Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Deer Norman


The other night while we out the field past the "ears" field (marked by logs positioned like ears), we ran into "deer" Norman. I was so excited to see him with his new antlers and still in velvet. He looks handsome as ever, and he's sweet as ever too. His antlers from last year which I have in the livingroom are just first year spikes. He's going to be a gorgeous buck. It's so much fun watching him grow up.

Catching up


I figured it was about time I updated our blog. I really need to write more often.... we have so many stories to share. In the spring, between my having surgery, and the arrival of 23 rabbits, 16 of whom needed to be bottle fed, and several other unexpected events, I forgot to take the time to write in our blog.
Summer on our farm is actually not the busiest time of year. Spring and fall are our busiest seasons by far. Living out in the forest, the bugs are terrible, between the mosquitoes, and deer flies alone, not to mention the black flies, working outside is not fun. Neither of us are summer people. I enjoy the heat, as long as I am just lying out in it with a good book and a good drink! However we accomplished a lot. In the spring we got our barn completed. Now that the weather is cooling, we just need to paint it, and finish the stalls inside. All of our rabbits except for the house rabbits have moved up there and are enjoying their new space. We also now have a great space for storing hay and all my grain, saddles, halters, leads, and etc. Kevin is happy to have his workshop back (or at least most of it.) We also got a lot of work done on the house, and some fencing. Aside from all the regular chores.
Now that fall is arriving, we are at our busiest. There is so much to be done while the weather is good. I have been working away the past week getting all our preserves ready, and I'm just getting started. Pickles, Peaches, relish, jams, jellies, corned beef, pickled eggs, red pepper jelly, veggies, soups... so many things to put up for our winter food supply. And tonight we went out and marked trees that will help keep us warm this winter. Now is the easiest time to spot the dead trees in the forest. Soon we will begin harvesting them.
In the spring we also added a new member to our family... a Great Pyrenees puppy I named Max. He is now 6 months old. He is doing such a great job and has bonded well with the sheep - and even the rabbits. He is still a pup, but showing great potential and is a super dog - and so smart. He is already doing a great job of keeping predators away. Not even smaller trouble makers have been in my barn after the rabbits or grain with Max on the job.
The other animals are doing well. In June, we said a sad farwell to our smallest Prairie dog, Snuggles. He has not been well since their arrival a year ago this October. But he did improve over the winter and early spring. Since we do not know much about their past or their ages it's so hard to tell, but we know for sure he was not a young Pdog. We miss him terribly. Thankfully, Chip and Dale are learning to get along. Snuggles definately was the caretaker of the group and it has taken some time for them to get used to his not being there anymore. Jackson the miniature horse believes he should be allowed to come into the house whenever he pleases, and Hilda the Pygmy goat has figured out how to get out of her pen. However she just runs to the gate and cries to get back in when she does. I know I will be exhausted on the time winter sets in, but that's always positive since by then I will welcome winter and the quieter days. I am looking forward to fall and winter hiking, having our deer friends back around more often, and getting some writing done.
For the past three days, a wild hen turkey has been following Jackson around. I'm not sure why - but she has really taken to him. Either that -or she thinks if she sticks with him, she'll find treats to eat.

The coyotes have been causing some trouble, but not much. Lots of bear sign around - they sure enjoyed the black berries this summer!
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