Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2019's First Egg Laid at Cabin Spring Farm

The dirty egg on the left is the one the Dorking hen laid a couple of days ago.  I was so surprised.  I guess we are getting more light.  Two days later she laid another!
So nice to have fresh eggs again.

The yoke below that is larger and orange is hers.  SO BEAUTIFUL

I want to get more chickens again this spring.  I really like having chickens around and they are so quiet unlike some other birds that live here.  I told the geese that if they are going to be so loud around me they better be that noisy when intruders come their way.  I think they are.

 Little Gray came down to the barn with me this evening and the doe that doesn't like us was out.  She stares at me but mostly stares past me at Little Gray.  She chased Little Gray several months ago and he has not forgotten and stays close to me.  Why does she feel that a small cat is such a threat?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Winter Grooming

Little Gray is now an inside/outside cat.  As I watch him meticulously clean himself, I think about the differences in grooming.
 Especially now, the sheep get hay all over themselves.  Sometimes, they get in the way when I am trying to give them grain and end up with that in their fleece as well, but not to worry one of the other sheep will eat it off.  Other that that, they just shake really hard.  They also go out in the rain and snow and after one of natures showers they look beautiful.

The geese like to go in the pond and duck under to clean themselves.  When the pond is frozen the geese will take a bucket bath.  They stick their head deep in a bucket of water and try to throw it over their shoulder until they are fairly wet.  Then they use their long necks to move the water around.  There has been snow and mud on the ground for several days and the pond is frozen.  But, one day the valve on the rain barrel at the barn wasn't frozen so I could fill the big catch bucket with water.  Cirrus was thrilled.  He watched me fill it and then precariously climbed in.  It is about ten-twelve inches tall so a big step for him.  Once in, he had a blast and took a long wonderful bath.  Getting out isn't much easier than getting in so he was teetering on the rim and as he stepped off he fell forward and his chest hit the mud.  Ug, I felt so bad for him.  I tried to tell him I would wash it off for him but he walked off trying to wipe it off.

The chickens take dust baths when there is dust to be had, otherwise I don't know what they do.  They look pretty clean though.

And then there is me.  I take fewer showers in the winter though now that I found soap that moistens the skin instead of drying it, I do take more frequent showers than I used to.  The soap, we found in a small town on Nova Scotia.  The woman who makes it harvests sea vegetables from the local shore and adds some essential oils with different properties. We still try to take outside showers whenever possible but we have had a long stretch of cold nights and some wind that is the worst when it is already cold.

Back to little Gray,  he follows me into the bathroom when I go to take a shower and I would love to know what he is thinking when I turn on the valves and make it (rain?).

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A fine winter

It has been a good winter.  So far.  Some nice snow, a few nights of very cold temperatures, and some beautiful mornings.

This I say after some new snow and a calm day with the snow covering the mud and frost heaves.  We have had plenty of precipitation !!! mostly rain but some ice and some beautiful snow.  The animals don't complain but do appreciate some extra hay and grain.  And occasionally they like me to bring the hay to the barn.

Henry took these great pictures.  He is my farm helper, apprentice fiber tech and an all round wizard as I know I have mentioned before.  He can fix most things I put in front of him.  The other day he set up a sewing machine he had never seen before.  He knew how to thread it and knew when it didn't work, it was a belt.  He took the machine apart and adjusted the belt and off we went.  This was a machine I got at the habitat store for 6 dollars.

When you live in such a special peaceful spot, it isn't hard to stay home and play with fiber.  Unfortunately, I am still putting out mostly prototypes but do manage to get some product to the farmers market.  This week, I gave a young woman from nearby, some yarn to make a few hats.  When I told a friend, she offered to make a few too.  I am excited at the thought of new products.
I try to keep the sheep up to date with products that are being made from their fleece but they don't seem too interested.  When this snow melts and they get back over to the cabin for some grazing, that will capture their interest.