Turkeys on ice and life jackets

We woke up to temperatures sitting around 0 C, so 32 degrees F. There was a mixture of rain and ice pellets falling from the sky. It was really slick out - but amazingly both the Wild turkeys and the deer were not worried about the pond and both were out walking on it this morning. 

Buttons was also here this morning when I went out to start my chores...

He was really slipping and sliding on the ice....  But he made it without falling over... unlike some of us...

Someone else who was also slipping? Douglas. But that's because he always chooses to run and not walk.

On the way down to the chicken coop I noticed there was somebody standing behind it on the hillside. 

It was Torn Ear and a friend, they had been lying down on the hillside behind the barn and I woke them up, I'm sure they didn't appreciate it. 

It was a busy afternoon full of the usual chores, lots of manure being hauled and laundry being done. But not much of anything else getting done today with this weather.

I appreciate everyone's kind words and support with my last post, I know many of you have been there. Even though this winter the weather has been quite good and I enjoy a lot of things about winter, it still does make everything else tougher as well. Things are still not quite right here, balance has not been restored. When things are in balance on the farm, the animals, the humans, everything is calm, and things flow without drama or troubles... when the balance is off, things don't flow.

I'm hoping I'll be able to restore the balance the best I can, we'll all feel better once that's done. With this winter being so warm it's actually put us behind in work, we thought we'd have a lot more time to get things prepared before the sap starts running and before spring arrives and things turn into real chaos here... with us planning on leaving the farm early this spring and for a bigger trip than ever, we are starting to make lists and dozens of them to keep us in line.

Fortune passed away yesterday morning, very peacefully. I'll miss her terribly though, she's been in my life for so long and with the animals who are always happy to see you, reliable in their actions, you get so used to them always being there to be the first to greet you, to always be happy and looking forward to their day, wondering what kind of fruit they might get.

She was a great friend, and I'm grateful for the years I had with her and the friendship, I'll never forget her. My first Flemish Giant rabbit, she taught me the wonders of the breed, those big giant ears and feet, and the loving personalities that most of them have. Now only four true Flemmies remain in our herd, Yukon, Peter, Crabapple and, Miracle. Crabapple is just a few months younger than Fortune and the last rabbit I have from the original group of four that came to the farm first. Ferd and Bandita are Flemmie crosses but much smaller than the purebreds.

Up at the barn, my turkeys were sliding around too.... as they rushed over to see me... they love barn cleaning day, they tear it all up and root through all the manure making sure nothing good is left behind. They are a very efficient clean up crew, that's for sure.

One year, I even caught the Wild turkeys eating the small dogs poop in the yard. At first I thought that was really gross, and then it dawned on me, look at all the work they are saving me right now!

Whoa... wait, watch where you are doing! After a couple of them slid, they decided they better slow down and watch their footing...

This evening, Douglas is relaxing... (Norman is passed out.) and everyone in the house is pretty quiet.

 Douglas is kind of looking like he is the one who hauled a dozen loads of manure today.... 

I am trying to fold laundry and do some shopping. I don't really like shopping, I do like shopping online better than in a store, at least it's a lot calmer and quieter. The days are getting short and not only has Douglas outgrown his old harness, he also doesn't have a life jacket. In order for him to be able to go fishing this summer on his Uncle Buddy's boat in Valdez, Alaska, he needs a life jacket. Norman is an old hat. He got his first life jacket in 2008...

As you can tell from these pictures, he just loves it... loves it like I love hauling cow manure!

He has however made very good use of it. He's been jet boating on the Tanana river, and he's been both salmon fishing and halibut fishing in Prince William Sound.  Last time in AK we didn't make it to Valdez because we were preoccupied with our land, and we really missed it. We cut our trip a little short, but that won't be the case this year... we are planning on much more time.

Norman is a happy fisherman, especially since his Uncle Bud got a new boat, one that even has a couch in it for him to relax and a kitchen for him to "crumb" in. 

Douglas has calmed down a lot now that he's over two years old - he was just a pup when he went to Alaska the last time and he had a lot to learn about camping, being in the bush, and just being civilized in general.. like how to not smash peoples china while in their houses. He's over that now, thankfully.

So I'm searching for his life jacket. Of course, he's not going to be swimming or loose on the boat, but I like to cover all my bases. I found some really cute ones with nautical designs and everything, but I think we should stick to the bright orange one that you can't miss...and I don't want Norman getting jealous. I look forward to seeing Douglas reaction when he sees stuff like this while he's out fishing:

and this....

Norman's reaction? He couldn't care less, he's mostly just interested in any fish we pull into the boat and whether or not he can sniff and if he gets to eat any of it or not. 

The harnesses are much more difficult, so many colors to choose from... it might take a while. Norman lucked out... he's stretched his old harness all out of shape, so he gets a new one too. I'm sure he doesn't care, they hate harnesses, even the nice plush ones because at home, they don't need them. They tolerate them but find them really annoying. However harnesses say one thing to them... camping.

Meanwhile everyone else continues to sleep and snuggle. Hopefully I'll be able to join them soon.


jaz@octoberfarm said…
sorry to hear about fortune. but you gave her a great life. can't wait to follow your trip!
I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure Fortune had a wonderful life with you. She was lucky to have someone that luved her so much.

I luv all the pics.
Leigh said…
I'm so sorry to hear about Fortune. Rabbits are such wonderful critters, so easy to love. Great shots of the turkeys! Also Douglas and Norman. He's quite sporty in his life jacket. :)

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