Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kids and Wildflowers and Peanut

On Saturday, we went over to the ranch to pick out our three kids. The decision was quite easy as all of the kids are gorgeous. Christine, the ranch owner, knew this little male was ours as soon as she saw him. We agreed and decided immediately he was perfect for us. Look at the cool spots he has on his back.

This female lost her mother at birth and was adopted by the mother of our male. We figured the two kids would be happier moving to our farm as a pair. I love the band around her waist!

Our third female fell in love with Oliver right away, so we knew she was smart. She has white hind legs, which set her apart from the other kids.

We are in need of some good goat names. Any suggestions would be appreciated. The goats will be coming home in a couple of weeks when they are done nursing!

Oliver and I decided to pack a picnic dinner and drive out to photograph the wildflowers. After one emergency side-of-the-road poop stop (Oliver) and one emergency side-of-the-road pee stop (me), we finally made it to Shell Creek Road (about 20 minutes from our house). Here are some of my favorite shots. I had more fun taking pictures of Oliver in the flowers than the flowers themselves, as you can see.

Peanut is doing well. Her dressings have stayed on and she is not showing any signs of infection. She does appear to be a bit embarrassed about her naked bum. She would not let me photograph it for the blog.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alpaca Video

I will be updating the blog soon with pictures of our three baby goats. In the mean time, I thought I would share a cute alpaca video made by our friends Rodney and Jen.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Alpaca Arrival

Tuesday was the big day-the long awaited arrival of our three fluffy alpacas. It felt like Christmas morning, watching Art pull up the driveway with a giant white present holding our boys.

The boys were given a grand tour of their new pasture. We walked them around to show them their toilet, watering and feeding area, and shelter. Once released they seemed to be content with their new surroundings and were happy about all of the fresh grass. They even went over to the toilet together and pooped unanimously.

Lotta (their brave guardian) has been introduced slowly over the past couple of days. The alpacas scare the bejesus out of her. Mic is the most dominant and wants Lotta to know he is in charge. At this point I can't really see Lotta taking on a mountain lion, but I think Mic can take care of himself.

Here is a picture of poor Lotta trying to sneak around the pasture without disturbing Mic.

I have had fun trying to take pics of the alpacas. Here are their "head shots."




Our evenings have been spent sitting in the pasture, enjoying the funny sounds the alpacas make. It is even more interesting to watch all of our neighbors stop to talk to the boys. You would think we had giraffes in the front pasture with all of the slowing down and goggling these alpacas have caused.

In other news, the same Tuesday the alpacas arrived, Peanut was attacked by a fox in front of Glenn. Glenn managed to scare off the fox, but the fox got Peanut's tail and left her with some lacerations. My experience fixing up Ethel made this repair a bit easier. She will be on the mend for a few weeks, send her some good vibes if you can!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring is Here!

The weather is warm, the wildflowers are blooming, and my baby just started giving me little taps. I am a happy girl! Oliver and I have been making the most of this glorious Spring weather. We went to visit the goat kids and lambs that were recently born at Rinconada Dairy. We haven't yet picked out our kids as there are many more to be born by the end of the season.

Here is a picture of Oliver being mauled by the lambs.

The lambs in this part of the barn had lost their mothers and loved to suck on everything. (Photo credit: Oliver)

Here are a few of the adorable goat babies. The two boys below had the most friendly personalities.

Oliver and I have also been fishing, taking pictures of flowers and hiking with Grammy. Life is great!

You may have wondered, "Where is Glenn?" "Has he been enjoying this lovely Spring weather as well?"

Glenn and Pop have been out in the front pasture for the past couple of months installing a fence, putting in a water trough, and building a shelter. Yes, it has been difficult, back-breaking work. But, I'm sure both men are thanking their lucky stars for getting to spend so much quality time together. How many men get to spend hours upon hours with their father-in-law? Just look at the loving look Glenn is giving my dad as they hammer at the shelter.

(It is possible Glenn was making that face because Pop just stole the hammer from him and said something like, "Get out of my way, boy.")

Thank you Glenn and Pop for all of your hard work. The alpacas (who are being delivered this Tuesday) will appreciate their new home!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beekeeping Fashion Tips and Other Hive News

I made an amazing discovery today. Maternity jeans make for excellent beekeeping pants. I was able to tuck my shirt in with ease, the cinch the waist just tight enough to keep bees out. I felt very proud of my outfit until Glenn made a snide remark about looking like I belonged in the 1980s. Apparently men do not find this look "sexy" anymore. So, I wouldn't recommend wearing this outfit on a first date, but maternity jeans do come in handy when checking the hives with no one else around.

Yellow and orange pollen made for some beautiful bee shots today. I believe the orange pollen was collected from our blossoming pluot tree. We saw the bee in the second picture doing the "waggle dance" to show the other bees how to get to the pluot tree. Bees are so smart!

Glenn had a tough day today. While inspecting hive number two (our previously stronger hive) he was attacked by ants. His smoker then went out in the middle of the inspection. Here he is trying to light the smoker and fight off an ant at the same time. Keep in mind, this is the same man who made fun of MY beekeeping outfit.

You can see Glenn freaking out a bit about the health of hive number two in the picture below. Glenn thinks the hive has chalkbrood, a fungal brood disease. The brood looks spotty, and the whole bottom part of the hive was empty. The second picture shows what we found in the cells in the bottom part of the hive. Can any beekeepers tell us what we are looking at? We will keep you updated about the health of hive two.