I’ve always been a fan of Bev Doolittle’s “camouflage” art. Alas, my budget has never allowed me to purchase one of her paintings, though I do own a print of sorts. Yesterday while working at my desk I looked out the window to see the deer were back. My little digital camera does not have the best zoom, but I managed to get close enough to get a photo of most (but not all) of the deer in one shot. It is easy to see how well the browns of winter hide the deer. How many deer can you see? (click to enlarge)
Joey, my milk producing superstar Nigerian Dwarf, kidded out in December 2013. When the doelings were weaned, they went off to live with a friend down the road for her two girls. (To Everything There is a Season – February 23, 2014) Now that the two have grown up and are ready to breed, it was time to bring them back again.
Right now they are separated from the “big” goats but will be re-integrated back into the herd. I’ll try to post a good photo of Joey in the next few days. Spice looks so much like her dam that I’ve done a double take a couple of times to confirm that Joey was still in her proper pen.
You can see that my first attempt to disbud using a dehorning paste was not very successful (Nutmeg) but my second attempt worked just fine (Spice). It was certainly a lot easier and less traumatic on all of us not to use a disbudding iron so I will use the paste on future kids now that I (hopefully) have the process down correctly.
The last few months of 2014 brought some rather expensive problems. We had monsoons during the late summer, which brought much needed rain to the pastures but also brought flooding. The driveway which I had rebuilt after being washed out the fall of 2013 washed out at the top of the drive. The road repairs have not yet been done by the county road department and I elected not to repair the drive again until after the drainage on the road was completed. So my anticipated expenditures for 2015 include more work on the driveway. In December while having someone do what was supposed to be a quick fix for the plumbing lines for the house well, we discovered that the pressure tank needed to be replaced. After replacing the tank we discovered that the problem was much more extensive and that a new well was needed. I had a sand filter placed on the lines for the irrigation well and the hope is that if there is no sand being pumped out of the irrigation well, we can reroute the water from the irrigation well into the house for the time being and postpone having to drill a new well for at least a few months. However, given that the irrigation well is only used to water livestock and therefore used only every other day at this time of the year, it is probably going to be at least another week before a determination can be made whether that option is viable. So while I spent the end of the year juggling finances, I’ve also spent some time contemplating why I choose to live here.
The New Year brought a winter storm with it and I woke up this morning to six inches of fresh snow on the ground and drifts that were up to the dogs’ bellies. This was a good reminder why I elect to remain on the farm despite the problems associated with rural living.
Now that hunting season is over, the mule deer have returned. In the past two weeks I have seen several small groups of deer, including does with last spring’s fawns and a six point buck, in my front pasture.
I cannot imagine living in a city environment and not being able to connect with nature on a daily basis by simply walking out the door. So here is hoping that the snow fall beginning the New Year is a sign that there will be pasture again this spring for the new lambs (expected in early March) to frolic in.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2015!