Back to work

This morning I woke up to an overcast sky, a cool breeze coming in through the screen door in our bedroom and the loud, horrible sound that can be compared only to nails on a chalkboard. What is this sound?

One of the Prairie dogs heavy ceramic bowls stuck underneath their wheel, which they were trying to run on anyway without bothering to move the bowl.

Ah the sounds of the farm.

It has been overcast all day, but very hot and very humid. I haven't minded the little breeze that comes through once and a while though. I have been leading Izzie the Jersey to fresh grass everyday. She does not love walking on a lead yet - she is stubborn and cranky, and acts just as one would expect a teenage cow to act. But she'll get over it. She is very calm, and despite throwing a small fit when she has to start walking on a lead, she is gentle, just inpatient. I kill her with patience. It's working so far. She hopes I'll give up, but I won't, and after three days of it, she walked like an angel this morning without a single problem. I have visions of me and Izzie strolling through the forest together in the near future.

I've been looking for one of those "Princess lives here" signs they sell for girls rooms, to hang on her the gate to her stall.

After letting all the goats out I watched to see where Bea, my little yearling Saanen was getting out. Our caretaker told us she was getting out of the fence. She is spoiled and wants to do her own thing. I cause half of this problem because I often let her out to eat while I sit nearby. It took only a few seconds to watch her run to the back of the pasture where we have a temporary gate built, it had come loose from it's posts and was hanging free so she could easily climb underneath. She went out into the wood yard happily grazing. I went to the house to let Kevin know, and when I started out to bring her in from the wood yard, she was already at the house.

I cleaned a few stalls, cleaned the turkeys who are growing like weeds, and finished the usual chores of watering, feeding.... after feeding the chickens (who are also growing like weeds) I went out and picked fresh grass for all the rabbits and the buckling kids, they are in a separate spot now since they are being weaned.

The ducks are doing great in their temporary outside yard.... remember those fuzzy little ducklings?

They are all grown up now!

Yesterday the sheep got sheared, finally. It has been wet and cool this spring, so it wasn't a problem that the shearer got here later. We have a great guy to shear them but he's very busy, and considering I only have a handful of sheep, I'm glad he comes.... before I found this fellow we've had for three years, I used to call a dozen in the spring and no one would even return my call. Once I called a shearer in April and he called me back the end of August and wanted to know if he should come out and shear them. I had found someone else in June, so they were done anyway, but I was surprised he'd even bother asking if he should come the end of August? It's a little late for that bud.

The sheep get goofy once their wool is off... they look so silly too, Max had to sniff everyone really well to make sure those were his sheep still!

Lambie and Horace were itching themselves on the gate a lot once their wool was off.

Kevin and I went out for a quick ride together but found a lot of trees blocking the trails, so we'll have to go and clean that up on a nicer day.

I did happen to find these however...

There are still wild strawberries out! And I found several green ones which means I'll have a chance to get some more ripe ones. I need to get up very early and head out to my best berry patch which is way back in the bush... I'll have to get around 5 AM before the deer flies come out because it's nearly impossible to be in the forest right now when they are at their peak, not only do you get eaten alive, it hurts like heck.

There were lots of new flowers out...

And we found that our apple trees are loaded with apples, so hopefully we'll have a good fall.... I can taste the cider and jelly now!

I picked some fresh timothy for the Prairie dogs which they love...

I cleaned the chicken coop this afternoon, and worked a little more in the garden. I headed up to the barn to check on everyone's water, and when I closed the door to my barn and looked directly to my right, just a couple feet away was a huge black snake coiled up on one of my grain bins with his teeth barred at me. Yikes. Not what you want to see! I pulled him out of the barn and called in the recruits... first Max, who came to help and then ran off once the snake snapped at him... he's killed dozens before but he decided to leave this one to me I guess.... so I got Kevin to deal with it. He wasn't welcome in my barn with my small animals in there. If he only ate mice it would be great, but that's unlikely.

After finishing up the rest of my chores, I came inside to clean the birds and Prairie dogs and work on my never ending loads of laundry. In between that I made up some refrigerator pickles. The crockpot is slow cooking a pork roast in apple cider and BBQ sauce, and I'll make a dilled potato salad to go along with it. My potted dill is calling to me start using it up, it's at it's prime.

Easy refrigerator pickles
6 cups thinly sliced cucumber 2 cups thinly sliced onions 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed 1/2 teaspoon celery seed 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

It's windy outside this evening, alternating between a sunny sky and a dark one... I think it's a good enough evening for a drink on the porch swing with the dogs though, before it's time for evening chores.


You are one very brave lady...I would still be standing frozen in fear looking at the snake...Or throwing-up on him...I DON'T DO SNAKES.

Your prairie dogs are so cute.

I understand about the shearer thing...I have been doing my research to make sure when we finally get a flock we will be able to get them sheared...Fortunately there seems to be a guy that does a pretty regular "circuit" in FL.

Blessings Kelsie
Chai Chai said…
You have apple trees too, how wonderful. Can you let the prairie dogs out or must they remain caged? I guess they could dig out of any enclosure you put them in...
I love your photos as always. You must be very content to be back home amongst your furred and feathered "family".
I had the same problem trying to get a shearer in 2003 when we started with 5 alpacas, so we bought our own tools and my hubby figured out how to shear them. Bad shear job but no heat stress. The shearer called mid-July to see if we wanted him to come!
Your slow-cooked pork sounds delicious.
luckybunny said…
Only so brave Kelsie! :) I pulled it out of the barn with the rake and thought Max would help me. All the goats gathered round to look like it was a real entertaining sight. Smart thinking checking ahead with the shearing, there are less of them around now a days and even less who want to bother with a small flock. Hopefully you won't have any trouble though :) What kind of sheep are you looking at, do you know? :)

Hey Chai Chai - nope the PD are not always caged, they come out in the house and run about sometimes, on the grass they can dig out pretty easily and then there would be trouble, but they come out in the house to play and we've been trying to come up with an outdoor enclosure on the grass they could use, during the day only, something that would keep them inside and safe.

Thanks Norma :) Very happy to be home! So smart of you to get the stuff yourself for shearing, I've been thinking about it. It's saves so much trouble and worry, and who cares if they have a couple goofy patches, it all adds to the cuteness anyway right? :) Are the deer flies bad out your way, or do I even have to ask?
You are also one busy lady.

Snake snapped at you. I would have bopped him with the hoe we keep in the barn. Otherwise, I would have shot him with my 20 gauge......
Leigh said…
A day in your life is a joy to read about. Speaking of ducks, whatever happened to Quad?
luckybunny said…
Redneck I needed you! I knew he had to go, I have seen them that big here but not in my barn before, usually I just get the little green ones in there, until this one decided to move in.

Thanks so much Leigh! :) Quad passed away late May. I was so hoping he'd make it and he'd made it that far, but then one morning he was gone.

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