“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ugh! Double Ugh!

That I am able to post this blog means that we have power, and I know many of you don't. We did get a few inches of heavy, wet snow yesterday, and it flattened anything it could. Glad I got the photos of the geraniums earlier in the week. They are quite tattered now.We spent part of yesterday morning clearing the fences of snow, leaning branches, and other tall plants that were supposed to be goat browse for a couple more weeks. So much for careful pasture rotation. Now, of course, the fields are turning to mud as the temps hover above freezing. I know many of you had branches take out power lines, so I hate to whine, but I will. The other "Ugh" is that Pants is not eating. This is not a good goat thing ever. A sure sign of a problem, and one that has been creeping up for about two weeks. I treated him for what I thought was parasites earlier this week, and there was a slight improvement. Then he stopped eating. Perfect temperature, clear lungs and he is on his feet and showing no discomfort except for grinding of teeth. Last night and today he was getting yogurt to try and get his rumen going. I don't hear much digestive noise. I fear its urinary calculi and there's not much I can do there. To me it doesn't make sense, but that he's a male goat and it happens.

Right now he is in the barn and seems comfortable. I did wash his face! Its time for me to go and massage his belly. Wish us luck.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Manure And Music

Cleaning the stalls is a daily task whether steaming hot or freezing cold. Its best to just get it done first thing after the animals are out, otherwise later it becomes work. If you do this, you know what I mean. Putting it off makes it worse. What's funny, and interesting is the short list of tunes that play in my head, and sometimes I find them playing out loud. I will be slogging damp manure and catch myself humming away.

My top two? A couple of classics: Ode to Joy and Yellow Submarine. They just start playing to the rhythm of the work.

Does this happen to you? What are your "work" songs, or am I the only one that has Beethoven and the Beatles appear when I work?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Light Change, Color Change

The cold is starting to make a difference in the fields and gardens. Colors are changing. Annuals are blackening. Ducks are stopping briefly on their way to warmer ponds.
Its amazing how the cycle goes around.
The last dry morning, I managed to enjoy the last bit of the flora around the house. I was surprised with the clematis taking another shot at bloom.
When the Sheffield pink geraniums bloom, I know the season is about to end. Time to look around and enjoy the garden before the killing frost.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Invasion

In past years I wondered what all the fuss was about. Stink bugs really were making the news, but we barely saw one here. This summer a few started to show up here and there, but mostly out on my tomatoes. Now they have started to sneak into the house. This particular one was quite the large and healthy armored body. I got him out the door on the first magazine I could find. I can't say we have a real problem yet, but I am careful to get them out the door without helping them release their stink. I probably should be doing them in.
The other invader seems to be a bit bigger.
I'd say we have mice in the barn.
No kidding, you say. Well, this is the first time we have seen evidence around the feed. We try to keep things tight, but these tiny crumbs in the containers we use to carry grain to the stalls were enough attraction. We are being more diligent about emptying every crumb and tipping the containers up side down now. The cats have been told to ramp up their patrols.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Good morning! But what do they say?

"Red sky at morning. Sailor take warning."
See the sparkles?
Here comes the rain.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Focus On The Yellow Tree

These shots were taken today, but over the course of several moments as I was working and walking. Didn't get the "perfect" shot, but wanted to share the morning's fixation - and the blue sky!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Working A Goat Back Into The Herd

There's nothing like some new pasture to make a goat smile. And to make transitioning a goat into the herd much more civilized. Layla (front with horns) has been separated for a week after being away for seven weeks, and the first thing she wants to do is work her way to the top of the pecking order. We've been only allowing a bit of contact as they come in at night, and the first couple of nights were battles. When we moved the fences two nights ago, we let Layla follow us up the alley, and at first she was challenging anyone who looked at her, but especially Zola. Then as more new pasture was becoming available and most of the goats were gobbling away, Layla finally realized she was missing a good meal. You can see where the old fence line was in the above photo. Since then we have moved the fence again to keep everyone busy.Its been two days of civilized behavior, but we have yet to put her in the stall with the others at night. In that confined area, its a bit too difficult for the girls to get out of her way.

As you may notice above, Twee is starting to look a bit round. Another reason to take our time with combining the goats. Several of them are likely pregnant, and we don't need to have them rammed by a strong goat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Love Lorn Layla

Meet Remington. Don't you love those horns?! This has been Layla's "companion" for the past seven weeks at SCS Farm. He is the father of Layla's next kids, if all goes well.
Remington is said to weigh about 300 pounds, although I don't know the last time someone wrestled him onto a scale. Just look at the difference in size between him and Layla. It took two men to get a halter on him to tie him so that we could capture Layla. She'd gotten a bit attached to Remi and did not want to leave his side. Layla is in her own stall and her own field for now until we can ease her back into the herd. She's warming up slowly today, but is still a bit skittish. Pockets of corn have been working their charm though.It was tough dragging her out of her stall, and then once she realized we were going out side, she was dragging me. The other goats called to her and she has spent the day looking at them in the distance, and then circling her area.Nothing a little corn and time shouldn't cure.