Monday, May 22, 2017

A fine time

The last time we had Buff Orpington hens, we sold them because they went broody. Their problem was that they weren't very good moms and didn't always sit on the same eggs, making it hard for us to remember which eggs we could sell or eat.

Not long after we sold them, a friend gave us 2 more Buff Orpington hens. 13 months passed and no egg-sitting, so I thought maybe these girls just weren't the mommy type.

So we bought 12 new chicks at the end of March figuring none were going to be hatched here. Now, just as those chicks are big enough to graduate from the garage to an outside pen, the remaining Buff goes broody. (We lost the second one to an illness.)

As of yesterday, Buffy Hen is sitting on 8 eggs. Since we kinda don't need 8 more chickens at this point, I can only hope they don't all hatch. Last year there were about that many and only 2 hatched, both roosters, so I don't think the survival rate is very good, but only time will tell. 21 days to hatch a chick. I think we are about a week into this.

These 3 photos of the grown up chicks are from Saturday when we moved them from their crowded box in the garage to an outside pen. They were still checking out their new surroundings when I took these pics. In the large photo: the 2 girls up front are the blue eggers. Mixed breed, so never sure what they will look like. The one on the right looks like one of our older blue eggers, the one on the left looks like a mix of the other 2 breeds that we bought. The black and white ones are Barred Rocks, the others are Golden Laced Wyandottes. This little redhead has the pattern of the Barred Rocks, and the coloring of the golden girls.

Keeping an eye on the BR behind the water bottle in the top photo. Bigger than the rest and already has the chin wattles. Hope you're not a rooster! We welcome all chickens here at Lester's Flat, but we already have 2 roosters, and only the well behaved ones get to stay forever.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Number 3 born today

Hard to get a good photo with an iPhone when walking a dog on a leash along the highway, but here is the third foal born at the Quartier Horse Farm this year.

Lightning Bolt from yesterday was right up at the fence nosing with Cyrus, but didn't have the phone with me for that cuteness...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New foal season

White one was born May 3 (or thereabouts). Little brown one just today. I guess the horses wait until the apple blossoms finally open to bring their kids into the world.

Apple blossom photos to follow as soon as we get some sun to show them off. I think this is going to be a good apple year, as opposed to last year where I think we had a total of 2 apples from our many trees...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Willie and Monkey

The cat boys never get top billing, so in a quick post late at night, here are the 2 boys in the closet. Nothing like a pile of laundry to catch their interest... Willie left, MonkeyCat right. Their second best choice is when I am changing the sheets on the bed. Maybe pics will follow.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chasing rainbows

Coming back from New Jersey last night I was chasing rainbows coming down Route 88. The temperature in Palmyra was 72° when I left in the afternoon, and 46° when I got back up here. Clear skies most of the way until just before Oneonta when I could see the black clouds ahead and bright sun behind me. Just one little chunk of rainbow in there would disappear and then reappear as a bigger chunk. It took over the whole sky as a double rainbow right before my exit. We get a lot of them up here, but they are always awesome.

At the old homestead I finished all my gardening, dead-tree-removal, lawn-mowing, room-painting, and ex-neighbor- and ex-mailman-hugging in just those few short days. Fingers are crossed for a good Open House on Sunday. If we don't sell this house soon I might just lose my mind...

Kept Charlie and PeeWee entertained for a night or 2. My boys were all thrilled that I came back to entertain them. At least that's what they told me. 2 of the big guys are insisting that I walk them RIGHT NOW even though it's cold and raining and I don't feel like it...
Charlie (back) PeeWee (front) hogging the bed
while I am trying to change the sheets
and get out of Dodge

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cats are sleeping. Kids are big. Pit is fixed.

Monkey and Willie, yin and yang, but backward.
4 goat kids with airplane ears are almost as big as the 2 mamas in the background.
Firepit all finished by the amazing Mr. Grady. It wasn't cheap, but it is well done.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring is trying

I just looked at my post from last April and saw we had snow that first week last year as well.

Oh well.

The Husband took some great goat and goatie pics yesterday when the weather was trying to be nice. It hit about 65° yesterday, and is supposed to get to 79° today. Warm enough to try for a dog run and some beers up at Don's house.

We put the NJ house back on the market at the end of February. Reviews so far are lukewarm at best. It seems the realtors like it better than the home buyers, which is better than what I could say about the realtors the last time around.

We are in the process of getting the deck and firepit repaired enough so that the house will look a bit more sellable. I just finished composing a review on Angie's List of Elite Landscaping who did a not-so-great job of building both. That, and they gave me a ridiculous price of $1800 to repair the bluestone firepit that was pretty poorly built in the first place or it would not have fallen apart after 15 years. Yeah, I know, 15 years, but shouldn't stone last forever?

Finally, we have a whole dozen new babies here at Lester's Flat: 5 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 5 Barred Rocks, and 2 Easter Egger chicks. They just graduated from the bathtub (in the video) to their new digs in the garage yesterday. With the heat lamp and the warmer weather I think they will do just fine.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cabin fever: bad dog part 2

This is what happens when the boys are penned up in the house after a snowstorm. Only place they can walk is down the driveway, across the road and past the horse farm, the mechanic's shop and the eagle's nest. All very interesting for me to look at, not so much for them. And we couldn't even make it down the driveway for 2 days during the storm.

The last post was about the WoodMan running off down to the creek when I couldn't chase him through the snow. That was last Monday. Last Thursday, he did it again, only this time it had gotten really cold the day before, and there was a nice icy crust on top of the partially melted snow. Still about 2 feet deep, but even more difficult to walk through.

At first he was just messing around. He made it all the way down to the Town Garage, about 1/4 mile. I followed him in the car, but when he saw me, he turned around and came back toward home. Now he is getting tired, he is on the far side of the creek, and it is starting to get dark.

I sent out the troops—The Husband, 2 neighbors on foot, their son on a snowmobile—no sign of Woody. At least we knew he wasn't on that side of the property anymore. So I called Don on the Hill who could see him all the way on the other side of the property. Don and The Husband tried to drive into the field to get him but the snow was still too deep.

So back I go through the crusty snow to the creek to call him back. I am thankful he made it back across the creek before I had to cross it to get him. I think he was trying to come home but was too exhausted and too afraid of going back into the rushing cold water. I had seen footprints where he had either fallen through the ice on the far side, or jumped in not knowing how bad it was.

You could say he learned his lesson. I say probably not. Leash walks only until all the snow goes away.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bad dog!

The WoodMan found the sun earlier (see post below) and now the well rested boy has found his way back to the creek. After a week of trying, my big bad hound finally was able to plow his way through the snow and go back to his favorite spot by the creek. I made it about a third of the way there when I realized that there was no way for me to catch up to him. I came back home and watched the show with Cyrus.

The big red arrow is pointing to WoodMan's butt, running away, not home. And, if you look really close, in the photo where I am up to my knees in wet snow, you can see that it is warm enough that there is a living little bug in the snow.

Bad dog!

The bench and the WoodMan have found the sun!

Just a week has passed since our biggest snow ever, and the sun is back, snow is beginning to melt. We used to get these big Nor'Easter snows back in NJ, but since we have been up here even the lake effect storms don't bring this much snow all at once.

I think our final total was 34". You could not see the top of that bench, much less the top of the largest pot and the birdbath. (There are still 2 big pots under the snow.) Add some really cold air and plenty of wind—well let's just say that the WoodMan was not sitting out on the porch sunning himself last week. As of this morning, he's back in his chair.

My old body is still recovering from digging paths through the snow for dogs and chickens. It is problematic when the only place that any animal can move about is in the cleared driveway. Let's just say that not all of our animals do well together in enclosed spaces...even more difficulty when one of us is trying to drive in the driveway with dogs and/or chickens...or when one of the local stray cats struts his stuff down the path...

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The bench came back

It looks like the storm is over. The storm had a name—Stella. At least my bench is back in view (sort of) even after some snow squalls that made it look like Stella was coming back to haunt us. This photo from mid-afternoon when it wasn't looking too pretty.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The disappearing bench

1:17 pm

3:17 pm
6:17 pm

We are snowed in.

I made it back from NJ just in time to miss the Nor'Easter that was supposed to hit down there worse than up here. HA! My reporter in Brigantine has nothing. Little Sista in Willingboro had some snow and then ice, enough to knock the power out for a couple of hours, but not a significant amount.

Cyrus on the covered back porch
We, unlike any previous storms in Central NY for as far as Google can see, are completely snowed in! Yikes! Good thing I am not working this week. Traffic is not moving up here, even up here where they can move snow, no problem. The miracle Mr. Kelley has not been back since 8 am this morning.

In the big pics, you can see my disappearing bench in the snow. Next photo shows the Weber grill, a chair, and to the right of the chair, just barely, a round table. Isn't that table at least 30" off the ground? At 6 pm? And it's still snowing.

All will be OK. Woodstove if the power goes out. But really?

The Husband took off work today, and probably again tomorrow. He spent all day trudging through the snow taking care of goats, chickens, dogs. He sent me out there at dinner time to "really appreciate how much snow there is". I nearly passed out just walking from the house to the chicken coop to close them up.

The dogs have barely made a path about 3 feet through the mess to go do their business. One of us will clear a path for them tomorrow.

At least they can get outside and come back in. I feel for the critters who do not live indoors.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Woody is bored

Woody is bored with all this fuss about baby goats.

Grand total is 9 baby goaties at Lester's Flat, plus 1 little Roger Ramjet (renamed Maxwell, Good to the Last Drop) still staying with his foster Grandma until he can rejoin the rest.

Took 2 trips back to NJ since we last talked. Put the house back up for sale with a new realtor. LOVE my new realtor.

Also lost my favorite uncle last week, which prompted my second return to NJ.

Love you, Uncle Jack!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Now 6 kids, still waiting for a few more

Yesterday was the most difficult birth that we have yet experienced, and I got to experience most of it all by myself. Lucille gave us one little girl, and I am very surprised (and now much relieved) that she only had one. Lucille is our oldest goat, the black Saanen that we first purchased with 2 white kids (Helen and Jack). Goats can have 2 or 3 kids, especially after their first year, but last year and this she only had one in there. She looked as large or larger than the rest of the mamas, but one day later...I am sure she is done. :)

When I checked on her, she had just a little baby nose sticking out the business end. A little black baby nose with the tongue sticking out. She was struggling to push out the whole kid, but it was not in the right position. They are supposed to come out feet first with the head right after. This one had the feet and legs tucked back under its little body.

The good news is that new little girl and mom survived my help. The not so good news is that I was out there for almost 2 hours pulling on the kid's head as hard as I could until I could finally grab it by the shoulders. Not easy. Not fun for any of us. Calls to 3 different vets for help provided me with the info I needed—large quantity of baby oil! I won't share any more of the gory details with you other than to say I did 2 loads of laundry when all was said and done. And took 2 showers.

Poor Lucille! And poor little girl with the longest neck ever (sorry!!!!). Both are doing very well, as far as I can tell.

In the large pic above, little Roger Ramjet (brown one) brother of Bowie Jr (black one) is still struggling to stay alive. He was born on Friday and is still not feeding from Beatrice. We have had him in the house in our laps a few times, he made a trip to the vet, and he spent last night in the bathtub (much to the delight of Woody and Cyrus!). Even with all of our attempts to revive him, he still just won't turn it around and perk up. But he must have a strong will to live because he is still hanging in there. Say a little prayer for Roger.

The second photo is Rosie with her 2 kids who were born on Sunday. The larger light-colored boy had a little difficulty making his way into the world. Only now in this photo can I see that he is missing the hair on one whole side. Ouch, must have been uncomfortable being stuffed in mom's belly all that time! The second Bowie look-alike is actually a girl! Yay! Much smaller than her brother, but still very cute.

We decided to name only the Bowie look-alikes with David Bowie-related names. The first kid born was Ziggy Stardust. He does not look like his dad, but we couldn't help it, he was the first.

So Rosie's girl and Lucille's girl will probably be Angie, and Jean Jeannie. Still working on a name for light boy. And, if we get another Bowie boy—Major Tom!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

More kids: 4 boys, 1 girl total

Beatrice and Bowie Jr.

Zena and Ziggy Stardust
Twins: Roger Ramjet and Bowie Jr.
Beatrice nosing the David Bowie look alike above. Cutest picture gets first dibs.

Pics to the right are kids in order of appearance. One of the youngest, Zena, gave us Ziggy Stardust on Tuesday. She is an excellent mother, especially considering it is her first time kidding.

Friday morning Beatrice gave us twin boys: Roger Ramjet and Bowie Jr. Roger has been struggling to stay alive. Even a trip to the vet and multiple hours of resting in our laps inside, and resting in the bathtub for even more hours, and we still cannot tell if he will make it or not. But he is trying.

And this afternoon Rosie provided us with another honey-colored boy who is twice the size of his Bowie-colored sister. Not the best at sexing baby goats right after their birth, so I could be wrong, but pretty sure the last one is a little girl. (My God I look old in that picture!)

I will do a better job of posting when things settle down a bit. We still have 4 pregnant goats, and it is snowing something fierce out there, and Cyrus is having a blast barking at all of the deer who show up really well in the snow!

Some day soon we will all settle down.
Bowie Jr. and Ziggy

Rosie with her new boy
Rosie gave us the first girl (I think)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

One day old

Didn't you know it was Take Your Baby Goat to Work Day?

Brought the little one in to the newspaper office to share the cuteness.

He was loved by all, but I think he likes me the best.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Let the fun begin!

Not much to say except the wait is over. First kid of 2017! Pretty sure he's a boy.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sunny and Sleepy. Still no kids.

Sun today, after days of clouds and snow flurries. These boys (and their mama) are just being lazy today, hanging out in the sun.

We had some visitors from way down South for Mr. David Bowie today. They were here last year on the day we brought him home. He was just a tiny little boy to pick up and cuddle. Now Mr. Bowie is the king of the hill, waiting just like the rest of us for all of his little children to appear.

So much cuteness on the way...but, in the meantime, pictures of lazy boys in the house.