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September nature sightings

Box turtle fence

I discovered the one problem with our temporary chicken pasture fencing --- it hinders box turtle migration.  I suspect this turtle was heading over to eat the everbearing raspberries that I missed and let fall to the ground.  He seemed less than pleased that his path was blocked --- hopefully he'll discover the unfenced berry patch in the back yard.

Praying mantis butterfly wings

Meanwhile, a praying mantis was hunting at the salt lick out front.  Previously, we'd seen butterfly wings in spots where we poured excess urine and I hypothesized that one of this year's bumper crop of mantises was enjoying the easy pickings.  I was right!  As I watched, the mantis eased her way forward, starting four inches from an unsuspecting skipper and ending up a mere inch distant.  Then she pounced --- butterfly dinner!

Our chicken waterer does away with a time-consuming daily chore.


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Please explain, "... in spots where we poured excess urine..." Why are you collecting urine from ??? and then pouring it out?
Comment by Barb from CA Sun Sep 18 10:10:28 2011
We've been utilizing the fertilizing powers of urine this year to water our potted citrus trees, activate biochar, and increase the nitrogen content of our compost piles and speed up decomposition. However, I have to admit that I get a bit busy at this time of year and just pee in the yard.... :-)
Comment by anna Sun Sep 18 14:49:15 2011
Thanks, very helpful. (Your links to previous posts are also very helpful by the way.) I have learned about humanure, so I assumed it was related in some way, but have never seen the type of toilet that separates urine from fecal matter. I am learning something new from your blog every day!
Comment by Barb in CA Sun Sep 18 15:58:55 2011

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime