Tuesday, December 25, 2012

With Frosting On Top

The other morning on the way out to appease the cows, I spotted a spectacular sunrise that painted the newly frosted top of Green Peak to our west and couldn't resist.  Don't forget to click the pix!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

From our zoo to yours, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Hoke, Cricket, Ho Dog (Santa Paws), Sybil, Gem the shy BC (first time in 3 years we've managed to get her in the picture) and gone but never forgotten, Gizmo (wine bottle with Santa hat)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Remembering the Little Man

Just about 30 minutes from now will mark exactly one year ago that our Little Man Gizmo was taken from us.  We never did find a single trace of him.  The odd thing was, that the owls that had been over at the park the night before he was taken by one of them hadn't been back since - until last night.  I heard them at last potty call for the dogs, just as the night they took Gizmo.  And, they were out there again tonite.

We still miss you, Juice-Man

My buddy Bonnie found this at, of all places, Grocery Outlet and gave it to us shortly after we lost him.  That Papillon is absolutely the spitting image of Gizmo as a youngster

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have a Heart - Donate!

This afternoon, Santa Paws, Dale and I went to make a few unwanted dogs and cats a little bit happier with our annual shelter donation.  Last year was SafeHaven; this year I chose Heartland.  Both are Corvallis shelters.

There is a responsibility that comes with being a breeder, as opposed to producing puppies and kittens randomly.  Not only do we have a duty to our breed to insure that we breed the best, healthiest examples of the Australian Shepherd possible for carefully chosen homes, but to give back to the pet community as much as we can.  The one thing we can do is donate $100 per puppy we breed to a deserving rescue or shelter locally.  It's not a lot, but if it means that a few more dogs and cats get medical care, neutering and spaying, dental care and training, then that is more than doing nothing would do for them.

If you have it within your means, we urge you to consider a donation to your own local rescue or humane society.  Food, blankets and towels, toys, grooming supplies and most importantly, time - all are appreciated greatly by those who work with the unwanted animals.  It is a hard, sometimes thankless and too often heartbreaking job the volunteers do, so anything you can do to help, please do so!

Me and Santa Paws at Heartland

They were actually closed today (Thursday), but a kindly elf let us in and Patti took care of the rest while Santa Paws got the poor kitties by the door all in a tizzy.  He could have cared less about them, he was just hoping for a treat for a job well done

Majestic Mountain

Green Peak, wreathed in clouds and frosted with an early season snow, reigns peacefully above the ranch, of which you can see the big silver barn right at just left of centre at the dark treeline (Don's trees).  You will want to click on this one for sure!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow Dogs of 2012

The first packwalk of the season in the snow found the three girls (Hoke is sidelined with a sore leg for awhile) having a fine ol' time.  Too bad the scenery is just so blah on our walks in the morning

Sybil pauses on the road, looking for trouble to get into

Gem the BC and Sybil watch Cricket on the run (out of pix because she was just a red tri blur)

Cricket (front) and daughter Sybil launch a simultaneous attack on Gem the BC

Sybil looking as regal as she can

The aftermath - you KNOW she's got the idea about comfort well in hand

Scenes of the Season, with Frosting on Top

A blizzard it wasn't, but it did actually snow a bit last night.  Matter of fact, at 3:15 pm, it's STILL snowing.  It's alternating, big ol' snow showers with sunshine and blue skies.  The new snow isn't sticking much, it's a bit warm, altho it seems to be sticking to the old snow pretty good.  We're still in for more tonite, and it looks like we might just get it.  The first real snow of the season is always so breathtakingly beautiful, peaceful and hushed - that is, until the big blob of melting snow slipping off the limb of a big Doug fir wallops you on your bare head while on the morning packwalk....

Thru the kitchen window, first thing this morn

Maternity gate pasture

The old red barn, in the snow with the big snow covered Dougs behind it, always makes for a fine picture
Baby Zenda reacts to his first snow ever.  Daddy Roar is in the background, wishing I was spending less time taking pictures of his darling baby boy and more time filling his stomach with breakfast

It's always a treat to shoot the snowman table with a snowy background

Not fog - heavy snow coming down in the north pasture

You know me, always gotta try for the artsy shot
Jose's Christmas tree field on Herb's place, on the morning packwalk

Awesome snow clouds over the big silver barn, sliding door now repaired and fully functional again

The garden sleeps under a nice blanket

Jody's Fjords in their natural habitat
Love the sun in this shot looking south

Monday, December 17, 2012

Riders of the Storm

The first part of a strong series of storms, the strongest of the season thus far, went thru the ranch like a marauding Viking last night, leaving a fair amount of destruction in its wake.  The winds started howling around 5 pm, and by 7 pm we knew we were in trouble.  It took both of us to haul down the flag, as the pole is only rated to 55mph wind loads and we were told to expect 70mph gusts.  The worst we saw was 45mph, but that was enough to turn the greenhouse into a pretzel, rips plenty of small limbs and branches off all the tree, nearly rip the big silver barn door off and in doing so, twist the trolley wheel rail so that it took both of us and the tractor to get the door open so Dale could fix it, and it laid poor Dexter the lead reindeer on the poo flinger on the ground.  I'm happy to say that other than the greenhouse, everything was taken care of.  The greenhouse, however, we dismantled and I spent the better part of the day transfering pots of plants into the dairy barn garage and the old red barn.  Next spring, we'll build a bigger, sturdier one that can handle whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at it.  Altho, for the next two days, we are under a blizzard warning!  Imagine that.  We've had plenty of rain and snow and iceballs today and the temperature is already dropping fast, with snow forecast after midnight.  We'll see; getting snow here requires just the right mix of conditions which we don't generally see until after January, but it has happened before!

My first view of the greenhouse this morning.  I had picked up panels the previous night during the storm and this morning, panels were all the way out into the north pasture

Dexter the lead reindeer goes down

The most sensitive plants went into the dairy barn garage with Really Big Red for the winter

The hardier pots went into the old red barn

The mangled remains, sans panels.  The pepper plants, sadly, will just be sacrificial lambs, and so much for my overwintering experiement with them

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scenes of the Season

I'm wililng to bet not too many people have a poo flinger that is pulled by two reindeer.  It's really become quite fun to 'dress' the poo flinger for the season/holiday and many people comment they drive by just to see it.  We also strung the LED lights on the north pasture fence, from Dawson Road all the way around to the garage/shop.  I couldn't get the entire thing in one shot as the house is in the way, but it sure look really cool at night from either direction.

And I think there may be a snow shot of the poo flinger display coming soon.  It was snowing heavily this morning, but at 34 degrees and sopping wet, just not sticking.  That could change, but we never hold our breath about it.  6 years here and we have yet to have a White Christmas, altho two years out of the six we've been oh so close

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy 7th Cricket and Siblings!

Can't hardly believe it but yep, Cricket's 7 years old today!  Deb sent a nice shot of the East Coast boys enjoying a little cake, a picture which Cricket will not be allowed to see

Deb holds the cake while Woody (Gris' nephew), Gris (Cricket's bro) and Coup (Ho's little bro and Woody's dad) look on with great interest

Cricket (face towards camera) and sister Macy, minutes old

Griss, a few weeks old

Wee baby Cricket

Black Friday, Cricket-Style

And that's how Cricket does her Black Friday shopping - via osmosis

They Get It


....leads to this.  Ho Dog, Cricket and Sybil on the couch in front of the roaring pellet stove


It's December.  It's Western Oregon.  It's raining.  It's all normal.  Still, a fine group of western rainbows, kind of a rare thing, for you to enjoy.

Thru the kitchen window one fine morn

No 'bows, just bow-wows with Dale at the end of the morning packwalk.  Hoke and Gem the BC with him

Lovely double over the old red barn

Trying to show that our 'bows have extra colours

Nope, we looked.  No pot of gold