Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jesse the Mouser

Jesse (Samoyed) went to bed beautifully white, prettily clean. This morning he looked like he'd been in a fight with the Mud Man. We had 4 inches of snow overnight. How could he get muddy?

By chasing mice. This used to be a pile of scrap wood. It is now, it seems, Mouse Haven. Jesse hears them.

And digs for them. He knows there is a mouse down there!

He isn't really taking a break, he's still listening. And getting dirtier.

And where are all the cats who've come to call this place home? Sleeping on the hay in the shelter.

That's What It's All About

Charlie greeting the newest resident of our farm. First he touched noses with Mom, and then with the lamb. When he tried to step in and do some serious cleaning Mom stomped her foot and we all moved on.

The first two lambs of the season. There is a shelter for them, but they prefer this tree.

New lambs are so cute. These are both female, which is a good thing. This one has a black nose and some black spots. She is adorable. Just ask Charlie.

And the Snow Keeps on Falling

Weave One Heart

Veryl Ann Grace, my friend in Hawai'i, creates wonders in the fiber arts. A photo of one of her weavings is displayed on the Hawai'i Handweavers' Hui Gallery. It's a beautiful weaving, as are the other works in the gallery. Well worth a visit! You can also see the wonderful hat she made me on her blog, Fiber in Paradise.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

St. Helens Speaks

Friday morning (1/25), Mt St Helens from my porch. Really cool steam plume.

Same day, same steam plume. From the Johnston Observatory.
Just a little closer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yet More Dirty Dogs

That is mud.

"From left, Contessa, A Pyr Sheepdog cross, Sasha, Great Pyrenees rescue, and Royal Hunter, Hunter for short, an AKC Pyr." - LvbleLeRoy
Contessa is not only clean, she stopped in the process of getting of the table because she was told to. Wow.

More Muddy Puppies

"I thought I would share this photo of my trio - my Golden, Sammy and Berner puppies - after a torrential rain storm. They were so happy with themselves, all I could do was laugh!" - Laura Olsson and the Muddy Wonder Trio

That's a kitchen Leo is confined in. He lets Catherine cook in there occasionally.
"And my entry - Leo (Great Pyrenees) at six months" - Catherine de la Cruz 

Boris, a Caucasian Ovtcharka. Hey Boris, your roots are showing!

Thor, also a Caucasian Ovtcharka. No roots showing here, just the red-gold glow of head and face!

Pinta, a Central Asian Shepherd. Normally more than the blaze is white!

"What a fun concept. Thor and Boris are both normally red and Pinta was white." - Angie Wheat

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rainy, Rainy Day

Today is one of those days that should be looked at through living room windows, with a warm fire in the hearth and a hot drink in hand. Since it's been below freezing for over a week, the ground is solidly frozen. This morning freezing rain fell. The freezing rain turned to rain, but it made little difference, since the ground froze the water almost immediately. I had to get supplies. I took the van out and started up the hill, wheels spinning. I put on the brakes and thought a while. If it was this icy here, how would it be on the tight curves of Leonard road, going down the steep hill? I turned around in my neighbor's drive and headed out the back way, which is longer but avoids the hills. The roads were all icy, but not too slick if you stayed in the ruts. At the feed store the big rig driver who had just brought in a double trailer of alfalfa was talking about all the accidents on the freeway and 508, and how he had chosen not to turn on Leonard but continue on to where 508 met up with 12, the main state route. Made me glad for my choice. 

Loading the supplies was slippery business, but my boots have great traction. Charlie, who had insisted on coming with Jesse and I, kept close watch on everyone. He really draws attention. "Someone has a polar bear in their van!" "Wow, that's one BIG dog!" The brave workers loaded the van anyway, as Charlie sniffed the bags and faces. He just loves going to the feed store.

We got home without incident, although the county road was still very slick. The van has much better traction with the extra weight in back. My chickens now have scratch and my sheep some alfalfa to supplement their grass hay. I even walked up my hill without slipping. The geese are happy, because there are now puddles to bathe in. Water has been freezing too fast for bathes the past week.

I now plan to stay inside as much as possible the rest of the day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Starry, Starry Night

One of the best things about the cold weather we've been having is the clear, clean air. The full moon shone brightly early this week, making crisp shadows and allowing me to navigate my hill at night without a light. The nights seemed brighter than many of our cloudy, rainy winter days.

Tonight the moon is up late, and the stars are out in force. So many, many stars. White, blue, yellow and red stars. The longer you stare at the sky, the more stars appear. Endless stars. In this part of the world in winter one tends to forget there is sky, let alone sun, moon and stars. There is but a white and grey cloud ceiling. Not this week. There is bright sun, blue sky, black sky, and endless stars.

I love living in the country, where light pollution is minimal. And in spite of having to haul warm water to the animals twice a day, I love the crisp, clear cold spells of winter. Frozen mud may make uneven footing, but it's easier to deal with the warm, wet, sticky mud.

And that sky.

The Contest Continues

Dogs do love to get dirty. Here are some more Samoyeds trying out dark coats.

"These two would be right up there. That's what you get when you put together puppies, a sprinkler and a lawn that's just been top dressed." - John Deyomas

I love the little puppy's expression - "Yes, I think I like brown."

"Here's one of Shadow from 2002. The crazy part is that Shadow's coat must be made of teflon. A day after this shot, with no bath, he looked clean. What we didn't get with the towels fell off on the kitchen floor." - Ron Manor

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And The Winner Is...

I thought it would be fun to have a contest for a picture of the dirtiest dog, and suggested it on the Samfans list. I think this entry intimidated everyone else. I'll post more pics as I get them.  

"Here's our entry into the Dirty Dog Contest...a picture of Yuki from quite a few years ago. This is the result of her being rolled around by another dog one misty evening on the freshly seeded lawn. I think the only thing on her that even came close to being white is her muzzle. A very close friend of ours didn't realize it was her until he recognized the kitchen floor!" -Debbie Yip

Notice the deep color and even distribution. You really have to work hard to get yourself that thoroughly colored. Samoyeds just gotta have fun.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How Muddy...

can a dog get?

Jesse is going for the championship. I didn't think to take pictures until after I had toweled him off some.

"See, the top of my head isn't muddy. Much."

The new, rare breed, a chocolate-tipped Samoyed. Much rarer than the silver tipping so greatly desired.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Best Laid Plans...

The dog kennel.

The dog shelter.