I Smile At This Bright Blue Weather.

Is the sky ever more blue? I love October.

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons….

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face…..

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then? ( A partial R. Frost poem)

I meant to include a photo of KatDoll and Andy after we groomed and readied them for the fair, alas the inches of rain that fell just after put an end to that idea… These (resting on the hill in an above pic) are the two llamas we are taking to the Ductchess County Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. They must go together, where KatDoll goes so must Andy; by now you know that story

I will be sure to take as many pictures as I can.
Be Well,

I Saw Old Autumn in the Misty Morn…

As I went out walking this Fall afternoon, dogs and camera in tow. I heard a whispering, a quiet gentle whispering, the dogs were just ahead of me; yet when I stopped still in my tracks..they stopped and turned. Had they heard it too..almost to soft and gentle a sound to distinguish. A little rustle in the leaves just into the thicket…a young deer, this year’s fawn and a doe were quietly nibbling acorns from the old oak trees. I kept still for a moment, though I quickly decided to move up the hill with Lexi and Finn, as they were headed to me. To stay any longer would encourage a visit, no time to snap a shot today. They will have scampered off before we come back through…

The sky was just clearing after several days of rain, a heavy mist hung over the pastures. I might get a few snaps of the camera before the sun completely fades.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.”
– Robert Frost, October

Thank you for all of the wonderful, creative ideas…I will talk with my daughters to narrow or choice…stay tuned.
Be Well,

My Favorite Shade…of green

I want to believe long weekends were made for relaxation..No? No.

So, we have been busy at Misty Maples Farm.

1. We have torn out the staircase…we are going to use some of the beautifully patina’d barn boards for a focal wall, wainscoting, and wide board barn floor for risers, it is starting to take shape. I will post pictures soon.
2. Acquired 3 new llamas. Which led to number 3.

New face in the crowd.

3. Design and install new pasture fencing to divide the girls and boys. We really needed to do this anyway; Luckily, we have most of the material on hand.
Which, in turn, led to number 4.
4. Build a larger barn. Which leads back to our summer endeavor of reclaiming old barns to reuse the wood and beams.

Fencing, is my biggest priority right now. This has to be completed before the new llamas can arrive. How to design a fence, you asked?
Whether used as permanent, periphery boundaries, or temporary pasture divider fences need careful planning and construction for efficient usefulness, long life and low maintenance.
First, what is the fence to be used for? In our case it going to be a boundary fence and a a cross-fence to divide a pasture?
What is the fence for? Llamas and perhaps other fiber livestock.
What type of fence is best suited? The first consideration in deciding the best fence is the purpose for which it will be used.
Livestock protection and confinement are the main reasons for considering fencing, but the fencing needs for various types species,age,and breed of livestock vary widely.
Visibility is a necessary characteristic in fencing for llamas, they are very curious creatures and always keep a careful watch over the property. Greeting all visitors with their inquisitive gaze.
Barbed wire should be avoided because there are many opportunities for llamas to cut themselves,or damage their very large eyes on the barbs.

barbs can be a danger to llamas.

I tend to want to avoid High-tensile wire, or tape type fences, as they can pose a threat to llamas because they may become entangled in the strands. I have heard too many horror stories.

I think a four board fence, about 5 feet high will do nicely. I will add chicken fencing to the lower half to keep predators out and cria in. Pay attention to water resources when planning your fence arrangement. Wise placement of fences can result in being able to use the same water source in two, or more pastures. We intend to run water, and electric up the center of two connecting pastures.

How pretty is this fence-line.

A permanent fence that surrounds the farm is essential. We need to establish a fixed property line between neighbors. This new fence will help to prevent our livestock from getting out onto the roads, possibly getting killed,or as on one occasion,being mistaken for a moose, seriously, this happened. Also, a new fence will help to keep neighboring dogs away from our animals, my pet peeve. These fences will probably never be moved, so it makes sense to build a well-constructed, low maintenance fence that will last a long time. A permanent fence is also a good idea for a lane that gives livestock access to the place where we/you can perform herdsman-ship, animal husbandry type tasks, nail trims, shearing, wormings, etc.

Our choice;Board fences are very attractive, quite strong and are safe for animals. Board fences consist of 1- to 2-inch thick, 4- to 6-
inch wide boards nailed to wooden posts spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. They can be built to any height,however,heights of 4 to 5 feet are most common. As I mentioned earlier,ours will be 5′ high.

Hopefully, the new fencing will look like this.

We also brought home 3 – 1200lb bales of hay yesterday. The girls were delighted. I was too, to have such green hay in January! Utter delight indeed.

barn red, and hay green…and a little indoor beauty.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As Robert Frost penned, I have miles to go before I sleep.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Be well,

sorry about all the corrections.