Monday, January 31, 2011

Oskar's Comfort

On our walk last weekend, I noticed that Oskar kind of tripped a couple of times. I wondered if perhaps his toenails needed clipping. This time of year they don't get much "filing" from pavement, and old dogs' nails seem to just grow and grow.

I caught him lying down shortly after we came inside. Cut the front paws no problem, the top back leg fine, but the leg he was lying on was a little trickier. After I finished he jumped up to go outside and I let him. I cleaned up the nail trimmings then turned to look outside and saw, to my horror...

Bloody footprints!  I must have cut the quick of that last foot.  He walked blood all up and down the path in the yard.  Gave no sign that anything hurt, though.  I hoped that the cold would cut off the flow quickly, but that didn't seem to work.  Maybe it's because he takes a daily anti-inflammatory drug.

This makes it look like his front foot bleeding, but he's just standing on another puddle of red.  The effect the snow did have was to preserve the blood in its fresh, bright red state for the entire weekend!  Any peek outside brought to mind some awful slaughter.

In other Oskar comfort news, I've been concerned about him sleeping on the cold floor.  Previous years, he's climbed up on the couch on cold winter nights, but he's not doing that any more.  Our house is on an unheated crawl space and the floor can be 5 or more degrees colder than the couch.  I didn't want to put blankets under him because he needs stability for lying down and getting up.

Farm Girl Beth came to our rescue (once again!).  Her dog, Banjo, sleeps outside in a wonderous pen with straw and good wind blocks.  However, F.G. Beth's daughter The Lovely Josie was concerned that Banjo might be too cold, so they bought an outdoor heating pad for him.  Apparently that manly Banjo would have none of it!  So F.G. Beth offered to let Oskar use it.  The first day it was at his bed he kind of ignored it, but look what I saw this evening...

 Looks like he's coming around!  Thanks F.G. Beth!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ulani and the Flying Squirrel

Ulani loves to play Frisbee.  And these days, when the wind whips across the fields and the roads lay deep below the ice and snow cover, playing Frisbee is a really good way for her to shake off the cabin fever.

I felt that our old, beaten up, plastic disc was not up to snuff.  If it lands right side up in the snow, it's very difficult for Ulani to find the edge to pick it up.  And the places where teeth have gone through it seem rough, almost sharp.   Definitely time for a new toy.

I put out the word that I was looking for a flying toy that she could pick up more easily.  Linda P. suggested we try a "flying squirrel", so I picked one up.

The first time I threw it for Ulani, she raced after it, pounced on it in the snow, picked it up, shook it like crazy, dropped it, pounced on it again...  She absolutely loved it!  I was delighted!  Of course, I did not have the camera out so you can't see that encounter.  Instead, here's the second time we brought the flying squirrel outside:



Unbelievable.

Once I pulled myself together we tried it again, and here's the resulting video:



Much better! The flying squirrel is a big hit around here, lightening the veil of cabin fever for another day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's my birthday!

 Spots been in a tussle; he didn't want his picture taken!

 And some of the hens had specific feelings about birthdays.

This Gold Laced Wyandotte is so pretty I had to share a close-up!

This is Eggy Jr.  He's taken over the boss job from his dad, who is retired to the iso -pen.

The middle white rooster.  As yet nameless.

Scruffy is spending a few days in the crate.  She was feeling punky.  She's rebounding nicely.
Can't get too near the ducks or they scatter.

But if you look closely, you'll see the Wacky Quackers were serenading me.

In the house, Abe offered his best wishes.

Luke wasn't as effusive.  He never is.

Ulani loves picture taking -- look right at the camera and smile!

Something moved in the far back yard.  But I'm sure Oskar was thinking "Happy Birthday Johanna" while he refused to look at the camera.  I'm sure of it!

And that is the birthday tour of Busy Solitude Farm for 2011!  I hope everyone enjoys my birthday!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

White roosters -- or are they?

This is White Rooster #3.  You'll remember that first we had Spot, then White Rooster #2, and now a third.  None of the white birds is a girl, drat.  I think they're just beautiful and I really wanted a sweet white girl.  But no such luck, and they're kind of skittery, not cuddly at all.

I was watching them this morning and realized an interesting thing about their color.  They're not actually white!

This is #2.  Look at the feathers on his neck and back.

You can see it here even better.  And if I make these photos a bit larger...



You can see that he's got dilute stripes!  The pattern of a Cuckoo Marans (see below photo of Chick-Chuck and Eggy Jr.), but with the color diluted.  In the right light, the stripes glow golden on top of the white background.

I am enchanted!  But there are still too many roosters.


The end.