Thursday, September 27, 2012

Now it FEELS Like Fall!

Ian, Rowdy & Lacy

Yes, it is feeling more and more like fall.  We have had 2 mornings this week where the temps were only in the mid-30's when I got up!  I refuse to put on coveralls in September.

That is elder son, Ian, pictured above with the dogs.  We had such a nice visit with him and he is now back in Portland, OR.  We so enjoy the brief times we spend with our sons and this visit was no exception.  He seems happy with his life and is making some  big changes, as in going back to further his education, and we are proud of what a nice person he has become.  Hopefully it won't be another full year before we see him again.

I took Ian to the airport in Pittsburgh on Thursday instead of going to work and then I went to the office on Friday while Sam went with his brother to North Carolina to pick up a new truck his brother was buying.  So no one was home most of the day on Friday.  I had been relocating my soon-to-deliver alpaca moms to a different pasture close to the house because we had had some issues last year with Buck, the Pyrenees, being "inappropriate" with newborn crias.  As in he was licking them.  And licking them.....and licking them.  The thing is, their mothers do not see Buck as a threat and the newborn babies are not strong enough to get away from him.  I had one more female to move and decided to wait until the next day to move her since she was still a week away from 11 months.  I should have moved her.  When I got home at 6 pm, this is what I found.

A premature cria who had been licked raw on his backside.  Poor little tyke.  As if that was not bad enough, his ears are floppy (as you can see) and his ligaments in his front legs are so loose his knees are backwards.  He is also down in the pasterns (walking on his ankles).  These are all fairly typical signs of prematurity and they all resolve with time.

 He was nice and strong and up and nursing and had been able to escape the ministrations of Buck by the time I found him.  He is also very nice looking, fleece-wise.  So he and his mama got moved immediately.

Today, almost a week later, he is doing much better and is romping around the pasture with the female cria who was born the previous week.

Doesn't he look better??

Here is Tunita and her cria who is almost 2 weeks old now and looked a week old at birth.  We still have 3 crias due imminently, and yes, the 3 moms to be are no longer in with Buck!

The weather has been fairly nice.  Mostly dry, but some rain yesterday and today.  It is warmer now than it was earlier in the week despite the rain.  We do need the rain.  It has continued to be drier than normal.  It is getting dark much earlier, so we are eating our evening meal by 7 pm now instead of at 9.  We are changing over to more hearty winter fare, like venison stew with potatoes from the garden and homemade chicken corn chowder.  I tend to cook on the grill as much as possible in the summer to avoid heating up the kitchen and so it is nice to go back to those "comfort foods".  

The leaves are just starting to change on the big maples in the yard.

 The cooler weather does not keep the dogs out of the pond, however, though we have put away the zip-line pulley and the inflatable lounger.   I had to take this photo of Rowdy after a swim to show how wonderfully crimpy his fur is when wet.  Isn't it pretty?

Lacy is still with us, though she is listed as up for adoption on our shelter site and also on an Australian Shepherd Rescue site.  I hope I can find her a good home soon.  It is hard knowing she has to go.

 On Monday this week we had the county beekeeper's group out here to the farm to see our top bar hive, which was the first hive we started  in April last year.  Most of our local beekeepers, who are all vastly more experienced than I am, had never seen a top bar hive before, so were very interested in its construction and the combs the bees were making.  Of course, I also got great hints on preparing my hives better for winter so I was more than happy to have everyone here.  There is so much I don't know and need to learn.  So let's hope both my hives make it through the winter.

So does anyone else out there have a dog who likes to sleep on the stairs?  This is one of Rowdy's favorite spots to sit and to sleep.  He can see out the window next to the front door from this spot halfway up the stairs.  It's his way of keeping an eye on vehicles going up and down our road.

September Pond
I have not gotten in much knitting or spinning time lately.  At the office I have been slogging my way through my on-line continuing ed class.  This weekend my spinning guild is going to be demonstrating again at the Soakum Festival in Caldwell, Ohio and I hope to participate in that on Sunday.  I don't have a project I am eager to start or work on, so I just haven't started anything, except a 12" afghan square for a group swap.  Not very inspiring.  Once I finish my continuing ed, I plan to get the rug loom warped up again.


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