Monday, July 17, 2017

Heat and Injuries Are Draining

Well, lets see.  First there was the July 4th weekend, then a sisters' trip, then extra caring time for an injured gosling.  Things have been out of sync since my return but now I am writing again.

Helena, the gosling, hurt her wing, initially, but she recovered mostly after we bandaged her up.  Then she removed the bandage but looked fine.  This morning we were awoken by the geese squawking so I went down to see what the fuss was.  Helena, was sitting in a corner of the run, injured again.  I think it was one of those "I feel better so I will go out and get in trouble again" things.  This time it seems to be more her leg or .......... ???  No one will tell me what happened so I just have to come up with a theory and treat accordingly.

The heat isn't much help, either.  The big accomplishment, today, was cleaning out the refrigerator.   I also fulled some yarn and needle felted most of a box turtle for a friend at camp.  I guess it is going to be in the 90's for a couple more days so I will have to continue projects in the house.  I picked up my summer knitting again, yesterday.  I have also been spinning in the house instead of the Hot fiber studio.  Most of the outside projects have been put on hold.  I do try to slip something in when I first get up if it is still cool.  I am SO glad that the nights cool off substantially unlike some places I know.

Most of the time, the animals take care of themselves and I have very little that I have to do for them. Heat and injuries are draining for all of us, though. Today, John suggested going away for a month in the summer.  That sounded good to me.  Maybe we will try it next year, there are only 5 or 6 more weeks of summer left this year.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Special Treatment

I keep the barn, barnyard, goose run and chicken coop kept up much better than my house.  I think one reason is because the animals do so much for me and they like it when I come visit and give them special treatment. Another reason, perhaps, is that they don't create so much clutter.

 Cirrus is a collector, though.  He finds things and puts them in his tub or elsewhere around the goose run.  Yesterday when I cleaned out the tub, however, there was nothing but the regular collection of feathers and green stuff.  When the tub was clean and I was putting my attention elsewhere, I heard splashing coming from the tub.  I thought I'd go watch Cirrus enjoy the refreshment but what I found was all 4 goslings having so much fun, with Cirrus standing on the step trying to figure out how he could go in.  All three adults, initially, looked like they were glad the goslings were enjoying themselves but then they just left the run when their turns didn't come.

Now, John likes it when I come in and see him and he loves special treatment. He does SO much for me, but still the house is cluttered and the floor doesn't get swept more than the barn gets raked.  Maybe if we lived in a house with a dirt floor....

Little mama made the chicks roost on the perch last night.  They have been enjoying sleeping in one of the nesting boxes with mama.  They looked too small to be balancing on a big perch but, I guess, mamma knows best.  They are so funny to watch when they come up to the barn to get a drink, first thing in the morning.  They go together and synchronize their dip and swallow.

Sometimes I let the geese come out of the barnyard, for special treatment.  Yesterday, I let John herd them back in and he did a great job!  I think he will do a fine job watching the animals when I go to see my sisters for a few days.  That is special for me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Photo Shoot

Melanie, came from NC to stay up at the hermitage at the Belfry for 3 weeks to work on an art project.  She is working on a series of sheep pictures, so Anne put her in touch with me.  Melanie came for two photo shoots with the sheep.

 Yesterday,  Melanie told me she was headed home and wanted to know if I wanted to see her work in progress.  Of course I said yes.  She blows the pictures up to 2'X3' and larger and puts a distressed wood frame around them that she has made saw gouges in.  There are halos around the sheep's heads.  It is hard to describe.

I have mentioned that when I take a camera up to the barnyard the sheep are very interested.  For Melanie, they really struck up some great poses.







And of course Donald wanted to be a part of it.
They make me laugh.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Snakes and Boats

Let's see, June is almost over so I guess I better catch up on what has been going on here.

 The highlight of Fiber Camp was the snake in one of the drawers.  It was just a 2'+ black snake.  No problem except for the initial shock (to the campers and the snake).  One of them just put it out of the fiber studio.  It was the week before Father's Day so many of the campers were making something for their dads.




I like this kayak that was needle felted.  

We have had lots of rain and a beautiful spring.  It was hot the week of fiber camp but we didn't notice too much.

The first day of summer, John and I went to see the batteaues travel down the James River.  They start in Lynchburg and go all the way to Richmond, taking several days.  


We saw them in Scottsville. 

 I have always loved boats.  I loved living on a boat for a year but I had a few more amenities.  The batteau carried cargo down river, back in the day.  No motor, just oars and poles. 


I often think about the woman I met that had Finn sheep in Finland.  In the summer, they would go on a boat to an island where they would spend the summer grazing.  Her sheep looked forward to the ride and easily boarded the boat.  I wonder what the sheep here would think of taking a ride on a bateau.  I think they might like it, at least some of them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Danger Lurks

Yesterday morning I took my camera down to the barnyard incase there was anything I should photograph.  I set the camera on the post with my glass of water when I opened the gate.  I proceeded to the coop to let the chickens out.  I opened the front door because the new baby chick ramp gets in the way for Donald.  Donald hopped out and so did Little Mama and one of the chicks.  Then the mama hopped back into the coop and Little Black 1 or 2 flapped it tiny wings and hopped back up.  So cute, and the camera was still on the fence post.  Then I took this.  Not quite as exciting.

 Watching baby chicks is like watching any baby; an hour later you wonder how it got so late.  Now that they are out of the coop, they are all over the place but Little Mama keeps them on the fringe so they are safe.


At the end of the day, when the chickens were in, I was dumping and filling a water bucket in the goose run for the geese.  A small black bird spilled out, drowned.  I didn't know if it was one of the chicks.  They had been in the run earlier in the day so I knew it was a place they went.  They could have hopped up on the rim and fallen in.  They sleep under the mama at night so I couldn't check.  What were the odds that another baby black bird the same size, would end up there?  Something didn't look quite right but I went to bed not sure.  

I was so happy to be greeted by two baby black chicks this morning.  The difference that I was sensing was the chubby legs on a baby chick.  The dead bird had thinner legs.  

But it was some mother's baby, still sad.  How did it end up there?  John and I were talking last night, wondering what feelings animals have for loss.  

Early this morning, John was woken up by something moving furniture on the back deck.  A few minutes later he saw a bear out his window.  By this time, I was awake too and saw the smallish black bear right next to the house.  Funny thing was, John had been up, so he opened the front door to let the cool morning air in.  He jumped up and went to close it.  He has a fear of bears walking into the house.  A little while later,  I saw a hawk glide by the grape arbor.  Bears have a lot to eat right now and soon there will be an abundance of berries.  Do they eat rabbits, I wonder?  Seems like I see new rabbits every week.

We have to trust that all the animals living here know what to do when danger lurks because we sure don't.  Sometime, we yell but I don't know how much that really helps.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Cuties

Time to finally let everyone see the new chicks.



And A wonderful pose from the new mama.


The goslings have reached that funny stage where they are half fluff and half tiny feathers.



The chicks and the female goslings still have no names because I can't tell them apart, also I don't know the sex of the chicks yet.  We usually don't name the chickens.  One we call black, one red,  one Little Mama, and the Rooster has an actual name, Donald.  So maybe we should call the new chicks Little Black 1 and Little Black 2.  The male gosling (on the left above) I named Aldo after Aldo Leopold.  Did I mention that already?  I didn't look back at the last blogs.  I should when I blog infrequently now.  Oh well.

Summer Fiber Camp started today, so of course we went down to see the animals,  I asked the kids if they could tell the three girls apart and one young boy said yes, one had grass on its bill.  I told them they could name them if they could find a way to tell them apart.  Another camper suggested dyeing them blue, green, and red.  Oh boy.

I made it through the first day of Fiber Camp without remembering to take pictures again, and the camera was in my pocket.  Just shows how intent we are on what we are doing.  Nine kids today and 4 were boys.  Biggest percentage of boys yet.  It was a good day.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rewards

The person who started making corn cob dolls most certainly had chickens.  We try to give the chickens a lot of food scraps.  There favorite are corn cobs, strawberries, and melons.  Donald always let the girls start eating first.  If it is strawberries, he might not get any.  What a polite guy.  He is rewarded by having three gals who love him.



The Chickens are alway offering to help me create new beds, and then keep the soil loose.  So after I plant the seed, I immediately, put a screen over the area.  I love to adorn the planting beds with my treasures from the sea.  John doesn't appreciate stones and sea brick and tile around fruit trees and other areas where he mows but he loves these beds.  This is much better than rows and popsicle sticks.  It makes my heart happy just looking at this picture.



Sometimes it is not so bad not remembering things.  I had forgotten there was Love-In-The Mist planted in this bed last year.  It reseeded itself nicely.  Good thing I didn't get out there and dig up the area too soon.  Ah, the rewards of not getting to something. 

 We have had a week of rain and soggy ground and a sloppy barn and barnyard.  Usually, with a lot of rain, we get beautiful rainbows for a reward.  Actually, many times the rain is the reward.  But this week we have had MUCHO rain and no rainbows.  This time, our reward came before enduring a week of rain.  A magnificent sunset.