Great Dane Puppies- our first litter leaving the nest

The Puppies will soon be off to their new homes.
Gunner

Charlette50

I will be sad to see these wiggly balls of fur leave the farm. It is so hard to not get attached to them. Babies are the funnest part of daily life. It is the new life Spring brings which makes it my favorite season.

The pups have gained little personalities. They are tugging on each others ears and tails. Charlotte, the largest pup, plunges fearlessly into everything. Minnie, the smallest, holds her own with ferocious baby sister growls. Winston, the nearly solid blue male, sits and watches over the puppy pile. Samson, the blue mantel, is a happy go lucky fellow. PJ, the Merle mantle, is adorable in his spots and might have blue eyes. Gunner loves to sleep on his back with his paws up in the air. Daisy, with her spotted black nose, is the first to be up and knocking over her sister Heidi and her brother Jeremy. Gertie, with her sideways patch running down her nose, is not far behind chewing on whatever tail comes near.

PJ50

While they grow we are having the joy of watching them gain a quarter pound a day or more. It is amazing how quickly they transform from helpless grunting fuzz balls to wagging-tailed mini versions of mom in such a short five weeks!

PJMINNIE

 

It is so adorable to watch them sleep…

And eat…

And play…

 

HEIDI GUNNER GERTIE DAISY CHARLOTTEWINSTONJEREMY

SAMSON

Puppies in the Kitchen

One Day Old
One Day Old
Growing Like Weeds
Growing Like Weeds- Ten Days Old

October 25, found us delivering our first puppies right in the Hubby’s lap. Nothing goes just how you plan it when you are homesteading- not even puppies.

The swimming pool was outside, waiting to be sanitized. April, our Dane girl, was not due; according to my friend who has bred a few of these big dogs, until November third. I had not yet driven to the Observer to get some old newspapers. The plan was to sweep and mop the kitchen floor, clear the counter of everything a Dane might nose, put the pool down, have it all lined with clean newspapers and be in complete readiness for the event… yah, well, here is how it really went.

As I was getting ready for work I heard a ruckus in the dog pen. April was emitting a low grow that was vibrating the dog house. The day prior, I blocked the big hole she had dug under the “doggie” deck. Her sister, Junezia, four inches taller, had decided to try the hole. That is right, she got stuck. After an anxious twenty minutes of shoveling; then pulling a hundred-fifteen pound Dane from her predicament- which was like pulling a stuck calf out of bawling cow- we were able to screw heavy boards to the deck. As an extra deterrent my daughter and I lined the deck with cement blocks. Thus, April could not birth her litter under the deck and for once I was a step ahead.

Listening to April growl at her sisters, it was decided to bring April inside where the hubby could watch her until we could get everything ready. These puppies were going to pay for every animals’ hay for the winter and the Dane girls dog food bill; so we were being cautious.
I came home from work at 4:30 to see a giant dog stretched in the lazy-boy- with slippers sticking out from under her. It took me a second to realize the hubby was under the dog. He was muttering, “She wouldn’t settle down until she got in my lap. She’s been groaning. I think she is in labor.”

I stepped over to check the tail end just as a puppy slid out. “No, honey, she’s giving birth,” I informed.

“What!” was his astonished reply. “You got to be kidding me?”

I lifted the wet, slimy, wiggling puppy; turning it upside down, “Nope…oh, my God, there is one on the floor still in it’s sack!”

At this point I went into emergency mode. The sack was cool and the fluid still in it. It was like trying to grab an egg off a tile floor one-handed. Remember I had the other hot mess in my left hand. Finally I had the sack and ran for the kitchen floor where I put the live pup down and ripped open the sack. Yah, it was a mess.

The hubby took the live puppy and gently shook it to help clear the lungs while April tried to drown it with her big tongue. The big boy was not moving and he was cool in my hands. April tried to lick him, too. Using a finger I opened his mouth and fluid came out. I rubbed, slapped, and pumped on the poor little guy, giving him quick jerky shakes. I heard a little growl, but, he was still not breathing. Gently I puffed a little air into his mouth. The hubby tossed me a dry towel and I rubbed the hide off him, I think. I gave him a couple of more puffs, and yes, he was wet and salty, but he was going to breathe. It was a tense five minutes. Finally the big blue pup took his own breaths.

Meanwhile, Don had thrown a towel on the floor for April to lay on. The second born pup was already happily robbing all the ninnies on her mom. The pup was going to need the head-start, as Minnie was the runt of the litter. At a full pound she was not a small runt, but, her brother was a half-pound bigger. After his near death experience; the little fella was slow to get started, once he did, however, Minnie had competition.

In a hurry I called my niece, telling her of my dilemma and asking her to get my daughter. Soon Mom and pups were in a clean pool with papers. Every hour a new pup arrived until 1AM. Exhausted, I left the situation to my daughter as I had to go to work at six. I just closed my eyes when I heard, “Mom!”

The last puppy arrived. A big white female harlequin who is now, two weeks later, a quarter pound heavier than her five brothers. All ten of the squiggly balls of fur are grunting, growling and trying to stand up. Yah, they will be ready for the outdoor pen in just a couple of days. In the meantime, there is a pile of puppies barely fitting in the swimming pool right in my kitchen. Their mom is eating us out of house and home, too. Wow, can nursing mom’s eat! Good thing I had thought ahead and cooked up real dog food. That store bought stuff just doesn’t cut it with a dog this big. Now, if I can just keep her out of the cat food!

PJ says "I can see!"
PJ says “I can see!”

Life is a bit busy right now. It always is when you’re trying to set your place up to homestead with the hope of going completely off-grid. Watching the babies grow is so worth it… Maybe I’ll find some time to set up at an indoor flea market and sell some of my self-published books and extra stuff cluttering up the place. Maybe take up a puppy to show off…

“Hey! Get out of that catfood!” Well, I’ll be right back…

It's my wagon! “It’s my wagon!”

Meanwhile Maya and Junezia are outside fighting over a car ride. Kids!

Killer Potato?

Luke Frywalker

While surfing the net for a completely different topic, I came across the sad story an eight-year old Russian girl who became an orphan when rotting potatoes in the root cellar killed the whole family. I can recall my grandmother sorting out green-tinted potatoes and potatoes with long eyes. She threw them to the pigs or planted them. More than once I have smelled a rotting potato under the sink and had the unpleasant task of cleaning the mess.
So how can a potato kill you without the french-fry grease, sour cream or twice-baked bacon crumble?
According to the Michigan State University Extension rotting potatoes give off solanine gas. A green potato indicates the toxin is present. The reason why Gran-pap always planted the potatoes deep was because the light reacts with my favorite starch producing vegetable- creating higher levels of solanine.
In a confined space solanine gas can cause a person to fall unconscious and stop breathing which is what happened to the child’s family. There have been more reports over the centuries of such a thing happening.
Not only can potatoes be a problem but other veggies from the nightshade family such as tomatoes and eggplant. The addition of light to a potato, however, is how solanine becomes toxic. It is best to store ‘taters in a cool, dark place where you can ventilate the area should some go bad. Do not forget them under the sink, in other words.
Remember:

If the potato has long eyes,

If it is turning “Hulk” green,

It might be best to say good-bye

To the french fry-

before it turns solanine mean.

Okay, so I mashed that poem-Take it with a grain of salt, a pat of butter and some freshly cracked pepper. LoL

Our First Kid 2017

ladies in waiting

We have been waiting for a month for our first babies to drop. Finally, we got a girl from Roxanne. She was so huge I expected twins. Hours later no new developments. The baby girl was up and bouncing within twenty minutes. The energy of these tiny new life forms is amazing! Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

Pumpkin Pumpkin arrived 6-20

Finally, Pumpkin settled down for a nap and I finally could get some baby pictures! She is going to be a uniquely colored goat I think. A few times she came over to see if my leg would give milk and followed me around. The best time to bond with a baby is right at birth. Hopefully this little girl will be a pocket goat like her mother.

We brought Mom and baby into the lean-to where I can control the flies. I was hoping for May babies when the flies are not so daunting. I sprayed the walls down while the baby tried to find breakfast. I wish there was a way to kill every fly on the farm. It is always an endless battle of fly sprays and traps. The flies can actually lay eggs on my new baby and then potentially cause problems. Getting her clean was a top priority. Towels!

With the babies coming, it is time for the buck, Boomer, to be moved from the herd and begin his summer work as a weed eater. If I leave him in there his scent will get into the milk and the cheese. That is a strong taste. Oh, milk, lots of milking ahead and lots of time consumed making cheese. Forgot about that part after being out of milk for six months. My schedule just filled up along with the freezer!

It is early morning and time to go check the herd. We will be putting up another charger to electrify the fence and hopefully keep the coyotes out, or the bobcat or the fox.  I am not sure what carried off all my chickens, but, I have not caught it yet and the dogs were barking last night. Kind of worrisome to a Farmer Mom.

Farmstead Distractions

Antique Rose

So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles. Matthew 6:34

The morning started with picture taking. A nice quiet morning. I planned on an all day attack on the rental unit repairs. To keep the distractions to a minimum I called my neighbor to see if she needed any help getting from her bed to her wheelchair today. She had help on the way. Then I drove up to my adopted niece’s place to find she was in need of a screw for her lawn mower handle which she was struggling with. Returning with screw, distraction averted, I headed for the unit.

lastbedroom The last bedroom coming along.

bathrThe bathroom getting walled in.

While my brother picked up building debris I slapped up the first piece of drywall in the bathroom and started cutting the hole for the vanity mirror. We put a false wall in to accommodate the plumbing. Adding real 2×4 next to the 1/2″ wall boards made it so we could put drywall up and now the walls do not move around. How these old trailers did not collapse en-route to their destinations I am amazed!

About the time I really get started to beat the heat of the soon-to-be ninety degree/sixty percent humidity day, my daughter comes in carrying this little surprise explaining it has to be Silver’s. Silver’s babies are already over a week old. Distraction Number One.

babt surprise Buck bunny gives birth?

Going to the barn my daughter and youngest brother in their limited manner, explain where they found the rabbit and that Silver Lady is running loose. A quick examination of the “buck” pen explains everything. Well, the rabbit I was planning on having for Sunday dinner just extended “his” life. I have been growing this extra male bunny big enough for a rarely enjoyed delicacy. Unfortunately the real buck killed the other four babies, but, my daughter’s pet python was not fussy. Waste not want not on this farm.

We raise all our live babies and sell them. After trying to figure out where to put the buck rabbit, we thought we fixed the cage to now harbor the new unexpected arrival. Hopefully the little feller makes it.

Back to the rental unit and making holes in the dry wall, so I thought. I was stopped by the hubby who he told me my brother had locked the place. Hmm. Great. The key hunt was on.

Unlocked and ready for work I just marked out the hole when the hubby asked for a hand to fix the stater on the four-wheeler. I have not been able to use it for almost two years. I was threatening to take it to the dealer and pay four-hundred dollars for the labor, so, the hubby set aside his distractions to get it fixed. Off to the garage we went, and the days heat was already messing with my asthma.

While the hubby searched for tools I happened to look up and see something strange against the ceiling and the cement wall. Yet, another distraction procured this four-foot-three-inch skin from the top of the shelving unit. Two more of three-foot length skins were curled up along a gap in the ceiling. Great, now we have snakes in the garage. Fantastic!

snakeskin4-3in Four-foot skin!

This is how come I never get to finish a project. Sitting back at the house trying to cool off; my daughter again appears with the baby. She and my younger brother were trying to find a board to replace the emergency cardboard I had slapped in the cage bottom. She explained the baby had fallen through the grid and gotten stuck. I examined it, curled it up in my hand. It tried to nurse on my palm.

This poor little critter. Already it had fallen out of the cage and crawled five feet. We think Silver Lady had heard its cries and literally yanked her feeder out of the way, pushed herself through the opening, to set on the baby, which is why I think it survived. My brother, coming in to feed the bunnies disturbed her and he nearly stepped on the baby, which is why they thought it was Silvers. If the poor thing makes it we are naming it Miracle.

While the hubby now took a hand in fixing the pen for our new arrival, I sat and watched westerns; keeping it warm against my own body. At this point nurse Lass heard the baby. She was ready to

15lassbabysitter15 Nurse Lass is on duty with all babies.

lick her new charge. She really wanted the baby! Whining and staring at me like she does when I have a steak on the plate. She even did some worrisome “woofs”; like I had a puppy that might be hers!

Just a few weeks ago, a newborn bunny baby had unfortunately found its way out of the nest and through a gap in the wire flooring we had missed. I brought the baby in the house hoping to warm it, but, it was already too late. While I went out to fix the pen, Lass took the baby out of the towel on the counter and curled up with it, trying to bring it back with her own body heat. This is just an amazing example of the Labrador’s strong maternal instinct!

Determined to get the drywall cut I again made for the rental unit, but stopped when I saw my daughter coming back from the barn. Again- the newborn baby was back. It had fallen out of the nest! Going to the barn I saw where the side boards were pushed out just enough to cause the problem. Putting Miracle back in with Momma bunny, Sunday- the big rabbit’s new name, I stayed put while my daughter ran to find a board, screws and a drill. After averting yet another near death experience I decided to check in on last weeks arrivals. Silver Lady weighs in over twenty-pounds. Her babies are sweet and gentle- and cute!

silver  babybunnysilvers  babybunnysilversallwhite

Out of pure spite toward whatever whimsical power that constantly distracts my time, I went down to the rental and I put a hole in the drywall for the window and the vanity. It was hot and humid, but, by George, that wall was up!

Now, to bag up the 12 quarts of dog food veggies I boiled and  eat my dinner. Guess it is Ramen noodles tonight and venison tips for Sunday’s dinner. Not exactly what I had planned, but, that’s farmsteading…

Discovered “Where Writer’s Win”

Treasure Chest

“Treasure is hard work built up over time.”

I just discovered an informative website named, Where Writers Win. I am listening to the webinar, How to Build Your Author Platform with Online Marketing and Social Media. To check it out click here for a link.

The video is a consolidation of a lot of stuff I have read before. If you can not guess, my time is very limited. I was up at 5AM this morning because I could not sleep after having a stressful day involving my adopted niece and a new lawyer to restart a custody battle for her son.

My adopted nephew is eight years old and a very sensitive child who does not handle stress well. The new lawyer was so moved by this five-year long battle and the sight of my nephew curled in an unresponsive ball, she actually cut her retainer fee in half so we could get the battle started. The father has access to people with a lot of money and it is a long sad story which has been shredding my niece’s sanity one fiber at a time.

Anyways, I decided to rekindle my search for a way to kick-start the sales of my books and help fund some of the battle  about to get underway. This video has a lot of advice; which over the years I have been slowly putting to use, as time allows. If you have visited my website you can see it did not happen overnight.

I try to update something on my website at least once a month to encourage the “web-crawlers” to find me. Yes, that does sound creepy, “web-crawlers.”

Besides my books, I write articles which hold interest to me, such as poison ivy cures, for example, or identifying the spider crawling up my arm for another. Got to love farming.

I also have this blog, which I try to add something to once a week for the same reason. Be sure to add links to your website pages and other media.

I do not own a cell phone- you heard right- I do not own a cell phone because it is expensive and I would drive myself nuts trying to find it under the tractor tires, mounds of hay, in cow stomachs or swimming in the ponds. How many of those technological gadgets I would destroy would dwindle my wallet a few hundred bucks a month. Money better spent trying to build a business and help my niece- then I might be able to afford to lock one up in a desk and never let it leave the office.

Twitter, because I do not have a cell phone is not a platform I can follow easily. Pinterest I do like. It is fun.  I pin stuff from my website to my categories which helps people find me. You can find just about anything on it, including healing herbs and recipes.

Linked-in I found too professional for my laid back country bumpkin style. Facebook I enjoy. I just learned how to link this blog over to it. Being a shy person, it is hard for me to “toot my own horn” in front of my family and friends. I guess I do not want them to think I am showing off or something; you know what I mean? However, you get immediate feedback, which is nice.

Good Reads. Now there is something I am going to check out. Be right back. Well, signed up. It is a place where you can put your favorite books on a virtual shelf and your friends can see which books are your favorites. You can even rate the books. If you have favorite quotes you can find them and have them stashed in one place. That is neat.

 

“Treasure is hard work built up over time.”  Just made that one up on the fly. I’m sure someone has said this somewhere before. Well apparently not on the internet because I just looked, so guess it’s mine! LOL

Pond Repair leads to Naming The Pond

THE FROG POND

pond work2
Covering the Pipe

A very necessary work began four days ago. Our top pond, as we once upon a time called it, was blown out. The amount of dirt needed to fix the pond actually started piling up when I widened an entry road to our field two years ago. The necessity of this pond has proven itself time and again when flash flood waters roared in from the rolling hills. I can not call these mountains in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. I grew up in Tioga County with cliff sides that made cars look like match box toys below my feet.

Though just hills, there is water that rushes down unencumbered. If left unchecked I fear my mother’s home would be wiped out. If Mom-ma is not happy than you know no one is going to be happy. Wet, soggy Mommy is not a good thing, so off to play with the backhoe I go! My favorite toy on the whole farm, next to the horses of course.

 

wild flower Daisy found a log home.

bullfrog   “The Frog Pond” is now my frog loving Mom’s favorite place on the whole farm. She has a big collection of frog stuff. I think a gazebo somewhere would be a great idea. Mom can come and watch her “froggies.”

bullfrog tadpoles  Tad Poles of the bull frog are huge! About five inches in length!

Okay, day five of this idea begins. The first day started with setting the opening of the pipe with layers of mud and stone. Nothing like playing in the mud and having an adult excuse! Remember when we used to do this and called it fun! If I could only bottle youthful vigor and save it for old age days like this. Pond mud is really thick and does not want to be moved. It is kind of like trying to get your tongue of a frozen flag pole- by the way never do that.

Day two was removing the old pipe while the water table was so low no water was flowing. We packed in clay dirt, tamped it with our feet and a tamping bar, then back-filled the top of the dam. The third day found me playing in the ditches to get enough dirt to put the second pipe in. If you are building a pond make sure both of your pipes are the same size. Do not do a “Walter” and put a smaller sized plastic pipe inside a larger sized metal pipe or your pond will blow out. The water will push the other pipe clean out and go all the way around it. Your dirt will go down river.

Second Pipe

The right way is the best way. So, day four saw us filling the big hole in the “dike” with a lot of dirt. About six truck loads. We connected the second plastic pipe in case of rain. We did not attach it by removing the tar seal on the new pipe. We will do that just before we are ready to bury the joint. I plan to gorilla glue, silicone and duct tape those bad boys together. I never want to redo this again.

Day five- back to the ditches for more dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Some more Ibuprofen for overworked joints, liniment for sore muscles and a beer. Really, a couple of Red’s Apple Ales and an overstuffed chair at 9PM. My tail feathers are dragging. So this is why the guys dig chairs. Ug!

froggie33

I wonder if Mom will name the frogs? This one could be “Handy.”

frog11 Peeper?

froggie22 John Deere?

(Top Picture: Hubby on the tractor with my two brothers waiting for the dirt to level itself. That was a joke guys…)

Moving Livestock Requires Planning Ahead

Angel and AnnabelOur four bottle calves from last year are yet in their small square pen. Because of moving my mother and brothers to the farm, I did not get a hut built. Out of desperation, when the January winds started to sweep in the harsher weather, we slammed the horse trailer into the pen. Then it became the March wet season. The trailer stayed.

It is now May 21. The end of winter was so gentle the neighbor is haying and the raspberries are starting to form. A few sharp frosts wilted my potatoes from last year and devastated my blooming wisteria. The daffodils are gone, the major dandelion bloom is over. By the way, the blooms are delicious fried in butter with a little salt and pepper.

I digress, a bad habit. Our calf moving adventure started with a backhoe to pull all the future fertilizer out of the horse trailer. An air compressor inflated a brand new tire. I must have picked up a nail or something, just lovely. Then, knowing where I needed the two females, it was decided to pull out the Jubilee tractor which is shorter. Of course, the 2″ ball was missing and it has a 3/4 inch shank. Here we go. Hunting around the farm for a ball. I really need some sheds; and get organized. Sigh. Come on publisher or movie producer, pick my books! Yah, like that is happening.

Again, I digress. We found the ball on the back of the Kawasaki mule, which has again chewed through its monthly bearing on the driver’s side. We set it aside because at a hundred plus a month, it is costing too much to keep trying to fix. We will have to send it off to someone who might know what is going on. The neighbor has the same model and it sits in his barn unused.

The ball hunt over, we started on our way only to be stopped by a fuel shortage. Minor oversight. Jubilee wanted fed. The truck needed fuel, too. Armed with a gas can, I made for the station three miles down the road. A big plus for times like this is a rinky-dink town not far off.

Putzing down the road on our speedy tractor we now faced keeping the yearling calves back. I did not need a rodeo. The easiest way I have found to move most animals is with a bucket of grain. Annabel is a real sucker for grain. She is six months older than Angel, and halter broke. In she went.  Angel followed with a few helpful shoves from behind. Up went the gate and our future milk cows were ready for transport. Around the house and up into the small square holding pen with knee-deep grass already getting grain heads. Everything is early this year.

Down to the pasture, through the gate and on to the next problem. One of the bull calves, a white-faced black Angus cross, hopefully with a Hereford, was on the wrong side of the fence. If I could get him through the steep brier infested hillside, I would have to lead him down through 14 very curious bullies (big cows) to get to the corral. Option two, remove the mesh square fencing, pull it back, and see if he would crawl back through the high tensile fence- which is what he had done on the far side. Only he had gone up and around the brier patch and now refused to repeat the process. Well, that did not work and the hubby was started to flail his arms around like men do when they really want to do anything but what they got suckered into. Hubby is a city slicker. He got roped into this country life. He has zero patience for animals or people. Which is why he makes a wonderful landlord- yah, well despite this, the bulls were coming out of the pasture tonight. I had a pile of eggplants and yams, given to me by some friends, to get canned tomorrow.

The hubby remembered further down the fence I used to put the goats up through an opening beside a falling down shed. After some coherence and a tempting bucket of grain, Honda was back in with his buddy, Old Man Whiskers. (He’s a Holstein with extra long whiskers on his muzzle.) We are trying to sell him, or else he will be neutered soon. Using the same technique of baiting the horse trailer, the bulls, being more difficult; imagine that; and fueling the city slicker’s impatience; imagine that, found themselves roughly shoved up the horse ramp. The hubby slammed the ramp into place and gave me the look. Yah, that one.

Mumbling like the Jubilee’s putting engine, the Hubby helped drag my prizes to the corral where they will stay away from the main herd for a few weeks. All the big cows are going to be three years old and the bull is in there helping the next generation arrive.

This should be fun. Eight first time momma cows and one city slicker hubby. Yah, I’ll be writing a book about the experience.

In the meantime, the boys happily munched in the late evening light. I spotted mint growing fresh along the stream. While the Hubby was getting the ramp up and pulling the trailer out the poor city boy was yet taxed again. I was getting that fresh mint picked before the young bulls stomped it flat.

With a big handful of mint, one impatient hubby and an old muttering tractor we were down the highway getting ready to retire for the evening.

 

Angel MarkDoesn’t Angel have the coolest mark on her forehead? It reminds me of a lady in a fur coat with a big fancy fur hat. LOL I was watching John Wayne’s North to Alaska while nursing her back to health. Angel was the name of the main female character.

When a life ends…

Jazz Posing for the Ladies

Today we have to put down our Tennessee Walker stallion. He was coming on to four years old. We believe the timber wolf we have seen around the farm may have attacked or spooked the horses. The stallion ended up in the barb wire fence. It wrapped around his leg and sawed all the way around until the bone was exposed. By the time we caught the injury too many hours had passed with the bone exposed. The vet said there is nothing to graft and things would go down hill fast.

I hate barb wire. This was new fence; no saggy pieces.  I just hate using it but the cows go through everything else. If it is electric, they know when the power is off and they take the hit if they really want through.

We are so busy on the farm. The garden is ready to be put in. Getting the farmstead started is difficult and time consuming. I would not have it any other way, but, at this moment I am crushed. Jazz Cat is such a beautiful stallion. He is so quiet you would think him a gelding. I was so looking forward to beginning his training; getting the corral fixed and turned into a training pen. My niece and I have been discussing it all week. Now I have to go look my young stallion in the eye and tell him goodbye. It just knocks the heart right out of me, but, you have to keep on going.

When an animal must pass I tell myself I gave it a good life. Lots of pasture to run in and time to be as free as a horse can be. Cows, you know their time will come. I thank the animal for its sacrifice so I might eat. Even the deer and other wild game. I honor their life by not wasting. A horse, however, is different. He is a big fuzzy pal who lets me sit on him so we can go places. He listens to me chatter about all my problems then puts his head on my shoulder as if to say, “It’s all right. Come back with a carrot for our next session.”

It is so therapeutic to run a brush over his coat. When you stand back and see his long mane and tail laying so smooth and flowing you feel like you accomplished something. You take him for a ride and your neighbors “eww and aww.” You proudly put him back in the field and he trots right over to his favorite spot and rolls off all your hard work.

Jazz Cat and I will never know this relationship. We never got to ride together. I will miss the beauty of his painted face and marbled blue eye. Such a picturesque beauty destroyed in a single stroke; a butterfly caught in a bird’s beak. He has been swept away. There are two foals about to be brought into this world. I can only hope one of them is a colt with a blue eye and painted face. I don’t know if the mare running with him is pregnant, but there might be a third life. It’s small console, for none is like the original. I will miss seeing my Jazz streak through the field, his mane floating like a white banner and his tail a streaming flag.

Jazz Looking QuirkyI loved you, you big quirky gentle goof. May your foals be born healthy and just as goofy.

Black Timber Wolf Visits the Farm.

FB

At nine at night last night my niece called to say they see our “coyote” on their front door step. They live here on the farm. I took the gun with me but of course the animal could not be found.

Three times we have seen an animal which looks exactly like this picture. We do have coyote in the area but the description by my niece told me we were talking about the young eastern timber wolf. Only, she said he was huge, almost the size of our great Danes. This would put him in the hundred-fifty pound category and fully mature. So far none of our animals have been bothered by this big guy. It has always appears alone.

The only thing being bothered recently has been the chickens. We caught a red-tailed hawk in the act of killing the only brooding hen on the farm. She was five years old and raised many eggs to hatching. By the time I got to the scene the killer took flight.

A big vixen fox has been visiting the farm early in the morning and now we have the wolf back. It is aggravating to know your favorite chickens are on their menu.  The other problem with this big guy hanging around here is it is taking out our fawn crop. We depend on deer to fill the freezer. Guess I’ll have to hunt up someone who can take out some of the local coyote population and maybe this big guy. With the neighbor’s cows calving the loss to them could be substantial. My niece is also worried about her kids being injured by such a big animal. Usually you could say not to worry, a wolf is more afraid of you than it, but, when you see a wolf right on your front door step those words are not reassuring.