Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Wild Roots Spring

 Our Spring Tree is outside already. I just realized that I never shared our pretty Spring tree space with the baskets underneath and nests that the kids made in the window behind, so, there it is. I think we brought it in too early. We had a spring tree by early March... that is when I needed it. The tree leafed out quickly and we had to cut the Birch pollen pods off (Actually Noah cut them off and put them in a bag in the freezer for the bees). But then the leaves started to curl up and die... maybe it was the lack of fresh water. Anyhoo, the good news is that there is hardly any snow out that window now.

 Balloon nests we made earlier in the spring.

The chicks started hatching Friday through Saturday. Avery was very excited. She spent at least fifteen minutes reading to them. She actually translated into chick speach and it came out as "peep peep".

Not the best pictures (again). But I wanted to share our current goat barn with you. A month ago the barn was only able to be divided into half. However, we had five goats do to kid. The past few years we've put up a temporary divider (bottom left) into the back stall as well as another temporary wall (above) to make four separate "stalls". I guess we haven't had more than three goats kid at once in a while, as that has been plenty until now. This year Dustin spent an afternoon trying to figure out how to divide one of those pens in half to give us five separate areas, one for each doe. We didn't have room to have a swinging door - and it is so temporary that it didn't make sense to spend a lot of time constructing something. He ended up making the divider in the above picture that connects the solid back wall with the blue panel. Heavy boards just slide down to form a wall that I can pull out and stack along the wall during the day and then slide back in at night when all the does go into their stalls with their kids. 

Xanadu has a kennel in her pen so that her kids can get away from her if they need to. It has taken a week, but I think she is finally willingly nursing and caring for all her kids. Whew! I place the kennel in an awkward spot so that Xanadu doesn't ram her head into the woven mesh panel when she is angry that another goat is looking at her. I don't think she will do it anymore now that her kids are older, but the first couple days after kidding it didn't matter who I put next to her, she didn't want them so close.
Xanadu's three doelings are all about the same size. They are all really pretty with different coloring. The one above was first out, the second had Xan's coloring and the third is like the first but darker. I can't tell right now which is the nicer doeling. They all look so similar.

I've been feeling slightly guilty for bashing Dahlia in my last post. So I thought I'd share a couple pictures of her that show that she's actually a pretty doe. Above you can see that she is fairly level. You can't quite tell her, but she is deeper in the barrel than some of my does, as her dam and granddam were. I think it is connected to milk production, allowing them to eat more at once or digest more or something. 

Not the most flattering pose. But if you look at her udder, it actually is quite pretty for an empty udder and I don't think you can say that about too many empty udders.
 Every morning while I toss hay, refill waters, help kids nurse and move goats around, Avery sits with the kids. In her lap is Ember, and Ember's brother is licking Avery's face. Both siblings are really nice looking.

And there is Noah with Denali's doeling Ester, names after our favorite and closest town and playground.

Well, as you can imagine, life has been pretty hectic here. If I was really eager I could be sowing radishes and hardy greens in some of the garden beds. Instead I'm just trying to get on top of house cleaning, food prep, toothpaste, mouth wash, bug spray making. This week I'm hoping to get the car ready for summer, tire and oil changing etc. I'm starting to harden off some trays of plants. In the past I've lined our back porch with flats. However, this year I've got a puppy that goes after the starts, pulling them out as I remember my children doing as toddlers. So I was thinking a table was in order, but in reality there are just too many trays of starts, so I'm thinking Kira is just going to have to stay off the porch for a month.

I'm trying to get ahead on grain free snacks. I took all the salmon out from last year and I'm smoking it over the next few days. I'm hoping to make some jerky and some nut crackers as well. This week is our annual May Day celebration that I've been anticipating for some time. I'm hoping we can make it, as another cold seems to be working it's way through the house. So far I have remained unscathed but I'm not sure if the kids are going to be ready to socialize in time.

 I have a shipment of bees coming in on Friday. Once again I have a new strategy, which is that I will be setting up the hive at a friend's garden, that is better located for bees than ours is. It is low down and level, so it get's better morning light and hotter temperatures. So Friday; hiving bees, Saturday; possibly start sowing a few beds with hardy seeds, keep hardening off starts and keeping the puppy away from them. It is going to be a fun and work filled month. Yes, I have a lot of work to do, but I feel so blessed to have it!

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