Sunday, November 1, 2009

Home at Last



The ewes and lambs came back home on Friday after spending the summer on pasture. They seemed to be happy to be back and Jim, the old ram, was nearly beside himself to see his harem again.



The younger ram is a purebred Romney who is now getting to know the ewe lambs. He has a much sweeter nature than old Jim. We are looking forward to seeing what his lambs will look like next spring.
We spent a good portion of today working on fences and tagging the ewe lambs. I love the weather this time of year, clear and crisp, but warm during the day. Nothing short of glorious!

Until next time, may all of your homecomings be cause for celebration!





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Jordan's Catch


Jordan has always wanted to catch a fish in his bare hands and this afternoon he finally got the chance.
Complete with a bit of a Halloween scare.

I laugh every time I watch this video.

Until next time, may all of your scares be pleasant ones!


video

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Frolic and Romp


This is one of the twins born as a surprise back in December. He and his brother are the oldest and largest lambs in the flock and are teaching the younger ones to romp and frolic.






The black lamb with white markings on her face and all four feet off the ground up on top of the hill is one of quadruplets. She is the smallest of the three survivors, but is doing well. We have been keeping an eye on her and attempted to supplement with milk for a while. Even through I knew she was hungry from her cries, she had her own opinions on that nasty tasting rubber nipple that did not remind her of mama at all and refused to drink. It takes a while to wait a lamb out and if they are hungry enough they will eventually decide to take the bottle even if it doesn't look or smell like Mom. Warm milk being dribbled down a hungry baby's throat is a pretty convincing tool. This stubborn little girl never did concede to the bottle, so I stopped trying after she was about 3 weeks old. By then she was nibbling hay and I figured she was obviously getting enough grub to get by. Her growth rate did not match her siblings, and she could have been a little plumper, but she wasn't crying like when she was younger, so I stopped putting us both through the tortuous milk dribbling ritual.








And down they go! They love to race down off of this hill, over to the next one, around, and around, over and over, leaping, and jumping.





Oh what a beautiful morning!







This is Daisy's lamb. He is the only one this year who was an only child - no siblings. There are 18 lambs all together, though, so he has plenty of cousins to play with.









Slowing down.







Getting tired.

Nap time. I believe this ewe is the mother of the quadruplets. She still looks pregnant with that big old tummy! She and her sister look quite a lot alike, both are three years old now. One was born to Daisy and the other's mom was Ivy, but we switched ear tags and now I am not sure which one is which. Daisy's daughter was Pansy and Ivy's Holly. I am pretty sure it was Holly who had the quads. Ivy had triplets last year and raised them to maturity without any help at all. She is a very good mom. We have actually culled out all of the ewes who were not good mothers now and have kept all of the good moms and easy lambers. It sure made lambing season go a lot smooher this year.

Until next time, may you find time to frolic and romp in the spring sunshine.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Coon Dog

Taking a walk through the woods this morning, Roxy discovered a tempting scent. We hurried to catch up to her frantic barks.


Look, I found a critter! It's right here, under this log.





OOOOOH, it is in here. Come on guys, let's tear this log apart!




Okay, it is growling awfully fiercely. But can't I please tear the log apart?







We can go home now, all that barking and digging made me tired and it is just a small coon anyway.





We are thankful to see Roxy feeling so frisky as she was a pretty sick dog about 3 weeks ago. We were hoping for some puppies from her, but instead she contracted a serious infection. She was droopy and not herself, but we had no idea how sick she was. The vet said if we had waited another day to bring her in, he probably would not have been able to save her. She had to be spayed, so no puppies, and the treatment was expensive, but Roxy says she is worth it. She also says we should let her sleep on the couch, but I have to draw the line somewhere!

Until next time, may someone love you enough to let you sleep on the couch!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The inseperable brothers have been cut from each other. At about 3:30 this morning, I awoke to a loud squawk coming from the front yard fence and immediately jumped out of bed, flung open the door and knew some dirty dog was stealing one of my pets. I slipped on a robe and slippers as it was quite brisk out of doors, and went on a starlit hunt. One Barred Rock rooster came running toward me through the front yard, so I was a bit relieved to see him and sent our dog, Roxy, out on the trail of the other, heading up the hill behind the house. At one point she must have run into the fox as she let out a warning bark and set out on a chase. I was hopeful with all of the commotion, the fox might drop the rooster as his plump frame must have been quite the burden for a delicate fox, but alas, we followed for a bit and no such luck. It has been my experience that a fox will usually snatch a bird, carrying it off to kill in a safer location farther from the house and barn. Chickens struggle only briefly, then resign themselves to the inevitable and I have recovered chickens from foxes by scaring the fox into dropping the bird with the chicken having only minor wounds, recovering fully. I continued to call for a time, hoping to hear the answering cluck coming from under a sagebrush, but eventually returned to the house, half frozen. The remaining rooster was sitting in the middle of the yard, so I carried him to the porch, felt for any injuries, and finding none, perched him on the porch near my bedroom door. In the past, the brothers would sometimes be diligently scratching for bugs and tasty morsels throughout the yard and find themselves lost from one another's sight on opposite sides of the house. They would crow to each other until they were together again, happily scratching and preening side by side. All roosters fight each other at times, but I never saw these two get into a scuffle. They were together constantly. In the picture posted above, he had just crowed and was waiting and listening for an answer from his brother, but all he heard were crows from the barn banties. He must walk into the dawn of a new day alone, with only memories to sustain him. And with a chicken, that won't be long.

Happier times - cold weather, warm hearts.


Until next time, may you never walk alone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gifts

It has been difficult to get a good shot of the lambs as Salty is such a friendly mama and will be sniffing the camera before I can get it focused and clicked. She is really always looking for a handout and hoping I may be bringing her some treats! Here I caught her snuggling with her kids before she jumped up and came over for a scratch on the head. If you look closely, you can see just a bit of the black lamb laying right bihind her. He is snuggled up as close as he can get and the white lamb had been doing the same on her front side. They are growing like bad weeds and begining to play king of the mountain on the hill inside the sheep pen, jumping and twisting in the air on their way back to mama. So far they are still the only babies, but it looks as if there will be more soon.
I wanted to draw charcoal portraits of the kids for Christmas, and here are how they turned out. This one is of Taylor giving KP a well-deserved look. I named it "Uh-Huh". I intentionally left KP only sketched and did not fill in detail on him, so he is a bit hard to make out in this picture I took of the framed drawing. In the original, you can tell by the tilt of his head, he is trying to be sorry for whatever it is he has done now. Get him, Taylor!

This is KP and Roland and I named it "My Way" as they each have an opinion on which way to go, and they are definatly not the same way! I think KP won as he appears to have the more determined look, but Roland is giving his opinion on the matter through his body language.



Jordan and Sebastian were coming to "An Understanding" here. Jordan is just cracking the whip as he asks Sebastian to begin moving into a circular lunge pattern. Sebastian is not sure he wants to comply and is giving Jordan the eye, but Jordan is standing tall and will only increase his request should Sebastian balk.

I was pleased with the outcomes of the drawings and made them into notecards, along with the drawing I did in 2007 of the barn which I am using as the logo for my PawleyFarm site. I think I will name this notecard set 'Lessons' as Roland, Sebastian, and KP are all learning in these portraits and old barns always have lessons to teach if only we are quiet and listen. I will offer them on both the PawleyFarm site and my Etsy shop, which will be the most public I have ever gone with my drawings. A bit scary, but a bit more exciting! Taking the time to draw before Christmas made me realize how much a part of my soul that creative process is. Drawing is one of those activities where I am totally unaware of the passage of time. I don't even think about eating while in the midst of the thousands of decisions about where to put the next mark, how light, how dark to make it . . . . It can be enough to drive a body mad! Don't worry, I plan to keep both my ears attached to my head!!

Until next time, may you be blessed with a pursuit in which time flies in swift, sweet enjoyment and may you be sent the gift of time enough for this life-giving nourishment to feed your soul brimming full to the top.