Monday, December 31, 2007

Snowy Sunrise

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Christmas

We rarely get snow on Christmas day here in the Pacific NW. Our Australian visitor was thrilled when the white stuff started falling. The rest of us were thrilled when it looked like it wouldn't stick. I discovered on my drive home that my area had more snow, and it had decided to stick around.

My animals are less than thrilled the day after Christmas, when their world is white, wet and cold, and food is under 4" of snow.

The chickens, reconsidering the whole "free range" concept.

Muscovy, trying to keep her feet warm.

Charlie, playing in the snow. The dogs are thrilled. Millie is loose in the lower pasture, thoroughly enjoying this white world.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Drying Out

Several of the chickens take advantage of a rainless spell to dry out.

The turkey hen dries out on the picnic table, while looking in the window to see what's keeping breakfast.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Boston Dogs At Work

Babe stands at full alert, protecting her acre of woods in Boston, with Hannah watching carefully in the background. No one gets in their fence unnoticed!

And when some critter manages to sneak through, Zoron and Babe avidly chase it down. "If I can just move this log..."

These lovely Anatolian Shepherd Dogs protect their woods, house, and Audrey Chalfen (Shahman's Tales of Anatolian Shepherds : A Turkish Dog). Will there be puppies in Babe's future?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Millie

With three major wind and rain storms in a row, Millie has been unhappy living in her kennel. I couldn't bring her in the house during the storms because I already have two alpha bitches in there, along with the other 4 dogs, and just can't upset that balance.

I've rigged a tarp inside the kennel that is keeping most of the rain off, but Millie's sleeping crate was filling with water, and she kept pulling out anything I put in. She didn't have a safe place to go.

I decided something had to be done. I put an old wool sweater in the low back end of the crate in case water gets in, a door mat on top of that, and a small rug over the mat (more comfortable, you know). Then I took an old raincoat and draped it over the back, to keep wind and rain out of the air holes.

Finally, something Millie likes. No, something she loves. She went in and didn't want to come out again. In this picture I've just come in to take her for her morning walk down to the very fun critter area while I feed. Usually she's jumping on the kennel door to get out. Today she deigned to stick her head out. "What? I'm busy!"

Even after I talked her into coming out and got the leash on her, she was trying to go back in. You can see layered look and her comfy carpet.

The dog bed just outside is one that had been inside the crate, and she pulled it out. The previous dog bed she pulled out and destroyed. And the dog blanket. But the carpet she seems to like. Cosy home. Happy Millie.

Destruction From Above

I'm sure everyone has heard of the devastation in Washington and Oregon states from rain and winds. I-5 is closed for 20 miles. Ten feet of water on the freeway. Coastal communities were blasted with hurricane force winds, and many are without power and, ironically, drinking water is in short supply.

I live right in the midst of the closed freeway area. Fortunately I live on a ridge high and, well, not dry, but not flooded. Also fortunately I was working at home Monday (I work in Olympia, on the other side of the closure), so I'm stuck here but that's OK with me. It seems Lewis and Grays Harbor (and probably more) counties are closed - can't get in or out for a while. We had terribly strong winds and lots and lots of rain, but my power is on so I'm happy. Meanwhile people in the western part of the county are being evacuated by boat and helicopter. People are being plucked from housetops. We don't usually get this extreme weather.

My sister lives by the coast near Montesano, and is without power. Lots of downed trees. They expect to take up to 8 days for power to come back on. Yikes! The main city of the county - Aberdeen - was isolated for a day. No roads open in or out, and I believe no one had power.

I haven't been off my property since Sunday, but I understand it's a real mess out there. They expect the freeway to be closed until Friday. Sure glad I have what I need to work from home.

My sister and I were going to pick up her son and his wife on Thursday - they are arriving from China. Now it looks like neither of us can make it. Fortunately a good friend in Seattle will do the airport run, and my other nephew in Seattle can put them up.

Life is interesting in the winter.

And I have an extra bag of dog food, and raw bones in the freezer. Lots of food supplies, and lots of water stored (I have a well with a pump! - no power, no water). Something EVERYONE should have - you just never know. I still need more work on my emergency plan, but I'm sure glad I've done what I have. I don't need to leave home until the devastation is repaired some. I'm definitely one of the lucky ones.