Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bits and Pieces

First and foremost, a big THANK YOU to some very special goats - both Isobelle the Beautiful Goat and "Da Bean" - for awarding me the following blogger award.  I love to read both their blogs and I'm so pleased they like mine too!

So, I'm supposed to say 10 things about myself.  Well, here's what I am going to do, because I like to mess about with rules!  I'm going to tell you 10 things that I hope are interesting that have happened in the past few days.  Here we go!

1)  The big group of birds is still here.  I learned from the very clever Jenny over at Wandering Gecko that it's called an "irruption" of birds.  Therefore, I award Jenny with the Beautiful Blog award also!  She has a lovely blog about her sheep and other things over in Scotland, including her work with reintroduction of beavers.  In any case, "irruption" was a new word for me and I did a bit of research on it to learn more about it.  It's a very interesting phenomenon - you should Google it!  Anyway, here is a picture of the continued presence of the Common Grackle irruption.
They are very, very noisy.

2)  Today when I was out moving sheep between pastures, I saw a vole.  Voles are, in my opinion, incredibly cute little critters.  It's not very often you can actually see one for long enough to get a good look at it.  They are small and cuddly looking and have very small ears compared to other rodents, such as mice.  They also have much shorter tails.  I was fascinated with this little one today because it was distressed by the moving of a trough, under which it was hiding.
Really, I wanted to take it inside and set it up with a hamster wheel and some munchies, but that would be wrong, so I had to satisfy myself with pictures.  See below, you can't even really see its ears!  How cute!

3)  Moving along, but staying on the wildlife theme, is that recently there has been some local flooding.  Quite bad flooding really, with the road I normally take to get to work (well, to get anywhere really) being completely underwater by what appeared to be about a foot - at least 8 inches.  This made things very soggy indeed.  It also meant that some local cornfields were flooded, and some migrating ducks decided to have a little rest stop.  I took some pictures from a distance, so the quality isn't great here because I had to enlarge them a lot to show anything.  Anyway, I think that what you can see here are "Lesser Scaup" (the black and white ducks) and a "Northern Shoveler" (the duck with the cinnamon coloured patch on his side).  This made me wonder, if I were a duck, would I rather be named a Scaup or a Shoveler?  The brown ducks, by the way, are the females.

4)  Today we moved the ewes from one pasture area to another.  It was a lot of work.  Some of them, when haltered, do not want to move.  In fact, they lie down sometimes.  Trying to move a 200+ pound fluffy, fleecy "mound" when it does not want to be moved is a very challenging operation.  To add insult to injury, I fell in the mud at one point and had a completely muddy backside, to the point that I had to go in and change because it was truly uncomfortable, in an "I wet my pants" sort of a way.  Ugh.

Here is a picture of Corsica and her lamb, Branwyn, after the move.  They are nuzzling noses with the rams and wethers on the other side of the fence.  I am so enamoured with our lambs this year!  Since Polly recently had her first baby goat from her doe, China, and since she is acquiring a new pregnant goat, I thought I'd also award her the beautiful blog award!

5)  We also moved Stormy the cria and Dolly, his mom, into the pasture with the sheep.  Stormy got to see his father (Kahlua) for the first time.  Look up, look waaaaay up!
Stormy let me rub him under the chin.
He also tried to help Kelly with some fence adjustments.

6)  Cesar the gelding llama moved with the sheep flock to the new pasture area.  This was the first time since we have had him that he was able to directly interact with another llama.  He was very happy to meet Dolly and Stormy, and followed them persistently for a while.  She held her head high and pretended not to want to speak to him.  I thought this was a cute picture because Dolly and Stormy are "in step" as they walk away from him with the same "attitude" as they walk away.  Because she also has lovely llamas, I award the beautiful blog award to Critter Farm Girl.

7)  It was a good weekend for eggs.  I collected 21 eggs yesterday and about the same today.  A few were cracked so I have made an egg custard pie.  It smells very yummy at the moment while it is baking.  I am awarding the beautiful blog award to Flartopia, because she bakes good stuff too, with Miss Chef.

8)  I love my chickens!  They make the most beautiful eggs I have ever seen.  I am especially fond of the green ones.

9)  I made a beaded bracelet over the past week for the Des Moines Community College auction that supports the Iowa Culinary Institute at the school.  It helps pay for students to go on exchange trips to France to work with chefs in St. Etienne.  I strung the beads onto elastic beading cord and then actually knitted the strand of beads, so that it created a knitted bracelet that is stretchy.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

10)  Last, but not least, I just thought I'd say that I love my little Marshmallow!  She is 9 months old now and still quite small, but very sweet.  I find it strange that her sister, Lollipop, is almost half Marshmallow's weight even though Lollipop had the benefit of nursing from her mother.  Marshmallow was a bottle lamb but has done far better in terms of her size.  They were late June lambs and have never really gained the size I would have expected, considering their mother is one of the 200 lb + sheep that I mentioned earlier.  Anyway, Marshmallow has a special place in my heart.  And because I know that sheep have a special place in Gerald the Majestic Goat's heart, I also award the blog award to him.


Chai Chai said...

Wow, That hand full of eggs is amazing. Looks like you have been very busy, the llamas look so happy.

Callie said...

Marshmallow is a sweetie. Enjoyed looking at the photos of your beautiful animals.

Jennifer said...

I love your llamas, that baby is just too precious!

polly's path said...

aww, thank you!
I don't think I have ever gotten a blog award before.
What do I do next? I am sure there are "rules"...
And, Marshmallow is just the cutest, fluffiest thing. I can't begin to imagine the stuff you'll make from her beautiful wool.

Mom L said...

aaaaiiiieee - for some reason I could not see over half the photos - just got a tiny red x in the upper left corner of each blank square. Fortunately, based on your comments, I think I saw most of them on FB.

Enjoy the babies!!
Nancy in Iowa

IsobelleGoLightly said...

oooh! I feel like I'm visiting your farm when you show nice photos like that! I'd like my lady to bake an egg custard. mmm mmmm. Marshmallow has a very different face than your other sheep...very special. I think Corsica is a very noble looking sheep.

John Gray said...

isobel suggested I approach you.....
recieving two orphan lambs tomorrow for bottle feeding and care....this will be new to me.........
any pointers????

Kritter Keeper said...

just stumbled upon your the voles though my cats eat them. marshmellow is especially sweet and the word irruption is quite interesting! will google it as you advised...

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Hi Claire...congrats on your award and, wow, thank *you* for the award. I popped over here to see how your critter family was doing. :-)

I wanted to thank you SO much for the input you provided on my blog about the llama girls' skin condition. I've talked with my vet about various options at this point and she's willing to try the long-acting antibiotic, though she really doesn't think that they will ever have any hair regrowth on their damaged skin. We shall see. I just thought it was awfully nice of you to pop over and share your experience.

Thank you!!

those three eggs in your hand are ENORMOUS!! :-)