Friday on the farm…

December 21, 2007

It was beautiful out there when I went to do chores this morning. The weather has warmed up again, and I wore a light jacket instead of my heavy winter coat. Even at that, I pulled off the jacket before I was half way finished with the chores. Though the sun was shining, it’s pretty dreary. What colored leaves we had have either turned brown, fallen to the ground, or both. Still, there’s a little color peeking through here and there, like this lovely little violet.Toby was in rare form this morning, galloping all over the place, carrying around a big piece of lumber he found somewhere. He’s got to have a piece of wood in his mouth, whether it’s so tiny you can barely see the end of it sticking out of his mouth, or so large it’s twice his size and he’s dragging it along behind him.

He’s the farm jester, always finding ways to make me laugh, no matter how grumpy I might be. He loves to play in the water. In the original game, he jumped up and bit the water, but later it evolved to him wanting sprayed while he ran around with his lumber stogie in his mouth.

The other animals generally ignore his lunacy, unless he gets too close. Then they’ll scoot out of his way while casting a wary eye in his direction.

Eventually, they’ll go back to munching their hay or grass or whatever they were doing.

It’s another beautiful Friday on the farm.

Neffie, the Mighty Mole Hunter

December 5, 2007

Out in our backyard-turned-pasture where the sheep and the goats roam, there are also some underground dwellers roaming about. Their tunneling leaves behind a raised row of earth. When our livestock guardian dog, Neffie, finds one that’s occupied, she starts barking frenetically.

Then she starts digging.
It’s hard to see in the picture above, but she dug a hole in the middle of one of the tunnels, grabbed the occupant and carried it off.

When you got it carried far enough away to suit her, she dropped it. There it was, the digger itself, one ugly mole.
She seems to be wondering, “What should I do with it now?” Generally, her answer is to carry her prize around for a while, drop it and watch it run, then catch it again. (Sometimes Neffie acts a lot like a cat.) I’m not sure she ever kills them.

But she’s really good at catching them.

Southern Heat

August 11, 2007

I don’t know about global warming, but I know it’s plenty warm here in the south. I’m not too thrilled when you pass a bank thermometer and it has THREE digits!

Even though it’s in the shade, our thermometer has been reading 98 degrees F. for the last three days. (For those of you using the Celsius scale, that would be almost 37C.) That’s just TOO hot.

Everything here on the farm is trying to cope with the hot weather, from “A” to “Z”. (Okay, so the closest I have to the front of the alphabet is cat, with sheep at the tail end.) All the critters look for shade, but have different habitats and various ways of beating the heat.

Spot, the Cat, likes to lounge around in the shade under our truck, and keep his thirst quenched with Birdie Broth, otherwise known as water out of the bird bath – just a “faint flavor of birdie essence”. I’m not sure if I put fresh water in there for the birds or the cat.

A dust bath is the method of choice for a quick cool down for the Chickens… … while the Dogs like to hang out under the back porch or in the shade of the big walnut trees in the back yard.


Neffie takes a rest (above), while Toby enjoys chewing on a hunk of wood while lazing in the shade (below).

Even our Garden needs help with the heat, especially considering we are also under drought conditions. I’ve had to water the peppers and tomato plants almost every day. (Thank goodness for well water!)

Of course the Goats like to hang out under the shade trees in the back yard with Neffie.

Keira the Llama often joins them, but she also cools down by “burying” herself in a sea of green plants in the bog area of the bottom pasture, though it’s not much of a bog right now!

In the aviary, the Peafowl go for a combination of bathing in the dust or pool.

Last, but not least, the Sheep also opt for spots under the shade trees. Our flock matron has a special spot under a pile of lumber and gets double shade from that and the overhanging tree branches.
One way or another, everyone is looking for shade and the coolest spot possible. I’m thrilled to be able to enjoy the air conditioning inside the house. Yep, I admit it, when it comes to extreme heat, I’m a Wuss.

Beating the heat from “C” to “W” –
ust keep that air conditioning on for the “W” please!

Wheel Addicts

July 10, 2007
The Farmer here stopped on the way home from work and got some feed for the critters today. After we did evening chores, he got the dolly out of the shed to tote the 50 pound sacks from the car trunk to the feed room.

Toby went nuts.

What is it about dogs and wheels? Every dog we’ve ever had goes crazy when a vehicle goes down the road, the lawnmowers start rolling, you move a wheelbarrow… whatever! If it’s got wheels, they want to chase it.

“You can’t possibly be talking about ME…”
Little wheels, big wheels, one wheel or many, they just don’t care. If it goes round and round, they give chase. Toby bites at the wheels so much, sometimes it’s difficult to continue moving things, and we have to lock him up out of the way.

Dogs… they’re wheel addicts.

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