Feeding the Beast and a Doe Update
With February waning, hopefully spring is not far off.
We have had a wide range of temperatures this month - a week of above freezing sunshine was lovely but we ended up with a lot of ice and very slippery conditions - walking the logging roads became very treacherous.
Hoover of course does not mind a little ice, especially if he can catch sight of some of the wildlife. Squirrels, deer and turkeys all generate excitement - that is the reason he is always on a leash!
Many of you readers probably know that Kevin had his second knee replacement surgery last Friday. He's doing great - here I caught him working at his PT exercises... or was he trying to get in a nap??
While Kevin recuperates, I can take care of all of the outdoor chores - this is the least busy time of year for us in that regard. The most strenuous of chores is taking care of the wood stove which requires at least three times a day feeding.
As I struggle with heavy chunks of wood and heaving wheelbarrow loads from the pile to the stove, I have reflected on the cost of heating our home this way. Some people may look at our acres of woods and nicely stacked woodpile and envy our "free fuel". It's true we do not have to regularly write big checks for propane but burning wood is far from free or even cheap. Gas for chainsaws, splitter, tractors and Bob (cat) plus equipment maintenance and repair costs are but a pittance when compared with the hundreds of hours of labor that goes up that stovepipe. If those hours of labor were totaled up at a moderate wage, the cost to heat our homes (ours and the North House) would be very dear indeed.
Another way to look at it is as woodland management. Trees are not cut down indiscriminately on our property. Those that are cut down are usually selected because they are dying or a hazard to the growth of other trees. Wildlife habitat and the health of the forest are primary concerns. Logging is a way of life for some of us and isn't likely to end any time soon.
Between chore times and running Kevin to appointments, I am keeping busy with the soap and lotion side of our business. I find it especially fun to come up with new soaps and have done four new ones so far this winter. I still have a couple more ideas in the works!
How about a peek into the doe pen? Right now, Belle is leading the biggest belly contest. Last year she only had a single doeling - we just need to wait a few more weeks to find out if she will repeat that or not. Here she was enjoying a cozy nap this chilly day but she did get up so I could get a picture of her baby bumps. Her leg, which had such a bad cut last fall has healed nicely.
Daisy and Poppy are both gently rounded. Daisy is always up for a photo opp. Triplets again this year? I hope not although she managed them with ease.
Poppy is my most difficult doe to get a nice picture of. I did catch her having a stretch this time but that is the best I could do.
I will close with yet another picture of the four fall chicks. They are still roosting near their adopted mamma Rocky at night but otherwise are getting pretty mature. I believe two of the them are cockerels and two are pullets.
Thank you for visiting our blog. Until next time, be well folks!