Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Stretch of Warm Weather

Over the last several days, we have enjoyed warm sunny summer-like weather.  It would be called Indian Summer, I think, but doesn't the warm weather have to follow the first frost in order to be so named?  We really only experienced a light patchy frost after the warm weather.  Whatever you call it, I'll take it!

A couple weeks ago, the dogs and I discovered a beaver dam on part of Wayne National Forest where we hike regularly.  It was several days before we got back with the camera to check it out and the "pond" created by the dam had already expanded.  I used to be able to jump over this creek just below where the dam is now.  The dam is in the center of this photo and I am upstream looking toward it.

 And here is Rowdy belly deep in water near the dam on what used to be dry ground.  I would love to actually see the beavers, so I may have to go and sit quietly without the dogs one day and just watch.

From nature to technology, the drilling rig has been brought in and erected on the well pad adjacent to our property.   This is it as seen from our hayfield up near the pond.  According to Sam, this is 106' tall.  Over the next few months it will drill 4 or 5 vertical wells 8500 to 9000 feet deep, which will then be drilled horizontally using hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as "fracking".  Another of these well pads is visible up above our creek bottom hayfield, though that one has been complete since last spring and is mostly quiet now.  This one is a good mile from our house, so hopefully the noise will not be too bad.  You should see it lit up at night though!

On Tuesday I wormed all the alpacas and since I have to catch everyone in order to do so, I took the opportunity to move the 4 older females from the pasture across from the guest house back to the main barn.  So now I have 18 females in the main barn and the 4 males are still in their pasture, where they will stay for the winter.  This makes it easier on me, since I only have to move hay to 2 locations instead of 3.  I could move the males up to the garage pasture, but in truth, I like having to get out and walk down the road to feed them every morning, even when it is cold.  It motivates me to get some exercise.

 The crias are doing well.  They are both 5 months old now and getting big.  This is Dulci's cria.

And Tempest with her cria.  You can see how big she is.  She is bigger than Dulci's little girl, but not by a lot.  I have been debating what to do as far as weaning them.  I usually wean around 6 months, but that is the end of November and I would have to separate them from their mothers, which would necessitate moving alpcas around again .  I may just see if the mothers will wean the kids on their own.  If notw, they will be separated in the spring.

I may not post next week.  Not sure.  On Wednesday the 5th, Rowdy and I are seeing an orthopedic specialist at Ohio State's veterinary college about the swelling/arthritis in his right hock joint.  Depending on how that goes, he may undergo an arthrodesis surgery on Thursday, where they will basically fuse that joint so it will be permanently immobilized.  This will require leaving him at OSU for a couple nights and me driving back and forth a couple times.  I'm a little freaked out about it, it seems so drastic.  But if it allows him to be less painful for the rest of his life, it will be a good thing.  He is only 9 and should have 5 or 6 more years in him.  I hope.  Send good thoughts his way.  He's one in a million.

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