the driveway today. The more lilacs, the merrier. Beryl joined Beauregard. Beauregard, spectacular last summer, is looking peaked after the severe winter. May both butterfly bushes thrive.
10/23/2013 at Old House
Hi, there!Other current conspicuous resident fauna: voracious groundhog; less conspicuous: aggressive mama coonski, formerly in the attic and now hopefully happy elsewhere.
August 2013 at Bottom and Hill FarmsHard year for Saline County. No rain in sight. Beans suffering.
8/15/2013 at Old HouseThis old house is getting a new roof. Residents are freaked.
8/2/2012 at Old HouseResidents during severe drought: redbirds, goldfinches, hummers, 1 very friendly resident jay, nuthatches, tufted tits, chickadees, many doves, song sparrows and Britishers, hot red squirrels and what I think is a pretty fast groundhog. After dark -- deer and coonski.
12/26/2011 at Old HouseResidents this mild December: redbirds galore, stunning bluejays (2 pairs -- front and back yard), nuthatches a batch, tufted tits, chickadees, downies, hairies, redbellies, song sparrows and Britishers, very few juncos, handsome bunch of red squirrels and after dark -- deer, bunnies and the trusty possum family. No foxes but I see them around town. Come on back.
11/20/2011 at Old HouseFall roundup: weeping willow and frontyard bittersweet are dead. Jim will take down the willow in the spring. Good year for blue jays, tufted titmice and sunsets. Sunchips Project Update
5/29/2011 at Old HouseKitty says MO wrens return on April 17. Mine were 2 days early this year and bless their hearts, they stayed through a cold as a toad spring!
July 2011 at Bottom FarmBad year for ticks, etc. Visited Dorothy, Clements family matriarch. Dorothy is 83 and lives in deep country. "Never fails," she said, "every year we lose a calf. (Naturally, the Clements raise their own beef.) Monday we sprayed the herd down and moved them. Tuesday morning I saw an old cow start to head back but she was hot and returned to the pond. So Jake and I went to look. Sure enough, there he was, lying downin the grass. Up he jumped. Jake was in the 4-wheeler and grabbed him. 'He's got a bad eye,' I told Jake. So he held him and I must have pulled out 20 ticks."
5/29/2011 at Old HouseKitty says MO wrens return on April 17. Mine were 2 days early this year and bless their hearts, they stayed through a cold as a toad spring!
3/6/2011 at Old HouseWhat a long winter! Still cold but robbins are bobbin'. Welcome back.
12/16/2010 at Old HouseBeautiful dog fox with a coat the deep red of autumn leaves and socks as black as Santa's boots explored the territory under the maple tree birdfeeder. Welcome back.
8/7/2010 at Old HouseHere it is a big year for locusts, rising and swelling with deep thrusts, walloping the airwaves with broad gusts, priming the pumps while the sun rusts.
8/2-11/20/2011 at Old House
Is Sunchips telling the truth? There are issues. Stay tuned.
Day 1 (8/2/2010)Day 1
Week 3 (8/21/2010)Week 3
Week 9 (10/2/2010)Week 9
Week 13 (10/30/2010)Week 13
Week 53 (8/11/2011)Week 53
Week 66 (11/19/2011)Week 66
Week 90 and done (6/22/2012)Week 90
2010-2012 experiment (DF, JC, SP, SS)
7/21/2010 at Old HousePrickly pear (Opuntia humifusa), gift from Sue, planted and wished well.
7/18/2010 at Old HouseMama and 3 half-grown coons on the corn feeder this am. Scuttle, scuttle, scuttle.
6/1/2010 at Old HouseBird noise got my attention, cock wren, 2 cock grackles, redbird pair, resident jay. When I arrived they knew I was there but didn't care. Following their group stare I saw the big blacksnake come down the trunk of the shingle oak and with a thump hit the ground. Then one grackle lit very near the enemy as though to say, this is something I can tackle. Up in the tree, no way. Both grackles were quiet in the confrontation even though ordinarily they have plenty to say.
4/30/2010 at Old HouseThe mocker's back, bless his yackety yack.
4/9/2010 at Old HouseRedtail hawk sighting: This morning under the kitchen window sat a big and beautiful ruffled baby; eventually the baby's parents coaxed him back into flight after much circling and hollering. As usual this spring the deer have munched up my prettiest blooms but when you live close to nature and even when you don't you can't have everything.
1/16/2010 at Old House and anywhereThis is called joy: Elk Calf
December 2009 at Old HouseOne, now two dead mice show up in basement, spotted and disposed of by Jim, bless him. First rodents, dead or alive, since 2001 occupancy. May they be the last. DeCon, again Jim, is in the basement and attic. Do I check to see if it's been nibbled on? No. Quirkily enough to make you run screaming into the night the Netflix movie of my moment is Blue (1993). I watch Juliette Binoche consider the babies and the landlord's cat, and then reluctantly loose the cat in her apartment. Stay out of this old house, meeses.
November 2009 at Bottom FarmJim finds no pecans.
November 2009 at Hill FarmDan the man downs nice buck. To deter trespassers, Dave puts up purple markers.
8/31/2009 at Old HouseThe resident fox kits were at the compost heap tonight, first the dominant dog chowing mightily on peanuts in the shell, iffy tuna salad and iffy cottage cheese; then the second dog quickly chased off; then the vixen, ditto. All 3 looked good with their golden eyes and triangular faces. They'll be splitting up soon. Redbird hens are scarfing up locusts. Below 50 last night. Strange for late August.
4/29/2009 at Old HouseBack of the back and 2 interesting environmental effects: (1) sheep in the neighbor's walnut grove and if you think goats eat a heap, try sheep. As a consequence the squirrel population has quadrupled. Resident squirrels have given up on keeping out the interlopers. It's every squirrel for itself. (2) To the south of the walnuts are 4 or 5 left over maples. Buzzards have begun to glide in. They light in the trees. Crows follow the buzzards and caw attention to them. Moving on -- saw my second hummer today. Been a long cold spring for all.
3/29/2009 at Old HouseBaltimore oriole joins the birds at the backyard feeder. Sakes alive, he's gorgeous! No sign of the hen but Jim says where there's one, there's a pair. He says I'll see her in her subdued colors after the chicks are born.
2/15/2009 at Old HouseFine looking fox pair sighted near sunset. Hooray!
2/8/2009 at Old HouseRecent sightings: Carolina wren who came north early, red fox vixen inspecting the back 40, red tail hawk circling very close.
12/29/2008 at Old HouseBackyard possums are back, white faces shining in the dark, nosing around the bird feeder. If you're willing to eat anything, you can usually find something to eat.
11/11/2008 at Old HouseSpotted the prettiest doe in the back 40 late pm. Night time corn and salt lick visitor? Same fine mother from last year? We focused and she took off at medium speed, over the fence with gorgeous white flag flying.
8/26/2008 at Old HouseRemember the fat, happy goats? Well, they're back and not coming through the open gate like Jim had hoped. This is a rabbit year and rabbits like peaches. I didn't know that. There's a lot I don't know.
6/20/2008 at Bottom FarmSeepage loss --corn and beans.
5/18/2008 at Old HouseJim's garden fence seems to be working so far. When the second batch of sunflowers comes up, will the deer top those off? Hope not. The catbird pair are very cool to watch and hear.
5/12/2008 at Old HouseWhile I mostly putter and watch wrens, Jim works the soil and plants salsify, collards, green beans, tomato, sunflowers, morning glory, zinnias; moves sunflowers and raspberries and then heads to the Dyer farm to plant that garden. Phew!
5/8/2008 at Old HouseHooray! Wrens are here (finally!) and the foxes are back. Full grown nice looking vixen loped towards the salt lick by the door until she saw me standing in the doorway, then loped off towards the tracks. May she have kits and train them in the sun on the back 40.
3/31/2008 at Old HouseWind blew down hackberry last night.
3/28, 3/27 and 3/25/2008 -- Bottom Farm
News Analysis/Confused and bemused about the yes-no-maybe SPRING RISE
Kathy Fairchild, The Marshall Democrat-News, Friday, 3/28/2008
Corps of Engineers plans to begin PULSE on Missouri River in spite of objections
Eric Crump, Kathy Fairchild, The Marshall Democrat-News, Tuesday, 3/25/2008
3/26/2008 at Old HouseJim saw to the mowers. Brief hail in the PM.

Changed out birdfeeders for summer and chased starlings away from suet. At the suet in pairs are redbellies and Downey and hairy woodpeckers, all waiting a turn, until the starlings take over. Out the backdoor I tear snarling starlings aren't welcome!
3/12/2008 at Old HouseJim planted seed potatos, fertilized.
3/3/2008 at Old House29 degrees. False spring: go away, please!
3/2/2008 at Old House73 degrees with me coming off bigtime sickies. Got in 5 mile walk ahead of tomorrow's predicted cold freeze!
1/29/2008 at Old HouseBack in the low single digits -- brrr! Annie emails about the California kite -- not so different from the Mississippi kite except the latter is gray and the former is white. All birds are different! Palm cockatoos can live to be 90. Imagine!
1/11/2008 at Old HouseThe "small hawk or falcon or kestrel with silver back and wings, white underparts and orange pantaloons" of 12/14/2007 observation hit the backyard feeder hard today, whipping through the cedar tree and rousting out the resident jay and many redbirds. He followed whatever he hit to the bushes on the south and then to the ground where he proceeded to pluck and eat. Above him perched a cock redbird. The hawk kill was too small to be the redbird hen. No visible orange (maybe that was blood or old eyes and the light). This must be, as Jim suspected, a Mississippi kite. Leaves no mess and is beautiful but wish he'd eat rodents not birds!
1/1/2008 at Old HouseCold. Put up squirrel corn. Lady at Central MO Ag says others are seeing crows. Rough year for birds and critters according to The Democrat. Nuts, berries scarce. Watch for strangers at the feeders. Today red tail hawk came close but no cigars. Joe Jr. saw mountain lion prints by his farm.
12/19/2007 at Old House5 crows at the back feeder -- big especially one who was boss. In the slush from the snow they enjoyed corn and seed. Resident songbirds were tolerant. Squirrels were not but there was a stand-off. In fact, boss crow, working to herd squirrels away, actually pecked from the rear at a bushytail. Immediately all squirrels and crows jumped high in the air and came back down to continue the stand-off. Jim reminded me of when crows roosted on islands in the Missouri River with crowhunters literally tearing off and turning in heads for the bounty. Farmers believed crows were eating too much corn. My father claimed crows knew when he had a shotgun in the vehicle and stayed in the centers of fields. If he didn't have the shotgun, they came to the edges, right up to the road. He rather admired this, I think, which is not to say he wouldn't have blown crows away, given the chance. For the most part, crows eat roadkill. Please may we learn to get along with crows.
12/14/2007 at Old HouseIn the am under the north kitchen window small hawk or falcon or kestrel with silver back and wings, white underparts and orange pantaloons, feasting on junco. Pair of jays light on butterfly bush, do the usual jay double-take, then begin to eat sunflower seed from the feeder while the hawk, eying them from the ground, eats junco. In an hour only blue-black feathers remain on the seed-littered snow and ice. In the pm first redbirds, then juncos return to feeders.
12/13/2007 at Old House35 degrees with sun melting down some ice. So far 2007 ice storms have skiddered and sludded around Marshall but front and back yards are sheets of ice. UPS man literally skated down the sidewalk, seems used to it.
10/30/2007 at Old House72 degrees. Per Joe Sr. thinking about hican ilo pecan.
9/27/2007 at Old HouseThe dickcissels were in the backyard yesterday morning followed by a herd of robins. Time to move south.
9/25/2007 at Old HouseScared up hawk on the way to Van Meter and deer munching my backyard redbuds this afternoon -- old doe and yearling. Pretty "thangs"!
9/22/2007 at Hill FarmTerrible year for Missouri turkeys -- late freeze.
9/20/2007 at Old HouseMrs. Sidney Kateman once lived in this old house and died today. This old house knows. Respectfully: Lucile Kateman Obituary
9/6/2007 at Old HouseJoints aching. Fall in the air but humid, high 80s with scattered thunderstorms. Yesterday the redtail almost took out a dove by the backyard feeder. Fast! Today dead and mauled mole by the feeder in the am. and probably for the duration as I avert the eyes. Neither coons nor possums nor much of anything likes moles. And I don't like to deal with death. Happy news: Jim's goatproofing seems to be working.
9/6/2007 at Bottom Farm
Forget 8/20 Fall Todos
Checked trees carefully. Nary pecan. No surprise as no mulberries, cherries, pears this year. Buzzards, bless their hearts, on Highway O, wouldn't get off the road. Don't know what they were feasting on -- eye aversion again. Some look. Some look away.
8/21/2007 at Old HouseFat and handsome goats are back!
8/20/2007 at Old House
Fall Todos
. Move peonies: by zinnias, lily bed, Millie Landreth/Myra Copeland for Indian Foothills (leave by metal shed) -- done
. Move hostas from generator: by recently moved striped hosta -- never mind
. Move raspberry canes to garden in spring
. New butterfly bush in spring
. Gather seed from tagged cleome -- done
. Plant 3 pecans: NE back 40
8/20/2007 at Bottom Farm
Fall Todos
Gather pecans.
8/20/2007 at Hill Farm
Fall Todos
Reseed border portion.
8/20/2007 at Old HouseJim goatproofed the back today. We'll see if the billy and 5 nannies stay away. They're fat and handsome but hey!
8/1/2007 at Old HouseFirst year for zinnias by the front steps. "They look so happy," says an admirer. Note: Oklahoma Mix. German bred. Seed from Jung Seed Co. of Randolph WI.
7/19/2007 at Old House
(rained today -- need more)
This old house survived exterior paint job and, looking good, thrived along with this old woman on annual company. Deerspotting. Note: last severe freeze after spring warmup in Saline County was 99 years ago. Fruit is current eco-issue. No wild cherries, peaches, pears. No mulberries at the Hill Farm where Joe Jr. says coons eat mulberries so this year coons are eating a whole lot more corn. Coon pair showed up under birdfeeder. Redbirds snag grapes thrown into backyard like robins. Wild strawberries are bearing but poorly. Hurry up, poke!
6/8/2007 at Hill Farmnoon: cool, wetwith Jim, walk northwest borderper WHIP and CP33 contracting, discing or spraying borders to begin year 2010. West border looks good. Lots of coreopsis and both blue stems. East looks poor.
5/20/2007 at Old HouseThis old house is getting a paint job and we're into day five. Men friends ask about job items such as paint grade and carpentry. Women friends shudder, roll their eyes and ask about my sanity. Birds of both sexes want release from environmental misery. More when it's over if this old woman's alive.
5/10/2007 at Old HouseGood friend Annie asked and shall receive.
At the sunflower and mixed seed feeders: blackbirds, blue jays, cardinals, buntings (think these are indigo buntings -- deep blue), chickadees, doves, downy and hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers, eastern towhee (only saw 1 but very cool), goldfinches (only 1 pair as still refuse to buy thistle seed although put out suet for the woodpeckers for the first time last winter and fought off the starlings in the snow!), house finches (nuts about the salt block), nuthatches, purple finches, purple grackles (durn their aggressive hides!), rose-breasted grosbeaks, sparrows (English to chipping, field and song with juncos in the winter and sparrows a whole field of study as what isn't?), tufted titmice, yellow-rumped warblers (rare but unmistakable visitor)
Making it on their own, bless their hearts, and part of the environment: brown thrashers, flickers, hummers (no artificial feeders from the skinflint!), robins, swallows, wood thrush (1 pair), wrens (So far 2007 is a very good year for wrens who had the good sense to stay away until May.)
Crows have moved on. Keeping a watch for bluebirds.
Note: there are occasional visits from Cooper's, red-shouldered, red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks.
Note: This is the spring count.
Note: Jim has an oriole pair at the Dyer homestead. I wish!
5/9/2007 -- Hill Farmper WHIP and CP33 contracting, first burn year to be amended to 2010.
5/3/2007 at Old HouseRose-breasted grosbeaks a bunch arrive. They are friendly as though they've been here before. Maybe so but not during this birder's tenure. They get along with the redbirds and circle the hangling feeder so as to intimidate the grackles. They are lovely but ravenous. How long will they stay? Will they return?
4/6/2007 at Old HouseIn the twenties! Lips frozen on first mow job. Don't predict MO weather!
3/19/2007 at Old HousePlenty of green buds and Jim planted spuds. Good cheer. Spring's here.
12/30/2006 at Old House50 plus degrees. Strange winter in Saline County.
9/5/2006 at Old HouseHad to go out and flap arms to move hawk from top of pear tree. Jays helped.
9/2/2006 at Old HouseCalled the law to help chase 5 goats (which turned out to be neighbor's) from backyard. Nanny looked at me like I was nuts when I tried to shoo her away from plants and returned to eating what she wanted. Goats have an attitude! Dispatcher and officers very kind. Marshall Police respond to animal control calls on weekends and holidays. Wow!
9/1/2006 at Hill Farm1:30 PM/coolper Miami postmistress, lucky not to have been attacked and eaten by cougars. See below.per Smithsonian, September 2006 issue, cougars are moving east. Shirley says 4 cougars in Miami bottoms.
8/23/2006 at Hill Farm10:30 AM-3 PM/warm, reaches 90with Jim, check border grasses and chase down 6 acre panhandle. WHUH!!second time lost in these woods -- Jim says we weren't lost but this child on the shady side of 60 could not continue after finally reaching clearing. first time she was lost she was pregnant and felt the same. Jim to the rescue, returning with help after notifying Miami postmistress so story will get around. ah well, all's well that ends the same and it surely is good to be able to count on your partner. plus, panhandle looks clear and border grasses are definitely up.
8/17/2006 at Hill Farm11 AM/warm, bearablewalk up hillbeans look good, border grasses up, sunflowers. chiggers a bunch!! get Jim to help ID grasses.
7/17/2006 at Old HouseFoxes are back -- fine looking dog fox crossing north 40, den site to woods
7/14/2006 at Hill Farm11 AM/95 degrees, muggywalk up hill, need to ID grassesquery Joe Alley on fescue, beans look good, sign intact
7/13/2006 at Old House55 mph winds just miss this Old House
6/17/2006 at Hill Farm11 AM/85 degrees, sunnywalk north west bordersborders distinct, beans look good, sign intact
6/14/2006 at Old HouseJim rescues redbird hen from garage
6/13/2006 at Old HouseJim rescues wren from garage
6/7/2006 at Old Housepear tree wren boots out first family, starts second
6/6/2006 at Hill Farm2 PM/85 degrees, sunnyaffirm Alan's reportorder and place sign
6/5/2006 at Hill Farm10 AM/80 degrees, sunnyAlan sows grass seed and wildflower forbs in field borders. livestock -- Larry Holland. 4-wheeler carving out trail to southwest, Alan reportsremaining beans planted
5/30/2006 at Hill Farm11 AM/95 degrees, sunnycircle north west with visiting friends Annie, Marthahalf beans planted, scat with hair, barred owl
5/29/2006 at Old Housebrown thrasher pair returns
5/14/2006 at Hill FarmMother's Day, coolKatie's First Hunt from Where the Eagle Flies ~ link dead
5/13/2006 at Old Housepurple finch uses salt block
5/12/2006 at Hill Farm4 PM/cool, sunny, windycircle north westDave says turkeys hiding in the woods, trying this weekend, season closes 5/14
5/5/2006 at Hill Farm4 PM/cool and cloudy, some suncircle south west 
5/4/2006 at Old House2 male indigo buntings, 1 catbird
4/25/2006 at Hill Farm3 PM/cool and overcastbarn swallows, west field sprayed (trash removal)Dave rained out 4/29-4/30, trying 5/6-5/9
4/18/2006 at Hill Farm4 PM/warm and cloudlessmuch henbit, 5 gobblers grazing in south of west field Dave hoping to hunt turkey 4/29-30, 5/6-7
www.sullivansfarms.net © 2001-17 | webmaster