Monday, September 2, 2013

Where did the summer go?

 Some of the events of the summer include seeing Sweetpea at a year old.  She has straightened out almost perfectly.  Her front hoof turns out just a little still, but her shoulders and everything else is normal now.  She's in a great home and is well loved.
 This big horn sheep ram is on Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake in Montana.  It's the biggest island in the lake and is pretty neat!  I met my sister and two of her friends in Big Arm, got on a pontoon boat with a tour guide and went around the perimeter of the island in the boat with the guide telling us interesting facts, then he let us off at the trail head and we hiked around for a while.  There are 5 "wild" horses on there, but only saw the old gelding that was dead, and had been dead since early spring I'm guessing by the state of the carcass.  He was 33 years old, so he lived a good long life there.  We did see some of the sheep, this ram being one of them.  He had a buddy with him just out of the picture.  We saw a few deer and a little herd of sheep a ways away.  I was hoping to see the horses, but no luck.  Someday I'd like to go back out there and hike the whole island.  It's 2100 acres, so it would take a while to do, but it looks interesting.
 Dottie had her last kids on July 27th.  Whitey and Penelope.  They are cute and full of themselves.  I am really hoping that Penelope doesn't turn out ornery like her mother.  I'm keeping her as a replacement for Dottie, who is too old to get bred again, and has udder issues.  She's done, so Penelope will take her place.  Hope she has a great udder!  Whitey is just cute, so he'll stay here, too.  At least for now. If he turns out to not have a great personality as an adult, into the freezer he will go.
This summer flew by, faster than previous ones for sure.  I had various helpxers here, and have some more coming towards the end of the month.  I also have had a little family here long term, living down in the round pen area in a camper.  They did 95% of the big thinning project I had.  5.5 acres to be thinned by September 1st.  It got done, approved and the check is coming shortly! Now they will be moving on to a different place for the winter and beyond.  They were a nice couple and their baby one of the cutest I've ever seen.  Great, hard workers, too.  
    It sure looks different out there!  Next year when the grass comes up and everything is growing and cleaned up, it's going to be beautiful.  The goats won't know what to do out there!  It's so much more open and easier to walk through, it's amazing.   I signed up for a couple more acres for me to do this fall after I get done with the cashmere.
  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the cashmere dehairing!  I only have about a week left and I'll have all of mine done finally.  It's been a long, slow process, but it sure is rewarding.  I love working with the cashmere!  Now if I could just figure out a way to actually make a living doing it, I'd be set. :-)
  One of the low points of the summer was when i had to put Henry down.  He was the first kid born on the place back when I first got into goats.  He got into the helper's chicken and rabbit feed and ate way too much.  They wouldn't admit that he and four others got into the feed, just said they ate the tomato and strawberry plants they had.  I had to ask a couple of times if there was anything else the goats ate before they admitted it.  By then it was too late for Henry.  He ate the most and got really sick.  I put him out of his misery and hauled his body up to the pass for the scavengers to eat.  The other four survived with a good dose of baking soda.  One of my helpxers had just got here an hour earlier, so he got quite a first impression of the place!  Shooting a goat and hauling it off all before he even got to move into the camper. :-)  He was fine with it all, and was a great help with the thinning.  I don't think it would have been done on time without his help.  Now we can get new batteries!  A slightly larger battery bank is next.  That will be nice not to have to run the generator every day the sun doesn't shine!  The old batteries are pretty well shot.  I should only have to run the generator every few days this winter after the new batteries are installed.  I'll be able to run the dehairing machine a little more, too.  Although I should be all done with dehairing cashmere for the year by the middle of October.
  The garden is doing well this year.  The bottle baby trio has managed to get in there a few times, so there are some pruned apple trees, and broccoli plants.  They have left the green beans alone so far, so I'm getting a good amount of them.  Last year the deer got all of them, so I am quite happy this year to be able to eat beans fresh out of the garden.  Last night a deer got in there at 3 am.  Thank heavens Sam barked at her!  Nellie is worthless when it comes to deer, she ignores them and they have the run of the place.  I got out there and chased her out before she did too much damage.  She did stretch and disfigure the upper wire fencing as she was trying to jump out.  8 feet was just too high for her, so she almost broke through the wire, fell back down into the garden, then ran behind the greenhouse and ducked under the high fencing by the woodshed, crashed through the woodshed and out into the driveway, snort/whistled, and ran off.  I hope she doesn't come back anytime soon.  I'm not sure how she got in to begin with.  I think she must've crawled through where Nellie does, at the gate!  Dang beast. She fit through a little one foot wide gap in the gate that is tied with a wire half-way down, so she must have literally crawled through there.   Why she has to come in here when there are much easier pickings out in the forest is beyond me.  I do hope she got scared enough last night to not venture in again.  I closed the gate more, too, now, so she can't come in.  Nellie can't come and go, either, so I don't know how this will work.

Well, that's all for now.