Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Mystery Deer

Yesterday we went for a walk and as we turned from a concrete road onto a sandy muddy path, I discovered tracks! Now I’m not a good tracker yet, but it seemed pretty obvious that the tracks were deer tracks. Or goat? No, must be deer! Judging from the size I decided it must have been roe deer. The path we were following cut between two gravel pits and was therefore fenced off on either side. I felt bad for the poor deer who had to go through there, with no way to escape to either side for several hundred meters. But then, they probably came through early in the morning.
Earlier we had also seen hunters. Had the deer encountered them, too?
There were lots of tracks and I counted at least three different deer. All about the same size, walking at a comfortable, slow speed.
Lots of other tracks were visible, too, bike, people, dogs. We had just passed a horse farm and there were also lots of horse tracks. Had they been made before or after the deer? I tried to find a set of horse tracks that was either over or under the deer tracks to confirm me.
We followed the tracks for quite a while and every now and then I thought I had lost them, only to find some more tracks.
We came to a hole in the fence to one of the gravel pits, but the deer hadn’t gone in there. They had gone straight.
Eventually we got to where the fences stopped and a big meadow was ahead. We followed the path along the edge of the meadow for a while and there were no more tracks. Of course – why would the deer keep following the path now that they could go where they wanted? We climbed onto a little platform that gave us a lovely overview and a little ahead on a hilltop I saw a man with a stick and a dog and thought that he looked like he could be a shepherd.
Then we got back onto the main path that cut across the meadow and led uphill to a little park with lots of walnut tree youngsters. As we got back onto the main path I saw the tracks again. Why were the deer following the path still? I was confused! Then I heard a distinct “Baaaah!” and in my mind it made “click”: My mysterious deer weren’t deer at all! They were sheep! And they had been following the path because a shepherd with a dog had led them that way.
Ha! I really should have listened to myself when I had the second thought with the goats.

Here are some pictures:

Lots of tracks on the road

Lots of tracks on the road

Who was first? The mystery "deer" or the horse?

Who was first? The mystery "deer" or the horse?

"Hm, why are the toes of the animal spread so far? That doesn't look like deer, does it?"

"Hm, why are the toes of the animal spread so far? That doesn't look like deer, does it?"

"Why do the tracks still follow the path?"

"Why do the tracks still follow the path?"

The solution is in view

The solution is in view

The mystery deer are sheep

The mystery deer are sheep

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The 2009 Experiment

With the beginning of the new year, my husband will begin his Elternzeit, which is the German parental leave, so for the following nine months both of us will be home. I’m very much looking forward to doing more handicrafts together because we have lots of ideas, but currently little time.
But with the parental leave comes a 33% decrease in income and since we’ll still want to save as much as possible for another future project, we’ll have to be creative and thrifty.
Now, why am I telling this? Well, I’m sure you’ve all heard the stories from your grandparents about how during the war you had to be all inventive and thrifty. I especially remember the thing about cooking potatoes by putting them in boiling hot water and then wrapping them in a blanket. I’d always wanted to try that. So yesterday evening J said that we should try and put our breakfast oats (we make oatmeal from whole oats soaked overnight) in a thermos flask with boiling water. So we did.
This morning we opened up the thermos flask again (I was very glad it hadn’t exploded during the night… somehow I thought the volume might increase…) and lo, there was oatmeal in there! Not just cooked oats, no, mushy oatmeal! Awesome!
So with that knowledge we not only cut down on time, but also save the energy cooking and blending the oatmeal. So I’ll also try this method with our rice, etc.
But first I’ll soak my oatmeal in molasses and have a fine breakfast!

The oatmeal - from grain to mush. In the background our self-baked bread for the next one or two weeks

The oatmeal - from grain to mush. In the background our self-baked bread for the next one or two weeks

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