Fall Colors and Dogs

I haven’t taken the dogs Across the Road much lately. I need to take the time to do that for them and for me. Here are some photos from a few days ago.

DSC_5826        Leaves are turning color and falling.

DSC_5829                                                           They will be gone soon.

DSC_5843              The black walnut leaves are already gone. Or maybe this is one of the trees that is dead. I think the drought took it’s toll on some of these.

DSC_5881             The view looking southeast.

DSC_5860               Ginny’s ball was cracked and even with the “Chuckit” I couldn’t throw it very far.DSC_5876             Rusty runs after Ginny every time she goes for the ball. Then he runs back with her but he doesn’t always keep up with her now.

DSC_5890                 There were sunflowers in one of these fields and there were lots of seeds dropped on the road at harvest time. Now they are all sprouting.

DSC_5891                                                            This is Ginny while I was on the ground trying to take seedling emergence photos.

DSC_5892                                                                So you know that she put the ball right under my camera.

DSC_5897             Ginny, do you know that broken tennis balls don’t float? She spent time looking for it after she had taken it into the canal.

DSC_5913                       Back at my driveway there were beautiful leaves to photograph. A wild grape vine.


DSC_5917             Walnut tree.

Happy fall!


Ginny Herding Sheep

Ginny went to a Sheepherding lesson last week and wanted me to explain these pictures to you.

1711-Ginny-herd-1             Sheepdog Debbie sent her out to gather up the sheep.1711-Ginny-herd-2         Debbie’s sheep are pretty dog-broke because they are used to being moved by dogs.1711-Ginny-herd-3               So for a Border Collie like Ginny (or me) it’s not very hard to get them to move.1711-Ginny-herd-4                There were a couple who didn’t want to play the game though.

DSC_5273            Ginny moved the sheep toward the gate…DSC_5276          …and held them there while Sheepdog Debbie sorted a few out into the other field.DSC_5278            This is a pet sheep who is one of the ones who was standing near Debbie.

DSC_5280         Ginny looks pretty good here.

DSC_5282                  I think that I should go back to Sheepdog Debbie’s place and get to work with her sheep. They don’t have those nasty horns like ours do.

Shadow Pictures

Right now I’m sitting at my desk with one Border Collie (Rusty) at my feet under the desk and the other behind the chair. Ginny has never been gun shy or afraid of things in the sky but this thunderstorm has her rattled too. Rusty is terrified. So I left the loom where I was weaving and I’ll wait it out with them. We don’t often have thunderstorms here.

I had planned to write this blog post about our walk Across the Road in yesterday’s sunshine.


Guess who with something in her mouth?


Ginny watches the Ball and Rusty watches Ginny.





Ginny constantly drops the ball in the water but this year she gets herself. Last year I was fishing it out for her.



I don’t say much about Maggie because she usually wanders ahead and does her own thing out of range of the camera. I called her over to get a photo.



The late afternoon sun gives light to other subjects as well.



Ginny found a ball that we lost at some point in the tall grass. Now the grass is gone and she saw it in a dried tractor track. It’s a good thing because the ball on the right isn’t in very good shape at this point.

Winter Rain and Some Random Farm Photos

Rusty wrote in his blog a couple days ago about his own private lake in front of the barn. Once it stopped raining, the water in this area drained off quickly. img_6008

The next evening things were back to normal near the barn.


This isn’t so normal. Why in the world is this rose choosing to bloom now, in January?)


This scene is normal behind the barn in a winter when we have rain. The sheep avoid the deep mud when given a chance. Another storm was due to come in.


And it was a doozy. I haven’t seen water like this here in several years.


This is the area where the dogs were standing in the first photo. Fortunately the barn and those smaller buildings stay just out of the water.


For anyone who has seen what this is normally like these photos are dramatic, but we really can’t complain. The shop (behind the tractor) and the houses (out of sight here) are built up off the ground so we don’t worry about water inside them. We have never had to worry about the serious flooding that other people have. It is especially amazing to realize that this is not water from a creek overflowing or a levee breaking. It is just a lot of rain over  a period of days on flat land that is already water-logged. Some of this water comes from the property to the north because the only drainage is at the southeast corner of our property (see this post).


One problem we have is that our cellar floods when the ground water is high and that’s where our water heater is.  We keep a pump going but during yesterday’s storm I decided that I really need to reroute the water somwhere other than this field because it’s too close to the houses and seeping back in, as well as causing trouble with the septic system for the other house. So I wired this PVC pipe to the fence at an angle and put the hose from the pump in the upper end.


Now that water drains into the ditch which is taking water away from the houses. It’s really just a drop in the bucket (uh…no pun intended) but it makes me feel like I did something pro-active in the face of all this rain.The pump hasn’t turned off in at least 36 hours as it continues to try and drain the cellar.

Today the sun was out, the driveway and the area that looks like a lake in the upper photos have mostly drained. I taught a weaving class today…


…and when I’m in the shop the dogs take turns at the spot by the door.


This is from tonight while doing chores. I cleaned the ram shed and while I was in their pen Ginny tried to get my attention. She succeeded. Drop the ball in the water through the fence and chances are I’ll get it out for her.





She’s Two Today!

So many cute photos. I may have to do more than one post.

I can use more photos if I make a mosaic. A lot of firsts for Ginny at two months old. First meet-up with the big dogs. First Christmas tree. First time in the barn. First visit to the vet.

Still two months old. Running in the fog. Spending time in the shop with spinners. Playing with Rusty and Maggie and conquering branches.

ginny-2-5-months-1Ginny and her lamb.

ginny-2-5-months-3Ginny and her moose.

ginny-7-months-1Ginny at 7 months with the favorite Toy.ginny-7-months-2


ginny-7-5-months-1Ginny not so happy after her little operation so that I wouldn’t have to worry about what might happen while I was going to be gone for two weeks.ginny-10-months-1At 10 months Ginny discovered that she wasn’t a big fan of drones.ginny-11-monthsFirst herding lesson at Sheepdog Debbie’s place (Herding-4-Ewe) just down the road.

ginny-1-year-2Ginny’s first birthday.dsc_3301

Ginny at two years old. Rusty will post some photos in his blog post of Ginny’s recent lesson at Sheepdog Debbie’s.


Cute, Cute, Cute

It will still be a few weeks before I have any more lambs so the first three have more than their share of photos.DSC_4942This is Delight with her twins. Dazzle and 16001This is Dazzle with her single lamb. One of the problems I have photographing Jacob sheep is the fact that they have black markings around their eyes. I find that it is hard to expose the photo properly and also be able to see the faces. I edited this lower photo to where I could see the lamb’s eyes, although they aren’t showing up here very well and the photo looks washed out compared to the top one.

Here is another example.

The original is on the left. The black is too black, but I’m not very good at lightening it up just enough to see the eyes better. I lightened the shadows on the one on the right and it looks OK when it stands alone and is not next to the first version. I also tried dodging around that right eye, but it didn’t help much. I think I need a lesson.16002-3 version 1Here is another pair of photos. Which is better? Top or bottom?16002-3 - Version 216002-3 (1)At least I have CUTE going for me. 16002-3

16001 - head

Ginny 1Speaking of cute, can you tell the difference in these two photos? It’s not in editing. Try the focus…Ginny’s focus, that is.Ginny 2

Lambing Prequel

Lambing season is due to start in a month, but there were early lambs yesterday, the result of not moving ram lambs out of the main flock soon enough. Yes, some 5 month old lambs are fertile. I saw one of these ewes being bred and the ram lambs were moved that day. So I don’t anticipate anymore lambs until late February.

When I went to the barn yesterday morning I moved the ewes to the back as I normally do so that I can feed hay without them near the feeders. I heard a baaa. It’s pretty crowded back there with full-fleeced ewes. I walked through the flock but didn’t see a lamb. Then I heard it again and looked back. IMG_8354This is a poor view of the sliding door at the south end of the barn.IMG_8355This is looking from the other end. This happened once before–a lamb stumbled into the opening between the door and the wall and then couldn’t get out. Fortunately it wasn’t wet or too cold that night.IMG_8358Here he is with mom, Dazzle, in the barn.

Farm club was here during the day, but that’s for another post. Afterwards, Dan continued with his work in the barn. We have new lights in the lambing area!IMG_8384-barnDazzle’s lamb was a surprise although I didn’t have a breeding date for her, which was an indication that she may have already been bred. I went back out last night to check the ewe I expected to lamb.IMG_8386She was lambing and had nice big twins.IMG_8389These are some flashy looking lambs, especially the little ram on the right. If he grows up nicely, those markings would make him a very pretty show lamb. Too bad he doesn’t have a known father so he can’t be in the show. Maybe he’ll make someone a nice fiber pet if he’s wethered.dog eating afterbirthGinny was just a baby at last lambing season and wasn’t out on her own much. Today it didn’t take her long to discover a dog’s favorite part of lambing time. I usually make sure the afterbirth is not dog-accessible but when it falls out of the wheelbarrow it’s up for grabs.