Monday, April 13, 2009

Ahhhhh ...The Sun

Nooooo! I don't want to be inside. That's how I feel on days like today. I did assign Monday as my Paperwork Day, but gosh it is hard to be in here when the sun is shining so brightly, and lambs are hoping around, and raking needs to be done......
Yesterday I discovered that my garlic endeavor is successful! These shoots were poking through their winter ground cover, exposed by scratching chickens. I quickly covered the patch with chicken wire to keep the eager-to-dust-bathe hens from disturbing the growth.

Speaking of chickens ...or rather roosters. This hen is not what it seems. I've been watching it's neck get longer, and it's waddle increase in size. Then, a few days ago, a rather muffled, sickly, screeching "rrrr-rr-rrrrr" exploded from an inexperienced creature who appeared to be stunned at the noise that came from his own beak.

The first crow was mysterious, it sounded like he had crowed into a tin can. I turned and looked in the direction of the familiar first-timer's crow, and spotted him on the compost pile. He scanned the yard, searching for "anyfowl" who might be as impressed as he was with himself, and finding no head was turned, no eyes were upon him, he puffed up his chest and let out another screech, this time a bit louder than before, and for added affect, he flapped his wings and shook his head when he was done.

Not one hen ran to him with adoring eyes. Not one hen swooned over his majestic song ( that sounded more like a smokers cough to me ). Disappointed he wandered down from the compost and began scratching the ground looking for springtime goodies in the dirt. Not long after he discovered what he could do, he was chased away by Bob our resident rooster. There has been no real fighting between the two, only Bob, running after Elvis from time to time. But Elvis seems content to be number #2 rooster for now. If things change though, he will be looking for a new home. But we will hope for the best.

My garden plans have out grown the current fenced in, Romeo-proofed, plot that I used last year. So rather than scraping out the winter paddock, I have decided that I will rototill, amend, and use the space as a pumpkin and squash patch. This will move the larger plants out of my current space which will also be expanded by a 128 square foot addition. Then after the growing season, the sheep can do most of my clean up work. Keeping in mind the dangers of nitrate poisoning from the tomato plants, I will have to pull all expended plants, but they can eat the pumpkins, and whatever else I decide to throw into the mix.

I have cleaned and packed away most of my lambing supplies for the year, keeping only a few items out for Uma who is due on or around the 23rd. I watched her sides pop in and out as she was eating last night, I wish I could tell how many babies are in there but I cannot be sure. I will guess just one as she is not that big herself and it seems that most of the action only occurs on one side at a time. But Queen Uma has fooled me before. Here she is, almost all clipped. Finishing her is on my to-do list for tomorrow.

Here are my cuties, Lyra, Pixie, Mike and Angus. It was so nice to have just these four babies this year. They are growing and healthy, and such important members to my flock.


Priscilla is enjoying life as well, hopping around, playing hide-and-go-seek, and harassing chickens. I have yet to meet a lamb that won't chase chickens when it gets the chance. It is pure joy to them as they are just slightly afraid of the feathered beasts ...delightfully scared I call it.

On a funny note, here is what happens when you spray Blue-coat ...the wrong way. It is a great healer of woulds, cuts, and all around skin conditions ...for animals. It will take a few days for the purple stain to wear off, so as I anxiously await the arrival of my green thumb ... I will opt for a purple finger. :)

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