Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Silent Calf...

About six weeks ago, a little heifer calf was born.  She was mostly black...my favorite...with a white heart on her forehead.

She started out drinking milk from a bottle, not without some difficulty.  She would start and stop...start and stop...milk dripping down her chin and all over my coveralls.  We thought maybe she was feeling a little under the weather so we gave her electrolytes and watched her closely.  When it was time to wean her to drink out of a bucket, she was also very stubborn.  V E R Y  S T U B B O R N ! !

None of those things are unusual.

Here she is...


It's not the greatest picture, but if you've ever tried to take a picture of a calf in a pen with another animal, you'd understand!  See the eyeballs over her right (our left) ear?  That crazy calf stands ready to attack anyone and anything that might give her some food.  Gotta click the shutter when you've got a chance, with that one in the pen!  :)

Anyway...what's different about this calf?

Not once...NOT ONCE...since she was born, have we ever heard her bawl!  Not for her Mom...not for food...not just because she could.  She's been completely silent for over six weeks now.  She doesn't like milk, either.  She munches on hay, drinks out of the water bowl and eats some grain.  She doesn't appear to be sick, but we can't quite figure her out.

It's kind of like a dog that never barks or a cat that never meows.  Have you ever heard of a silent calf?


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Best Seat In the House...

The cats on our farm have a great life.

It was pretty chilly this morning...somewhere around 20 degrees, I think...and I found Jolyn curled up in the sun in the heifers' feed trough...




Best seat in the house on a chilly morning!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Temperature Swings...

Wow...what a difference one short week makes!

Last week the kids missed two days of school because of the snow.  They were thrilled to have time to spend time with friends...


...and do things like this...


This week so far we've had temps in the 40's and tomorrow is to reach near 60 degrees!  From -2 to 60 degrees in one week is quite a temperature swing!

With the rain we had today on top of the melting snow, we've got lots of mud, and lots of water running across the still frozen ground with no where to go.  It's messy, but SPRING is ALMOST here!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Random Five Friday...

It's been a while, but Nancy is back hosting Random Five Friday, so I thought I'd join up again...

1. Our snow yesterday ended up being more than they called for.  It was hard to measure, but ended up being around 8" or so.  It makes headaches, but it sure is pretty!  Jim spent most of yesterday on that tractor, opening the driveway...and opening it again...



2.  Next week we're to be in the 40's all week, so we expect lots of melting, and mud.

3.  We took Murphy to be bred last week, so hopefully we'll have a litter of sweet puppies around the beginning of May!  This would only be her second litter.  Last summer was a disappointment in that department, but we're hopeful this time around will have a happier ending...


4.  Six of Jenna's violin teacher's students participate in the Lancaster Youth Symphony Orchestra, and last Saturday was their winter concert.  They missed a handful of practices because of bad weather, but they were able to pull it together.  This is just a short clip of one of the songs.  It was just recorded on my camera, so the quality is less than stellar, but the real thing was a treat to listen to...


5.  Here's to spring in the not too distant future, and lots of playing in the grass and lazing in the sunshine...


Enjoy your weekend!






Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Day...

After the cold February we had, we were thinking that maybe winter was almost over.  March has different ideas, though.

The kids woke to a snow day...the first one of the school year.  We've had numerous two hour delays, which are nice because the school day counts, and doesn't have to be made up at the end of the year, but this is the first day off.  It means more help in the barn for us...but somehow I don't think that was first and foremost in their minds!  :)  Hopefully there won't be any unwelcome surprises, and they'll have some time to relax and enjoy the day.

The snow started in the wee hours of the morning, and these pictures were taken right before breakfast...


The empty corner hutch...waiting for spring until we can turn the water on again and put some calves in there.  Jenna uses the empty hutches to store hay for the little calves that she carries water to...


The abandoned sand box.  I think this picture was my favorite...


Those old barn boots with perennials planted in them are soaking up the moisture, just waiting for spring.  It's amazing to me that the plants come back year after year, even when they're not buried deep underground!


It's snowing like crazy outside the window, and we'll see what it amounts to. It's a heavy, wet snow, and no fun to push.  The milk truck comes today, so Jim will be busy opening the driveway before he comes.  'Til it's all said and done, we're supposed to get 4" - 6".  We'll see!  I know that's peanuts compared to what some of you have seen this winter, but it's our first substantial snowfall.  After the bitter cold we had in February, I think I'd rather have this!

I'm linking today to Good Fences.  Click here to see more posts!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring Is Coming...

I have to believe it's true, because it happens every year.  Over...and over again...no matter how cold and brutal the winter, spring eventually comes! That's one of the benefits of living in a climate where we have four equal seasons.

We're still in the freezer here, although I sense a tiny bit of warmth in the sun that's shining today.  Thus, a post about spring, and positive things, to keep that hopeful feeling alive...

The mercury was above freezing today...for the second time this week...and there's a hint of warmth in the air...

We opened the outside pen water line this morning...no holding the hose in the freezing cold air while the heifers push and shove each other impatiently...

The barn doors on the south are wide open today, and Little Ed preened himself in the warm sun on top of the compressor shanty again...


Snickers and Murphy sunned themselves in the yard.  Not a care in the world for these two...not even the energy to get up and say hello...just a few tail wags for me.  I loved hearing the birds in the tree over my head too...


The snow is almost gone...


And the milk truck is shiny again.  All the road salt has been washed off, and will hopefully stay off for a while.  I liked the reflection of the barn and the beautiful blue sky in the trailer...


The days are getting longer...yay!  It wasn't so long ago that by 5:00 in the evening, it was pretty well dark.  Now we're getting close to twelve hours of daylight again, and I love it!

Yes, it will be below freezing for a while yet...and I think I even heard the "S" word for tomorrow...

...but spring really is right around the corner!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow...

We got some snow overnight, but it was only a little nuisance this morning.

Look...the half door (under the light) was open when I went out this morning. That's a really good sign that it's toasty inside the barn...


I think the undisturbed snow is so pretty.  This was just as we finished milking this morning...



It wasn't deep at all...just about two inches of light, fluffy snow, but it was enough to give the kids a two hour delay this morning.  That was perfect timing, being that it's Fasnacht Day today!  I had time to run to the grocery store and pick some up before they left for school. We started out with equal numbers of powdered and sugared...you can easily see which are the favorites.  Trouble is, I'm the one home with the leftovers...


Dust Bunny and Little Ed found a perfect place to sun themselves on the south side of the milk house.  They certainly don't care that there's snow on the ground.  The sun is shining, and the snow has already melted off their perch on top of the compressor shanty...


And this last picture has absolutely nothing to do with the snow.  I went over to the other farm to check on a springer, and just happened to have my camera in the car.  This old sycamore tree was just so beautiful against the blue sky, I couldn't resist...


It's to get cold again in a few days, but for now we're enjoying the beautiful snow and the heat wave!