Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scattered Thoughts....

Scattered thoughts and observations tonight. Just got back in from checking the sheep for the final time this evening. It is so beautiful outside. The temps are mild, the sky a deep dark blue, with white lacy clouds slipping by. The moon is three quarters full and shinning brightly, with stars twinkling backup.


The weather was frenetic the last few days, with rain, cold winds and a drop in temperatures. Saturday brought some sleet, rain and generally dismal conditions. Today was warmer, with the sun out in full force. The wind was strong, but not too cold.


I took the dogs for a walk earlier, and because deer season started yesterday, we all had our 'hunter orange' gear on. We just walk down the roads, but the woods and fields press in on all sides, and the hunters are not always wise. The deer are plentiful this year, and it's been wearing driving to work the last few weeks. Just this week I've seen six deer dead on the roads and have had several sightings of live ones, to close for comfort. The ditches haven't been mown much this year, and tall growth easily conceal the deer until you are right upon them. All the same, I'll be glad when hunting season is over, as it isn't a pleasant time around here.

The sunsets have been unbelievable recently. It's hard to capture the extent of their dramatic beauty with the camera, but I keep trying. God is an extravagant artist!

I was pleased to get a call from my 'wood guy' this past week. He had found someone to let him cut, and already had my wood up at his house ready to deliver. I begged off a few days until payday, and then he brought it over. It's beautiful stuff, nicely split with some green and dry mixed together. He brought three cords, with a little extra thrown in. Isn't that just a pretty sight? Look at those nicely crafted ends. Then compare (if you must) to my sorry little stack featured in an earlier post. Having this wood eases my mind, and should last me this year, with close to a cord to carry over for next year. I've still got a nice stack of last years wood, plus all that was hauled up from the ice storm piles. It's very dry and burns wonderfully.

I took this picture of the three ram lambs before putting Sprat in with the ewes. The picture turned out rather dark, but I still enjoy seeing the little boys together. Orion and Omen are off in a separate pen now, near where Jeff and Callum live. You would think it was outer Siberia the way boys act.
Left to right are Sprat, Omen and Orion.

Tonight when I fastened the chickens up, I came up one short. The one missing is an Ameracuana, and is a light grey with a reddish cast. In other words, at dusk, she would be almost impossible to find. First I checked the hen house thoroughly, then the pen, then under the hen house. It's always a bad feeling when one comes up missing. Chickens that don't go into the house don't make it through the night around here... too many 'coons and 'possums. So standing there, scanning the sheep paddock and thinking where to check next, I noticed that the plastic tub that I keep under the sheep mineral was in a different place. I usually keep it bungee corded under the bottom of the mineral feeder to catch the loose stuff. However the sheep often un-bungee it and move it around. The thing was it was upside down... hmmm... I went over and flipped it over, and there she was! I thought she was dead, as she didn't move, but turns out she was just 'frozen' like they will do when in the dark. I picked her up and she squawked loudly and long. She jumped up on the roost in the hen house, so I'm hoping she will be okay. Geesh....

In other sheep news, the plan, now, is to break up the breeding group next weekend. I plan to take Sprat, Orion and Omen over to Allena's. The O's will be spending the winter over there in Allena's little ram flock. I'll re-evaluate them in the spring, if they aren't sold and go from there. I went to the big city Saturday and when I got home had a rude shock. I looked out at the main ewe flock and saw this rack of horns in amongst them. What? About then Sprat's head popped up and I realized that he was not where he was suppose to be! Argh. I wanted to cut down and have an easier lambing season, but now it looks like it'll be just a 'normal' one.. bah. At this point it looks like eight ewes have been exposed to Sprat....at least. His raddle paint was pretty worn off so the evident markers weren't there. However I'm pretty sure by their, uh, messy hair styles that both Rain and Tabitha were cycling. The last time Rain cycled she tried to bash down the fence to get with Sprat (as in backing up, running and ramming the fence! The hussy....), and this time she succeeded. They managed to open about two wires in the corner of a gate, for Sprat to squeeze through. All the big, fat, fluffy ewes in his breeding group couldn't fit through, so they were all still where they were suppose to be. I've fixed the fence, and hoping no more 'incidents'...enough is enough. On the plus side, they are all Shetlands and there is no questions on paternity. It'll be real nice to get all the girls back together. Then I'll need to put up a second fence line to keep Blue (the Merino ram) from coming in contact with the girls when I move him into his winter paddock. It'll be much easier with 'only' three sheep groups to care for. (Right now there are five--three ram groups, one ewe main flock and the breeding group).

I'll leave you with a picture of the kitty boys, taking advantage of an unmade bed and the warmth from the wood stove.

Have a good week everyone.....

7 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Woodpiles are things of beauty and comfort!

Sharrie said...

You remind me that I need to make a "deer season" outfit for Libby. Scooter still has his from last year. An old highway department vest worn with the zipper down his back. (With a few changes)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I know, like me, you believe God cares about even the smallest of His creatures. I think he directed your eyes - and thoughts - towards that tub! So glad all are accounted for now! We're celebrating another seven-egg day here.... :-)

JK said...

I agree, looking forward to the end of deer season myself. The critters are a bit jumpy as I am. I just hope that the hunters around here can tell the difference between deer and goats!

Oh, I've tagged you with a meme at my blog. :)

phylliso said...

There is nothing like the comfort of wood when it`s howling outside.
I laughed at your sheep story.They can certainly figure out how to get what they want one way or another!
So glad you found your chicken safe...
It is amazing how filled out Boone got,he is so happy & contented being there with you.phylliso

Deb said...

That was one lucky chicken - we had one that hid out last night and I found her this morning. Thankfully she's fine...she was in with the goats, guess they didn't mind :)
That's a good looking woodpile. I'm always comforted when I walk by the woodshed and see it all stacked up so nicely, waiting for the snow to fly....

Love your photos - your ram lambs are really great looking -

I tagged you for a "meme" on my blog...hope you don't mind.

A Jackson said...

Well, so the ewes are sneaking boys in now eh?

ROFL.