Saturday, May 30, 2015

Carnival

Our tiny, tiny town of Remington has a surprising (to me) number of active groups.  I've joined two of them -- the Community, Family Education (homemakers) group and the Bealton/Remington Ruritan Club.  Both groups are very small, but they support many fundraising activities, put on a few of their own and distribute the money they raise to local charities and as scholarships to local students.

The Remington Volunteer Fire Department has been taking care of the community for many, many years and for at least the last 50 years has been running a parade and carnival for the area children.  For many of those years, the Ruritan Club has been staffing the Dime Toss booth at the carnival.  That's where I was from 6:30 to 9:30 on Thursday evening.   The booth started out as a penny toss, rose to a nickel and a few years ago rose again to a dime.  I wonder if the per-toss cost will go up to a quarter while I'm still alive and able to work the booth!

Erika, Finley, Frank, Sharlene and Abi came to the carnival on Thursday night (Christian had to work late) and tried their luck at the dime toss.  Sharlene scored two wine glasses and Erika a commemorative beer glass.  You don't want to know how much they spent to "win" those treasures! It was for a good cause!
Bealton/Remington Ruritan Dime Toss booth
Bubbles! Photo by Erika
On Friday night, Erika, Christian, Finley and I went back to the carnival (it is all of a three minute drive from their house!) and feasted on corn dogs, BBQ pork sandwiches, funnel cakes and root beer floats (my most favorite drink in the entire world.)  E&C took the longest ever Ferris Wheel ride and we listened to a local country group performing mostly covers.
I hope the spelling was a mistake that everyone has enjoyed too much to correct...
Another interesting spelling...
The lobster I won for Finley at the balloon dart game. 
E&C on the Ferris Wheel.  The operator either liked them or lost track of who got on when -- they were on the ride for at least ten minutes!  


I will never, ever get used to the beautiful, varied skies here. 



It was good, small town, inexpensive fun!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One Word Wednesday

GOATS

Barrow, the friendliest of the three boys.
Local woman (Madison county) who went to vet school and came back home to practice. 

Hanging browse for them until we got the electric fence set up in the area we want them to help us clear.  There are lots of lists of things that goats can't eat and lots of differing information all over the Web, but no list I've seen contains oak leaves and they love oak leaves.
Ol' Blue Eyes.  We should have named him Frank.  Did you know that goats' rectangular pupils allow them to see 320 degrees around them without turning their heads?  Other animals such as sheep and cows have rectangular pupils, but their irises are normally darker than goats and so the shape isn't noticeable.  Their weird pupils give some people the willies. 

Goats lips are very mobile.  
Pelham is my favorite.  
Why does my favorite goat have to be the one who is the shyest?
Mosby has dewlaps (under his neck) and he lets us touch them.  They are very soft.  They serve no known purpose. I think they are so cute. 
Erika made this cool climbing structure for them, but it is just a little too narrow and they tip it over too easily.  Back to the woodshop for mods. 
They all eat from our hands -- even shy Mr. Pelham. 
I love Pelham's coloring.  To me, he looks the most like his Nubian ancestors.
Yum.  Fresh crimson clover.



Finley loves the goats!
At work clearing the fence line.  I hated having to touch their noses to the electric fence when we put them behind it yesterday...but they needed to know to stay away from it. 



OK, so they are mini Nubians and they are just bucklings, but that still is some tall grass!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Erika's Geese

So, I've promised twice now to write about my goats.  My goats.  I love the sound of those words.  I can't believe I have goats!  I can't quite find words to describe how I feel about finally keeping goats; how grateful I am to have them and how grateful I am to Erika and Christian for letting me keep them here on their side of the property until Glenn's and my house is built.   If not finding words was my only problem, I'd introduce the goats to you in a post full of photos.  But the bigger problem is that I've found the little boogers to be very difficult to photograph well!  So, once I accumulate a few more decent photos, I'll be back to tell you all about them.

In the meantime, how about I show you Erika's geese -- her favorite animals on the farm -- favorite just behind her husband and daughter, and running neck-and-neck or just the tiniest smidgeon ahead of Bonnie and Bailey!

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that Erika got two goslings last spring --  Winston and Clementine Wobbles.  Mr. Wobbles met an untimely death in a farm accident and Clementine was left to spend her days on the fringes of turkey and chicken society.  Then, in early April, three two-day-old goslings arrived! At first they lived in the brooder in the workshop.  Once they were old enough, Erika started letting them out to wander in the yard and eat grass, snails and other yummy things,   Instinctively, they followed her everywhere. 

The middle creature is a Tufted Roman.  He or she has a top knot on his head that you can see better in other photos.   He will be pure white when he grows up.  The goslings on either side of him are American Buffs, the same breed as Clementine.  We suspect one is a girl and the other a boy.

See his sweet little top knot?  Erika suspects he is a boy and has named him Spartacus.















At first, Clementine wanted nothing to do with the goslings.  She was still broody -- spending a lot of time in the nest box waiting, we supposed, for the goslings that never hatched out of the chicken eggs she had incubated.  (The chicks hatched, but didn't survive.)  

One day, after sitting in an empty nest box for weeks,  she went for a long walk with us out to the stream on our property.

It seems like the change of scenery and some paddling around in the stream may have knocked the last of the broodiness out of her.  


She started hanging around the goslings when Erika put them out in a play yard.  When she didn't show any signs of aggression toward them, Erika let the goslings out of the play yard and after sizing each other up for a very short time, Clementine and the three goslings are now inseparable
Photo by our neighbor/friend, Sharlene.

Sometimes it seems as if the goslings follow Clementine around and other times it seems she is the one following them.  Poor Bailey found out just how protective she can be when he ventured just a little too close to the goslings.  She ran at him with her wings spread, neck stretched out, hissing and honking the whole time.  He backed off immediately!

Erika isn't the only one who has a goose here on Snake Oak Farm.  Finley's papa gave her a vintage Mother Goose for her first Christmas.  It will be fun when Finley is walking and pulling the goose along behind her.  

Dogs, chickens, turkeys, geese and now goats! Life is quite interesting here on Snake Oak Farm!