Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Around The Farm In November

When I hooked up the stock tank water heater, I suddenly realized that things would have to be different this year because the two little horses would bite the extension cord. So I ran it across the lawn and up onto a board which kept it out of reach. I also had to run the cord from the heater through a section of hose because I knew they'd be biting that also. So far, my awkward looking system has worked:

I had some cooked brown rice which I couldn't eat, so I dumped it out for the hens. They were quite happy about it:

I am now bringing out a new hay bale every two to two-and-a-half days. These animals are bottomless pits:

The new hens (Easter Egger bantams) with two of the old hens (Barred Rock bantams):

Blue and Remy in the south field, with Rosella in the background:

There are now 21 white fantail pigeons. I think I have enough, though I probably should get some unrelated birds to keep diversity in the gene pool:

My sister came to visit and disappeared one day. I looked all over the house, then went outside and found her fraternizing with the cattle and horses:

I'd saved some apples, so she got to make friends with the cows and horses by feeding them:

Blue and Remy are not shy when it comes to apples and not afraid to get pushy about wanting more:

It was a lovely autumn day and the animals were friendly:

My sister knows that Rosella is usually the friendliest cow, so she made a special effort to hand feed her:

Remy, however, was not about to let some dumb bovine get his apples and got pushy, demanding more:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Blue And Remy

Remy is a horse with a winning personality. He races to see anyone who enters the pasture and loves to be petted and cuddled. Of course he can also be a bit bold and pushy sometimes, but he's getting much better about that:

Blue's personality is different. He's shy and acts afraid many times (but not always). Once he's being petted, however, he is as sweet as a kitten:

The two of them, however, can create much mayhem, chasing each other or chasing the calves. They also like to steal hats, tools, or whatever they can get a bite on. Then they run away, hoping I'll chase them:

But most of each day is spent peacefully:

Sometimes I forget how little they are. Remy stood outside the barn door, seeming to be dwarfed by the big structure:

Full Alert! Attention! An Amish buggy was going by and Blue and Remy were excited. They usually run alongside the fence to accompany the Amish horse as far as possible:

And they roughhouse with each other, running, biting and kicking:

I'd say these two have a pretty good life:

Remy's moment in the sun:

It wasn't long before the grass you see here, scant though it was, became buried in snow:

Galloping across the field:

Resting and looking noble:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November Pets At Home

The house pets have had an easy November, their biggest responsibility being snoozing on the floor pillows. This collection was Daphne, Bugsy, Clover and Fergus:

Daphne is the only dog who has used the dog house. It didn't serve much purpose until winter hit, but there are now days when she uses it to escape the snow or rain:

Jack, Clover and Daphne:

It may be winter now, but we've had some spectacularly beautiful autumn days when a dog could relax in the tall grass, rousing himself only to bark wildly at the passing Amish buggies:

Georgette's life has narrowed in its scope to where she spends day and night in her bed on the kitchen table. She gets up occasionally to go upstairs for food or to use a litter box:

Jack and Fergus on the ramp from the house down into their fenced yard. It's a favorite hangout spot:

Bramble now has his own personal bed too, but he still likes to perch himself on this chair and watch the activity in the kitchen:

Clover, perhaps the most athletic of the animals, is also a big fan of sleeping in the grass:

Ah, now here's a typical collection on the floor pillows and dog beds. It consists of Fergus, Bugsy, Clover, Daphne, Jack and Rocky:

One of Daisy's eyes swelled shut and I assumed that the kitten (Bugsy) had scratched it. The vet, however, said it was caused by an infection and gave me antibiotics for her. Then Rocky contracted the infection and they both began having fits of sneezing. Then Bugsy got sick as well. I'm currently giving all three of them antibiotics and praying that no more cats catch it:

Georgette may be safe from infection as she disdains to associate with any other cats. She's happy in her personal bed, thank you very much:

When the weather is nice and I'm out and about doing chores, the dogs watch me from their fenced yard:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Red Poll Ladies

Maggie and Tabitha are growing rapidly and play together often. Tabitha, the older, bigger calf, has become bolder and more friendly than any calf I've had yet. Of course she's not as friendly as a hand raised dairy calf, but for a field raised animal, she's developed quite a likeable personality:

The hay supply is dwindling rapidly despite my attempts to stretch it. These big girls need a lot of fuel to keep them going:

Tabitha is ear tag number 2, Maggie is number 12:

Tabitha comes into the calf feeder area for grain each morning but Maggie never quite figured it out. I now give Maggie grain alongside the big cows, but she has to eat rapidly because the big cows take her grain as soon as they finish their own. Since they're all on diets, I try to remove the food bowl before a big cow gets to it, but I'm not always successful:

The two lactating moms get four cups of grain per day and the others get two cups (the calves only get one cup). Little Maggie has begun eating at that empty space you see in this photo:

Scarlett with her own calf and her granddaughter. Scarlett always has a badly swollen teat which is too big for her calves at first. But as soon as they grow large enough, they drain all four teats:

Gracie is, I hope, pregnant but she's on a diet also. Her girth is from fat, not because she's carrying a calf:

A tender moment as Scarlett licks her calf, Maggie. Scarlett was one of my least favorite cows when they first arrived, but she's developed into my most productive animal and her personality has blossomed as well:

You can see the bale spear on the front of the tractor. I had just dropped a new hay bale into the feeder:

The hay bale feeder is not only a place to eat, it also makes a soft, dry place to nap - especially if you are a little calf who doesn't need too much room:

The horses are seldom seen at the bale feeder, but recently they've been giving it a try:

As I type these words, I am longing for the days when the pasture looked so green and welcoming. Since this photo was taken, we've had our first snowstorm - and it was a doozy! We are currently buried in snow and ice:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Return To Madawaska Pond - Part 2

The dogs and I had reached the dam area of Madawaska Pond. There was a cleared area there where, I suspected, someone's cottage once stood:

The dogs did some rock hopping and I feared one of them would fall into the water, but it didn't happen here (it did happen later, however):

The old earthen dam and spillway was thrilling for the dogs. Daphne walked out onto a fallen log with rushing water all around here. I was nervous, but she was fine:

And then we walked farther down where we could see the spillway and cross over to the other side of the earthen dam:

Quebec Creek, the water source for Madawaska Pond, continued on as a wild and pristine stream on the other side of the dam:

The road/trail continued on beyond the dam but I've never walked any farther to discover where it leads. I called the dogs to begin the hike back toward the trail head:

The water was visible through the trees on our right as we made our return trip:

And the dogs had spent some of their excess energy, making them much easier to control. I got to enjoy the silence and feel the peacefulness of the Adirondack forest:

Little Jack followed his big buddy, Seamus, much of the time:

There were small mountains surrounding the pond and many channels leading to more areas of water which I could not see from where I stood. Canoeing here would be a wonderful experience:

We stopped wherever we found easy access to the water's edge:

A day like this helps me to feel alive and happy:

And the White Pine forest was beautiful and peaceful:

We were back at our car in no time at all. The dogs hopped in and I began the 6.5 mile gravel lane through the forest back to the highway: