Friday, June 14, 2013

tiny visitor

We have been having showers off and on today. I knew that Frank was working on his grain bin and roller mill project when the latest shower started. I was looking out the windows to see if I could spot him, and discovered this little fella on the deck.

I picked him up ever so gently and he just clung to my finger.

I took several photos of him. I think he was enjoying his close-ups! He finally got off of my finger and sat in the open window of the porch.

This species of butterfly is called a MOURNING CLOAK

Most of their habitat is open areas in woodlands. Their host plants are deciduous trees and shrubs. They really like willows and poplars. And guess what I have around my house?

If you want to know about these little guys try here

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tour of our barn???

Our barn has had many uses since we moved in here last spring. I don't know now how many times it has been cleaned out, re-arranged, under construction etc. Some days I don't even think it qualifies as a barn! Madeline and I have come to the conclusion it is more like a shop!

Frank Jr purchased this 1974 Dodge Duster and he had it parked in the barn most of the winter. He is slowly restoring it. 

Frank built us our milking stall/maternity pen last fall. It was used in April to shear sheep.

My sickle mower has been stored in the barn since last fall when I was done haying. The far corner, is my little corner where I have built shelves, and tables. There is two tables, two table saws, two garbage bins, two older washing machines, a stereo system, lawn chairs, dog dishes all in this area.

Sickle mower still there, but a heck of a lot cleaner!

This is what Madeline's tack corner use to look like prior to Frank building her saddle stands.

I think at one point during winter, there was two trucks, the duster and a tractor parked in the barn plus my ride on tractor, lawn mower etc.

This photo was in April. The boys were getting it ready for the shearer. Frank moved my bees into the milking stall at the end of February early March when Maddie was done milking for the winter. They got moved again, back towards Maddie's tack area for about a month before they were finally moved outside.

The far corner where the tires are piled high, was cleaned out for the chicks.

Then the chicks took over the milking stall area for a few months.

 This was just a few days ago, when Frank was working on Maddie's tack area. Two trucks, lawn tractor (Johnny) push mower, and my roto tiller are stored in here too.

The corner where the tires and chicks once occupied.

A bit more organised!


Milking stall all nice and clean. Just the way I like it!

There still is pile of tires, a very old wood cook stove, the remaining 2"x6"x16's, my wool, a milking machine,  a dryer and whole bunch of other stuff is still in here!

 I know one day, I will either get a barn built for me or a machine shed will get built and more stuff will be removed from this barn/shop/storage shed. 

Whatever this building is called!!!

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birds a feather....

Madeline's two doelings are adjusting to their new home. It is a learning curve having goats on the place.
Maddie purchased some beet pulp, hoping she could bribe this one to be her friend. 
I do believe it is going to be a slow process! 

She is an Oberhasli
 This one, is the more friendlier of the two. 
She is trying to make friends with Murray.

She is an Alpine

Ike and Brigan visiting with Baby over the fence

Whiskey Jack was thinking with the wrong head, and decided he was a jumper, but he misjudged his abilities and got hung up on the fence Monday morning.

This is what he was after! Brandy was in heat!

barnyard porn
Tuesday evening a lady came and purchased Whiskey Jack from Madeline. One problem solved.

Frank got Madeline's tack area finished. She was pleased as punch! Her saddles are not lying every where. She just has some more organising to do. 

Frank found this hoe.....

....and he put a new handle on it for me. I can't wait to give it a try!

We have been milking Miss Dolly almost two weeks now. We get close to 4 gallons of milk a day. I don't know what to do with all the milk. Look at that cream!! I can't over how yellow it is. I don't keep all of her milk...we give most of it to the dogs, cats, and chickens. I have so much butter in the deep freeze from the winter milking. I don't need anymore. 

On June 6th, Maddie and I, AI (Artificial Insemination) Miss Dolly. Sorry but Madeline wouldn't let me take pictures of her doing the job. 

Miss Dolly

Found this steel barrel with part of it already cut out. I gave it a quick coat of black spray paint, and planted some annuals in it.

This ole tractor tire, the previous owner used as a planter. So I planted it this year.

This year we are seeing a bad infestation of the tent caterpillar. The back quarters are looking quite bare without the leaves. They are slowly making there way to the yard site.

Frank is in the process of building us a grain bin. We have a roller mill that he is setting up. We found a fella out in Bluesky that grows a variety of grains-organically. We plan on purchasing more grain off of him, and rolling it ourselves for Miss Dolly.
We have an old tractor (Super 90 Massey Ferguson- that we affectionately dubbed Grandpa) that we don't use anymore, and Frank is going to set up Grandpa there to run the roller mill.

our roller mill
 The chicks are growing fast. I had suggested to Frank that we should build onto the existing hen house, since we changed our minds about the shed. He gave me a funny look. I guess he didn't like my idea. 

bought a bag of crushed wheat, and it got wet....Frank fed them the wet grain

they get all the extra milk and whey

I would like to seperate all the roosters, and get them on a different type of feed.

don't they look like a bunch of raptors?
When all the chickens are in the coop together, they are over crowded.

There is a hold on finishing my porch. 
There was a young couple that was real estate shopping. They didn't like the look of the garage. The door was closed most evenings and not open until 9am. Many hours past the sun rise. They next checked out the barn. There was irregular hours for the doors being open there too.
So they passed on that location too.

They decided the best spot to build was were there were no doors. The construction was new. And there was reliable weather protection.

So the young barn swallows choose our new porch rafters to build their little mud hut.

Frank and I were in Peace River earlier this week, we stopped to check out the plants that IGA had on discount. I came home with four French Lilacs. They were $7 a piece! I thought it was a good deal! I got them all planted prior to all the rain yesterday.

Yesterday we had a few showers of rain in the morning, By evening, when all three of us were in the barn, the rain came down hard, and fast and lasted for about 30 minutes. Madeline captured this kill deer eating an earthworm, after the rain had stopped.

With the rain we have been having lately, and with the way the drainage is, Frank's duck pond is full. 

 A couple of ducks, not sure what kind they are, have taken up residency on our dugout. I don't mind. They can eat the leeches that live in it.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

weeds,chicks, cows, goats....

Misty had her calf on May 31st. She had a little bull calf. Frank ended up helping her. The calf was mis-represented-upside down.  Frank had the chains on the calf's hooves, when Misty  stood up. Frank didn't let go of the chains, and Misty laid back down on her opposite side, and that was enough to flip the calf.
When Frank went to check on the beef cows, and my Jerseys the following morning, he discovered Miss Dolly's two week old heifer calf dead. I was so disappointed! We think that she might of got accidentally kicked in the head. The mosquitoes were so bad and the cows were constantly kicking at their bellies. And the other theory is that some of the beef bovines do not like the dainty dairy breeds, and she may have been got in the middle of a 'dispute'.
So with a dead calf, it was decided that Miss Dolly might as well get milked. That meant some fencing had to be built around the ole henhouse, and livestock moved around. 

Madeline and Frank made a trip to town to purchase stucco wire and it took most of the day, but they got a fence built.

Just need a gate!

Frank managed to get the last wall built for our new porch.

This is the inside.

Where the saw horse is sitting, is going to be where my new wood cook stove will be going.

We are hoping that before he goes back to work that we can get the windows and the door on, and wired. The insulation and vapour barrier I can do that in between my regular chores and hay making.

Since Goldie destroyed my young seedlings that was in the cold frame, we did some rearranging. 
Frank got me some old manure out of one of the cow sheds, and he mixed it in the little flower beds in front of the house. I planted 14 tomatoes plants in it, and since there is a young pup here, Frank was worried that Hawkeye may do some digging, so he put up a fence around the tomatoes.

I have been busy cleaning up other perennial beds. Now that the older chickens are also locked up, I thought it was worth it.

I just a bit  more to finish.

We have been cleaning up dead branches off of some of the old wind break to the west of the house. 
There is quite a bit of trimming to do in here. Frank found a funky tree. We looked it up in my books, and discovered it is a Hawthorn tree. And lucky for me, there is plenty of suckers that are growing. Once it warms up a bit (today it is barely 9 degrees Celsius) I am going to transplant them.

I have cut the lawn four times already. And with all the rain we have received in the past few days, I know I will be busy cutting grass again this week. I trimmed all the grass that was growing between the fence line and the saplings I planted last spring along the driveway.

Frank was busy hanging planks behind the house, and along the driveway. The rest of it will get done either later this summer or next spring.

It took me a bit, but I finally got the garden planted. My cucumbers have not come up yet. I think the seed is just to old. 

I did get the shed painted. I just need to paint all the blue trim white.
 But it did not feel right where it was sitting. And since the chicks got moved to the old hen house, we moved the shed to the south east side of the garden. Once it was moved it felt better.

I also moved my cold frame to the south side of the shed, and planted some of my hot peppers in it. 

We found an old steel wheel in the bush that we thought would work great for a fire-pit. Frank cut the steel spokes out. We can't wait to try it out!

Madeline and her friend Leanne, made a quick trip to Prince George, BC to purchase two Alpine doelings.

Frank rigged a cage in the back of the jeep for Maddie to haul her goats home. I worked!

This little tan girl is a bit on the shy side.

This one, is so friendly! She loves her scratches!

Yes Donna, you were right!

 Frank is building a surprise for Madeline in the barn. When he gets it finished I will share it with you!

 Frank Jr went back to work about two weeks ago. He came home 2 am Sunday morning, and was gone again 5 am this morning. He was heading to Grand Cache. I don't know how long he will be gone. He is pretty good at phoning home every couple of days.

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