So I mentioned picking out pictures for the 2017 calendar the other day. I had quite a few good pictures to choose from, but sadly was missing the yearly favorite....Comby. Comby, the hardest working animal on our farm, who somehow always gets posted every year in the calendar sound asleep.
I did have a nice picture of Eli though. He doesn't get much press around here, so that might be nice.
And of course there's darling Betsy. There were a couple Betsy shots I liked. One with her and Bullwinkle in the driveway when he was a baby and another with her sitting out with the concrete sheep one evening.
We decided Betsy would be the most wanted cat (in more ways than one!) so Miss September she is!
Until I downloaded pictures yesterday and remembered that I took a picture of Comby sleeping in the greenhouse the other day.
Ah, there he is. Sound asleep. Order restored to the universe.
Just minutes (I am not kidding) after I booted Betsy from the calendar, my Inbox started blowing up with retweets and likes and more retweets and likes and more retweets...for a picture of Betsy.
If the Cat Shepherd retweets you, you are going to get some attention.
Which was apparently what Betsy was looking for.
Both cats both look pretty disapproving, don't they. How on earth did she pull that off?!? Are cats like elephants and can communicate hundreds of miles? Do I need to check to see if she has her own Twitter account? Is she on Facebook, too?!? This might explain why I have so much trouble with passwords :-o.
I guess, as a democracy (not dictatorship as Betsy thinks ;-), we should vote on it. Betsy or Comby? The poll should show up in the upper right corner. Feel free to share this with your friends if you'd like to try to stack the votes towards your favorite candidate ;-).
One of my favorite blogs is The 7MSN Ranch. I love her photography, her animal family, her frequently funny videos of, say, relocating a rattle snake from her back porch (!). She (re)posted some gorgeous sunset pictures the other day and a stat of how many sunsets she's watched from there.
As we were coming up on our farm and family anniversary, the fall equinox, the maths were pretty easy to do for here. I decided I'd copy her idea, go up on Stella's hill, take a sunset picture last night celebrating our 13th anniversary, take off my shoes and socks and count up the days.
Of course that didn't happen, but that's okay. I'm more likely to take a sunrise picture anyway. Stella gets the great sunsets. I get the great sunrises. So, today is the 4,745th (basically) sunrise I've watched from our back porch. Thankfully with no rattlesnakes ;-).
A happy anniversary!
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Check back later today for a funny Betsy story, an important vote and a giveaway!
I tried really pretty hard to get this posted yesterday for the Wednesday Yarn Along. I've actually taken pictures all the way through this small project, but have managed to hit 10 p.m. on each Wednesday and just given up getting a post up.
That seems to have been a theme for the summer. Here it is, the first day of fall (not that summer in almost any way feels to be over :-o) and I'm working on the 2017 (how on earth did it get to by 2017?!?) calendar. I feared I wouldn't have enough pictures to choose from.
Not only did I not blog very frequently, but I didn't take pictures the way I usually do. I really don't know why except maybe the extreme heat of this summer just knocked me down. I worked from sunrise to past sunset and mostly only got farm and animal work done.
Or I should say I got the farm and animal work mostly done. You never get it all done. I made sure the important stuff was done. Animal care first. People care second. Well, move mowing, weed eating and gardening to second and people third (just being honest ;-). Then housework. Then Punkin's Patch, followed by knitting.
Those last two got less than 1% of my energy all summer. Or maybe 1% for each. Who the heck prioritizes housework over knitting? And how do I support my wool family if I don't prioritize my business? Housework?? Seriously??? A clean house never lasts and all I have to show for it is a half a pair of socks. Seriously...
But the animals were well cared for during a challenging summer of Way Too Hot for old fat sheep. And the old fat people survived. And the farm looked good and made us and the animals happy (up until it stopped raining while maintaining the upper 80s). And surprisingly I have a good stash of calendar quality pictures to choose from. And a half a pair of socks.
And that half a pair of socks has actually been pretty fun. As many know, I am not a sock knitter. And I am not a color person. So I'm going to knit colorful socks? I got swept up in the sock fun on Susan B. Anderson's site. Miss B set me up to knit them two at a time on a long circular needle so there will be no second sock syndrome here and it has been fun to learn something new.
I've listened to a couple really great books and even read two real books that I've dearly loved. I mentioned the first Yorkshire Shepherdess book a couple months (!) ago. The second book is every bit as good and I sure hope she's working on a third and a fourth and...
I listened to Laurence Anthony's The Elephant Whisperer last week and thoroughly enjoyed that. I think I got prompted for it because I was searching to see if I'd missed any No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. I normally wouldn't have been looking for elephant books. Now I will. Absolutely fascinating.
This week I am listening to another of his books, Babylon's Ark, about the effort to rescue the animals at the Baghdad Zoo after the invasion. Some (well, mostly all) horrible stories so far, but the efforts made are inspiring for sure and the situations our soldiers were in, eye opening. I'm not turned off though and can't wait to "turn the next page".
And even if it doesn't really feel like it, summer is over and now we all get to turn the next page into fall, re-evaluate our priorities and git to knittin'! :-)
Several weeks ago, something must have given the chickens quite a scare. We have nine chickens. Two of the tiny banty hens have always slept up in the rafters. The other seven always sleep in the coop. Well, they used to. One night no one wanted to go in the coop :-o.
There were confused chickens all over the barn. Some were trying to figure out how to get up in the hay stacks. Some were trying to find a quiet corner in the sheep stalls. The sheep were confused, too. What on earth were the chickens doing out in the dark?
After checking to make sure the coop was safe and secure, I gathered everyone up and put them back in, latching the door. Chickens are early, early risers and as long as we'd felt everyone was safe, we left the door open so they could set their own wake up schedule. The door had been open for years.
After settling everyone in, I took Hank's dinner out to the back barn lot. "Hey, Hank. Keep an extra eye on the chickens tonight. I think something scared them pretty bad last night." As I turned to go back to the barn, Hank followed me. He walked down the barn aisle, through the tack room, stopped at the back door (the coop is just outside the tack room) and stared at the chickens.
First off, I don't think I've ever seen Hank even go into the tack room. Second, to do so he left his dinner unattended. The real mystery, however, is how he knew what I was talking about and without questioning, just said "Yes, ma'am, I'm on it."
There are college graduates that couldn't put all that together!
Hopefully this puzzle shows up. Let me know if it doesn't!
The food of choice to steal around the barn is chicken feed, whether it be trying to get into the scratch grains can or knocking over the feeder in the aisleway or gobbling up stale tortilla chips and bread.
Dumpster diving into the dredges of the garden clean up? Wow, that's a new low, Baaxter!
I have once again taken pictures for a Yarn Along post because a. I have actually been knitting a little bit and b. have a fun book to share. This time I can't get my computer to recognize my camera card. I give up. Maybe next week. Sigh...
In the meantime, here are some fun pictures of my sunflowers and the birds who are enjoying them. This was at least early last week. Things were still fairly green. They are now brown and toasted. And every time the forecast looks like maybe this never ending summer might be over...it rears it's ugly head. Maybe next week...
Even though this black lamb is at least five weeks older than Bullwinkle, he's a slower growing breed*, so Bullwinkle is more like his big brother. He's pretty nervous about everything in his new home and never leaves Bullwinkle's side. BW alternates between being really excited to have a minion to being mad he has a minion. Typical big brother ;-).
The new lamb came from Final Frontier Farm and is one of the Rocket lambs. While Rocky would seem to be the perfect name to go with Bullwinkle, his grandfather, Rocket's dad Rocky, is one of the new rams at The Training Center this year and that's just too many Rocks in the neighborhood.
I took a fecal sample to the vet this morning to have them check for parasites. I wrote his number (601) on the bag. The tech looked at my messy handwriting and thought it said Levi. I think that works :-).
*His mother is Clover and she's a Cotswold/Wensleydale/Texel cross (one of Keebler's cousins) and Rocket is a Border Leicester/something cross. He has a beautiful fleece that reminds me so far of Murphy. He's bred more like Hershey and Spud though I think, so we'll have to wait and see.
We had a brief reprieve from the blistering heat over the weekend. I've never been so glad to see low 80s in my life! I'd been wanting to get some pictures of the chickens sitting out on their "front porch", the hillside in front of the horse stalls, but since it wasn't miserably hot for a change, they were out being busy. I got some nice pictures of Hank instead.
You know I love morning and evening sunbeams. Or at least evening sunbeams when it's not 85 degrees as the sun sets :-o. I noticed the rays blazing over Hank's head and took this first shot.
And then I moved around a bit and let the sunset bathe him in gold.
And then changed my camera direction and included the sun, which I think tells a better/clearer story...but I don't like the composition quite as well as the next picture.
I wish I'd been able to leave a little more room all around each side. However, if I had, I'd have lost the bright flare/glare that I find so pretty. Hank is always a great shot, even in "bad" light.
Now that it's back in the 90s, I'm sure the girls will be back cooling off on the hillside in the evenings. If I can find the inspiration to grab the camera...
I don't know how The Young Eagle story ended up. I never found evidence of a Betsy ending, but he never came back to eat from my hand again. I looked hard for a few days and even a week later if I heard a familiar cheep, I'd go running out the door...just in case.
I've left the feeder in front of the Wool House porch and when I see little birds there eating, I just hope one is my little bird. The dove down on the ground...maybe it's one of Woodstock's family. Woodstock was the first little bird I raised, years ago.
Speaking of silly birds, the little black and brown hen on the right is one of my favorites. She's the second Sebright hen I've had that crows. Yes, she's a hen. She lays eggs, even sets, and she crows. I caught her with my phone yesterday. Hopefully this link will work.
A quick visit to The Frog Pond. I've seen a few more Monarchs this year than the last couple of years, but still not like "the olden times". We are working on adding more milk weed areas to the back of our farm and the neighboring farms for next year. I'm super excited about that. We all do too much mowing around here.
When we moved here in 2003, we "landscaped" around the small pond out back. I added quite a few Kentucky native plants and left some of the other "weeds" to fill in between. The single Joe Pye Weed I planted (that this butterfly is feeding on) has spread around almost half of the pond.
It's probably ten feet tall and I can see it from way up on the hill. It's a favorite!
Thistles are a conundrum. Such a pest, but so pretty and everything loves the flowers. I let them stay, but try to keep them a bit under control.
This beautiful butterfly has a beautiful blue body. Hopefully you can see it if you click to biggify.