Sunday, March 29, 2009

My little helper.



She may not dress for the weather - or the occasion - but she's great at gathering eggs.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Said the mom, I see a little lamb.

Do you see what I see?

A lamb, a lamb running through my house,

It will bring me smiles and joy.


It will bring me smiles and joy.

*sigh* Cutie the lamb has entered the building. In the interest of full disclosure, it not only happened on my husband's watch, but he was the instigator. For two hours "Cutie" and the girls raced around the house and cuddled in front of the tv.

Interesting tidbit about Cutie's family life. While the granny may have stolen his chance to be raised by his momma, his brother has refused to be prejudiced. All of the lambs in the jugging pens are small enough for the first week to hop through the wire panels if they like. None of them like to because that's away from mom. None of them except for the brother of Cutie (who runs up and down the alley of the lambing shed) - he spends most of his day with Cutie and as long as Cutie behaves himself (read: doesn't try to nurse), his momma doesn't mind him sleeping with them. That's nice. Now that they've all been moved out to the feedlot area, Cutie hangs with his brother and the other lambs until we come out with his bottle.

And here's a picture of a momma with brand-new lambs (the smaller one I had to help come out - that's the second time I've had to help at a birthing). I took this picture to show the persistence of the granny ewe. That's her on the other side of the fence, trying to convince the babies that she'd make a better momma. As long as she can't get between them and their momma, they're fine. Poor granny.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Discovering cattails.

Cross-posted.

We've lived here for three years and every year, twice a year, my children discover cattails as if it was the first time they'd seen them. One of the times is in the fall when the cattails dry and burst. The other is now, in the spring, right before the new cattails make their appearance and the old cattails are especially easy to, er, distribute.

"Let's get some exercise" says she as she heads down the road.

Once we realize she's serious, we run to catch up.

Exploring.

Discussing.

Loving.

Mother realizes that if there are to be any pictures of Grayson on this blog, she'd better take one.

We reach the 'pond'. Our nearest farmer uses this as his backup water. In a few weeks he'll burn this to the ground, clearing the way for the pond to be filled with irrigation water a few weeks after that. A few weeks after that, this seemingly barren little area will be teeming with plant and animal life.

Look what we discover.

Oh, the fun to be had with these.






Even the cats got in on the game.

Is Global Cooling on the way?

Check out this interesting article written by Healing Green.

Curiouser and curiouser.

I've found myself going back and forth on the 'Humans are Causing Global Warming' issue for the past few years. On one hand, there is no denying (though I've heard people try) that humans have been pumping really nasty stuff into the atmosphere and adversely affecting the earth at an alarming rate for the past fifty years. On the other hand, there is no denying (though I've heard people try) that the earth goes through hot and cold cycles and that we could just be going through another warm cycle now but are right on the cusp of another cold cycle.

I'm disgusted with how we (general we) are treating our home, and I have no doubt that we're doing serious harm to the earth and to our future here, but I think it shows how out of touch with the earth itself we are that we discount natural cycles and egotistically blame it all on ourselves. Seeing an article like this one on a 'green' blog felt like a breath of fresh air - no extreme panic-stricken (usually from the 'green' side) or disdainful (usually from the 'anti-green' side) views.

In any case, it's an interesting read.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lambing has begun.

We have eight ewes with babies on the ground, a few singles, mostly twins. Right now they're all jugged up but they'll be moving back out to the pasture soon. Not much cuter than baby lambs.

We only have one bummer lamb so far. It's a sad situation. Meet the players in this mini-drama.

Granny. She had her babies two weeks early, and it appears that had they lived she would have been an amazing mother. She is 'granny-ing' (attempting to steal so as to mother them herself) any babies born.


Hapless Ewe and Second Son. First ewe to give birth after Granny did. After her first baby hit the ground, Granny moved in and by the time her second baby was born, she'd forgotten all about the first baby who quite clearly did not belong to her anymore.


First Son. Claimed by a momma who isn't lactating but whose hormones still tell her she needs a baby. Denied by his biological momma who has enough milk but doesn't recognize him as her own.


The Granny is now separated from the rest of the pregnant ewes and is in with my goats. That pen butts up against the shed where the lambing jugs are, and she spends most of her time (as in the picture of her above) walking up and down that wall trying to talk one of the lambs inside into being her baby. It's heartbreaking.

"Cutie" is now bottle-fed since it was becoming dangerous to him to try to get him to reconnect with his mother. We also couldn't leave him with Granny and bottle-feed him to the side because she was so protective.

So we have a wonderful mother with no babies, a healthy mom of twins that will only take one of her babies, and a healthy baby who would be thriving on momma but is being bottle-fed. He'll do fine, but any livestock owner will tell you that a babe is better off with a good momma than on the bottle.

The girls do enjoy having a bum lamb. We have seven ewes left to lamb out. Hopefully it all goes smoothly.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Taking advantage of the nice days.

In the few hours of nice-enough-for-littles-to-be-outside-without-being-blown-away weather we had, we went out to play. Our cats followed us when we went exploring down the road. They thought it was a nice day also.



Then the goats saw us and called out. Ainsley went over to say hi. She yelled over to me "MOOOOMMMA!! Goats wuv meeeee!!!!" Of course they do.



I'm not sure why she decided that we needed firewood so desperately, but she did. That little two year old hauled five pieces of firewood to the front porch, all under her own steam and for her own reasons. That's internal motivation for you.


Then she practiced her balancing. You never know when you'll need to be good at balancing.


When the goats called again, she couldn't resist. Off she went to say hi.



"Hi!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Today my baby turns a year old.

It doesn't seem like it's been a year. Does the time slow down as they grow up?

For more pictures than you want to see, go here.