Monday, April 28, 2014

Bridgette at 10 Weeks

Bridgette, now alone with little brother Bert (Joy's son), while momma Sapphire and Alf get together.
She's really a pretty durn nice little heifer!

Cow For Sale - Sapphire

Morgan Rivers Xpensive
DOB 28 March 2010
BW 75#
JB Roar X JB Moonstruck (by Twin Fir Black Powder by Willalooka Power)
Sapphire is a sweet, gentle, easy going cow raising her 3rd calf.  All of her calves came with zero help.  Her first one was one of those 'now she doesn't have a calf, now she does' type calvings.  All of her calves are up and nursing within minutes.  She has been halter trained but hasn't been in one for quite awhile, but is easy enough it wouldn't take much to retrain her.  She carries her mother's outstanding udder and milk production as well as being a very easy keeper.
She was possibly bred to Morgan Rivers Alfa, full brother to Morgan Rivers Zamora, on 28 April 2014.  She is nursing a very fine black heifer calf, Bridgette (see previous post) by Zamora.
Weight 15 May with 3 month old calf - 1250#

Bridgette nursing a few days ago

Cow For Sale - Hilda

Morgan Rivers Yo Momma
DOB 29 April 2011
BW 88#  ADJ 205 664#  205 Index 100 Group Size 1
Morgan Rivers Talisman X Cabin Fever Miss Millie (by Cabin Fever Derringer by Black Butte Galaxy)
Weight 15 May - 1445#
Bred to Morgan Rivers Zamora, 2013 Josephine County Fair Grand Champion, 2012 black bull by JB Roar out of a The Glen Manual daughter.  Preg checked by OSU in November.  Due 18 July 2014
Pictures taken this afternoon on her 3rd birthday.  Has limited vision in her left eye due to pinkeye as a calf.  Gentle, easy going, very easy to work with, dropped her first calf without any fuss at all, mothered right up.  Her granddam EKY Silver (by KCC Mr. Painter 6A) sold a few years ago at age 17 with calf #15 at her side.  Her dam, Millie, is one of my best cows, never needs any help calving, always raises huge gaining calves on poor pasture.  Hilda bred right back after calving.  Respectful of fences and people, gets along with all cows even pushy, bossy ones, will work for a good, solid dog just fine.
You can see her EPD's on the American Murray Grey Association website at


 You can see the milky left eye.  OSU says she has limited vision and I agree, she can see shadows and such.  So long as she knows you are there - I just talk and let her know - she is just fine
Moments after her first calf was born, a 70# black bull calf

The New Gangsta Girls

Saturday was the annual Oregon Spring Poultry Swap and Sale up at the Polk County fairgrounds in Rickreall, so Dale and I decided to take a day to go hen hunting.  Didn't take long - walked in, saw the two white Ameracauna cross hens in literally the first pen, bought them on the spot.  We checked out everything chicken and then some in that first building, then moved on to the next building, where right up front was a lady with the two 6 month old Buff Orpingtons.  Added them as well.  They lay HUGE eggs, and I do mean HUGE, plus they lay all winter without having to be lit up like most other egg producing breeds.
They will stay in the coop pen for awhile until they understand they are home.  The last of the old Gangsta Girls, the 7 year old Silver Laced Wyandotte that is STILL laying almost daily, was not amused to have her territory invaded by these cheeky youngsters.  But, she'll get over it, I'm sure.

Whatcha Eatin', Gangsta Girl?

Bondi peeks thru the feeder to see what the last of the old Gangsta Girls was noshing on.  Bugs, most likely

Remains of the Storm

Some scenic shots of one of the latest storms as it was tapering off and headed east.
Don't forget to click the pix to start the slideshow and with these, view on a big screen if you can
 Zenda the steer grazes clover and English daisies, oblivious to the show of beauty around him

 The colours are just as they are, unretouched

Spring Floral

 The new Japanese maple 'Shisha Auream' in its new pot
 With the demise of the 'Meyer Improved' lemon tree, Dale picked out a wonderfully versatile Japanese maple that when he first saw it up at Dancing Oaks Nursery (, he thought it was a pot plant.  Not like a plant in a pot pot plant, but you know what I mean.  And it does look sorta like that.  But it's actually acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa'
 Baby, it was still pretty cold out.  Thus, old man Hoke sought refuge in the warmest place around, the greenhouse
 Anticipation - the 'Brandywine' heirloom crabapple that was heavily damaged by the falling limb along with the other one, is chock full of little pink balls that hold the promise of the unearthly sweet fragrance to come
 Speaking of unearthly sweet fragrances, 'Scentsation' lilac, as well as all the ancient lilacs, are now in full bloom and the air, especially in the early morning, is just swooningly fragrant
 'Queen of the Night' tulips, shot from the sun side in the late afternoon
And shot from the shade side with the late afternoon sun shining thru

Frosty Morning Boys

With the girls now separated into their respective harems, one for Roar, one for yearling son Alfie, Bodie and little pal Beau have been hanging out a lot.  Mostly, I suspect, to get away from obnoxious big sister Banshee.
It's been decidedly un-springlike in the mornings, with temps just a bit above freezing in the mid-30's, but we're in for a whopper of a change this week, with temps expected to possibly even hit 80 by mid-week!
 Bodie and Beau on the move in the early morning sunlight

 Beau heads home for breakfast, making momma Nellie pretty happy

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mayhem on the Heat Mats

I was happy.  Everything I've seeded thus far has mostly sprouted and many are now moved off the nurturing heat mats in the dairy barn garage and into the greenhouse to await transplanting to either the garden or various pots.  So happy was I that I decided to do another two big trays of seeds on the mats, stuff I could gift to friends and neighbours and the like.  And, they all sprouted just fine.  Once seeds have sprouted on the mats, I remove the clear plastic domes during the day for air circulation, which is needed to insure that the tender seedlings don't dampen off and die.  But, because our temps have been in the 30's many mornings, and also for rodent protection, the domes must go back on in the evening.
As you can see, Sunday night I forgot to put the dome back on the big tray of seedlings.  And on Monday morning, I'm sure quite a few people probably heard my screams of rage, mostly at myself for stupidly forgetting to put the dome back on.
I wouldn't get so mad if the little (insert bad words here) would EAT the damn things, instead of 'tasting' them and then moving on to the next one.  Reminds me of Goldilocks.
Wonder if I can get a bear to hang out in the dairy barn garage?
 The little rodent liked the Heinz tomatoes, but not the Indigo Blueberries, Persimmon or Kellogg's Breakfast, which it only snipped off
 From 16 strong, healthy cuke seedings down to one, and from 3 big, strong Kakai pumpkins to one.  It really liked the cukes and pumpkin seedlings
 Wasting food.  Don't snip it off if you're not going to eat the whole damn thing

Saturday, April 19, 2014


It's been a bit rainy the past two days.  Lord knows, we desperately need the rain and I'm far from complaining.  Especially since it makes for good lighting and a little bit of interest with the raindrops on petals.  But, the night temps have been in the mid 30's as of late, which means I'm still stuffing the greenhouse to bursting with all the new pretties that cannot yet go out and enjoy the rain.
Soon, my lovelies, soon....
 Lewisia, a charming semi succulent wildflower that blooms sweet little quarter sized blooms in a rainbow of candy colours.  Weathered the massive snow and 9 days of far below freezing temperatures this winter without missing a beat
 Ditto this fun wallflower.  The scent - unbelievable.  The colour - incomparable
 Speaking of incomparable scents, 'Scentsation' lilac is just blooming now
 And, in the greenhouse, the hanging baskets are starting to really rock.  But, being tender creatures of immense beauty, they must stay in the warmth for awhile longer.  We can hit the 30's well into June up here
 'Lemon Slice' Million Bells and a stunning tricolor nemesia who's name I cannot remember
 Geranimums (zonal) and 'Opal Innocence' diascia
 Martha Washington geraniums.  They survived the winter in the greenhouse, which was something of a miracle

 'Queen of the Night' tulips in the Drama Queen planter, still going strong
 A cheerful basket of pansies and petunias (almost blooming) greet everyone entering the driveway
 'Sweetheart' storks bill geranium.  This is not only one tough plant, it's quite fragrant and it reseeds like mad.  Went thru the winter, popped up everywhere and it never gets any but incidental watering - and it STILL blooms like mad almost all year
 Tree paeony 'Silk Road' - it just keeps getting better and better every year and perfumes the air all around its huge blooms
Alas, the poor 'Meyer Improved' lemon.  I fear it is done for.  I did find a bit of green wood when I cut it back, but I don't hold out a lot of hope.  Too many days too far below freezing, even covered as it was with two blankets, was probably just too much for it to survive