Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weaning Day

The time had come.  The two Navajo-Churro X Katahdadorpadoviot lambs were almost the size of their mommas, and Twyla, the elder stateswoman, didn't really need Char and Cassie flipping her on her back when they nursed anymore.  So, it was a fun filled morning for Dale and I.  The adults all needed foot trims, everybody got wormed, and Ginger's two boys Chuckie and Chester needed to be wethered.  We got the mommas and Pogo done first, then Cricket and I moved them down to the south pasture for weaning.  We didn't wean Ginger's boys yet as they are still just a bit too young, plus the newly weaned lambs would benefit from an ewe being around for a bit.  Cricket had her paws full, as those momma did NOT want to leave the big silver barn, but with me running for the gates, she got them into the working arena and then out into the south pasture.
Then it was time to worm and band the little ones.  Obama leaves for his new home tomorrow but he's going there as a ram, so thankfully I didn't have to do him.  Chester found that if he sucked those buggers up inside, I had a hard time getting ahold of them, but finally they were on the right side of the Cheerio (rubber bands that look like green Cheerios) and it was done.
The 4 weanlings will stay in the barn tonite until Obama leaves tomorrow, then the noise fest will begin in earnest!
 The whole gang, awaiting their fates
The four weanlings

Friday, February 27, 2015

Into Each Garden a Little Compost Must Fall

Dale took a look at the ancient but still serviceable ComposTumbler that he literally rebuilt several years ago when I acquired it to find out why it wouldn't turn easily, and found that I had perhaps been a bit lax in removing the contents in a timely manner of late.  So that seemed like a very good excuse to get out and get more done in the garden.  Included in that would be rebuilding the beds that I had so carefully rebuilt just a week before, until the dogs got to chasing down the voles or gophers making their home in it.
The compost was a mixture of everything - cow, chicken, sheep, goat, and horse poop; straw embedded in same; leaves; grass clippings; some old peat pots complete with potting soil and whatever else I felt like chucking into the 'pot'.  The results were a light, delightful and rich compost that immediately was put to use on the pea beds and future cuke beds.  The snow and snap peas went in that very day.
The next task was the dairy barn garage potting area.  I went after it with a vengeance and when the dust (literally) settled, not only was it cleaned up but 3 flats were seeded and on the heat mats.  Broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and a butt-load of pollinator flowers in this set.
Next up, the greenhouse needs to have the hardier pots moved out, the stuff that didn't survive taken care of, and room made for the flats when they come off the heat.

 Pea beds, composted and planted
 Beds rebuilt yet again
 Dale built the A frame for the cukes several years ago and they still work fabulously well
 Gem the BC enjoying the benches after a hard day's work in the garden.  Okay, SUPERVISING the work in the garden
Jan and I found these nifty little things at the Polk County Home Show last weekend.  Perfect for cupholders for the benches

The Boys in the Pasture

Bonnie came by a few weeks ago to pick up Beau, and shot the old man out in the pasture (with a camera, in case I have to explain that).
The bottom pix are of Beau being, well, Beau - muddy and loving life among the ladies of the JB Ranch in Roseburg.  11 months old and feelin' like the king of his little world
 9 years of beautiful calves sprung from those magnificent loins

Drunken Pots Get an Update

I never was really all that happy with how the original turned out, so I got an idea from planting out a strawberry pot, and ran with it.
Once the succulents fill in, I hope it'll turn out the way I envision.  One thing about succulents here in the Northwest - they are supremely happy and will grow, grow GROW.  Drop a bit of one in a pot or patch of dirt somewhere and stand back.  I have a grouping of small clay pots on a wrought iron trifold screen that flourish year round with zero fuss.  The entire group survived the 9 day 20 degree and below stretch a few years back, 2' of snow last February and me forgetting to water them for weeks at a time during the dry summer months.  The selection of varieties is seemingly endless and each has its own charm.  Gardeners trade them in search of new varieties and to share their overwhelming bounty.
Yep, nothing like them little buggers

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Gardener Prepares

My garden buddy Jan came by yesterday.  We both commiserated with each other about how far behind we were this year.  She lost her greenhouse to the January storm; mine is just packed with pots and no starts, not yet.  My potting bench that Dale built for me in the dairy barn garage is home to everything BUT seeded flats on heat mats at the moment, and I honestly don't have a good enough excuse to post here.  But I did manage to get the main garden sprayed for weeds and to try and get the hollyhocks under control this year, same as I say every year.  But this year, maybe it'll work.  They seem to think Roundup is fertilizer.
We did get the second antique bench finished and have already been enjoying them.  I think I will enjoy them more when I actually do something gardenish first

Gerry at 4 Days

After all the drama of the first few days of his life, Gerry has settled in and is now in cahoots with his older pasture pal Cy in tormenting the sheep and Cassie

Monday, February 16, 2015

Finally, Challenger!

What's a calving season without a little drama?  Yesterday, LeeLu played drama queen all afternoon.  After her water broke and Cy had to investigate, she then kept trying to claim him as her own, which meant she pretty much quit trying to calve, figuring that she'd already done so.  A few hours later, I knew it was hopeless and called in the troops.  Frank and Sharon arrived and in short order, we finished the job for her.  A lively, huge 95# bull calf joined her in the sheep pen for the night as she wanted no part of him for a while.  I got a bottle down him in record time - that boy's got some suction! - draped some icky bit over the salt Sharon had sprinkled him with earlier, turned on the trailcam, and left them for the night.  By early morning, Gerry was clean and dry and well fed and momma LeeLu was being all protective and motherly, so out into the morning they went to meet the other kids.
That just leaves Nellie, due in a few weeks, and then we are done for the year unless Bert did manage to somehow breed Ruffie a few weeks ago
 Gerry, 12 hours old and out into the world

Your Morning Cassie

Enjoying the sunny but chilly morning, darling little Cassie

Cy, Busy Guy

9 days old, and he's figured that he might as well pack as much as he can in every waking moment.  Hence, the name 'Cyclone'

 Momma Twyla - trust me, she knows he's there.  And he knows she knows
 This was a case of mistaken identity.  As you can see (if you're a cow person), LeeLu is in labour.  Her water bag already went, and of course Cy had to go see about that, thus getting it all over him.  Thus, LeeLu figured she'd already calved and he was hers, so she started chasing him around
Every person with a working stock dog will like this shot.  What a nice, controlled walk up, keeping the sheep moving quietly and smoothly, reading his flight zone perfectly

A Fine Morning for February

While our pals on the other coast are getting pounded by yet more snow, we are enjoying a stretch of impossible February days.  Cy and momma Millie are taking full advantage of it

Sheep Go Round

The flock enjoying a beautiful late winter's day - playing in the round bale feeder

Kayla and daughter Willa - 'Alright kid, we're bustin' outta this joint RIGHT NOW.  You with me?'

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ready for Her Closeup

Already showing signs of being a diva - at 2 days

The Kiss

Joy and 2 day old daughter Cassie share a tender moment

Cassie at 2 Days

Just as sweet as you'd expect a little girl to be, demure and proper.  Unlike Cy, who thinks his entire purpose in life is to annoy, head butt, chase or try to eat everything in sight

 The little girls always do this.  The boys, rarely.  We call it My Little Calf

 Casting for her right rear leg wasn't needed after all.  It's still a bit wonky but improving daily
 A Valentine's Day moment - momma Joy, Cassie and grandma LeeLu
Rear looking much better