Sunday, June 26, 2011

They're hereeeeee! And ramblings on a Sunday morning!

We received the call at 3AM. I had told him that he would probably have to call 2-3 times to rouse us from our slumber, as we are both hard of hearing. But not so this AM. I jumped up with the first ring. It was time to get our things and drive to Cheyenne Wyoming to pick them up. I was hoping that I would remember to bring my camera, but it was forgotten in our haste to get out the door, so alas the hand off will not be in pictures. It seemed to take forever to drive that 30 miles. I could just feel all the watchful eyes on us, from a multitude of antelope, as we made our way north on highway 85 under the nights veil, with only the splattering of stars overhead, and our headlights to light the way. A lonely drive and a road not well travelled at this time of morning anyway.
When we arrived in Cheyenne, we had to wait about 10 minutes for the transporter to arrive with our 4 Katahdin hair sheep lambs. He had a double decker Featherweight aluminum trailer, built for speed, easy towing and animal comfort. The lambs were in the upper deck. I climbed up on the back of our pick up, and peered inside to a sea of black heads, and milling bodies, "baas" coming from above and below. I suppose trying to keep track of their herd mates. But ours were easy to spot, they had tails! That is one of the appealing attributes of these sheep. No docking tails, no disbudding horns and parasite resistance. Who-hoo!
So the birth of Idars Katahdins, along with Nubian goats and alpacas has begun! We are excited, as we have been waiting almost a year for these sheep. Pete, our future herdsire is on the right, you can see that he is a bit larger and more masculine looking that the 3 girls.
The new sheep have been clustered together pretty tight, as sheep will do.

Poultry happenings.
This is the second day we have let our 2 month old turkeys free range. We had to let them get used to the surroundings for awhile first. Here is 6 of the 9 that we have.

Water garden update.
I bought pond plants, and the first night, LuLu ate the 4 water hyacinths that we had. The chickens also trimmed up the grass type plants. Luckily, no one can reach the water lilies. I bought a red and a yellow lily. The water is a little murky yet, I have a filter, but need to get a pump yet. The 5 koi are in the pond and loving the space, I feed them every night as dusk, so peaceful to see them surfacing, I just love to sit beside the pond and just watch them. (As I fight off the advances of the dogs.) We found a fellow who does custom bridges, and that is on our list next, to see if one would work for our pond. We are hoping that this little area in front of our house will be a bird, butterfly, and bee sanctuary.

Speaking of ponds, Dennis and Ryan went fishing at 8am, up in the Rocky Mountains, hoping to catch that elusive trout, so not much rest for Dennis today.

Girlie things.
And I will be alone all day, to do girlie things, so no time for napping. I have a few projects in the sewing room calling out my name. This is a quilt that I am making for my daughter, you can see that it is all pinned together and just waiting to be quilted. The colors of this quilt are brown, purple and sage green, a little bit off in the picture, as the lighting was not the best in the basement, where my hide away sewing room is located.
And who can't use one of these! Another clutter catcher, a pattern I got from one of my quilt clubs. There are pockets on the inside to store all my sewing essentials. This was very difficult to make, the binding around the bottom edge, really gave me trouble. Had to rip it out and redo twice.

A stow away from our years of living in Arizona perhaps? This is our front flower garden. We finally have the post and rail fence around it. Dennis had to whittle down some of the rails to get it to fit just right. He did a very good job!

The end, or should I say, their ends. Speaking of which, before I purchased these lambs, one of my criteria was wide back ends and straight legs. The reason for the width between their legs is for more capacious udder to feed babies.

More later...............................

Monday, June 20, 2011

Denver Zoo, ponds, and weather

We went to the Denver zoo on the 11Th of June. Ryan asked us to be at his place early, so we could get an early start. Early????I thought that we would be done with the zoo by early afternoon and have the rest of the day to do something else. Not so, this zoo is on 80 acres, by 4pm we were scurrying to see the last few exhibits. And boy were we beat. It was a nice cool day however, few showers on and off, but not enough to hinder us at all. They are also adding on to the zoo, a large Asian Tropics area.I think that I remember seeing that the new addition will cost 50 million. Here are some of the highlights of our zoo adventure.

And my personal favorite was the lorikeet enclosure. All the birds were flying free, and would come up to you and feed nectar out of a little Dixie cup. All the birds were so colorful and all different.

The ponds are in!!!!

We hired someone to dig the holes to set our ponds into. They did an excellent job, and they are even level. We have had them full of water for a week now, and put our 5 Koi in a few days ago. I am going to Fort Collins in the morning to buy some pond plants. This fall, we will transport the perennial plants and bushes around the ponds. We hope to build a walk bridge, and put it over where the two ponds meet, to shade the fish. And we will also train them to come for food there. Lily should have fun with that.

Goat herd on pasture.

Katahdin Hair sheep coming!!!
We are expecting our 4 new Katahdin hair sheep to come to us this weekend. It has been a long wait for us, but worth the wait.

Our weather report today!!!June 20TH.
Thank God it is summer tomorrow!
We took a trip to Greeley to purchase pea gravel to abandon our old well per code. We need to fill a 500 foot, 6 inch wide pipe with pea gravel, and then put concrete, 5 feet or so at the top to fill the last of the pipe. Well anyway, it is so cold here, that I had on 3 layers, a tee shirt, a sweatshirt, and on top of that a polar fleece jacket. Oie vei!!! And I thought that I could remove my winter survival gear. Alas, Dennis was in shorts and sandals. Good day for manual labor for Dennis, I would think.

Lily, Ryan and Julie, at the end of the day at the Denver Zoo.

More later............................................

Monday, June 6, 2011

Carbon foot print. They're back!

I'm late! I just logged on another 365 days to the 20,075 days, making my accumulated days 20,440 on this planet, my carbon foot print so to speak. Oh, here is my carbon footprint.

For all you folks in Arizona, the green stuff is grass, so cool and refreshing to ones bare feet. Remember the good old days, the feel and smell of fresh cut grass.I looked back on my writing a year ago, and I am still doing the same things. Post hole digging, painting, getting the farm up and running. Here are some pictures of the painting I did the other day, I painted three feeders, here is Timmy and Chester, by their freshly painted feeder.

and 2 dog houses that we put up on stilts to house our years crop of turkeys chickens, and guineas.

It took me about 6 hours to do them, and I did get a little burned. I have been watching craigslist for used dog kennels, and added another one to make a nice turkey run, until the turkeys are smart enough to stay home, and not get killed. Dennis was reading somewhere that the # 1 thing that turkeys do is try to get themselves killed. In other words, not too bright.
You have to do things when the getting is good around here, as the weather may turn bad. Just a week ago we were having cold rainy weather, now we are having record breaking heat up in the 90's. We still need to get some sun shades put up for the arrival of our new flock of Katahdin hair sheep.

They're back.
Miller Moths that is. But they are not going to be as numerous as they were last year. They are the moth stage of the army worm. Usually when I turn on the water, or outside faucets, 5-6 moths will fall out, or if you open a screen door, you are inundated by flying moths.
These are big juicy moths, believe me, I have squished my fair share of them. I saw on National Geographic a piece on Grizzly bears and it is reported that when they come out of hibernation, a favorite food for them is Miller moths, and they can consume upwards of 80,000 of these a day, they are very high in protein.

Peacocks, running across our back pasture, early one morning. their erie call is heard daily at our place.
When our new neighbors moved in last year, they took their peacocks, however they got out and have been wondering the neighborhood since, finding another roosting spot at a nearby neighbors horse barn.

Ryan and Dennis were able to escape the heat of the prairie and go up in the mountains to do some trout fishing. They caught their limit. Here is Ryan with one of the trout they caught, he always seems to catch the biggest and the most fish every time we go fishing with him. He is keeping us well fed with trout.

Our beautiful Tom turkey at dusk.

More later..............................................................