Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This summer has really  been hot and long.  First our focus was on just staying cool, keeping ourselves and our animals hydrated and still getting our normal chores done.  As you can see in the first photo, our pasture is dry and all the grass is gone.  Our little goats are doing a super job at keeping it weed-free as well as they can.

We take them over there every day from their pen across the road, and they are very happy to have the extra room to run.  But there's not a lot left to eat, even though the pasture itself is 2-1/2 acres.  So ... we've had to feed hay for most of the summer.  It sure cuts into my hay allowance for the year.  And with all the terrible fires going on up here, hay is getting to be hard to find.

We are praying for rain, its been a long time since we had rain of any significance.
This picture was taken looking over our barn early one morning about 6a.m.  The skies have been so incredibly smoky, the air quality is unhealthy and a lot of folks who are able, stay in the house rather than being outside in this brown nasty stuff.  And we've seen a few wearing masks.

It doesn't seem to bother the dogs or the cats, and our chickens are out and about as usual.  
We had a big surprise this week.  Here's one of our mama hens proudly strutting her stuff and showing off her 13 new babies.  I have only seen her a couple of times in the last few weeks but knew she was around somewhere.  We've had other hens pull the disappearing act before, so I was hoping she wasn't hiding those eggs.

But, as you can see she is pretty proud of them.  Neither the dogs nor cats seem to be too interested in them.  She is a good mama, walking them all around and no one bothers her.  She even tried attacking my niece who was just trying to get back to the porch one day.

I can keep our small front yard watered and mowed, but since everything else is so dry we don't dare try mowing down all the knap weed, fires can start so easily.

I'm thinking of releasing the goats on this side of the property, except if I do they will go through our Great Pyrenees size doggie door and stand on the front porch calling my name!  Or, they will be in the carport climbing on our stacked wood (its so nasty to throw a log on the fire with goat poop or pee on it) and getting into the trash.  They can be so destructive at times.  But for the most part they are excellent weed eaters, also shrub and flower eaters.

But at least they don't start fires!

Monday, August 10, 2015

We were inundated with smoke last week from the Lake Chelan fire.  It was so smoky and dark I called to see if there was a fire in Blanchard.  We couldn't see very far past  our house, the mountains were obscured and it was getting hard to breathe. 

The photo on the right was taken a couple of days later when the wind changed.  The remarkable part is that Chelan is over 200 miles west of us.

This little video was taken last week. I went to check the goat's water bucket and had my iPhone with me.  For once I remembered and got this little reminder of how cute they are.

The were grazing so peacefully, Bella and Jet were on the other side of the pasture under the big trees trying to stay cool (and it was still morning!).  You can almost see them, over by the big blue barrel. 

Then way over past the pasture is our house.  We have a large burn pile just waiting for the fall rains to start.  Also our garden of weeds we didn't do anything with this year.  But wait until next year.

I think these goats have done a remarkable job in eating down all this stuff.  They thrive on weeds, like a little grass in the mix but mostly the weeds is their favorite.  The brown flat ground in the background is where they have eaten them all.

I would bring them over closer to our house but all they want to do is eat my flowers and shrubs, and get into the trash as well as mess up our wood we have stacked up in the carport.  I just hate to throw a log on the fire that has 'goat berries' all over it.

And just a few more of our wildflowers.  Aren't these pretty?  I have no idea what they are or where they came from.  Every year I dig them up and re-home them to a friend who loves this color orange.  Every year she says they die.  Seems they like it here, not there.  I can't seem to do anything wrong.  They don't even get water unless it rains.

But they are pretty.