Moose River Farm Blog

Monday, March 23, 2015

I Love Lacey


     Good Morning,
     This week is the third anniversary of my blog.  In three years I have written and published 152 posts about life at Moose River Farm.  I hope you will help me celebrate by sharing your favorite posts, stories, animals, videos or photos from the blog.  Just copy and paste the url or web address from your favorite MRF blog page and paste it as your status on social media, (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc...).  It will help broaden the audience to other readers who love animals.  Thanks everybody!   
     Today marks the official first day of spring break, 2015.  The bitter weather of the last three months has once again limited quality time with my animals.  I am looking forward to spending two weeks in good company while tending to their springtime maintenance.  We have all survived another brutal winter; the third in a row!
     Just about every night this February, the temperature dropped into double digits below 0.  The horses spent the month bundled up in blankets; more for protection against biting wind.  Our chickens live in climate controlled comfort of their heated coop that rarely drops below 10 degrees.  Liam, our enormous, handsome Boer goat, sprouts a layer of cashmere under his shiny chestnut coat that rivals the highest quality down parkas for climbing Mt. Everest.  I do not worry about him at all; he can take the cold, perhaps even luxuriates in it.  But Lacey, our thirteen year old Nubian doe is not as robust.  She does not appear to produce a significant quality or quantity of cashmere compared to the winters of her youth.  Although she is in relatively good health, her top coat is long and sparse.  Needless to say she is a considerable worry for me in extremely cold weather.  The only additional defense I can provide for her is a layering system of blankets.  One blanket; when the temperature remains above 10 degrees, two blankets when the temperature dips below 0, and three blankets when the temperature dips below -15 degrees.  Many a night, Lacey wore the latter combination but even that was not enough to insulate my concern for her well being.
     I still tossed and turned in bed worrying as the trees cracked and groaned in the plummeting temperature.  I wondered how low it had to drop before Lacey's body suffered consequences from the cold.  How much could she endure?  Yet, every morning when I stuck my head over her stall door, anticipating the worst, she was there gazing up at me; her head extending out from a puffy array of thermal protection.  Despite the frost that clung to her muzzle, she always bleated a strong greeting.  Then, she sucked down her grain and filled up on hay.  
     I left her stall door open all day so she could choose where she wanted to be.  Later in the morning Lacey was usually standing in front of the barn, soaking up sunshine that flooded the driveway, particularly after the coldest of nights.  Her half-closed eyes and permanent smiley expression seemed to suggest that she held no grudge against mother nature's harsh conditions this year.  Not certain that I share her this sentiment.  However, I am grateful that Lacey has survived.  I join her as we look forward into the guaranteed return of warmer weather and am hopeful that we will celebrate many more years in our future together.  

     Bundle up my sweet girl!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Love the Nightlife!


      Good Evening,
      I believe it is safe to say that most Adirondack residents are anxious for winter to peel away its arctic landscape and reveal life giving signs of spring.  In the meantime, I continue to search for tokens of real progress and hope with all my might that spring break, (only one week from now), will wear the title justly. 
     We may think of winter as the frosty six month penalty paid for the shady green summers we revere.  Images void of much in terms of vitality lead us to believe a lifeless earth is frozen in deep slumber.  This is simply not true!  Due to dysfunctional sleeping habits, I am privy to an abundance of nocturnal activity.  Coyotes howl and yip in the woods that border our barnyard.  A barred owl surveys a menu of prey from the high barren branch of a hardy maple tree.  His signature hoot, (hoo, hoo, hoo cooks for you), pierces the nippy night air.  These sights and sounds of life at the end of winter help us hang on just a little bit longer.  About now we begin to wonder; what if the vernal trend is a no show this year?  Spring would surely not disappoint us would it?  To date...it never has.   
     

A snowshoe hare keeps a low profile in winter white.

Note the temperature at 6:00 a.m.
Flying squirrel yearlings raid the bird feeder at midnight.
The siblings stick close together.
Love the details of their "wings" and large nocturnal eyes.
The 24 hour buffet!
Our game camera keeps us entertained during winter doldrums...
....while providing a glimpse into the lives of some of our neighbors.  (year: 2009)
 A grouse strolls the path.
Wow, a bobcat makes a mysterious appearance.