Photo Hosting

For anyone who’s looking for a solution to the image hosting problem, I’m trying Photobucket. I’m not moving current images, so I can start with an empty host. It also looks like they’re giving away an extra 8GB if you sign in with your phone (which honestly might be convenient for me, since I usually want to post pictures from my phone).

Toad

This week hasn’t been much to talk about (after last week, I’m not complaining…), so have a picture of a toad

toad

I’m still trying to figure out how to embed photos. Ugh. Google.

Escapee Pigs

No pictures this week. Want to know why? I was spending too much time cursing at the water (pigs) running out of the sieve (fence).

Monday, I had a list of things around the farm I needed to take care of. But, it doesn’t take much time to adjust the pig fence a little, right? That other stuff can wait 15 minutes or an hour, right? Yeah. “I’ll just move this little piece right here” turned into “oh, that’s a pooping spot…might as well fence that out too” turned into “oh, what the heck, I’ll just move the whole fence.” I think it was actually two fence moves back to back and that’s just not a good idea.

I’ve gotten pretty decent at moving fences if I do it in the right order (build new fence, move pigs, move water). But things weren’t normal on Monday. Moving the fence as much as I did was a whim (read, “not well-planned”) and it was really hot. I didn’t have water for myself and the pigs got fenced out of their water (like I said, it was more like two moves), so it was a question of who got water first. The fence I was trying to string was getting all tangled and it was taking a long time set up, so once I got the middle strand strung (we use three strands of electric), I figured they’d be okay since they seemed to be desperate for the water. That would give me a chance to get some water and cool off a little.

I was WRONG. I was sitting on the porch, trying to catch my wind and Kevin Bacon walked around the corner of the house. Well, crap. So, I got a bribe (pig food) and walked him back to the fence. No big deal. I started stringing more fence and looked up and…where did the pigs go? I sighed, went to the shed for more pig food, put them back in (I think at that point, Tony had come outside to help), and went back to fencing. One or the other (or both) were spending so much time getting out that I didn’t have time to fix the fence to keep them in. The old fence was being deconstructed for the new fence, so I didn’t have a great place to put them. Needless to say, I was no longer calm. I finally had to ask Tony to help me keep the pigs in while I finished the fence. I was starting to really worry about them going to the neighbors and digging up their grass or a bush or something.

We thought about not having someone guard the fence once I got all three strands up, but they were testing it even then, so he was nice enough to stay until I got the fence cleared of grass and blueberry bushes and could turn the charger on. I have never been so glad to hear a pig squeal and I am relieved to report that they seem to be contained.

 

Whiskey’s First Day at Work

Last week, I took Whiskey to work with me (after asking, of course). I expected he’d be excitable, but manageable for an hour or two, but he stuck it out for the whole thing. He had his moments, but he handled himself really well for the most part.

The power was out at work all day, so they were running everything off a generator (cheese storage, well, milking pump, etc). The problem is that their generator isn’t big enough for everything that needs to run at the same time for milking, so the power had to be moved around. The first thing I did when I got to work was learn about all of the switches and which ones were for what and when to turn them off and on (“and make sure you don’t forget to turn the cheese cooling switches back on!”). Whiskey spent that time in the truck. However, while I put the cans together, Whiskey got to meet and hang out with the other dog who was there (also Whiskey…). They seemed to get along fine, which was nice because I know the other Whiskey doesn’t go far and one thing I worried about with taking Whiskey was that he might decide to go exploring.


After the cans were put together, Whiskey (my Whiskey) and I went to get the milking herd from the field. I let him take himself out, but I took his leash so we could walk back to the barn together. When I opened the fence to drive the animals to the barn, they were very curious about him and he wasn’t sure what to do with them. The walk back was one of the less fun parts of the day. He shifted between sniffing the slow sheep (which was ok) and yip-barking at them when I tried to encourage them to walk faster. I told him that was inappropriate, but he looked like he wanted to tell me he was just trying to help.

Back at the barn, he kept me company for a while during milking, but the screeching of the guillotine gate (at the bottom of the ramp to help keep things moving in the right direction) really irritated him, so he went up and sat in the truck for the rest of that job. He thought washing up after milking was really boring too.


I think his favorite part was taking the animals back out to the field. Since I lead the animals out, I took his leash, but thought I’d try leaving him off it and he shocked me at the way he just led us all back out to the paddock. He didn’t bother the animals, he didn’t make any wrong turns, he didn’t get overly excited. It was like having Bear (one of the farm dogs) go with me, but it was Whiskey, who had never done this before.


Once we got to the paddock, I had to tie two of the posts together (we use electric net and they were a little bowed in the middle) and Whiskey just stood and watched over the animals like he knew what he was doing.

Unfortunately, this week was a disaster. When I arrived, Eddie (the guardian dog at work) was out and he took an instant and violent dislike to Whiskey and Whiskey wasn’t shy about telling Eddie what he thought about that. Since I was the only one there, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get them apart, but fortunately, neither of them seems to have gotten hurt. After that, Whiskey was way too amped up to behave himself, so I called Tony to take him home. One of the guys told me there was a place I could put Whiskey, but he would have been there all alone for hours and that didn’t seem fair. So he went home and that was a good thing because the rest of the day was a disaster. The power was out again; the vacuum pump went out, so I and the guy who works Sundays with me had to milk the last seven animals by hand; and we couldn’t get the well to work. Hopefully, next week will be better.