Wednesday, April 29, 2009

~ A Thief in the night...........

My telephone rang at 5:30 a.m. this morning. I just knew it was my Mom who lives across the drive and my greeting was "WHAT'S THE MATTER?".....she never, ever calls me that early nor does anyone else unless something is wrong.
She had an intruder last night. Sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. A bear decided it had been hibernating long enough and it was hungry! My Mom has been a friend of the birds for as many years as I can remember and has many, many feeders out for them. Not anymore. This guy ripped down all her feeders, carried off her biggest one and ripped the big wooden feeders right off their posts. She had a small metal garbage can on her porch filled with seed that it proceeded to roll off on the ground and consume 90% of the bird seed. It was a very quiet bear - my dogs didn't hear a thing. Neither of them barked and Banjo was outside on the front porch.
This is a black bear - native to Maine and becoming more common in rural areas. We have never had one on the farm in all the years we have lived here. Now that they are coming out of hibernation they are looking for protein. Blackoil sunflower seed is full of it and they love it. The bear that was here consumed about 20lbs of seed.
We followed it's trail beyond the house into the back pasture where the sand was soft. It was easy to see his prints. Jacob followed his tracks to the edge of the pasture towards the woods.

It left enough sign behind that it was here and what it ate. I hate that my Mom cannot feed the birds. She enjoys that so much. The advise we received from the Pro's is to take down all our feeders and leave them down for a week. If the bear comes back and their is no food supply, it's likely it won't return again. We have done as they suggested and are keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't return.

Monday, April 27, 2009

~ Lamb update....

It's crazy busy here in a good way. The weather is finally moderating and things are greening up. The sheep are getting a few minutes of grass each day and they so enjoy that. I love to watch them out with their little ones. We've been fencing and cleaning and tilling and sprucing up the place. I'll post more about that later on. Today I'll introduce you to our lambs we've had so far. Four ewes have lambed, three more ewes still to go.

This is my 2nd cousin, Jacob who is visiting for a weeks vacation. He brought his four sheep with him and we will shear them tomorrow. He loves the lambs and all the animals and has been staying with us on holidays since he was a little boy :) He's holding one of our first lambs, Bailey.

She's a sweet little ewe and a beautiful moorit and appears she will stay that way.

This is her twin, Barnum. He is darker in color but has the orange pigment around his eyes and I believe he will lighten up as he gets older.

This leggy little fellow is Tylerfarm's Errol Flynn. He was the second lamb born this year. He is a Coopworth/Finn cross. I was so hoping for twins which the ewe gave us last year but I am very happy with this guy.

This spotted little guy is Tylerfarm's Clark Gable. He is Shetland/Finn cross. The ewe is a white, 1/2 Shetland, 1/2 Finn. Ram is moorit Shetland. Aren't these markings wild? He's curious and sweet natured.

He's very happy to pose for the camera! What color will he be when he's an adult, anyone dare to guess?

.....and the latest additions are Tylerfarm's Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Shetland ram and ewe lamb born to a black ewe and a moorit ram. This little ram lamb is definitely black with the greatest white head markings - see photo below.

The little ewe appears white but she actually has tan markings on her legs and faint tan markings on her head. Now we wait impatiently for the next round.............

Life is good! Hope it's a sunny day where you are :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

~ Spring in my garden.....

Finally spring has sprung in my garden. I've been enjoying looking at all the beautiful spring flowers on many of the blogs I enjoy reading. We are slow to catch up here in the Northeast and nothing happens day no flowers, the next day they are up and in bloom. I was so happy to see these lovelies bloom in my garden yesterday. Purple being my favorite color, these crocus are some of my favorite spring flowers.

This single white crocus was in the opposite garden, I think there may be more but they haven't emerged yet. Iris and lillies and my bleeding hearts are s-l-o-w-l-y poking their heads up through the soil. With the wind and cool temps, the soil in my gardens is very dry. Rain is moving in and tomorrow should be a blessed rain day which everything will appreciate.

Lemon and Lime were out exploring and enjoying the sunshine. It amazes me how quickly the goat kids grow!

Tom is an Altoid fan and so are the goats :) He rattles his can and they come running, just begging for a treat. They don't dawdle long, those kids keep them on the move :)

Our second ewe of the season to deliver had a large single white ram lamb late this evening. Photos tomorrow ~

Sunday, April 19, 2009

~ Lambing time !

It's lambing time - one of my most favorite times of the year. Yesterday afternoon Koko, one of my favorite moorit Shetland ewes delivered twin ram lambs. She was bred to our moorit ram, Graham, that we purchased last year. She is a great mother - instinctively knowing exactly what to do. These little guys were born within 10 minutes of each other and both were on their feet within minutes. Strong and healthy, just the way I like it. We have named them Barnum & Bailey.

This is Barnum. He was born first - he's a tad bit larger and has bigger horn buds.
This is Bailey. They are both very sweet and already love to be cuddled. The orange pigment around their eyes indicates that they will be both be moorit in color as adults even though Barnum appears black right now. Koko is the first of seven ewes to lamb. Looks like it's going to be a busy week :)
WE had a busy weekend and accomplished many farm chores that needed to be done. The little house with the blue plastic is our duck house. We moved the duck house and ducks from the back garden into the cow pasture. I thought they would do a good job cleaning up after the cows and they will all have plenty of room. That and I need the garden space. The frame of the duck house is an awning frame that DH recycled from a job he did. There were two of them and they were going to throw them in the dumpster. We have used both of them as duck house/ chicken tractors by using small chicken wire and this heavy duty plastic for weatherproofing. They are lightweight and move easily. Works great and they didn't cost a fortune. The cows and the donkey checked them out and when they found out they weren't edible, they weren't interested for very long :) This is my row of parsnips. They overwintered fine in the garden and are doing nicely. Most are big enough to harvest. Throwback at Trapper Creek recently posted a great chicken recipe on her blog with parsnips and other veggies. I'm hoping to try it this week one night for dinner.

While moving the ducks, we decided to separate out the males from the females. The males are incredibly aggressive to the females to the point where they injure them if they can gang up on them. One male is more than enough to keep the eggs fertile. The other boys went into the freezer. We raise Indian Runners and were happy at the size when dressed. We skinned them and it was much better than the usual dip and pluck method. DH halved them and is now looking for duck recipes as I write this :)

It is still dangerously dry - I york raked another pasture yesterday and the dirt devils were blowing up everywhere. They are predicting rain on Tuesday. We are praying that they are right - we need it desperately.

~ Wishing you all a great week ahead ~

Friday, April 17, 2009

~Catching up............

Illness and farming have overtaken us here at Tylerfarm the last few days. I fall out of bed in the morning and fall into it at night, as early as possible. The weather has finally decided that it really is spring in the Northeast. Temps in the 50's with a little wind each day. We seem to go from one season to the other overnight. Believe it or not, we desperately need rain. It's dangerously dry and fire is on everyone's mind. Many, many brush fires have claimed homes, forests and sadly, lives in the last week. We have been raking up paddocks of all the dried hay and leaves, keeping the fire danger as low as possible.

This is the spring paddock where our ewes and new lambs will be turned out once the grass is growing.
Below are a few photos of what else has been going on around here:
The last pygora kids born to Lace on 4/13/09. Lemon & Lime - they are doing wonderful. They are going to be a champagne color. They explored outside briefly yesterday afternoon. Hopefully they will do the same today and I can get photos of them exploring to post.

Lambing is imminent. Should be just another week before we start. I have some very hefty ladies :) Daphne (closest in the photo) is showing signs of being close, a swollen udder and she gets very affectionate just before she delivers.

Gus & Squirt have graduated.....they now go out to the big pasture with the cows everyday. They are loving this :) Donkey and the others checked them out thoroughly for a few minutes but after that everyone settled in and these guys are now just one of the group. They sure love the "hay anytime we want it" service. They are both thriving. I couldn't be happier with these calves.

We have several pair of geese that are landing on the pond nearby....this morning they were honking loudly as they flew overhead, greeting us as we started the day.
A new piece of ground, ready to be tilled and planted. I can't wait until the grass is a foot tall! The cows will be very happy to have another pasture to graze in and we will have to purchase less hay!

and......a new shipment of yarn has arrived. 56 beautiful skeins of natural gray pygora/merino blend. I'm anxious to find time to start dyeing this yarn. Greens and raspberry and aztec gold, yum!

It's a bright, sunny day and there are sheep waiting to be sheared and new fleece to be picked over :)

Thank you for checking in with us. I apologize for such a long time between posts.

I hope all is well where you are. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2009

~ Lace fools us all.....

Lace on Friday, April 10th

What do you think, Triplets ? Quads ?

Twin doelings!! This is what we found when we went to the barn early this morning. What a great way to start the day. All delivered, dried off and eating their first meal and, of course, adorable :) They are going to be caramel color like Papa Amos, the angora. They are average size. Mama goat is fine. She had her warm molasses water and now they are all having a nap. I think the lesson I'm supposed to learn here is that I have really fat goats! Four doelings this year out of four babies. I'm certainly happy with that.

The gem theme didn't work well - we ran out of options quickly if we wanted to use the first letter of the Mother goats name. We didn't think about it too hard this morning - Tom suggested Lemon and Lime and I thought it was perfect :)

My DH brought me home this lovely Easter lily that adorns my table and the smell greeted me this morning as I made my coffee. They are gorgeous this year. A favorite of mine and I look forward to having one each year. It has several unopened blossoms and should last a couple of weeks.

.....and he also brought home this sweet little pair (dubbed Horace and Milley) (nick names for Hubby and myself) that now hang on the front door. Aren't they cute?

I love the spring decorations and the Easter holiday. - to me it is a time of new life, hope, spring flowers and sunshine. The sun really is warmer and green is popping up here and there. Now if the wind would stop blowing :)

~Have a great day ~

Friday, April 10, 2009


I 'm taxes are finished. My part is done and I see the Accountant on Tuesday. No more being stuck in the house! Now I can enjoy kidding and lambing without that black cloud hanging over my head. I'm not a procrastinator about anything except my bookwork. There are always too many other things that need my attention - funny how that always comes back to bite me in the butt :)

Spring is definately happening around the farm. We've seen many geese flying over early in the morning. We have a small lake nearby and it's a stopping point for them in the spring. Anytime now the Loons will be returning to nest along the river and we will hear him whistle as he flies over. The killdeer have returned as well. They make me think of my Barney dog. He used to chase them for hours in the pasture.

Lace is still carrying her large load as you can see from this front and rear view.......

Can you believe the size of this goat? I say she will have them Easter sunday. It's really any one's guess - I know one thing.....she won't have them until she's ready :) I've been letting the 3 does and the two doelings out in the front paddock the last two days to enjoy the sunshine.

Ribbon and Ruby soaking up the sun..........

Diamond and Delilah were watching me rake up leaves and debris. They are nosy from birth. If there is an opening, these little buggers are gonna stick their heads through it :)

This is what is left of the bird tree I had standing up all winter near our bird feeders. We recycle them by giving them to the goats. The four males have pretty much stripped this tree in a week. They love the bark and the needles. It stayed green most of the winter. They will clean it completely and then we will cut it up and burn the rest.

I hope you enjoyed a sunny, warm day wherever you are ~

Wednesday, April 8, 2009