I was out checking the animals yesterday and some nosy goat was spreading nasty rumors around the barnyard. Isabella and Ruthie approached me first. "Ahem...Goatmother. We have a concern that we need to discuss with you. There is a very nasty rumor that we will soon be out of hay". I could not believe my ears. The goats were in a tizzy with this rumor. After all, goats love their hay. I asked the ladies who was spreading this rumor. They gave each other that look. You know that look. The one that little old ladies give each other in church and then follow THE LOOK with a statement like.... "we don't want to gossip, but..." Yes, that look.
Fuzzy the llama was appalled with this recent rumor and the fact that she had not even heard it. After all, she has been on baby detail. Checking on the new lambs to make sure they are perfect and safe. Waiting for more lambs and kids to come along. All she had to say about the rumor was "those crazy old goats, they are always trying to start something in the barnyard. They have way too much time on their hooves."
The hens were taking a nice siesta in the barn. I thought that since there were so many of them they may have heard who started the rumor. They told me that they have turned over a new feather and given up on rumors since the little red hen went around yelling "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" and scared all the ladies into not laying for at least a week.
Bella wanted to whisper the answer in my ear. After all she didn't want to be accused of being a tattle tale. She told me to lean closer. No, come closer. Then those sweet goatie lips gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. She suggested that I go ask Oreo the barn cat. She whispered that "he is a wise old barn cat and would definitely know the answer".
Oreo was napping in the barn and wasn't too pleased to be awakened in the afternoon. After all, wise cats need cat naps to remain so wise. He told me that he didn't know who started the rumor but that I should hold a meeting of all the animals and stop it before it got out of hand.
"Great idea Oreo." Out to the pasture I went to clear up this misunderstanding. Everyone was present including the sheep. "Excuse me, I need to make an announcement. Everyone, gather close. I want you all to hear. Excuse me, would all the barnyard inhabitants please come near. I have an important announcement to make."
Nothing, absolutely nothing. Everyone went on with their munching, scratching, crowing and well, just everyday life on the farm.
Just goes to show you. If you don't play into rumors everyone soon forgets and goes on with their everyday life.
Who knew that a barnyard was filled with such smart critters.
The other morning on my way to work I just had to stop in the middle of the road and take a few pics. The winter just takes my breath away. I have been here for 5 years and I still love the winters. Wow, how time flies. We moved to New England 15 years ago.
Each limb, branch and twig covered with snow. The trees look like they have icing.
Noah at the window. He doesn't know what spring is but I'm sure he is dreaming of a nice sunny day, playing at the lake. Maybe chasing chickens and turkeys outside.
Jasmine posing. This girl is growing so fast.
Ted's birthday came and we gave him a very special surprise. A silly string attack. Everyone needs a silly string attack on their birthday.
While at work the other day I got a distressing call. After the last snowstorm a lady skidded off the road and went into our fence. Thank goodness she and her baby were safe. The fence, not so much. Nothing can be done until all the snow melts.
The kids learned very quickly about the scoop.
We switched out the smaller wood stove for the larger one from the basement. It really puts out some heat and keeps the house toasty.
Emma and Lucy know how to stay warm and spend some of their days.
We have been passing our days quietly. I sit here and remember just how busy we are in the summer. A neighbor stopped by, had a cup of coffee and we talked about chickens. Yes, chickens. Life on the farm either creeps by in winter or flies by in summer. Right now it is just the right speed. We hope life is at just the right speed for you too.
In Maine it is difficult to know when Spring arrives. We have long cold winters here. The calender tells us one thing and the weather outside says something completely different. Our farm calender says it's spring when the lambs begin to arrive. Emily is the first ewe to lamb this year. Spring has officially arrived. Echo is the proud father of these two early arrivals. One ram lamb and one ewe lamb. Both black.
Ram lambs always arrive with horn buds. You can see this little guys horn buds.
The milk bar is kept warm with her thick fleece. We won't shear until late April or early May.
I think the ram lamb is a bit more friendly at first. Probably more self assured. A good trait in a ram.
They both are very curious.
We do a quick dip of the umbilical stump with Iodine. Then back with mama.
We may look like we are still wrapped in winter's grip here on the farm but deep down inside we know it is really spring. We have lambs!
In just a few short weeks more lambs will arrive, the snow will melt and the first signs of green will appear. There is nothing sweeter than lambs running through the green pastures having lamb races every afternoon. Hope spring arrives in your area soon.
Winter is in full swing. We have had snow followed by melt and then rain and then blizzard. A real swing. More like a pendulum. The guineas have decided that there is just too much snow on the ground. They have become tree birds. They sit in the lilac tree waiting. Waiting for the warm summer days when they can roam the pasture looking for ticks, grasshoppers and those tasty seeds they are so fond of.
There is another snow storm headed our way this weekend. Then the trails will be loaded with that fresh beautiful snow. We are waiting, not so patiently, to take the sled out again. I think Maine trails are some of the most beautiful. The best groomed that is a definite.
For two old coots we do have fun.
Now we just have two little young coots to take along. We are looking for a youth helmet and snow gear for Jasmine. That way she can go with Ted or me on the sled. Noah is still too young for the snowmobile. He doesn't mind staying inside on those cold days. A nice dry diaper and a warm bottle.
I can sit here and remember the warmth of summer, the green lush grass and the sounds of crickets.
Then there is the ever present reminder of winter. We aren't bemoaning our winter. We are embracing it and enjoying it's drastic differences from the other seasons.
How is your landscape changing? Are you having a blizzard or nice sunny warm days? Are you tree sitting with the guineas? Happy Winter Ya'll!
Is it just us or does this happen to everyone? You think you are on your own and you start to make plans to go on trips, see a little bit of the world. Then, as soon as you put the deposit down, Bam! Your plans change. We were able to get a farm sitter for the week, deposit down on a cruise, dreaming of warm sunshine. Then we have two crumb snatchers with us. Not that we mind. We love these crumb snatchers. They are mighty cute.
This is Noah. He is 14 months. Back to diapers, pack and plays and bottles.
Noah is Jasmine's little brother. She spends every summer with us so she knows her way around the farm. The animals don't intimidate her at all.
Emma and Lucy are right at home with her. They love having Jasmine here. After playing all day with the girls they all "dog pile" onto the couch and pass out.
Jasmine has started school and has made many friends.
We don't know how long they will be with us. Diapers. Oh man. I'm still reeling over that one. Naps. I love naps. Noah napping and me too. Yes, naps are some of my favorite things.
The farm is in slow motion for now. The chickens are beginning to lay again. Everyone else is laying around waiting for green grass to grow.
Gold Mine! I hit the jackpot. No, not the lottery. Although that would be very nice. I hit the Christmas tree goldmine. Christmas is done and gone for another year, New Years followed closely behind. Now is Christmas Tree drop off time. There are reports of a mad woman out there with a truck who stops by and robs these drop off sites. Truthfully I get some really strange looks. I stop at this same subdivision in Bangor every year. Look at all of these wonderful abandoned trees!
Trees and more trees.
Loading up the truck.
Now off to Walmart. I don't think I got any strange stares. After all it is Walmart.
The boys were excited to get the greenery. Not much around green at this time of year.
The sheep weren't as excited but pleased to have something new to head butt.
Ted hooked up the snowmobile trailer and went back the next day for more. Why should they go to the landfill? We have a goatfill.
This huge tree on the top of the pile will make the animals very happy for a few days. They eat all of the needles, strip and eat all of the bark and then chew the smaller stems. Nothing goes to waste.
Evergreen also serves as a natural dewormer for sheep and goats. They still get grain and hay everyday needs. The trees get recycled, the animals are happy. It's a winter win for all.
This is the story of two best friends who lived in seperate towns, managed two seperate homes with all of the bills, taxes, and house payments of each. We thought that it was silly to continue paying such high bills. We decided to look for an old farm where we each could follow our dreams. We looked for a house big enough that would allow each of us to have our seperate space, enough farm land to be able to have sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and any other animals that caught our fancy. We needed a barn big enough to house animals and hay. Both of us love the seasons in New England and wanted to remain in the northeast. Both of us were ICU nurses and are under no delusion that we can pay our bills with farming alone. We needed to be located near a large hospital for employment. We work full time as nurses and full time as farmers. That was a lot of needs/wants to guide our search. We combed through magazines, for sale guides, and the internet. We found a place northwest of Bangor Maine that fit these needs. It was a fixer upper in the mildest of terms. This is our story, how we arrived, refinished a 160 year old farm house and are making our dreams come true. We hit bumps in the road at every turn and try to keep a positive attitude. After three years we have come to a change that can't be overlooked. After much thought Alex has decided to pursue her dream elsewhere. Now the farm rests with Ted and I. We will work together to make our dream an actuality. Please follow along with us and welcome to Mainely Ewes Farm.