Partake

Astrid and Max

β€œIn those vernal seasons of the year,
when the air is calm and pleasant,
it were an injury and sullenness
against nature
not to go out and see her riches,
and partake in her rejoicing
with heaven and earth”
~ John Milton

Flat Astrid…basking in the spring sunshine.

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A Look Back at 2017

So, here we go into 2018.
Let’s take a last look back at 2017 first, ‘kay?

I’m not a Resolution kinda gal, but I do like that look back at the things that worked, the things that need a little tweaking and the things that were a fail. Then, we adjust from there, for the next year.
Plus, there’s all the pretty pictures to look at. πŸ˜‰

So, since we’ve got 12 months of stuff to look at, let’s get at ‘er…

January

Very first image of 2017…first one I shot, first one I shared.


No Yule season is the same without a Yule pony picture…Ruby took that to a whole new level by trying to eat one of the decorations.
Jerk. πŸ˜‰

“Hey Mom, you put apples on the tree??”
~Ruby

My Old Ladies… ❀
Practicing their long and low trot.
It may not look like much in a photo, but this is so beautiful in person…I could watch them do this all day long. Just look at how in sync they are here…gorgeous!

Holding the heat vent down…

It was a typical frigid winter, so Miss Daisy Mae did what any good cat does…stay warm on the heat vent, while I Dreamed about the garden and coming Spring.

My shoe box full of seeds…

February

February saw us playing in the snow…

I love this shot so much…feral or friendly Palomino?!?

Doing some hoof maintenance…

“Make sure it looks good too, Dad!”
~Sable

And doing portraits…

❀

❀

 

And then, there was this fun shot…

Who doesn’t like a pink mint?

March

March is when we start getting out more, thinking about the coming Spring. We can smell it on the wind, the snow is slowly melting…and the cats?

Ghost (in front) and Trouble

Out more, wandering, looking for trouble…but not these 2 ^^^ anymore. 2017 saw them become fat, lazy, neutered boys.
That’s a good thing, because those boys were going out fighting way too much!

“Do you mind??!?”
~Gabrielle

Gabrielle has a pee inside a hoof print in a snow bank.
Weirdo. LOL!!

Xena, asking for belly rubs…

Pretty Xena, enjoying the sunshine.

Max and Ruby

Aww, Max and Ruby. πŸ˜‰

Then, the water came…

Luckily, Lake Midnight didn’t stick around nearly as long this March.

Splashing in the puddle…

Oh, but my Girl made sure to play in it. Splashy ponies are so fun to watch. πŸ™‚ Do you see the heart I clipped into her coat? On her bum?

Then came the photo shoot to celebrate the arrival (if only on the calendar) of Spring!

“Oh! Hey Mama…whatcha doin'”
~Cookie

***Sigh***
“Seriously?!? Why do you keep doing this to me?”
~Astrid

“If I have to wear this, I want treats.”
~Sable

April

Easter, more portraits both at Home and at Home-away-from-Home, sleeping horses and mud…
So.
Much.
Mud.

Sable EasterPony

❀

❀

Oreo

Sable

The look I get when I wake Astrid from a snoring sleep…

And a muddy, stinky Palomino has a roll…

May

Pig babies!!!
Pig babies arrived in May…

Bacon Bits 2017

They are so cute when they’re little.
Before they figure out the Food Lady, before they fully understand their new world around them…I just want to snuggle them, and hug them, and pet them…LOL!!
But wait, later on, I’ll show you how much bigger they get…

This is our brave piglet…

See? Little, so adorable…
The grass is coming back, the sun is shining more, the Girls love to bask in the sunshine…they’re like giant cats in the sun.
Sunshine melts their bones into jelly. ❀

Sable just wanted me to know she was tired.

Ruby

Sunshine jelly bones means I get to practice my sunrise photography.
Sunrise is my favorite time of day to shoot. ❀

Ghost

June

By June, school is almost done for The Kid, the garden has seeds and some plants, and we’re looking ahead to meatie chickens…

Tilling my soon to be garden space…

The Kid forking green food to piglets…

Pig babies are figuring out, and loving the weeds getting forked to them…and growing like weeds too!

Andy Piggie says “Listen Food Lady, if you aren’t bringing us food, then why are you waking us up?”


Daphne rests after running like a maniac (her everyday normal) and throwing weeds around the yard, while barking and growling at them.

Having a rest in the long grass…

Max helps me in my early morning photography, and our Blonde Girl…

Sable looks on with interest…

Is bright gold after shedding out her winter fuzzies.

July

July brings us the first hay cutting…I did good this year!
Near onto 700lbs of cut with a scythe, hand raked and baled hay.
Yay, me!!

Filled, strings tied…

July also brings us flowers, rodeo trips and bugs…

❀

The air this bull got was amazing.

“Oh. Hello.
Did you want to pass?”

The deer in the middle of our road…we’d just turned off the highway towards the Farm, and youngster was standing there. Such a beautiful image of our road to Home.


All those bugs means smudge fires…Our Ruby, she does love a good smokey fire. πŸ˜‰

“It’s just so relaxing, Mama!”
~ Ruby



August

Blankets, a birthday, apple slices, ducks and more…

“Ermagerhd!!! I’m being eat…oh, wait, this ain’t so bad.”
~ Cookie

Old Ladies need to know they *can* wear blankets. Especially when it’s frigid cold, and Mama needs to know Old Ladies are safe. ❀

❀

I turned 45.
My Pony and I had a photo shoot together…
My Kid captured this perfectly.
I love everything about this shot.
❀

“Oh, hello there Ladies…would you like some apple slices?”

My 4 moochers…
Kid has a bucket full of apple slices, I lay on the ground by the fence.
Wholly and completely inspired by Underlook and his Under-Horse project…

Ohoh!!
Some one got a sour one!

And then these 2 arrived…thanks to a friend from the Stable…

Quack quack quack

Gotta tell ya, these 2 boys have grown a lot!
Looking forward to spring, when I can get them some girlfriends. πŸ™‚

Heh.
The ears tell you how much she appreciated being photographed.

My BabyGirl doing a normal horse thing…enjoying the relief from bugs in the smoke of the smudge. ❀

September

My biggest accomplishment for September was helping my Cookie get over her fear of having her breakaway halter taken off.
It was huge for her…
In fact, you can read about it here:
They Don’t Need To Understand

❀

October

In October I met a horsewoman that I have long admired at a clinic I was beyond excited about…

This was a preview image from the Anna Blake clinic…
I still have to finish those images to share them.
But, I learned a lot at the clinic and come home ready to share that knowledge with my mares.

Winter coats are more obvious…

Fluff from the poplars rests on long fuzzy hairs…

Naps in the sun are still a priority…

And the Pig Babies begin their journey to Freezer Camp…
See? Not so little and cute any more!

Joining their neighbours, the meat chickens…

November

The land is getting ready for sleep, its cooling off, and we’re ready to do the annual Remembrance Day shoot…

This year I wanted a simple image, with a big impact…
A yellow ribbon, placed on one who would always wait for her Love to come Home to her…


2 days after I took this picture November broke me.
Ripped my Heart right out of my chest and destroyed me.
November 13th.
I can never, ever forgive November for this…

Sable saying goodbye…

November 13th…
My Heart.
My Soul.
My Best non-human Friend.
My Cookie…crossed Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, taking a huge chunk of my Heart with her.

Hubby took this while I was working on convincing her to wear that ribbon…she loved cats. I love that they’re sharing breath here…Coal was an amazing comfort to her. She was the only cat other than Cookie’s Felix who was allowed to sit on her back. ❀

A funeral pyre fitting for my Warrior Queen.
πŸ˜₯

December

I have no pictures for December.
I’ve taken nothing on the Farm since that fire.
I am, in truth, so glad that 2017 is finally done.

I have things to do.
I have places to go.
I have things to learn.
I have a Heart to heal and a camera to learn how to love again.
That’s all on the list for 2018.

Hope you’ll stick with us on that Journey.

Happy New Year.

Labour Day Weekend

How, oh how, can it be September already?
I feel like I’m going into Fall kicking and screaming.

“I don’t wanna get ready for winter….waaaahhhhhhh!!!!”

*sigh*

And yet, the signs are all there.
The cooler nights.
The geese are coming back.
Combines on the fields.
Horses are getting fuzzy… πŸ˜₯

I’m not ready for fuzzy horses…last night at beet pulp time, Bella said she isn’t either.
Ah, but we have no choice. Time marches on, and away we go towards the coming winter.

This weekend has been a busy one.
Hubby worked Saturday, came home to take The Kid back to the city for back to school shopping.
Grade 11, this year.
Once more, where is time going?!?
How can I be okay with watching my baby girl handle a 1200lb animal, including jumping, and yet, be so on edge with her handling her Father’s truck??
It’s not that I doubt her skills.
She’s had a good teacher…
It’s the fact the she’s grown up enough to be legally allowed to take the truck out.

*sigh*
Damn that Father Time. πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, Hubby worked on the winter duck house.
We cobbled together a quick shelter when we realized that putting them in the coop with the meat chickens wasn’t viable.
Now, we need to put together an insulated coop (with a heat lamp) for winter. Still don’t know genders, but that’s okay. In spring we’ll figure it out, and we’ll add whatever gender we need to get baby ducks.
Hubby is building a good-sized coop, because we’re all pretty darn enamored with ducks.
And we all like duck meat.

Ducks ❀

Seriously, how adorable are these 2?
Rain (front) always has an opinion…I have to admit, I love that.
I love an animal that you can have a conversation with, and I can totally do that with Rain.
Jazzy (back) is much quieter and a little more wary…s/he is warming up slowly, but is still uncertain of this crazy person who keeps trying to pet her/him. LOL!
Today, I had them both nibbling grain out of the feed scoop.

Speaking of feed scoops…

This one:

πŸ˜‰

Has learned how to lick the pig grain out of their feed scoop.
Now, nobody panic…the pigs eat a crushed wheat/barley mixture as their primary feed. Nothing that can harm a horse in any way.
In fact, Sable gets anywhere from 1/4-1 full cup of this grain mixture a day in her beet pulp.

Yesterday though, she had the pleasure of eating it from the scoop, once I was done feeding the piggies.
Just a few licks, as a treat. πŸ™‚

“I like apples…”
~ Cookie

I’m so loving this taken-from-below set of images.
The Girls look so different from that angle, and it’s an absolutely fun set. I’ve got a few more I’ll share over the next few days…

With the forest fires, the high winds from the North, and our own smudges for bugs, we’ve had a few fairly smokey days…the haze on the image above is only 1/2 from the smudge fire.
It’s been hard on The Kid, and Cookie has been coughing a bit too.
😦

And then, there’s my MaxCat, who in one frame sums up my feelings for today…

“Really? You want me to what now??”
~ MaxCat

I’d love to crawl back into bed with a good book and a big bowl of bbq chips. Not to be though. As always, there’s work to do. And, I don’t have any chips.
We’ve actually managed to break the chip addiction in the house. Haven’t bought a bag in near onto 3 months.
Whew! That was a hard habit to break!
Anyways…
Onward and upward.
Winter is coming.
Boo.
πŸ˜‰

Friday’s Hunt June 4th

So, we’re well on our way to having the garden in…
Yesterday, The Kid and I got our last few small beds planted. She put in 300 kidney beans. Sounds like a lot, but you pretty much plant them, and then ignore them until the pods are finished and dried. The joy of a dry bean. However, that also means they don’t produce continuously, like most other beans. Bush bean, pole beans, they’ll produce more flowers and pods the more you pick them. Which is why we’ll also plant 2 types of pole beans, and a purple bush bean…for fresh eating and putting up for the winter.

Today, the plan is to work on the main garden bed…I did say, I will have a garden this year. It’s just going to take a whole lotta heavy lifting. πŸ˜‰
Good thing we’re not afraid to get out hands dirty.

This week’s prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are Starts with V, Week’s Favorite and Inch.

Starts with V

Now that we’re in June, summer vacation is coming up for The Kid. Already. The school year has flown past, I tell ya…
We won’t however, be taking any sort of family vacation. That’s just not something we can do…not with these guys:

My toddlers.

Truth be told, I’m not much of a vacation person anyways…I like to stay close to home, and I do love my Farm. πŸ™‚
(And yes, Sable is doing exactly what you think she is…)

Week’s Favorite

3 horse down…flat babies in the sunshine.

Life rarely presents fully finished photographs.
An image evolves, often from a single strand of visual interest – a distant horizon, a moment of light, a held expression.

~ Sam Abell

Inch

My helper cat, Sir Maximillion…helping me do what I do best…take pictures of the horses at sunrise:

Thankfully, he helped without his usual stance of having his butt an inch from my face. It’s really hard to take pictures like that.
LOL!

Farm Kitties

Every where I go on the Farm, there’s a cat.
Here a cat…
There a cat…
Every where a cat, cat…

Today I wanted to take a few shots of the horses dozing in the sunlight. Instead, I took kitty pictures.

Xena, asking for belly rubs…

She does love a good belly rub, that girl!
Then I hear meowing…

Ghost (in front) and Trouble

Every where Ghost goes, it’s with a conversation. He’s a talker that boy. Oh, and he’s a pretty big fan of the whole belly rub thing too.
So much for my big tough TomCat!

“Do you mind??!?”
~Gabrielle

She popped into a hoof hole to have a pee…seemed like a fine time to take her picture. Clearly, she is not impressed!
Notice the Ghost influenced eyes…she is obviously his daughter, seeing as how her Mama (Fiona) was a Siamese with blue eyes.

Finally, one from Saturday…

Max and Ruby

Just in case you don’t understand why this is hilarious to me, here’s a link:

Max and Ruby

Happy Wednesday…only 5 more days to Spring!!

A Little Bit of Catching Up…

In the time since we last saw each other much has happened here on the Farm.

We got chickens…yup, 20 ex-battery hens. One of the local farming FB groups had an ad for these girls, cheap, at a year old. So, since I’ve been wanting chickens for eggs, I figured we could take a chance on some older girls who needed a soft landing.
June 4th, my Henny Pennys came home.
They’ll stay with us for a year or so. Next spring I’ll get replacement chicks and then these ladies will go to the soup pot.
While that may seem cruel, to soup pot them, their life between now and then is radically different from what they knew in the barns. There is a much higher quality of life for them here…a yard, grass, bugs to eat, space to roam…they’ll have it made here, until soup time. Because, not all animals that come to live here are pets.
It is a part of Farm life.
Here’s some pictures of them…

Ihop, the day she came home.

Ihop, the day she came home.

We named her Ihop because she had a bit of a limp when she came home. Whether that came from being squished under her crate mates in travel, or it happened before we got her, I don’t know. But, she was happy to come out of the crate, and just soak up her surroundings.

Ihop June 23rd, 2016

Ihop
June 23rd, 2016

This was Ihop yesterday. It’s become harder to take her picture, because she follows me around the chicken yard…and because her limp is almost gone, so it’s harder to distinguish her from the others. Hubby says I should band her leg, so we can keep track of her. She’s the only one I might consider keeping as a pet, come next spring. πŸ˜‰

The hennys are fascinated with my crocs too. They’ll follow me around to peck at them, and if I stand still for a minute or two, I’ll have 5 or 6 hens checking out my shoes.

Chicken Croc
Chicken Croc2
Fascinating things to chickens, apparently. I told Hubby it’s a good thing I’m not afraid of birds, or them chasing me to peck my shoes might freak me out. lol!

Hubby is pretty interesting to the hennys too!

Hubby is pretty interesting to the hennys too!

Random henny enjoying the grass and weeds.

Random henny enjoying the grass and weeds.

Looking much better after 3 weeks. :)

Looking much better after 3 weeks. πŸ™‚

Piggies have been growing well too…Farm friends came out to see them, and I learned that I have 3 females. Who knew?? Not me! I was going by what I was told when I picked them up, that I had 2 boys and 2 girls. I never did have a chance to see what sex the one was that we lost to heat exhaustion…it was swarmed by the Marauding Hoarde and disappeared in pretty short order.
Now, the girls like to dig and root and lie around in the mid day sun having a siesta…

Sleepy piggies...

Sleepy piggies…

When they’re sleeping like that, and I want pictures, I have to sneak up on them, and shoot fast. They all know who the Food Lady is and don’t stay sleeping long when they hear me coming. Might be some sorta yummy I’m bringing them, y’know. πŸ˜‰

The past 3 weeks have also seen us doing a whole lot of porch sitting. After the work is done, of course.
With porch sitting, come the felines. They are all for me sitting and having coffee outside with them. They also like to knock my cup down so they can have some. *sigh*
But, this also brings photo ops.

Ghost

Ghost~Oh those eyes!!

This is clowder sire Ghost…or Ghostie Toastie as I like to call him.
He’s been relaxing more and more on the deck…it’s where the food is, so he wants to be near by. But, he also sits and listens to me talk to him. I’ve managed to touch him a few times, but that scares the cat pants off him. Poor guy. I’m sure he’s baffled by the friendliness the others show the humans.
We’ve been working on getting everyone fixed, and I’d love to get my hands on him and get him done. I know once all the girls are spayed, he’s likely to move on though. We’ll see if I can get him into the trap…he’s such a sweet boy with all the kittens, I’d hate to lose him…not to mention, he’s one hell of a hunter. He’s taken on geese and won. That’s no small feat! So yeah, rodents for him are easy peasy hunting. πŸ˜‰ A hunter like that is a valuable Farm asset…one I’m hoping to keep.

Felix

Felix~he got Daddy’s eye colour!

Of course in a round of feline photography, there is a picture of Felix. He’s so photogenic, I have to take his picture. My handsome boy. ❀

Trouble

Trouble

Oh how this boy has lived up to his name this Spring!
He’s been trying to learn from Daddy Ghost how to hunt geese…let me tell you, when a cat doesn’t have the experience to do it, they come home with holes in their bodies.
*sigh*
That means wound care, a trip to the vet (unless he’s in the area, then he stops in) and days of raw honey treatments.
4 holes in this guy so far this spring…hopefully he’s learned by now!
Everything has healed up just fine though, and he’s darn near 100%.

GreyCat

GreyCat

Look at that smile! She was lying there watching Daphne play with her ball. GreyCat loves Daphne…not in the same hissing and smacking way Max loves her, but in the “roll on her, rub on her, lick her face” kinda way.

MaxCat <3

MaxCat ❀ My big sweet grumble puss.

And Daphne?

Wet Puppy

Wet Puppy

Daphne likes to play in the water…so much so that she’s still swimming in the troughs, chasing the hose, and flopping down in every stink puddle she can find.
I know there’s German shepherd in there, but there’s also some insane water dog breed inside that body too. Give that dog a ChuckIt! ball and a pool and you have the happiest dog on the planet.

Finally, a couple of shots of the Girls…

Astrid, looking so beautiful in the morning sun.

Astrid, looking so beautiful in the morning sun.

Sable decided to wash Astrid...

Sable decided to wash Astrid…

Cookie chewing the mud out of her feathers.

Cookie chewing the mud out of her feathers.

Oh, and one last shot before I wrap this up…
This guy…

HeronCame waltzing down my driveway, looking like he owned the place.
I snapped this shot, not knowing what kind of bird it was. Hubby tells me it’s a heron.
Alright then.
πŸ™‚

Friday’s Hunt 03.11.16

Hey! Look at that…I’m posting this on a Friday.
Yay me!!

Today’s weather was amazing, which made going out to take pictures an absolute pleasure. I have a few mixed in today, but have a bunch to share with y’all later next week. πŸ˜‰

This week’s prompts are Starts with K, Week’s Favorite and Flower.

Starts with K was pretty easy…Kittens!
Even though my Felix is such a big boy, really he’s still a kitten. He’s only 10 months old. Today he was enjoying sunning himself on top of the straw bales…

Felix YawnAs you can see, I woke him up…nice yawn there, Mister!

Felix2Then he came over to the fence to help as I scratched Ms Cookie’s bum.
And by “help” I mean, he took a leap from my shoulder to her back…she, surprisingly, was not bothered by him at all. She lifted her head long enough to look at him, sigh, and went back to dozing in the sunshine. πŸ™‚

Erik the Viking

Erik the Viking

Looking oh, so dignified.
Just about 6 months old, he is.

MaxCat

❀ MaxCat ❀

And finally, not a kitten, my MaxCat. My big snuggle bug. Though you’d never know it by the way he grumbles. He just like to talk while he sits with me. πŸ˜‰

Week’s Favorite this week, hands down (pun intended) is this…

Oh Ms Cookie!

Oh Ms Cookie!

My sweet Girl. So patient with the things I do to her. ❀ She makes me smile, even on the roughest days.

Finally for Flower, I had to go back to August to find something…no flowers here now! Still too much snow.
This I took outside the small town grocery store. Every year they have barrel planters of flowers. This one decided to go off on his own and grow where he felt most needed…

Random flower, bringing beauty to the concrete and steel.

Random flower, bringing beauty to the concrete and steel.

Sharing with Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.