Friday, July 11, 2008

Made in the shade

We are all just trying to lay low and keep cool around here. This is Strawberry(the llama) and Holly(the Pyrenees puppy), hanging out with the sheep under the shade trees along the fence in the big pasture. It is 92 degrees according to my thermometer and there is not much in the way of activity happening right now. When it gets this hot, everyone sleeps away the day and, then, grazes all night. Who says sheep are dumb?
As you can see, Holly is the girl on the job. I'm almost afraid to brag, but she is turning into a wonderful guardian animal. Her instincts are great (except for that unfortunate incident with the baby chick). She seems to have the right stuff to protect the sheep from the coyotes and is a positive addition to farm life around here. I can't help thinking that we have been too lucky to have a puppy just show up and volunteer to work! Where's the catch?
And, how about this for a surprise? I went to the barn this afternoon and found Mrs. Dandy walking around with four baby peafowl chicks! We knew she was on the nest high up in the barn loft with yet another clutch of eggs, but assumed this would turn out like all the other failed attempts. We thought it most likely the eggs were not even fertile because Mr. Dandy has been confined for about a month now after being found guilty of pulling the leaves off the squash plants in the garden! Even more surprising----she managed to get the four chicks down from the hayloft without anyone ending up smashed flat in the barn aisle! We have no idea how this was accomplished. Our dilemma now is whether we should try to catch the chicks and put them in a pen where they will be safe from predators, or leave Mrs. Dandy in charge. It seems cruel to take them away from her after all she has done to hatch them, but even more cruel to let them get picked off by a raccoon or hawk or whatever just happens to see the little morsels toddling around. I never can predict what life or death decisions will need to be made on any given day.


  1. Hi Dianne,
    Wonderful pictures and stories !!!! Thank you !!!

  2. That was a fun surprise from Mrs. Dandy, too cute.