Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Another good weekend

Yeah, I know it's midweek already, but if I don't post this today, at least another week will go by, and then I'll decide this is all too old to share – and I do want to share!

We had a lovely, restful Sabbath, culminating in a long afternoon walk around Fernhill Wetlands. At first it seemed an inauspicious day for bird-watching; the gray clouds flattened the light and the wetlands were mostly empty of waterfowl. Also, nutria – they were EVERYwhere, some in the water but most were busily grazing on grass shoots and acting like they owned the place. Ugh. 

But we walked around and pointed out to each other what birds were there. I enjoyed them with binoculars while Rick used his big lens to capture them. I took a few shots of 'nature nuggets' closer in, knowing I would be disappointed with my iPhone's efforts with distant birds.

As we circled back to the parking lot, we realized we had seen quite a good variety of birds – American Coot, Red-winged Blackbirds, Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons, Tundra Swans, Double-crested Cormorants, Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Common Mergansers, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Gadwal, Cinnamon Teal, Starlings, and assorted LBJs. I had just noted that we hadn't seen a single raptor when one sailed up and landed in a nearby tree! We spent quite a bit of time watching it, taking mental notes for later identification. We think it was a Red-shouldered Hawk, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

On our way home we stopped at our farrier's place to check on some ewes Rick had been treating for diarrhea. They have Texels and Border Leicesters, and all but two of their ewes had lambed. It was fun to get a lamb fix, even if they aren't quite as cute as Shetlands. 😉

The next day, after a slow start, we made more progress on the ice storm clean-up. Except for picking up the limbs cut for firewood, we finished the upper driveway before and after the gate, the island bed, and all around the house. It was a gorgeous day, and we worked well past dark.

Poppy loves being outside with us – and loves to run off with sticks! But on Sunday she overestimated her abilities to carry off a small log outside the arena 😆

I've found some of the smaller pieces she's carried off on the north side of the yard.

We've enjoyed the natural vitamin D while it lasted. Tomorrow the rain returns.

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

High and low tides

Sunday was a great day, but I've had a hard time forming a post about it. Concern about our son ebbs and flows, but a king tide is coming in, as we are picking him up from college in three weeks, the end of this quarter – for good. He's dropping out, and God only knows what his future holds. Anyway.

My FitBit recorded an extended low tide of daily step counts while I was on 'stall rest.' This screen shot shows before, during, and after, with Sunday being a king tide of activity!

First thing that morning, Rick went to a friend's to get some help with metal fabrication, giving me time to appreciate my sheep, clean the henhouse, and actually do something with both horses beyond just turning Stella out to stretch her legs.

Spot was vigorously rubbing himself on trees. You can see how tufty his neck looks; I need to see if he can be rooed. It won't be hard to catch him and check; he comes over whenever he sees me to get loved on. 😍

The girls got to go out on pasture for the first time since I started stall rest. You would never be able to guess which three are (hopefully) pregnant; the unbred ones seem to have the biggest bellies! Sarai is another one who comes whenever she sees me now, begging for alfalfa pellets. (She is one of the hopefully bred ones.)

I am not showing you a 'before' photo of the henhouse; it was gross. Now it is nicely bedded with fresh straw.

I rewarded myself for the mucky job by riding Lance. It was good to be astride again! Then I did some groundwork with Stella.

By the time I was done with Stella, Rick was home and putting together our 'new' chipper. A client of his gave it to him; it runs fine but one of the chutes had rusted out, so Rick rebuilt it with the help of a friend. We worked until dark on the mess around the henhouse and arena access, cutting up limbs and chipping all the smaller stuff; I had to take 'after' photos the next morning. The chips provide mud abatement in front of the manure pile and henhouse door; the branches provide more firewood (which still needs to be hauled up to the woodshed area).

Rick rebuilt the left chute

Tonight we worked on the branches that had fallen up by the house, and made more visible progress. We'll keep chipping away it – ha!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, February 19, 2021

Taking stock

The day turned gray and wet after this pretty sunrise, but I still walked around documenting the ice storm damage. I took photos on my way to the barn, around the 'barn yard,' up to the entry gate, and back up to the house. We obviously have a big mess to clean up, but how blessed we were that the only structures to sustain any damage were fences and gates! The angels must have spread their wings over our little henhouse, overarched as it is with Big Leaf Maples that were snapping and crashing around it.

In the middle of my survey, I turned Stella out in the arena to let her stretch her legs and crack her back. She was interested in the big maple limb that protruded into the arena by the gate; after she took off to play, I heaved it over to a safer position on the ground outside.

It has been wonderful to be free to move around, but I admit to not being nearly as active as Stella today. The second COVID shot is making me more achey than the first one did, although Tylenol and Advil together are keeping it to a dull roar. But the day isn't over yet and I will tackle a few more tasks inside, and make a trip over the hill to the nearest post office.

How are the rest of you faring???

That's it for now from . . .