Friday, February 27, 2009

What's that I hear?

Yes, the sound of spring coming!

Yesterday we first heard the sound of the Spring Peepers! The high pitched song of the frogs first coming out is a sure sign of spring coming!

The buds are beginning to form on the trees, looking out across the fields at the woods you can see a tinge of red where the new leaves are beginning to form. Yet another signpost of spring!

And certainly you can't have spring without Robins! The robins have arrived, hopping about the lawn looking for their next meal. The lovely brown, red-breasted birds are a cheerful reminder that warmer weather is just now coming upon us.

Our daffodils are beginning to poke through the frosty ground, and soon the crocus will bloom.

Anticipation of new birth, as well, calves and baby kids will soon be born and frolicking about the newly greening pastures.

Oh, what a wonderful, hopeful time of year spring is!

Praise God for giving us the fresh breath of spring air after the cold wind and freeze of winter! What an almighty and loving God we serve!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Goat Babies of the Year!

Cookie the goat had her kids yesterday - twins - a doeling and a buckling. Very cute. The black/grey/white one is the buckling, the tan/white one is the doeling. They were just hours old in this picture.

I am so glad that she gets to raise some goat babies!

This goat was purchased with 8 other does in May 2007, at 4 months old. We ear tagged them, and this goat wound up as #7. She was very good at getting on the other side of fences. As a result of this, she ended up being bred earlier than we had anticipated, and kidded in early February of 2008 in very cold and windy temperatures - her kids that year were born dead.

Not wanting #7 to be a complete loss - I started milking her, and we froze the milk to save for other goat kids that might need it, and goat's milk makes some great ice cream!

At first, she resisted milking, because she was not tame, and didn't want anything to do with people. Eventually, she came to realize that it was a good deal to get to stand in the goat worker (like a milking stand) with feed to eat while I milked her and relieved pressure on her udder! She adopted me. She would lick me whenever she got the chance, BAAAA for me anytime I left the goat lot or the barn - calling for me, her "baby kid" to come back!

In March that year we adopted our first Livestock Guardian Dog, Brody. He was just over a year old and had a lot of puppy in him. Our goats were afraid of him, though he was very good with them. I hadn't realized the extent of #7's "claiming" of me until she went out of her way (as scared as she was of Brody) to put herself between me and Brody. If he got too close to me, she would stomp her front feet and snort at him, the way does do when their kids are in danger. She even went so far as to butt Brody away! This is when I started calling her Mommy Goat, and rightly so, as she had claimed me for sure as her kid!

Well, after the weather had warmed up enough for my daughter to come outside with us, I decided I had to change what I called this goat from Mommy Goat to something else - I didn't want my daughter to be confused! Since the goat is black in the front, white in the middle, and black in the back (she looks like an Oreo cookie) she's kept the name Cookie. It suits her.

So, Cookie now has kidded for her second time, and has live babies to raise and lick and feed. She still hasn't forgotten me though - as I was helping her kids find the udder, she alternated between licking her kids and licking me! I know she'll do a great job mothering those kids!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Summer Garden Plans

I made an order from for our plants for our garden. They had a coupon in there that expires tomorrow.

We are getting:

Green Beans
Lettuce Blend
Yellow Onions

We also always plant sweet corn, tomatoes, Kennebec potatoes, and we have a strawberry bed. Last year I started some purple asparagus.

I hope to do more freezing and preserving this year than in previous years.

Thinking of all this fresh produce to come is making me hungry!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Beginning to Welcome Warmer Days

How's this for a cute chore helper?? It's my daughter, who is 14 months old. It was in the high 30's/low 40s this morning when I did chores, so she got to come along!
The wagon really helps with this.

Since I was carrying the bucket IN the wagon, the feed bucket tipped over and out spilled some dog food and some corn kernels. Cora was very helpful in putting the corn back in the little bucket for me :-)

You can see a couple of the Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs in the background, and two of our goats at the feeder Matt and I built. Our buck is at the left, and to his right is one of our does. The feeder works great for the goats who love to put their feet on things anyway, and it keeps them from soiling in their feeder.

Cora loves being outside and looking at the animals, so helping with chores is a good thing for her :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

After last week's ice and snow storm

At top: the South pasture fenceline.
At Center: our house rooftop and lightning rod at an angle, with a view of the moon
At bottom: South pasture sunset - silage wagon at right, road at left.
The snow is pretty, but I'm ready for it to warm up and melt off! It will make doing chores much easier! Forecasted in the 40s and 50s for this weekend.