Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fans for You, and You, and You, and Me

It's just not summer unless you hear the hum of a fan or two in the background.  And feel the circulating air dry the perspiration after mowing the lawn (or pasture).  

I guess it's because when I grew up, there was no air conditioning in the house for years. Dad would put the box fan in the bedroom window at night to help cool things down.  When we did leap into the world of cool air, we depended on window units, the noisy buggers.

Anyway, fans serve many purposes around here.

Cooling off donkeys and helping to keep the nasty nasty biting flies at bay is pretty important.

For that purpose we use an old metal box fan.  

For the record, I am oh so partial to metal fans.

I try to aim the air right at the hay rack so as they eat, they feel the benefits.

Because Rick insulated the chicken coop, and it has cross ventilation, the heat does not build up too badly for the girls.

 insulation on 3 walls 

But, because I like to feel fan air blowing on me, I assume the chickens feel the same way, right?

So they have their own fan too.












And at night I've started putting it in the coop window.  Like father, like daughter.

Sadly the chicken fan is plastic and the small one sitting in the dining room, primarily for the dogs is plastic.
I can't show you my favorite fan.  A brushed copper tall floor fan that sits in the doorway of the sunroom, directed into the living room.  If I took a picture of that fan, you'd see the mess behind it, and that just won't do.

Sometimes I have a fan or two going in the house even when the AC is on.  I just need my fans.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Gang Hits Sleepy Town

I have run into a gang of hooligans.  Moderately malicious but not terribly violent.  Troublemakers to the core.

It's a gang of two.  Their escapades develop in broad daylight.  Yes, they are bold.

I have observed that the ringleader changes...with the wind.

And here you have it.
The "do-anything-to-get-the lid-off-the-garbage-can-holding-the-grain-and-tip-it-over" gang.

I was able to sneak up on their most recent malicious adventure and record the beginnings of mayhem.

You can see the nonchalance with which they approach the targeted can.  They are wily devils.  This is in broad daylight remember.  Thank goodness there were no weapons involved.

And, bingo, contact has been made.
At this point I was unsure whether to call the authorities, but refrained for fear of retribution from the gang members afterward.

But I now have the evidence, in safekeeping.

The moral of the story:  please, please safeguard your grain-filled garbage cans.  These marauders can get desperate.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fragility

I'm realizing how the loss of Alice, Francesca, Emmy Lou and Dottie in a short period of time has caused me to be aware of the fragility of life on a daily basis.  Every day when letting the chickens out for their free-range time, I tell them to be careful and I anxiously count heads when I call for their return to the coop.  I need four to return.

So, let's tell the girls how special they are.





My confession is this.  I would be heartbroken if something happened to Sweet Pea.

She is my #1 helper during morning chores, following around the donkey yard.  And chatting the whole time.  Actually it's the only way I can tell the difference between her and Buffy.  Sweet Pea is full of talk, talk, talk.  The few times she's been in the coop in a nesting box during morning chores, the silence has been deafening.











  




This little girl is actually quite full of personality, but instead of "helper" I'd term Jo "the snack queen".  In the mornings, as soon as I open the big door to the coop, out they all rush to do some early exploring.  But sure as shootin', Jo will rush back to see if any snacks have been distributed.  Often she's so anxiouson,  she'll sit in the snack bowl.  I have to lift her out and explain that doesn't really expedite the process.









Ruby Dee is one of the two remaining original girls (the other is Sweet Pea).  Ruby used to be my helper but apparently relinquished the position for reasons unknown to me.  And she does tend to whine.

On a recent morning instead of throwing them banana, they got nice juicy blueberries.  Ruby checked one out and just looked at me.  Clearly that blue thing wasn't a banana.

Her other idiosyncracy.  Pecking feet.  Sandaled feet.  Although (knock on wood) it hasn't happened recently.  when it does I tend to first yelp and secondly yell out "Ruby Dee, knock it off!!"  From the look on her face, I know she knows.









This is Buffy.  I dare you to differentiate between Buff and Sweet Pea.

Buffy is the loner and, although has been with my crew for two years, is still somewhat skittish.  Jo, on the other hand, has been here for two months and feels right at home.





OK, readers.  On the count of three, remind everyone 
Stay Safe, Please!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring Babies

If you drove up to our home, you might look askance at the "beauty" of a Christmas wreath still hanging.  Your left eyebrow might raise in a quizzical look as you turned to say "Why?"


It used to be a beauty, but it's luster has faded.
And yet it remains, because...


Two robins selected that innovative location to build their spring nest.  A few weeks ago we would have disrupted the eggs if the wreath had been disturbed and now, we would disrupt the babes.

Look carefully, and you'll see a beak and a head.  We think there is at least one more young 'un in there, but Rick was perched on a ladder trying to get a peek so we're not entirely sure about the full brood.

So, it will stay Christmas at our house for a bit longer.  And that's fine with us.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Goodbye to Emmy Lou

If I were to be totally honest about what's going on at our little farm, I would have bad news yet again.  Seems like it's been a steady stream of bad news on the blog.

Emmy Lou has been going steadily downhill the past few days.  After some chicken health sleuthing, I had hopes of bringing her around, but it's not to be.  Today I've been determining the most humane means of euthanasia.

Just went out to check on her and I can't believe she'll last the night.

I'm not sure I'll ever get used to this death business.

 Emmy Lou on the right


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When A Donkey Has A Darn Scratch

Carpenter extraordinaire in this house performed his magic again.
And voila, a scratching post for two donkeys.


I will assure you, Luigi and Gabby find it a most useful addition to the donkey yard.


The bare naked version (without donkeys)


Now when I roll the manure wheelbarrow in for the morning clean-up, Luigi does not attack it with a passion and rub and rub and rub.  
He has the real deal.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Faces at SASHA Farm Sanctuary

Last month friend Bev and I returned to our regularly scheduled trips to SASHA Farm Sanctuary as volunteers, feeding and watering and doing whatever other chores might be needed.  Some days I just don't take the time to capture photos of sweet faces, but this last visit seemed the right time for a few snaps.

Let me introduce you.

Little June is the newest addition to the big pigs, also the smallest and definitely my favorite.  Her personality is strong -- she's pushy for food but absolutely fun-loving.  She wants to play and will immediately come running as you walk into the pig area.  All in all a cutie.

Herman the boar is not as social but oh so distinctive.  

Don't quote me, but I think this is Daniel.  He was very attentive as I walked back and forth attending the pigs.  No other cows were nearby except this sweet boy.  He accepted a few head rubs and I was sorry I had no treats at that moment for him.

Norman, in the foreground, is definitely high on my list of cuties.  When I have carrots to dispense, I always seek out this boy.  I believe he's a donkey but could be a mix.

Sweet Fearless is infirm and gets a special bed in the kitchen.  He's a glutton for loving but you need to keep an eye on him as his hearing, sight and mobility are all an issue.

  And then there are the goats.  What goofs.

Great yoga poses...

 These emus are in with the chickens.  When I dumped the small wading pool in their area to clean and refill, they adored the pool of water left behind and settled down for a good soak.

SASHA is a great place to get your critter fix.