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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Camera (thank you Bosco)

Finally I have my new camera. It was hard waiting but the AC went out so first things first. We sold my big paint horse Bosco so I was able to buy my camera. Thanks Bosco! Blogging without a camera was like trying to talk without my hands. Now I just have to learn to use it.

Not much to take pictures of this time of year so I went out and photographed the weeds. I will get the hang of the new camera in no time. I hope.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What to do when its 90 degrees and your black...

Or why I have to fill the water trough 3 times a day in the summer.

Sure is hot out here

Here, I'll hold the hose you run through it..

That didnt help.

maybe this way

If your so smart you figure it out!


Smarty pants!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Showing the Colt

Today was show day for our Gypsy colt "High Noon Bounty". Lovingly called the big fuzz ball. This was his first time off of the farm since we brought him here as a weanling from Va. Also his first trip in a horse trailer since then. We were showing him at a draft horse show in halter. They have a light draft division for Haflingers,and other light draft breeds.
We arrived with no mishaps all clean and shiny and ready to go.We walked into the barn with all of the huge draft horses. Their heads were as big as me and I am not sure I could even reach their withers. Everyone was busy cleaning and braiding these horses. Looked to me like a step ladder was standard gear for the owners. Bounty got settled in his stall. He of course wanted to be out socializing with all of the girls.

He lined up for his class and it became apparent that the Paint drafts showed in the light draft catagory. We were the only light draft there. Poor Bounty looked like a mini horse next to these big boys. I was pretty sure the draft judge would be biased towards the draft horses. They look at conformation and look for a nice impulsed high stepping trot. When it was Bounty's turn he trotted in front of the audience and an OOOOH went up. I felt pretty good about that. That was the first time I had heard any reaction from them. His trot put the big boys to shame. In fact the judge came over and lifted his foot to check for any kind of device to make him step high.
The judge took several minutes to look Bounty over.Other than letting his "stuff" down a time or two he really made me proud.When the judge lined them up to go out it was obvious that Mr. Bounty had won his class. Woo Hoo we got the blue. I was so tickled I almost cried. Showed against the big boys and won!
It wasn't until I started down loading pictures that I realized that OOOOH that went up from the audience might not have been because of Bountys looks and high stepping trot. They were impressed instead with his masculinity which was "just a swingin" as he trotted past them. Gave the kids on the bleachers a lesson in the male anatomy. It still could have been because he was so beautiful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spiders and Snakes (rant)

I was driving today and saw a black snake crossing the road. He was just beginning to ribbon his way across the asphalt. I went out of my way to miss him. I don't like to kill anything if I can help it. He drew back when I passed and started back to the side of the road. When I looked in my rear view mirror the truck behind me went out of his way to kill the snake. It made me sick and mad and reinforced, why for the most part I don't like people. As a whole we are petty, selfish, arrogant,and lets face it just plain mean hearted. That doesn't mean I don't like anyone. I like people for their individual redeeming qualities.

When I was about 9 living in a suburban neighborhood in Tallahassee we had a fenced yard with lovley forsythia bushes all around the fence in the back. They were old and draped over making great tunnels and rooms in and among them. I would spend hours making forts and playing in these bushes usually alone. One such day I had spent the day out there until my dad came to get me for supper. As I was crawling out he suddenly got an urgent demanding tone to his voice. "Come out Now" Which of course scared me. When I got out he showed me the snake that had been draped above my head almost touching me probably for hours. He made me go into the house and he and a neighbor shot the snake. He showed me the snake it was a huge cotton mouth. I cried for the snake . The next day they cut all of the bushes. I cried for the bushes. That snake didn't see me as a threat and I was too big to eat so he just left me alone. My dad did what he thought he had to do to protect me so I don't blame him. He did after that teach me to identify snakes and know which ones to stay away from.

I makes me mad and sad when people kill something just because they can. I am a live and let live kind of girl. I don't like spiders they give me the "heebie geebies"! I will usually move a spider outside or sweep him out the door if I can. I am not gonna squish it just because its a spider. Now the ones that are big enough to drive a VW I am not gonna touch, Squish ,sweep, or otherwise! They seem to like to committ suicide in our pool and they are huge brown,black hairy things.

I guess the point of this rant is : An animal will kill for food or to protect its young. Usually if it can leave it will. Why kill it just because you can?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Feeding The Squirrels

I mix my own feed for my animals. I don't buy the pre-mix sweet feed. Just like my kids I don't like to feed them all of that sugar. Everyone who mixes feed knows that each person has their own favorite ingredients. Mine are whole oats, alfalfa, and black oil sunflower seeds. I can feed this same mix to everyone goats, horses,cow. I do use a high quality loose mineral for everyone and a hard mineral block. The whole fat oat has some oil and the sun flower seeds have some, so all of my critters keep a slick shiny coat and healthy feet.

I had to get metal trash cans to keep the oats in because rats were chewing holes in the bags and eating the oats from the bottom. At least I thought it was rats. They can go through quite a few oats in a short time and at the price of feed ... Oh and they can chew a hole in the bottom of a hard plastic can. Not to mention the day I was talking on the phone to my son and reached the scoop into the bag with out looking and a mouse ran up my arm. He said I squealed like a girl! Well DUH!!!

I have not gotten a can yet for the sunflower seeds. Everyone enjoys them. Birds come right into the barn and will pick them out and hide under the pommel of one of my saddles and shell them. Had a wren come sit on my shoulder to wait his turn one day. He thought I was just a convient perch. I am going to have to get another trash can though because the squirrels have found the bag. Dang dogs just let them. They were eating from the bottom but now they just go in from the top. When you go into the barn they won't go far they just wait till you are out of the way to continue eating.I am waiting to forget and have a squirrel run up my arm! We will be talking SQUEAL then. Not to mention sunflower seeds are almost 30.00 a bag and squirrels can eat alot of seeds. The up side is they have planted sunflowers everywhere and If times get hard we have lots of fat, healthy, shiny squirrels.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Making a Dog Bed..or ..Mulching the Garden

We were supposed to get a late frost on May 4th so I decided I needed to mulch my garden.I use raised beds so they dry out a bit faster in the summer and the mulch keeps in the moisture. Mulch also helps keep the weed pulling chore to a minimum.I used the left over alfalfa hay that was on the floor of the barn. I spent a couple of hours bending,sifting and gently tucking the mulch under the plants that are already up. I was most worried about my cucumber bed as just the first leaves have come out on them. As I proudly surveyed my work, all of the plant rows tucked neatly into their alfalfa blankets, I noticed that my ever present companions were staring longinly at the nice cushiony raised bed I had made for them for the cold night ahead.Sweet Molly had her head propped on one corner of the bed watching me.
The Beagle laid contently in the middle of the path guarding the garden from squirrels.
and Manney , the big lug, was sitting on my feet.

They were all giving me their best sweet innocent "we won't touch it" looks and I believed them. They hadn't bothered this garden thus far. We had to fence the last one because Manney liked to bury his "Prizes" in the soft soil, living(possum) or dead. It was almost dark and there wasn't much I could do about it so I decided it was time to go. Needless to say as soon as I was out of sight they all tucked themselves neatly into the mulch like big ole taters. They decided to make the cucumber bed a squash bed. It did frost and nip a few of the plants.Some of the cucumber plants survived the "squashing"and not too much of the mulch was displaced. We have since used cattle panels to cover the bed and replanted. It was so nice of me to think of the dogs and make them a place outside. The nice soft warm hay piles in the barn just aren't the same.