Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lambs to the rescue!

This morning at church Rick reminded me that I was to tell the children's story. Oops! I remembered earlier in the week and was going to ask my dad for another of his stories to share (he has the best stories, bar none; my mind doesn't tend to think in stories), but that thought scurried away like a little mouse. What to do? I sat down in an empty pew during the study hour to think. I remembered some photos I took this morning while loving on lambies, and also some photos I took of a few of my contrasting Japanese maple varieties. An object lesson came to mind; I had the AV team upload the photos to the PowerPoint slides, and punted. I may not have made a touch-down, but I think it was at least a field goal. ;-) Here are the photos:

Every year I seem to get one lamb who decides that the ledge of the hay feeder is the best place to eat. Last year it was Bali Hai (she still tries sometimes, but doesn't fit anymore!); this year it's Belfast:

When I got home this afternoon I turned the sheep out and hung around for some photos. Here is handsome Boston:
I keep wanting to call him Moose, as he is the biggest, growthiest lamb in the lot. He's a sweetie, too, in spite of (or maybe because of) the fact I've had to put ointment in his eye to treat an early case of entropion. Here are my two favorites, Boston and Bree, together:

A moment later, as they moved off, I got lucky:

Thankful for my lovely lambies at . . .

Friday, April 17, 2015

Backtracking from suddenly summer

The forecast says we will be flirting with 80 degrees for awhile. Since we had Spring instead of Winter, I guess it makes sense that we will have Summer instead of Spring. As long as that means we'll have Fall instead of Summer, I'm okay with it.  ;-)

As I drive from home to all our various commitments and back, beautiful vistas greet me everywhere.  Delicate greens or frothy blossoms tint trees and shrubs. Spring really is special; I get why it is the favorite season of many. Still, I favor Fall. I don't mind winter; here in the Willamette Valley it is rarely brutal and never drab white/gray/brown like it is in other parts of the country where Spring is desperately awaited. But summer wears on me, with its heat and dust and pollen and strong, long daylight. Fall is a blessed reprieve, truly a breath of fresher, cooler air with the added bonus of fall foliage.

Anyway, about that backtracking. First of all, I apologize for not making it more obvious that Jackson has recovered and is as right as rain again. (I said that in the comments on the post about him, but not everyone reads the comments.) Thank-you for your concern; I know you understand how dearly loved our dogs are.

Remember the peregrine falcon we saw at the wildlife refuge? Rick shared the better photos from his big-boy camera with me so I can share them with you:

And here's a photo I took with Rick's camera:
Not as exciting as the peregrine, but I enjoyed watching this drake lead his lady through the grasses. We may go back to the reserve tomorrow while Brian is at youth group; the bald eagles should be sitting on their nest by now.

More backtracking to come later, from . . .


Thursday, April 16, 2015

You're a feather-pickin' egg-eater!

(That's an insult you have to be 'country' to understand.)

This is the second year we've had naked-neck chickens – and not because we have Turkens! Someone in the flock is a feather-picker, and four of our Red Sex-Links are the targets.

I've also wondered if we have an egg-eater in the flock. Not infrequently I find an egg smeared with yolk or a wet spot in a nest box with no shell fragments, but it's hard to know if a crime has been committed. One day I did catch a hen eating an egg in a nest box. I didn't note her leg band color, and I questioned whether the egg had broken accidentally and she was simply reacting to the surprising results.

Last week, though, I caught a hen red-handed, so to speak. When I checked the henhouse, she was standing up and peeking between her legs at an egg as hens sometimes do right after they've laid one. I reached under her to collect it – and found a neatly pecked hole in one end and all the whites gone. You can be sure I noted leg band color THAT time:
That Red Sex-Link is the bad girl. Not only did I catch her eating an egg, while I was taking this photo, she grabbed a feather off another Sex-Link and ate it right in front of me! It shouldn't have surprised me; she's the only Sex-Link in fine feather.

We're watching the nest boxes as closely as possible now. One more strike against White Leg Band and she's a gone girl.  :-/

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Who got a crew cut?

Bittersweet did. Benny didn't. (Actually, Benny's belly got sheared and I think he's feeling the breeze, judging by the position of his hind legs. Hee!)
Bing didn't. A jet black fleece on jet black skin at a bad place in the rise is a recipe for blood red; I'll carefully scissor-shear him when I can.
Bart did; Barbados was rooed earlier. Bart always shears easily and  produces a huge (for a Shetland), gorgeous fleece.

Browning was also sheared, but I didn't get a photo of him. His fleece cooperates nicely, too.
My two gulmogets were the only girls to go under the blade. Both were "sticky," making them difficult to shear.

That's it for today from . . .