30 May 2009

New Puppy

We picked up our new guard dog puppy this morning. He is an Akbash.

Here he is in his small pen inside the sheep pasture.

The sun was shining in the wrong place to get good pictures. All the sheep and Kimball came to investigate and the sheep were very concerned. They will settle down but it's been a while since they have seen a small dog.

He doesn't have a name yet. We're waiting to see if his behavior provides an obvious name.

29 May 2009

Chicks Arrived

All the chicks arrived this morning. This batch is the 100 red broilers. We raise one batch a year. We keep half for us and sell the rest.

We also got 25 pullets for egg laying. The egg breeds we are trying this year are Russian Orloff, Dorking, Ancona and Welsummer. We also got some Gold Campines since we've had them before and liked them. I hope the chicken sexers did a good job. I hate having to get rid of roosters.

All the chicks arrived alive and so far they are all doing well.

28 May 2009

More Beer!

Mike and one of the new fermenters for Revolution Brewing. Installed and working. Soon they won't run out of beer on the weekends! The second will have to wait until they get the brewing facility moved into the new building.

27 May 2009

Visiting Friends

Marvyn & his kids Jakey & Greta came to visit us. They are on a whirlwind tour of western states this vacation.

26 May 2009

Interesting Clouds

There was a very interesting cloud on top of Mt. Lamborn today. Snow is melting fast. Don't think the snow in the crevice will make it to July 4th. Probably going to be dry by the end of summer.

25 May 2009

Garden is growing

Well my black thumb hasn't hit yet. The corn is up and doing well. Now I've got to figure out if I need to thin the plants. Peas are doing well too. Not sure about the 2 kinds of melons. There are plants where I planted the seeds but I'm not sure whether they are weeds or the melon plants so I'm just going to leave them for now.

24 May 2009

Water Everywhere!

Morning Chores. Water everywhere from the rain. Ken's opening the valve to dump water out into the big pond.

23 May 2009

Ducks on the Pond

I was filling the horse water tanks when I noticed a huge amount of quacking, thrashing and splashing in the small pond by the house. This mother duck was racing back and forth tying to convince me she had a broken wing and I should come chase her.
Her ducklings were hiding in the reeds near where I was. They all got out and found mom.
I was able to sneak up on them and by moving slowly got a few pictures.

21 May 2009

Cute Lambs

This pair of twins discovered how much fun it is to sit on the high rocks above all the other sheep and survey the pasture.

20 May 2009

Spock's Sweater Revealed

Stardate -314370.83

I have been authorized by the Torchwood Institute to reveal the following history:

On star date -444413.69 Queen Victoria founded the Torchwood Institute. During the events leading up to the founding, some natural substances were discovered to be effective in deterring aliens. Torchwood 3 in Cardiff embarked upon a research project to identify and productize candidates for this use. One program looked at natural resources common to the area. Scientists, craftsmen and women were recruited to look at and research possible uses for natural products in the fight against alien technology.

During one experiment the researcher Dr. Guido Lizardo (father to the famed Emilio Lizardo), was experimenting with directed energy weapons. He was wearing a sweater knit from the wool of the local Black Welsh Mountain sheep. An accidental discharge left a significant hole in the sweater but left him only slightly singed. His cover story, told to his wife and others, was that moths had feasted on the sweater causing the holes.

Such resistance was not perfect, but further research determined that it seems to be related to color as the Torwen and Balwen varieties as well as the Blacks all have some resistance to energy weapons. It was surmised that the early exposure of Welsh mountain sheep to dragon fire in the 12th and 13th centuries selected for this resistance while decimating the population. Certain monasteries were already breeding these special Welsh sheep and some early sumptary laws restricted black to persons of noble birth and the clergy.

Eventually, a blend of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep wool combined with specially produced stainless steel and kevlar fibers was found to be an effective shield against most hand held directed energy weapons. The resistance so provided, is far in excess of that which would be expected based on either of the component materials.

A small cottage industry was formed to produce these items for high profile individuals. Unfortunately, due to the efforts of radical animal rights activists, the technology to spin and produce these garments was lost by the middle of the 21st century. At the time of TOS, no Federation officers were protected. The political and environmental implications of this loss are still keenly felt.

During the Eugenics wars very little of the Torchwood technology survived.

After first contact, the Torchwood Archive was rediscovered and some of the specialized programs were moved to off-Earth locations. Agents of Torchwood spread the resistant wool technology to certain alien cultures that incorporated it into the development of garments for high value individuals. Spock’s human mother, Amanda, was one such agent and she knit Spock’s sweater specifically to provide some protection for him when he attended the rowdy Federation Star Fleet Academy.

16 May 2009

Lamb Races

Yesterday I finally managed to film some of the lamb races.

The early lambs are all growing very well. The morning and evening lamb races are a daily occurrence now. When they are done there is a lot of baaing as the ewes try to find their lambs and lambs try to remember where they left their mom. They all settle down after a while for the evening cud chewing.

14 May 2009

Sheep Shipped & More Garden Stuff

Shipped out four yearling ewes to start a new flock up in Wyoming. They escaped and headed straight for the open gate but Ken got in front of them and we got them all caught up again.

Ken also cut some more trex railing pieces for me to mark out 2 more garden beds. I got them put in today. I'll plant corn and 2 kinds of melon tomorrow but save some seeds in case we get a late frost and I have to replant everything. So far I have not killed the garden but you never know, there are no vegetables from it yet either.

09 May 2009

Beauty Sleep

Orange, the outside cat, taking a nap on an old apple stump.

Summer is coming and it's really nice out now, not too hot but nice and warm. Good for naps.

08 May 2009

The Babysitter

This ewe was recruited to watch over the lambs while their moms went out to graze. Just after this picture they all took off doing lamb races and she was racing after them to try to keep them all together. I can just see her trying to explain to the rest of the ewes why she lost track of their children!

06 May 2009

Beachball's Lambs

Here are Tanwen's two lambs. I tag twins in the left ear and singles in the right ear. That way if I see a lost lamb I can easily tell whether I should be looking for another one or just for the ewe. Ewes that lose their lambs often get marked down and lambs that continually get lost also get marked down. Too many bad marks and you go into the freezer.

05 May 2009

Irrigation & Garden Stuff

Ken got the gated pipe across the main orchard today and has started irrigating.

Here are the 50 honey locust trees in our temporary nursery orchard. We will eventually move them out where they belong but we done have irrigation water where they need to go.

04 May 2009

Becky & the Rams

We put Becky in the pen near the rams but outside because we didn't want her to get crushed. She climbed through the hay feeder to be with her rams so we left her. She is very protective of her sheep.

02 May 2009

Rams Together & Beachball has Lambed

Today we got all the rams, adults and yearlings, into one big group. It's a lot easier to manage a big bunch of rams instead of several small groups.

The first step is to cram everybody into a tiny space with almost no room to run. This also gets them all smelling like each other and reduces significant fights later.
We put in a lot of hay and make sure they are hungry when they go in. Once the hay is eaten there is a bit more room. Rams will stay in the tiny area until there is no more fighting. Then we slowly increase the size of the area until they are in the whole pen. The process can take several weeks from start to finish.

The beachball ewe, Desert Weyr Tanwen finally lambed today. She had a 9 pound 9 ounce ram lamb that was coming head only. I got the feet forward and then had to help due to his size. His twin sister was a nice robust 7 pound 9 ounce lamb. All three are doing well.