Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Planted an Orchard!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We decided that it was time to add another project to the farm - we planted an orchard yesterday. Here are some pictures of the planting in progress. I'll get a final picture today after we install the electric fencing and the irrigation.

Here are our trees all lined up, waiting to be planted. 30 trees total, a mix of apples, pears, plums, cherries, apricots and one lonely peach. Here's to cobblers and pies!!
Thankfully, we hired someone at the garden center to come out and auger out the holes for us. We actually got these trees all planted in one day, but we never could have done it without the holes being dug mechanically for us. THANK HEAVENS!

We also got a new batch of baby chicks this week. 50 more broilers and 2o double breasted, bronze turkeys. I can't wait to see the turkeys grow up! The bronzes are going to be SOOO pretty! Here's a little broiler tired, and hungry at the same time.

These guys are a day apart, but the bronze turkey is going to get so much bigger and be more active than the broilers. I can't wait to take the turkeys to the garden to eat some bugs!
Here's a pile of broilers all curled up against the wall sleeping. These guys hardly woke up when I came in this morning.

Here's another big pile of baby chicks, turkeys and broilers all curled up under the heat lamp. They're so cute when they're little!!And here is Miss Laverne - having a moment in the pasture without being bugged by her boys. You can see she is "shedding" her hair quite well! We find it all over fences and posts in the barn!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Goodnight, Midnight

Some of you may know of the severe weather we had in Colorado yesterday. Thankfully, the tornadoes were east of I-25, and we are west of it. I suspect it would be rare for tornadoes to form close to our house, which is close to the foothills, but who knows, I could be wrong.

Regardless of the tornadoes, we still had severe wind, and sudden, quarter-sized hail. Larry and I were at work when the hail hit Lafayette. I called my neighbor to see what was up at home, and was very worried. She had to run outside to cover her tomato plants so the hail wouldn't kill them. There wasn't anything we could do - but we have the guard dogs, sheep and chickens in the pasture. And a truck with a severely cracked windshield.

Yes, I tend to borrow trouble, according to Larry. But I also like to prepare for the worst, so that I am, well, prepared. I was really hoping bad things didn't happen at home. Hoping that the sheep and pups were smart enough to take cover in the barn. Hoping that the layers were smart enough to head to the chicken house and the "juveniles" stayed under their tin roof shelter.

When we got home, the truck was intact. Which surprised me. All our orchard trees were knocked over - but this was to be expected since they aren't even planted yet. My strawberries and raspberries showed limited damage, and I didn't see any major downed limbs on trees. Dogs and Sheep were fine - so I checked on the chicks and chickens. Everyone was OK - their feeders were wet so their food was caked, but they seemed to be OK.

This morning, Larry found my Midnight dead in the chicken house. It took me a minute to figure it out - but then I remembered where Midnight likes to roost in the chicken house. There is one very crooked panel that leaves a big gap at the bottom of the house. Midnight usually snuggles there, often with her tail feathers hanging out of the house. Chances are, if she took shelter there during the storm, she may have been pelted with hail, and gotten very cold from the wind and the rain. It may have been too much for her. She may have helped the other chickens weather the storm, but I still lost my Midnight. It's silly to be attached to chickens, but I can only get attached to the ones I can pick out from the crowd. Birds like Tweety, the Wingless Wonder, the Toeless Wonder, and Bandit. Midnight stood out as the only Black Astralorp we had. Now she has gone to the great chicken pen in the sky, and I will miss calling out for her. I always looked to make sure she was OK. And now she is gone.

Goodnight, Midnight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Friends in the Neighborhood

I took a day off today to shuttle a dog to the vet. While I was getting him in the car and getting ready to go, I get a call from Larry on his way to work. "Get the camera, and stop at Goose Hollow Road and take pictures, don't miss it"

So I grabbed the camera and headed out. These are the little guys I found. There are 3 kits that I saw, but only nabbed pictures of these two playing. We've seen the mother fox around a lot, but I didn't see her this morning. I am sure she wasn't far behind. Their den is obviously near here - and there's a little pond nearby that always has ducks and geese. And I think these guys are adorable, I just hope they never cross over to our pasture and discover our chickens! There won't be a fox in my henhouse!

Monday, May 5, 2008

1 Girl, 1 Tent, 4 Dogs - Who Survived?

I decided to go camping this weekend. Just me and my Dog. Well, me and my dogs... and Sergeant, well, and Alpine too.

Just me and 4 dogs and a tent. Good thing we have a lot of tents. Everything from a 1 person tent to a 4 people tent. I took a 3 person tent, thinking that Alpine and Sergeant equalled a whole person, and Hobbes and Ditka equalled a very small person - all together we would have some extra room. The lady at the campground asked me if I'd be warm enough - then I showed her my car full of dogs. I'd be warm alright! The real question was - could the tent survive Hobbes and Sergeant... I know what Hobbes can do to a tent! And could I survive all 4 dogs....

We did just fine and saw some wild life along the way. Can you believe, not a single dog barked at any of these critters? If they had, I never would have been able to take pictures... Which,of course, the pictures were taken either at the camp site, or along the road. There was no way I could carry a camera and 4 leashes at once!!

Happy Sergeant!

Hobbes "Why am I chained up? I don't get it?"

Alpine decided to rearrange some dirt with his nose.

Ditka is always happiest INSIDE the tent. "Can we nap now?"

OK, this was just a side photo on the drive home. This is the famous Stanley Hotel - I believe they filmed The Shining in this place. Creepy.