Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Farm Routine

We paid a visit to the local humane society on Saturday with 3 of the coonhounds to get their rabies shots.  This has become a routine since PA began to require that rabies vaccines be administered by a licensed veterinarian.   Prior to that, rabies & other routine shots were often given by owners, especially those of us who had farms or kennels and were accustomed to preventative animal health care schedules.   At least this way we support our local humane society and give a little extra ........  it's amazing to see the variety of dogs and cats that show up a the clinics.   We were part of the circus with 3 coonhound breeds: a Redbone, a Bluetick, and an English!  
P.S. - Timing is everything.  The clinic ran from Noon to 3PM and we walked right up at 2:40.  No lines, no waiting. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Day of Spring!

The first daffodils are blooming here at Wild Rose Farm ...... they're right next to the house.  The small ones are Tete-a-Tete daffodils and the larger ones are an unknown variety that was here when we bought the farm. 
More spring work this weekend .... clearing along our fenceline.  This is not a fun activity since most of this area was multiflora rose along the neighboring property plus some sumac trees.   Next the sumac stumps will be cut down to the ground and coated with a brush killer.   The brush has to be kept off of the electric fence so that we don't ground it out ......... The pasture is just beginning to look green back here. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Brief Graze .....

The ewes were out of their wintering area for an hour or so today while another round bale of hay was being placed in their feeder.  The green area is the spot (mentioned a few days ago) where the spring water comes near to the ground surface.  Most of the snow has melted now, with the exception of the north facing slopes and the big piles left behind after plowing.   The ground is saturated, including the squishy spot where I stood to take this picture .....  
The next thing you know, the rattle of a grain bucket brings the sheep scampering back to the feeders.  Notice that they are looking a bit rounder these days?   We've still got a while before lambing starts at Wild Rose Farm. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Minutes Ago ...........

This was taken minutes ago on a beautiful sunny day & I took a few minutes to sit in the sun.   There were bees flying in to take advantage of what few, rare flowers were open this early in the season.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Daffodils Are Coming!

The first daffodils to emerge at Wild Rose Farm are right up against the south facing basement wall.  These are old fashioned daffodils from long before we got here!   We now have 50 degree temps and rain in the forecast so the bulbs should put on some growth!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Snowy Sunset ......

The car coming down the driveway tonight sent 3 whitetail deer running back into the field.   By tomorrow, the driveway should be just muddy!   As it got darker, the deer came back up to graze and paw around in the paddock next to the fence.  I really don't like them coming up so close to the house ...... just a matter of time before they put the munch on landscape plants!  
The sheep are still on a nice cover of snow.   Notice how the maple trees are beginning to turn red at the tips.   Warm sunny days and cold nights make for a good sap run for making maple syrup, but we don't do that here .... taking care of the sheep is enough.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Signs of Spring?

The temperature was right around 50 degrees today and the snow continued to slowly melt.  The Wild Rose Farm picture above shows a grassy open area in the pasture.  This is where the spring that feeds our front stock water tank comes up out of the ground.  Even though the spring development gathers & pipes the water down to the stock tank by gravity, some water still reaches near to the surface & warms the ground.  This spring provides a constant year round flow of fresh water to the tank.  When we moved to the farm, there was a rotting, collapsed spring house over source.  The overflow is piped down under the fence and joins a small stream of water coming from our neighbor's farm on the other side of Route 30.
As we were driving around today, we saw small herds of deer in several places grazing on the open south facing slopes along the highway.   At this time of year the deer look pretty rough.  We also spotted several turkey vultures flapping around and trying to catch updrafts near the roads.  I guess they come back to Western PA before they return to Hinkley, Ohio !!!
Another sure sign of spring coming are these crocuses coming up in front of the house ......

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ram Checks In

Our Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet ram is still out enjoying his time with the ewes. We won't start lambing until late April, so he has another month or so to be "free". Here he is munching on hay .... notice how he's pulling out the fresh green stuff!