Canada Geese

The geese have returned.

We’re right in the flight path of thousands of Canada Geese.
Which means they often land on our field in the spring and in the fall.
If it’s snow geese in the spring, we’re happy, because our fall hunting tag is valid for spring hunting of snow geese.
In the fall, we don’t care what lands, Canadas, snows…they’re both good eating.

One side effect of the geese arriving though, is sleep deprived horses.
Unless you’ve lived next to a hoard of honkers, you have no idea how loud they are.
And, at all hours.

This ^^^ is the face of a pissed off at the geese honking 24/7 horse.
She’s actually lying in the straw pile (from February’s bale explosion) trying to nap.
But those geese…they never stop honking.
😂😂😂

Today we’re dealing with a snow storm.
I was a wee bit worried about my chicks, outside in the brooder.
But they have 2 heat lamps, a whole lot of feed and clean water.
They’re bopping around in there just fine.
We did lose 2 of them earlier this week.
It happens sometimes.
1 was really small, the other was normal sized, but it died under the heat lamp.
Either it was crushed in a pileup or it just wasn’t a healthy chick.
So far though, the other 43 are doing amazing!

Next run of the incubators is coming up…hopefully this weekend I’ll hear from the woman with the hatching eggs I wanted.
And then, it’s collect eggs from my birds and go.

I’m looking forward to that.
🙂

Capture52 ~ Week 7 Love

I’m slow.
Last week was Love.
But I was waiting for weather to settle down, for the sun to shine, for things to be just right before I created the images I wanted for this prompt.

1978
My Dad bought this rifle for my Mom’s birthday.
Had their names and the date engraved on it.
“Elaine May 13/78
Love Rene”

Both my parents are gone now, and this is mine.
A family heirloom that will be passed on to my daughter when she’s ready for it.
Love is shown in so many different ways…this one, to me, is beautiful and captures my parents love for each other perfectly.
💛💛💛

Digging Out

That special weather disturbance seems to have finally past us.
Leaving us with a whole lot of snow.
And then there was the wind blowing it around, which made for some pretty darn big drifts.
But it all seems to be light and fluffy stuff, so today, after my coffee, I’ll go man the shovel while Hubby runs the tractor.

And this weirdo?

Snow loving weirdo freak dog…

She’ll love every second blasting around in the snow.
She’s from Nunavut.
She lives for snowy weather.
‘Til she gets ice balls in her paw fur, then she’s ready to go back inside.
😂😂😂

Snow Ponies

A few shots of the Merry Mares romping through the fresh snow…

Butts!!

As soon as Hubby pulled into the pasture, they knew what the game was gonna be!

Holy fat Sable!
Yay!
I’m really glad she’s carrying extra weight this winter.
🙂
Normally a fat horse is as unhealthy as a too thin horse, but this mare can be a hard keeper. Tough to keep weight on, tough to keep healthy through winter, always needing extra feed and grain…
Not this year!
She’s been doing amazingly well and I’m praying to Epona that she stays that way! ❤


And then there’s Fat Ruby…also known (quite affectionately) as Fatty BoomBoom, FatGirl, and the Slightly Alcoholic FatGirl.
😂😂😂
Needless to say, our Painted Unicorn is weathering this winter juuuuuusssst fine.

And Astrid?
She’s doing just as well as Ruby.
But for some reason, I didn’t get a decent shot of her in the run-around-the-pasture-like-a-fool races.
I’ll have to work on that. 😉

Go CinderBella!!

Happy Sunday, folks!

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🙂

 

Well That Was Fun…

Except for it wasn’t.
😦

We weathered the storm.
It was a mighty one, to be sure.
We lost power Friday morning, after losing internet a few hours before that.
I crocheted a whole lot.
Got a blanket about 1/3rd done for The Kid.
We sat under blankets to stay warm.
Had buckets of water for the necessities.
Watered animals with water from the rain barrels.
Poultry stayed locked in their coop.
Horses ate a whole lot of hay…and beet pulp and oats and alfalfa cubes.
Plus Tums for Sable, to keep her tummy happy.

When all was said and done, we had power back on by Friday evening, though there were a few blips and outages for another day or so.
We had a lot of snow.
Way more than a 1st snow storm should drop.
But, by the time we were able to get out to assess any damages, it was already melting.
And melting fast!

Pawing through the melting snow…

I don’t actually know how much snow we got, because of all the winds.
Holy. Moly.
It was windy like crazy, and the snow was wet and heavy.
I do know in the pic above, it had melted down by a 1/3rd (or more) already when I took that.

The week ahead looks nice though.
Thank goodness.
Because the date is set for porcine Freezer Camp.
I’ll be happy when it’s over and done with.
This round of pigs, while growing amazingly well, have had their challenges.
So much so that we’re thinking of taking a year off of raising pigs.

We have an opportunity to put a yearling steer into a pasture with a couple others and it won’t cost us anything for feed.
It means we can grow out a beef for the cost of the steer only. And because we do our own processing, we won’t have to pay those fees either.
We’re thinking of doing that next year.
And I’ll put all my other time into the poultry.
Meat chickens, and incubating eggs.
So we’ll still be able to fill the freezer very well.
I just need a year without pigs.

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🙂

Storm’s a Comin’

That’s the big news this week in weather.
There’s a storm coming.
Rain?
Snow?
Both?

Either way, we’ve had yesterday and today to prepare and get a few things done before it hits.
Yesterday I finally cleaned out the tomato cages from the garden.
I had just left them after the rains drowned anything that hadn’t burned up in the drought.
Kinda just gave up, I guess.
But, in order to get the garden fully put to bed and prepped for next year, they had to come out.
So, done.

Today I weeded around the strawberries.
Can you believe the damn things are blooming??!?
I was stunned.
But with all the rain, and with the thick mulch around them, they’ve been happy little plants.
I pulled out all the weeds, and fed those to the pigs.
Under the mulch…oh my…*swoons*…there is this gorgeous black, rich soil, with so. many. earth worms.
*This* is what I was trying to create.
Every where I mulched heavily is the same.
So about half the garden.
No till, just dig, plant, mulch.
And the weeds that did come up, came out easy peasy.
So even though I was frustrated with my garden, and we really didn’t get anything from it, the no till route *did* work.
Which means I’ll expand it next year.

Then came this…

😍😍😍

It’s only 53 cloves.
My budget was teeny for seed garlic this year, so I had to be sure that I found a variety that will grow well in the climate, and be a tasty delight.
This was what I found.
10 bulbs gave me 53 cloves.
And now all 53 cloves have been planted.
Into that gorgeous rich soil.
I am hopeful for a bountiful garlic crop come spring.
Which, of course, will expand next Fall.
53 heads (assuming they all grow) is just not enough.
😉

Finally, I spread a good layer of mulch over both garlic and strawberries.
It’s not quite as much as I’d like, they’ll need more before winter truly sets in.
But when I get my hay delivery, I’ll get a few small squares of straw…for mulching the berries/garlic and for the brooders come spring chick season.

Tonight we’ll pull out the tarp for the garden, move some straw to the pig yard, fill all the feed bins, and transfer the feed we keep in the horse trailer to the Little Red Shed.
It is, after all, meant to be our feed building.
And then, I think we’ll be as ready as we can be for this storm.
Next week it’ll all melt and we’ll continue on with winter preps.
Because that’s just how the weather works here.
😂😂😂

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Snowflakes

We have had some wild winds this week.
Cold, windy…makes a girl want to hibernate.
Oh, but yesterday, the winds died down for while, and we had a little bit of snowfall.
In fact, winds were quiet enough that we fired up the bbq for the first time in near onto 2 weeks.
That, for us, is a loooong time to not be grilling something. Even in winter!

While I left the Hubby to tend the food, I grabbed my camera (it’s happening more and more ❤ ) and headed off to see the Girls.
See, in a lot of the photography groups, macro shots of snowflakes is all the rage. I’ve done it before:

Snowflakes on Astrid (from 2016)

Snowflakes on Cookie(from 2016)

Last night my best shot was on Sable…who kept turning around to see why I was getting so close to her belly without scratching all the spots that need the scratching.

Snowflake on Sable

The important thing in last night’s image though, isn’t the snowflake.
It’s lovely, but look deeper…beyond that long winter coat, you can see hints of gold in there.
That, my friends, means our Palomino Princess is starting her summertime coat.
Spring is coming!
🙂

Friday’s Hunt April 2nd

Well, we still have water.
But it’s going down fast. Thank goodness!
The wind is helping, and we’ve had some wonderful warm weather.
I’m even seeing wee bits of green shoots of grass starting.
The hennys have finally decided that coming out of the coop for longer periods of time is a grand plan. They found a 1/4 of a medium square straw bale we had given them in the fall…now they are having fun ripping it apart and eating what bits of wheat they can find in it.

It’s so nice to see happy birds, and happy horses…though the Girls are frustrated that the grass isn’t long enough to eat yet. They are so tired of hay. Their bodies are crying out for new grass, much like we humans are craving green salads and fresh veggies.
I tell them it’s coming soon, but I’m not sure they believe me. 😉

This week, the prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are Starts with M, Week’s Favorite and Water.
Shall we?

Starts with M

My Girl…
My dirty, dirty Girl…

Having a shake after a roll on the last of the snow…

There’s almost no snow now, so any bit they find, they roll and roll and roll and roll on, trying to scrub out the winter coat.

Week’s Favorite

Silhouette!!
From yesterday at the Stable…I love silhouette days, and the Running of the Horses is an awesome time to practice getting those action/silhouette shots.

Coming in for dinner…

Water

Oh, poor Bella WaterHorse…

She loves to play in water, but not freezing cold-just-melted-from-being-ice water. Nope, our Girl loves sun warmed water to play in. ❤

“Uh, Kid? Could ya come help me out here?”

She stood there for a good 5 minutes, until The Kid went out an led her to dry land. It’s not that she couldn’t get there herself, she was just feeling sucky…and well, there was a big stick that might have been a killer water snake that might have gotten her…for the record, we have no killer water snakes around here. LOL!!
But, once she realized it was a stick, she tried to pick it up to take to The Kid…
Silly horse!

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

Try, try again.
😉
So, I’m trying again make it all the way through the alphabet on the Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
I’m aiming to make it all the way through this time…lol
We’ll see what happens.

This weeks prompts are Starts with A, Week’s Favorite, and Beginning.

Starts with A

Easy peasy.
Astrid starts with A

Such a pretty girl!

Such a pretty girl!

I love how she glows in the sun. Her coat is such a beautiful colour.

Week’s Favorite

Who else?

<3

That mohawk…*sigh*
I hated it at first, because she looked wonderful with a long mane, but oh man, this look has grown on me. She looks badass with a mohawk.

Beginning

A new beginning to my photography year…this is my first shot of 2017:

yule-pony-wm
And cheers to a year of many more images to share. 🙂

Digging Out

By Tuesday, it was finally done.
The snow stopped falling, the wind stopped howling and we started the clean up in earnest.
We have, thankfully, a snowblower for the tractor. That makes this whole snow thing so much easier to handle.
Still, wide open space, mixed with blizzard conditions, makes for lots of drifts, and deep ones.
For example:

Dog, Kid, snow drift...oh yeah, 5 foot fence in the background!

Dog, Kid, snow drift…oh yeah, 5 foot fence in the background!

Hubby had already cleaned out the entrance to the gate…Daphne’s trying to jump up on the drift that formed at the east gate into the pasture.
That drift also covered the driveway. Granted, it wasn’t quite as deep on the driveway, because there is a drop off from the drive to the gate for water to run off the drive, but it was at least 3 feet of snow sitting on it!

I’ll tell ya, that’s all but impossible to deal with without big equipment. A loader on the tractor works, but then, after a few big dumps like this, you run out of places to pile the snow…that’s speaking from experience. Our first year here was crazy with the amount of snow we had piled around. So, we bought a 6 foot snowblower, and snow moving got 1000% easier.

There are, however, plenty of places that need digging out by hand.
~ The waterer…can’t get too close to that with the tractor, so I dig it out by hand. Often.
lol
Horses drink a lot…4 x a lot = holy crap, that’s a lot of digging!
With help…always with help from Sable. Can’t do *anything* with water without Sable. She’s my 1500ishlb water baby. 😉
~ The deck…as much as I wish we could get a snowblower up there, well, that’s all hand power to clean. Wheee!!
Plus, with the cat house being there, it’s really important to make sure all my felines warm spaces can be accessed. I don’t want anyone snowed in, or snowed out.
~ The chicken yard…okay, so, the gate was completely blown in, and we had to get into the yard to feed and check on the hennys…6 foot blower doesn’t fit through the gate, and neither does the walk behind blower until the gate can be opened…and so, more digging.

And, I am glad we didn’t try to overwinter the pigs, because I’ll tell ya, I don’t want another species to try to keep alive in the frigid depths of winter…at least, not yet. Maybe one year we’ll try, but, this was the first year for wintering chickens, and that’s learning experience enough for this year. 😉

Of course, with the clean up, comes some delightful asshat-ery from the Girls. And, when I’m on the ball, that means I take my camera outside. Then, y’all get to see my mares being silly butts…

She plows through the drifts like they're not even there...

She plows through the drifts like they’re not even there…

And, of course, Miss Bella Haza BooBoo (if we could register her with any sort of association, that would be her registered name!) always manages an ice cut from playing in the snow…*sigh*
I must say, I love this shot of Sable though…the power in her hind end is so evident, and it’s amazing the power this mare has! Especially for such a gentle girl. ❤

Showing off her inner bucking bronco...

Showing off her inner bucking bronco…

This one ^^^…wow, she was rippin’ it up! Bucking and kicking and galloping…at one point, her and Sable were racing, with Ruby trying to keep up…them Old Ladies were showing the young Fat Girl how fast they could be! 😉

Race!

Race!

You can see, Ruby is trying to keep up with the old gals, but nope!

Ruby's losing ground...

Ruby’s losing ground…

Finally, Ruby and Astrid just gave up…

Watching the Old Ladies givin' 'er!

Watching the Old Ladies givin’ ‘er!

By the way…look at Astrid’s tail!!
It’s gotten so long…she has the longest tail of everyone now.
Used to be Ruby, but Ruby managed to find some barbed wire somewhere in the willows, and we had to cut her tail to get it out. 😥
Had the same issue with Cookie earlier in the summer, but Cookie stood for the tail trim much better than Ruby did.
Hopefully, we’ve managed to get it all out of there now. We’re awful tired of running into garbage from previous owners of this place.