rainbow on the farm

rainbow on the farm

Spirit moving sheep off the hay field

Sunday, May 1, 2016

training time

This past week I "formally" started Pearl and Carey's foundation training. Since about 7 months I would expose them to the flock to see where they were at mentally. Both showed good interest but also lack of maturity . Goofy young dog stuff , but nothing rash or dangerous to them or my sheep. I was in no way part of the picture but I was able to call them off after they had their fun.

I selected four sheep to use in a round pen format. These were dogged but in no way "puppy" type sheep. I like to use light fresh sheep to start pups rather than the Velcro , unreactive  type so that a pup can learn through effect ( right or wrong method ) and the ramifications of poor choices. I also find the over dogged type to be frustrating to wade through to work on a partnership with my dog and think it causes frustration for a dog to endlessly circle with little reaction from the sheep. I'll use quieter sheep later on, but that's another blog :)

This video is the fourth go in the round pen. The first few had all the usual scenarios of excited pups, tails coming up, buzzing and fly by's with a grab at a sheep butt on the pass. I was not really part of the plan and patience was needed to get a change of direction and or keeping the sheep from bolting or jumping the pen.
Yet what I liked was in these four sessions they learned to relax, include me in the game and calm down . The sheep in turn calmed down and relaxed with the pups. So in a matter of maybe four 10 minute sessions I saw some interesting changes . From crazed, tight, buzzing fools to pups relaxing and thinking about me and the sheep.
I still see some lack of confidence but that will come in time.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

middle creek wildlife management area

I know it's been a long time since I've shared much here. I'll try to be better about that.
Lot's of things to share but I'll save that for another time.

This installment is about a wonderful visit to Middle Creek this past weekend.
A very good friend, Sharon Nunan and I have both wanted to visit so we did! The Snow Geese ( and various other water fowl) use Middle Creek as a resting place on their migration and the numbers are astounding. The weekend I was there Snow Geese were estimated at 60,000 (!) and Tundra Swans around the 3,500 range.
From what I gathered that was the best time to visit and see the largest numbers of birds. We were not disappointed.  It was amazing.
The weather was just right, hovering in the high 50's and the sky clear and blue.
So without further delay I'll share my photo's of my visit .

Tundra Swan

Female Common Merganser

Common Merganser

Immature Bald Eagle

Snow Geese 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Baby Boom

Lot's of new fresh faces here at Swift Star!

look what the barn cat stork delivered 




Opal now finds pups are fun

Add caption

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Three Amigo's

Rush blessed Swift Star with three new additions on July second .

Male (bottom) left ,Female center, Female right
day one

day one

day one

day one

Bracken is thrilled with her Grand Babies and keeps a close eye on them.


Day five
Fat belly's 

Female, Male , Female
five days old
Female , Male, Female


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hope springs eternal

Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.
Carl Schurz

Spring it seems is finally here. What a long drawn out Winter.
Hard to believe just a few weeks ago our "Spring" morning was covered in a thin blanket of white. Beautiful, yes but disheartening as well

I took a sabbatical from lambing this Spring. I really needed to.
Last year just two days in from lambing out 75 plus ewes single handed my Mother had a stroke. It was a difficult spring managing this task as well as caring for my Mom. So last Fall I just said "No".

Spring arrives with all it's splendor.
Just when you feel beaten down, ready to throw the towel in it blows in .
Allows you to open the windows of your soul and breath fresh air and hope into it.
You finally see the grass greening up

The sun feels warm and inviting and the air finally is filled with song as the spring birds return.

red winged blackbird


eastern Bluebird

The first ferns pop out of the ground, buds are swelling on the trees

And you quietly give thanks for what you have and hope for what you have planned, comes to fruit.