Monday, March 27, 2017
November Hill farm journal, 28
The barn roof, shelter, and cupola are done! I'll share some more photos later but this one shows the view from the house and it's become a favorite already. I love seeing the shadows of the oaks on the green metal roof, adore the cupola, and greatly enjoy seeing the equines making good use of the shelter off the back stall. Rainy days will be easier now.
We have some sprucing up to do around the barn and then we'll shift gears to some other farm updates, including gating the driveway and fully enclosing the perimeter as well as new perimeter fencing all around. Once that's done I can proceed with livestock guardian dog plans. In a wonderful stroke of serendipity our contractor put me in touch with a local woman who has horses and chickens and goats and Maremma Sheepdogs and she sometimes has puppies. She's very connected in the livestock guardian dog world and already found a litter of pups in Virginia, which is easy driving distance for us. We won't be ready in time for this batch of pups but it's good to start seeing options. She loves her Maremmas and has been a wonderful resource. Our contractor told me her dogs were friendly but would not let him go through the gate into the pasture without the owners there to give the okay. That's exactly the kind of dog I hope for!
The carpenter bees are out and the dogwoods are just getting ready to open fully so spring seems to be settling in. We finished the winter store of hay, have moved hay storage back to the newly-repaired hay tent, and are seeing the equines more interested in grass still rooted in the earth. Rafer Johnson may need to go into his grazing muzzle! Yesterday the donkeys got hoof trims and all got ears brushed out and some goop carefully applied to keep the nasty ear-munching gnats at bay. It was good to see the ear flicking stop as I made my way through 10 ears.
I'm starting to see pollen in the water troughs and with the bugs starting and temps rising we may be looking at some afternoons in the barn with fans before long. The first tick was removed last week and the first batch of fly predators arrived and that is a sure sign of what is to come. Hopefully the predators do their jobs!
I have so many projects going on it's a big mess of unfinished business. But I have a list and slowly things get checked off. Now that the commotion at the barn is done I'm ready to get back to riding. I got a new helmet for my birthday and it's time to test it out!