12 Days Of Christmas, Country Style

December 23, 2009

We do things different in the country.  If our true love sent us presents for 12 days of Christmas, we wouldn’t have any namby-pamby stuff like 12 Lords a leaping or 3 French hens.  No sir.  Here’s how WE’d do it:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .
Christmas African Gray Parrot

A Parrot in our pantry!
.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me. . .Christmas Llamas

Two Loving Llamas!

and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

3 Christmasy Shetland Sheep Ewes

Three frosty sheep!

two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

Four Calling Birds

Four Calling Birds!

three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

5 Canning Rings!

Five Canning Rings!

four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .
Six hens a laying!

Six Hens A Laying!

five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

7 Turtles!

Seven Turtles Swimming!

six hens a laying,
five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .
8 Goats For Milking!

Eight Goats For Milking!

seven turtles swimming,
six hens a laying,
five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .
Nine Peacocks Prancing!

Nine Peacocks Prancing!

eight goats for milking,
seven turtles swimming,
six hens a laying,
five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .10 Roosters Leaping!

Ten Roosters Leaping!

nine peacocks prancing,
eight goats for milking,
seven turtles swimming,
six hens a laying,
five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.


On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

Eleven Chicks A Peeping!

Eleven Chicks A Peeping!

ten roosters leaping,
nine peacocks prancing,
eight goats for milking,
seven turtles swimming,
six hens a laying,
five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.

 

On the twelveth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .
12 Guineas Grazing!

Twelve Guineas Grazing!

eleven chicks a peeping,
ten roosters leaping,
nine peacocks prancing,
eight goats for milking,
seven turtles swimming,
six hens a laying,
five canning rings,
four calling birds,
three frosty sheep,
two loving llamas,
and a Parrot in our pantry.

 


And THAT’s how we’d do presents for the 12 days of Christmas, country style.

Friday’s Farm Fotos

December 18, 2009

Time once again for a look at miscellaneous pictures I took around the farm this past week.  This first picture is of Valrhona, one of our Shetland sheep ewes, bedded down in the dry grasses in the main pasture.

Valrhona, one of our Shetland sheep ewes.

The grass is maybe 6-8″ long, and seems to be just perfect for nestling down into it for extra warmth.  All of the 4-legged animals seem to think it’s great!

Once again, the animals are out in the main pasture:

Shetland sheep, Maremma, llama and doe goat.

I took this picture from inside the house, looking out the window in the dining area.  The sheep are in the shorter grass areas, grazing the green stuff tucked underneath.  Our Maremma sheep dog, Neffie, likes to stick close, but keeps to the highest vantage point she can find.

Still looking out the window, I saw one of our Buff Orpington hens.

Buff Orpington Hen

They love to scratch around in the leaves along the fenceline, looking for something tasty to eat.

One of the escapee roosters was doing the same thing around the base of a tree.

White rooster.

I sometimes throw crumbs out there, which they seem to enjoy.

The wild birds like the suet feeders.  Sometimes a Tufted Titmouse comes to visit.

Tufted Titmouse at suet feeder.

And sometimes these little birds show up in bunches.

Wild birds at suet feeder.

I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of birds these are, but can’t find anything that looks *exactly* like them.  The nearest I’ve come up with is an American Tree Sparrow.  But the colors aren’t quite right.

Here’s a couple getting a drink from the birdbath.

Wild birds at birdbath.

And one was sitting on the picket fence.

Wild bird sitting on fence.

So, anybody know what this bird is exactly?

Now, I know exactly what THIS bird is.

Immature Male Cardinal wild bird.

That’s an immature male cardinal with a punky ATTITUDE.

And I do mean, ATTITUDE.

Wild bird - immature male Cardinal.

I think his mohawk “hairdo” looked pretty cool.  Bet he thinks he’s a read macho dude!

Our farm collie, Toby, isn’t so much macho as goofy.  The minute we go outside, he runs around like an idiot trying to find a stick to carry.  It doesn’t matter if it’s toothpick sized or a log.

American Farm Collie, Toby.

Sometimes he gets sticks that are so big he can barely drag them around.

He and Neffie seem to enjoy grooming each other, each though they are both “fixed.”

Maremma sheepdog and American Farm Collie.

Later in the week I saw a Northern Mockingbird getting a drink from the birdbath.

Northern Mockingbird at Southern Birdbath.

Northern Mockingbird at Southern Birdbath.

The cardinals also visit the birdbath.

Male Cardinal

Male Cardinal

Sometimes even the chickens hop up for a drink from the birdbath, like this little Golden Sebright Bantam hen.

Golden Sebright Bantam Hen

Golden Sebright Bantam Hen

Glancing through all these pictures, you might get the idea things are pretty fowl around here.  From the looks of all these guineas following our male llama around, I’d say you’d be right.

Llama and guineas.

We’ve got all kinds of birdbrains outside and inside.   This one on the inside is hanging from the curtain on the back door. . .

Bye, bye!  See ya later!

Bye, bye! See ya later!

And bidding you GOOD-BY!

Leveling Things Up

December 16, 2009

Okay any married ladies reading this, I’m just wondering. . .  when your husband loses something, does he ask you what YOU did with it?

The Farmer may protest otherwise, but it seems to me that when something gets misplaced around here, I hold a very responsible position.  That being that somehow, I’m always held responsible.  Not to say I don’t lose my fair share of stuff and then some, but it’s not ALWAYS my fault when we can’t find something.

Recent case in point… Saturday the delivery guy was here to repair our mailbox.  (That’s a story for another day…)   He was setting the post in concrete, and asked The Farmer if he had a level.

Well, he does.  A couple of them in fact.  But he couldn’t find his shorter level.  Later that afternoon, when he was back inside, he wanted to know what project the Cave Geek and I had been working on, and what we’d done with his level.

I informed him we hadn’t been near his level.  I’m not sure he believed me.

Now fast forward from Saturday to this morning.  We’ve got a bunch of roosters penned up, and one of the hens managed to crawl through a little hole and get in with them.  Now one hen in with 9 or so roosters makes for a bad scene for the poor hen.

I managed to chase her inside their building, and shut the cat door leading inside. 

Okay, I know that sounds weird to have a cat door in a chicken house, but cat doors really make great little doorways for chicken houses, because you’ve got a neat sliding panel you can take in and out.  It really comes in handy sometimes, like today.

Anyway!  I slid the panel shut on the cat door, and opened the people sized door to get the hen.  Bet you can’t guess what I found?!

How fowl! There's a level in the poultry house.

How fowl! There's a level in the chicken house.

Yep, sure enough, there was the level The Farmer was looking for Saturday.

It’s like this, sometime back he was putting in some new roosts for the roosters.

Roosts in the chicken house.

And I guess he wanted to be sure the roosters weren’t tilting while they slept, and used his level to get the roosts… well, level!

Once I took a picture of the incriminating evidence, I carried the level around to The Farmer’s workshop, and hung it on the peg board.

Level hanging on pegboard.

See, there it is!  It’s probably not in the exact spot The Farmer would hang it, but I don’t think he can miss it.  The level is back in place, and just so everyone knows….

I WAS NOT THE ONE WHO LOST IT!

Friday’s Farm Fotos

November 6, 2009

Another Friday, and I think I’ll share some of the pictures I took around the farm this week to make it another Friday’s Farm Foto’s Day!

This first one is of Samson, our male llama, out in the main pasture grazing.

Male llama, Samson, grazing.

All the animals seem to enjoy the medium length grasses in the main pasture, although the llamas like to browse the taller weeds along the fenceline too.

However, they don’t stay there all the time.  They have a routine, and part of the day the sheep and llamas and goat are in the back yard.  This particular picture is of one of our shyer Shetland sheep, Valrhona.

Shetland Sheep: our ewe, Valhrona.

Of course, our farm collie, Toby, can be found in the backyard almost any time, along with some chickens, plus the peacocks and peahens in their pen.

Toby, American Working Farmcollie

The signs of fall are everywhere, but when the sun shines just right on some of the trees along the edges of the bottom pasture, the leaves glint and make it look like the trees are full of white blossoms. I did a double take the first time I saw it. After all, it’s not time for trees to be in bloom!

Bbottom Pasture at Kings Keep Farm

Except, of course, the camellia is still blooming. Some of the blossoms look pretty ragged, but I don’t think this Grandaddy Long Legs minds.

Grandaddy Long Legs on Camellia bloom.

Did you know that these critters, also called harvestmen, aren’t really spiders?  They may look like one, but the biggest difference is that spiders have two body segments, whereas a Granddaddy Long Legs has an oval body that is only ONE segment. They also do not produce silk or a web, so turns out they are not true spiders.

The ferns back in the woods are still nice and green, but then, they stay pretty green all winter.

Ferns in woods on Kings Keep Farm.

The creeks and sloughs are full of colored leaves that have fallen from the trees.

Colored leaves floating on water.

Meanwhile, when the sun warms things up, there’s usually at least one little turtle on the long floating in the pond.

Small turtle on log in pond.

However, they are still very shy, and don’t let people get very close before they plop back down into the water and disappear.

And while our lone wandering white rooster is still AWOL, it seems we may have missed a couple of younger chickens that are roosters.  I looked out our dining room window yesterday and saw at least two roosters fighting.

Roosters fighting.

There was a third one nearby that acted like it might join the fray, but since it never did, I’m not sure if we have 2 or 3 young roosters running loose.

This morning I looked out to see a bunch of squirrels running up and down the fence posts.  This one peered inside a rotten post. . .

Squirrel looking in rotten fence post.

I think he’s wondering if he put any nuts in there.  Maybe I should tell him he’s looking in the wrong direction.

Cause there are some big nuts inside the house!

White Rooster And Red Roosters

November 4, 2009

Every year we have this same dilemma. . . too many roosters.  Now if we were up to turning a live rooster into a dead rooster and all it entails to get one ready to cook, it might not be so bad.

But we aren’t, and that means we always end up with too many roosters come fall.  They start harassing the hens, who have no peace, so it’s time to get catch all these rowdy roosters and pen them up by themselves so we can sell them off.

Now we keep the old rooster, our patriarch.

Old Rooster - Polish Crested

He’s been around a long time, treats his ladies well, and is well-mannered.  So he gets to stay.

But all these young upstarts have to go . . .

White Rooster And Red Roosters

There are 7 red roosters, and 2 white roosters that need to go.  Actually, there are THREE white roosters, but that’s the one that got away.

When we were catching them the other night, he was roosting up in a catalpa tree.  The Farmer used his handy dandy poultry hook to get him down out of the tree, but he didn’t get hold of him tight and away he went.

And he’s STAYED gone.  He hasn’t come in to eat grain with the other chickens and old rooster since he got away.  I guess he’s not taking ANY chances we might catch him and get rid of him!

I think the peafowl sort of wonder why all these noisy creatures have moved in next door.

Red Roosters And Peahens

They’re a handsome bunch of farm roosters, so I hope we can find them a good home.

Farm Roosters On A Perch

Anyone need a rooster (or two or three)???

1 4 5 6