Monday, March 17, 2014

March in Photos on St. Patrick's Day

Although I've not been blogging here yet this month, I have written several posts for my trees, birds, and wildflower blogs. Links to those blogs are, I think, somewhere on this page.

St. Patrick's Day snow

Here on the farm, the flowerbeds and paths are abloom with daffodils (which means deadheading season has begun); the lawn has been mowed once; weather has been alternately sunny, rainy, warm, and cold. As of today, snow is back on the south hills. All of which proves the western Oregon adage: If you don't like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it will change.

The greenhouse, no matter the weather, is abloom with fragrant Clivia.

In the new barn, baby goats have started arriving.

Princess Two and her one day old kids

Ebonita with her minutes old twins

A college class from Linfield, Human Adaptive Strategies, came out here for a field trip to look for edible wild plants in our woods, namely nettles. They came on March 7, before much was out... except nettles... and a lot of water on the trails.

I planted lots more trees in the arboretum from Burnt Ridge Nursery. Here's hoping they survive. They are just sticks now. Someday, hopefully, the two Japanese plums planted in the Japanese section, near Mom's Dollar Tree, will grow up and bloom. Here is Mom's Dollar Tree budding out.

Bobcats continue to be seen on our trail cameras, along with deer, birds, rabbits, opossums and too many raccoons.

The Barn Owls have begun nesting in the new barn. Swallows are fighting over their gourd houses. Those stories and photos are on my Birds blog.

We ran the last two wintering raptor routes of the season... Grand Ronde and North Santiam. The biggest surprise of the Grand Ronde route was a large herd of elk seen through misty rain atop a hill.

Yesterday, for the first time in quite a few years, we bought two weaner pigs. Bringing them home from friend Autumn's was an adventure. In the past, we have put weaner pigs in burlap bags, which works great: plenty of air and strong enough to contain them. But burlap bags no longer exist so we stupidly took boxes instead of our kennel crate. But when Autumn brought the pig to the van (we started with just one pig), Johnny told her to throw it in loose, so she did. Why he said that, I have no idea. Now he says it was a dumb thing to do. No kidding.

 Before we were out the driveway, piglet had pretty much destroyed everything in the van and ripped open the sack of pig poo which Johnny had gathered to prime a poop spot in our pig pen. So I grabbed the pig and stuffed it into a box with another box on top and attempted to hold the boxes together. Piglet quickly made mincemeat of the box and was loose again, climbing on the gas pedal. I caught it and held the squirming, protesting beast on my lap all the way home.

Things went better after we arrived home. Introduction to livestock guardian dog McCoy was a non-event. McCoy thought the pig interesting, but not worth much excitement. The pig felt the same way about McCoy.

No sooner had the pig made her circuit of the pen and started eating grass than Autumn drove up with a second pig in a crate. "We thought you should have two, to keep each other company." We had talked about getting two while at her place but decided we would start with one.

They do snuggle together and I have enough extra goat milk for two. 

Besides helping me with raptor route running and pig hauling, plus doing projects for other people, Johnny continues to tear down our old barn. Now he's working on the floor and discovering some nice looking wood (after the manure is scraped off)... cedar maybe?

Friend Dawn is making bookshelves for her house out of some of our old barn wood. We will have plenty to do something with.

Through all the activities and commotion, Fred, the peacock, supervises and lends his beauty to the farm... with occasional loud, piercing comments.

                                                     Happy St. Patrick's Day!