Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Make Hay While The Sun Shines!

Isn't that how the saying goes?
Well, that is exactly what we did over this past weekend.

This was our second cutting this summer.
And now our coffers are full.
Becky's barn is full,
as is ours.

Hopefully this much hay will last until next summer's first cutting.

Our hay is green and soft and lush.
The horses are in heaven!

Oh my, my fat horses might get even fatter on this hay....
Fat and happy!

A friend with haying equipment helps us with this task.
He cuts and bales it,
then we pile it in the barns...
dusty, dirty, sweaty work!

(But well worth the effort.)

And so the cycle is complete....
We feed our animals our hay.
They make manure which we spread on our hay field to fertilize.
And our hay fields produce wonderful nutritious hay for our animals.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Very Sad Tail

This is the tale 
of a very sad tail.

Or perhaps I should say this is the tale 
of a missing tail.

My poor rooster, Rod Stewart,
who, until now, was such a handsome "dude"....

Sadly, though, this is what he looks like now...

I am not sure what has happened to poor Rod.
Could this be the result of molting?
Do I have a tail puller in the henhouse?
Does he have a nervous condition?

I just don't know.

His rump is a bit naked...


Unsightly, actually.

I noticed today that some of the hens are chasing him around now.

They say "turn about is fair play" don't they?
I suppose this could be considered fair play since
chasing the hens was always his favorite activity.

Regardless, you have to feel a bit sorry for the fellow.

I have come to the conclusion that I will avoid these wacky, fancy
chickens in the future.  There always seems to be something weird
happening amongst them!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Boys Of Summer Are Gone

Over the past few weeks, 
there has been so much activity at our hummingbird feeders.
On average,  12 hummingbirds would be feeding at any given time...
diving, swooping, chasing each other away....
grabbing a drink on the run.

Today things slowed down a bit.
And what was most noticeable,
was the fact that there were no males around.

Each August, the males leave and start their long flight to
Central America, Mexico, or the Caribbean.
The females, young, and yearlings stay behind and feed for
yet another month or month and a half.

Before leaving on this grueling flight,
the hummingbirds will feed and double their body weight.
They need all the energy they can get to make this trip.
As they travel down through the Southeast, 
they can stop for re-fueling,
but once they reach the Gulf coast,
they have an arduous 18 hour flight across water.

It amazes me how such a tiny creature 
can be capable of such greatness!


In case you were wondering.........
(just some random notes)

Smoochie's swollen eye healed without a problem.

Hickory loves life on the farm...
But Ella Bella would like to know
why exactly we need four dogs!

Elvis passed away this summer... no fowl play suspected...
I think it was just his time.
I found him lying in the field like this; still alive, but very weak...
I miss him.
He was beautiful and sweet and kind.

Eileen is getting stronger by the day and now ventures out to free range.
Hopping along....

I love my turkeys
and don't think I could ever have the heart to eat them...
Hubbs agrees.
Pet turkeys!!

Three guineas remain.
And seem to have mastered this survival thing.

We think of Hank often, but miss him not.
(Hank in the sights of the SuperSoaker)

My tomatoes are almost done.
This makes me very sad.
Very very sad.

But that's ok, because this makes me really happy!

My mega cucumber never got any bigger, 
but turned yellow.
The chickens enjoyed it...
along with several others.

I am still out of my gourd!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary

I am a bad wife.

Truly.

Not according to my husband, though.
He says I am perfect.

Far from it, I say.

Case in point....
Phone conversation from yesterday:
Hubbs - " Hi Hon.  Hey, I was thinking,
 since our anniversary is in two days,
and I will be on call,
how about we go out for dinner tonight to celebrate."

Me- "What?  Our anniversary isn't for another month!"

Hubbs- "No, it's Friday, Hon."

Me- "#%(&^$!"
(OMG I forgot our anniversary!)

I cannot tell you why,
 but I never remember our anniversary.
And I have to tell you, 
my husband is the center of my universe.
I love being married to this man...
I just can never remember the day.
Maybe it's because we did not have a big wedding...no planning....
just got married one day.
The wedding was not as important as the marriage.

Well, I had to make up for this faux pas.....
quick thinking....
I decided that instead of going out for dinner,
I would surprise Hubbs with dinner "out"...
out in the middle of our hundred acre wood.

Afterall, he loves my cooking best.
Not to mention there are few restaurants 
out here in the country.

I loaded up the gator with a table and chairs,
place settings, candles, wine....

made a special dinner for us and transported it
 right to that clearing in the woods.



Hubbs was surprised....
amazed....
truly pleased.

We had a lovely dinner...
as nice as any restaurant
without having to drive
or spend a dime.

We finished our dinner with some herbal tea,
talked and laughed.

A truly wonderful memory was made...
one that I think will become an anniversary tradition.

And I'm out of the doghouse!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

P U !!!

Well, it's that time of year again.
Back to school, you ask?
No.....back to rut!

The bucks are preparing themselves for mating season.
They have been spending the last several days getting
themselves as attractive as they can...

that is they are once again using their special after shave....
goat urine!


They spray the backs of their front legs, their necks, faces and beards
with a very foul smelling, musky urine...
all designed to drive the does wild!

MmmmmMmmmm, that smell....
a girl can hardly resist it!

Even dear little Fred is stinking to high heaven!
He's not responsible, though.
He is smelly from rubbing against his odiferous buddies.


Here's what Tyler thinks of the smell....

Peeeee U!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lucille and Eileen

As I mentioned before,
raising chickens is a little more work than meets the eye.

Meet Lucille.
She is one of my Rhode Island Reds,
an old gal, and a bit of a busy body.

She is what I call "long in the tooth"
right now.

That is, as sometimes happens,
her top beak has grown faster than her bottom,
and split.
It now hangs over each side of the bottom beak...
making her look a bit snaggle-toothed!

This condition calls for a little manicure work.

A little snip here...

A little snip there....

and the top beak is shaped more like it should be...

meeting the bottom in a much more useful position.

I fear that if left like this,
a chicken might starve to death!

Oh, and while we were working on Lucille's beak,
I happened to notice Eileen
looking over her shoulder.
(she does a lot of that these days...a girl just cannot be too careful!)

Eileen is venturing further and further from her henhouse
each day now.

She still spends most of her time on her one leg,
but with a little wing flapping and limping she is able to 
get around much better.

I think she is definitely on the road to recovery.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Straight Poop

So, if I told you that I truly enjoy scooping poop,

would you believe me?

I do.
I truly do.
It is one of those satisfying chores...
when it's done, the pasture looks pristine,
and I know that it is healthier for the horses...
fewer parasites in the grass.

Manure mucking has become a lesson
 in not only cleaning pastures,
but also in cleaning my mind.

I try during these tasks to be completely present in the moment.
Enjoying what is around me...

(usually animals!)

rather than letting my mind wander 
to unproductive thoughts of
past or future.

I keep my camera close at hand so that I can share
particular sights and moments with you.

Like....

and.....

and.....

I have had enough life experiences, now, to realize
that you cannot change yesterday....so why fret over it!
Tomorrow never comes....so why worry!
(Everything in my life that I have ever worried about
is behind me....and I lived through it all....
so why did I worry?)

All I will ever really have is this moment right here and now...
so why not make it a clean one!

Here's to clean minds and clean pastures!

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