"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Faithful Dog Is A Treausre

Beatrix, ever faithful, always following me. She was born in our kitchen along with her many sisters and brothers. When the litter of pups began opening their eyes, I would always find one wee puppy simply sitting up in her wobbly puppy way and watching me no matter what else was going on in the puppy bed. She is still the same, ever watchful and loving. She's getting old , but her older sister is still doing well so I expect to have Beatrix around for a few more years. (Right now she is snoring as she sleeps at my feet .)

A loving and faithful dog is a treasure. This dog, my Beatrix, seems unable to settle down unless she is near me , unless she can see me. She is perfectly content to simply be near me with no physical interaction needed.  How much more I would hope to desire my God, my Lord & Savior. Absolute and steadfast love for Him , not so unlike that of my dog for me. Thank-you God for the simple adoration and friendship of a loving dog.

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Life ~ Chicks & Lambs

A new lamb, she is a lilac Jacob Sheep lamb,
a newly hatched chick  (This is a Self-Blue d'Uccle  bantam chick, I love blue chickens. ),
lambs playing leap-frog over the downed tree , tree frogs chirping down by the pond, new chicks emerging from their eggs, hummingbirds and honeybees swarming the sugar-water feeders and flowers ~ why it must indeed be spring !

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bird Bath Planter

 The bird bath did not fare well over the winter and the cracks in the pottery caused by freezing weather were too numerous to repair . I took a slightly smaller ( than the bird bath ) resin basin and placed it inside the bird bath so it could still hold water for the birds. Then I planted primroses all around in basin.
 Cheerful, don't you think ?
 Speaking of cheerful , how about my frizzled hen ? She's fluffy AND cheerful.
 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick ~ As A Shepherd !

 
"Patrick, however, was not an active believer ( at time of capture). According to the Confession of St. Patrick, at the age of just sixteen Patrick was captured by a group of Irish pirates.[35] The raiders brought Patrick to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for six years. Patrick writes in The Confession[35] that the time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. He explains that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance, and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven of his sins and converted to Christianity. While in captivity, Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer eventually leading him to convert to Christianity." Wikepedia
 
" For you were continually straying like sheep , but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." I Peter 2:25 (photo of Gudrid and her new lamb )
What does a good shepherd do ? "I am the good shepherd ; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." John 10:14  Who is the "good shepherd" referred to here in the book of John in the Bible ? It is Jesus. Saint Patrick proclaimed Jesus as his Savior and Shepherd, and in turn Saint Patrick, of Roman birth in Great Britain, slave of the Irish, converted by Christ and returning to Ireland after escaping back to his home , became a humble shepherd of those who turned to Jesus in the land of his former captors .

There are many stories, myths, and miracles attributed to Patrick, but all history, stories, and tales end up bringing it down to this ~ Patrick was a man of deep faith , saved by Jesus Christ.
 
Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you ! May you know the Shepherd of Saint Patrick.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Blue Bottle Garden

 The blue and white anemones are blooming, heralding spring.
 This year I am determined to do a major re-do in my herb garden aptly named 'Blue Bottle Garden' because I have two blue bottle trees in it ( not shown here ) and cobalt blue glass type things all around it. Two of our grandsons helped me with the weeding and digging, and they really were a very great help.
 These two grandsons have fun together while they work, and that makes it fun for me.
 This little guy weeded a good size herb bed ( with help from his big brother ) that had been almost completely taken over by a weed that disguised itself as the sage the bed was planted with. After choking out most of the sage the weed proceeded into the garden paths headed for the oregano & rosemary. It was a big job and I had to dig up the few remaining sage plants so we could get the weeds' roots. In the background you can see the cage my husband built me years ago for some of my doves.
 I moved the doves to another aviary and we now have 5 parakeets happily living here.
 Parakeets are such active and funny birds to watch.
 On the other side of the herb garden fence, under brown fern fronds, one of my ducks is sitting on her clutch of eggs. She is one of the ducks Ella & Fella ( my Sebastapol geese ) hatched out last spring. Her nest is lined with her down. I only saw her because I was weeding the inside of this fence line. She is well hidden and even my dogs haven't found her.
 Ella is also sitting on her own eggs and I am hoping she is successful in hatching her goslings. Fella guards her faithfully , as he did her and the ducklings she hatched out last year.
On the other side of the Blue Bottle Garden , outside the fence, is the fountain my husband & I bought to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago. I can hear this fountain burbling from the herb garden. My husband weeded & mulched this flower bed that is under our living room window. From indoors we watch hummingbirds bathe in the water flowing from under the doves, then the busy flying jewels take a break and sit in the bushes in the sunshine to dry themselves.

All this was done and observed in the last week while we had record high temperatures for this time of the year. The Blue Bottle Garden is finally being shaped into the garden I've wanted it to be for a long time now , the flower beds and vegetable garden are being prepared for spring planting. I am so excited to finish the planting and enjoy even more the time to work in the garden while I watch the new life hatch and grow. I am going to post frequent updates on this garden because I have found that blogging about my gardens keeps me on track and motivated to keep up with the weeding & tending. The garden looks sparse right now , but soon it will be full of the sage, thyme, rosemary, blueberries, and so much more that has grown there for years. Hopefully minus the choking weeds.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring & Loving All the Joy It Brings

 Last night a new lamb was born here on Cedar Pond, making the total thus far ~ one ram ( boy ) lamb and 4 ewe ( girl) lambs. This is last night's newborn, a lilac ewe from Cedar Pond's Brigida and Shadow Mountain's Landon-Tonkin. I am holding her just before my husband banded her tail to shorten it. I am also hopeful I will love her horn-set. She was a very healthy little ewe lamb, up and looking for her mama's milk within the hour of her birth. This is what I love about my Jacob Sheep, they are an old breed , a primitive breed, a survivor breed !
 Ella has laid 9 eggs thus far and seems to be ready to settle down and sit on her eggs. Jim fixed a gate on the goose pen and we will fence off the small goose-yard for the duration of Ella's incubation of her eggs. Fella has already begun to protect the nest site , a good sign things are going according to God's design and plan for making more baby geese. ( The green were laid by the ducks Ella & Fella hatched last year and raised as their own lil' babes.)
 Hellebores, one of our first blooming plants here, and loved ( bee-loved ) by our bees. The hellebores are covered with our honeybees seeking nectar and pollen at a time of the year both are scarce.
Lambs, new lambs. Something I never tire of, a joy and sight that brings me to tears for the joy. I know the day is coming soon I will not be breeding sheep but I put off that thought because the joy of keeping sheep, the joy of new lambs...well, it brings me joy that cannot be described except that the joy makes me cry. ( Happy crying, so don't worry. ) This is Gudrid and her new lamb, a lilac Jacob Sheep ewe. Gudrid is shown here nursing her lamb .Yes, the Gudrid mentioned in my last post.  Gudrid is a first-time mama and I love everything about her breeding. She is the daughter of Bide-a-wee Buttercup and Cedar Pond's Goth. She looks in physical appearance very much like Goth's mama , Cedar Pond's Tiara. I am so happy with the lambs from both parents and their amazing heritage I am planning on keeping this little lilac ewe lamb no matter what. Besides, a first time mama who tends her lamb so well will pass on this exceptional quality to her daughters.

March is here, spring is here, new lambs are here, new baby chicks are here, joy is here !

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Just Call Me The 'Midwife'

 Look at this sweet little newborn lamb leaning into her mama  under the lamp in their stall. If I hadn't played midwife this morning she would most likely not be alive, and her mama would be in sore distress.
I went out this morning to discover TWO ewes licking one newborn lamb clean of afterbirth. Before I could get close enough to check things out the lamb wobbled  from one ewe ( female sheep) to the other, trying to nurse. Both ewes seemed confused , but when Tovah, the sheep in the picture, turned around to lick the lamb some more, things became very clear to me. Tovah had two tiny lamb's feet sticking out of her rear parts  . The other sheep ( Gudrid) had after-birth coming out of hers. Clearly the lamb being so carefully cleaned and tended by both ewes belonged to Gudrid who is a first time mama. Poor Tovah, probably thinking after so much labor and straining must have felt she had certainly already given birth and why was Gudrid helping out with her lamb ?

Now I had a problem. I was by myself, no near-by neighbors to help , and that lamb HAD to be pulled out of Tovah. Desperate times called for this desperate shepherdess to act quickly. How do you restrain an unwilling ewe and at the same time pull out a lamb from her nether parts by yourself ? The only way I could. I grabbed her by the horns and held on with my left hand, pushed her up against the stall wall, leaned against her to hold her there and reached inside her with my right hand to feel out the situation. Aha, the lamb's head and shoulders were pretty big and the lamb was in the right position for a normal birth but too big to come out without assistance. I slipped the lamb's head back a bit inside, then pulled the legs out further, maneuvered the head back out and with my right hand holding tightly to the legs I pulled some more. After gently maneuvering further I got a better grip on the lamb's head & legs and pulled hard. You have no idea how hard it can be pulling a lamb out of a tight spot inside it's mama, sometimes it seems the womb is trying to suck the baby back in, and this was one of those times. But I pulled even harder ( it is always a wonder to me the head doesn't pop off when I have to pull so hard ) and with a loud BWAAAAAAAAAA from the mama her little lamb slid out making a big sucking sound as I plopped her on the straw. A healthy ewe lamb with head still intact !

The minute Tovah turned and saw the lamb all confusion was gone. She went right to work cleaning her lamb. I checked Tovah , Gudrid, and their lambs a little while ago and am happy to say both mamas and their lambs are fine & dandy. Just call me the midwife !

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