spring greens at Mountain Glen Farm

spring greens at Mountain Glen Farm

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Spring's Arrival...Not Yet



A few days ago, on my walk, I came upon an amazing bold and bright yellow feather lying on the ground.  I looked around and saw another feather, and another and then several more.  There was no indication of foul play, no annihilated body remnants…just a scattered bunch of gorgeous feathers.


 
 






I gathered all the feathers to take home with me.  I was unable to identify the species of bird from which they came. I would attempt to do so on my return home where I could enlist the aid of my field guide, Stan Tekiela’s Birds of Virginia.

 

As I continued on my way, I could hear birds all around me, but I could not see most of them.  My personal bird identification abilities are quite limited, more so with only a call or song for reference.  But, the sounds were enough to complement the enjoyment of my outing especially since the past few months have been very quiet and near void of bird song.  Is this a sign of Spring creeping back to the farm?

 
As I approached the pond, I got a glimpse of several birds floating on the pond.  I was able to make out three male and three female mallard ducks.  Under the small pond house deck, two Canada geese took refuge.  As I advanced, the geese paddled to and joined the ducks and then waddled onto the shore.


check out the size of that  webbed foot...
 

I had hoped to sneak up for closer observation, but with three dogs as companions, sneaking is just about impossible.  Each dog, almost simultaneously, saw the birds and took off running in their direction.  The ducks, all six, were the first to take flight, followed closely by the two geese. 

 

I missed a chance at a more intimate scrutiny, but watching the birds airlift to full exit flight was so spectacular. Their rise was smooth and quick and their escape graceful and stunning.

 

I continued to watch as the birds distanced themselves effortlessly.  They were soon out of sight. 

 

Beauty comes in many forms.  And, thanks to my dogs, I witnessed another astonishing form of beauty.

 

P.S. Once home, I immediately retrieved my  field guide to help identify the source of my found feathers.  I am still unsure as to the species - ugh!

 

Seasonal Update -   Today, February 17th, we are covered with inches of fluffy white snow from last night’s storm.  I guess Winter is still very much present on the farm and Spring is not arriving as soon as I had hoped.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A House for Snowball


Yesterday, Snowball got a house.


I know this flat piece of cardboard does not look like a dog house, especially for a large breed dog…actually, still puppy Snowball, but it will.



 
 

 
                                                                                                        
The cardboard box was used to transport rejected peanuts from a local and nationally known food company.  The peanuts rejected for use in human food are a real treat for Becky’s pigs.  Peanuts add variety and extra protein to a well-rounded diet that is customarily offered to the oinkers. And, you should see her pigs inhale these morsels…certainly verifies the adage of ‘eating like a pig’.

 
The empty box was too good to burn.  The walls are thick and sturdy.


After some thought, a perfect reuse of the box was made. It would be Snowball’s dog house. 

 
Snowball has been sleeping in a hay pile inside a large shed that provides protection from nasty weather for our lambs.  Snowball, now doing duty as guard dog for these lambs, must remain in close proximity to these defenseless creatures.  The lambs are easy pickings for any coyote looking for a meal.


The cardboard dog house is sheltered from rain since it sits inside this same shed. 

 

And, Snowball gets to be a bit cozier having additional cover from the wind.

 
My only concern…will the lambs stay out of the dog house or will they expect Snowball to share his digs?
 
one of our 2014 bottle lambs is already eyeing Snowball's new retreat