Friday, February 27, 2009

Baby Pictures

OK, there is just about nothing as cute as a baby goat! Judge for yourself.....Jack meets Jill's little doeling.

Becky and one of the bucklings. He has the longest legs ever!

Jill, making sure I take good care of her baby. She is such a great Mama.

New Kids on the Block!

Hooray! At long last, Jill and Chip's babies have arrived. Jill delivered triplets doeling and two bucklings. All three are black and white like their parents and have blue eyes like their daddy. More pictures to come later today!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Becky Builds a Barn

Over the past two months, there has been additional construction at Bee Haven Acres. Becky has been in the process of having her barn built adjacent to their log home. For the past 3 years we have shared our barn. Longing for her own dream barn, this year she took the leap and started construction. It is beautiful....with 2 stalls, a wash stall, a tack room and lots of storage. This front side pictured will serve as a run-in shelter for her dry lot. Beyond the barn is a fenced pasture.

Within the next several weeks Ava, Fagner and Duffy will move into their new barn; leaving Donnie Brasco and Moonbeam behind in our barn. We hope to add one or two equine buddies for these two sweet ponies in the coming months.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking Forward to Spring

This is an exciting time of year for us. We are presently taking a bee keeping course to increase our knowledge and ready ourselves for full time beekeeping. Our brother-in-law Mike has up to this point been the beekeeper with help from us for special tasks like honey harvest, winterizing, etc. This Spring Mike will be handing over the smoker and I will be taking the full time beekeeper position as my own. To our already established 5 hives, I am adding an additional 5 hives.

Today I am ordering the hive bodies and supers. I am seriously considering using a smaller hive which will be easier for me to lift. It is called an English Garden Hive and it is an 8 frame medium hive. It is also adorable, with its copper roof. This picture is not mine....but it shows what it will look like.

I ordered 5 Nucs from Bjorn Apiaries. These are already established colonies with their own queen that come with 5 frames of this type of colony grows quickly and can produce honey its' first season.

Now we have to keep our fingers crossed that the weather conditions for the summer cooperate with us for optimal honey production.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Best Goats in the World

If you visit our farm, this is the type of reception you can expect....just sheer joy in your presence. Our Nigerian Dwarf goats are the friendliest goats I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. As soon as they see you, they jump up at the fence demanding attention. The leader of the mayhem is Spider. Here you see him giving goatie hugs to my friend, Maureen.
Sweet goatie kisses for me.......

Laughter always erupts......

Spider says...."How about one more kiss?".....

If you ever feel sad or lonely....plan a visit to Bee Haven Acres! Our goats can turn any grey day into instant sunshine!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Doing What Comes Naturally

What more can I say?
Besides a little play and a little napping, grazing is what comes natural...and we do it all day long!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is it a Ceiling or a Floor?

It all depends where you are standing!
From here, in the dining room, looking up, it is a ceiling. But climb the steps and look across the loft.....and it is a floor.

Today our contractors are installing the pine decking (2 5/8 inch thick tongue and groove pine) that will serve as ceiling for the first floor and flooring for the second floor. Once this is complete, they will be able to frame out the rooms for the second floor. At the same time, the heating contractors are installing the geo-thermal unit that will serve as back up heat for our wood burning stove and fireplace.

Each day we are just a little farther along....and it is all so exciting...this building a log home.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Maddie, the Thief!

It is hard to imagine that a 140 pound dog can be stealthy, but somehow Maddie is. Each time we walk to the barn on an errand, she sneakily leaves with one of the cat bowls in her mouth. Maddie knows she is being naughty, because she does her level best to keep her back to us so that we won't notice the plastic bowl, barely peeking our from her jowls. There is just nothing yummier than a little leftover morsel of cat food!At least when she is finished, she brings the bowl back to the barn once again!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still, Life.....

....remains held within Winter's icy clutch....

Winter months seem long. Even more so when I read friends' blogs from warmer climates. Here in Pennsylvania it feels as though Spring is still so far away. Most days are grey, the winds remain frigid, and snow showers sneak up on us when we let our guard down.

But still, we cling to the hope that Spring will sneak in early and get a foothold on our land...turning the greys and browns to green once again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hard to Believe.....

........That this monstrosity will eventually be our fireplace.

To me it looks more like something from a science fiction movie. Introducing.... the Fireplace Xtraordinaire. This super efficient furnace will be entombed in a stone fireplace so that only a black wrought iron door will be visible. It has a sophisticated air-intake system and catalytic converter so that wood is burned cleanly and efficiently. It supposedly burns the smoke, too. It should put out enough BTU's to heat the first floor and loft completely. (Nothing better than toasty heat on a blustery winter's day). I think I will like it much better when it looks like a traditional rustic fireplace and not a metal monster with gaping jaws!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Treat for the Birds

Look at how attentive Sadie and Maddie are as Jack spreads peanut butter over his home-made bird feeder. He took a pine log, bore holes into it, screwed an eye-hook in the top and filled each hole with peanut butter. This creation will hang in the midst of the rest of our bird feeders as an additional treat for our feathered friends.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Goatie Manicures and More....

As with all animals, there is a bit of maintenance that has to be done to assure the health and well-being of the goats. On this particular day, we trimmed hooves and gave each goat worming medication. Jack and Dr. Becky worked together to tend to each goat as I stayed behind the camera. "Could you please hurry....I'd like another cracker!"

Sissy says "This stuff tastes terrible!"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Construction Update

Oh, so slowly, now, we see progress with construction. The roof is almost finished and the windows are finally complete. Now, most of the work is to the inside. The ductwork for the heating system is in and the fireplace has been installed (pictures to follow)... Oh, the waiting........

Friday, February 13, 2009

Morning Came in on Little Cat Feet

Here is Tom Tom basking in the light from the rising sun. He is frowning a bit today because he still has a case of the sneezles. He is sure that when Spring arrives, he will finally be rid of this nasty Winter cold that has plagued him.

This is one of his favorite perches during morning chores. I think he fancies himself a supervisor.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet Gus

Meet Gus. When Gus found out that Elvis had his very own posting, he tackled me in the driveway and insisted that he be given equal time. Gus is our one and only white guinea fowl. He is the only one of his flock that we are sure is a male. This we know from a particular behavior that he frequently exhibits....yes, and you can guess what that is!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet Elvis

Introducing.........ELVIS!!! And you thought he was gone forever. Elvis is our one and only Rooster. For the past several months we have assumed that Elvis was a she and that she was just an exceptional hen. That was until she crowed.....and very quickly she became he and he became ELVIS!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Construction Update: Ceilings

We now have ceilings over the beams in the laundry room and the kitchen. All of the rooms in the basement and 1st floor are studded out. As soon as all of the ceiling decking is installed (this will also act as the floor in the upstairs loft) they will stud out the rooms for the second floor and loft areas.

We will be moving into the guest house in April and living there full time until construction is complete. Thank goodness for nice will give us an opportunity to be outside most of the time....instead of being cooped up in a 20 X 20 space.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Turf Wars

Well, the girls have had a bit of a dispute this past week. It seems that Jill will not let Missy into the maternity ward. Our three pregnant does are housed in their own goat yard with a luxury goat house. This goat house is big and wide open until the gals begin to deliver, and then stalls are installed and each goat has her own nursery. Up to this point, they have all willingly shared the space with no problems. That is until this past week, when Jill decided that Missy "had to go". Poor Missy, stuck outside in the sleet and rain....pregnant and alone.The solution to the problem? We moved a small house into the goat yard so that Missy had her own single family unit. Now Jill and Myrtle share the big house....that is until Jill decides that Myrtle "has to go!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Feeding the Birds

This has been a fairly rough winter for our wild feathered friends. Amazingly, they empty two thistle feeders, two hanging black oil sunflower feeders and a platform feeder daily. We also try to keep an ample supply of suet hanging in several locations. Constructions does not discourage these they flock to the feeders despite the hammering and sawing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Guinea Eggs

Well, our young guineas have begun laying. They lay the cutest little, brown eggs. We have been letting them free range every day; and at night they return to their henhouse to roost. They lay their eggs in the henhouse. We have to quickly snatch them up because there is a wild critter that has developed a taste for them.Here is a guine egg next to one of our chicken eggs. The guinea egg is on the right. They are tiny, but quite tasty, and....low cholesterol....due to their size!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Windows To Our World

This week we are getting windows and well as interior walls on the first floor. It's really starting to look like a house, now.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is What Happens.....

When you warm your socks on the woodstove!

We were treated to a special day on the farm with the twins and their significant others. We treated our special guests to the pleasures of pasture cleaning...arming each with a fresh manure rake.

A lunch of peppermint hot chocolate, pulled pork sandwiches, apple slices and fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies gave us the energy we needed for a snowy hike on this frigid mid-winter day.

It was wonderful to spend the day with these amazing young adults. The love, the laughter...all blend together to make rich memories.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Amazon Chicken Mystery Solved!

You might remember a posting a few weeks ago about the chicken in the center of this picture. "She" is one of our new hens that we started about 3 months ago from newly hatched chicks. As these ladies grew we couldn't help but notice that one of the gals was "special". She has grown head and shoulders above her sisters and has a much more pronounced comb and waddle.

This morning the mystery of why she is so much large has been solved. She is a he....we now have a rooster. This is quite unexpected as we have been a rooster-free farm up to this point (at least that is what we thought). It looks like from now on we will be arising to the sound of "Cock--a-doodle-doooooo!"


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