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Archive for December, 2009

Uphill Both Ways

I am exhausted. Walking 5 miles is not the greatest feat in the world but add 18 – 20 inches of snow to the scenario and you have a good challenge. Although, I find it much easier than battling the holiday/snow traffic. Between Christmas and the bad roads it seems everyone has lost their mind…

Let me get back on topic.

It was a beautiful morning! I can say this because for once I was appropriately layered in warm clothing. Ski pants, a fuzzy shirt, an equally fuzzy jacket, another jacket (this time down feathers), scarf and head-thingy that kept my ears warm. I might have looked like the Michelin Man but not once could I complain about being cold.

Anyway, the goal was to hike from my place to the Potomac River. You would have thought I was the only person on earth. Not once did I see another person along the way. That is a big deal when you consider I live in a county with almost 300,000 residents.

Here are some of the pictures I took along the hike.

I am planning to go back on the trail after the snow has melted. It will be a nice comparison (and an easier hike!) without the snow. Of course, after Wednesday there is suppose to be yet another snow storm heading up the east coast. At least we will have a white Christmas! I haven’t had one of those in years.

Be careful traveling and have a wonderful Holiday season!

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2009 Whiteout

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let is snow!

We are in the middle of the 2009 Whiteout!

Last night, between nine and ten, we received the first dusting of snow from a storm that has now nearly shut down the state of Virginia. As of this morning some places had over two feet of snow. Where I am, snug and warm, about of foot of snow has fallen with the worst yet to come. I wish I could say I have snow pictures from the farm, but alas I cannot even make it there due to road conditions. That is what I get for turning in my Jeep Cherokee three years ago for a little Toyota Corolla because I was planning on living in the city. Who would have known I’d end up working on 130 acres of farmland in the suburbs?

But, even without the farm pictures, I did venture out for a few walks this morning to enjoy the snow. And of course I took a camera with me. Hope you enjoy!

The Boyfriend and his dog, Atlas.

Upstream

Downstream

A little bit of green left over (and the camera fogging up).

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The picture was taken by one of the managers. American Bald Eagles are incredible creatures and I hope this one comes back for more visits (though I hope the chickens are left alone!). I also spied two enormous Red-Tailed Hawks, some Cardinals playing in our old corn field and a cheeky Blue Jay. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me. But I plan on keeping it close for the next week in case I spot any of these visitors again!

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Whatever you celebrate, I wanted to take the time and wish everyone Happy Holidays!

November passed so quickly. Sally, our dairy cow, was sick for nearly 10 days. Thankfully we helped her to get back in to good health but we were worried for a bit. It may have been caused (and this is speculation from our vet) by the first frost of the year which has been known to cause grazing animals to gorge on grass. Couple that with just giving birth, slowly increasing her protein intake (grains to help supplement her milk production) all together may very well have created the perfect storm. But, I am happy to report that Miss Sally is back on track and doing very well!

The piglets are growing like weeds. From the York/Hamp litter the one runt can hardly be identified anymore. She is just as spunky as ever and catching up with her brothers and sisters. We weened this litter from their mother around mid-November and they never showed any signs of stress or anxiety. Before the separation they were already eating solid food (a mix of corn and soy grinded in to a powder) and so the transition went smoothly.

From the other Chester/Hamp litter there are two runts which we decided to separate from the rest. They were not nearly as strong or rambunctious as the York/Hamp runt and so we wanted to take extra precautions to ensure their survival. All the piglets from this litter are doing well and some are looking to be top notch show pigs. I will have to get pictures of our favorites. We will soon be weaning them from the sow as well.

Competitors at the horse show. Our cows in the background.

Just before Thanksgiving we hosted a horse show and I spent the weekend working in the “belly of the beast” (my term for the office where horse show managers work night and day in order to host a functional show!). It was interesting to see the different riders and horses. The different classes as well. I learned a lot about Western riding (I have an English riding background but know hardly anything about Western…) throughout the show. Everyone had a good time.

There has also been an enormous amount of rain in the past month. Everything is sopping wet. And so we have turned our work efforts toward indoor projects or more maintenance type work around the farm. Last week the farm office was completely overhauled. We transformed a dirty and stained office in to what looks like a room meant for the Congressional Library. It might be a little too fancy for the farm but it certainly is a nice change! My mom always told me it was better to be a little over-dressed than under for events and so I think I will apply that to the new design as well. The walls which had been a grimy off-white (and used to be a true white) are now a lovely  yellow. We re-painted the trim and washed the curtains as well. It looks completely different.

Other projects coming up will include remaking our pig pens outside of the main barn. They are about 8 years old and definitely in need of repair. Also, the 3 acre pumkpin patch will be cut and reseeded with rye for the winter. Lighting is going to be added to our big machinary barn. Plus quite a bit more.

For now, enjoy the holidays! I am excited to be taking time to visit family in NC as well as returning to Spain to see my father over New Year’s Eve. My posts will most likely continue to be infrequent until after the start of the new year. Until then…

Merry Chrismahanukwanzaka!

Have a wonderful start to the new year! Be safe. Be thankful. Enjoy your friends and family.

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