This  is a phrase that is well known to all -“raising a stink”.  My dad used to use it all the time- but out here, it takes on a new meaning!!

A dear elderly man from the area, who recently passed away, would always say, “Gotta go raise a stink now”. Now, I know what he meant……..

This is the time of the year when our hay fields are fertilized. That fertilizer has a very distinct aroma that assails the nostrils, and is hard to shake from your senses!!

My one dog has taken to sneaking away when my back is turned, to run far afield and search for delicacies left in the fertilizer- and of course, to roll in it!!!

I am talking about chicken manure! I can’t think of a fertilizer more FOUL (pun intended), except maybe fish emulsion!!!

Our neighbor tends our hay fields- cuts and bales the hay during the summer, and spreads manure from his chicken houses in the fall. He may even spread it in the spring, I don’t recall.

I was holding the horses for the farrier a week ago, and heard a tractor in the distance. Clouds of brown “dust” were billowing past the barn door, carrying with them a familiar “fragrance”! It was fertilizing time again! Thank goodness it was not quite warm enough to have the windows open!

Now, along with their usual “snacking” on hoof trimmings and manure, I will have to watch the dogs as they search out clods of chicken poop and bones.

When the horses are wormed, I try to keep the dogs out of the paddock, so they won’t eat horse poop with wormer in it. Now, I have to make sure they don’t swallow chicken bones!! As my daughter says- we now have dogs whose breath is “kickin’ “!

Despite the smell, we are fortunate to have a great neighbor who is willing to work the fields for us and share his manure.  Now, if Mother Nature will cooperate next year, and give us more rain than she allowed us this past season, we should have a bountiful 2011 hay crop of at least 2 (hopefully 3) cuttings!! A farmer’s prayer…..

you can click on the photo for a larger view

The sun is rising, the frost has painted the meadows, a chill is in the air- but all is well, bright and early, at Mountain Meadows this November morning…..