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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Monday is Winter Solstice

At 8:47am Alaska Standard Time, we will begin our Winter Solstice. Our days, in the beginning, will slowly gain minutes of daylight. In honor of this, on Sunday night as I type this, our temperature has been slowly climbing all day and all evening with a mild Chinook pushing up from the south. A few days ago we were at -4. This evening, we've gone all the way up to 30 degrees! Which means of course the snow is getting heavy and we will now spend our time shoveling snow off any tarps or equipment before it gets too heavy and wet, turning to solid ice a few days from now. For Alaskans tho, Solstice means the gaining of daylight, and the slow approach to summer, albeit months away. Anyone with a little Cabin Fever will feel just a bit better too.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And it started again!

Well........sometime last night the snows started again, and kept going until this afternoon. Another 4 or 5 inches on top of what we already had. Best guess is we got about 18 inches of snow. It's deep.......where it hasn't been plowed we're walking in snow up to our knees. I have to say I bought a new pair of boots late this summer on Sierra Trading Post, made by Columbia, and they are neoprenes like the Muck Boats out there. I only paid around $35 for them........wow, what a great expenditure! They are easy to stretch over your jeans too, and my feet have stayed very warm in them. I'm really happy with them and it sure was money well spent. They have kept the snow out very well. The sheep were all white snow balls today too.......seems they thought it more important to eat non-stop than to stay in where it was dry!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The snow stopped for now...

The snow stopped at quarter to four this afternoon. We now have a fresh 13 inches on the ground added to what we already had. Gee, how exciting! HA!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ok, turn off the snow now....

ooops.........seems that someone forgot to turn off the snow making machine! Instead of getting a few inches like they originally thought, it's not stopped snowing since yesterday, and the forecast is looking kinda ugly! They just sent out a winter advisory.......funny, the word advisory makes it sound like it's not a big deal. We've already gotten at least 8 inches of snow, now they've changed it again. Since when is an additional 8 to 15 inches on top of the already 8 inches we've had an ADVISORY? I'd say that's a frickin' snow storm, wouldn't you?

I can just see those men sitting at the forecasting office adding up the data, drinking their Starbucks skinny latte's, giggling their butts off as they issue a WEATHER ADVISORY..... wouldn't ya think it should be a winter storm warning at least? HA!

Hope you're snug as a bug in a rug wherever you're at........can I say I LOVE MY WOODSTOVE???!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snow!

Yay!! We have fresh snow coming down - a little fine snowfall all day long and it hasn't stopped yet. We needed fresh snow. And, here anyways, when it snows it's usually fairly warm... and it was 18 degrees above zero for the high. That's a wonderful temperature for sure! They are predicting temps to go down to at least -10 by the end of the week, so while it's warm, and the beautiful snow is falling, us Alaskans work outdoors to catch up and hopefully get ahead of chores on a farm! I went through the kennel runs tonight and pulled out all of the water buckets, half filled with ice now. All got thawed out, scrubbed with hot water and soap, and all put back into the runs - waiting for the morning warm water to arrive. That's a weekly job I usually save for later in the week, but when it's warm you do what needs to be done! Tomorrow, if we still have these temps, I'll bring out the portable hose reel from it's warm safety and I'll wash down the chainlink and exterior walls. They accumulate allot of dust - how you might ask? You see, our cold here is usually a very dry cold. Like freeze-dried. As the dogs run and play most of the day, they loosen up the surface of their runs which is sand. Our sand up here, even the washed sand that we buy by the dumptruck load, still has fine silt in it. That silt gets loosened up eventually even with shavings down. And it floats into the air. And gets all over everything! I hate it! So, before I put in fresh shavings, I'll wash the kennel runs down - and some of the spray will freeze down the dusty sand again too. Then after that sets up overnight, the layer of shavings will go over that. It will make a huge difference. I always have to watch when the dust starts to show up again - which always depends on the weather , temperature, and humidity or lack of it. I don't want the dogs breathing in the dust either. Keeping kennels tidy in these conditions during the winter up here can be challenging! Since they have a roof over their outdoor runs, it never snows INSIDE their runs........just in case you were wondering why it is so dry. But what IS fun is that the dogs all looooooooove the snow. So I'll take the big feed scoop shovel and go down the line, scooping a big shovelful of fresh snow over the top of each kennel run and they pounce in it and roll in it and have a great time eating the fresh snow.

Snow! YAY!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And here's what they said...

I also got a few interesting emails too...and here's what they said....

Topping the list was take a NAP!

2nd was cruising the internet for items at least 50% off regular price.

And 1 person replied going out to the sheep or goat pen and just sitting there for an hour in the sun, watching the animals and greeting them as they came over to investigate.

All of the above sounds great to me!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What do you do in the winter with 2 extra hours?

Just a thought - what do you do in the winter with 2 extra hours? Email me your ideas and I'll post them here!

Right now, for me it would be a toss up between taking a much-needed nap or else shopping online for a Christmas present I can't find in the stores!

How about you??

Another photo

Another photo of Flyer that I finally got scanned....
Flyer was born in April so is still just a puppy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flyer

A candid shot of Flyer, as a puppy at this first dog show.
Taken by Roger Hale of Moosewood Farm.

Monday, December 7, 2009

By popular request - more barn pics

The Barn repainted again in 2005 - wings had been added on and the goats have loafing area underneath each wing to stay dry even if it snows or rains but still be outside for fresh air.



Summer of 2001 - 2nd floor and roofing done.
Early spring 2001
Air-dried timbers and lumber, cut from our forest. Board and Batten walls on the first floor. Concrete poured slab foundation; stall construction.

Fall of 2000, the bottom level siding going on; commercial floor joists and plywood decking for the 2nd floor are on. Rick built the barn by himself as a winter project.







Sunday, December 6, 2009

The barn aisle - barn tour inside

These are the ribbons the 5 Nubians won this year at the few shows
we attended....1 is a Best in Show; several are Best Udder in Breed.

This is looking into their stall and the 'red door' is a guillotine type to their outdoors pen.

Here's the Nubians stall - heated 5 gallon water bucket, everything set for 'dinner time'...just like the other stalls in the barn. The stalls were cleaned on Friday and this is now Sunday. The walls in the stalls are white sheet steel so that they are easy to wash down and disinfect. The red half doors into the stalls that Rick made are of expanded metal. There are wood half doors that close over them to keep the drafts out at night.


And this is the main barn aisle - the first 24 feet on the left is a work bench/storage area for farm equipment, parts, and hardware. The first 24 feet on the right is the dairy room with the stainless sink, water heater, freezer, fridge, shelves, stainless table, and dog crates.

The first stall on the left is Nigerian Dwarf girls; the last on the left is the Saanens; the end on the right is the Nubians; and the closest on the right is a pair of heated birthing stalls and milkstand.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Oh, and yes, that's a TV on the left that I can watch while I milk if I don't want to miss Desperate Housewives! HA!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Christmas Lights Season

House lights at dawn in December - photo lightened to show details.




Like many far-north places, once Thanksgiving arrives, Alaska decorates with lights everywhere. Some places decorate with them earlier than that. They help with the dark nights, making any home or yard a place of winter white beauty. I put up white lights along the small front yard's cedar fence early, usually before the first snows fall in October. They will stay on a timer until some time in March when the days lengthen once again. Right now it starts to get light out around 9:30am and it's dark before 4pm, with the shortest day coming later this month. We need lights up here! I have a string of white lights I put up in the fall that run the length of the barn aisle too, letting off a soft night-light glow for anyone in their stalls for the night. Even the dog kennel has a big lit wreath that sends off a nice night light for them. The glow from the lights reflects in my registered flock's eyes too. Their paddock is out front, closer to the house.........but this also means they are acutely aware of every time someone steps out of the house and the BAAAAAAAHHHHHH at full volume. Just because. They could be standing in hay, doesn't matter, they yell just in case I might have something better than what they're standing in. HA!


On another note, we've had major Gulf of Alaska storms blowing through. The poor Aleutian Chain has been severely blasted. This past Saturday, Attu, waaaaaay out on the chain, recorded some of the nastiest winds ever. They officially clocked 178 MPH - yes, I typed that correctly, one hundred seventy eight miles per hour. Nothing can be out in that kind of wind. Hurricanes have lesser wind speeds. Tornadoes have lesser wind speeds. It's simply incredible that there could be human inhabitants at the Coast Guard base there. My poor sheep would tumble all the way across the island non-stop and on into the ocean with winds like that! But I'll bet they have Christmas Lights up inside there too.....


Christmas Lights. In this time of severe recession, the spending of money on electricity certainly may make us think twice about plugging them in, but the joy they bring and sanity they instill through a dark winter is worth far more than sending raspberries to the local electric company.


I hope you are enjoying your Christmas season......



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cold - from November 19th

This was supposed to be posted on the 19th...well my computer had a fart. Can I say that publicly? And now I've just found the draft (didn't know this thing saved stuff when my computer farts). So here it is!

Ok, I haven't been typing much since I'm frozen like a popsicle! We hit -10 and -15 by the end of last week and this week hasn't gotten much better either. So, when it's cold and you spend hours outside working, the fingers don't feel much like typing! HA! The sheep are fine and today they had their vit/min/salt concentrates replenished. They are eating well and enjoying themselves with their warm wool coats keeping them safe. I'm still not convinced that the short, crimpy-type would be as warm as the intermediate. Of course it could be, but it just doesn't make sense to me that it is. I'm thinking of snowfalls and cold weather like we're having now. Perhaps the short coat is more like a boiled wool sweater, the longer like a mohair sweater. I just know that I want my sheep comfortable and the Shetlands always seem comfortable up here, and they are almost all of the intermediate wool type. I believe most of them are bred now too. I hope to pull rams by the first week of December this year, then I won' t have to worry about late-arriving lambs in May. Nothing worse than babies calling for moms who've left to go down to the herding arena!



Monday, November 9, 2009

Dog Shows

Laaaahhteedaahhh....
we went off to the dog show yesterday with our single entry, Flyer. Flyer had a good time. He's completed his AKC Puppy STAR program and had a good time at puppy classes. Almost 7 months old, he thought the show scene was ok... a few new things had him wondering about things now and then, but overall he had a great experience. There was only 1 other entered, a girl, so there weren't any points, but we took Best of Winners and Best of Breed and hung around for the experience of going into the Group competition too. A good day. We'll post his photo when it comes back, and hope it was a good one.
Here's a photo of Flyer with Rick as a puppy...
yes, he's gotten much bigger since then! LOL!

Roisin

Our lovely Roisin... she's our Irish girl and a blast in the house! Here's her favorite 'outsider'....our family friend Cliff who often comes over to help Rick with the bigger farm projects here. Roisin loves her Uncle Cliff. Here she's getting a lift and hug.

YAY! Snow!


Worth noting this morning........we've had one of the longest falls in many years up here with the ground finally freezing solid for the winter a few weeks ago. But, right here anyways, we haven't had any snow at all.

Now, to some people that might be wonderful, but we know the snow has many benefits and it's necessary. The longer it's below freezing without the snow's insulating properties, the deeper the frost goes. The deeper the frost goes, the more likely water lines freeze and break, and the longer it will take in the spring for the ground to thaw for planting. In this area, the frost line has gone as deep as 16 feet in some years! Yes, no shallow water lines here!

So the snow is a welcomed cover. The latest snowfall in Anchorage nearby was November 13th - we came close to breaking that record. Bare ground can create a dustbowl too. We've had several high wind events with gusts up to 70mph this fall in some areas, and the dust and silt blew everywhere. Last Wednesday we had some good gusts and we were pelted with thick dust several times while herding down at the arena. Humans and livestock alike had gunk in the corner of their eyes from all the junk in the winds.

Now, we finally hav a good 3 inches of snow. The sheep are very very happy....they love eating snow. I can put a warm bucket of water out for them when there's fresh snow and they walk away, going back to the snow. Evidently the snow tastes better to them than the fresh warm water. The snow is good for the house too......no more tracks of dust or mud coming in the door, only clean fresh snow. THAT I can live with for house maintenance! HA! The goats won't mind the snow as they all have solid cover over their pens so no snow on the ground for them to plod through during their daytime out in the sun and fresh air.

Yay! Snow! And just enough of it too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Schipperkes?????? Cattledog puppies??? WHEEEEE!!!

I took the boys over to a friend's house that breeds Schipps......they are 7 weeks old now and this is their first trip off the farm. They thought the Schipperkes were marvelous to play with and the Schipps thought they were a blast too. Here's pics of their socialization trip........what a blast they had!!











Monday, October 19, 2009

Pics of the puppy boys


Above is the plain faced boy.......


Below is the full mask boy.






And here is the plain faced boy experiencing ducks for the first time below...

Yes, it's been a busy summer, and on August 31st my girl Martha had a pair of red puppy boys. They are 7 weeks old now so I took them out to the yard and took a few pics! Both boys are still looking for the right forever homes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

breeding sheep

Isn't it amazing what we go through to arrange our breeding pens! Well, this year I decided to heck with it. I'm breeding one ram to my main girls and Peyton to another group, and that's that. Topple gets the main group this year, last year it was Captain. Peyton, the Gulmoget, better do well this year for his 4 girls - here's crossing fingers! So Garrett, so make sure Snowie goes in with the Shetlands in case Peyton needs go to a petting zoo next spring! :-)

Beautiful sunny day here, how's everyone else doing down there??

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poultry! Fall!

First, the fall colors.......crabapple leaves dropping now from our pretty tree....

A lovely brood of Muscovy ducklings with their mom - Whites, Chocolates, and blues....so far......
One of my lovely Blue Standard Cochins, this one a Blue Splash.....isn't she gorgeous??


And last but not least, what I believe to be a Blue Wheaton hen that we hatched here this year. What a pretty Frizzle! See, I do take pics once in a while...


Hope everyone is enjoying fall!


Monday, October 5, 2009

herding daze

What fun! Roisin from Ireland is starting her learning career in herding. She's a year old now and full of life, an affectionate girl. Not very big for a cattledog but the spirit of a giant. Here is Dan, one of my puppy owners, working with Roisin so I could take pictures Saturday. I caught this moment when one older crabby ewe decided to challenge her 'space invading ways'. Fall is definately here and snow is due any time now here in the 'lowlands'..........
From right to left - 4 Shetlands and 1 cross of unknown orgins....
Gotta love a fall, chilly, rainy day!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Well, I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack!


Did ya wonder where I went? HA! Sometimes I wondered where *I* had gone too. I did miss blogging tho, and in August I went to sign in only to find that Google had changed the log on process. Today I finally got that fixed!

Now, to catch up to speed........


somewhere this summer I got the flu. About the same time the first major outbreak was reported in our town of swine flu. Did I get it, I have no idea because when you're really sick, the last thing you want to do is go to the doctor. Besides, it was the flu........what else did ya need to know that a $90 doctor visit would tell ya?! I didn't eat for 5 days so those thoughts in the spring (of very year it seems) of loosing weight this summer that all women over 50 usually have, actually happened. LOL! And with the summer's busy schedule, it stayed off. In fact this morning I decided to get on the scale and was shocked...not a pound has come back. Amazing. All that tells me tho is that I've been too busy this summer.....


The weather turned cool and showers in late June, preventing cutting and baling of hay. When July hit tho, we also hit a record heatwave. We had days in the 80's here. Last year was one of the coolest - Anchorage reported only 3 days above 70 last year. This year made up for lost time. With all 3 fields in full production now including the new one cleared and planted 2 years ago, it took a week to put up all the hay - a record amount for us on our own organic hayfields - 1,300 bales! Wow! We ran out of room in the barn loft which holds around 1,100 bales. We tested out the hay (brome/timothy mix) and got results from different spots of 10% - 15% protein too - considering it's organically fertilized, we were quite proud of our improvements! Each year it keeps going up. 2nd cutting came in during our damp September and all of what was there was put up in high moisture wrapped and sealed round bales. So we are done haying for the year now, thankfully.

Rick's greenhouse produced a record crop of tomatoes, and we finished pulling plants and cleaning it out yesterday - done for the year. I have perhaps 100 pounds of tomatoes in the freezer now to cook down during the slower winter months into sauces and salsas. Since that's a slow simmer process, I plan to economize and when the weather gets real cold, put the stockpots on top of the woodstove and use that heat to simmer them down to sauces - and get the benefit of the humidity going into the air as it simmers too. Nice to do when it's ten below zero out!

The weather has turned from a very warm summer into fall quickly, with some beautiful days in the 60's. Now it's in the 40's for the highs and we've had several frosts, waking up to 26 or 28 degrees in the morning. The leaves tho are still on some of the trees, so it's a long fall this year for us. There have been years in the past when on this day we'd have a full cover of snow on the ground. Usually when the snows do come down, they stay until May thaw. We may get a few Chinooks during a winter but that's not common.

Now we're desperately trying to get everything done before the freezeup hits. I'm going to hang up some cattle and hog panels for the winter - you know, the traditional 16' long heavy steel panels that are either 36" high or 54" high. I was able to pick up some that were dinged for a really good price so they came home with me. It's nice to have some panels you can use once the ground is frozen - for example, if you wanted to clean out an outdoor pen or yard, but the sheep or goats are in there and there's no attached pen to move them in to while you work. Well, if you hang up 4 of those panels on a wall somewhere, you'll be able to take them down, wire them together, and have a portable pen. I swore I would get that done this year as nothing is more frustrating that having extra panels frozen to the ground you can't use when you need them most!

Summer brought several herding trials - the July trials coincided with the baling of hay, and also with ADGA Linear Appraisals for the goats. What a mess, trying to do all of that all at the same time. When it was all finally over with I could have slept for a week! Since my one girl was in a leg cast from May into June, I didn't get to trial her in July as I'd planned earlier in the year, instead she had to have the summer off. Sigh. I didn't work her at all this summer, but took her out once for a brief practice in September before the AKC and AHBA trials here. We entered the AHBA Ranch Dog trials, her first HRD-I debut. The first trial she came in 3rd and the 2nd trial took High in Trial. She is very talented and I went along for the ride you could say! So she now has her HRD-I,s title too and several High in Trials to her credit. A client dog, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Junior, took Reserve High in Trial on the first trial and also qualified nicely in the 2nd trial so finished his title too. The first Berner to earn a Ranch Dog title solely in Alaska. YAY!

Catching up on the goat front - I entered a few shows with a few of the girls this year. Being tight on funds, I only entered a few. At the June shows one of my Junior Nubians took Best in Show and another Best of Breed. My Saanens were entered in the AOP class where we had Oberhaslis, LaManchas, and Saanens up to 2 years of age. My girls took the Reserve Jr Champion wins which I thought they did quite well, considering they were born in February and April so just young girls. All of my Saanens are from the Des Ruhigestelle herd in Oregon. Purchasing them this year, and especially flying costs to get them up here of $400-$500 per big crate, put the big financial ding in my wallet for the year. But I am very lucky to have them!! Do Google that herdname and take a look at their website.....last year they won the ADGA Nationals in both Saanens and Alpines, an incredible achievement, and this year took the Reserve National Champion in LaManchas with a first freshener no less. Incredible breeders, Lauren and Fern!

The sheep are doing very well. I sold most of the lambs I wanted to sell of the registered flock. Selling registered ewes was near impossible as another breeder downsized their flock and sold them dirt cheap with a number of them going to meat. Sigh. Having bred several of my ewes originally purchased from that flock to my spotted rams, and not getting anything spotted only a Krunet to signify that the lambs now carry the spotting genetics means that those ewes are now going to move over to my unregistered flock for the winter breeding season. I want spots and will keep the carriers in my registered flock paddock. By the way, the ewe lamb that had Bersugget markings still has them, looking like a black lamb with spots of white snow on her. I'm excited to have her pattern show up! Topple will do the main duties here this winter, with closely related daughters and his sister going into a breeding pen with Peyton. Let's hope that Peyton actually produces lambs this year as last year he didn't get any of his girls pregnant, which was very disappointing! Perhaps Peyton knows he has one last chance, as he's been giving Captain in the same pen with him a very hard time. I've told Peyton a couple of times I expect to see Gulmoget lambs this year or I will be seeing white packages of lamb chops come spring! Ugh!

Now that things have finally slowed down a bit, I get to do my paperwork pile later this week...getting all those registrations done and Garrett's lease form. I need to do some more tagging so I also need to order those tags, and then put together the medical supplies order for the upcoming year preferring to ship when the temps have cooled down across the US since we use the postal system for shipping to up here.

It's definitely fall here with snow now covering the mountains and inching it's way down to us here in the lowlands. It won't be long until my sheep are happily scooping up fresh snow once again, something they seem to really enjoy!!


Glad to be back!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Also sold...


Sister's lovely Sugar Lips is also going to a new home! Congratulations!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sold!

Slipper's ewe lamb with 'spats' above....
Flutter's ewe lamb above!

Flutter's ewe lamb and Fairy Slippers ewe lamb are sold to a lovely couple from up north! Thank you Michelle!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

82 in the shade at 6pm - new pics


Above is a pic of the house with the South hayfield in the distance...crabapples just coming into bloom too.....
Pic looking north towards the barn that was red but faded now....boulder in foreground is chest high........

New water feature - check out the 'tiny' shovel to the left...that is one huge boulder! Our own little waterfall to enjoy this year! Makes lots of water sounds too - yay!
That's the south hayfield behind it......nice and lush and green this year!


Yeppers, we did it! 82 in the shade.......wow.....nothing is moving that doesn't have to move. We're not used to this much heat!



Officially hot

It's officially hot here! Yes, at 2:30 in the afternoon it's already 79 degrees. Will we hit 80? It might, it's warmest later in the afternoon since the sun is up high above us for sooooo many hours every day now. Blech, too hot to do any more work outdoors till this evening!

For those who like trivia, Anchorage Alaska Sunrise happened this morning at 4:25am, and sunset will be 11:35pm, followed by at least an hour of dusk...

great for farmers who work sun up to sun down, except up here.....we're pooped!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New photos




Caribbean's Ram Lamb again...



Above is Sophie's ram lamb born late May...I only had 2 ram lambs born this year....


My Bersugget girl....out of Sister.....perhaps Shaela, time will tell....



Natalie's gorgous ewe lamb...and I don't think she'll be gray either... she has white spots on one hip too! Her mother is Moorit with dark brown spots on her. Maybe I have a Smirslet/Bielset ?




Flutter's ewe lamb - just such a nice tail too!

Most of them are for sale too, with Caribbean's boy staying...
I can ship 2 to a crate on Northwest Airlines 'ya know...
;-)

Ok, now I'll head out to the other paddock...stay tuned!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy as a bee.....

sorry all.......crazy busy at this time of year. We are having lots of heat, far more than usual, and with heat comes extra watering of the livestock. I'm pooped of making the rounds so often! As soon as I get a helper, the rams are being pulled and put in their ram housing for the rest of the summer, then all the girls and their lambs can go into the bigger paddock by themselves and sort out their hierarchy again. All of the lambs are doing great.....a number of the ewe lambs are for sale too so if you want Minwawe genetics, they are certainly here and available. If you can meet a Northwest Airlines flight, I can put 2 in a crate while they are still under 20 pounds each, so that certainly helps! Will have to get new photos of the kids soon....they are getting to be such a lovely group too!

The Muscovies are hatching out small numbers of ducklings now too.....7 already here and thriving well, more to hatch as there are 6 more clutches that the girls are sitting.

On the chicken front, I may indeed have a beautiful Splash Blue Giant Cochin hen. They've molted into their permanent adult feathers now and boy is she gorgeous! I might have to enter her in the fair......

The dogs are doing great......I took Russell and Mimi in today for their hips and elbows. Those both should easily pass, but we'll wait for the final say from OFA! Gosh it's expensive to have them done tho - EEEEK!

The goats.......the Nubians girls are milking well. Did I mention I was in a goat show a little over a week ago?? I try to sell some of my best kids and adults to those who will show them and also put them on DHIR milk test. So, on the 31st, we had a big goat show that was fun. I had a number of goats entered. I consider myself a grateful breeder that I've put some nice stock out there......the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Nigerian Dwarf Senior does, Junior does, AND Bucks were ALL Silveraurora goats owned by others! Clean sweep - woohoo!!! That was a thrill! And for my youngsters in the big breeds, Queisha - one of my Nubians - who is 5 months old took Reserve Grand Champion Junior Nubian - the grand champion went on to win Best In Show Jr Doe so I'll take that reserve anytime to a BIS goat!!; and my 3 month old Saanen Elendearly took Reserve Grand Champion out of the AOP (all other purebreds) class against Saanens, Oberhaslis, and LaManchas. The Grand went to a year and a half old Ober, so they certainly did well!


Hope you're doing well......

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spring Flowers and such

Spring flowers and such...the plants - while they are young and just starting to regale us with their beauty. Another rain today, the low light and moisture makes some appear a different color than usual. Beautiful to enjoy tho.....

First, Scented Stock with a heavy perfume in the cool evenings....

A fun rose of old fashioned type, Playboy goes from yellow to pink to hot pink as it opens...
A beautiful rose in it's own right, when dry in full sun, is indeed like it's name - Hot Cocoa


Those in the Northern climates know the May Day Tree well....blossoms arranged much like the lilac.



One of my deck rail planters, consisting of Sweet Alyssum, Calendula, and Dusty Miller.






Spring flowers and such.......

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Silly me


It's hard having so many interests when the Alaskan summer finally hits! On Sunday I'm not only entered in a dog show in the morning but a goat show in the early afternoon......with 20 of my goats entered no less. Nigerian Dwarves, Nubians, and Saanens. Of course each venue is 45 minutes in opposite directions......if I'm not careful, I'll be passing myself on the road zipping from one thing to the other! Everything is crammed into an Alaskan summer, but then again we get to snooze all winter and make up for the madness......

silly me!

And here she is!

And here she is...... Minwawe Sleeping Beauty's new ewe lamb. Note the full face markings and the back markings......she sure is interestingly patterned. Almost a cape....not quite but sure close if you connected the dots - haha! BIG girl too.



And we had another little one arrive today - probably our last one of the year. Silveraurora's Feather, my moorit yearling with a small krunet, gave birth to a solid black with a full smirslet! And guess what sex? You got it - it's another girl!! I'll try to take pics of her tomorrow.
The final count out of 13 ewes:
11 ewe lambs, 2 ram lambs - both sired by Captain Hook.
Anyone want to buy some ewe lambs? I think we've got enough this year to sell, that's for sure! And to make things even more comfortable in the wallet, NW airlines has been shipping 2 to a crate lately too.....not a bad thing to consider, don't 'ya think??? Does anyone look like they should fly to your home?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sleeping Beauty's new lamb

Good morning! Spring is here in full force and that means little time in the house - and little blogging - when the weather is good. But I needed to take time to type just to announce that we have yet another beautiful registered lamb in the flock as of yesterday. Minwawe Sleeping Beauty gave birth to a very large single lamb, and, if you've been following my blog, then you've guessed it - it's a girl! She's a beauty too......mostly white with only a few big round black spots on her front half and big Yuglet eye markings along with the black muzzle that Topple passes along to his lambs. Yes Topple. You see, Sleeping Beauty was with Peyton, the Gulmoget. But Peyton doesn't seem to have 'done anything' this time around - the only girl in his pen that has shown any signs of pregnancy is Sleeping Beauty and that is because 5 months ago, according to my calender, I heard a loud crash and saw Topple clearing the fence while I was doing barn chores. By the time I put back one of the dairy goats I was taking out to milk so I could get out there and grab him, the 'deed' was done. Boy was I mad! Perhaps Topple was frustrated that his neighbor wasn't taking care of things. So I marked the event down on the calendar and yesterday, his daughter made her grand arrival in the sunshine of a warm day. So, Peyton, we don't quite know what has happened to you, we have no lambs from you this year even tho you were quite happy living with your girls since last fall, all through the winter, and into spring. But, at least Topple took over and we have a lovely little girl to be thankful for!

10 registered ewes have given birth with one more due soon. So far, the count is 8 ewe lambs and 2 ram lambs.

For the unregistered working flock, they have finally finished lambing including the yearlings. 23 lambs running around like crazy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Blessed rain.....

Blessed rain........we have gone directly from winter to summer for us here in Southcentral Alaska. 3 weeks of temps in the high 60's, last years dead grasses and dry spruce trees meant horrible fire danger. You can see the forests in these photos, they are dense. Last Friday I had to rush home from town when I received the call that a fire had started only 2 miles downwind of our house. 6 hours later the fire was contained, but that was a nerve-wracking afternoon. Now, today, finally we have rain. A light, steady, cleansing rain. Wash away the ash still lingering from the last time Mt Redoubt blew up; wash away the dust and grime that comes from afternoon thermal uplifts that cause winds; wash the gravel and blades of new grass and gently woo the leaves on the trees to fully erupt. Rain, we certainly needed it!



Above, rose buds will eventually reveal a Cocoa on the left and a Honey Perfume in the center which is flanked by Fern Dill and a box of Nasturtiums. Above, my rail planters I started in the greenhouse consisting of Alyssum, Calendula, and Dusty Miller - this is the south deck, so very hot in the summer and requires tough plants no doubt! The marsh behind still has plenty of water and wildlife. Yes, the 'green thing' is a parrot stand for our Cockatoo.
The deck, a hodge-podge of outdoor furniture picked up bit by bit at end of season sales - haha! The water fountain on the left surrounded by miniature red and white pinstripe roses; Honey Perfume front right, and a non-patent further back on the right. The 'view' is the south hayfield and mom's rabbit hutches.

And here's Blanche's little ewe lamb. Long bone pattern! Good crimp, nice little Krunet on her head telling us she's carrying the spotted genetics.

How are you doing??