Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter Preparations

One of the buildings where the chickens like to hang out has a huge door at the side that we leave propped open all spring and summer. The door at the end of the building is much smaller and is used many times a day but this door has become more of a movable wall. The walls of the building are tin so it tends to heat up but leaving the big door open makes it a very comfortable place for the nesting birds. In the winter we close the door and the building stays pleasantly warm on the coldest of days, the tin walls radiating heat. Since chickens love to forage and move dirt around (as well as produce a bit of their own "dirt") the door gets stuck open. It was a nippy morning which reminded me that it is about time to shut the big door. But the big door doesn't shut without a little work on my part.... As I started to dig the chickens realized that I was literally mining all sorts of tasty bugs for them. I dug out half of the path of the door but will finish later once the snacking is over.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanks for all the help....

Unloading feed can be a challenge. Vincent Van Goat, the light gray LaMancha, can jump every fence on the farm so he just follows the truck back to the stable. Kermit, our Nubian buck, happened to be in the barnyard this morning but didn't sneak around to the truck until we were almost done unloading. I held the goats back while Al got most of the chicken feed out but I got distracted by the dogs as he was almost finished so Vince and Kermit felt they could move on in. Boys!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


The weather is just pleasantly mild so it seemed like a good day to pull out a few fleeces and begin some of my "winter" washing. I have to dye these two fleeces for my needle felting students. I've already got a dye pot of yellow and another of orange simmering as those are very popular with the children. Once I wash these fleeces I'll dye parts of them also.
The picker is a slightly intimidating but wonderful tool. It opens up the greasy locks so that some of the dirt falls out before I wash. Madison, the beagle, was bored with watching me work but I was pleased to get a fair bit finished.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

End of the Day

I love the end of a quiet day. The eggs have been gathered, everyone is fed and just winding down. I was returning from feeding the pasture dogs and decided to check the water trough in Oliver's pasture. These two kids were just getting cozy as the temperature was dropping for the evening. They are unrelated goats but were born about the same time and, at least for the evening, are very comfortable together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too much help.....

It is amazing how everything I do can attract attention here. This has been a particularly "busy" week for the cats who have helped me with both dyeing and spinning. Madison, the beagle, found a box of fleece that the donkey had knocked over so decided it was a good place to spend a chilly morning. That's why I hide my favorite fleeces until I have a chance to get them washed and spun up!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Little Modelling

I have been invited to do the Winter Art Market at Art Crossing at Riverplace. I am so excited! One of my tasks was to submit a brief bio & pictures of my work. Al drug out his good camera and we used Kelli, our beautiful daughter-in-law, as a scarf model. But just for laughs, we let Bart have his turn too.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Guts

I baked a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin and had lots of yummy guts, seeds and skin after cleaning out the meat. I decided to share it with the crew outside. I offered it to the first sheep I came across but they turned up their noses. They would ordinarily eat raw pumpkin but there was something about the cooked stuff that they found to be off-putting.

Eve,the little front yard donkey, took a taste but was not impressed so I carried the bucket to the back and set it down with some of the goats. They were much more enthused, licking it almost spotless. And that IS a sticky little goat nose in the final picture.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Speaking of Shelter

Regina is our oldest Anatolian so we let her train Allez,one of the sisters. Both dogs in that pasture have the entire woods and creek to play in and a nice barn to snuggle up in. But apparently that wasn't enough shelter or entertainment as someone decided to dig a burrow. It is one huge hole, so large that one of the one hundred pound pups can easily fit in it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Food AND Shelter!

It is a chilly drizzly day. I discovered this little goat snuggled into the round bale so that she could eat while staying dry. She is not entirely dry but usually if a goat can get its head under shelter, it thinks it is covered. The goats do have plenty of shelter but I haven't bothered to drag hay to them as it is only supposed to rain off and on today. I imagine I feel sorry for them but not that sorry!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Girls

When I walked into their pasture this morning, the new girls ran up to meet me. As soon as they were almost to my feet, they stopped, looked around and backed up as if to say, "Oh, what were we thinking?". It does look like they will warm up easily. I just squatted down and waited as they mulled around, often approaching and a few times touching me. I just admired their gorgeous curls while waiting patiently.