Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This Post Is For The Birds

This post began as a general farm post until I noticed that every photo involved birds in some way. The fantail pigeons are successfully raising another couple of squabs. They were just a few days old when I took this photo:

All the fantail pigeons seem happy and healthy:

The bantams run out to see the cows when I first let them out in the morning:

Only a couple of the pigeons have been going outside, but their numbers have been increasing. I've noticed that they usually only go out in the morning, when the weather and the metal roof are not yet too hot:

And sometimes the pigeons and chickens hang out together:

And speaking of hot metal roofs:

A rare sight - six fantail pigeons, all the way up on the barn roof:

Here are those same two babies, just a few days older than the first photo:

A regular barnyard assembly, this photo taken from my back porch:

The chickens don't miss an inch of the mowed part of the property. In this case, they were searching for bugs and other edibles in the front yard:

And speaking of birds, I was on the riding mower along the side of the road when a brown bird flushed out and fluttered about three feet away. Afraid I'd injured a bird, I got out to investigate. It turned out to be a baby Snipe, or Woodcock:

He was a cute little fella (or girl), but clearly not happy to see me. Snipes are not often seen, and even less often seen this closely. I was glad it wasn't hurt and grateful to have had such a close view of a special wild bird:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Fort Jackson Town Park - Part 2

The dogs and I were walking in the forest and exploring the shoreline of the St. Regis River in the Fort Jackson town park (see Part 1, yesterday):

The trail was peaceful and cool in the shade. It was quite hot out in the sun:

Wonderful ferns grew along the trail:

And Daphne loved going out into the water at every opportunity:

I discovered these berries but couldn't remember what they were until I got home and looked them up. They were Jack-In-The-Pulpit:

Clover and Daphne were not playing or kissing here, they were both grazing on grass like little Holsteins:

And Seamus was looking quite handsome in his new haircut and thinner body. He's dropped from 147 to 111 pounds on his new diet:

This was a magical place to be on a quiet afternoon:

Like a scene from a fairy tale:

It's a wonderful thing to have such a beautiful, natural spot just a couple of miles from home:

We were almost back to the picnic area:

I saw that another car had pulled in up ahead, so I put the dogs on leashes as we got to the picnic area. A couple was preparing to do some fishing in the St. Regis River. But for us, the afternoon excursion was over and we headed home:

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fort Jackson Town Park - Part 1

I took the dogs down the road one hot afternoon for a hike in the Fort Jackson town park. We began where the lovely Big Hollow Brook emptied into the St. Regis River:

I intended to walk up the banks of the brook, just to see where it went, but I was unable to navigate the rocks because of my leg braces. So we had a change of plans:

Instead, we walked across the picnic area to the trail in the forest, all of it along the banks of the St. Regis River:

The trail took us beside the river:

Rock hopping has become both difficult and risky for me because of my awkward leg braces, but little Clover had no such problem:

Seamus didn't even bother with rocks. He loves the water:

It was a pleasant walk in the forest, with the St. Regis River by our side. It was tough on the camera, though, which didn't know what setting to use because of the variety of lighting conditions. I had to take lots of photos and then delete most of them when I got home:

Seamus and Clover walked ahead to sniff for interesting things:

The dogs were overly excited and I had to keep reining them in. But they still had fun:

Jack tried his hand (paw) at rock hopping. There are lots of new experiences for this little shelter rescue:

The dogs ran and played. I just plodded along, taking pictures:

We arrived at private property and turned back. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cows And Calves, Calves And Cows

The calves are growing at an amazing rate. That's Annie on the left, nursing from her mom, Violet. Annie was born on March 27 and is more than half the size of her mother already:

Most of the cows will take apples from my hand now but they are so big, pushy and persistent that I now just dump the apples on the ground. That's for my own protection:

I walked clear across the field one morning to find the herd, and they all walked out from under the trees to see what I was up to:

Little Merlin has finally been tattooed and ear tagged. He's the fastest growing calf of them all. Luckily, he's also a gentle soul:

I took lots of calf pictures to use on the farm website, advertising them for sale. Here's a photo of Loretta (#7) and Gladys (#6):

Merlin, already looking like the sturdy little bull he is:

Little Pearl is the youngest, so will always be the smallest. And her mom, Scarlett, is the smallest in the herd:

Here's a better picture of Gladys, this one showing the milk all over her face from nursing:

Annie, already so big that she sometimes looks like an adult as she mixes in with the herd:

I quit giving the herd any grain in the evenings. Instead, I carry out a bucket of apples every afternoon. Can you tell that they're eagerly anticipating them?

And when they get their apples, they don't exactly eat with daintiness:

That's Gladys, chewing on a big, red apple:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Moody Tree Farm - Part 3

I wrapped up my tour of Moody Tree Farm's Adirondack and Christmas themed gift shop by making several purchases. I was told it was OK to walk around the grounds, taking pictures and seeing the animals, so out I went:

I walked over to the horse barn:

But the horse barn was empty:

I found two extremely friendly goats:

And a bit of Christmas tree farm, though most of their commercial production, I had read, was done in fields down the road:

I walked over to the horse pens, where a friendly horse and miniature horse were grazing. The big horse came over to be petted. There were other animals, including a donkey, in a farther pen but I didn't get close to them:

Seeing another barn, I began walking that direction:

A sign announced that this was the pig barn:

And indeed, two colorful and friendly swine greeted me inside:

I mostly wanted a closer look at the Texas Longhorns, but they were far off in a field, unmoved from when I'd first arrived. But they were near a fence along the road, so I drove over to visit them. They were alert and curious, but not enough so to stand up and come over to the fence. They are beautiful animals, but I've already had my experience with long-horned cattle and now prefer my Red Polls. This was my last stop at Moody Tree Farms, but I bet I'll be back again before Christmas: