Monday, February 25, 2013

With A Little Help From My Friends

Six down and 3 to go and two new people that can add sheep wrestling to their resumes.

It is hoof trimming time again.  A couple of weeks ago, Karen helped me with Annie and Rosa. When our friends were here last week, Norma Jean wasn't putting full weight on one foot so we grabbed her to see what was up and trimmed her hooves while we were at it.  She didn't seem to hurt when I rotated her foot, so maybe it was a "mud between the hooves" thing.   She seemed fine after.   Lyndy, came with a couple of her friends for a farm stay this past weekend and wanted to hug a sheep.  Zorra was so pleasant that she took on a couple more.   Who will come up the drive this week that wants to try their hand at sheep wrestling?

At Ruckus yesterday,  some of us tried working on some prototypes of fleece, felt, and yarn chicks for the kids in the after school enrichment program to create.  Cathy, while spinning by drop spindle, announced that she had sold her first alpaca throw from the artist's coop she just joined, yay Cathy.  Naomi, brought a new supply of white Finn for felting projects at Fiber Camp, thank you Naomi.  Beverly, created the winning chick design.  Frances, worked on a fleece version.  Candy, called to say she was still waiting for a lamb to arrive, and couldn't make it.  I forgot to announce more about the upcoming event here in April, oh well.  We had a great time.  Unfortunately, the new person that was coming didn't make it.  I hope she wasn't driving around lost.  She lives out in the north part of the county.  It is always fun to see who makes it every month and see who finds out about Ruckus Day at Cabin Spring Farm.

I now have a very large group of fiber friends that help with whatever comes up and I am Thankful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The LLama and the European Sparrow

The daughter and 2 granddaughters of an old friend came to visit Cabin Spring Farm.  We had a great time.  The two little ones, L- 5 years old and H- almost 2 years old, love animals and L especially likes llamas.

One morning L and I went to feed Cher and the sheep and she told me she was dressed like a llama, in brown and gray.  She did a great impersonation of a llama and Cher ate out of her hand.  It is unusual for Cher to trust a person this young, but L knew to move slowly and be patient.  I asked L what animal I was dressed like, and after a moments thought, she told me I was dressed like a European Sparrow.  She told me they could be almost any color and certainly brown and green and blue.

After feeding the animals, we came up to the house and L picked out some bits of colored fleece and watched me spin some yarn.  While educating me about the birds at our bird feeder, she used the yarn to weave a small project with some nice tails hanging out.  She has a wonderful imagination and superb artistic  talents.  Unfortunately no European sparrows came to the feeder.

The day our visitors came, we had a "No School Fiber Day" for President's Day.  The kids decided they wanted to make some slippers, so we wet felted them right on their feet.  The pair below was made and decorated by M and I.  The dots and stripes were needle felted on and two straps,  around the heel were done by making an I cord and a bit of finger knitting.   The pair above was wet felted over L's feet, shrunk to H's size and was needle felted my their mom.

I have learned a lot this week.  Kids are amazing teachers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013's First Egg Has Arrived

Today, I found a special gift; the first egg of 2013.

I heard the hens cackling, which some people say means they have laid an egg.  I have not found this to be particularly true.  I headed up to the trees behind the barn and two of the hens and one rooster were just hanging out and cackling.  I saw no eggs.  But since I have not heard this sound in quite some time I decided to check up on top of the closet in the barn, and there it was- the first egg of the year.  Brown was in the barn, but quiet.  The egg was warm so I thought maybe she was the one who produced the egg.  It was her color.  I think Black lays pinkish eggs and the araucana of course lays blue/green eggs.

So if there are any chicken experts out there, I hope someone will advise about the cackle.  Anyway, there was a very nicely put together nest and a precious brown egg.  Funny how when the eggs are coming every day and many, we tend to not appreciate the miracle that they truly are.

Very timely, too.  We are having guests in the cabin this weekend.  I put the first one in the refrigerator down there and hope that there will be a couple more before Saturday morning.

I am thinking maybe Lyndy has been sending messages on the wind asking the hens to resume their laying before her visit next week.  She will be very happy.

I also noticed Mr. Black was giving Black some special attention today.  It was the first time I have noticed this since he came.  Do roosters only do the fertilizing when they know eggs are coming or was this just a coincidence?

Karen once said you have to have chickens to be a farmer.  What if you have chickens but don't know much about them?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crystal Bowls

A crystal bowl.  

Who else gives their chickens water out of a crystal bowl?

An amazing reflection in the rain barrel turned to ice.

Crystal bowls remind me of making sand castles; fill the bucket with wet sand, turn it over, lift the bucket gently, and see what you get.

It has been a good week for ice.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What Does It Mean?

Crazy weather!  A week of cold followed by a sunny 67 degree day, followed by a dark, windy, flash rain day (4 inches).  The animals don't seem to mind any of it. 

I don't mind cold and I definitely don't mind snow, plenty of rain is good and for that matter I don't mind sun and 67 degrees, but all in one week?  It is disorienting to say the least.

This morning I woke up to 15 degrees but the wind had finally subsided so it didn't seem that cold.  I got dressed for the cold and went down to feed the animals early because I had to be to my hay supplier by 9.  I still have to break ice or add water to buckets for the chickens but we now have two hydrants that are frost free so I don't have to haul water from the house.  Instead of the old adage "best thing since sliced bread", around here, we say, "best thing since frost free hydrants".

Today is one of my favorite days of the year; groundhog day.  I never really understood whether it was better if the groundhog saw or didn't see his shadow.  Which one means Spring will come earlier?  And now after this week of STRANGE weather, I don't know what Winter means or what to expect for Spring.