Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Glorious Indian Summer Weather and a Farewell

Yes, it has gone from cold frosty  mornings to upper 70's with sunshine this past week.  Perfect weather for outside activities.

Sam arrived home from his elk hunting trip last Wednesday around 3 am.  The dogs let me know that he was home.  Unfortunately, we do not have elk for the freezer this  year and Sam's brother was unsuccessful as well, but a good time was had.  

I think this is the last thing my chickens saw
So I have had plenty of opportunity to catch up on things at home and spend time outside.   The biggest news, other than Sam's safe return home, is that our "foster" dog, Lacy, went to a new hone on Monday this week.  When I brought her home in July it was with the intention that we would probably keep her. And she and Rowdy were so compatible and really enjoyed playing together.  However, her fixation on the chickens eventually led to the loss of half of the chickens I had when she arrived.  In September, she got out and killed 3 in one short period of time and that is when we decided to put her up for adoption.  It was not an easy decision, but I think it was the right one.  I was contacted by a lady last week who was very interested in her and has a 2 acre fenced yard with a doggie door and 5, yes FIVE, other Aussies!  Not a chicken in sight.  After the adopter and I made arrangements for her to come and meet Lacy and take her home this Monday, Lacy actually killed another chicken, bringing her total to 4.  So, while I was very sad to see her go and we all miss her energy and happy presence, I think it was necessary for her to be re-homed.  Another dog will come along, I just know it!  I must admit to missing her more than I anticipated.

This week, I moved alpacas around for winter.  It really only involved moving the last 2 mothers and babies, Peg and Margarita and their 2 crias, from the garage pasture to the main barn.  Since my herd has been reduced so significantly, I figured I might as well eliminate one of my pastures for the winter.  This means one less place to move hay to and one less place to go to feed and clean up.  We have 4 completely separate areas for the alpacas due to the layout of our property. Our most useable area is in a  long narrow creek-bottom, so we do what we can with it.  I decided to eliminate the building that was hardest to move hay into and that is the garage pasture, which is actually the first area we prepared for alpacas back in 1999.  The other 2  3-sided sheds we have are situated so that I can load the little truck with hay and back into the building and stand in the truck bed and put the hay up into the loft with little difficulty.  In the garage pasture, there is a fence parallel to the front of the building and so I have to throw each bale over the fence, then pick up each bale, climb up onto a folding chair I keep for this purpose, and heft the bale up above my head into the loft. Not easy.  So, for this winter, I have 18 alpacas in the main barn, which includes the 4 crias and I have 5 adult females in the pasture across from the guest house and the 5 adult males are in the pasture behind the guest house.  Chores seem so easy now!

The lighting and colors have been nice for taking photos, although in the last couple of days, most of the leaves have come off the trees and the colors are gone.  I think last week was about the peak of the autumn color season.

 One morning last week as I was doing chores I noticed this spider web.  Each strand was beaded with tiny little droplets of water left behind by the early morning fog.  
Things like that make me happy.

I have started some Christmas knitting and need to complete one small project each week for the next several weeks.  Ha!  We shall see!  1 down. I also spent a good bit of time yesterday sorting fleeces to send off to get more alpaca socks.  I send my fiber to a fiber pool where lots of alpaca farmers send their fleeces in to put together and have products made.  This way, we all benefit from having large batches processed and although the items are not exclusively from our own alpacas, like my yarn is, it is still 100% American grown and American produced.  I sell quite a few pairs of these socks and our local Christmas festival is coming up, so time to re-stock.

 I  blocked that scarf I wrote about in my last post.  it came out to 6' long by 10" wide.  I am very pleased with it.  It will be going to the Christmas festival as well.



  1. What a lovely farm! I love the pictures. I can understand how hard it is to let a dog go, but you found her a lovely home. Plus losing chickens is not good on a farm.

  2. Hi Rose,
    Thanks for the nice comment. Yes, miss the dog AND the chickens : (