Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I was pretty sure we'd lose Lottie as soon as she tasted the trees. But instead of losing her, she spends more time clinging to us now. She spent one night out in the woods in her cage, then came in and slept in Becky's desk next to her bed last night. She's hungrier after her daily tree time, too.
I love that every day of my life, my children are sure to say amazingly profound things that enrich my life.
Katie, who's as skinny a child as you'll meet this side of Africa, is showing me her design for a bird house.
"And I'm going to make the door extra big, in case the bird is obese and can't use a normal size door."
Really? How, young lady, who moonlights as a breaker and enterer through tiny slits of window openings when people lock themselves out of their homes, did it ever cross your mind to accomodate a fat bird?
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Somehow, without me realizing it was happening, Lottie grew into an adolescent squirrel.
The teen girls had gone away over the weekend, and at that point, Lottie quit drinking her milk almost completely. I was worried that she was on a hunger strike due to the absence of her beloved Becky. But Becky came back and still, hardly any milk down the pie hole for Miss Squirrel.
Suddenly it occurred to me to check the calendar. Lottie is almost 10 weeks old! At 9 weeks they wean and start their move out of mom's nest.
I can tell the difference in her age when I take her to the woods. She's anxious to get up the trees and explore the world above our heads. And she's not anxious to come back when it suits me.
We were reading about the grey squirrel last night and found a statistic that the first photo would prove: squirrels waste 15 more times than they eat!
Lottie loves pens, pencils, and highlighters. I contribute this to the Charlotte Mason method of squirrel schooling which encourages the love of learning. I hope she keeps up with her continuing education after she moves into her own nest.
Look how little she seems playing hide 'n seek in Becky's bed.
I had meant to blog consistently during her time with us so other people could use the knowledge we gained, but really, the care and feeding of a baby squirrel is easier than we expected. I'm a little shocked at how much like a human a squirrel is. Lottie, we found out, can see quite well, and in color. She recognizes all the people she lives with, and is shy of strangers. She's clever, and can learn helpful habits. It's possible, if she's very fortunate, and only the FSD hunts the property, that she may live up to 16 years!
These will probably be the last indoor pictures of her.
I've placed her cage down in the tree house near the barn. There she'll live, locked in, for a couple days before the door opens and she has free range of the dark and dangerous forest.
I'm contemplating moving her from there to the oak on the trail, a little farther away from the house, to keep her safer from the cats, and to give her a thicker wood with plentiful acorns in which to build. Big Dan will supply her with a squirrel mansion, built to specs of course, but I think she'll end up making her own winter drey.
I'm hopeful that she'll keep up her friendship with us. I think with enough Jolly Ranchers and fruit preserves, it's a possibility.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
If you're on facebook with me, you've already heard this news. If you're a hold out against social media, this is my passive aggressive way of getting even with you for making me work at having a relationship with you. I'm way overdue with the quadruplet post!
This is the day they were born. They were all large and healthy seeming. After this was taken, we lost the two brown and black ones.
We're pretty sure that they were killed by the huge Nubian kids of Tilly's. We had never mixed sizes of goat babies before and had no idea that all goats aren't as safe and careful as Nigerians.
At any rate, we separated the big goats, and the two surviving kids are doing fine.
The guineas, who I hadn't yet posted about, are enjoying the air conditioner exhaust blowing their feathers backwards. The would get ruffled then laugh (or whatever it's called when guineas chatter happily) loudly. Over and over again.
It made us laugh too.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Just a glimpse of the day.
There are actually interesting farm things about which to blog, but I don't have the mental capacity to photograph then tell the story behind all the livestock.
After soccer season, I may blog all day long, since nothing else will occupy my time.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Nutmeg is 7/8 Nigerian with 1/8 Oberhasli blood. She has all of the best qualities of her mom and grandma plus the same sweet temperament that they had.
Since she hasn't kidded yet, and as you can see, her udder would become uncomfortably full, we started milking her.
We've never had a goat who goes on ahead and produces milk before kids, but since we froze all of her colostrum, and were already planning to bottle feed her kids, it should be ok that she's in full blown milk now.
She's a dream to milk, with a butter soft udder that just pours out a half gallon a day. She takes no hand strength at all to milk.
When she raised her first set of twins last year, she got confused when we started milking, and tap danced around on the stand. Hopefully when we pull her kids this year, she'll settle right into a milking routine and we won't be crying over spilled milk.
The heritage type broiler chicks are three weeks old, healthy, happy, and active.
Laura does all the work involved in raising these birds, so they don't take up any of my time or attention. (Except for the fact that watching them roam is addicting!)
They range freely all day, spreading throughout the pig pen and whole front yard. They eat lots of bugs and grass. And game bird starter.
At night, they put themselves to bed in the small chicken coop. We haven't used a heat lamp for over a week now!
We're supposed to start harvesting them at 9 weeks. We may try to do about 5 that week and see how large and tender they are, then do some more each week till they're gone.