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Hey folks, you may be trying to view my latest blog post and not having success. The problem is temporary. The reason is because I purchased a custom domain name for my blog and it takes 72 hours to activate.  I should have done this a long time ago as my pallet projects have generated a LOT of interest. In 2014 I had 65,000 views. If I had allowed for small ads in my blog, I could have generated a little income.

I do NOT want to load my blog with advertisements however. I want you, my readers, to enjoy coming to a place where you are not inundated with commercialization. I will be doing my best to keep it minimal. I just get aggravated when I make my material open to public, and then other sites grab it and republish it to make money from it. I am wondering if there is a way I can legally recoup the advertising money they generated by re-posting my articles….


We decideded to raise a few rabbits. My wife looked into how to raise them and which breeds were best for resale and for meat production. It seemed like a feasible way to raise quality meat quickly. We decided on the New Zealand and Lion head breeds though initially we were taking in any free rabbits that were a larger size.

We ended up with 7 rabbits very quickly. After some more research we were able to decide which rabbits to breed. We gave some of the lesser desired breeds away to other folks through the Facebook Backyard Meat Rabbits group. So with 7 rabbits, 5 of them being does, we were going to need a real rabbit hutch. I had some pallets stored for a large barn I am planning to build soon so I borrowed from that pile and bought two sheets of plywood and a few 2×3’s, and still had some leftover metal roofing. Now we needed cages.IMG_20151222_161952725(1)

After shopping around, it seemed that the most affordable setup was the Dumor stackable rabbit cage starter kit. We wanted them to be stackable so that we could make the most of our space. After we purchased them, I began to assemble them….then I saw there were no instructions on how to stack them and the frames had no real way of stacking! I looked all over the internet for some sort of instructions or video or even a better picture….NOTHING!

IMG_20151124_122639587_HDRMy handy neighbor came over to assess the situation with me and we came up with a plan to modify the cages so they would stack. First, we came to the conclusion we needed some sort of dowel or stick to fit inside the metal frame tubing so that the framing on the top cage would fit over the same dowel snugly so that the cages would stack firmly.IMG_20151124_122651955_HDR

My neighbor had some small pieces of oak trim laying around. He cut them into 3 inch strips and planed/sanded them down to the right thickness. Then we nailed a small trim nail through the center of the wood strips. I took them over to the cages and tapped them into the top of each frame tube of the bottom cages. Then I placed the top cage over and fit each corner frame tube down over the rest of the oak strip. It fit very snug and firm. IMG_20151124_122644518

I am happy with the way it came out but VERY dissatisfied with Dumors claim that they are stackable out of the box. Anyone else have any other ideas?IMG_20151203_103206931_HDR

 


This blog has received quite a few followers since I last wrote here. Which makes me feel extra guilty for not posting regularly. Since then, there have been a few job changes, kids have grown older, and different animals that have come and gone.

We attempted raising a sheep from weened stage to slaughter. It went so well that I think we will try

Lamb and strawberries

Lamb and strawberries

doing some more in the near future. It was easy to manage as it preferred the grass to the weedy stuff that our goats prefer. So there was always enough for it to eat without competing with the goats. The goats definitely ruled the pasture and barn over the sheep. We ended up with 38 lbs. of lamb meat with hardly having to feed any hay and only minimal grain for about 4 or 5 months. Not bad.

We also recently sent our two Boer goats out to get bred. We take them to Little Angel Acres in Millerton, Pa. She has great breeding stock and we have always been happy with her accommodations, price, and kindness. This year they buck was a dapple Boer. His color reminded me of an Appaloosa horse. I have looked online for images of one that looked just like him, but I couldn’t find any that looked as handsome as he does. So, needless to say, we are excited to see the offspring in April.

1.3 acres $139,000

1.3 acres $139,000

We have also put our home up for sale. We had an offer within a months time and it was a long ordeal that eventually fell apart because the USDA does not approve homes with a spring for a water source. Isn’t that so ridiculous? Our spring is an improved spring with a 750 gal. holding tank. There is always plenty of water, no surface contamination, not hard or soft, no sulfur….its what people pay big money for! The wells in the area usually have sulfur and iron in the water. And they would only guarantee the loan if a well was dug. So backwards.

So the house is back up for sale. We are in agreement on another home that we will be able to own mortgage free with a little more land for our goats and chickens to roam.

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Merlin, Me, Phil

I have also partnered in a new company called Remote Intelligence, LLC. Its is a company that provides advanced aerial services using UAV’s, or more widely known as drones. This technology is used for a wide array of useful and productive data capture from wildlife surveys, timber stand evaluation, and mapping,  to security, construction management, precision agriculture, cinematography and more.

I have not posted anything related to political or social current events recently. I have a few thoughts I would like to share in anther post. I will be building another pallet barn once we finally move and will be posting about that as that is what has attracted most of my viewers. But what I wold really like to hear from you all, is what you would like me to look in to? I want to hear from my audience what you would want me to post about.


Those of you who read my blog, or even those of you who happen to come across it looking for pallet ideas, homesteading ideas or the like, I assume you have similar interests as I do. You probably prefer a simpler life away from the city. Maybe you have dreamt about moving a little further out into the ruralness of Pennsylvania….the north central area perhaps.

From reading previous posts you can see how much I value the way things are around here. Having large tracts of state forestland just a stones throw away, a bounty of back roads scented with sweet smelling hay in the summer, calling you to leave a trail of dust on them, the county seat of Wellsboro being a beautiful little town as if plucked from Mayberry and hidden in the middle of the hills here, pure native trout streams…all this and yet still being within a 30-40 min drive to a decent sized “city”. At least a city big enough to be called one, yet not so big that it has the sprawl of the large ones. Philadelphia is an easy 3 hour zip down a few highways, Pittsburgh a bit further the other direction, and Harrisburg about 2.5 hours straight south. This provides enough distance to be far enough away, yet not so far that it cant be driven as often as needed. I should know, we travel to the Philadelphia area at least once a month.

If you desire to call your home here, you have found the right person. Among my many activities, I decided to get my Real Estate license this year. I joined up with RE/MAX in the little town of Mansfield. Its a locally owned franchise and I enjoy being able to tour the many properties that are listed for sale. I am specializing in land, timber, and farm type properties. This would really fit my character and what I enjoy most because it will keep me in contact with those of you who are looking for a spot to enjoy life a little closer to nature. 

Maybe you are looking for a more agrarian lifestyle, or more of a hobby farm idea. I have seen many properties like those come up for sale, ranging from small 5 acre farms to extremely large farms ready for operation, to Grand-pops farm where he is just too old to keep his farm going and has no offspring interested in keeping it running.

Or maybe you are looking for a piece of wooded land to pull in a camper now and then or build a cabin, or maybe even already have a cabin on it. No need to worry, we have plenty of cabins around! Whether lake front, stream front, river front, or just up in the woods, there is usually something to find.

So, if you are considering, or are actually ready to find something like I have mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to help someone fulfill their dreams of owning a piece of north-central Pennsylvania!

That goes for those of you who are wanting to sell some too! =)


Obama/Putin (pic from voiceofrussia.com )

Obama/Putin
(pic from voiceofrussia.com )

It is interesting to me to stand back and look at all the political followers. You have your liberals who follow Obama and have historically opposed going  into any war. Then you have the conservatives who can’t stand Obama and are all about being a Patriot and conserving America’s foundational values.

The latter group would probably be the group that you would more likely hear how bad Russia is and how unamerican any russian sympathy would be…stemming from the cold war in the 80’s.

So now we are at an interesting crossroads. Now we have Obama wanting to go to war, EVEN against UN’s advice to not do it. And we have Putin asking for diplomacy. Here in the states, the Republicans are all over the place in agreement and against it.

I will enjoy watching who the conservatives line themselves up with. If you don’t like Obama, then you gotta side with a Russian! Hows that for an identity crisis?

Just so you know, I don’t take any political standpoint. I would probably be closer to conservative Ideals, but even they aren’t a group I would align myself with. Read some of my other posts and you will get a feel for where I am at.


Beautiful contertop

Beautiful contertop

Nice dining room chair.

Nice dining room chair.

Axe handle stool

Axe handle stool

Axe Handle stools with swivel seats.

Axe Handle stools with swivel seats.

Nice milk pail stools.

Nice milk pail stools.


I am not sure how many of you follow me on Facebook. If you do, then you know all about where I work.  Almost 2 years ago I left my position as Director for Tioga County GIS and joined the team over at Wildlife Specialists, LLC. My good friend, Merlin Benner, began the business in 2007 after leaving his position as a Biologist for Pennsylvania DCNR.

Wildlife Specialists, LLC was founded in 2007 to provide clients with comprehensive wildlife assessment, planning, and monitoring services. A lot of our work is with endangered, rare, or threatened species. We also provide nuisance white tailed deer and feral hog management.

Timber Rattlesnake tracked, tagged, and released via telemetry

Timber Rattlesnake tracked, tagged, and released via telemetry

Long story short, after talking with him, they asked if I would join them to help their GIS program and also their Nuisance Deer/Feral Hog Management program. After getting certified through the Game Commission as a Nuisance WIldlife/White Tailed Deer Agent, I joined them formally as their GIS manager in March of 2012. Since moving over, I have enjoyed a great many days in the field rather than in a stuffy office in front of a computer every day. I have gotten to learn so much about the various species and habitats that we work with.

I have had the chance to work on Timber Rattlesnake habitat surveys, Goshawk

Telemetry equipment picking up a transmitter frequency inside a rattlesnake.

Telemetry equipment picking up a transmitter frequency inside a rattlesnake.

surveys, wetland delineation, rare plant surveys, invasive plant studies and removal, rattlesnake telemetry studies, Allegheny Woodrat habitat improvement projects and so on. This is the kind of work I have always wanted to be doing.

Timber rattlesnake marked.

Timber rattlesnake marked.

Consequently, a lot of the work has come from the natural gas activity in the area. As that slows down, so does the work. We are still keeping relatively busy and hope that New York will soon open up for natural gas drilling. Pennsylvania has really benefited from all the survey work that has been done due to the gas industry. The records of what is really out there in the wilds is now more robust and better documented. And I am glad to be a part of it and see it all for myself out in the woods.

The timbering gear that we carried up the mountains for woodrat habitat improvement.

The timbering gear that we carried up the mountains for woodrat habitat improvement.

Woodrat habitat improvement. Steep rocky terrain!

Woodrat habitat improvement. Steep rocky terrain!

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