Waning Summer

The last days of August are bittersweet for us humans (particularly schoolteacher humans). Nights have grown cool here on the hill, a welcome change from the heat earlier in the month, and early mornings are dark once again. There's still plenty of green to eat, and the flies are not as annoying as in midsummer. Folks are telling me we will have a tough winter, but the critters don't know that yet.

Some, like Bluebell here, are relishing the last of the lazy days of summer.

Others, feeling the hint of fall in the air, feel frisky!

The end of each day brings the promise of rest. We hope your holiday weekend is summery-sweet.


Summer Faces

Do you miss us? Here are some faces around the farm.

The Three Sisters, Waiting for Whey 
Jade Wants a Kiss
Talu in the Pasture
Pansy in the Garden
Same to You, Tali

Chicken Scare Crow

I guess Farmer Fin is camera shy. 


Spring Again!

If you have been checking the blog for dramatic pictures of our snow-covered hill, I am sorry for the disappointment. Winter never fully committed to upstate NY this year, making life much easier, but also raising some concerns over water levels in our aquifers. I guess we will see. In lieu of watching the snow fall, we spent the last few months watching the livestock guardian dogs, Talu and Tali, grow. We got them around Thanksgiving, when they were eight weeks old, from our friends at Two Rock Ranch, a nearby sheep farm. They were about the size of loaves of bread.
Tali, left, Tennis Ball for Scale, and Talu, right

They have been growing like crazy, and now they are bigger than the house dog. Here's Talu playing with Cooper in the front yard a month or so ago. 

All winter, they followed me around the hill doing our minimal winter chores. Their bark is impressive, and I do not think the coyotes will come anywhere near with these two around.

After the snowless winter, spring is still magnificent, with buds on the lilacs and apple trees, and of course, baby goats! We kicked off the season with Pansy's triplets, two does and a buck, not that it matters really, since we are keeping no babies this year (ask me in May if I was able to stick to that - baby goats are really cute).
Pansy's Triplets on Their First Day
 Then Jasmine had two bucks, adorable and chamois-colored, and Juno had two black ones.

We had a population explosion this week, including some first timers, like Raindrops, who had one single doe. She is a style icon, with her white belt and one white boot.

Yesterday, we had three does kidding at the same time, right when I got home from school. It was an intense experience that I hope to avoid next year. Jade had her twins in the field.
The dogs are generally amazing with kidding moms. They maintain a respectful distance, mostly, but they are still puppies and need occasional reminders to stop licking the new kids. Their breed has been developed for thousands of years, and their intuition is astounding to me. 

We are almost halfway through this year's kidding, and will be making our first cheese of 2016 this week. Here we go!