Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hen Horsing Around

I really enjoy having chickens on the farm. They are always up and about on my farm.
Some are bold and fearless followers of where I go and what I do.
They push my shepherds away so they can eat their dog chow.
They get into stock tanks and feed bags all the time.
They crow, cluck and chirp all day long. While the roosters are so pretty the hens are
the real workhorses on my farm.
My snippy and flighty Leghorn born on my farm. Leghorns dress out nice but 
are too much drama in the nest box and in the fields. 

One of my 3 Cuckoo Maran's given as a gift. Great hens that lay all winter and follow me
around like puppies.
Marans, Guineas, and an Buff following me looking for ham bits. I am hoping these Marans will give me better layers when crossed with my English Game Rooster. They are broody, hardy and kind birds to have around.  I enjoy the deep dark brown eggs they give me.

Seeing Lights and Shadows

It has been a difficult week over on the farm. I lost a good hen to a stuck egg vent. I should have treated her but got busy and forgot. So I had to walk her carcass up the hill, into the frozen woods and tie her in a sapling for nature to take care of business. I had to go to a funeral and wish I had more time to talk with friends. My father is having a second surgery after recently having one two weeks ago. The skin on his legs will not heal and the cause is not known. The good news is that I will get to see him in a few weeks. I wish I could bring him my farm eggs and farm veggies, but that is not possible for so long a distance. So I will work with what is available where he lives in the city. The good news is also that spring is around the corner. 
Seeds are waiting to be planted, bulbs ready and flowers coming up. Two chicks hatched on the farm and are inside growing up with humans. Life begins anew and I am looking for the light of spring sunshine. And the shadows of winter will begin to fall behind me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Iced Friday

We woke up to ice everywhere on Friday. I had to slide down the hill to feed all the animals. Then got on a pair of ice cleats and life was better. Our cars were coated in ice, took an hour to clear them off. Had to clear them so we could deliver eggs in town. My Volvo does not do ice, so we took the Subaru and got the errands done. Husband got to play with 4 wheel drive.
Chiminea in ice.

My favorite seat on the farm, iced over.

The view from the back door.

Even the birds got iced.

Horse gate and post coated in ice.

Maple waiting for her breakfast.

More frozen gates

Horse tape still holding a charge even with ice.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mice-roni Duck Treats

And the big drake goes down the field. He is being chased by the 
opposing quarterduck on the outside.

The teams heads for the 30 yard line and they have the goal in sight.

Touchdown! The winning duck gets to eat the frozen mouse I threw in the forest.
Yes, my ducks are well fed. But once in a while they get a 
frozen mouse caught in the water bowls. I guess everything likes mice, even poultry with no teeth.

Skunk Me Week

Zilla and Osa got sprayed for the last time. Osa got this 7 pound skunk after many nightly battles. 
She died with her skunk boots on.

You know a week is going to suck when on Monday you have to move a very stinky dead skunk in the freezing weather from your back door. You have to hide it from your smelly farm dogs or it comes back as a zombie skunk. Then you find out you have a very ill parent far away from you. Then a friend dies suddenly the next evening. Then you have an ice storm and have to do chores in the slippery pelting ice. The animals are miserable and wet like you are. I just want to curl up like this frozen skunk and take a nap. But you have to cowgirl up and get things done. Animals need you, friends need you and plans have to me made. Luckily I have my husband to drag me out of bed, make me lunch and get me going again. 
When there is good coffee,  I can deal. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Farrier February

Does this truck make me look fat? 
Luna, our fox trotter, waiting for the farrier. All our horses are tied to 
our farm truck waiting. Luna can get fat on air. She is never grained and still gets plump on hay.

Taking a nap.

Luna and her son, Bean. Bean is a gelding of 2+ years.

Not the best confirmation nor neck. He is still growing and may fill out.
He is about 14.5 hands, easy to get on. He will be my horse since he is a short one.

Bean waiting and Maple digging to China. Maple is a very busy brained horse, like her Mom.
She loves to have a job to do. She is trying to rewire the truck then the horse trailer. So she was moved to a tree for time out. Poor tree.

Bean just waits. He does have a nice long red mane and tail, very showy. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Decking Down Time

Zilla on our deck and Pepper in the door. Taking a break in the setting sunbeams.

Half a Dozen

My neighbors Boer goats gave birth again last week. They now have three girls and three boys.

Mama and boys

Boy's club

Mama and her two girls

A boy and an "oreo" cookie girl in the back.

Sowing Stones

There has been a lot of people around me that have died this year. And many have gotten close to death as well. Old, young, my age, some close and some far away, all part of my life here. Having moved so many times growing up, I never had to deal with human death. Funerals happened and then the person wasn't there. The family packed up and moved away. And I have been running away from death my whole life. But now that I have stopped moving, death has come again full blast. So instead of running from death, I look forward to the spring and life anew. Seeds mean plants and flowers this summer. I'd rather plants seeds for new life than dwell on the things that have died around me. I try to enjoy those living around me and my farm.  Knowing that one day they won't be there. Cherish the living and bury the stones under the ground.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Green Plans

It is winter and I am making plans for the Spring. My seeds are all in and ready for starting. I need my new/used green house moved into place, but my busy hubby can't get to it yet. Wet ground and computer work cut into farm tractor jobs. We need to enlarge our garden bed and add a new one in the horses dry lot. All that broken down horse poop and straw has turned into black gold. I need my big vegetables in there. My zucchini, other  squashes and corn all need room to grow in the bigger garden. This year I will also add a few more dahlia's to my flower collection. They bloom all season and are easy to care for. I love my roses but dahlias are far easier to grow and no thorns. My neighbors gave me a wonderful gift this week of irises and berries canes. I got the canes set and then the irises arrived. I heeled them in a compost pile until I can decide where to put them. Irises are such and wonderful flower to grow. So easy to care for and after a few years, you can split them and share with others. The photo is from last year of my farm cat Poppy in my thyme bed, rather "his" thyme bed.

Kindle Appy makes me Happy

For a valentine present my husband hooked me up with Entertainment Weekly App for my Kindle Fire. I have been reluctant to do this as previously the App required a paper version to be delivered by snail mail as well. What's the point of that for saving money, time and space? But he got it set up for me without the paper version. Now I can read about  TV, don't have one, movies, I rarely see and wait to come out on DVD, books, I read selectively, and music, my biggest passion. I can even listen to new musicians on my kindle fire. I used to get EW when we lived in the city and had TV. Now I only want it to stay aware of new artist, books and going's on the media world. It is like a mini vacation from farm life for my ears and my mind. It really is the simple things in life that can make me happy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Berry Me Winterly

This weekend I was given several rooted blackberry and raspberry bushes. These were mature canes in
winter dormancy. I got two beds planted, mulched and fenced off before the rains came in. The rains soaked in the roots nicely for more winter sleep.

I am hoping by summer these plants will be strong again and bear fruit. I love these berries. Worth the effort of dealing with thorns, ticks and snakes to get them. And sharing my bounty with other berry fans.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dry Clouds

We had some clouds this weekend, but no rain. It is the driest winter we have had here in
the Ozarks. It seems like this spring will be very dry for us. None of the weather
forecast have been correct. The temperatures have been all over the place this winter.
Even the wildlife is confused.

Zilla in February

This is Zilla my young German Shepherd. She is not a year yet and is almost 100 lbs. Her parents were well over 100 lbs. She has been a great guard dog for the farm after a bit of training.

Waiting for orders.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Calfy Day

He got to feed our neighbors cows this week. Cows love their grain and hay.
We lure them into the corral with grain and shut the gate. Then put out the round bale with the tractor.
Open the corral and free the cows into the pasture again. Keeps us and the tractor safe. 

To the round bale they go.

This little one was very pretty in the sun.

Mama watches us watching her calf.

Winter Maple Ride

Here is Maple our 2 year old fox Trotter. My husband is cleaning her feet before he heads out.
Bean can't be ridden as he has thrown a shoe.

All saddled up

This was a short ride for young Maple. The stirrup bar came off and could not be fixed on the trail. So they walked back home. The modern plastic stirrups have a screw bold and a nut, the nut fell off. Good stirrups, poor design. Thankfully the saddle is vintage, made well and is comfortable for horse and rider.Maple looks like a small pony in her fuzzy winter coat.