Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sunday, August 2nd

Mark the date. It is a party. Starts at 8 AM. Bring your own hammer. LOTS of food ... and beverage, AFTER, we are finished on the roof ... :-)

The photo doesn't do the shingles justice. They are called 'Driftwood' and they have a fair bit of brown in them that doesn't seem to show up.

My neighbours picked the colour for me. I get to see the roof briefly when I pull into the laneway. They have to look at it all of the time. Thanks Pete and Julie ... :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is It Possible ... :-))

Many years ago, my Aunt placed me in charge of the UGLIEST plant in the world! It is some sort of a cactus that my grandmother got as a young girl ... over 100 years ago.
My Grandmother always claimed that it only flowered at night, and that the flowers only lasted for one night. I believed her ... I mean ... who DOESN'T believe their GRANDMOTHER! It also explained why I never saw a flower on this plant ... I was IN BED ... hehehe
Anyway ... in the many years that I have cared for this plant ... it has never flowered. 'Parts' of this plant have been passed on to anyone in the family who even expressed the remotest interest in owning one. To the best of my knowledge ... no plant from this parent plant has EVER flowered. That allows me, at the least, to not take this personally ... LOL
Every Christmas, it gets 'decorated' ... but remains the laughing stock of my home ... :-(

BUT!!! ...

... look what I found on it yesterday, as it sits ... ignored ... on my front porch ...
TWO buds ... I THINK they are buds. I HOPE they are buds.

Life ... is so very good ... :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Anna Beckenham, Princess of the World!

Yesterday, I had the County Spinners here for their annual barbecue and spin. I invited Kate and Anna to come ... and of course, put Kate to work. THANK YOU KATE! Anna entertained folks in her pool ... and then came inside for lunch.

She knew that Grandpa had BLUEBERRIES!
Waiting ...
Ingesting ... Chewing ...
Ready for the next one ... :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Construction ... of course it is in progress ... *sigh*

I have recently constructed two small building. The smallest is 6' by 8' and only 6' tall at the highest part. This ... is my Turkey Palace ... :-)

The other is 8' tall at the peak ... and 6' by 16'. It has two rooms. The largest is 6' X 10' and will be for my layers. The other 'room' is 6' X 6' and will have many functions. Right now, it houses my soon to be layers. It might house hens sitting on nests of fertile eggs. And it WILL be my feedroom for grain this winter.

Neither building is finished. Both will look board and batten. Both will be painted.

... AFTER my preditor problem is solved! Joan, my turkey hen, was happy to introduce her poults to the great outdoors in their new 'patio'.
They seem pretty full of themselves and are THRILLED that there is a food dish both inside ... and outside.
They do NOT yet understand about Thanksgiving ... and I sure won't be the one to tell them the details about this holiday as it might relate to them ... ;-)

A Frightening Thought ... hehehe

I love my son-in-law, Tim ... a lot. He is a good father and he treats my daughter like a queen.

I LOVE my Grand-daughter a lot as well. She is so warm and open with everyone. I also think that she is VERY cute.

Now ... look at this picture and tell me the truth ... Anna WILL be WAY more gentile and feminine looking than her Dad, RIGHT!


Isn't it amazing how much they look alike! ... and scarey if the look-a-likeness continues!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Welcome ... She Doesn't HAVE a Name yet!

Pete and I went to meet the 10 month old Maremma today. She is beautiful and was not at all aggressive. She was somewhat aloof, since we were strangers ... but ... she is lovely and we got to watch her with the sheep.
I'm going to pick her up on Friday in the morning. I'll be home with her all day Friday. Pete will be here Saturday night and all day Sunday. I'll try to get Kate, Tim and Anna over so that she is used to 'littler people'.
I also need to get my neighbours over so that she knows them ... so that I can get away every now and then.
I'll keep you all posted on the introduction into the flock ... the pack ... and the family ... :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Should I Do?

I found this 10 month old Maremma female on the Kijiji, Kingston. She is about an hour away. She'd be old enough to live with my ewe flock and offer some protection ... as long as as my 4 month old pups don't bring out the puppy in her.

And ... what if she isn't good with small kids? Anna, at 19 months, wanders with the sheep and pups fairly often.

I am out of grass on the front half of the farm. I'll take a picture to show you how wild the back half of the farm is later today and insert it ... here. OK ... it is now 'later' ... and here are the pictures ... To the west ... Straight back to the south and the creek ... To the west, above ...

The fence row, below, where my ewe flock LOVES to spend their 'down time' ... right beside the areas pictures above!

It is PERFECT pasture for Shetlands, and I felt that sheep were safe when I had Nick and Kayla. If I can't pasture that area, then I'll have to start feeding hay until it rains!
If I get the 10 month old female, who I will name Blanche (to go with Bonnie and Clyde), then I'll also get a male pup (he'll be named C.W.) from the May 10th litter at the same farm. That way, I can have two dogs with the rams and two dogs with the ewes next summer. Considering the size of the Wolf (likely a Wolf/Coyote hybrid) that I saw, I wouldn't want just one dog in any one pasture!

I am open to suggestions ... But ... I just CAN'T watch my sheep get killed!

Monday, July 13, 2009

RIP WillowGarden Dash

I was TOTALLY frustrated after last Saturday morning. A wolf got into my ram night pasture and killed WillowGarden Dash. He is pictured below last November. He had matured in to a stunning, and large boy.

I saw the wolf in my ewe pasture when I was cutting thistles on Monday and he is HUGE! I have my puppies in with the ewe flock, and they are progressing nicely. At the end of the day, before the ewes come in for the night, the dogs and I 'mark our territory' around the perimeter of the ewe pasture. I have a beer before I head out, and then take one with me. (I learned this technique from watching the movie, 'Never Cry Wolf')
Anyway ... I'll be paring the ewe flock back to a size that can easily be penned if needed. The rams will also get a more secure space and extra lighting. I am also looking at adding two more LGDs. Seems like a lot of dogs, but my farm is in the midst of a bush and coyotes and wolves are at all-time record numbers! I can't just watch my sheep get killed!

I needed a plan in order to move past being frustrated ... and I came across an ad for Akbash puppies. They are 6 weeks old July 25th, so will not be much use for anything other than 'marking territory' until next year. BUT ... considering all of the kids that come here, I need pups that I can train, rather than adult dogs.

I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Pics Via Email From Shearing Day!

OH MY GAWD!!! I so love my kids ... and my Grandkids. Just to think about them makes me well up with tears of love.

OK kids ... OK ... I am just a sentimental old fag. But I am YOURS ... and I love both you ... and your respective mates ... and your babies ... :-)

My daughter-in-law Kerri sent me these pictures from when they were here June 6th.

Above ... son Chris, dancing to the music with niece Anna ...
and then Grandpa 'grooving' with his FAVOURITE young man in the world ... Will Stearman ... :-))))))))))))
... and then ... Will and Anna ... 'hanging out at Grandpa's'. It IS a wild place ... :-)

LIFE ... is so VERY good ... :-)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

My Kitchen Window

I HATE to cut grass. That is one of the reasons that I have sheep ... :-) And I REALLY hate spots that are too tight to cut with my riding mower! So ... I let sheep graze those areas.
This is what was outside my kitchen window this morning while I was cleaning up from breakfast. This also might explain the holes in the screen ... hehehe
At one point, Holiday was baaaaa-ing right into the part of the window that was open. Aman, was much more aloof through it all ... but Holiday ... is just such a pet and seems to crave positive attention. I think he knows how much he is loved here.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

WillowGarden Richard Gere

WillowGarden Richard Gere will also be staying at least over the winter.

His dam is WillowGarden Gin (f2 Glayva, F3 Minder, and V Creek Hummer who has a pedigree filled with UK sires). Gin's first micron test showed ... AFD 23.4 ... SD 4.7 ... CV 20.

His sire is North Wind Holiday (F1 Holly). Holiday was micron tested at the age of SEVEN, with amazing results ... AFD 23.5 ... SD 6.4 ... CV 27.
(NOTE ... Holiday is not only soft and correct ... he also carried spots, and genetics for modified colour, and for polled.)
Again, this guy is just five weeks old, so I can't be sure about the horns ... but ... won't it be fun to watch this guy grow!?!

WillowGarden Tom Cruise

Here is another ram that I quite like, and one that will be staying at least over the winter ... WillowGarden Tom Cruise.

Tom's dam is WillowGarden Cherry Bomb (F3 Timothy, F3 Greyling, F2 Glayva). Her first histogram was dissapointing ... AFD 27 ... SD 7.4 ...SD 27.5.

Tom's sire is WillowGarden Garnish (F2 Hornblower, F2 Glayva). His first histogram was great ... AFD 23.9 ... SD 5.2 ... CV 21.6).
Tom was born later (May 20th), so in these pictures he is just 5 weeks old in this pictures. I guess that is too early to tell if he'll be scurred or not. I like him anyway.

WillowGarden David Niven

I REALLY like this ram lamb and will be keeping him over for evaluation and to test him in his second fleece. At the moment, he is a 'keeper'.

He is out of FirthofFifth Lassig (Wintertime Blues X a Forrest daughter) and WillowGarden Opal (WillowGarden Linyanti - F1 Todhill Hornblower - X V Creek Hummer - a pedigree filled with many UK sires)

Lassig's first micron results were - AFD 23.6 ... SD 5.5 ... CV 23.3.

Opal's numbers are - AFD 25.3 ... SD 5.3 ... CV 20.8.

This dude was born black, but is likely modified and hopefully will end up the same lovely emsket colour of his sire.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

New Ram # 4 ... WITH Horns ... :-)

I fell in love with this guy as soon as I saw these first two pictures! This little guy is coming from Cathy Doll at Windy Meadows farm in Michigan.
He is out of SheltrgPines Kristine (Underhil Thelonius Monk X SheltrgPines Catherine) and SheltrgPines Simon (Thelonius X SheltrgPines Hermione.
Both of the dams mentioned above are out of Underhill TS Eliot, so there are a LOT of tight genetics crammed into this dude!
I am hoping that he'll add more fine fleeced spotted lambs to my flock ... and ... he is FULLY horned, so I can continue with horned lines as well ... :-)
Oh ... did I mention that he has a pink nose ... hehehe?

Canada Day - July 1st

Anna Beckenham ... AKA ... Princess of the World ... :-)
Anna, trying out Grandpa's new pool. She seemed impressed that the colour matched my new tractor ... :-)
Speaking of new tractors ... here, Kate and Anna have fun sitting on it.
And ... Anna and Grandpa went for a spin.
I can hardly wait for Will to come and see my new tractor. I KNOW that he'll be impressed ... :-)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Back To ... New Rams Coming

I have convinced Meghan, of Wintertime Shetlands to sell me her prized, polled moorit gulmoget ram, Wintertime Red Velvet.

Red's genetics are MUCH sought after and I am thrilled to announce today, Canada Day, that he'll be taking out his Canadian citizenship this Fall!
He is a very pretty boy, with an AWESOME fleece. His first micron testing last Fall came in at ... AFD 21.7 ... SD 3.8 ... CV 17.7.
I am excited to see the ways that he can improve fleeces here at Willow Garden, when crossed on ewes sired by some of my other lower microning rams.
Thank you Meghan! He will have a great home in the old orchard paddock, right beside my house and back yard. He'll share the space with North Wind Holiday and FirthofFifth Aman ... and he WILL also be very much loved ... :-).