Since my last post, we have had even more babies!
On December 15th, one of the brown eyed girls became a new momma. Unfortunately, she had twins, and the poor thing did not know what to do. We gave it as long as we could, but with the babies fading fast, I made the decision to bring them in to the tub. Both are little girls and here they are two days old.
Then yesterday, December 16th, Beulah had twins. I was so frustrated with her. She wouldn’t have anything to do with them. I took a towel out and tried to clean them up some, and kept taking them over to her. She was not a very good Momma with these babies, I must say. Finally, I had enough and decided to bring them in as well. The House Herd just doubled in size. Of these two, one is a boy and the other a girl. Here they are one day old.
Four babies in the tub is just too many. Hopefully we will get them in a pen outside this weekend. They are getting more mobile and holding their own. The little white one is already trying to jump out of the tub.
Then this morning, December 17th, Black Momma had twins. She is one of our very best mommas and will take great care of her babies. Here they are maybe 2 hours old
True to form, Greedy Gretchen continues to suffer from HTF Syndrome. I really don’t think she will ever learn. To be honest, I have given it some good hard thought, and I do believe that we are, in fact enabling her little habit (heavy sigh). But what to do? Leave her hung up in the fence for hours on end to teach her a lesson? To me that is just not humane. At times, however, it cannot be helped. If we have to go to town, we make sure she is out of the fence when we leave. Generally stopping the truck on the way out of the drive to get her silly head out. Then stopping in the driveway on the way back to the house to get her unstuck, knowing full well she will be hung up in another section before we can even get in the house.
So begins my story. We had a photo shoot yesterday evening, and not ten minutes before we left, I released her from her self imposed fence collar. We were gone a little over three hours. When we pulled in the driveway, we had a little surprise waiting for us. Par for the course, she was hung up again, no big surprise there. The surprise was that she had increased the herd by another little girl!
Now I have to tell you, I felt really bad that she was all hung up in the fence, and had to go through labor that way, and to be honest I am not at all sure how she managed to get the baby so clean. But she is a good sized strong little girl, and was already standing and nursing when we got home.
You see… The last time Gretchen was pregnant and had a baby, she was also stuck in the fence, and unable to tend to her wee one. I happened to be home at the time, and did not realize she had dropped the baby. That baby did not make it, and I have blamed myself for its death ever since. I knew it was my fault. So I make the many daily treks out to the pen to help Gretchen with her little syndrome. Thus enabling her and probably encouraging her to continue with it. The weirdest thing about it all is that when we left the last two days I had this premonition and fear that she was going to get herself stuck again, and drop another baby. That we would come home to find the baby dead because she couldn’t tend it.
But I must say, that Gretchen has had the most beautiful and striking little girl that I have seen born on the farm since I have been here. She is a beautiful, strong girl, and was already beginning to jump and bounce around last night. We have truly been blessed with Gretchen’s gorgeous girl!
The kids are ready for spring! They romp all around the yard when they get out of the pen. King of the mountain is one of their favorite games, no matter what the mountain is comprised of
Watching the goats is a hoot. They definitely know how to have fun, and keep themselves occupied. This spring and summer should be quite fun. We have one more momma pregnant now, hopefully we will see a baby or two soon from her, then the fun will begin again.
So I am a week behind… I will play catch up today. Seems I am in a slump where my photography is concerned.
Last week had a great Valentine’s Day, got some flowers & the cutest frog EVER! I fixed a special dinner of bacon, steak & baked taters. Then some banana bread as a bonus.
Had a beautiful sunrise with layers & layers of crepuscular rays shining through
Then on Friday, I figured I would try to capture the sunset
Black Momma had her baby.
Yesterday I heard quite a ruckus coming from the goat pen. thinking I needed to check them anyhow, I grabbed my coat & the devil dog, and headed out. After putting Gus in his pen, I headed toward the goat pen. Immediately they all started telling me in no uncertain terms of their displeasure in the fact that I was not coming to see them with bucket in hand.
I have been watching one wide-bodied girl for a few weeks now, thinking if she got much bigger she might pop like a tick. We decided a couple of weeks ago that she was for sure carrying twins.
When I got down to the pen, she had just dropped her first baby. Tiny little thing it was. With it being so cold I was worried right away. I ran in the house to grab the camera & headed back down. I was glad to see that she was starting to clean the little thing up.
It was trying so hard to stand up, and I was reminded of tubby struggling out there. You can see, she is still quite wide. She kept walking off, having contractions. At first, she just went a little ways away.
It tried and tried, but just could not get the strength to stand. Just ended up scooting it’s little self across the pen. With every five minutes that passed, I could tell not only by the failed attempts to stand, but also by the feeble little cries it was losing strength fast.
At this point, I could not stand it any longer. My hands were frozen, and I knew that baby had to be completely chilled, what with being covered in afterbirth and all. I watched Momma drop number two, and I could already tell that baby was twice the size of number one. It was time to put the camera down & take action. I ran in the house, put camera in my bag, grabbed a clean towel and headed back out.
By the time I got back out there, Momma had dropped number three in the shelter as well. At first she just took care of number two, who was obviously the strongest of all three. Dusty ran to grab feed to distract the big goats, and I clambered to the top of the gate sitting on my perch waiting for him to get the big goats away. I quickly went out, scooped number one up, and took it back to the shelter.
Once inside the shelter, I could see Momma was only tending number two, three was still completely covered in afterbirth. One was weakening by the minute, but when I roughed it up good, it would cry a faint little bleat, and Momma seemed to be going to tend it. I just wanted her to let them all three eat at least once. They need that first milk from the Momma. Three was not quite as big as two, and one was only about half the size of three.
I stepped back & watched from across the pen, silently willing her to take care of all three.
Within a few minutes two and three were standing and nursing. One was just laying there on the ground. I tried one more time to get one to nurse, but I couldn’t get a cry out of it. At the same time, Momma showed a little interest, so set one down, and stepped back some more. No luck, two and three were just stronger and more demanding of Momma. When Dusty finally said we best bring it in, it’s little nose was in the dirt, I scooped the baby right up and headed to the house.
We needed ingredients to make the rich baby milk, but I was able to get a little bit of whole milk in it’s belly. Then, we headed to Atwood’s to get some colostrum, and to the store for rich baby milk ingredients. I was so worried when we got back it would have just not been strong enough. It obviously wasn’t quite done cooking, it’s little hooves were soft and tore easily. I was literally elated to see that not only was the baby alive, but STANDING! YESSS!
So, that was the excitement on the farm yesterday afternoon
I tried to post this yesterday, but the internet foiled me, so am trying again today. Had a couple of 70 degree days Friday & Saturday, so we worked on garden pods. We figure if nothing else we will “will” spring here permanently.
I had not touched my camera all week, was completely uninspired, and had a few orders to work on. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I was inspired to shoot yesterday. Funny how some things present themselves at just the right time.
Dusty went to let the goats out to graze, since it was so nice, and there was the beginning of my inspiration.
We have 2 large round bales in the pen for them to munch on. Goats can be a very funny lot, they seem to be driven by food. Baby Bud thought he would get the best of the best without competition, and climbed up in between the bales into a hole that had been made. Not sure how long he stood there eating, but obviously long enough to make his belly too fat to get out. This is the scene that greeted us from the front of the pen. Man, he went to caterwauling when all the other goats ran out of that pen.
Of course this was just too funny for words, so I had to walk around the other side of the bales & get a good pic of his mug. Needless to say, he was NOT a happy camper, and telling everyone in earshot of his dismay.
Then Dusty tried to help him help himself, by giving a few little pinches to his hind leg. At this point, he was really wriggling trying to get out. I think he was thinking, “Oh! Something’s getting my leg, my leg, my leg.” Then freedom was achieved. Though he was still a little disgruntled about the whole ordeal. It must not have scarred him, as he quickly found his way out of the pen and was off to find the rest of the herd.
One thing I love about shooting sunsets is that they change so dramatically as the sun disappears. Taking just one shot does not do it complete justice. I feel like I have to keep shooting away, to insure I do not miss that one spectacular shot.
Then back to working on straight horizon (without having to straighten it). I have decided that unless it is just terrible, or completely called for I will not be straightening or cropping any more of my shots. I will work on better framing to begin with.
Very close to being out of my horizon line, I love the affect of the sun through the trees. The purple coloring, while beautiful makes me sad, as it is caused by one or maybe several of the many grass fires that popped up in the last couple of days.
Sun is still visible in the silhouette of the trees, purples are amazing, clouds look spectacular, and sky is quite blue. I just love sunsets here on the farm! Still playing with the horizon here. That seems to be a new thing I want to perfect.
Then back around front to let Tubby out of his pen for a while to romp and hopefully wear himself out. Got some cold wintry weather headed our way & not sure when it will be warm enough again to get him outside.
Then he got down, looked right at me, and at the words “Go see her, ” took off at a run over to clamber all over me. This ended the picture taking, as the first thing he did was try to mouth the lens cap in my hand. Then it was up on my lap, head up in my neck giving little nips to my neck and chin (goat teeth HURT in case you wondered). Then it was head under the arm, and starting to go down my jacket sleeve. Hard not to get attached to the little bugger. I guess I’ll just keep him.
I wanted to get out earlier in the day yesterday and get some pics of all the birds hanging out on the farm. I tell ya, them birds are some skittery animals. I was able to get a few shots I thought I would share.
We have two, count them two bird feeders set up in the trees right out front of the house in great view of the kitchen window. Yesterday not a single bird on them, they all opted to clean up the grain the goats missed.
Seems one thing is a constant with goats, and that is the desire to eat, no matter how cold. All hunched up in the bitter wind, but man that hay is good! A big ole bucket of feed would be better, but hey, they will take what they can get when they can get it.
Black Momma is one of the more dominant females, and was eating with the “big boys”. She’s actually pretty friendly, but no goat best get in her way when it comes to feeding time, else they will get a good swift butt!
Back in to the warmth to check on the baby. He has really grown & is almost a month old. He has perfected climbing all over the tub, and made his way to the floor once. I think he just fell that time, because he doesn’t seem to be able to figure it out again, so far at least. He is also very good at looking you straight in the eye int he mirror reflection. That tubby is one smart puppy, I tell you!
On his perch, his favorite place when he wants to play. He’s a talkin to me wonderin where that bottle is. Normally I would not post pics that have poo in them. Hey everyone knows he’s gonna poo! No way to house train a goat, they go when and wherever they want. Thing about this poo is yesterday was the first time he pooed perfect little pellets. We have been worried about that until yesterday.
Late this morning, I was in the kitchen doin my chores, and up pulls a car in the drive honking the horn like crazy. I went out to see what the commotion was, as we very seldom have unannounced visitors. Usually just those that feel the need to “save my soul”. Today, however, it was one of the neighbors who asked had I noticed the fire. Since I could not see the smoke or the fire at that time out the kitchen window, I was completely shocked to look to the south (I am slowly learning my directions, at least from the house) and see a sky full of smoke. Evidently with the dry weather, and the high winds, the fire was spreading hard and fast.
Dusty rushed home and we did what we could with the hose, let the goats out, put Gus, crate & all in the back of the truck, shoved tubby in the crate with him, and packed up a few things to get us by if the worst happened. I have to ask – How exactly does one decide the most important belongings to save? Family heirlooms? Electronics? Clothes? I opted for clothes, boots, warm coats, etc, while Dusty grabbed laptops, external hard drives, and other electronic items that we of course could not live without. We were packed and as ready to go as we were going to be, ready to leave at a moment’s notice if the flames burst through the brush behind the house. The firemen were working at a frantic pace, and we saw that departments from several surrounding communities had made the trek to help get the blaze under control. Once we were fairly confident the place was safe, we of course had to take out and see could we get any good shots.
Here are a few –
It appears the fire started due to a discarded cigarette butt at a crossroads… a shame, as the fire spread unhindered across the pastures and fields very quickly, leaving nothing but a large swath of charred land in it’s wake. A huge collection of round hay bales still burns in the distance. Our place is just beyond the hay bales a bit.
Amazing this home was not taken completely. The fire burned right up to the house. Thank goodness for the quick thinking of the reporter, as well as the fire departments involved.
A closer shot
Another view… It was otherwise a really pretty day outside, just look at that sky!
Had that hay been allowed to go full out, I fear the fire could not have been stopped before several families lost their home.
Trying to insure everything was well soaked, to prevent flare ups from smoldering ashes. Special thank once again to all the firefighters who helped save our properties today!
***Dusty had told me before leaving for work that he was going to come home for lunch & start the smoker goin and throw some ribs on it for dinner tonight. I have to say I told him that sounded great at the time, but this was just ridiculous!
We decided some baked goodies were in order for all the hard work the NFD put forth on all our accounts today, so I spent the afternoon unpacking what I had previously packed, and made up cookie dough to bake up a bunch of goodies to take to show our thanks. Over four hours later & the hay is still smoking as seen from the house. That was sure a lot of hay! I am just glad that all the cattle seemed to have made it ok. Though I heard that all the excitement might have thrown a heifer into labor, and hopefully a nice new addition is safe & sound to the south of us.
After checking the animals, feeding Tubby, and taking Gus out to his pen while I was outside, I noticed the makings of a great sunset off to the west.
Tubby spent the afternoon in his new outside pen that Dusty made for him yesterday. Just like a “big goat”. He wanted Gus in there with him I think. He is still licking his chops and has milk mouth from his bottle
Gus however, was bouncing off the walls of his pen in true Devil Dog fashion… So I decided to let him out for a bit, while I was outside. I have been doing this recently, and up until today he was pretty good about staying on the property. Today however, the little poop decided to head straight down the drive to the road, and headed towards the closest neighbor’s house. Not a wise decision, as I am sure the mastiff would like a little Pomeranian to chase. he was pulling the I am gonna stay just enough ahead of you that you cannot catch me game. Thank goodness Dusty came down the road just before he reached the corner and stopped and helped me get him. Boy did he know he was in trouble. We hitched a ride back to the house (I admit I had a mental image of the scene in Marley & Me where the dog ran beside the car all the way & if I had had the lead with me, he would have walked his butt home!) Needless to say, he is once again confined to the pen if he cannot be trusted.
Lucky for him that he did not cause me to miss the sunset in it’s full blazing glory. I think it was a fitting end to a fire-filled day of excitement!
I just love this shot for some reason.. it is nothing but an old t-post, but I tried to capture the colors of the sunset in the background & like the bokeh and the effect in general.