Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Start of the Rainy Season

Here in western Oregon, the weather has changed - the rainy season is upon us.  How strange that we can go from dry 90 degree weather to the cool damp of clouds and rain and know that we will not shift back until June of the next year.  The change happens quickly - one day you walk out the door and you know that the rainy season has arrived.
As you can see from this photo, the fields are still quite green.  The long, wet and mild Spring allowed most of our grass to survive through the summer.  Usually the hot and dry temperatures of August and early September cause the grass to go dormant.  However this year, there was enough moisture in the ground to allow the pastures to remain productive.  Part of the trick is to spend the money on good seed which is later maturing, so it does not bolt and go to seed in early June.  Our adult brood ewes are out in the fields and won't require grass hay until we pull them off in another couple of weeks so that lime can be applied to counteract the acidity caused by leeching from our long and wet winters.

On my way up to the biggest pasture, my two frisky ram lambs, came to visit.  They are the best of this year's crop of ram lambs and they get to grow all winter and then be shown as yearlings - I hope to bring them to the National Lincoln Show & Sale in Estes Park, CO next June.  One is a lovely silver while the other is a soft black color.  As you can see, photographing sheep is like taking a picture of a dog - all you get a lot of the time is nostrils!

 On the way back down the alley, I realized that I still had eggs in my barn coat pocket.  My youngest is helping care for the chickens - he sells the eggs under his business name of "Nick's Chicks."  The children have had a great time thinking up a logo design for this fledgling enterprise.  The dark brown egg is from our lone Welsummer hen.  The reason that she is the only one is because our young guard dog discovered how the joy of using chickens as chew toys......No old or slow chickens left.