Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reflecting on Autumn & Nature

I think what I like most about the arrival of autumn is that it makes me appreciate the beauty of nature, the changing of the landscape, & how it makes me reflect on how far I've come in life & where I still want to go. I also enjoy reading poetry that reflects nature & the countryside. On my walk today I captured this photo.
The Milkweed
The milkweed pods are breaking,
and the bits of silken down
float off upon the autumn breeze
across the meadows brown.
Cecil Cavendish

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Animal Pics Around the Farm

I honestly can say my life would be very boring without my animals. Everyday they come up with something new to either amuse themselves or amuse/drive me crazy. For example there is my cat Moo. Today Dixie was just having a fit over at my neighbors, barking & carrying on. On further investigation I found Moo perched on my neighbor's excavator (he is a new neighbor & he redug the pond that was on the property).

Moo, is just one of those cats that just does "whatever, whenever" & he does not care if it is a dog, sheep, or goat as he will swat or chase it down if necessary. Moo came to me via my old neighbor's sister who was living at that house, bought a kitten for her daughter, then a few weeks later bought a puppy & decide she didn't want the kitten so she put it in the field so it would go away. Yep, once again a totally logical explanation for getting rid of a pet. Moo I think is 6 or 7 now.
These 2 little ewe lambs have become buddies. The yuglet sokket gulmoget (one on the right) is the LOUDEST lamb born & she loves to talk to herself out in the pasture. I am still working on names.........

Above is my seasonal cowboy. I "picked him up" for $4.99 2 years ago. And each Fall I pull him out, clean him up, stick him in the yard so he makes everything look cute for Fall, & then I pack him up......sounds like a winning recipe for a good relationship with a guy:)
Dixie says I am just being silly!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jammer's Mishap & Me as a Hobby Farmer

So, I guess what I do is "Hobby Farming". Its not a money making hobby quite yet, hopefully by next year I will see something coming into Harvest Thyme but for now I will take the little things & smile at those. And then I will sigh at the things that just are not turning out as planned and hope for better days.

Now today, for example, was a day for good things & not so good. When I got home today, I fed the horses, sheep, & goats & decide to grab my basket & get some gourds. I gave up growing small gourds in my garden & instead I pitch the gourds at the end of the season into the manure pile & let them go to town. Its amazing what decomposed crap does for growing gourds & pumpkins. I also have a lot of sunflowers that come up in the manure so after they bloom & start to dry, I cut some of them and hang them in trees or on a trellis for the birds.
Check out what is in the basket!!! Do you see it?? Its an EGG!!! It looks even better if you enlarge the picture:) Yes, finally, after months of anticipation, I went into the chicken coop after gathering the gourds & there was an EGG!!!! See, these are the little things about hobby farming what makes me smile:)
This is Jammer when he was born at the end of July. He made me smile & stills makes me smile because he is so friendly & cute but last week when I came home from school, Jammer had had an accident. Right away I had noticed he had blood all over the right side of his face. Yes, I had a freak fit then I recomposed myself & came to realize he had got his horn caught on something. Well, I am assuming he did but I can not be sure but it was definitely really loose & bleeding. By last weekend it was apparant that it was going to fall off & today it did.

I feel terrible about this because I have no idea how the original accident happened & now I am concerned about the odds of it growing back & if it does grow back, will he continue to have horn issues? There is another "knob" on his skull & the horn that fell off was hollow, is that common or is it an indication of a bad horn anyways? If you are reading this & have any insight please let me would be greatly appreciated. He will only be 2 months old at the end of September. The other horn appears to be fine, though loose as I am assuming it would be as he is so young. I guess I am also concerned when I should make the decision as to whether he should be kept as a ram or become a wether based on this issue of horns. I know wethering him will stop the horn growth. He is such a nice little ram I just want to do what is right & safe for him.
These are the things that cross my mind as a "hobby farmer". It is an everyday learning process & some of it is all good & some of it is not. But giving up is not an option for me because I am just not giving up. I will continue to learn & seek advice when needed & make decisions that are best for my animals.

These statues were given to me by a close friend to protect my flock. They are old & worn but they offer me a smile & comfort as I pass them everyday on my way to the barn. See, its those little things that make hobby farming that much better:)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike Comes to the Buckeye State

So Hurricane Ike blew into Ohio late yesterday afternoon & the winds just were a total treat. Now I know they were only around 50 ish mph here so I know that does not remotely compare to what Texas got but it sure was enough to question what was going to remain intact while the winds blew. Of course, I had visions of the baby lambs blowing around but they all huddled in the barn next to mom. In the morning I did chores as usually, had lots of small tree limbs in the yard but I didn't even notice these trees till I got home this afternoon.

Both of these are located on the south side of my property, right along the small creek. They are on the opposite side of my yard, away from all my barns so I didn't even pay any mind to that side of the property this morning.
Now of course the most important thing was that my sunflowers & my bottle neck gourds all remained intact through the 50 mph winds....... go figure!!

Now of course since I am a "single white female doing the best that I can" (this is the line I use on my ex-hubby) I know that these trees will eventually need to be cut up. So, I am looking for some reinforcements to use........

The goats were the first to volunteer!! They are little debris eaters! I had a some big willow branches come down once & they cleaned up the leaves off those branches in no time flat. Of course, the problem with them is that they don't understand the difference from debris & the good stuff!
But I think I am needing heavier reinforcements. I know my little electric chainsaw won't be able to do the job. I think I need to call in the "friend with benefits".........the ex. Now I am thinking that I did give him the chainsaw in the divorce....I know he got the truck & I got the house....yeah, I probably gave him the gas chainsaw too:)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Please Cast Your Vote!!!!

I have added the Live Feed Feature to my blog for the following reasons:

  1. My 8th grade students are adding this feature to their "My Space"or blogs, over 85% of all my students have one so why not have them do something they like in class? Its geography on their level & they won't even know it!
  2. The students have one week to keep track of how many people visit their site & from where. They will then have to take their data & label a map, do percentages, & create graphes based on their findings. They will then have to report out to the class.
  3. I will also be doing this. I am not sure if I like this feature on my blog as I am not sure if it will discourage people from coming back, like perhaps they think its a breech of privacy, me being nosy, or whatever.....not that I am putting myself out in the world by blogging:)
  4. I have posted a survey on the Live Feed Feature. PLEASE CAST YOUR VOTE. I want to use this poll to discuss with students the issue of privacy & the internet.
  5. And if you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment...I do read them:)

Please don't be chicken, cast your vote!!