Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Quick Haircut

This is Lauren, one of our sweet little Angora goats. She has lovely silky curls that grow down in front of her eyes so that I know she can only see by peeking out between them. Although she is only shorn twice a year, she gets a regular trim which is what Katy & I did yesterday. Katy holds her while I grab the scissors from the barn. And she is so much prettier and alert when it is done!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dyeing with Eleanor

This old gal is Eleanor. She is very much of the mind that she has special privileges which is fine as she is probably our oldest Angora goat. I am working in the stable dyeing yarn today and she is on my heels every step of the way. I've made a few trips in and out carrying dye bottles, empty containers and wetted yarns. She insists on going through the big stable door every time I go in and then tries to push her way into the stall where I do my dyeing. I keep that big door closed as there is just too much to knock down in there. Goats are nosy and they climb, even the old ones..... When I leave the stable, Eleanor is not content to stay in there out of the blustery winds but gives me that "you better hold the door for me" look as she ambles out again.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Leftovers

In spite of the rain, Saturday Market went well again. Mr. Baylor has taken to saving his bean & pea pods as well as corn husks for our animals so met me with several big sacks of them yesterday. When I got home I hung up all my slightly damp yarn & then dumped a big bag of pods to the oxen who gulped them in mouthfuls. The oxen, of course, always have a nice big round bale of hay to work at but those crisp green pods were a special treat. I'm sure you can see the joy on Zeb's face!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Look closely & you will see this goat's little daughter snuggling under her.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Another Windy Day

This little one decided that it not only wanted to be in the tractor shed for cover from the wind but that if would seek a little extra shelter from the dirt blowing around under the cracks of the old building. Through the years we've found that feed pans & large tubs make nice cozy kid beds. On a chilly day we may find two or three kids snuggled into a nice warm bucket.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Yet Another Surprise!

While Katy was still at college, she mentioned that she'd need to have her car looked at once she got home & that she & Al had decided just to drop her car off & spent Thursday afternoon killing time in town. I had no reason to be suspicious. I even talked to her a few that afternoon to ask what the mechanic thought about the car. So I was simply stunned when Katy & Al arrived home Thursday evening with my Mother's Day gift - a lovely tortoiseshell English Angora rabbit. They had gone almost to Tennessee to get him. He is ten months old, enjoys being held & has lovely fiber to spin. They really fooled me but Katy probably still needs that squeak in her right front panel looked at......

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday Surprise

I know I thought things would settle down once lambing was done but it never seems to end. I walked out between rain showers to gather eggs. I glanced across the yard as usual & saw some poultry at the feed trough. As I glanced away, it registered with me that I'd just seen a whole mess of ducklings mulling about. Their mother had brought them in from a far pasture as she knew where there was a sure supply of easy-to-eat food. After a little running, Katy & I managed to gather all 9 ducklings as well as the anxious mother. We locked them all in a stall in the stable where they are safe from downpours, hawks, raccoons, opposum & just about everyone & everything else that would enjoy a little duckling-kabob.

Culling Berries

I spent the morning at the Hardy's Berry Farm in Anderson culling strawberries. They've been picking berries for a good two weeks now so the fields can stand for the overripe and sunscalded berries to be removed. I love to gather culls for the chickens and pigs, although everyone here is quite content for a few bites. I would imagine I gathered 20 gallons today but that was only on about 1,000 feet of row. This will be just the first of several trips out.

Tuesday's Surprise

This little fellow showed up Tuesday before dinner time. We'd gone to town to run some errands, helped friends set up for a market and returned just before dark in time to make the final round to gather eggs. When I walked into the barnyard I heard a baby's voice. One of our angora/nubian cross does was just trying to clean up this little fellow. I left her alone for a while but the chickens were watching the process a little to closely - they have a bad tendency to peck at the little dangling umbilical cord - so after a few more minutes of bonding time, we moved mother & son into the stable. By bedtime he had nursed a few times & all seemed well. His mother was quite protective of him this morning but he looks like he will be fine. He is absolutely the spitting image of Kermit, his father!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mrs. Seabright

Mrs. Seabright is about ten years old now. And she is such a little old lady. She is a Golden Seabright bantam that we ordered a very long time ago. She has easily outlived everyone else in her batch.

She is such a funny little old lady. Here she is next to one of our normal layers - less than half size! Mrs. Seabright is waiting for this hen to hop off her newly-laid egg so that she can jump on & set for a while.

She is an adorable old gal who goes to roost up on her perch and begins her night's sleep a good two hours before anyone else retires. She makes us smile.


It is just so amazing to have a rainy spring after our last however-many-years of drought. The nasturtiums are thriving so I can't wait to eat the spicy/cucumbery tasting flowers. The big bed of garlic looks fabulous & should be ready come July. I couldn't wait so dug just one. It is still immature but the aroma is fabulous so I'll chop it up to saute with chicken breasts tonight.

Such a big boy!

This is the little fellow that Eric & I had to pull just a week ago Saturday. Although it is not the best picture, you can see he is getting close to half his mother's size. When we see them together it is hard to believe they are mother & little son. Had we not assisted with the birth, we may still be wondering who he belongs to. And to nurse, he almost has to get under mama on his belly!

Monday, May 4, 2009

New Hay

Al picked up the latest cutting of round bales while I was at Market on Saturday morning. Sunday evening Eric moved some in with the animals. They don't last long.....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

After Market

Although we try to keep most of the livestock contained in the side and back of the house, a privileged few think it is fine to be anywhere they want. They are the ones who quickly greet me on Saturday when I return from Market. Although the only "edible" that I take is eggs, I usually come home with some nice culls from Jeff at Iszy's Heirlooms. And this week Mr. Baylor, who also sells produce at the Market, saw Jeff leave a bushel of greens by my car & asked if I had any use for the corn husks he had. I was delighted as they are a favorite among the sheep.

I was greeted in the driveway by Bart, the crippled sheep. Eve, our mini donkey & Lila, one of the Anatolian Shepherds, soon joined him to check out the treasures.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What a day!

Saturday Market was amazing! I took 54 dozen eggs & sold every single one. From there we went up to Split Creek Farm's spring open house to do a shearing demonstration. Then home to "regular" chores. I've spent the late afternoon speaking sweetly to the chickens to explain that I could have sold quite a few more eggs so expect their utmost cooperation in the coming week.

The day ended with the discovery of a new lamb. He is a beautiful speckled Shetland - all petite & spunky. He must have been born early this morning but his mother was already in the pasture with the ewes & their lambs so a baby was not out of place. I thought when I first got home from Market that I heard a baby cry but then heard other sheep so thought nothing of it. I was so surprised when returning with my last bucket of eggs right before dark to glance over & see this new tiny thing in the pasture. He & mama are now safely in the stable where she is getting lots of special grain all to herself. I'll try to post a picture tomorrow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Keeping Cool

Jeff, one of our Angora bucks, seems to like the temperature inside a hole that one of the livestock guardian dogs has hollowed out. Although I caught Rudy, the old Great Pyrennes asleep in it just the other day, I am assuming that Amy, the Anatolian Shepherd in that pasture dug it. She has a lot more ambition than Rudy. You will notice the pink bucket in the pasture with Rudy - he does exert a lot of energy by stealing my buckets & dragging them around the pastures.

Just a nice quote...

"It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness."
~Thomas Jefferson~