Sunday, January 31, 2016

Around The Farm

It's been a long, cold winter so far, though not as cold as most winters - and it's only half over. The fantail pigeons have stayed indoors and begun pairing up for the coming springtime:

If all twenty of them begin raising babies, I'll have too many this year and have to sell some:

The cows seem to thrive in the cold temperatures, at least as long as it stays above zero:

And the water in their stock tank has been kept thawed by an immersion heater. On really cold days, the water actually steams:

We had two days when it seemed so warm that I let the chickens out. They were unsure about the whole thing and some (possibly the smart ones) stayed inside. Those who ventured outside looked confused:

The hens came to the edge of the door and looked out at all the snow. They didn't know what to do:

This little hen dared to come outside but her feet were cold and she kept squatting down on them to keep them warm:

But eventually a small contingent ventured as far as the bird feeders. Getting them back indoors at the end of the day, however, was tricky. I had to herd them up the snowbanks and in through their door using a leaf rake:

We had enough snow melt for windfall apples to reappear, and lots of wild animals left tracks in the snow as they dined on them:

I got a cast iron Holstein doorstop at a secondhand store and put it atop a lamp stand:

Every morning after a light snow, I'd find bird tracks everywhere:

I had what I thought was a brilliant idea to put all the hay bales up in the hayloft next year. But I had to try it first, to see if it was possible. I picked up a bale and tried putting it in through the hayloft door. It would have fit, though just barely, but the tractor couldn't get it quite high enough. I may try building a ramp there next summer. The icebound hay bales are a real problem during the winter and keeping them in the hayloft would help - assuming, of course, that the floor could hold that much weight:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

County Route 47 In The Town Of Stockholm, New York - Part 2

I was on a driving tour of County Route 47 in the town of Stockholm (see also Part 1, posted yesterday) and enjoying the rural scenery. Two palomino horses looked comfortable behind the white fencing at this place and I sure liked their horse barn:

A seriously useful looking barn with a winter supply of hay bales under cover:

A classic looking old farm house:

A historic barn:

This home looked both large and historic:

A bright red barn:

A series of weathered wood barns:

A log home:

A very modern farm operation with many barns and a silo. I could hear machinery operating but couldn't determine what kind:

Another view of the above farm:

A classic farm house:

I turned off of County Route 47 when I got to this abandoned old home. I sure would have enjoyed exploring inside it but didn't want to trespass. This was the end of my driving tour, so I put away my camera and concentrated on getting to Potsdam:

Friday, January 29, 2016

County Route 47 In The Town Of Stockholm, New York - Part 1

I was on my way from the feed store to the village of Potsdam when I decided to take a detour and snap some pictures. I turned onto County Route 47 in Stockholm and passed this tractor, apparently used in a firewood and/or fence post cutting operation. The marked trees look to be small Eastern White Cedar, so I'm guessing they were cutting fence posts:

I crossed over the west branch of the St. Regis River. You can see an island in the river right there:

This small, well kept barn didn't seem to have any animals using it at the moment:

And there were rolling corn and hay fields, surrounded by woodlands:

An old farm house, modernized and winterized:

A fence post operation. Eastern White Cedar grows abundantly around here and some farmers use their woodlots to produce fence posts:

This roadside stand appeared to be in the middle of a renovation:

A series of barns and additions, with a green shingled well:

A comfortable looking farm house:

Two outbuildings, one without sides:

Another farm house with a well:

This old building looked as if it might have been someone's tiny house once upon a time, but I couldn't tell. It was fascinating. But there was yet much more to see on Route 47, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Red Poll Girls, An Update

The cows seem to have forgotten about their calves and have begun focusing on keeping well fed. They all seem contented and healthy:

Gracie was supposedly bred but has been acting like she is still coming into heat periodically. All I can do is watch her and, if necessary, get her artificially inseminated again. Violet, who was bred on the same day as Gracie, is acting the same way. But last year I had them both bred again and then they calved from the first insemination anyway. These things are difficult to judge. The advantage to owning a bull is that he can determine who is and is not in heat. The disadvantages, however, far outweigh that one factor:

The girls seem almost immune to the cold - except that their legs seem stiff when they first get up in the morning:

Gracie came over to see me while I was snapping pictures:

Jasmine has the most expressive face:

Violet and Amy:

I load two four foot bales at a time into the eight foot bale feeder:

And their hay is now on the east side of the barn to protect them from westerly winds:

There is a heater in the stock tank so they always have thawed water which, though not warm, is certainly warmer than the surroundings:

And their time is spent eating, pooping or chewing their cuds:

I often remove the bale feeder early to make it easier for them to get at the unfrozen insides of the bales. They also sleep on the uneaten hay:

Gracie again. She certainly keeps an eye on me:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Happy Pets At Home

It's late January and still darn cold outside, even on the milder days. The dogs love to cuddle up on the floor pillows in the farm house kitchen and stay warm. I think Daphne was making an editorial comment when I snapped this photo:

But they also love to go outside and bark at everything that moves. If nothing moves, they'll bark anyway:

And they bark at any car which dares to pass by on the gravel road:

Daphne and Jack spent some time together:

Indoors, Georgette reigns as queen at the top of the tallest cat tree at the top of the stairs:

Rocky mostly stays upstairs with Georgette. He's difficult to photograph, however, because he's black and the light is dim. This was the best I could do:

The gate into and out of the dog yard is frozen shut for the winter:

But Jack never gives up home that I'll take him somewhere fun. He runs alongside me, separated by fence, as I walk to and from the barn:

Snoozey, my all black cat, has become alarmingly old and decrepit. But he's still eating well and purring constantly, so I just try to take good care of him. Bramble showed some concern for him also, with a little kiss on the face:

All the dogs but Clover, who must have been across the yard, looking for a passing car to bark at:

Clover, Daphne, Jack and Draco:

And all five dogs, living the good life: