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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Just a  quick hello from me and residents at On the Pond Farm.  Since half the country was affected by Hurricane Sandy, I am thinking about many friends in its path and worry about their lives and homes.

Sandy has passed here for the most part, and we are safe and well. Around us there is severe flooding, but we are located high enough not to suffer any water in the wrong places (although the goats have something to say about that).
Dave in full rain gear and unhappy goats in their sheds.
The goats were very happy to have a barn with hay offerings the past couple of days, as the outdoors was so wet, sleety and snowy. The springs that feed our barn and garden were MORE than flowing. One spring became quite a river along one fence line and cause the goats to have to go over or through the raging water - choices they absolutely hate. Time outside was shorter than usual and indoor recess was prescribed as the precipitation just got heavier and whiter. There were rumblings in the barn of taking the first truck to Arizona if this kept up. A few handfuls of corn treats calmed the mutiny.

Wrong door.
But its dry here!

The silly chickens kept sneaking out of the barn, and then couldn't sneak in. They spent time pecking under the bushes and firs(and the porch), but when it was time to sneak back into the barn, their feathers were too saturated to fly up onto the half barn door and get back in. We had to get them in early too, before they started suffering some sort of chicken affliction. Do chickens get colds? A little shaking and feather fluffing, much like a dog, and they all seemed back to normal.

Jock's only complaint was the severe lightning at one point, and that he didn't get out enough. The cold weather is his style, no matter that its wet. He loves diving in the raging stream that the goats hate. He tackles clumps of dirt and whips them around, and is an absolute happy mess! Rolling in the first sleet of the year was another bonus.

And what was I doing while all this was going on, aside from filling up water jugs and lining up candles. Where are more storm pictures? I was doing my colonoscopy prep(Yeah! Too much information, but...!), praying it wasn't for naught if the hospital lost power!! What timing! Then the worry was, could we get to the hospital because of the flooding. We were down to one entry/exit and we made it safely. Procedure done. All is well!

Thinking of all of you and hope you are well and safe, although I'm sure some were not so lucky. I know we all hope power and help is on the way.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sheffield Pink/Beautiful Morning

 It is too gorgeous of a day to be here at the computer, so here is a quick treat.
The last bloomers.

My Sheffield Pink Geraniums.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I think I'm Down A Chicken (with Update)

I came home from an appointment this morning to see this in the yard.
I drove the truck up to the pond to see if I could see anything from there, but no.
Two head counts of the hens, only came up to seven.
Not looking good.
The fox? A hawk? Stray dog? Hmm!
Four hours later, after calling the hens and feeding them bread twice(a treat usually reserved for the fish), we were back to eight hens. I finally saw Number Eight hiding under a bush. I think she was roosting in the large juniper on the island, recovering from perhaps being attacked. I can't say I see any signs of injury, but those feathers hide a lot.

I guess the other hens talked her back down! It was too nice a day to hide, and not come out and play, now that I was around to protect them!

All's well here on the farm!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Seattle Has A Goat

That's what Zola is now.
A horse's "pet" goat.
She isn't trying to bite anyone here.
That's just a big, lazy yawn.
These two share hay and space and naps.
They also share Kristin.
  The fit was perfect for everyone.
Seattle sleeps better and has someone to nap with.
Zola apparently attempts a little trotting after Seattle, but keeping up doesn't last.
Seattle is 27 and has been with Kristin since she was a kid.
I think the companionship will give both animals a content life together.
The little nieces love her, and Zola -now Zoe- loves everyone back.
A mellow gal in her early retirement.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Drinking Chickens

If you've been around chickens, you know they drink water anywhere, and the dirtier the better. Well that may not be true, but its seems that way.
Water on the dirt barn floor is as greedily drunk as clean water out of a bucket. And speaking of drinking out of a bucket, the hens gave a demo to show you how its done. Quite laborious actually. 
Listen for those cute swallow sounds!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Red Fox Sighting (Its Been A While)

The dog and cats and I had just come down from a nice walk, after checking on the goats by the pond.
I had my camera in hand looking for more fall loveliness, when I thought I saw a neighbor's cat on the newly mowed hill.
The gang followed me back for a better look, as I saw a bit of red, and we don't know any red cats.
Yes. Of course. It was a fox.
It watched us as we got closer, and Jock couldn't see over the remaining tall hay to think about giving chase. I said "fox", and he knows the word, and his ears went up. He scanned the hill, but the fox started to move before we got much further.
Here is the clip of him going back up the hill toward the woods.
And you are thinking I am mean to want Jock to give chase. Not true. I am protecting my hens. I don't think the fox would bother the goats unless it was kidding season. I just want the fox to stay on his half of the farm, and let me have my half.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Hill Clean Up

 Can you tell how smushed and eaten everything is getting?
 There are still a lot of thorny brambles and roses to go, and this corner is quite thick.
 MORE VIDEO of the goats at work.
After last nights frost, I waited a little to let the ice melt before we came to the hill to eat. Always worried about bloat with the first frozen field of Fall.
 The goats are definitely making headway with all sorts of paths on the hill.
Its still quite thick and high at the top.
No worries about running out of browse yet.
The leaves came tumbling off the trees this morning.
See the fresh pile on the tree line?
THAT is Fall!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pond Hill Clean Up

Remember when I mentioned that a cat can be a big distraction to the goats?
Not sure if you can see that the majority of the herd is staring down Mia.
She slunk into the weeds from their stare, even though there is a fence between them.
Today was another clear, blue sky day, but when we went up to the hill, the surface of the water bucket had ice on it for the first time.
The leaves should be turning fast now.
 The goats worked as a herd the whole day, browsing as a team.
I imagine one more day and they will have thinned things pretty well for the tractor to finish the job for the winter clean up.
Everyone is growing a thicker coat of fur, and getting plenty of fresh, protein filled weeds and grasses before winter really takes hold.
 As you can see, the all-you-can-eat buffet is well stock for these goats.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Goat Herding

Some days it is a real chore to get the goats to follow to an exterior browsing area. Any factor can be a distraction. Rain is the worst. A cat - second! At least within the high tensile area they can't get outside the alley.
When we just go out the barn door, they are totally free and can go wherever they want. If they see a rather succulent blueberry bush or weed, off they go. And usually, someone follows.
This morning I got lucky. It just shows you how good these animals are. It also shows you that they know there is a good chance of good browse where I am fencing them.
They are well fed goats!
If you remember the last time they were here, this faucet was pretty invisible. We can see the ground again, and I can finish mowing safely now. Thanks Goats!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This Side Of Fall

 Fall is moving slowly into our woods and fields.
A few trees are yellow tipped, and one or two are showing some lovely orange, but we have yet to see an eye popping landscape.
In the background, you can see a bit of color, and the chickens add some Fall color too.
Mia just wants to get in on the act.
I have a small supply of pumpkins and gourds to decorate in and around the house, even though I feel certain we will loose the pumpkins to a hungry animal (called deer).
I am "feeding" them one at a time so that we can stretch the enjoyment as much as possible.
 Nature is adding its muted color too, adding to the "antiqueness" of the farm.
I hope you are taking in the beauty of the season while it lasts.

In the Mail

The shower is a week away, so I took my final photos of the quilt I put together last month, and got it in the mail.
With my new machine, I have a few forms of the alphabet and cute stiches that can be programmed, so Abigail's name and birthday are decorating the corners. You can see the reverse side in this detail also.
While learning to use my new Singer, I made these two little projects to add to the shower gifts. Not an expert yet, but pretty happy with the results.  Done, but more WIP's to go!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Sunset

  Today's sunset sky went from gray, to orange, to blue about as fast as I took these photos.
Its easy to miss these moments.
I hope you saw this too, or enjoy my view.
Good night!