Wednesday, May 31

Daily Farm Photo: 5/31/06

Buzzard Break

Tuesday, May 30

Daily Farm Photo: 5/30/06

Morning Sun On Ratty Fence

Sunday, May 28

Weekend Dog Blogging #36

Cary & The Nanny Bear

Attention Dog Lovers! This Is Weekend Dog Blogging #36!
To see fun dog photos and discover delicious new food blogs, visit
Sweetnicks on Sunday night for the roundup. For more pup pics, head over to the Friday Ark for dozens of links to all kinds of critters.

Care more for Cary photos? She's been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen garden with me. Click
here and here if you just can't get enough of her.

And I promise you that dog, cat, lamb, and donkey lovers alike will all enjoy this special Weekend Dog Blogging extra, written by my fellow
shepherdgirl pal (and wonderful artist) Katherine Dunn at Apifera Farm. Just click here to discover the very best thing you'll read all month.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/28/06

Two Ways To Love Roses

Multiflora Roses In Front Of The Spring

For a few weeks each May, there are wild multiflora roses blooming nearly everywhere you look around the farm. One whiff of their sweet, heady scent, and I am instantly transported to flower heaven. Every chance I get during these few brief weeks, I bury my nose in the blooms, close my eyes, and breathe them in as deep, deep, deeply as I can. I want that intoxicating fragrance to curl up and stay inside me all year long.

Trixie, On The Other Hand, Simply Eats Them

Saturday, May 27

Weekend Cat Blogging #51

Cat Shelf

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #51!
See fun feline photos & discover tasty new food blogs. Visit my pal Clare & the gorgeous guest cat this week over at
Eat Stuff in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties (plus news about next week's very special edition of Weekend Cat Blogging). For more cat snapshots, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards everything from cats to cephalopods.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/27/06

More Irises & Some Handmade Fence

Back To The Beginning: There's another installment up at Writings From Windridge Farm. Click here to go directly to the new post. Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Click here if you'd rather just see another pretty flower photo. (Personally I can never get enough flower photos).

Friday, May 26

Daily Farm Photo: 5/26/06


Today is my brother's 36th birthday,
but he died from alcoholism
last December 24th.

He would have absolutely adored Cary.

Look how much life he's missed already.

I am so grateful to all of you who have helped me through these past painful months. One day, one hour, one minute at a time. He is never far from my thoughts. He is dearly missed.

Thursday, May 25

Arugula Pesto Takes Over The Kitchen:
Searching For The Best Arugula Pesto Recipe

Arugula Pesto Cream Cheese Spread

Several weeks ago I innocently sprinkled a few gallons of water on a section of bare dirt in my greenhouse, and soon the most beautiful bed of volunteer arugula appeared. After many nights of lovely baby arugula tossed into salads, it became increasingly clear the arugula (which is a rapidly maturing plant also known as 'rocket') was going to win the Eat Me Or I Bolt race if I didn't quickly come up with some way to use a much greater quantity of it at once. Behold arugula pesto!

To read about my great green adventures check out Arugula Pesto Takes Over The Kitchen on my kitchen garden blog (where I've been promising readers this recipe for an embarrassingly long time). What? You didn't know I have a kitchen garden blog? Where do you think all the food from this one ran off to?

And it's not just for gardeners either. While you're there, be sure to check the sidebar for links to a few of my favorite simple kitchen garden recipes. All you have to do is click here to open the garden gate.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/25/06

Our Misty Mornings Have Returned

Wednesday, May 24

Daily Farm Photo: 5/24/06

Eating Local

You may have heard that the
Eat Local Challenge is going on this month (which, I realize, is almost over). But you can participate in your own Eat Local Challenge any time of the year. Why bother? Click here for 10 good reasons. You could start today--even if you live in a place where it's still too early for farmers' markets. Try seeking out and eating just one locally produced thing a day.

Ask around. You might be surprised to find that there is an amazing cheesemaker located just a few miles away. Or that your favorite supermarket buys some of its produce from nearby growers. Or that your neighbor down the street is an avid edible gardener willing to share. Even locally brewed beer counts! Note: The Locavores use a 100-mile radius around their home to define local foods, which gives you a fairly large hunting ground.

For more help finding food nearby, check out To learn how others are living up to their challenge, visit the new group blog

And for some inspiration to support small farmers (along with a healthy serving of gorgeous photos), head over to Small Farms: A Blog From The Heart, where the incredible Tana will have you laughing, crying, and wanting to make tonight's dinner from food that still has dirt clinging to it.

Of course you can't get any more local than your own backyard (or windowsill or front porch steps or fire escape). I've been harvesting several varieties of lettuce (including the Rocky Top Mix pictured above from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), along with all kinds of other tasty salad greens, for several weeks now. Click here, and I'll have you going from seed packet to salad bowl in under a month—even if your 'garden' consists of a couple of plastic buckets or tubs.

I've also been enjoying asparagus from the garden for the past month, though my little bed has only been offering up four or five spears at a time. Tender, locally grown asparagus is still available in many places right now, and I urge you to try to get your hands on some.

For interesting ways to prepare it, check out Asparagus Aspirations
at Seriously Good, where Kevin has been compiling asparagus recipes from food bloggers around the world all month long.

Wondering where Cary is? She's been up to no good in the garden (again), and I have the pictures to prove it. Click here to see for yourself.

So what tasty local things have you been eating?


Monday, May 22

Daily Farm Photo 5/22/06: Flower Power and a Cary Update

The Driveway Is Pretty In Pink Right Now

No Lamb Report today except to say that Cary is doing very well and is up to 10 pounds. She now lets her injured leg touch the ground when she is standing still--and sometimes even puts a little weight on it. Last night she was bouncing in the barn. This morning she was packing with the bigger lambs. I am thrilled. She is, as usual, asleep at my feet as I type this.

Sunday, May 21

Weekend Dog Blogging #35: Lapping it Up

No bottled water for Bear—this is spring water at the source.


Weekend Cat Blogging #50 (Wow!)

Somebody Is A Very Baaaaaaad Influence

It's A Little Late To Try & Hide Your Identities

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #50!
See cute cat photos & discover yummy new food blogs. Visit my pal Clare & her crazy Cat Kiri at
Eat Stuff in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties. For more frolicking felines, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards dozens of cats plus all kinds of other critters.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/21/06

Four Things Found One Day In The Forest: Photo 4 of 4

The Elusive (And Camera Shy) Wet Woodland Donkey (A very close cousin of the extremely popular Barnyard Donkey.)

Lamb Report: Well, the rumor has been confirmed. The sheep shearer who did such a wonderful (and fast!) job on our flock last year has indeed broken his leg. The incident apparently occurred while he was "hauling a sheep on a four-wheeler" and lost control of it (the four-wheeler). Since I have been accused on several occasions of going four-wheeling with The Chippers in the Jeep and on the riding mower, I didn't ask for more details.

And so the search for a replacement shearer begins. Sheep shearing is one of those things like Olympic ice skating--the pros make it look extremely easy. But when you strap on some rented skates and take that first step onto the ice, you immediately fall flat on your butt. I can shear the sheep if it comes down to that, but we're all (and I mean all) hoping it doesn't. Let's just say that if the judges are grading on speed, style, and the ability to do more than complain of aches and pains after the event, I won't be taking home any medals. Current Lamb Count: 22. (I was so shocked last night when I tucked in the sheep and came up with the correct number on the first try that I went back and counted them two more times.) Number of days the song "Sherry Baby" (but changed to "Cary Baby") has been playing non-stop in my head: 3 so far.

Saturday, May 20

Daily Farm Photo: 5/20/06

Four Things Found One Day In The Forest: Photo 3 of 4

A Rare Glimpse Of The Once-Thought-To-Be-Extinct Camo Lambo

Lamb Report: I got down to the barn a little late this morning, and yet not a single sheep except Cary stood up to greet me. Usually if the sun is already shining brightly and it's obviously going to be a hot one, there is an impatient woolly clump at the barn gate waiting to burst out. I think they're all staying up way past their bedtime
listening to Alice. And just when I thought maybe he really had moved to Missouri, he announced that his nightly radio show can be heard on 50 stations across the country. Maybe there's one near you. I'm definitely going to have to email him about his barnyard listeners. He played Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones while I was down there last night--now that's our kind of Classic Rock.

Current Lamb Count: 22.
Number of cows Cary, Bear, and I spotted in the hayfield yesterday while taking a relaxing early evening break on the shaded back steps: 1. Naturally no one was around on a Friday night to come and put it back where it belongs. I need to go see if it's still out there--and if it has friends. Usually they travel in packs.

Friday, May 19

Daily Farm Photo: 5/19/06

Four Things Found One Day In The Forest: Photo 2 Of 4

Woods, Water, Want To Sit & Stare A While

Lamb Report: The weather is getting warmer, and the humidity level is rising. We have been fortunate to have had a mild May, but it is 87F in the shade today, and the sheep are getting hot. It's high time they were sheared. Current Lamb Count: 22. Number of his legs (not a sheep's leg) I heard our wonderful sheep shearer broke: 1. Number of farmgirls thinking "OH NO!": 1. I have a call into him now.

P.S. Cary is doing just fine. (She is curled up at my feet right now, and The Doodle Monster is sitting on my lap keeping an evil eye on her). I'm thrilled that so many of you enjoyed Chapter One of The Cary Chronicles, but we're pretty busy over here. I don't think--as Stephen and Lindy suggested--that a daily update is going to be possible. Unless, of course, they want to overnight ship us all of our meals. (If you like delicious food and writing and don't know Stephen Cooks and Toast, you're missing out. But I warn you: don't go to either one when you're starving.)

Thursday, May 18

Daily Farm Photo: 5/18/06

Four Things Found One Day In The Forest: Photo 1 of 4

This Has Been Hiding In Here A While

Lamb Report: Too beat for much of a report. Everybody is accounted for and tucked in for the night. Spotlights and radio are on. I've been counting sheep so many times I keep forgetting the right numbers I'm supposed to come up with. Current Lamb Count: 22. Number of donkeys that went berserk today: 1 (he's fine now). Number of ravenous farmgirls heading to the kitchen in search of a very late dinner (we don't do that chic, late night dining thing on the farm if we can help it): 1.

The Cary Chronicles: Chapter 1

Big Day For A Little Lamb

Cary takes a break in the garden.

Well, it's been one week since I became Cary's mother. And a lot has happened in those seven days. First of all, I was blown away by the incredible response to my little Mother's Day 'tail.' I had no idea Cary's story would touch the hearts of so many people. I can't even begin to explain how wonderful that makes me feel.

And yes, I have taken your suggestions about a children's book seriously and am working on making that idea become a reality. Of course I'll let you know if anything happens. In the meantime (since I'm snapping pictures of Cary like crazy--and because so many people have requested it), I figured I would post periodic updates about our life together. Like I told Cary last week, I have no idea what's going to happen. We're just taking it one day at a time. And I, for one, am cherishing every one of those days. Thank you again for your amazing kindness and support. And now back to our tale. . .

First of all, I want to mention that Cary's leg is indeed improving. She continues to hold it up when she is standing still (which isn't very often), but not as high as before. She has started putting some weight on it when she walks, and she has no trouble scampering about the farm and keeping up with me and Bear.

Since we all know the camera puts on pounds, some people are having a hard time figuring out just what size Cary is. So this morning I pulled out a tape measure, and this is what I learned: She currently stands 14 inches high. It is 18 inches from the tip of her nose to the base of her tail. And she weighs in at about 9 pounds. I think she is growing by the hour. Her twin brother is already about half again as big as she is, but that is not surprising.

As I said, a lot has been going on during this past week. On Tuesday alone (which was our first full day together, as Cary had previously been spending naptimes with Alison and her baby girl in their Bonding Suite), Cary

had her first nibble of solid food,

spent some time in the garden (weeding wears you out!),

came nose to nose with a donkey while The Nanny Bear wasn't looking, splashed fearlessly through the creek behind me without a peep of protest when I forgot to carry her across (hey, I'm still new at this),

and survived a death stare from The Doodle Monster (who is half her size).

In the afternoon, as part of her physical therapy program, she

hiked a full mile up and down our steep, wooded driveway. And at dusk, while I was standing in the front yard talking on the phone to a fellow shepherdgirl, she tried to eat a good sized rock. (Fortunately she spit it out.)

While Cary obviously enjoys traipsing around with me, she knows how important it is for a growing girl to get enough rest. So when we head into the house to do a little work on the computer, she immediately settles down for a nap in what is quickly becoming her favorite spot on the farm:

curled up next to my feet (which is where she is right now).

All in all, we spent 13 non-stop hours together on Tuesday. My favorite part of the day? When we took a break from weeding in the garden, curled up together on a bed of clover, covered our faces from the sun with my big straw hat, and happily soaked up each other's company. She won't be this little for long.

Wednesday, May 17

Daily Farm Photo: 5/17/06

Lilac Iris

Wondering about
the lilacs that were coming and whatever happened to the blooming lilac photo I said I would post? Sadly, as often happens here, those promising little buds were killed by a late frost. But there's always hope for next year. And of course now we have irises.

Lamb Report: Alison and her big baby girl had their first day out yesterday, and it went very well. I guess Alison learned her lesson last year when she kept tucking baby Beattie (who was a late born surprise) into safe spots and then heading off with the rest of the wandering flock. The two of us did a lot of frantic jogging together last year. Yesterday she stayed glued to her lamb and close to home--unlike the sheep who went on a wild mountain trek in the woods. Current Lamb Count: 22.

Little Caraway had a big day yesterday, too. I'm hoping to post a photo and a Cary Report later.

Monday, May 15

Daily Farm Photo: 5/15/06

Sheep Crossing

Lamb Report: The wet weather creek is still running (hooray!), but late yesterday afternoon some of the sheep decided it was low enough to safely cross over to one of their favorite grazing spots, and so they took the plunge. (Well, I suppose 'the splash' would be more appropriate--there was no swimming involved.) Unfortunately many of those brave woolies were mothers whose kids did not think it was at all safe to cross the creek, so things got quite noisy for a while until Bear and I made everyone splash back through to the other side. My Mother's Day gift from the sheep? They all went into the barn for the night without a fight! And it only took me four tries to get the correct lamb count. Current Lamb Count: 22. Number of baby lambs curled up asleep at my feet as I type this: 1.

P.S. I'm just thrilled that so many of you enjoyed my little Mother's Day Lamb 'Tail.' Thanks, as always, for taking the time to write and let me know.

Sunday, May 14

Weekend Dog Blogging #34

Beagle In Paradise

Attention Dog Lovers! This Is Weekend Dog Blogging #34!
To see fun dog photos and discover yummy new food blogs, head over to
Sweetnicks on Sunday night for the roundup. Craving more canine candids? Each week at the Friday Ark you'll find dozens of links to everything from canines to Cerulean Warblers. Allergic to fur? Don't miss the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup each Sunday night at Kalyn's Kitchen.

A Tiny Tail For Mother's Day

Where's my mommy?

Once upon a time there was a beautiful lady sheep named Annette who gave birth to an itty bitty set of twins—one boy and one girl. Annette was not new to motherhood, but she was new to the idea of twins.

When she found herself in a Bonding Suite with two newborn lambs instead of just one, she became a little frantic. And in the ensuing confusion, she stepped on the little girl's tiny leg with her big strong hoof and hurt it very badly.

Annette eventually calmed down, and she allowed the twins to nurse. But the little girl could not stand up on her own, and she needed someone to hold her steady at the milk bar. To make sure she received enough milk, she was also given supplemental bottles.

The twins curled up together when they slept, and the little girl quickly became strong enough to stand up and balance on her three good legs. Things were looking up.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/14/06

Happy Mother's Day

Current Lamb Count: 22.

Saturday, May 13

Weekend Cat Blogging #49

Cat Fishing?

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #49!
See fun feline photos & discover yummy new food blogs. Visit my pal Clare & her crazy Cat Kiri at Eat Stuff
in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties. (Note: Clare has temporarily posted a "WCB placeholder" over at Eat Stuff--but she has an awfully good--and very romantic--reason.) For more frolicking felines, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards everything from cats to cattle dogs.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/13/06

Morning Mist Rising Off The Wet Weather Creek

Lamb Report: So we're still playing Non-Stop Classic Rock in the barn to help scare off the coyotes (can't get any other stations to come in). Last night while I was down there for a final check before bed, Alice Cooper announced that "if you don't have anything better to do, you can email me." I was this close to letting him know that he has a wider audience than probably even he could imagine. Of course, his barnyard listeners aren't exactly tuning into his show by choice (well, at least one is). Who knows. Maybe I'll email him tonight--if I don't have anything better to do. Current Lamb Count: 22. Number of times I counted lambs yesterday evening before I came up with the correct number: Felt like 90. (This is more difficult to do than it sounds.)

Donkey Report: Trimmed hooves look spiffy, and I'm back to being loved about 90%--won't let me touch his ears yet. (Which, by the way, the farrier announced were quite small for a donkey. Maybe that's what makes Dan so much cuter than the average donkey).

Friday, May 12

Woohoo! Dan Is Done!

And (Almost) Everyone Is Happy & Smiling

They found the farm. There were no casualties (or bloodshed). I don't have to go into the Donkey Doodle Dandy baked goods business to pay for Dan's pedicure. Overall, it was a definite success (though a sedative would have been nice). So how is Dan? Well, let's just say that he has no trouble trotting along at top speed--as far away from me as he can get. I'm sure he'll forgive me eventually. As for me, I'm absolutely thrilled this little ordeal is over--and more wiped out than I thought I'd be considering I pretty much did nothing except hold a corral panel in place, hope said panel didn't crush me when Dan slammed into it, snap a few photos, make lots of small talk, and generally try to calm Dan down.

Naturally there is more to the story (as well as more photos), but you know how long it can take me to get around to writing about things sometimes, so I figured I'd put up a quick report before I go check the sheep, plant some summer squash seeds, pick a mess of about-to-bolt arugula so I can mix up another batch of arugula pesto before posting the promised recipe, eat something (too nervous to eat anything but cookie batter earlier)--and make sure my adorable, pissed off, pouting little donkey hasn't decided to run away.

Oh, the chocolate chip cookies were a very big hit.

Daily Farm Photo 5/12/06: Who's Sog-gy Now?

C'mon, sing along!

Lamb Report: Shortly before I did a midnight barn check last night, little Alison (the co-star of my very first blog post, An Unexpected Beginning) had a very big baby girl. I'm talking so big I thought somebody's two week old lamb was standing next to her. Mother and daughter are doing fine and relaxing at the Bonding Suite Inn.

Alison has become my new favorite sheep, but I'll have to wait a day or two before I tell you why. Just keep your fingers, hooves, and paws crossed that my plan works. Current Lamb Count: 22.

Number of lambs back to bouncing: Pretty much all of them. Number of half-asleep mothers who were run over, jumped on, and generally trampled by a pack of gregarious bouncing lambs around midnight last night: Pretty much all of them. Number of farmgirls wondering if sheep might in fact be safer if we turned off Alice Cooper Nights on Non-Stop Classic Rock Radio: 1.

Donkey Report: A farrier is coming this afternoon to give Donkey Doodle Dandy (who is not halter trained and who I don't believe has ever had his feet worked on) a much needed pedicure.

My first question for the farrier: "So do you work on donkeys?"

"Well, we don't really like to, but. . ."

Best question farrier asked me: "Is he, uh, all jack?" (Long pause.) "Or is he castrated?"

"Oh, he's all here!"

Questions I forgot to ask: How much this is going to cost. And if he could please bring a sedative (for each of us).

I said I could probably get Dan into a pen about the size of a large living room. It was requested that I put him somewhere much smaller. My Plan A Trap could apparently be smelled a mile away. My Plan B Trap has a donkey in it. This ought to be interesting. The farrier is bringing his son as backup. I'm baking
chocolate chip cookies. Whatever else happens, at least we'll have cookies.

I know I should probably invent some new kind of sweet treat and call them Donkey Doodle Dandy Bars (catchy, isn't it?), but there just isn't time. However, depending on the farrier's rates (which I think kept going up each time I answered another question about Dan yesterday), I may have to resort to creating and marketing a few thousand of them—or something else I've been thinking about. I'll let you know. This is all, of course, assuming they can even find the farm.


Thursday, May 11

My Good Deed For The Day

Free To Fly Away

Another butterfly? Well, yes, but this is a special butterfly. This is the butterfly I was telling Stephanie about earlier this afternoon in the comments section of today's daily photo--the one I said I saw stuck in the henhouse window yesterday and couldn't do anything to save it.

Well, I was wrong. Several times. First of all, I actually saw that stuck butterfly the day before yesterday (because I was off the farm all day yesterday). And secondly, when I was over feeding the chickens a few stalks of lovely flowering arugula a little while ago, I thought I'd see if somehow the butterfly had escaped (though I was half afraid to look because I was pretty sure that I would find a dead butterfly). Wrong again! It was, miraculously, still alive, but looking very worn down.

I was determined to do something this time. So I started bending the mesh wire away from the wall and trying to coax out the butterfly with a little stick, but the space was too tiny and the butterfly was confused. Then fwop! the whole piece of mesh came away from the top of the 'window,' and suddenly there was enough room for the butterfly to get out. I nudged it onto my stick and voila! freedom. I set it down on the grass, and it floundered around a little, getting its bearings I guess. Then I snapped this photo, and not five seconds later it lifted off and danced up into the sky. I swear I could almost hear it singing.

So that is my (slightly sappy) butterfly story for the day. And if you are reading this wondering why on earth I'm making such a big deal (or any deal, for that matter) about one silly old butterfly, well, just remember that little girl who was walking along a beach absolutely covered with dying starfish that had all been washed ashore. She picked one up and tossed it back into the water. The adult who was with her said something like, "Why bother? What difference can it make? There are thousands of dying starfish here; you can't possibly save them all." And the little girl calmly replied, "It made a difference to that one." And I am sure that starfish danced out into the ocean just as happy as my silly old rescued butterfly.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/11/06

Butterfly Conference

Lamb Report: Number of bouncing sheep so far today: 0. Slight pause in bouncing sickness epidemic attributed to one of two things: 1) Lambs so water-logged (from yet another rainstorm) that lift-off is physically impossible to achieve. Or 2) Lambs don't want to leave the ground because I put everyone in a fresh pen filled with tall, lush grass this morning, and bouncing would mean missing out on biting. There is nothing quite so pleasant as the sound of 64 happily (and frantically) munching mouths. (Leopold The Ram is in Solitary. He is munching, but not happily or frantically.)
Current Lamb Count: 21.

Wednesday, May 10

Daily Farm Photo: 5/10/06

Low Maintenance Livestock

Lamb Report: Ding! Ding! Ding! Is that a sheep I hear? It will be soon, as the latest tactic in our war against the unseen lamb eater is to outfit several of the sheep with bells around their necks. If the sheep become frightened and start to run or scuffle about, the ringing (if it can be heard over the Non-Stop Classic Rock) should help to scare off a would-be attacker. Also, I have a feeling that it won't take long for the dogs to learn that the ring-a-ling-a-ling means trouble--and they will know to head straight for it. So we'll be baaing with bells on, thanks to this suggestion from fellow shepherd Rain at Rainy Day Thoughts. Current Lamb Count: 21. Number of unhapppy sheep that just learned they will be penned up all day eating hay since we'll be off the farm: Every single adult. (The lambs don't know they're supposed to protest loudly, balk at walking through the mud out to the hay, and then refuse to eat said hay out of protest. They're too busy bouncing. Severe case of bouncing sickness has hit. Happens every year.)

Tuesday, May 9

Daily Farm Photo: 5/9/06


Lamb Report: Number of pregnant ewes abducted by aliens for a couple of hours yesterday (while we conducted a frantic search): 1. Current Lamb Count: 21. Alien Sightings: 0.

Reminder To Self: Impatience is not a virtue. Thunderstorm + Dial-Up + Blogger = Nothing But Frustration. Always. Duh. During such times, back away from the computer and go do something useful, like count (okay, cuddle) lambs and look for aliens.

Monday, May 8

Daily Farm Photo: 5/8/06

This Is One Of My Favorite Photos

Lamb Report: Number of adorable, innocent lambs who kicked me in the mouth yesterday while installing eartags: 1 was plenty, thank you. (Now I'm not naming names--only because he doesn't have one--but let's just say he's sporting an eartag now!) Number of eartags installed last night before we realized 1)The lambs were on to us. 2) They were winning (and whupping my butt). And 3) it would no doubt be much, much easier to catch them up while packed in the barn this morning than racing around in a large pen: 4. Total number of newly eartagged lambs after this morning's injury free session: 13. Number of Classic Rock snippets I managed to sing after returning to bed from a 3am barn check before I was shut down: 3. Current Lamb Count: 21.

Sunday, May 7

Weekend Dog Blogging #33

Lucky Buddy Bear On Full Alert

Attention Dog Lovers! This Is Weekend Dog Blogging #33!
To see fun dog photos and discover yummy new food blogs, head over to
Sweetnicks on Sunday night for the roundup. Panting for more puppy pics? Each week at the Friday Ark you'll find dozens of links to everything from canines to Cape May Warblers.

Daily Farm Photo: 5/7/06

That's Silly Wendy's Little Girl, But That's Not Silly Wendy
So who got stuck with babysitting duty?

Skinny Chip! (I told you my pet wethers aren't useless.)

Click here to see how her spots have already faded.

Lamb Report: Number of extremely soggy, rain-soaked sheep: 65. Number of lambs who need eartags today because I'm already starting to forget who is who: 19. (The two born yesterday are too small--their tiny ears would sag down from the weight of the tag which, I unfortunately know from experience, looks pitiful). Number of eartags on hand: Not Enough. Oops. Current Lamb Count: 21.

Saturday, May 6

Daily Farm Photo: 5/6/06

Spotted In The Front Yard

There are something like 16 different kinds of turtles and tortoises in Missouri, and this is the time of year they pop out from wherever they've been hiding and start heading down the rural highways. I find these creatures absolutely fascinating, and I often cannot help myself--I pick them up to examine them more closely, turning them over and over, admiring and tapping on their gorgeous shells, trying to get them to poke their heads back out, and yes, probably making them quite nauseous in the process. My favorite thing about them? The way the 'door' on their shells always makes a soft "whooosh" as it closes up tight. Sheer mechanical brilliance.

Lately I've felt like doing just that--crawling into my shell and hiding for a while (and not just because of losing the three baby lambs). But after being overwhelmed by all of your wonderful comments and emails over the past few days, I have a feeling that isn't going to happen. I would no doubt receive payback a thousand fold for all those poor turtles I just can't leave alone. I can hear your incessant tap tap tapping on my impenetrable shell already. So not to worry. I'll keep my head out. And really, think of how much I would miss if I didn't.

Besides, my garden desperately needs me right now. While I try my best not to mess with Mother Nature, I must confess that I do quite a bit of Turtle Relocation this time of year. Because you see, every single turtle out there is making a beeline toward my strawberry bed. I kid you not. These historically slow moving creatures know how to run. Read this if you don't believe me.

Current Lamb Count: 21. Annette had a set of tiny twins this morning. One boy, one girl. So far so good. Heading back down there now.

Friday, May 5

Daily Farm Photo: 5/5/06

Six Inches Of Rain In A Week Means The Return Of Our Wet Weather Creek (It's one of my favorite things about the farm.)

Life keeps going.
The garden
keeps growing.
The water keeps flowing.

And I am standing in my rubber boots in the middle of it all.
Which means the only thing I know for sure is that my feet are clean & dry.

I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I may have even figured some stuff out. I will write more
soon. In the meantime, I continue to puzzle over something:

How in the world did so many incredibly kind and caring people stumble upon me and my
tumbled together farm in the middle of nowhere? Thank you for you.

Current Lamb Count: 19. Number of confirmed
armadillo kills by Bad Ass Beagle: 2. (Five buzzards in the swing tree tipped me off to the location of the latest victim.)

Tuesday, May 2

Daily Farm Photo: 5/2/06

Bruisie's Baby Girl: 4/22/06 to 5/2/06

Lamb Report: I thought the nightmare was over. It is not. Bruisie's baby girl disappeared without a trace in the night, despite all of our precautions. (Click here and here if you'd like to see the previously posted photos of her.) That makes three ewe lambs lost to a predator since April 12th. And it always seems to be the favorites. The ones who nibble on your chin when you pick them up because they half imprinted on you while you spent hours caring for them as struggling newborns. She was the softest lamb I have ever held in my life.

I have lived on a farm with animals for the past 12 years. And while we are often surrounded by incredible beauty and wondrous joy, I am more than accustomed to waking up to tragedy and loss. But it just doesn't feel right to celebrate and show off these tiny, adorable lambs and then have to tell you of their demise. Or to put up photos of something else and act like everything is fine. Because it isn't. Bruisie can't stop crying for her baby and neither can I. Current Lamb Count: 19.

I think I am going to have to take a little break from blogging.

Monday, May 1

Daily Farm Photo: 5/1/06

Abstract Farm Crap

Lamb Report: After two days of rainy, forced captivity, everyone leaped through the barn gate and out onto the bright green grass like they'd been shot from a cannon--except And Posh who is still staying at The Bonding Suite Inn with her baby girl. Earlier Donkey Doodle Dandy was in there keeping her company (he sure looks bigger in the barn). Then a little while ago I found 2 mothers and 11 lambs in the barn--looks like somebody was stuck with Nursery Duty. Current Lamb Count: 20. Number of times it took me to come up with the correct count before I would let the stir-crazy, impatient, tightly packed (and very wet) woollies out of the barn this morning: 5.