summer greens at Mountain Glen Farm

summer greens at Mountain Glen Farm

Thursday, May 30, 2013

To Shear Or Not To Shear

The results from our second season of lambing were an improvement over our first.  Either we are getting better with this sheep stuff or the sheep are getting use to our still neophyte skill level.

Nevertheless, we had losses but the losses were less than those we had experienced during our maiden year.  We are extremely thankful.  In reality, the fittest ewes/lambs are the ones that survive.

Some lambs like to get a better view 'piggyback' atop a ewe...any ewe.

Now, Glenn decided to try something new with our flock.

Sheep do not like HOT weather.  Our sheep are hair sheep.  Normally, they do not get sheared like the wool-type.  The thicker winter hair coat supposedly sheds naturally.  For some sheep it does, and for others it does not. 

The sheep that retain this dense hair layer, which looks like and is called a ‘cape’, are the most adversely affected by the heat.  So, this year, Glenn decided to have the heavy-coated ewes and ram sheared.

Glenn found a young farmer who does shearing on the side.  

Becky's job was to move the sheep through the chute...see her in the chute?

Last Saturday, the sheep were corralled and paraded through the chute.  Only those that had tight capes were sheared.  Those whose capes were loose and in varying degrees of falling off were spared the shears.  Twenty-three ewes and Winky, our ram, were clipped. 
Winky under the shears.

All of Winky’s identifying male hair was removed.  His huge fluffy mane, his long beard - gone!  Now, I really have to look hard, as between his back legs, to recognize him from the ewes.  Winky has been a calm ram. Nonetheless,   I remain on guard whenever I walk out into the pasture.

Winky's hoofed being clipped. beard or mane.

Several of the ewes had their overgrown hoofs clipped as well. 

Within three hours, that pile of hair was quite large.  Drew barely broke a sweat.  And, we already asked  to get on his list for next year. 

I am sure our sheep appreciate this extra attention. 

A happy ewe is a live ewe.  And, we like happy ewes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surprise Encounter

One of my chores for the day was to get the entire lawn mowed before the next rain. 


Between finishing the lower lawn and starting on the upper lawn, I took a break.  I was hot, a bit dehydrated and feeling exhausted.  On my short walk to the house, I almost stepped on a little visitor.  How I missed this little guy while going round and round the yard still mystifies me.


So, my resident mockingbirds, Sam and Omie, had a baby.  Sam and Omie have been around for years, so I assume they have had other offspring.  I just never saw them.  Today, I met this little one.  He must have fallen out of the nest because he was unable to fly even though he could run and flap his wings wildly.  Maybe…this guy has more confidence than ability.
Get a good look at that fuzzy cute is that?

As I took a closer look, I was being watched by one of the parents.  Said parent let me know its presence by the constant chirping to its misguided youngster.  The only problem is that I was not the problem.  But, perhaps my three cats or two dogs might be...stay safe little birdie.


Soon, the sky started to cloud. Within minutes, the white clouds turned deep grey.  I was running out of time.  I floored the mower and made as quick work of the upper lawn as I could. 


Unfortunately, thunder and rain arrived before I finished.  I stopped. 


Another five minutes was all that I would have needed to completely finish, but I needed to stay safe, too!


The grass will be there when I get back to the mowing, longer and thicker, and still there.

The Amazing Web (and, I do not mean the world wide web)

Today’s walk through the woods was almost like walking in a shower even though it was not raining.

The leaves of the thick forest were soaked with water from the previous night’s rain.  That water produced a constant yet subtle drip, drip, drip as though it was sprinkling.  The sound was soothing and peaceful.  I was able to remain dry.

This morning’s added feature was the myriad of wispy webs that dotted the moist environment.  Each web was slightly to very different, each exhibiting a wonderful view of one of nature’s amazing architects, the spiders.


Those lacy webs are certainly a simple pleasure to admire.

Head's Up - This blog site is giving me fits again.  The photo upload was just improved(?) and, of course, my usual way to add photos is not working.  After much trial and error, I have found a way to add my photos, but the process takes ten times as long as it did just a day ago.  I just love it when this site makes changes for the worst - ugh!  So, I just might be giving up this blog soon.  Or, it just might be giving me up. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

More Babies?

This is what I spotted yesterday….



And, this is what I observed today….



Since I had a front row seat, just feet away, from my lounger, I just had to sit back and watch the progress all day long.


I had been noticing the robins hanging out more frequent than usual, but I had no idea that they chose my home for their home.


Again, how lucky can I get?


Very lucky!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Unbelievable But True

The other day when I caught my first glimpse of that juvenile robin (see May 16, 2013 blog, Bird Bonus), my first thought was oriole because the breast was orangey. I was wrong. I do need to get my eyes checked soon, but I guess I was really wishful thinking for an oriole.

This morning, within minutes of rising, I was at the kitchen sink washing my hands.  This time I did see a blaze of orange land in the full foliage of the flowering dogwood tree located within feet of the window. Yes, an oriole. Definitely!  I rushed for my camera (you know the drill), but within the seconds it took me to retrieve, the bird was gone.


I remained at the window hoping beyond hope. I was rewarded. That oriole returned and lighted on the tip of the tallest branch. I had a tremendously better view.  It was as if he was saying, “I came back just for you to take a photo, but you better be quick.”


I got two shots off and was zooming in for a third when Mr. Baltimore took off.  I was quite satisfied.  And…

so very lucky!


Boasting blooms today…


I tried to wait until the sun came out, but it never did. So, many blooms sport raindrops. Today is our fourth day in a row which we have received rain. And, rain is in the forecast for at least another week.  Rarely, do we get a spring with so much precipitation.  The result is that my gardens are full, lush, almost jungle-like.  I get to see my perennials at their full potential.  I also get to weed double-duty when the sun eventually returns.


The colors, the blossoms, the scents…all worth having extra weeds.
P.S. I included a few wildflowers...can you identify them?

Friday, May 17, 2013


Rain + sunshine = you guessed it…a rainbow.


It was faint, it was short-lived.  Does not matter…


I was around to enjoy the rare arc of colors.
the iris show begins... this one displays rain drops from the previous evening
During this morning's walk, Buddy laid down right in the middle of this puddle - the one and only puddle on our walk.
He was embarrassed when I went to take a photo, so he moved. But, that did not deter him from paying me back.
He got behind me to shake -  got the real picture???


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bird Bonus

Preparing for take-off...this juvenile robin was so pretty posing in the morning sun.

The pond is quite a distance from the house, but these Canada geese certainly announced their presence
with their loud honking.

These two herons were a real bonus...I went out to the chickens for a second to check the water and decided to grab my camera on the way out of the house.  The only downside was that I was not quite fast enough to get a really nice photo of the pair.  But, just the few seconds of observation was my reward!