Monday, January 29, 2007

Meanwhile....Back on the Farm...

Okay, I didn't say back on my farm, did I?

With no hay barn here, and just one small Ford Ranger for hauling, I don't tend to stock up on much hay at a time. Thankfully my friend Brigget doesn't mind selling it to me straight from her barn as I need it. Half the price, too, of what I'd pay at the feed stores. I'm not one who's fond of heights, nor ladders that climb up to high places, so the fact that the hay is up in the barn loft isn't something I'm all together fond of. For some reason, this granddaughter of a dairy farmer never did master climbing the ladder up to the least not when the ladder was alongside the hay mow door. So to help overcome this small issue, I've begun moving the ladder from alongside the door, to smack dab in the middle of the doorway. Then I climb the ladder and toss down my bales. Since I can't fit more than 8 bales into my truck at a time, and I feed a bale a day, I tend to spend a lot of time at Brigget's during the winter!

Brigget, I think I've mentioned, raises icelandic sheep. I love photographing them! Here she is feeding them this past summer. These sheep get magnificent fleeces on them. It's a double coat which grows a soft as can be undercoat known as thel, and a coarser, longer outer coat called tog. The babies only have the soft thel, as the tog doesn't come in until their first winter. Their fleece grows so much in a year that they get shorn twice; once in the spring prior to lambing, and once in the fall before the cold winter sets in. The fall fleece is the highly sought after fleece as it tends to be free of the typical winter debris. Below are two of her lambs from last spring. Yes, that spotted sheep is just a lamb, and a ewe at that! Icelandic ewes can grow horns just like the rams, and they grow them fast, too!

Since we were in the area, we decided to stop at Hovander Homestead Park. I say we, but really it was just me. Darling was riding shotgun, but wasn't too keen on my detour as it was quite chilly and she hadn't worn a 'walk about' coat. But she did hop out of the truck with me as I snapped a few shots of the barn and some of the inhabitants of the farm.

Quite some years back, the park employees showed up for work in the morning and found a few peacocks had been added to their menagerie. They didn't mind. Before long, a few more were added. Still, it's a big park, and people like peacocks. Today, Darling and I counted 9 adults hanging out near the barn. Who knows how many are really out there. Sometimes you'll find them on top of that big red barn! There are both the traditional blue shouldered peacocks, and there are white ones, and then there are some with stripes and speckles. I suppose the proper term is peafowl, as only the boys are peacocks, and the girls peahens. But I figure you know what I mean (don't you?) During the summer there are always little peafowl...peachicks?...running about. The park is open year round for visitors, with a great number of resident fowl there during all four seasons. Spring brings lambs, horses, pigs and cattle to the old farm as well. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, it's a terrific place for a picnic or feed the animals with your kids.


Anonymous said...

How fantastic! There is just something about a big red barn that just....well I don't just does something to me I can't explain. And, then to add a peacock to the scene. It's more than a girl can handle.;0)
Boy can I relate to you about the whole height thingy. Ladders are right up there with spiders on the fear scale. E-less
Beautiful sheep pictures!

Sue said...

I love that pic of the ladder going up into the barn, and the one of the peacock is awesome!

Tracey said...

Thanks, ladies.

Sue, I'd wanted despeartely to bring the camera up, and then take a shot of the ladder going down...but I was a bit freaked about banging it about too much as I white knucled my way up!

Isn't that barn lovely? I can't tell you how I enjoy spending time there in the summer (when it's warmer than it is now!)