Monday Morning Round Up ~ April 12th

It’s snowing!
😂😂😂
We spent the weekend getting ready for this storm, because it’s been predicted for almost a week and we knew we had to get things ready…

Hubby finished re-furbishing the former pig house.
Our last pigs were savages.
Literally.
The big male was chewing on the wood sides for fun.
They had toys, endless food, giant stumps to throw around and he still loved to just chew the wood off the side of the shelter.
He was something, that boy…and he was the *nicest* pig of the 3.
The girls were crazy assed bitches.
I have never been quite so happy to send animals to Freezer Camp as I was those pigs!

Anyway, Hubby got the shelter re-furbished, wood on the sides and a new door…then he fixed the gate to that yard and it’s now the permanent duck yard.
We didn’t replace the pallet fence yet, but it’ll be fine for another year yet.
Then we moved ducks.
How did we get sooooo many ducks??
😂😂😂
Oh.
Yeah.
It’s because we let the hens sit nests.
Speaking of…
Our best mama hen, Ripple, has 22 eggs under her.
Fingers crossed that she hatches them all (or most of ’em).
She seems to have adjusted to moving her and her nest fairly well.
We initially left her in with the turkeys, but turkeys is assholes and they were beating her up, trying to force her off her nest. 😡
So Hubby and The Kid caught her and moved her in with the rest of the ducks…gave her the eggs she was sitting in her own little space, and this morning, even with the storm wailing around outside, she was happily chirruping at The Kid whilst sitting on her new nest.
We are hopeful.

Then everyone got new straw.
We’re working off the last round bale we bought in the Fall for the horses…so that means wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load moved to the poultry houses.
But it works well, even if it can be time consuming.
We just do what we have to, to make sure all the critters weather the storm safely. 🙂

Hubby pulled a new bale of hay out of the garage.
We’re at that point in the year where we start using the ones we have stored for next year…but because weather is so odd (she said while looking at the snow/rain coming down outside her window) we pull 1 at a time.
We pay way too much for dried grass to waste *any* of it!
And never, ever think I am disparaging our Hay Guy!
Oh. Freakin’. No!
He makes amazing hay that keeps my Merry Mares fat and sassy throughout the coldest of colds and wettest of wets, and he stands behind his product.
No complaints from me.
But I won’t waste a stem of it if I can help it, because hay is a precious commodity and that’s all there is to it.

Chicks got another light…
Thankfully we had an extra, so now they have 3 heat lamps…but really, there’s a lot of them, and they’re 3weeks apart in age and the Little Red Shed isn’t insulated…so we give ’em heat lamps to cuddle under…and everyone was doing awesome this morning.

Speaking of lights, my grow light is up and over my tomatoes now.
The peppers have been growing gangbusters, so are in need of transplanting. Especially the Shepherd peppers, where every single seed seems to have germinated and they are packed into their little cells.
lol
No complaints, I love roasted red peppers, so I’m happy to grow many, many peppers.
This year the plan is to smoke a bunch, dry them and grind them as spices for winter.
That’s part of the reason for the diversity in heat levels too…

And today we’re watching the precipitation come down.
Maybe we’re not too chuffed about it being snow, but it’ll be melting by Saturday and the land needs the moisture.
Like I wrote last week, Lake Midnight never appeared this year, that’s how dry it’s been.
While that seems awesome, that means not enough moisture in the land to get a good start on the growing season.
And here, the growing season isn’t just the garden, it’s the grasses that we eventually cut and feed to the animals too.
Nothing was greening at all. Just brown, dry and crunchy.
This will change that.
And hopefully, our May 1st celebration can include a Beltane fire.
We didn’t get to have our Samhain Ancestral Fire because of crazy wind and weather, so I am hopeful that this moisture will give us the chance to celebrate Beltane with fire.
As it should be.
🙂

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. 🙂