Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunday Stills

"If you can’t beat it use it, since power lines are a photographer's worst nightmare let's use this to our advantage. So find a cool landscape, sunrise, that would look great except it needs the dreaded power lines to mess it up, and throw in a billboard too, they are just as bad.. :-)"



Miss Aria in the morning fog earlier in the week. I ain't so much on the power lines, but I suppose if you look hard enough, you might like the symmetry between the two lines and the two fences.



Panning right, you've got your basic power lines and the "power lines" on the ground. Equally offensive, but very effective for sheep pasture rotation ;-).



Here is one from the archives. As soon as Ed posted the challenge, I immediately remembered this picture. I love this valley - just up the road - but was frustrated to see the shot ruined by the power lines. Little did I know, just a few months later, I'd be happy I took it ;-).



But still, I like this cropped view better. Wouldn't be nice if we could just crop out all the ugliness in the world? (As always, click to biggify.)



And here is a shot of the sunrise over Stella's house back last winter. Until I started looking for power lines, I'd never noticed the criss cross in this picture.

For more powerful Sunday Stills shots...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pastorale



Look at these cute little "clovers".



These are the trees I like to sit under when I'm hanging out with the boys in the evening. You can lean back and put yourself in the picture too if you'd like.

Even when it's hot, the grass is cool. And the pine trees smell wonderful. Take a deep breath. Nice, eh? If you look straight up, you can see the sunlight filtering through the branches, kind of winking at you.

Some birds sing well into the evening and some start rustling around getting settled in early. There's always some shuffling of position to get it just right. I love to listen to the birds going to bed.



Hey look! There are three clovers now :-). Miss Ewenice has finally won them over. Or maybe they won her over. She didn't seem as excited to babysit this year as in years past and I was afraid she was getting too old for all that nonsense.



"When I was a little lamb about your age..." (Keebs is pretty polite, but I think I see his eyes starting to glaze over.)



"We'll be okay out here tonight. I'll take good care of the babies."

Thanks Miss Ewenice.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Death And Destruction

Not a banner day on the farm.

Scrunchy tested positive for both Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. I knew this was eventually going to happen. We have too many strays around here to get lucky forever. There are no good decisions. None. You try to balance the needs of the cat and the needs of your other cats and the needs of all the other stray cats he might come in contact with as a free roamer as there is no way to bring him in the house or confine him for the rest of his life.

There are some rescues that can take infected cats, but they are already overcrowded and overworked. As all the rescues are. For cats, dogs, horses, pigs, rabbits... I'm sure the majority of blog readers are already well aware of this problem. We've all taken in strays and rescues and wondered why folks just couldn't be a little more responsible.



I'm not sure where we go when we die, but surely it's better than living in a cage. And hopefully you know that someone is sad to see you go.

Today also began the destruction of the old stripping room out by the big barn. This is the bigger of our two small outbuildings and had been moved here by a previous owner back in the 70's I believe. He stopped by one day to see the farm and told the story of balancing it on a tobacco wagon, pulling it over here from a nearby farm and resetting it all by himself. Quite a feat.

And while the building was still standing and very useful for parking tractors and miscellany, the foundation on one side had collapsed and we were told it would be cheaper to rebuild it than to repair it. As it came down in less than five minutes, it was probably a little dangerous as well.

Still, old buildings have character and history and I am a sap and sad to see it go as well. I'm just glad the project took a little longer than planned to get underway, as it gave all the baby birds plenty of time to grow up and move out of there over the last couple of weeks.



There is an email that frequently surfaces that features signs between two churches somewhere.

It starts as "All dogs go to heaven."

"Only humans go to heaven, read the bible."


"God loves all his creations, dogs included."


"Dogs don't have souls. This is not open for debate."


"[withheld] dogs go to heaven. [withheld] dogs can talk to their pastor."


"Converting to [withheld] does not magically grant your dog a soul."


"Free dog souls with conversion."


"Dogs are animals. There aren't any rocks in heaven either."


"All rocks go to heaven."



And cats.

And old barns.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Give Me A Break

It's 60 bajillion degrees here with about 500% humidity. No lie.



I've watched a progression throughout the day from Comby's feet sticking up in the air to falling off the chair, getting back up and going right back to sleep.

I've been trudging back and forth from the barn in sun so bright I can't even open my eyes all the way.

And I'm sweating. I Hate. To. Sweat.

And I broke my good [cheap] sunglasses.



Eli's sleeping under the porch.

Give me 40 and raining any day.



This does seem a little cooler Brushy, what with the breeze being able to blow underneath you. Good thinking :-/.

Because at least then I don't have to look at all my hardworking compatriots.



Aw, ain't she cute. With her widdle head up on a dirt pillow.



Which is why she's called the Garden Weasel. Nice hole there Weaslie.

The only reason Iris and Claire Bear aren't pictured is they are smart enough to hide [it's too hot to go looking for them].

Scrunchy's laying low because he heard something about getting 'tutered tomorrow.

Ugh.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

With The Best Of Intentions

I tried.

I really tried.

I really, really tried.

We even had a 'the porch has been liberated' cookout last night.

And people brought Nilla Wafers and a bag of special mixed lamb feed (Graham has a sensitive tummy) and some excellent feed for the two legged people as well.

Earlier in the day Saint Tim moved Boo's cat condo out in the boy's new stall so they'd have a familiar place to sleep and Miss Ewenice agreed to babysit. It was a great plan.

Until I went out at 10:30 to give them their night ba-ba.

And here's where they were found this morning.



If you think Iris looks forlorn, you should see Saint Tim.



GL: "Really? You're surprised?" (Graham is so gullible.)



I mean, could you send them out to the barn?



And, if Graham can't hang out on the porch, how's he ever going to visit with his barn kitty?



"Huh?"

I'll try again tonight.

Or maybe Wednesday.



"Yup, we got her right where we want her."

Monday, May 25, 2009

See?!?



"This is why I'm the patron saint of ANIMALS!"



"Green. Just green. As far as the eye can see. Nothing but green."



"A little help here? Anyone?"



"Finally."

"I didn't even know there was a rose living next to me."



"I'll admit the mulch is a nice touch."



I'm sorry Saint Francis. It won't happen again. I promise.

~~In Memoriam

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Stills

Our challenge this week is yellow...



...so I'm starting off with purple. With some yellow. Even more yellow if you click to biggify. I'm pretty into my pollen.



If I'd posted a full photo of this flower, you'd think it was just a plain white iris. I love the way my camera shows me there is always more than meets the eye.



This yellow flower is someplace that it should not be. In my greenhouse. I posted this not only as a beautiful example of yellow, but to shame myself into getting this poor squash OUT of the greenhouse today. Feel free to throw in some extra shame. I deserve it.



And I bet you thought I would throw in a bee picture, too. I was, until I saw how neat the yellow is on this moth. (Definitely click to biggify.)



And I gave the camera to Keebler and Graham Lamb because I thought it might be interesting to see what yellow they would pick. Kids pictures are frequently insightful and this is no exception - a yellow box of cookies and a yellow(ish) cat. Graham must have had the camera for this one. He loves his kitties as much as cookies. Keebler loves his cookies.

Scrunchy (who's starting to feel a little more comfortable - and better fed - on the porch) is going to be sorry to see the heated cat condo heading to the barn (just for the summer - don't worry) today. I'm going to miss the two layer table/shelves. But not too much.

And yes, that's a Christmas tree. For the cats. On top of the condo. With presents underneath. And the lights (LEDs) still on. As a night-light for the boys. Who are also moving off the porch this weekend.

Enjoy your Sunday! And to enjoy more Sunday Stills...

Friday, May 22, 2009

You Can Tell By The Overhang...

I came home yesterday and was greeted by a peach colored cat on the porch.



"Hey Brushy. How's it going? Did I miss anything?"

Wait a minute.

That ain't Brushy.



Scrunchy!

He'd been gone for a day or so and I was afraid (okay, sort of hopeful) that the other cats (Comby!) had chased him away.

Any cats that come around here and will let us get ahold them get Feline Leukemia and AIDS tested (we've been lucky and not had any positives), given their shots and 'tutered. At least that way they've got a better shot of not getting sick and giving anything to our existing cats and at very least aren't adding to the cat population if they move on. HAHAHA - no one ever moves on.

So then we feed them for the rest of their lives, add some flea and tick treatment throughout the summers, update their shots every year, treat their boo boo's (note the lump on Scrunchy's back - thanks a lot Comby!), buy them stupid heated cat beds and build them outrageous condos so that everyone has a warm place to sleep in the winter.



The fruits of our labors? Yeah, that would be Brushy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cops And Robbers

The barn antics of yesterday morning were not the end of the farm trauma for the day. Around lunchtime I went out to check the new hive and see if they needed anything - fresh linens, coffee and donuts, sugar syrup...

I like to just stand and watch my hives for a minute or two when I first get out there. BeeTV is fascinating. I've noticed that the bees in my oldest hive tend to fly in on the left side and out on the right side. And they fly in with legs so loaded with yellow or orange pollen you can actually see it from over 6 feet away.



Isn't that neat? (As always, click to biggify.)

This hive seemed odd though. There were plenty of bees flying in and out, but they didn't seem super organized and orderly (very un-beelike). Maybe because this was their first full day in their new spot?



Wait....some of those bees don't look quite right. (Our bees are the small yellow and black striped bees.)



And why are some of them literally rolling out the door and off the front porch?

Robber bees!!!

And the poor bees in my new hive were doing everything they could to defend their new home!



"(POW) Take that!"



"And THAT!"

"Hey lady! Could you put that camera down and give us a hand here? YEESH!"



Sorry guys - I'm on it!

I stuffed some dry grass in three quarters of the door to limit the size of the opening they were having to defend. It took awhile for everyone to figure out the new entrance, but within an hour, things were starting to settle down.

And now that I'm done with lunch again today, I'm getting ready to roll off my porch and see how things look out there.

Bee careful kids!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Fun on the farm this morning...



Brushy!



Seriously Comby, you think you can take down a chicken?



Dude, can't you see I'm trying to sleep here?



Can't you do something about him?



Just for fun - I thought this was a cute picture left over from the weekend. Of course, not so great for vegetable matter (VM) dropping down into beautiful, clean, soft white wool, but hey, they're boys ;-).

Fabulous weather here. Hope everyone has the same.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Stills

Our challenge this week is eyes.

"Yep, ya read right eyes. Someone once said eyes were the window to the soul, lets find out."

I've been out at the "The Bluegrass" all weekend. This stock dog trial is one of the longest-running and most prestigious trials in the country and draws competitors and spectators from as far away as Alberta, Canada.



Meet Hemp, a very nice young dog from Alta-Pete Stockdogs.

Doesn't he look look nice?

He might not if you were a sheep.


Eyes are very important for a working Border Collie. Not only are they expected to use their eyes to look far off in the distance to locate their sheep, but they then use that "eye" to persuade those sheep to go, or stop, wherever the shepherd needs them.




I don't like the look in that lead sheep's eye. This picture is actually Lad, a kennel mate of Hemp, who qualified as one of the top 20 dogs and made the finals today. Way to go Jenny and Laddie!




Back to Hemp. That's a pretty persuasive eye, eh?




It was an honor to be reflected in "the mirror to his soul".



Graham Lamb, on the other hand, was not impressed.



How 'bout them movie star eyelashes? As always, click to biggify.

For more Sunday Stills (even though it's almost Monday)...

For Jenny's very fun farm blog....

For more trial stories and results...

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