Sunday, September 28, 2014

What have we here?

Why hello!

Yes, that's right. We have more cats. #8 and #9 to be exact!

Meet Missy and Lionel! Our friends Mac and Brenda needed to find homes for these two barn cats, so we gladly took them in! They are bunking in the former pig pen for a couple of weeks until they know our place is home!

Missy likes to relax on a bale of straw.

I think Lionel's ear is clipped because he was a feral, but I'm not 100% sure because he's such a lap cat, it's hard to believe he was ever truly feral.

I gave them some comfy beds to make their stay in kitty-prison a little happier. 

Lionel is orange kitty #4! He is creamy-orange like Emerson and fluffy like Julius.

These two love each other. They are both very mellow, and since Redford is too, I'm hoping they will all be friends and keep each other company.

This guy just laps up attention!

Missy is a little, er, fluffy! But not to worry, she's not expecting. Both cats are fixed and vaccinated!

What a sweet, happy little girl. She's quite petite.

I will keep them confined for at least two weeks and see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I found THIS in the bathtub the other day...

SOMEBODY gifted us with a dead shrew. And a fly. Whichever cat it was would have caught the shrew outside in the cage and brought it all the way upstairs from the basement to the second floor! I only hope I didn't shower with it in the tub. When I don't have my contacts in or glasses on, I'm blind as a bat.

And it's starting to look like a real farm around here. The other day we had 100 bales of straw delivered...

That should help keep everyone warm this winter! Next wee need to get in some hay for the ponies we're adopting. The horse fencing is going up as I write (all the fenceposts are in!) and this week, construction will start on box stalls in the barn.

That's all the news that's fit to print for today. Have a great Sunday!

PS: Yes, I have updated the "Cast of Characters" tab at the top of the page.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rooster crowing contest!

Last Sunday was the Harvest Festival at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum, and I once again entered myself and a rooster in the crowing contests.

Here I am, giving it my best, and apparently startling the emcee, Ron. I got many of my chickens from Ron!

And then he made the mistake of trying to take the microphone away from me before I was done!

Alas, this year I did not have what it took to win!

Neither did Mr. Carol...

When the rooster crowing contest started, the weirdest thing happened. Not one rooster said a word. I wondered if it was the weather? It was a grey rainy day. In the space of five minutes, only one rooster crowed, twice. "Hangus" was crowned the winter.

But Mr. Carol, my Ontario SPCA rescue chicken, was voted "Handsomest Rooster"!

I couldn't agree more!

Here's coverage of the event from our local paper, The Glengarry News. Mr. Carol and I get a mention at the bottom left!

On Monday, I'm picking up a pair of quails from our shelter. They just call us now whenever they have farm animals needing homes!

On a sadder note, Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been running rampant in our area the past couple of months. I know several people who have lost horses to it, the most heartbreaking being our friends across the road who lost their beautiful Clydesdale, Hamish. I often looked after Hamish and had a nice visit with him the week before he died. He'll be missed. EEE is why they cancelled the horse parade portion of the Festival this year. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Friends for Life!

On Saturday, we participated in the Friends For Life! Walk to raise money for the Stornont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA.

Hmmm, I probably should have worn a dog-related shirt instead of my "Keep bees and carry on" number!

It was a beautiful morning for a walk!

The route went through Gray's Creek Conservation Area, the out along the walking path the follows the St. Lawrence River.

There were lots of cute dogs, including this Golden puppy, who wanted to make friends with the Dachshund behind him!

Tristan is too old to walk, but I got to borrow our friends' German Shepherd/Great Dane mix, Zeus. Zeus' daddy Mike walked next to me, pushing baby Fiona in her stroller.

I love Zeus! He's a great dog. We made it to the finish line together, then headed back for the pet contests.

There so many cuties in attendance, like this Beagle...

...and Rupert, our friend's Great Dane/Labrador mix. He's not even a year old yet, but he weighs 150 lbs!

And here's Stitch...

Stitch was spokes-cat for the event. He was adopted from the shelter earlier this year. The most mellow kitty you can imagine!

He wasn't too sure what to think of these two dogs dressed up for the contests.

And look! A camera dog!

I was one of three judges for the contests.

You're not trying to influence the voting there, are you Gordon?

This Jack Russell Terrier had a fabulous dance routine.

The Beagle rolled over and played dead when his owner "shot" him!

This sweet black Lab kissed her owner gently on the lips on command!

My buddy Zeus caught treats thrown from great distances!

Gordon and Debbie, one of the two investigators that work from the shelter. Debbie and Bonnie do an amazing job of rescuing animals in terrible situations. They see a lot of cruelty, but they are both very devoted to their jobs. I could never do what they do. It's often a thankless job, but I'm glad they're out there doing it! They are both wonderful with animals.

Gordon has prosecuted a couple of cruelty cases investigated by these women. He gets a lot of satisfaction doing work like that. He's sort of a "freelance" prosecutor in those cases. Most of his work these days is in defence, but you could look at these cruelty prosecutions as being in defence of animals!

If you want to know more about what the investigators at the OSPCA do, watch this video...

Five of our chickens plus Ophelia all came from a situation where they had been left for two cold days in February without food or water or supplemental heat.  Other animals were seized from the same barn, including a goat and  her frostbitten kid, adopted by another friend of mine (the second kid, a twin to the first baby goat, died from exposure before the rescue.) Without the work of the OSPCA and its investigators, these animals certainly would not be with us now, and they probably would have died.

Gordon and I both managed to meet our fundraising goals for the walk, and raised $3,000 total for the shelter. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The new wheels

We got an RTV (utility vehicle) for the farm, and it is proving immensely useful. We've used it with a trailer to haul all our winter firewood up to the basement window (through which the wood is thrown.) 

Adorable godson alert...

We transported the pigs in it, over to their new pasture...

I'm not entirely sure whose butt this is, but it's too small to be Ophelia's!

Gordon the pig chauffeur!

And we've used it to move hay and straw, not to mention to take our garbage cans up the 750-foot long laneway every Tuesday night...

But here's the best reason to have one of these...

You can take your decrepit old dog right down to the river he loves (but can no longer walk to) so that he can have...

...a very nice swim!

Tristan had a great time but the whole outing exhausted him and he slept all the next day. Just walking from the RTV down to the river was a lot for him, poor old guy. He had declined a lot physically since we lost  his buddy Sophie in April.

We promised him another trip back there soon! Like the bumper stickers my friend Ronna

And this thing is GREAT for beekeeping. I brought in the last of my honey super yesterday (hidden under the comforter so that other bees wouldn't get into a robbing frenzy instigated by the smell of honey!)

I wore my jacket because it was so cold yesterday! Barely hit 10C/50F.

This thing is a ton of fun and surprisingly useful on our 86 acres.

And from the garden...

Aren't these the coolest tomatoes? They are called OSU Blue, and I got the seeds from Terra Edibles.

Happy Monday!

And if you would like to sponsor me or Gordon in the Ontario SPCA's Friends For Life walk this weekend, please click on the link(s) below:

Natalie's page:

Gordon's page:

At present, we have SEVENTEEN pets (yes, I'm counting the five chickens we got) that we've adopted from the OSPCA, plus there are two ponies on the way this fall. Stay tuned!