Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Archive for the tag “fence”

Charmed, I’m sure

Out for a forage; Pebbles and her 8.5 month old lambs - Fergus to the right and Minnie the black in the middle.

Out for a forage; Pebbles and her 8.5 month old lambs – Fergus to the right and Minnie the black in the middle.

Sometimes I think I lead a charmed life.  Scratch that.  I know I lead a charmed life.  The Universe conspires on my behalf regularly, and this past Sunday was proof.  It’s hard to remember sometimes, especially when I’m slogging back and forth to the 9-5 on weekdays and doing tasks that don’t particularly stir my cocoa (but do, however, pay the bills).  Like most of us, I’m still looking for the sweet spot, finding the Work that fits, blows the hair back, energizes, AND provides. But I have to remember, too, that baby steps are being made, and that the good days aren’t a reward so much as a preview.

I spent most of Sunday doing just what I wanted, with no chores or duties (though a few of the latter that I’ve put off are still waiting…), staying fully present and enjoying the gifts of the life I’ve created for myself.  First and foremost, I didn’t get out of bed until after 1:00 p.m. !!  I can’t remember the last time I had a lazy Sunday that was as deliciously lazy as this.  I don’t indulge myself to this degree but a few times a year, and Sunday was one of those days.

I was up at sunrise, as usual, (not too difficult, this time of year) to feed and potty the dogs and make a cuppa

Pal and Daisy, sleepy snuggly

Pal and Daisy, sleepy snuggly cute.

tea for myself, but crawled back under the covers as soon as I could.  The dogs seemed to feel the same way, and snuggled up next to me as I read and rested my eyes (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) for another two hours.  At about 10:00 I got up and made a nice homemade mocha and had some breakfast for myself (slow cooked oatmeal I’d put on when I fed the dogs) and curled up with a couple of magazines (I subscribe to too many to count, and am perennially behind).  It was just what the angels ordered.  Sometimes sleeping in and lazing around in bed feels like wasting a day, but this was more of a treat and even though the day was half over before I was vertical, it felt perfect and more like I’d accomplished something rather than wasted time.

It’s been cold and mostly clear for the past week, and a welcome change from the previous week’s downpours.  The near-freezing daytime temps make it impractical and even impossible to do much outside in the way of yardwork, but it’s still too beautiful to spend the whole day inside the house.

I boiled some water to go out and thaw the sheep’s water.  They don’t drink a lot of water, so I didn’t feel too horrible for not getting out there until midday.  And it’s not like they come running over, parched, when they realize there’s something besides a cap of ice on their water bucket.  The chickens’ water is a different animal, and when it’s freezing like this I pull their big waterer out of the coop and instead use the smaller, one gallon waterers, which are easily filled in the house, and easy to carry out to the coop.  I keep one of the waterers in my bathroom tub overnight and when I filled it and brought it out to them, two hens drank greedily of the lukewarm water I put out there.  I took the frozen-solid one from the coop and put it back in the bathroom tub to thaw and be ready for the next morning.  It’s not so cold that it’s freezing up again during the day, but it will freeze again overnight.

I didn’t do much else but putter around and soak up the goodness of my little life here.  I let the sheep out, of course, and they were happy to be out, and especially with the garden pen opened up so they could get in there and glean.  After their work, the still thriving (and still bug ridden) kale plants are now just chewed stalks, and the chard plants pretty much decimated.  The rutabaga tops are gone (I think the rutabagas are fine) and the mustard plants were nibbled with relish.  They made a few deposits in exchange, and then wandered off in search of something green and still edible.

I did a fence check, since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done so, and found a huge windfall on the east fence in back.  A cottonwood tree that died

Checking the back fence line.

Checking the back fence line.

years ago, while still not very large, had broken off and landed on my fence.  I was able to lift it off and move it into the duff nearby, Daisy attacking it with vigor once I laid it down.  If it had been a maple of the same dimension I probably wouldn’t have been able to move it as easily as I did.  It was punky wood (though I realize saying that is kind of redundant, given it being a cottonwood),  with a trunk about 6 or 8 inches in diameter and about 8 feet long, with plenty of insect frass and sawdust, and more than a few woodpecker holes.    The fence was in pretty good shape, and I pulled it back upright and used a pair of pliers to tighten it up.

A dozen yards or so down from there I found evidence of something digging to get under the fence.  This is the second time now that I’ve found this – the last time was a month or so ago, near the corner post to the south.  I’m not sure that whatever it was made enough headway to get under the fence, but it was industrious work nonetheless.  I’m thinking it’s probably a coyote’s work, or possibly domestic dog.  As I did last time, I filled the hole with large rocks, downed limbs, and sections of downed tree trunks that I was able to move.  Something wants in, with my chickens providing plenty of incentive for an easy meal.  In fact, last weekend I had a hawk attack, and though the target (my rooster) survived, it was a good reminder that they are a huge attractant and an easy target.  I keep them penned when I’m not home (they weren’t penned when the hawk attacked, AND the dogs were inside), and they’re pretty smart about getting themselves into the coop when threatened (I have seen them running for the coop, rather comically, when there’s a hawk circling seriously overhead), but it wouldn’t take much for a coyote or dog to rip through the chicken wire of their pen.  The property fencing is woven wire, so not something one can get through without wire cutters, but digging under or going over the top isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Just throw it.

Just throw it.

I spent several hours outside with the dogs and critters.  It wasn’t so cold out that one couldn’t stay warm easily, but everything was too frozen to do much work (leaves frozen to the ground, garden soil frozen) and I meandered around enjoying the sun and fresh air and time with my animals.  I’d cleaned out the sheep shed the day before, so there wasn’t anything pressing to do besides toss the ball for an insistent Farley, and work with Daisy some to get her used to the Monster.   The Monster being her new job, carting (more on this in a future post).  All in all it was a good day, long overdue, and the kind that doesn’t come along often enough.  And one I plan to repeat as soon as I can.

Getting to know you...

Getting to know you…


May Day and beyond

Another two weeks have flown by.  It’s been an extra productive two weeks, with another to follow this week.  First of all, the fence is completely in, and it’s wonderful!  They did a great job especially considering some of the terrain and conditions and it’s a work of beauty; it is so nice to let Farley out the door at night and in the mornings before work without having to leash walk him.  The clearing alone was a job, never mind planting all the fence posts and putting up 1400 feet of field fence with two gates.  I still haven’t figured out how much this adds up to, with regard to how much is left unfenced, but will get out and do the math at some point.  I need to know how much of this is pasture, too, so when I get the critters I plan to get I’ll have an idea what it can support.  I’ll buy hay as needed, but the plan is to have the goats/sheep keep the property cleared and thrive on what grows here rather than import fodder grown elsewhere. 

I moved the hens into the coop last weekend, and they’ve bonded nicely with their new home.  I put up a small (tiny) makeshift pen until I can get to making a nice sized run.  As ridiculously small as the pen is, it’s still larger than their tractor’s space.  I didn’t let them out of  their coop/pen for the first five days, then opened up the door one evening and kept my fingers crossed.  Normally they’ll return to their home at dusk – I just wasn’t sure if they’d see the tractor and think they needed to get in that!  Nope, they returned to their castle and egg laying, such as it is, has continued without a hitch.  Right now I’m using a cardboard box for a nest box, mainly because I haven’t figured out where I want to put the next boxes permanently, though the hens are also improvising and making nests in various places.  The straw bedding  is several inches thick, so they’ve picked a few quiet corners and done their own thing, which is so nice for them.  They love their roosts, and most nights all but a couple are perched on the top roost, about four feet off the ground.  Life is good. 

The chicks continue to grow and are now outgrowing their box in the garage.  They’re nearly ready to move outside – there are four of them that still haven’t feathered out sufficiently to go outside full time (nights), but they’re enjoying the days in the sunshine. 

We’ve had four days of fantastic weather after a week of subnormal temps.  It dipped into the 30s several nights at the end of April and into May and set a few low temperature records.  Combined with the rain coming down in buckets, I was glad I hadn’t switched out of my winter parka yet.  It’s sunny and warm now though, and the nights have been clear and cool-ish, just like May is supposed to be.  And unlike last May’s July heat.  I’m glad it’s back to normal.

Post Navigation

Shepherds Extravaganza

Fiber Event, sheep, goats, wool, mohair, spinning, weaving and more!

Saying Hello to Goodbye

Lessons of loving and losing an animal companion


What my dogs teach me


Dog News and Views for Pets and their People: From Pet Columnist Yvette Van Veen

The Science Dog

By Linda P. Case

The Tangled Nest

creative wild life

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said


looking at the world through book-colored glasses

Ultimate Guide To Needle Felting In The Felt Hub

Make your creative dreams come to life with free needle felting tutorials, downloads, tips, ideas, and inspiration. Start your needle felting journey today!

Anna Blake

Horse Advocate, Trainer, Clinician, & Author

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Because a guy has to keep his chops sharp

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

Citizens for Duvall

A grass roots group that gives a voice to its citizens outside of city council meetings.

camino times two

walking together on the way of saint james


novels. poetry. screenplays. filmmaking. endless musings...

Hen Corner

A little bit of country life in West London...


Going back...a return to rural life

Relaena's Travels

Eternal Journeys of a Curious Mind

The Global Warmers

8 dogs, 2 elderly adults and an aging RV

KDD & Co

Award-winning Scottish publishing and design

Fiber Trek

Calling the wild back to craft

Brookfield Farm Bees & Honey Blog

musings on bees, life, & nature near Mt. Baker Washington

An American Editor

Commentary on Books, eBooks, and Editorial Matters

ella gordon

textile maker

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Squash Practice

A Growing Concern

Food, Farming and Faith in Snohomish County

Icelandic Fiber Farming in Cascadia

Carol Lea Benjamin on Dogs

Understanding dogs and the many roles they play in our lives

Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Living Your Sacred Livelihood

Weaving the Wisdom in Nature with Possibility Practices

Chris Morgan's Wildnotes

A BLOG of pictures and thoughts from the field

Denise Fenzi

a professional dog trainer specializing in relationship-building in competitive dog sport teams

Black Sheep Creamery

Artisan Sheep Cheese, Wool and Lambs

Woolyadventures's Blog

Just another site

flippity felts

Curious and Quirky needle felts

Single Life, With Puppy

Suddenly single at 55; what to do but get a puppy?

Eat, Play, Love

making memories through food, wine and travel

Pam Grout

#1 New York Times best-selling author

Karen Maezen Miller

A little o' this, a little o' that