The next morning. . .

Yesterday I ended up with almost 6 inches of snow. Evidently the one goat shelter was flatter on top and didn’t have the right arc. While the shelter is still functional, the sheep shelter didn’t fare as well.


Not a White Christmas. . .

It snowed last night. When I let the dogs out this morning, I had to kick Kip out . . . although she later remembered that she liked playing in the snow.

Heading to the barn

Kip in the snow

This is the view from my gate. . . I am feeding for a friend and was very happy that my new(er) truck has four wheel drive as I actually needed it to reverse.

Kip and Fix

I’m glad someone is enjoying the snow. The sheep, goats and chickens are all sure this snow is totally my fault and they are NOT HAPPY. Since it is still snowing, I’m expecting a total of about 6 inches.

Happy Holidays . . .

While I don’t personally observe holidays, when I remember I like to do something special for the dogs. I have been saving the last package of neck bones for today.

Christmas Day


Fix will have completely cleaned all the meat off the neck bones by the time I go out to feed in a short while and then he will carry around the neck vertebrae for several days. Kip, on the other hand, will bury hers after she spends 30 minutes or so chewing on it.  (Which then gives Fix a chance to steal hers as well as he is very good at finding what she hides/buries.) And while Sleet would dearly love a neck bone, her teeth just aren’t up to the challenge so she will get a little something extra for dinner tonight.

New Mexico “Snow”

New Mexico is well known for its windy conditions, usually in spring when the trees are starting to leaf out. However, yesterday morning while doing chores the winds were brutal in stripping leaves off the cottonwoods. There were brief bursts where so many leaves were swirling it was hard to see more than five feet in front of me.

Chickens, chickens and more chickens

Icelandic cross??

This past spring the young Icelandic rooster gifted to me tried to protect two hens from a coyote and unfortunately all three chickens lost their lives.

However, one of my hens hatched out four chicks and successfully raised three. (Clutches are a communal effort so the parentage of the chicks is always debatable.) Two turned out to be hens – one is a dirty white so is likely a Delaware cross – and the third was a rooster. I *think* that my Icelandic rooster might have been the sire of this particular chicken.


A few weeks ago, the friend who gave me my original Icelandic rooster gifted me with another Icelandic rooster. This one is older and has gone through a molt. His tail feathers still need to grow back.

New Icelandic Rooster

And finally, towards the end of the summer one of my hens decided she no longer wanted to roost in the coop. Since she could avoid Fix (and me) by going through the cattle panel into either the corral or goat pens, we were never able to move her back to the coop at night. I figured she would have a short life expectancy spending the night outside, alone but she continually surprised me by being present every morning when I went out to feed. Every night after the rest of the chickens were locked up in the coop, I would look for the errant hen and be unable to find her. However, a couple of nights ago I finally found where she had gone to roost.  See if you can find the chicken.

Last night the temperatures dropped to 18 degrees and I was sure the hen couldn’t have survived, but she was hanging out at the animal pens when I went out to feed (though she did follow me back to the chicken coop and ask to be let inside.) We will see if she goes back to the coop tonight with the rest of the chickens. [Note: she did not go to roost in the coop with the other chickens tonight.]

If we were in England . . .

we would be celebrating Guy Fawkes day. However, here in the U.S. I’m celebrating my birthday.

My garden tower in the breakfast room (or as I call it, my home office) is flourishing. I’ve been making pesto from the basil and parsley to go along with the spaghetti squash from my garden and I should have enough lettuce for a couple of salads a week through the winter shortly.

Morning of 11/05/18

The weather was gorgeous today so I snuck away just before noon and Fix and I took a short hike in the Quebradas (about a tenth of a mile south of my gate.)

Last of the desert flowers

Fix perched on edge of Arroyo










We had some rain a couple of weeks ago and the vegetation took advantage of the water and warmer temperatures.

I avoid the Quebradas when it rains because of the potential for flash flooding (the hikes are on the bottoms of arroyos) but it is nice to know that Fix could save himself if needed.

The cottonwoods are finally starting to change color. It won’t be long now before all the leaves are gone.

Heading Home


Fall Surprise

I staggered breedings on does this year, expecting kids in March and August. March came with no kids so I rebred those does and reconciled myself to having all the does kid in August. Then August came and no kids. At the end of the month I rebred all the does for kids in January. One of my does escaped a couple of weeks ago and I found her parading in front of the buck pen — obviously not bred and back in heat.  I did  go ahead and expose her to a buck again, making the appropriate notations in my records.

So imagine my surprise when I went out this morning and found . . .

The gestation period is 150 days plus or minus three for goats, which would mean that this doe was bred the beginning of June. Except she wasn’t. I have no explanation for how I ended up with a kid this morning – and of course, it is a buckling. While normally I prefer doelings, in this case, a buckling is fine. Rather than spend the money verifying parentage which would be necessary before registering the kid, I will just wether him at the appropriate time and plan on butchering him.

So now I just wait to see who else surprises me. . .

Welcome to the Farm

When I first moved to the farm I was operating a dog training business and had a sign at the end of the driveway. When I closed the business and removed the sign I decided to put a farm sign on the gate so that the (now occasional) visitor could find me. I bought a sign that turned out to be a plastic foamcore. While the sign was attractive when first installed it did not hold up well to the weather and after two occasions of having the Fed Ex driver leave packages at my neighbors (despite a phone call where I gave him directions) I decided I needed a new sign and one that had my address.

The original gate sign had photos of sheep, dogs and a goat but I decided to use a photo of an oil painting that a former dog training client had painted for me the year I first ran the business here. The three dogs are the ones I had when I moved here in 2007. Sleet – a failed foster from ARPH – who is now spending most of her time sleeping and eating; Jet – an Australian Shepherd who I lost a few years ago; and Tuck – who was six months old when I moved here and who I lost in June – way too earlier.


Tuesday Takes

Oddly I have a plant that is producing two different colored spaghetti squash – one started as a green stripe and the other as a light cream. I have been checking daily to see if any were mature enough to cut off the vine and today the rind of the green one finally seemed hard enough. I’ve never seen a spaghetti squash this color before so it will be interesting to see what it tastes like.

Three of the chicks are still alive and growing rapidly. It looks like one is a Delaware cross (the rooster is a mix) and the other two look like Australorp crosses.