The Morning Weather Report

"Hey Faith, what's today's weather going to be?"

"One hundred percent chance of rain," she mutters in her best Eeyore impersonation.

She's staying inside this morning...
not taking any chances on shrinking her woolens.

As for her sister...

Hope was sheltering beneath the hay feeder until I walked up to snap her photo.
She's always afraid that "this one" might be her last meal,
and so she never strays too far from the grub.

Of the two, Hope is the lazier...
and prefers to lie beneath the hay so that she can grab a bite or two whenever she wishes.
Eating in bed - effortless eating... that's her m.o.

As you can see by the amount of light in the upper photos, it is a little later in the morning.
Our first stop to take care of these girls happens before the sun comes up.
(which, by the way, I swear it never did, yesterday!)
Jack stops the gator here and he tends to the sheeples,
while I walk to the barn by the light of a headlamp.

I am always met on the driveway by my favorite black cats.
And I can honestly say that having a black cat cross your path is in no way bad luck.
You see.... with as often as it happens to me... I should have the worst luck in the world.
And I consider myself quite a lucky gal!

Yes, four rather enthusiastic kitties always meet me on my morning
trek to the barn.
One of the first chores at the barn is to give these four starving felines
their yummy canned food.

Each has their own favorite dining area.

(The rest of the day they have dry food available to them.)
I swear this regimen keeps them from ever straying too far from the barn...
this and the toasty warm heat lamps that hang above their beds.

The black kitties, especially....
for once being feral, it's amazing that they are never out of sight of the barn.

The dogs eagerly accompany us to the barn each morning...
knowing that they have the job of licking the cat cans clean.

We take our cans to the local recycling center,
and the center appreciates the fact that the cans are clean.
The dogs love the little treat.
We waste no water washing out the cans...
so it's a win-win!
Everybody's happy.

After tending to the cats, the horses, the pigs and sheep,
we open the door to the ducks' house and they come running out to the far end of their pen
where they plop down facing the eastern horizon
seemingly waiting for the sun to come up.

Once up, their yard is opened and they are allowed access to the rest of the farm.

They have very busy days patrolling the nearby acreage in search of tasty insects.
They can often be seen basking in the sun in one of the pastures...

always with one eye sky-ward.
They are very good at spotting predatory hawks and running for cover.
Luckily, they seem to stay close enough to the larger animals
who afford more protection from predators.

And just in case any local friends missed my post last week...
a farm friend has six three-week-old runner ducklings (younger siblings to my own)
who need a good home.
(I don't have room for ducklings right now.)
Message me if you are interested.

One of the challenges in having a farm filled with animals,
is knowing when enough is enough.
It is so tempting to take in every animal that needs a home.
But, there is a fine line between rescuing the needy and becoming a hoarder...
which we would never want to do.
It is important to us to give the animals that we have the best living situations that we can,
while avoiding over-crowding.

We also have thought long and hard about the future and realize that at some point
we will no longer be able to do this amount of work on a daily basis.
Allowing for a natural downsizing of the farm is the most prudent plan of action
for the future.
Although ducks certainly don't have the lifespan of donkeys or other larger mammals,
I hope to never have a situation where I have to re-home any of my own precious
farm friends... so, we have learned to say "no" when necessary.

As for the ducks, I have no available houses for them right now,
and putting them in with the larger ducks after they are full grown,
would make their house a little crowded (think: lots and lots of duck poop!)


colleen said…
It's so much following along on morning chores. Hope has it all figured out.
If you didn't follow a feeding schedule...I can only imagine everyone wanting to be first in line and it would be chaos.
Dee J. Hartman said…
They're out of luck
Those neighbor's ducks
who need another home,
'Cause there's no extra place to live;
They'd simply have to roam.
Conditions would be crowded
(With poop just everywhere!)
So if someone would take them,
'N provide some needed care,
Touch base: Bee Haven Acres
To get the Info there!
Anonymous said…
Bev, it's so prudent and kind to live and think this way. Knowing that while now, we are physically able to do so much, and care for animals, eventually, we may not be able to do this. I have learned so much from my parents as they aged, and from other family as they aged. Houses stuffed to the brim with stuff, animals they could no longer care for - and this all falls on other family who cringe with so many feelings, while "dealing" with their animals and their stuff. It feels disloyal, even when we are doing our best to make sure it's all treated with respect. Picking through their personal belongings is rough, a mixture of dread, sadness and guilt, memories, good times and sad times. I vow to make sure we don't put our one and only child through this as we age. So we are divesting ourselves of things now. (I am 58, and my Hubs is 60) and have a strict, no-more-cats policy. We have three now, one is on her way out with kidney failure, and the other 2 are 12 years old. Ever mindful of what it would be like for our son to have to go through our lives of accumulated stuff - we are taking action now to make it easier.

Karla from Illinois
This N That said…
Cute poem from Dee..Nice post about the routine of your life which often has its interruptions..We all are happier with structure and routine!! Enjoy your day..xxoo