spring greens at Mountain Glen Farm

spring greens at Mountain Glen Farm

Monday, March 31, 2014

And IT Continues

IT being SNOW!

Enjoy the tranquility of yet another winter wonderland on the farm...





Notice the little bird hiding behind the top of the fence post?
Glenn with brush in hand going to clear the dish to restore internet service.

"Thought there was a door here somewhere..."
Believe it or not...these turkeys walked back and forth along the fence for hours.


Apple trees on left...no spring blossoms yet.






The hungry sheep.


The smart sheep.



Daffodils trying to announce the season...spring(?).
Lilac buds thought it was spring.


Peace!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Escape a.k.a. Another Round-up


Monday was a cool day.  But, after chasing rogue chickens twice, I warmed up quickly.

 

Becky bought 50 pullets about one week ago with nowhere to put them on her farm.  She needs to build a new portable and movable chicken pen to move around her pastures for them. Last year’s pen is just too small for these 50.

 



So, the chickens came to Mountain Glen to take up residence inside the pole barn.  Sheep and lambs have been relegated to the barn lot.  The pullets were fine until Becky decided to open the door to the outside pen.  These pullets are fliers and they can easily clear the fence that keeps cows, calves, sheep, lambs, and horse in.

 

Buddy loved to watch the escaped pullets peck around the barn lot from the outside of the fence.  Not so for Sammy.  He crawled right under the gate into the lot and began chasing the red-feathered fowl.  The pullets would run frantically flapping their wings.  Sammy was close behind in the hunt. 

 

I have no idea how long the fun games were being played, but once I noticed, I quickly ran out of the house flapping my arms in fret to rescue the pullets.  Sammy held several in his mouth (not at the same time) until I was able to grab them and put them back inside their pen.  This ordeal not only occurred once, but twice during the course of the afternoon.  Like I said, I warmed up quickly...twice.

 

Yesterday,  the pullets stayed inside the barn.  Not because of their antics but because they do not like to walk on snow.

 










You read that right…we have had another day, all day, of snow.  Will this madness ever end?

 

My dainty purple crocuses are now in hiding or crushed under the frozen precipitation.

 

I was expecting the more seasonal spring showers by now.  I want to see my spring flowers.

 

Perhaps… next week? 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Calm...



…before the latest, and hopefully last, winter storm.

 
 
 


Saturday was near 70, sunny, and so pleasant and spring-like.

 

The snow drops, the never-fail first flowers of spring, were in full bloom nodding their dainty white blossoms in the warm breeze. 

 

Buddy, Sam and I went for a walk through the still barren woods.  No leaves popping yet, but the sunshine coming through was glorious.  Buddy took off on his speedy circuit runs as usual. 

 

This, being my first walk with Becky’s puppy, made me a bit anxious.  Sam would run ahead of me, but would eventually stop and wait until I was again within sight.  He stayed on the farm road on the way out, but followed Buddy into the woods on the way back.  Sammy blended perfectly with the downed leaves of the previous fall.  I did not want to lose him…especially on my watch.

 

We, all three, arrived back home safe and sound. And, we all enjoyed the perfect weather for such a walk.

  
 
 
 


Then, the next day, it started.  Another snowstorm - ugh. Folks...may I remind you that it is mid-March and we do live in Virginia which is considered a southern state. 


our 'wild' livestock - turkeys to the left, deer to the right

 

 

Will this winter ever end, ever leave.  Spring was trying to announce its presence, but winter was still unwilling to leave.  Cold temperatures, blowing snow, ice gathering on the every outside surface.  Yep…winter to be sure.

 





And today, the first day of spring, it really seems like spring as the latest snow has melted and the first crocus is in bloom.  The breeze blows gently.  The sun shines brightly.  The canines, Buddy and Sammy, chase each other with sheer joy.

 

Yes….yes, I do believe spring has arrived right on schedule.  But, I am keeping my fingers crossed just in case.

So, before the weather changes again...I want to wish you all a  HAPPY SPRING!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not Just For Livestock


We have a vintage livestock trailer.  I am not sure of the exact age, but it is OLD. And, it was not mass manufactured by a large trailer company; it was manufactured on a limited basis by a sole craftsman.

 

I have never seen another like it on the road, and I probably will not.

 

The trailer does not look pretty, but it does the job. 

 

We have used the trailer to go to Alabama to pick up South Poll heifers that we purchased to increase our beef cattle operation.  We have used the trailer to go to Missouri to pick up a new breeding bull we purchased. We have used the trailer to pick up a flock of sheep (two trips) when we added sheep to the farm.  We have used the trailer to transport cattle back and forth between Mountain Glen Farm and Becky’s farm to fine tune our management goals.  We have used the trailer to take animals to the processor. And, most recently, we have used the trailer on several occasions to haul all of Becky’s pig acquisitions back to her farm.

 

That trailer is kept busy.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But, that trailer does more than ferry livestock.  Oh yeah…it hauls hay, and 4-wheelers, and tires. Huge tires.

 



Underneath all that black paint, and rust, and repair work is a work horse…a nag in appearance, but a Clydesdale in muscle.

 

We will keep that white (black) elephant as long as it runs and does its job.

 

And, if you have to laugh when you see us on the road with that trailer, go ahead and laugh.  We are glad to include ‘others’ enjoyment’ in the list of duties for this trailer.

 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Just Around The Corner


Spring is just 'around the corner' as THEY say…I can feel the warming of the winter’s cold, I notice the grass showing signs of nearing that almost overnight change from brown to green and I observe birds checking out possible nesting sites.

 



 


I am ready for the awakening of all things growing and green.  I am ready to enjoy more time outdoors. I am ready to put away the winter clothing. I am ready to listen to the birds sing.  I am ready to garden.  I am ready to revel in each and every colorful, scented flower.  I am ready for farm babies…lambs and calves and piglets.

 

I am ready for spring!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Again...


This morning I woke to the constant and joyous singing of a cardinal.

 

I did not see the cardinal, but it is one bird I can identify by all its vocal communication whether it is by song or by call.

 

The singing went on for at least one hour.  I made an out loud statement, “He thinks it is spring.”  All my yard birds get very chatting when spring arrives.

 

I also identified a yellow-bellied sapsucker hammering at my sugar maple.  Gathering sap and insects already?  Well, maybe spring has arrived.

 

Today, the air temperatures rose into the 60’s.  Spring-like to be sure. 

 



Unfortunately, tomorrow’s forecast is alerting to yet another winter storm.  Upwards of 10” is possible.  Our snow piles just melted from our last arctic blast!

 

Two weeks ago, I promised a neighbor that we would plow out his drive the next time it snows.  He laughed and added, “Hopefully, we are finished with snow this season.”  I guess not.

 

That cardinal…he was probably happy not because it was getting on into spring, but because another winter storm was approaching.  After all, the cardinal is a snow bird.

Putting Down the Clover Seed


I hear a continuous rumble of the 4-wheeler…

 


Ah…Becky is over seeding the pastures with clover. 

broadcast seeder attached to the rear of the 4-wheeler
 

According to the professionals, this is the most suitable time of year to broadcast clover seed in our pastures - the ground is still thawing and freezing which aids the tiny seed in moving down into the ground; precipitation/moisture is adequate, either snow or rain; and, by the time the temperatures warm and the conditions are ideal for plant growth, the seed has good seed-to-soil contact and is ready to germinate.

 

The best part…there is no rushing to get yet another time-sensitive chore accomplished when spring lets loose…it is done.

 

After five hours, Becky came inside frozen to the bone and her throttle thumb totally numb. 

 

Becky completed 20 acres, only 55 acres to go. 

 

She will return tomorrow, and the next day and the next until this job is complete.

 

Then, she gets to move to her farm and start the process over again.