Search This Blog

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy dog show weekend

It was a busy dog show weekend. Saturday it had rained overnight but let up as the show started. Our friend and competitor from Kenai took the 5 point major in bitches with her 3 year old girl, so her long drive was not for nothing at least! I went home very early so I could teach herding lessons in the afternoon. Today it poured rain and didn't let up in the morning at all, and on the sparse grass and plenty of mud, one of my puppy owners put the 5 point major on her girl, named Arra, who just turned a year old! So it was a good weekend!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

And now dried off.......

A few pics dried off........

A Woodpecker Mother's Love

It's a really neat thing at this time of year to see the mother birds coming to our deck feeders only 12 feet from our livingroom and watch them feed their young. Here's one of our large woodpeckers feeding her fledgling.

Here she is....

Francie's doe kid, minutes after arrival into this world!

Saanen watch....

It's about that time .......
today we have begun Saanen kidding watch, the first for this year. Francie has been moved to the kidding stall, mucous string present, tail head high, and doing all sorts of talking including to me. Whenever I enter the barn in the morning it's a 21 gun salute - with all the heads and feet hanging over the stalls to greet me.
Francie was suspiciously missing from the lineup!
When I looked into her stall, there she was, looking at me but still laying comfortably on the floor. And then she started talking to me.
Any good goat mom knows what that's all about, so I did the barn chores, milking, and check the clean birthing stall to see what was needed like fresh warm water, minerals, and hay. Done with that, Francie said goodbye to her herdmates without so much as looking back and quietly walked into her new surroundings, checking the smells on everything. Yep, this will do nicely, it has distant smells of birthings past. She talked to me a bit and then settled in, milk bar already filled to the max, just waiting for the kid or kids to arrive.

And shortly after I posted, I heard Francie calling so went to the barn and things were underway. A lovely big healthy girl arrived into the world! Mom is doing a wonderful job, the little girl has already eaten a big meal, and I collected colostrum to put in the freezer without going to the milkstand - she just stood and let me do my job without moving or fussing. I also got my neck and face cleaned in the process, and didn't even loose an earing - haha! Everyone here about 1 year of age and older were tested negative for CAE and Johne's also, and no CL on the goats nor on the property ever, so no problems with letting the dams raise their kids for a few days. A beautiful girl - simply wonderful!

Proud dad is Des Ruhigestelle Elaradale, "Dale", a Winseeker - 2008 National Champion Senior Doe - grandson.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Time flies by

Time flies by but the events keep going! The sheep are doing really well. It's time for some of the registered spotted lambs to start leaving, so I hope people start coming for them soon. It helps their moms to put on lots of weight before our winters hit, and feeding those lambs takes allot of effort on their part now doubt.

Dog shows and dog herding events are at the forefront for the next few weeks. A big dog show in Anchorage next weekend, thankfully my breed, ACD's, goes in at 9am. Then I can rush home, let the dogs relax, while I go back to work and hold herding lessons in the afternoon instead of the morning like usual. The the follow Friday starts 5 days of herding trials and clinics and lessons - 2 AHBA trials and 2 AKC trials. Since I've been putting allot of time in on the dairy goats and the sheep, I haven't been training my own dogs like I should so will only be entering one of them, and handling a few clients dogs too. Maybe by September I can have a few more of mine ready for trials!

Chuckles is in the dog house today. Bad boy, he's decided he can rip chainlink fence to get to his girlfriends. So, we're working on a new fence panel for Mr. Romeo that has nothing to do with chainlink and will keep him safe and warm ALONE. Either that or he'll get to live in the big play yard for a while with his best (SPAYED) friend, Martha. HA!

Rick painted the front of the barn last week, and it is beeeeeeautiful! Above is a photo of what it looked like. The paint was a latex originally from Sherwin Williams that was supposed to hold up to the sun and cold in Alaska - painted twice, it never held up and in fact eventually turned an unsightly pink and peeled off. Disgusting. He bought a special and very expensive acrylic latex this time, and it's a beautiful dark red again. He worked hard! It's nice to have a red barn once again and hopefully the paint will last 5 years and not turn pink again. BLECH!

Friday, June 11, 2010

An Award!

Thank you Donna at
for sending on an award to me!

Hmmm, what to say that my intro doesn't cover! I came to Alaska in 1980 from Michigan with my first husband who was my college sweetheart at Michigan State. We permanently moved up here from mid-Michigan, packing whatever we could into an old but newly-painted 4 horse stock trailer and my pickup truck, and hauled it over 4000 miles over the Alaska Highway in 1981. I had studied Forestry and Animal Husbandry; and he had studied Forestry and something else (funny how those things now fade into the past!). We split a few years later as he went into the big world on the fast track and my interests were still the same - the land and the animals. Alaska has always been a place of magic to me, and the chance to move up was too enticing to refuse. Fast forward 30 years, I now have a registered herd of Nigerian Dwarves, Nubians, and Saanens and milk most days twice a day and have done so for more than 7 years non-stop. As a friend once said, I have 'great guns' - the arms of a farmer, ha! In the summer I'm busy also teaching herding to stockdogs and their owners. My favorite work is that which is training for farm and ranch work rather than arena trial work. There are a good 40 plus dogs that come here spring summer and fall to train on sheep and ducks, and a good number continue to practice through the winter months too. So I like Donna am middle aged, in my 50's, and enjoying the farming life on a 120 acre farm carved out of virgin forest near Wasilla, Alaska. Summers are crazy with long hours and tons of hard work, and by the first snowfall, we are ready to enjoy the quieter months of winter. It's a quarter to 11 at night and it's completely light out, the sun hasn't even set yet and it won't for a while. Room-darkening shades are a must if you ever want to sleep in the summer in Alaska!
I will have to figure out who to send this award on to, but I know Jenny in Scotland will be one of them! :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last lamb of the season arrived today!

We had a little guy born yesterday, all black with a white Krunet - our last of the year! YAY! No more registered ewes due to lamb for at least another 8 months. Kinda nice to just sit back and enjoy the ewes and lambs once again too!

Dog show weekend

This past weekend I attended the dog shows with the girls.
Stockmaster's Red Roisin,my Irish girl bred by Daryl Moffitt in Northern Ireland, sired by Ch Silveraurora's PW Tom Thumb out of Stockmaster Drover's Lady, took the 4 point major Saturday going Winners Bitch and Best Opposite at the Alaska Herding Group Club show. Sunday, Roisin not only took Winners Bitch for another 4 point major (her 3rd) but also went Best of Breed! Yay! Saturday, Silveraurora's Helen B took the Reserve with Auntie Linda at the lead and Sunday Silveraurora's Leah's Dream took the Reserve with her mom, Judy, for her first Reserve to a major! Both of those girls are puppies out of Ch Silveraurora's Watch Me Fly by our red boy here, Ch Quickheels Finishline Chuckle, PT. So we've been a little busy with the dogs lately!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finally, RAIN

For almost 3 weeks, we've had no rain. Around us there have been showers and downpours, but right here, nothing. Drought. Dangerous drought. High temps, with days in the 70's and even hitting 80, when we're supposed to be in the low 60's. Today, the skies are finally letting loose and we're getting rain. There is no hay growing in the fields here without rain, and there will be no hay crop the end of the month unless this happens ever week at least. Today we can be thankful for the rain, and I hope it keeps falling all day long. The woods are too dry and the birds and animals need this too. Finally, rain!