Monday, July 6, 2015

Lazy Days of Summer

Independence Day has just past.  So far, we have had a pretty nice summer.  It hasn't been too hot, and the bugs have been very minimal.  That being said, I've not posted much here as I've not had a whole lot going on, hawk wise.  Still, there are some things going on.  Today I got the camera out and took some pictures for a quick blog post.

Flowers are blooming!  Currently, my Clematis is looking pretty dramatic.

My Hydrangea is getting bigger!

To Rich and My complete surprise, we had "volunteer" Hollyhocks this year.  Neither of us have ever planted any seeds, yet they came up this year.  They are very pretty!

This year I'm growing our tomatoes in big pots.  The farm has lots of "lick tubs", previously filled with yummy, sticky, sugar type stuff the cattle love.  We picked up several of those, Rich put a few quick holes in the bottom, and Voila . . . instant planters.  It keeps the weeds down.

OK, enough on the plant side of things.  How about critters?

Clawdette is one year old now . . . and just as annoying as the day she arrived.  Her and Monty are buds, for the most part, until it is time for Monty to have a bath, and then she doesn't recognize him for about 10 days.

I did set up a fish tank this Spring . . . but I think I'll devote a separate blog post for it.

Two of the most recent arrivals are more goats.

Rich and I went up to the Sales Barn in Lanesboro on this past Friday, because Rich was off on a rare Friday.  There were several sheep and goat lots at the start of the auction, and these two were the last lot.  I immediately motioned to place a bid . . . I didn't even know what sex they were.  It turns out, they are wethers, which is a castrated male.  That is just fine, as I am needing extra mouths to chomp down my pasture.  They are quite cute, and friendly (the goats from last year don't like to be touched).  I have not yet decided names for them.

Between last summer and this one I did acquire a fourth goat.  He is also a wether.  His name is Cole.  He came with that name.  He's a very nice, friendly goat.

I acquired him to be a buddy to Biscotti, my young doeling from last year, as I separated her from my little herd when a stinky buck came to visit and get my two older goats pregnant.  I didn't want her to get pregnant just yet.  That seems to have worked, as both Oreo and Macaroon are showing signs that there are little kids in the oven.  So, if all goes well, I'm going to have anywhere from two to four, or possibly even more little kids hopping around I figure sometime in August.  Once the buck did his job, I sent him back home, and let Cole and Biscotti back out into our fenced pasture.  I've still got an awful lot of overgrowth.  I think my goats are too well fed with sweet grain.  They browse the field, but it is still brushy.

Macaroon is the roundish goat on the bottom.  Biscotti is her daughter from last year.  She does this a lot, stepping up on top of her mother so she can reach up and nibble leaves that are otherwise out of reach.  Macaroon doesn't seem to mind.  As she and Oreo get close to time to have their babies, I will be separating them, each to their own enclosure in our pole barn, to more carefully monitor their progress, and to make sure mother and kid(s) bond.

Oreo spends a lot of time resting in the goat shelter.  She is looking pretty wide as well.  Being pregnant may be very exhausting!

The only other major animal activity this spring and summer is our raising of replacement hens.  There are 10 of them.  We will keep 3, and I'm going to send 7 to the farm . . . soon!

How is the molt going?  Sassy has dropped 9 tail feathers.  Three more to go!

Flint has dropped 8 tail feathers, so he has 4 more to go.  And unless I lost it somewhere, I only count one deck feather!  He's a bit odd, so maybe his molt is not even.

Sassy's wing feathers are coming along nicely.  Of course, that right wing is short a couple primaries on the end, so her molt is a little mismatched, but she is making good progress and should be done in August, hopefully!

Flint's wing feathers are also mismatched, although some of those right sided feathers may not be primaries, but instead secondaries.  His feathers are much smaller than Sassy's, which you would expect since he is smaller than her.  Hopefully he too will be done in August.  He needs some rather intense manning, but for the molt I've just been leaving him completely alone, only tossing him food and changing out his water.

The only other hawk-related thing to quickly share is a picture of Justin's new baby.  This has been a couple weeks ago, so she's much bigger now and probably has lots more feathers.

I will need to get updated pictures, and find out if she has a name yet.

It's the lazy days of summer.  A nice time to get other things done.

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