Chicks

Yesterday, the first of our chicks arrived.

Look at that box of cuteness and happiness. πŸ™‚
18 of ’em.
Now, they’re too young to tell who’s male or female…or at least they are for a newbie like me…so I’m sure we’ll have a few roosters in the mix.
My hope is for at least 6 hens, and that they lay green and/or blue eggs.
And, if we get a nice rooster out of the bunch, we may just keep him around.

How adorable is that little face?

Next up, we have to order our standard brown layers (which we’re also starting as chicks this year) and a first round of meat chickens.

It’s looking to be a busy summer, prepping for next winter.
One can never start too soon when the growing seasons are short!

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader for Sparks:28 and Comedy Plus for Aww Mondays.

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Thwart

I swear, Mother Nature is working to thwart my spring building plans.
Or, maybe I’m just too antsy to get things going.
Ultimately, I think it’s a mixture of both.
Weather wise, we’re a good 10-15 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. Which means there’s still frost in the ground, and we still have a lot of snow to melt.
I’m waiting to move last summer’s duck house into the garden.
It’s frozen to the ground right now. :/

Once the duck house is in the garden, we can put up the fence around the garden. There’s 2 reasons for this fence…because I want to use the adult poultry to weed and feed the garden before planting. Ducks, I have learned, are awesome at killing and eating any and all plants they find.
So, I want to put them to use cleaning up the remaining weeds from last year. Like I’ve always said, the only animals around this Farm with no real job are the horses. They get to eat money and be pretty. Everyone else works.
The other reason is cats…I’m hoping a fence will keep them out. A freshly tilled and planted garden is just too tempting for lazy cats who don’t want to go to the pasture to make their daily deposits.
And I’m tired of cat poo in my garden.
Fingers crossed the fence will help.

Once the poultry are moved to the garden, I get to give the coop a deep cleaning, install some hardware cloth in the bottom and then we put chicks in there.
Both eggies and a first round of meaties.
The plan is (and goodness knows, things rarely go according to plan, but I keep trying!) to get 2 different varieties of brown egg layers (10 of each) from the hatchery we buy our meat chicks from, and then to get 15 easter egg layers…which, if I’m understanding chicken things right, are a barnyard mix who lay colourful eggs.
I just want a little bit of pretty colour in my egg basket. πŸ™‚

And then, near the end of May, when the weather (hopefully) gets back to normal, the year’s pig babies will come.
*sigh*
It’s hard to have patience when there’s so much to do, and yet, the time to do it isn’t quite here yet.

In the meantime, here’s a few pictures of the mutt…just because her excitement and exuberance with a jolly (no longer) ball makes me smile…

It once was a ball, I swear!!

The 55lb chewing powerhouse destroys all…including horse toys.

Sometimes she slows down enough for a posed picture…not very often though!

And then there’s this one…

Oh how I love this boy!

How can one not smile when face to face with a cat napping in the long grass and sunshine? ❀

Sunrise, Sunset

Hey friends.
How are y’all doing?
I know posts have been sparse.
Sorry ’bout that.

We’re getting deeper into mud/puddle season.
Before we’re into full on mud season, we’re trying to move some snow away from the equine common areas, fill holes with straw, and make sure everyone has their hooves done. I really hate when mud season messes with their trim schedule… 😑

I’m still fighting my camera.
The urge to shoot has been…lackluster is the best way to put it.
And yet, I’m trying to force myself out into the farm yard with it.
Watch the side bar, because I’m trying to put up images on Instagram on a regular basis…or you can follow us over there.
Cookie’n’Cream Photography

In the meantime, the WordPress photo challenge for this week caught my eye…

Rise/Set

Ahh, now I do love me those early mornings, watching the sun come up and capturing the mares doing what they do best…being horses.
πŸ’ž

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Sable enjoys the warmth of the rising sun…

Cookie practices her unicorn poses as the sun rises.

Astrid

πŸ’ž

And those times I’ve caught them in the setting sun…

❀

Ruby

Cookie

The original 3

Hopefully, I’ll have more to share as I get out more and more with Spring.
Bear with me, friends.
I’m still adjusting.
πŸ’ž

Midnight Calico Tree

There is an old tree in our pasture.
It’s rotten in some places, limbs have fallen down in wind storms.
Every year, leaf buds come and even the fallen limbs grow.

I love this tree.
It’s a survivor.
It’s not just my imagination, the beauty of this tree.

We don’t have many trees here.
We’re surrounded by grain fields, and a little scrub brush in our pasture.

This tree though…

This tree has been the backdrop for photo shoots.
This tree has been a prop in photo shoots.
This tree has been climbed by cats.
This tree has a hollow that one cat gave birth in.
This tree is the one Cookie hid behind when she saw something weird on the side road…it was me, walking Daphne.
This tree is where I go to sit in the pasture when I miss that Cookie.

It’s where I took her picture for her last birthday photo shoot…


It’s where I wanted to mount a 4’x6′ mirror for her next birthday photo shoot.

Instead, it’s where I hung her halter for the tribute photo shoot…

This tree is one of my favorite places to be…

πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader for Sparks:21, Aww Mondays at Comedy Plus, and Imag-in-ing.

A Little Farm Yard Excitement

It is a lovely day today.
-8*c, no wind, sunshine and blue skies for miles.

The ducks and chickens were overjoyed to come out of the coop today.
I pulled their feed pan and waterer outside too.
Then, I tossed a couple of huge flakes of straw into the coop…after I gave them some straw to play in on top of the snow drifts.
This, my friends, is very exciting for poultry.
Little things make little minds happy. πŸ˜‰

Heading back towards the house, I saw Sable in the trough…
Well, of course she was. Where else would the most accident prone horse on this Farm stand to eat??

As I went to give her trouble for it (and help her out) I saw someone black and white sitting atop a straw bale.
In my excitement to see him, I got a little over-zealous with my greeting, and he hopped down and ran off a bit…
That’s when I realized it wasn’t Felix.
Because Felix always came to the sound of my voice.
Always. ❀
Hoping it was him was just wishful thinking…

❀ Felix ❀

I went back to the house, grabbed the camera and headed down to the pasture to see if I knew this black and white ball of fur.
Turns out, after I captured his picture, that I do know him:

Well hello there, Mr. TobyCat!

He showed up here 2(?) summers ago.
When we lost so much of the clowder to the stinking coyote, I thought he was gone too.
Nope.
He must have gone back over to the closest neighbour’s place for a while. And now, he’s back with us for a bit.

Looking down from the rafters in the horse shelter.

So, another feline mouth to feed, and, if I can catch him, he’ll go for the Long Ride to the vet for the check up/neutering work.
7 is a good number for barn cats, right?
We’ll see if Trouble, Ghost and Max will let him stick around long enough for me to catch him.
The boys may be fixed but they’re still territorial.
They ain’t sharing the food (or The Food Lady’s lap) if they don’t have to!

Finally, just so y’all understand what I mean by “Sable was in the trough…”

“Whuts yer problem, Food Lady?”
~Sable

Some people’s horses, I tell ya!!

Constant

If there is only one constant in Farm life it is that there is always work to do.

Doesn’t matter the season.
Work on the Farm never ends.
Today, I working on a few different things…

1. Working on getting the library sorted out so I can get the seed starting stand brought upstairs.
See, my problem with it being in the basement is I forget about the seedlings. So they don’t get watered nearly enough, and they all too often die. Last year, I started seeds 3 times…LOL!!
This year, I hope to only start them once. πŸ˜‰
The library is a big job though…

2. I’m starting my pepper seeds.
If I wait until the library is done, it will be too late to start peppers. They take a long time to germinate, and they grow slower than tomatoes.
So, it’s time.
I have a hanging lamp over one of the shorter bookcases in the library where the tray will sit until the work is done. Then the tray can sit on top the plant stand, while the tomatoes get going under the lights on the shelves.

3. Editing pictures.
Because thousands of pictures on the hard drives/flash drives.
And, because I’ve been out taking more images lately.
It’s taken some time (14 weeks, yesterday) for me to come close to feeling normal enough to not fall apart grabbing the camera and going out into the pasture.
Now, when the smallest urge tickles me, I’m trying to go with it. Encouraging myself to let the camera take me where it wants to go, encouraging the healing process.

This is what drew me out to the pasture yesterday:

Napping in the sunshine…

“I know you’re there, Food Lady.
I also know you don’t have cookies, so I ain’t movin'”
~ Ruby

Lol!
Fine by me. I didn’t want her to move. πŸ˜‰

And then there’s this one…because yesterday my Kid turned 17.
*sigh*
Things that make a woman feel old…
Grey in her own hair, greying muzzles on beloved animals, and Kids growing up.

Kid and her Sable ❀

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Aww Mondays.