Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let her Dance....

"Did I ever tell you about the time we learned we were going to have a cub?"
"In the fox trap..."
"Right. We were at gunpoint and your Mother..."
"Said she was pregnant."
"Let me tell it ok?"
"I had no idea how we were going to get out of this jam, and then it hit me- what do foxes do better than any other animal?"
"Your stepping on my lines."
"Right. Keep telling."
"So we dug. And the whole time I kept putting paw over paw scooping dirt, and pebbles, your Mother digging like crazy beside me and I kept wondering ""Who is this little girl gonna be?""
"Or boy!'
"Or boy, right, cause at that point we didn't know."
"Baby....I'm so glad she was you...."

I always thought I was going to have a boy. Actually I was convinced that I would have a baby boy first. So convinced that I left no option of a little girl in my mind.

About a year ago- I had a dream. I dreamt that I was laying in a hospital bed when a doctor handed me a baby.  I looked at the doctor and said "I wasn't pregnant?!"  The doctor only replied, "But this baby is yours."

I looked down at the baby in my arms and saw the most beautiful little baby girl that I have ever laid eyes on. When I saw her I knew instantly that she was ours. She had David's big deep blue eyes and she was laughing.  I was in love.

When I woke up from the dream, my world was rocked.  I couldn't shake this baby girls face from my mind.  A year later and we learn that we are having a cub, and the dream is on the forefront of my mind.

Most of my friends all said it was a boy. All the old wives tales point to boy. But I wasn't convinced. Long gone was the thought of having a boy, and in comes the thought of the girl in my dreams....

I'm so glad its you-

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tick Tock, Can I say Bye Bye?

I found a reason to be done with time:)

"Twinkle Toes, I think we found the soul, to make us Happily, Ever After....<3"

Ladies and Gentleman, Our sweet cub is a baby girl:) 

We found out before Christmas and are in awe of who this little gal is. I am feeling great and the baby gal is starting to dance, tumble, and kick. I look forward to all that movement everyday<3

Don't Insult My Palate.

Lessons from a Fox.....again.

A sleepy-eyed Ash showed up at the doorstep tonight around five.  Its always nice seeing him just before it gets dark to get a good look at him and his coat.  He clearly had just woken up because he proceeded to use our driveway as a nice place to stretch, yawn, and open his eyes.

I grabbed some old corned beef deli meat that has been brewing in our fridge to give him. I figured the option of something other than Walmart hotdogs might be palatable for him on this windy night. As his slumbered self moseyed on over, he took a bite and walk a couple feet away.

He dropped it in the driveway and came back for more.

Smelling what was in the dish (and I think finally waking up due to the smell) he walked away and back over to the piece that he had dropped.

He ate it- loudly.

As if it was a child trying spinach for the first time- (get that visual)

Looked at me.

Then trotted away.

He has yet to come back tonight.

Lesson learned. Ash is not Irish.

How dare I insult his heritage with a poor mans Irish dinner. And since I am from Massachusetts I have conducted a calculation which leads me to believe that Ash is Italian. Because if you are NOT Irish- you must be Italian...... My Massachusetts friends will understand this calculation.

Menu tomorrow night: Walmart Hotdogs. Possibly lasagna.

On a brighter note my friend Sam pointed out that Ash, no doubt, is a Red Sox fan.
This made my night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Caught in the Act.

When your husband is outside and your dogs are barking- don't automatically assume its because of him.....

David went out to bring in the rubbish container and the dogs started barking.

I thought it was because of the noise the container makes being rolled up the driveway. David assumed it was because he was outside, so he started to bang on the windows to rile them up even more. Joining in on all the excitement I opened up our bedroom window and stuck my head out and started barking at David too.

The dogs were barking cause our neighbor was in the driveway. He had come by to ask a question but instead got a show.

Pooh Bear- I'm onto you.

In case you haven't noticed....Winnie The Pooh is a criminal.

Sure he wears a cute red shirt, has a grandpa voice, looks all soft and fuzzy, but this bear is a con.

Under that pantless exterior, Pooh Bear has done some hard time. Where do you think he has gotten his name "Pooh?"

He robs bee hives people.  

Sure he looks cute doing so with honey all over his mitts- but really- he is breaking and entering. He is an uninvited guest that bust down a bee's house and then takes them for all their worth. The bee's are left homeless, and in peril for the lack of honey. They probably die soon after of starvation and lack of protection from the elements.

But we all think its cute- cause that yellow bear has an addiction to honey.

I think he skipped out on addiction counseling in jail if you ask me.

So that hard edge bear has been trying to rob from my hives twice this past week. I came out yesterday to find the entrance reducer knocked off and the bottom board on the other hive chewed up....again.

If you see this bear report him to the police. Do not for a second invite him in your home, because the second you turn your back- your cupboards will be bear. I mean bare.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gimme Shelter.

Thats a wet Ash sleeping under our pine tree. I will now think twice about wanting to cut it down.

We came home and slowly pulled into the driveway. David turned the car around to face it to the street- thats when we saw Ash all curled up under the tree to get out of the rain. Paws all tucked and seemingly pretty comfortable. He did come over to eat and I put his dish out of the rain.

And just like "that," the little wet fox brought a verse to mind.....
Thank you God for this animal...

On a day where this verse is much needed- Thru the little wet fox, God reminded me.

 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cause we do other things than work on the house....

Mad Men inspired hair...

cause sometimes we go to a friends house for a nice dinner....and sometimes the dinners just happened to be themed.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Only Indie

And I saw red....hearts.

Ash came by last night around 4:45 just before the sun was setting.  He had OBVIOUSLY just woken up, as he was sitting in the driveway- eyes half closed, yawning and stretching, when David saw him.  We had been inside the house for awhile, and David was just about to step outside when he said "he's here."

So I could go on with something witty and creative to the post- but honestly..I got nothing.  I got nothing but admiration for the beauty of this friendly creature.....I hope you enjoy these picture as much as I enjoyed taking them.  There are some blurry ones that I decided to post because even the blurry ones, were just too pretty to pass by.

Here's Ash just getting up from a stretch to make his way over.  I was sitting on a stump near our back porch with his food dish at my feet.

Playing with the settings on my camera phone makes this photo look darker than it actually was.  But sleepy eyed fox brightened my evening.

He had not taken any food yet- but this is him just sniffing me as I sit still. Love this drunky sleep face. Just to let you know as well- when Ash approaches its on his own ground. I DO constantly talk and give his whistle so he is used to my voice, and chatter.  But he is STILL a wild animal, and this contact with him is strictly by his will. By no means do I reach for him, hold my hand out to him, or allow him to eat from my hand, while pregnant. He has eaten from my hand before, but it was when I had on gloves and was to assure he was eating his medicated food. All was done before I was pregnant.

Ash always glances around him before eating.  Although this is his instinct for his own protection, he is less fearful during lighter hours.

That being said he heard the door open and scampered a few feet away.

The white flakes on his fur was the snow flurries starting to fall.

Love those radar ears.



Nice white teeth!!! Licking his mouth after eating.

Watching David on the porch.

Coming back over

Round Two- eat!

Notice the little cut on his foot?  The other night he came into the driveway, limping (once again- seems to happen every three weeks) with a little bit of blood on his paw. David told me that when he saw him he asked Ash if " the prospective mouse dinner had won that night?" Needlesstosay Ash ate four hotdogs......

Long visible whiskers on any whiskered animal is a sign of good health.

Burying his food. Not really working at hiding it.

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, British Columbia, Canad

"I Don't Want to Live In a Hole Anymore, It Makes Me Feel Poor."

Ever wonder what foxes live in?

Ok, so maybe you don't but I did-

A red fox typically lives in an old groud hog den.  They will dig out the hole and re use it. You can find a fox den in obvious places, such as the middle or the edge of a corn field. They like to have a unobstructed view in whatever they want to look at. In other words- they are pretty ballsy.

"Like groundhogs, whose burrows they use for natal dens, red fox are careful to choose den sites with good drainage.
If you are looking for a red fox den, walk into a cut-over corn field on a very cold day, preferably after a bad weather front has blown in. If you are lucky, you may come across an old groundhog den with the first three feet of the main entrance enlarged and typically dug into a tall oval shape to allow the red fox to bolt out at a full gallop. This excavated front end also serves as a kind of "porch" where the fox can rest out of the wind."

These pictures were taken across the street from our house.  The direction that I normally hear the fox barking at night is just where these dens are located. This one is pretty big and sits on top of a hill with a corn field all along behind it.

Here is the "escape," hole or second hole that foxes typically dig. behind it is the main den hole.

These two pictures are the main den hole. It curves down and runs pretty deep. Red Foxes are pretty cleanly when it comes to their home. Leaving no animal bones or waste in or around it.

Ghost eggs. Boo!

I call them "ghost eggs."

A "ghost egg," or "wind egg," Is a sign that one of your chickens has just started to lay. (explained below by wikipedia) I have been able to recognize them now that I see them more frequently than before.  You can tell its a ghost egg by its little size nd round shape. With about twenty of our girls  laying regularly, the other twenty one are just starting to catch up.  We get these ghost eggs about two to three times a week.  They are pretty cool when you crack it open and see no yolk. 

The dogs like them very much too:)

Yolkless eggs

Eggs without yolk are called "dwarf" or "wind" eggs.[8] Such an egg is most often a pullet's first effort, produced before her laying mechanism is fully ready. In a mature hen, a wind egg is unlikely, but can occur if a bit of reproductive tissue breaks away, stimulating the egg producing glands to treat it like a yolk and wrap it in albumen, membranes and a shell as it travels through the egg tube. This has occurred if, instead of a yolk, the egg contains a small particle of grayish tissue. An archaic term for a no yolk egg is a "cock" egg.[9] Since they contained no yolk and therefore can't hatch, it was traditionally believed that these eggs were laid by roosters.[citation needed] This type of egg occurs in many varieties of fowl. They have been found in chickens, both standard and bantamsguineas and coturnix quail.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Spit bubbles are pretty good too.

Define Farm.

Often times I think to myself, that we aren't really "farmers."

We have nine acres of land, yes, and we have a load of chickens, and bee's sure.... but when you are surrounded by some big time farms that harvest hundreds of acres of corn. Or you drive down the street to see meat cattle grazing, and thorough bred horses in daily training. I must admit that I get a little self conscious about our measly little "farm," in comparison to these high end, mansion-like farms.

But this morning I had a wonderful confirmation.

While ankle deep in chicken poop at 9:30 a.m.Shoveling the most foul smelling waste one could imagine along side my handsome husband. All while chasing escapee chickens around the yard as a preying hawk circled overhead. Wearing Carhart gear and gloves, I said to him- "this makes us farmers."

Yup. Ankle deep in the worst smelling poop ever, was my awakening.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just Your Nightly Fox Reminder.

Here's our buddy just sittin while I chat with him (or her) about how good looking they are. 

Right after this pic was taken Ash tried to lay down but quickly realized that laying on plywood wouldn't be that comfortable.  I appreciate his (or her) sense of knowledge.

So when I was done chatting, I got out the bag of leftover pork fat and pork ribs for our red coat. I put the goods in his (or her) dish. Ash quietly came over, grabbed some fat and chewed it lovingly.  After really getting a good taste, Ash got so excited that he (or she) grabbed his (or her) dish and took off with it- clear across the yard, before realizing that the porky goods did not come with it.

I was cracking up laughing when Ash stopped- looked in the dish- and finally realized. It took him (or her) another second to come running back over to grab the rest of dinner.

Ash's bowl is still in the yard. I'm wondering if it will be returned by morning.

The Can and Can't Do's of Pregnancy.

Things a Pregnant Woman Can Do:

Stack fallen wood and logs against the chicken yard to prevent wildlife from digging in.

Start a fire after working outside all day in the cold.

(Not pictured for privacy reasons:) 
Four loads of laundry.

Things a Pregnant Woman Cannot Do:

Avoid all things chocolately, covered in a crispy shell, and are rather merry.

Pink Elephant.

Drunk Fox

Ash came by last night two times.

The first time was to visit David while he worked on the pole barn. I was inside and David called me to tell me that Ash would be by in a minute to have dinner. I went outside to meet him and we had a nice little meeting together. He ate, hid some of the food in the driveway, looked dapper and took off.

The second time he came by was after I had run to the grocery store about an hour after his first meeting. I had just pulled into the driveway when I heard his little foxtrot pitter patter run up to the car. I got out to greet him and saw that he looked....welll....rather daper still- but a little "different." Here's the photo.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another lesson from the bees.

"When its a nice day out, get off your ass and do something."

The Bees.

"May The Squish Be With You."

Its a hen party!!!!!

This past weekend David started and finished the new chicken yard!  Its bigger and better than before, and here are the pictures to prove it!
A picture of David finishing up the removal of fallen tree. Parts of it are going to make some great fire wood!

David went into the woods to look for fallen sapplings (instead of cutting new ones down) to use as the post for fence yard. He dug a 3 foot hole for each of them to be buried in. This picture was taken before they were straightened out.

Here's the first part of the chicken wire going up. Nailed to the tree with special staples to keep it in place.  There is also a foot and a half section that lays on the ground. That section will be staked into the ground and logs or rocks added around it to help prevent any digging.

Here's the coop and the door on a hinge that David built. You can also see the second tier of chicken wire added making the wall of chicken wire at least 5'5". Also the betties on their maiden voyage out into the yard.

The exposure on the picture is a bit bright so I apologize.  The back view (trying to get most of the yard in) You can see in the background the "Fort Knox," part of their yard. ( low lumber built yard) If we want, we can block off that section only allowing them to remain at "Fort Knox," or open it up and allowing them into "Shawshank."  (I named it Shawshank, because despite the well built yard, and the confidence that no one can escape- we have some pretty smart chickens that I don't doubt will try to escape when they figure out a good plan.) The new chicken yard is about 2000 square feet. Its rustic looking which I love. Using materials from the yard makes it pretty green which everyone calls the new black?! The gals were so excited to come running out into the yard that they ran and flapped around for about a half hour, before settling into a scratch, scratch scratch, routine.