Monday, July 25, 2011

The fair, the fair. Ponds, arbor and of course, turkeys!

The air was charged with excitement at our house Saturday morning! We had an outing planned to attend the Weld County Fair, it was to be our first fair here in Colorado since moving here 2 years ago. With all of our fair going finery on and camera in tow, we headed out the door. We arrived at the fairgrounds in Greeley at around 1000 am. Nary a soul was to be seen. We saw some folks going into a dog show, and also saw a horse show going on at one end of the fairgrounds, but the parking lot was empty, we did get one of the best parking spots however, I must say. We wondered around some and finally found a fair official, and he said that this was the "pre fair" and that the real fair started on Wednesday. Hmmmmmmm. Pre fair? what rock have we been hiding under? I should have guessed it by the top of the fair booklet.

Oh well. We re planned this outing for Wednesday, now we can really have something to look forward to again!

Pond doings.
I heard a tinkling at the front door, and just saw the start of the hail, but no rain yet. I ran out to the barn and let the male alpacas into their shelter from the pasture. I was almost in the house and it started raining in earnest, and I was hit a few times by nickel size hail. Last night we received 1.3 inches of rain. Here is a picture of the ponds whilst it was down pouring. You can see the sparkle of the hail.

I was worried about the garden from the hail, but this morning all was well. A little bit of our Swiss Chard had holes, but everything else seems to have weathered the storm OK. Here is some of our garden pictured.
Since Mother Nature obliged and softened the ground somewhat, I dug the last post hole for my arbor, and leveled all four posts and got the first part of the lattice up.

It is in the 90's right now, and humid, but I can't wait until tomorrow morning to get the other side of the arbor done, and the roof started. The peak of the roof will have lattice work on it. Can't wait. When I start a project, or am planning one, I am obsessed with it, and think about it all night, in the middle of the night, until I get it done. Then I can start on my bridge over the ponds. Here is a picture of the bridge I plan on building. I spotted in while travelling the back roads of Nunn.

Ma and Pa turkey, cooling off under Dennis pigeon kit boxes.

Three of their offspring which were hatched out April 20Th.
This past week we sold 6 turkeys to other turkey enthusiasts. But not to worry, we have plenty more.

Another pond flower.

Wild ditch flower on my way to the mailbox this afternoon.
Guineas hunting grasshoppers! Way to go Guineas!

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monsoon, July 4TH, Grandsons visit.

I should have read the warning signs, I know better than that. Casey the 14 year old lab was hiding in her bed, panting and shivering at the same time, with her eyes all buggy, Bear was hiding in the shelter with the males alpacas, doing the same. The Koi in my pond were stacked up on the south side, where the wind was headed, ravenous,begging for food. Any good fisherman worth their salt knows, that the best time to catch fish is right before the storm hits. The grey ominous clouds were gathering, boom, boom, boom the sound of thunder! And finally, I had just washed my vehicle!!!!All heralding the return of the Monsoon rains! After the storm, the feed stacks up where the wind has churned up the feed from the bottom of the lake, or pond, in my case. And the fish won't bite, as they have eaten their fill on what is called "Walleye Chop", well on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota anyway.

Speaking of fishing, here are some pictures of Dennis and Ryan's fishing trip last weekend up to Long's Peak.
Dennis said it took them 2 hours and 40 minutes to hike up to one of Ryan's favorite spots. About 1/2 hour less to come back down again, they had strong icy winds, had to strip down to just T-shirts for some of the trip, and had some rainy slippery rocks to traverse. But they each got their limit of wild Brook trout.

Boy, are the boys tired today!

It has been raining on and off for days now, but not much to soak into the ground. Always happens when we are getting ready to go out and do chores. Just enough humidity to make us and the animals miserable. I am having a harder time with monsoon here in Colorado, vs Arizona, as I am having all these dog gone hot flashes. When the storms start collecting in the late afternoon, the super charged air gets two of my dogs into hiding. I don't need a weather man, all I have to do is look for the dogs, they can tell us hours before the storms hit. Last night we got a good soaker of almost 1/2 inch in less than two hours. Hardly anything to concern ones self with by Minnesota standards, but much needed here on the scorched Colorado grasslands.

Our grandson, Brady was here for a week starting July 4TH. I had the family here for a barbecue, the food was good I even made potato salad from scratch, not the store bought ready made stuff. I knew all my ingredients. And the weather cooperated. Little Lily was as cute as ever and stole the show of course, walking all over the place now.

That evening, Dennis and I took Brady to a hill just outside of Wellington to view the fire works, on the old Nunn road. Now I have not been to fireworks for about 15 years or so, and I can honestly say that these were some of the best works I have ever seen. But alas, I forgot my camera. So will have to go back next year. Hope that I can stay up that late again. My mind was at home, worrying about what the animals thought of all the commotion. From our hill we could see Fort Collins, Greeley and Windsor fireworks.

This past weekend, we took Brady to Eaton days, for a parade,
barbecue in the park, and vendors selling their wares. No pictures of Brady as he is at that age where he doesn't want to draw attention to himself. So, I obliged him, which is not my norm. Some other highlights when he was here, he helped me start my arbor, we got 3 1/2 holes dug between the rains and the 90 degree scorchers. Here is a start.
Picture this, redwood lattice on both sides, a peaked open roof to match the house, windows and wishing well, with 2x2's 6 inches apart on top of the framed roof, to grow vines and house birds, and shelter from the sun. Or a stopping place, as we run from the barn to the house, during those summer rains. But the beauty will be how this arbor frames the garden pond from the west, or frames the animal shelter from the east.

Brady also helped with chores around the farm, and never wants to live on one. They always say, no learning is ever wasted. The only salvation for him was his computer, cell phone, and XBox. But I tried to curb these activities. While we were digging, I told Brady to stop and just look and listen to all the beauty around him. He said he could not see anything, so I pointed out the still snow capped Rocky Mountains. I hope I never loose sight at what is so beautiful. Was nice to have a teenager around for all our excess goat milk, now I guess that I will have to start making cheese again.
My little Bambi, looking through the slats of a feeder we made.
We are always revising feeders, trying to find the best type to keep feed in the feeders, and goat feet out. It is a never ending process.
Here is a water lily blooming in my pond.
And also a Floating Heart Flower.

Bear, our Livestock Guard Dog, always has a bunch of young turkeys following him around. Here he is lying in the shade of the chicken coop, and a few of the turkeys cluster around them. They are craning their necks to get a good look at me with my camera.

A table runner that I made, for my quilt club.

So have been very busy these past couple of weeks. The new sheep are settling in nicely, and have figured out that no one is going to eat them. They are still in quarantine yet for another couple of weeks.

Will publish more pictures of the arbor in process, weather permitting.

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