Monday, June 28, 2010

Tractor Dog

Cricket on her fave perch while supervising the rockin' of the barn this morning. It's a little hard for her to reach the clutch and all, but she manages. However, we never should have showed her how to use the cutting brakes. Crop circles aren't made by aliens, they are made by rowdy Aussies on big tractors pranking the neighbours.

Hey, aren't YOU supposed to be keeping an eye on Rob?

Fine, I'll just watch him myself then

Ho Dog in the Summer Field

Just a coupla really nice pix of the old man, Ho Dog, in the summer pasture. The last time it was still green out there this late into the year was 2007, and it's greener this year than it was then. We're not complaining, and neither are the cows. Don't forget to click the pix!

At the beginning of the mower track, making sure the quality of the cut is up to standard

Sunday, June 27, 2010

PPEM, Cricket and the Calves and Tragedy

PPEM. What, exactly, does that stand for, you think? Look deep into the yellow colander below. It's a really big colander. It's full of snow and sugar snap peas. Peas picked that very morning. PPEM stands for 'Pick Peas Every Morning'. From here, into the big bag in the freezer they will go, to await the next stir fry. I'm hoping to have enough to last me this year, unlike last year, where I ate so many before they even made it into the house, there just weren't many left to freeze. No, I'm not disciplining myself better this year. I planted more peas.

A cool, clear, PNW summer morning, full of freshly picked strawberries and snow peas for breakfast. Nothing like it.

Somehow, I've lost my touch with staging pix. That's what happens when I go away for a week and don't do this. Cricket isn't supposed to be doing this, but you just cannot tell this little girl what not to do with cows. She knows way better than I do, but I also know that one of those calves doesn't even belong to me (Peanut), but is just here visiting with his mom, who is visiting Roar

This was pretty hysterical in real life - Dawn the oh so brave little heifer calf peeks around Peanut, the visiting steer calf, at Cricket, who is eyeing them both with intent

So here's the tragedy part of the title. The very night I left, and for the first time since we've been here (4 years), we lost livestock to a predator. Everyone around us loses chickens on a regular basis except us. And we do nothing special. Dale built a magnificent chicken tractor/coop that is very secure, except we were so lulled into a false sense of security, we didn't bother locking them in it at night. Ever. A few nights before I left, we had an incident involving my face, the coop, and the south end of a northbound skunk that was pretty hysterical (after the fact). We went out to investigate banging noises coming from the barn late one night, Dale armed with the .44 mag with the laser sight. The noise was coming from the unlocked coop, so I carefully dropped the side down to investigate, only to come face to tail with a skunk calmly (thank GOD) eating eggs. No harm, no foul odour on that one, but after that, I started locking down the coop at night. During the summer, however, three of the five Gangsta Girls prefer to sleep on the odd bales lying around outside the coop. And that led to the demise of Dinner, one of the Australorp Gangsta Girls. Cows, they could handle. The bull - no problemo. Barn cat? Puh -LEEZ! But, a raccoon the size of Ho Dog - nope, that was one that won the day, or rather, night. Dale found what was left of her by the stocktank in the maternity pasture, and bless his heart, he didn't go to his usual Friday night poker game to build a safe, secure chicken yard for the remaining Gangsta Girls. And like it or not (and thus far, not), they get locked up every night now. Marsha, Don's daughter, caught the b*****d on her trail cam she set up after losing all her hens over a few nights, and said that was the biggest 'coon she's ever seen. We set up some traps for him, but 'coon are hard to catch. They're too smart to fall for the obvious stuff. However, should our paths cross, the 'coon and I, there will be a reckoning. It will not be pretty. As the movie title says, there will be blood

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gem Plays With Sheep

Gem eases the sheep into the centre pen with its new gate, freshly installed by Dale

Sneaky Border Collie, yet somehow the sheep always know she's there

Marcel, the young wether, makes a mistake he's about to regret

Monday, June 7, 2010

Photo Safari - Part II, Ho Dog

With 5 dogs to choose from, why Ho? First off, Gizmo would disappear into the grass and we'd never find him again (until he got hungry). Secondly, Ho's deep red sets off the brilliant green of the grass nicely. Third, he will stand being posed and put and told to stay. And fourth, like me, he's old and needs the exercise. So, why not Ho?

Don't forget to click the pix!

Having a little fun with the wethers
Watching over the two yearlings and the ewes in the freshly mowed maternity pasture

Among the grass under the ancient pear and apple trees in the orchard in the maternity pasture

Under the trees in the north pasture - he's there, trust me

Lying among the English daisys in the maternity pasture

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gem Loves Cesar

Gem watches her fave show, 'The Dog Whisperer' on a cold, rainy day in June. This one was about two out of control Border Collies up in Washington. You see that Ho Dog shows how much he'd rather sleep than watch TV on such a day.

We have threatened Gem with calling in Cesar. I think she misbehaves just to get him to come up and see her so she can get an autograph and maybe a picture with her idol.