Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dramatic Sky

Driving to Olympia in the early evening, the setting sun lit up the clouds.

The cloud patterns were interesting and unusual. For a while it looked like clouds were gathering into plane forms and attempting to land.

When my class in Olympia was over the clouds had sunk to the horizon and the nearly-full moon shone brightly. 

The ever-changing sky makes the drive much more fun, and reminds me how beautiful our world is.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Who...What...Are You?

I moved Polly into one of the dog yards so she can do her mowing magic on it. Zander wants to get up close and personal. He doesn't quite understand what this new creature is, but he thinks he likes her.

Polly couldn't care less.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

And Bring a Friend?

My pigeon has been joined by a friend. The two are always together, sometimes eating, sometimes flying in large circles around the house area. Wherever they came from, this now seems to be home. I'm enjoying their beauty and their love of flying.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fright and Flight

My horses just had a mini-stampede, frightened from their food by a flock of 2 ducks and their 5 ducklings moving in tight formation. The ducks were (reasonably) worried about being stepped on by huge 4-legged beings, so started avoidance maneuvers, which further upset  the horses.

I managed to herd the ducks into their shelter before the horses came back down the hill. The horses all stopped on their way back to let me know I shouldn't allow such dangerous beasts in their field while they are eating. Never mind that the ducks have been here a week now.

Scary creatures, those ducks.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Charlie and his Horse

Dolly spends her days clearing the side of my lane, and her nights being protected by Charlie. He loves having someone to watch over at night. Charlie is a retired working livestock guardian, but stays current on barking techniques. He is now the first line of defense against predators, even if he is in a yard, rather than the pastures.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stocking Up

Dolly in front of the garage with half my alfalfa. I'm storing 200 bales this year.

I got a great deal on local alfalfa (half the going price), and today friends came with two loads of 100 bales. It's a lot of work getting them in, but it feels like I have my own personal feed store :). I feed mostly grass hay, but it's nice to have a large stock of alfalfa in for cold weather, mares with foals, or individuals not keeping enough weight on.

I'll probably sell some of this through the winter. I got a good enough deal that I can make some money on any I sell. From what I'm hearing, alfalfa is going to be in short supply for a couple years. During harvest it is selling for $18/19 a bale in feed stores. I can't afford to feed it at that price! This is the price we pay for the hot, dry weather most of the country has been experiencing.

So I'm excited that I have my winter supply safely stored in the garage.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I've been wanting more Guinea Fowl, but chicks from the hatcheries are pricey and you have to buy a bunch. I called on a local ad, and besides the 4 adult Guineas she had Guinea chicks and Runner ducklings. I couldn't resist, especially when she offered to throw in a pair of Mallard crosses and  one of their chicks. Here's my new flock of ducks, enjoying their new surroundings.

The adults have adopted all the ducklings, making my job much easier. I let them loose after two days inside, and they were thrilled with their new freedom, but returned to the shelter for the night. I'm excited to have ducks again.

Guinea pictures will follow, as soon as I can get decent shots of the very wild adults and the lovely chicks.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fuzzy Friends

While collecting huckleberries I was visited by this cute caterpillar, destined to become a Rusty Tussock Moth. It seems these moths are originally from Europe, but are now well settled in America. My little camera (temporary replacement for my beloved Cannon Powershot) doesn't do well at focusing close up in the shade (or rather, I suppose, I haven't figured out how to make it focus properly), so no pics of him in the bush amidst the pretty red berries, only a slightly out-of-focus studio shot.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

May I Stay?

This lonely pigeon has adopted Ravenwood. She sticks around the house, eating leftovers from horses and fowl. I believe she is from someone's coop, as she's tamer than expected and travels alone. She's lost her way and is thinking this might be a nice replacement home. I hope she knows how to avoid owls and other raptors. Zander thinks she should move on, but I enjoy her presence.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Pretty Pony

The geldings check out a new arrival. Dolly is a very small Shetland pony. Very self-contained, she ignores the regard of the large boys.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Gifts of Beauty

I love turning and seeing the sudden beauty of a Peacock. It is the time of year when the cocks start sharing their beauty by leaving luscious long feathers scattered on the ground. The feathered gems catch my eye as I move about the property, and make lovely arrangements when gathered together.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Food, Please

It seems that as soon as I discover the location of the cat family, Momma feels a need to relocate. After a few days without an appearance, I heard a distant meow as I fed Charlie. Following the sound I found Momma cat some distance and two fences away, staring at me, asking for food. A growing family needs more sustenance than one kitty can provide. The offering I set out between the fences disappeared quickly.