Saturday, June 27, 2009

Been A Busy Bee!

Life has shifted me into a faster gear diverting my attention from my blog...I feel I am being pulled in many different directions but I am completing all of my necessary tasks which is good!
The deer have shown me no fawns since that baby in the field. The horses are doing well as are the kitties and doggies! The good husband continues to labor in the Big Man Garden and brought up 6 darling little cucumbers yesterday evening! We shared them with his brother as they invited us to their lovely home for a wonderful dinner.
The flowers are beginning to bloom out and I ate my first two blueberries this evening! I had a conversation with my favorite groundhog...yes, 'crazy farm lady' will talk to anything with four legs and a cute face! Thankfully, the good husband accompanied me on a nice evening walk and saw the whole thing... at first the frightened woodchuck scurried into her hole, and then upon hearing my voice, she peeped out to listen. Unfortunately on the way back, she ignored me!
Oh, and the fox continues to eat her fair share of corn. She is very pretty and peaked out from under the brush at me the other evening! Notice she squints her eyes in the sun...
So, that is about it for now. More busy days ahead but I plan to blog again next week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Just got this award from Paint Girl at Adventures of The Painted Creek Farm! Thank you Paint Girl for thinking of me! I love her blog and read it daily!!! Ok, here are the rules:

The honest scrap award comes with a caveat or two. First, you have to tell your readers 10 things about you they may not already know, but are true. Second, you have to tag 10 people with the award. Third, you have to let the people you've given the award to, know that they've received this award from you. Finally, make sure you link back to the person who awarded you.

1. One of my first memories as a child was in my crib and I was in my grandparents farm house. It was dark, probably early morning. Mom tells me I was in Grammie and Grampie's room. I remember their bed was on my left. I distinctly remember the old fashioned red wallpaper.

2. I, too, always wear socks when in the house. My feet get cold!

3. I played collegiate volleyball, was a setter, and lettered my freshman year.

4. I was a lifeguard and now am paying for all that sun. I just got some spots taken off my face yesterday.

5. If I had lots of money, I would live in Middleburg, Virginia on an old historic farm, and have a second home in Vermont.

6. I love Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She was an avid rider, loved animals, was educated, gorgeous, stylish, an awesome mother and wife and had excellent taste in interior design. Michelle Obama's arms are nothing compared to Jackie's. Jackie is the ultimate first lady and a wonderful person to admire. I love seeing the photos of her with her horses, dogs, and cats. She used to escape to Virginia so she could maintain some privacy. She was a fabulous rider. I named my dog Black Jack (Little Bear's big brother) after her wild dad.

7. I used to have a weekly paper route as a kid and used to shovel snow to make extra money.

8. As kids, we had to play outside all day in the summer. We rarely saw a snake.

9. I love old things...old houses, old furniture, old photos, old trees, historic places, etc.

10. I was always picked in the top five even amongst the boys for kickball teams in grade school.

Ok, now for picking 10 bloggy buddies who might like this award... These blogs are not in any special order whatsoever. Each blog is awesome and worth your click!

1. Gizmo Quilts
2. My Country Blog of This and That
3. Dog Trot Farm
4. Stacy's Random Thoughts
5.Timmy and Friends
6.In the Shadow of Juniper Hill
7. Whimsical Jewelry
8. The Blessed Country Mom
9. NaDa Farm Life With Anne Marie
10.Lilac and Cats

Have fun blog hopping!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Boys Are Back!

My antlered boys don't make a daily appearance this time of year. I was happy to see the ones that showed still looked healthy. The male yearlings, for some reason, have coats that get these grey areas sometimes mixed with white that splatters the golden brown fur. Not sure what that is about, but they all had it last year. The two year olds look great. Bossy, Brownie and Shy One feed almost daily but Brave One is taking a break with the exception of yesterday evening. I saw her this morning in that patch of woods where I looked for her the other day. I knew that was her baby! Glad I was right. I stopped, rolled down the window and yes, the 'crazy farm lady' talked to her...she stood there and watched me. I told her to stop leaving her baby to bake in the sun and to hide it from those dogs. For those of you haven't followed me for long, the deer DO know some words, just like horses. They know their names, they know 'corn', they know 'stop that', 'baby' 'mama', 'its okay' 'careful', etc. I am sure she didn't understand all of my jabbering but what the heck, she knew I was worried about something. Now, if she gets corn again tonight, she will have understood my last sentence...we shall see! : )
Bossy's Boy being dominant.
The boys are always pushing each other off. Such dominance!

See the deer on the right? It is 'hooving' another deer's poor back! When they do that I yell 'stop that!' It is awful to watch. The boys hog the corn piles and do not want others around while they eat.
Brownie's two year old Brave One...looks a lot like her mother. She is the mother of that little tiny fawn that is left to bake in the sun.
Her eye looks so much like Shy One's. Since she lets me get really close, then I know it is Brave One. Deer change so much in appearance. It can be so hard to tell them apart at times.

Beautiful Bossy has a larger left eye than her right. Never noticed that before.
Pretty Bossy visits nightly. She lets me get close to her but not as close as Brownie. They all hopefully will hang out together again once they reach a certain age and are able to eat grass.
Little Cocoa and Nub still feed together.

This is definitely a Long Horn baby. He has the cutest face.

Bossy Boy and Twin decided to lie down and rest while chewing their cud. They probably would have stayed several hours, but I was attacked by a black biting bee 'thing' that caused me to scream while I frantically tried to get it away from me. I managed to swat it to the ground but then couldn't find it to stomp on it....this was not a horse fly (those are huge), nor those brown thin deer I have no clue what it was but they cause the deer to run around and shake them off, too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trying to Trust

When I opened the door to let the dogs out, such warm balmy breezes surrounded me as though we were on the beach! It was amazing! The day began well although we were rudely awakened at 4 a.m. to a big noise! The dogs didn't bark so I wasn't worried. Princess knocked over a large antique pitcher. I got it on Ebay to match my grandmother's dishes...very bad kitty! I couldn't get back to sleep for some time which allowed me to read some blogs and comment.
Jessie was to have a friend over to ride her at 11 a.m. so I went out to unlock the gate and there was that tiny baby fawn in the middle of the meadow again! It wasn't there yesterday all day so I thought the mother somehow regained her senses but I was wrong. I didn't have the camera and it looked up briefly at the noisy Kubota passing by and went back to sleep. On my way towards the house, I was greeted with terror....across from the pond and up the steep hill (pond is a little ways from the First Field where the fawn is) I saw those stray dogs! Thoroughly alarmed, I panicked and shooed the black lab away like a complete idiot. Then the little beagle came running towards me since I have petted it before. The beagle has no collar but the black lab has a nice leather one adorned with a gold heart that I am sure reveals its name and number. I petted the beagle, came to my senses, and called for the black lab to no avail. Coty and Nugget were barking with complete frustration as they could not get close to examine the canine trespasser. Coty would like to attack it. The beagle followed me behind the Kubota (so cute!) towards the house to the edge of the underground fence border. I stopped and hopped out to put the jealous dogs inside hoping the beagle would wait. It didn't. It went back to hunt for the black lab.
What to do? Dogs kill fawns. That is a fact. The good husband told me only a couple of years ago how Black Jack had mauled a fawn and brought it to the yard to eat it. Jessie's friend was on her way, so I quickly grabbed a lead rope and a large stick in case I was to come upon something disastrous. I was ready to lose it. I was very upset. I sped back to the First Field and there was no fawn. The word 'trust' kept popping in my mind. "Just trust that things will be okay". Pretty hard for me to do as I always want to help or avoid something bad. There was no blood and I couldn't hear anything. I prayed the baby was safe and looked around the field towards the creek. Nothing and no signs of the dogs.I had to let it go and get on with Jessie' little friend. A couple of hours passed and after they left I drove back out to lock the gate. No fawn. I decided to stop and walk in the woods to see if I could find any evidence of it or the mother. Nothing again. The woods were nice and cool. Why does the mother deer insist on baking her baby in the brutal sun? I saw a bunch of old leaves that looked like a baby, but no, just leaves. Then I thought, maybe a walk around the Cemetery Paddock might reveal something. I noticed we needed to mow and weed eat again. I saw nothing and turned to go back....
OMG! I passed the tiny thing and was inches from it and didn't see it and didn't hear it!!!! I saw brown next to a post. The baby was napping at the inside edge of the paddock. It looked at me but didn't raise up. I spoke to it of course but kept on walking...Leslie, you mentioned in your comment that you would have petted it had it been you...I had to remain unselfish and not linger or touch. What a gift! I couldn't get good photos as I was scared I might disturb it and I didn't have the long lens, but that is ok. The baby is safe today and I pray it grows up strong and healthy and lives a long life. I am learning to trust...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fawns and Foxes

It was time to quit procrastinating and drive to the equine clinic to get my horses some of their vaccines so Thursday was the day! My appointment was at noon and the clinic is about 20 minutes away. The ponies hadn't been off the farm for several months but they did well. I usually have the vet come but I needed to save the $55 farm fee so I hauled them myself. Diesel is down compared to last year so it was worth it. Besides, the trip gave Jessie and Blue some new visuals and they like seeing other horses.
The good husband's brother came to help garden Tuesday and he was blessed with seeing a newborn fawn in what I call the 'First Field'. The 'First Field' is a little flat spot right next to the woods where the land is first cleared. The baby stumbled and fell a couple of times while trying to run from sound of his motor. The mother was up front headed for the creek. She is a new mother, that I do know. I think it is Brave One unless it is a deer that I am not familiar with. I was so envious as the good husband reported seeing a larger fawn by the cemetery whom I know was Bossy's new fawn. Everyone got to see the babies before me! Not fair! (yes, I am whining!)
So, on the way out, I always look in that field...and I first saw....hmmm, looks like it could be a bunch of old leaves, but it might be something else! I began to get excited. I was running a little late, but there was no way I was going to pass this up....I grabbed the camera and hopped out of the truck.
Oh, no, it didn't move! I hope it isn't dead! As I got closer I could see a groggy eyelid slowly open. The tiny baby ignored me. I didn't dare get any nearer as I was only 15 feet away but I bet I could have petted it. I hurried off to the trailer and proceeded down the lane.

The horses did well. Jessie is an old pro and just stood there. Blue was going to get his sheath cleaned so he was sedated first. No bean! He hasn't been cleaned for two years so that is good. The vet told me some geldings develop a bean quickly and have to be cleaned every few months or a urinary tract infection might develop.

I do not give all of the vaccines at once as I think that is a bit excessive for a horse's system. So, all we did was EWT (which has three vaccines in the injection... East and West Enceph and Tetanis), West Nile and Rabies. They each got blood pulled for Coggins and Blue is having a CBC and an Insulin/Glucose panel done as his sugar was high in October 2008. He is such an easy keeper! He could live on air. We still have intranasal Strangles and Influenza and then Pheumabort K by injection. We will complete those in a couple of weeks.

On the way out of the clinic, the three mothers and their babies wanted to see Jessie and Blue so I stopped and talked to the cuties and snapped their photos. Beautiful animals!
I was worried about that fawn. Why would a mother leave her baby so exposed? This has not happened since we have been on the farm. I was worried that she might have gotten run over as this area is closer to the road and near that curve where I found that other deer. I called another vet friend. Thankfully he told me that this is common and that many times the hay makers run over the fawns as they are hidden in the fields. That is awful! But, my field is mowed like a lawn so there is nothing to hide this baby! He went on to explain that fawns have no scent so they are not easily found by predators. I knew that. (Big Black Jack, Little Bear, Nugget and Devil Dog found fawns and ate them). Thank heavens for the electronic collars and I pray those stray dogs that chase my deer stay away.On the way back the baby was still there. Thankfully its breathing rhythms lessened as the sun was hidden by clouds and it was a bit cooler. The baby had changed position. I snapped another photo and quickly left. No mother in sight. I had another commitment that evening and quickly finished all of the barn chores including spreading corn piles for the deer. On the way out, I saw no deer but got to see two foxes! I think this is a baby on the left as the mother raised up when she saw me stop and take her photo. So cute! Daddy Cat was at the edge near the driveway, watching them eat. He then ran down to the barn upon hearing my car. I was wondering why he was up there as he usually stays in the barn or at the entrance doors. I am very happy that I finally got to see that fawn and was blessed with seeing those foxes as well. Hopefully their bellies will be full so they leave the baby fawns alone (and my bunnies)! Oh, and the baby in the First Field was gone so young mother deer decided to feed it and keep it safe!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Painful Progress

The arena needed some tweaking before the final layer of sand. All the white areas carried water after the rains so the leveling and rolling wasn't up to par. This was disappointing especially after spending a lot of money but I guess this stuff truly is difficult to work with so the next best thing was to get some limestone dust, haul it in my truck and do it myself. Yesterday was a nice day, so something told me to do it and I did! Uggh, what a job it turned out to be for little ole' me!

It doesn't look like it, but that is 1.80 tons of wet limestone dust minus a bit that I already shoveled out. This was very hard manual labor but there was no other choice. It was useless to hire the big bulldozer again since nobody can really judge how the dust lays to prevent puddling. Plus I saved some money and since I was so sore from the day before (began lifting with a trainer) I was hoping this work would help rid the lactic acid build up in my poor arms.

It was hot and miserable, but little by little. the truck bed emptied.

Finally! When I got to this point I was very happy. Almost done! Still had a lot of work to do, like even out the areas and pack them down....and had to spray the truck out. This stuff hardens fast! The rains were coming, so no rest for the weary.

There were so many 'white' areas to fill! All of those areas puddled after the heavy rains. Most of the work is on the left side.

All finished shoveling the limestone dust out of the truck bed. Now I need to pack it in. This photo doesn't show all the little areas that I worked on and the view is from the opposite end.

The rain pounded down on the farm last night. I was worried since I didn't get to pack all of the areas as I was just too exhausted, but looks like the rain did some of that for me. I did put a call into the excavator for him to come for an hour with the roller. Who knows when that will be, but hopefully soon.

This was a small area that I did not 'fix' so compared to the other areas, I am pleased that no puddling occurred resulting from all of my efforts.
This little 'run off' place definitely needs to be reworked and rolled. I also need to surround the entire area with railroad ties. Put a call in today so we shall see! Eventually this will be completed! Please!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Corn Critters

The word has spread to all corners of the farm. Corn! "That human that has those two horses and those silly cats, feed the deer corn...lets get some too!" Funny, they all take turns at their favorite corn pile. There is an exception, a fat and furry critter would like to hog it all, but usually the deer will win out and the small critters must wait their turn.
Beautiful Brownie is usually the first along with her family.
But the birds beat her to it since they are so close.
Brownie likes a variety in the summer.
Little Cocoa shares some kernels with Brave One.
Wow, what is a red squirrel doing out this late? That is a big squirrel!!
Whoops! That is nooo squirrel! It is baby time! The fox only shows up this close when she has babies. Last year, she was within 10 feet of Callie which drove Jessie crazy! The foxes usually leave the cats alone. Guess they have an understanding.

"That human is gettting too close!"
Now look who arrived! No kidding, this raccoon made its appearance within minutes after the fox scurried away.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but it was getting dark. This brave coon tried to nip some of the young deer's ankles. Eventually Brownie chased it away.

And then of course the big boys, Bossy' Boy and Twin, chase everyone away.

This is Little Bear's 'favorite television show'... If she could, she would eat every single visitor at that corn pile! Thank you electronic shock collar!

The last one to take a nibble is my resident bunny. Good bunny for hiding. One night, bunny and raccoon were within a few feet of eachother eating a late dinner! That night was the first time the raccoon let me see it! Now it has become brave and comes out at dusk...