July 24, 2008

All Creatures Great and Small

Having been an animal lover all my life, I think I started on early also wanting to live on a farm. (well....a ranch is close to a farm. I probably chose "farm" because, well there just isn't any such thing as a ranch in Tennessee) All that to say I love all the animals at home. I love being around them. And I guess I'm still "new" enough to still enjoy it when its time to work with them. While everyone else is kind of groaning at the prospect, I get excited. There wasn't any big animal project at home this time. Only checking cows periodically to make sure the right ones are all there and no one elses have mixed in. Thats a job I can't do yet, because I can't tell at a glance if they are all there and if they are the right ones. I can, and did, drive out a couple of times to check a fence that was getting repeatedly torn down by cattle that wanted to go visiting. The exact culprets were never pin-pointed. Whether it was Johnson cows or the other peoples....regardless they kept mixing. So that was my big animal "work." Rachelle keeps telling me to just give it time and it won't be so "fun" anymore, but I don't know. I think I'll always enjoy the prospect of working with animals, even when I know I'm going to have ears and eyes full of dirt, and raw fingers from grabbing fists full of wool to shove an unwilling ewe into the shearers wagon.

Here are a few of the domestic, and not so domestic animals from around our home. I think in a couple of the pictures the subject is kind of small. I'll see if they are going to show up and then decide whether to leave them on here or not.

I like cows. Here are some of the cows and their calves grazing peacefully. Its one of the prettiest sights I know of.

This little fellow managed to be born after his momma had been turned out, with the cows so he avoided the ear tagging/branding party. His buddy behind him wasn't so lucky. The brand is really clear on him. This is one of the calves from Rachelle's longhorn. I like his black ears and nose.

A group of this years bum lambs. The black and white one is "flower" and she is from Rachelle's last Jacob sheet. Her momma departed this world shortly after birth and flower has been a spoiled baby ever since.

This is just one of the bums but he seemed to be saying "please take my picture....or better yet give me a bottle!" I obliged him with the picture part.

A view of the mares. Considerably fewer than last years pictures. They downsized the herd. I'm sure you know you'll be seeing more pictures of them later.

Several months ago a neighbor gave Rachelle four pea fowl, two cocks and two hens. The hens havn't been seen for weeks. We assume (and hope) they are nesting somewhere. The two cocks run around down where we live. They wake at 5:00 every morning and proceed to announce their plans for the day to the world at the top of their voices. If you've never heard a pea cock do his thing....well you'd know if you had. One morning I found them strutting their stuff in front of my house, and dashed inside to get my camera. I have fond memories of going to see the peacocks at Mr. Gibson's farm with Pawpa, so I'm especially fond of these two guys. And they've taken to coming to my yard some mornings and evenings.

There are always a lot of wild animals too. Last year a white tail doe had her twin fawns in the tree row by our house and they were in our yard all the time. This year she didn't put them in the tree row. We've seen them down by the creek and across the creek. One morning we got up at 5:00 to go to Billings, and they were in the hay field across from our house. I snapped this shot just as she was taking them around back. It blurred a little, but its the best I got. Every year a pair of fox raise a litter of kits in a bank near Malcolm's parents house. This year was no different. The nearly grown kits are always out on the bank playing, stalking, and doing what nearly grown fox do. Its neat to watch them. This mule deer buck was in retreat when I stopped along the road to take his picture. Looks like he'll have a pretty nice rack on him when he finishes out.
This antelope was grazing near the road on my way home one afternoon.

Can you see the prairie dog sitting on top of his burrow? He's kind of small in the picture but he's there. It was hard to get a nice close shot because some guys had been out hunting them a couple days earlier and they were all pretty warry of any vehicle.
I've never seen a dragonfly this color before. He was pretty...and very cooperative for the camera.

These are a brood, or maybe two, of sage grouse. I saw them on the road several times, but this one time I had the camera and drove almost right up to them before they decided to get up and move. Mommy had already vacated the premesis, but the babies were just enjoying the sun baked gravel too much to leave right away.

1 comment:

Meagan said...

Great pictures!!!!