Midnight Southern Snowstorm

January 10, 2011

It’s midnight here in the south, and the snow is falling thick and heavy.

picture of snow falling at night

Midnight Snowfall

As you can see here, the snowflakes are fat and there are LOTS of them!

picture of snow at night

Snowflakes at Midnight

Toby the Tough doesn’t mind a little snow and runs around all over the place.  Where I go, he goes.

picture of dog in snowstorm

Toby braving the snow!

I tried shining a flashlight on The Farmer’s tractor to get a picture of all the snow piling up on it.

picture of tractor in snow at night

Allis Chalmers with a blanket of snow.

The snow is piling up fast, and the ramp to the work shed is buried in snow.

picture of snow on ramp

Lots of snow!

I was out checking on the animals.  I wanted to be sure everyone was in their proper place.  They weren’t.  The goat had pushed her way through a gate and went into the sheep shed.  Now there is plenty of room for 1 goat and 3 sheep in this shed, but there’s just one problem.  The ornery goat stands in the doorway and won’t let the sheep in.  So I had to chase her back into the pen with the llama.

picture goat and llama

Getting tucked in for the night.

If she would just go up into the corner of the pen, she could be snug and dry.  Of course, the little rascal caused the sheep to be covered in snow because they were standing out in the snowstorm.

picture of snowy sheep at night

Snowy Ewes

At least they can spend the rest of the night in the shed and not become abominable snow ewes from being outside all night!

The chickens are smart and roost in the middle of the shed.

picture of chickens roosting in shed

Snug and safe for the night.

The guineas get in the mix too, and get in out of the snow…. some of them anyway.  Others choose to stay in a tree, even though there are plenty of places they could be in out of the weather.  Others roost along the outer parts of the sheep shed.

picture of sheep, chickens and guineas at night

Guineas looking for shelter.

I’ve done all I can to make sure everyone is snug and sheltered from the snow.  Now I think I’ll go to bed myself.  It should be interesting to see how much snow there is tomorrow morning!  Many pundits around here are styling this SNOWMAGEDDON in the SOUTH!

On the third day of Christmas. . .

December 21, 2010

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

picture of ewes with hats

The Third Day of Christmas

Three fat sheep!
.

picture of two llamas

Two Spitting Llamas
.
 

picture of parrot with santa hat
The first day of Christmas!

… And a Parrot on a Fairrryyyyy!

.
New Style
, cost of 3 Shetland Sheep (average price): $750

Old (Classic) Style, cost of 3 French Hens: $30

New style still more expensive!

But about those French Hens. There is some debate to what they are. For the purpose of deciding on cost, I went with this interpretation:

A French Hen is a Turkey. In Gaelic the Turkey is called Cearc-Fhrangach (literally, French Hen). Turkeys were very popular among the French nobility as early as the mid 16th century as they were much more tasty and tender than than the other large feast birds eaten at that time such as cormorant, heron peacock, and swan.

So I got the price for heritage turkey poults and went from there.

Total to date:
New Style – $1,970
Classic Style – $463

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Baby it’s cold outside!

December 6, 2010

It’s winter and I know it’s supposed to be cold.  And I also know it’s not near as cold here as it is in other parts of the world.  But I’m still thinkin’ … Baby, it’s cold outside!  It’s a sharp contrast to the balmy weather we were enjoying in Florida over the Thanksgiving holidays!

The animals have their own ways of keeping warm.  During the day, the guineas like to nestle down in some leaves in the yard – of which there are plenty due to the huge oak and walnut and other trees around the house!

pictue of guinea birds

Two guineas nestled in fallen leaves.

Some of the chickens like to shelter under a big viburnum bush in the front yard, even though it’s in the shade.

photo of chicken under bush

Buff Orpington Chicken hen under viburnum bush.

I suppose it provides some shelter from the wind, and they apparently want that more than heat from any sunshine there might be.

picture of chickens under shrub

Chickens 'parked' under shrub.

Meanwhile, the squirrels are still scampering around the yard gathering up nuts.

picture of squirrel with nut

Squirrel on fencepost.

Once the nut is buried, off the squirrel goes to find another!

picture of squirrel on fencepost

"I think there's one that-a-way!"

A little cold weather doesn’t slow down our mighty hunter, Spot the cat.  He was playing with his food again, and chasing this rodent around.

picture of rodent

Food to go.

He’d catch the thing, then let it go … then catch it again.  I don’t know if he ever ate it or just played with it.

While all this was going on, the goat, llama, sheep and Maremma sheepdog just took it easy and rested in what sunshine they could find.

picture of goat, llama and sheep

Resting in dry grass for warmth.

They like to nestle down where there is some dry grass to provide a little insulation.

And me, once I’ve made sure everyone outside has food and water, I’m headed back to the house to get WARM again!

Sheep and Lambs

November 10, 2010

I have a good friend that raises Dohne sheep in Australia.  Right now it’s lambing season, and they’ve been having an awful time with eagles killing the lambs and sinking their talons in the ewes backs.  That means not only are the lambs lost, but if they don’t medicate the sheep to kill the fly eggs turning into maggots… they could lose the moms too. 

There are times I miss lambing season.  Every spring in fact.  EXCEPT I do NOT miss losing a lamb.  I can only imagine what it must be like to lose a whole bunch of them at once, to walk out and see a paddock full of dead lambs. 

Little lambs are just sooooo incredibly cute!

picture of sheep and lamb

Lamb sweetness

Anyway, I got to thinking about our lambs and looking at past pictures, so made a little video with some of the pictures I have:


(you can see it full screen by clicking on the icon 2nd from the right at the bottom.)

I do love lambs!  I mean, look at this:

picture of lamb

Just look at that face!

How can you not love a little face like that?!!

Lambs are not only cute, but lambs and wool are “cash crops” for my friend in Austalia.  I wish I could make it better for her, with having lost so many of their lambs.

Cause we BOTH love lambs!

Rain, Sunshine, and Llama Alopecia

September 28, 2010

After a couple days of rain. . .

photo of frog

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head. . .

… this morning we woke up to fog which burned off to reveal a sparkling fall day.  The weather is cooler, the sun is shining brightly… it’s my kind of day!

One of the roosters stood on his favorite gate and flapped his wings a bit. . .

picture of rooster

A little warm-up exercise

Then did a little crowing to greet the day. . .

picture of rooster crowing

Good morning to you!

He was not impressed with my presence.

photo of rooster

"What 'cha looking at?"

The sheep were out in the main pasture enjoying the sunshine.

photo of sheep

And our little goat went out to join them.

photo of red doe goat

Our llama, Keira, also went out to join the party and graze in the sunshine.

photo of 2 sheep and 1 llama

Enjoying the sunshine on a cool fall morning.

And how about a closer look at my poor llama girl. . .

photo of llama

A bald spot here, a bald spot there...

Yes, my poor sweet llama is losing her hair.  I’d totally freak out if I hadn’t seen this before.  The sheep in front of her had a rough pregnancy once, and I wasn’t sure she was going to make it.  Lots of TLC and meds, and she pulled through… but she lost all her wool.  She was a pink-toned sheep with a little white fuzz.  Trust me, they look a lot different when they’ve lost their wool as opposed to being sheared.

So here it is, getting cooler and my poor llama is losing her hair.  We may have to get her a blanket so she’ll stay warm this winter!