Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Taking a Break

Berna joins Zander patrolling the property. The two of them take a break to romp and play, until Zander hears something, something in the distance...

And yes, Zander is shedding profusely in the middle of winter. I think he's finally losing his baby coat.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

King of the Stump

Jesse loves this stump and can often be found lying on it, sleeping or keeping an eye on the farm. He's a bit restless since Charlie retired to the lower house. The two are best buddies, and Jesse learned from Charlie how to be a good livestock guardian. Now the burden of guarding has fallen on his fluffy shoulders, as in his opinion Zander is still a pup, and not to be trusted.


Four deer calmly crossed the road, one at a time, in front of my car. This is a private road, obviously they think it is theirs - after all, this is their grazing area. They weren't very concerned about me or my camera, although they remained alert.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dressed For the Holidays

Never tell a horse you are going to groom him up for the holidays. At least not in the winter, when mud is available. This is Pheroah, my grey (almost completely white) Arab. Really.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Round Bales

I'm trying out round bales again. So far they seem to be working well, and I'm enjoying not doing twice daily feedings. Horses do like being able to get their nose into their food! If I continue feeding this way I'll have to look into hay nets for small round bales, to keep them eating slower. Oh, and to keep the two in the lower field from strewing hay all over.

With a shift in focus you can see that it is also a stunningly beautiful day. What a December. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Adorning the Tree

Money may not grow on trees, but there are plenty of things that do. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Expansive Nature of Horses

Yesterday I spent another hour finding yet more places where my electric fence was failing, finally getting everything seriously hot - including the temporary fence for the fillies. Then I spent several hours freeing my bamboo from the land-greedy blackberries, cutting and hacking and pulling down vines. I was quite pleased with the results, although I just left the sliced remains of the berry vines on the ground.

There are always unanticipated results.

Early this morning I was driving out to make it to an appointment. I saw this on my way down the hill:

There was obviously something interesting in the woods; something I couldn't see. 

Trojan turned to say "hey, come see this! Look here!" But I was in a hurry, and didn't have the time to explore just then.

When I got back I discovered what was in those woods.

My lovely fillies ducked under the temporary electric fencing to explore the now-accessible woods that abut two fields and my rental house. They were very pleased with themselves, and with the yummy berry leaves. These are the same two who made a pencil out of my corral. It's not a bad idea, though, I may just fence in the ends of this area and make another small woodsy enclosure.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Under the Clouds

Mt Rainier on a beautiful, sunny winter's day - hiding beneath her cloak of clouds.


These two fillies are in a corral made of heavy steel panels. Panels heavy enough that I can't lift them by myself. It is a sturdy pen.

Last night they turned the corral into a squeeze pen. From the inside. I tried to pull out one of the corners with the quad, without success. I will have to take it apart to get it square again. Fortunately I was able to find the problem with my electric fencing, so the girls are sequestered in the surrounding field.

Why would they rearrange their space? I have no idea. I don't even know how they did it. Silly horses.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rising Moon

I tried to get a picture of the gloriously golden moon rising. I couldn't make my little camera capture the color, but got a couple of interesting shots.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Play Time

Jesse and Zander enjoying some rowdy play.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Frosty Mornings

Fog + Freezing Temps = Frost and Ice

Kerin scraping the car windows - we were both leaving at the same time. 

Trojan found our activities most interesting.

The bright sun reflecting on the fog and ice bleached out the world, but it was still beautiful.

Well-insulated Alpacas!

Friday, December 09, 2011

White and Fluffy

Jesse, two days after his emergency bath. The bathroom, Jesse and I all survived the bathing unscathed - although Jesse still has some doubts. It took him two days inside to dry, and now he is happily getting dirty again in the great outdoors.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Workhorse Quad

This little beast makes feeding the horses ever so much easier. It's also very handy for hauling anything that needs moving.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Helping Feed

Zander helps me put the hay into the slow-feed nets.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sharing Warmth

Getting hay. There's always something interesting going on by the barn. Sources claim there are usually 5 or 6 kittens sleeping on the old dog - aptly named Buddy. Sharing warmth on a cold winter's day.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Evening Mountains

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. Adams

You did WHAT with your cell phone?

My cell phone has a problem.

This is a Samsung Convoy, their rugged workhorse phone. Recommended for hard use. It seemed an appropriate choice for me to carry around on the farm. I'm in love with this phone. It's been dropped in mud, nosed by dogs, lives in my pocket with hay and dirt, and always works.

Um, it looks like it has a problem.

Well yes, the glass front is cracked. Did I drop it? Yes. But that didn't hurt it. I dropped it in front of the hay feeder for two of my horses. Draft horses. Rebel stepped on it. 2,000 lbs of Spotted Draft horse hurt it.

Here's the inside:

It's a little difficult to figure out what's going on when the display is an abstract painting. I love this phone. I thought I'd give it a try and see if it still worked. I used the address book - by memory - to place a call. It worked. I had a friend call me back. That worked too. This little phone took a hoof to the head, got a cracked skull, and still functions. Not bad.

If Rebel's hoof landed on my foot (I'm not even thinking about it landing on my head), I guarantee it wouldn't still be working.

I'd love to replace this phone with another just like it, but it seems they don't make them anymore. I sent this email to Samsung, just in case they have some in their store room.

I've had a Samsung Convoy phone for about a year. I have loved everything about it - especially that it isn't harmed when dropped. I work on a farm, hauling hay and supplies to horses and other animals, and am constantly working with large animals, primarily horses. Rugged performance was promised, and it has lived up to expectations. 
Last night the phone slipped from my pocket onto the ground right where I feed my draft horses. I realized there was was a problem when Rebel, my 2,000 lb Spotted Draft horse was lowering his hoof onto something black.  When I retrieved the phone the glass front was shattered. I was heartbroken. I picked up the phone, opened it, and saw a picture of the shatter. Wondering if there was a chance it still worked, I accessed my address book (without the advantage of seeing what I was doing) and called my sister. It worked. IT WORKED. This phone still works. I can't see anything, but IT WORKS.
This workhorse phone lives up to its reputation, and was not affected by anything I did to it except for the foot of a workhorse.
I'm so impressed with this phone. I'm blogging about this, and putting it on my Facebook page (with pictures). My only problem is that Verizon can't replace the phone - Convoys are backordered forever. I would love to get another Convoy, but I also don't see them on your website. Is it possible to get one? Do you have any suggestions? 
A satisfied customer hoping to find a replacement -

Foggy Morning Beauty

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Another Glistening Day

The sun over Mt St Helens and the fog in the valley

Mt Rainier - I haven't seen her in weeks

The fog started rising again as it warmed up. Mt St Helens.

Horse, trees, fog. And sun.