Catching Melinda checking in on the new calf that was born two weeks ago. The wee bull is a male and is not normally named as they will be sold at market.
Melinda on the other hand is a keeper. Big Laugh, bigger heart.
Before butchering hogs, you first need to scald their carcass in water so that you can scrape the bristles off of their hide. At the farm, we use an ancient steam engine to heat the water.
Then a team of men get to work scraping the hair from the animal. It’s not pretty or pleasant for modern sensabilities. How easy it is to buy our food from the market and have no real idea of how it got there.
Some of the ewes at the farm had twins and that means a few extra lambs that were not getting fed by their mothers. That’s where a team of workers stepped in with their giant bottles of milk and hand fed them until they were old enough to eat on their own. As you can see, Charley has taken to a few of them. Or is it the other way around? Either way, there is plenty of affection going around.
It’s the first time that I’ve seen lambs act like dogs.
Here are more images of sheep to get you through the weekend.
Typical of late fall weather here in Ohio, we’ve had plenty of rain. Slow falling, drizzle, the kind that seeps into your bones. The kind that creates lots of mud.
The animals don’t seem to mind at all. And so, I suppose that I shouldn’t be bothered by the weather either. But, I am. As a photographer, I like the textures and saturated colors that come out in the rain. As a human being, and one in his fifties at that, I have begun to enjoy my creature comforts too much to fully embrace cold wet weather. I am not after all, a pig. Though some might say otherwise.
Friday afternoon, I spent some time relaxing at the farm. Carriage Hill is serene and tranquil on most days. A place to wander, explore, and visit with friends. One of the rare exceptions to the quiet on the farm is when the summer thunderstorms roll through, throwing lightning in all directions and booming in loud echoes.
Not long after arriving, I wandered down to check on the horses. That’s when drops began to fall and within moments, the sky opened up and the deluge began in earnest.
Soon, the rain was everywhere. Drops bounced off the fences and dripped from the roof lines. The water collected in pools and ran in rivulets through the barnyard.
Unfortunately for the horses, they were stuck in the downpour. There is an overhang on the back side of the barn and though they found some protection, their rear ends were soaked. Poor Jimmy and Charley had to endure the full force of the storm. because there was no room for them.
Thirty minutes passed before the thunder storm moved on and left the farm transformed by the wetness. I like the residue of the storm…wonderful light and dark wet wood and brick.
And while it’s nice to see the drops on the flowers, the sheep probably don’t appreciate being soaked with heavy wet wool.
That was the excitement on my Friday afternoon. How did I fare? Not badly at all. I found the shelter of the well’s pump shed and rode out the rain.
Have a great week, folks.
The horses on the farm are massive Percheron draft horses. I am dwarfed by them and to be honest, I am a little nervous when I am standing right next to them. Not enough to run screaming in terror, but just enough to keep a healthy eye on them and to make sure they know I am there.
Explaining my own nervousness is to give you some understanding of why I am incredibly impressed by the farrier. He is out to the farm on a regular basis, ensuring that the horses are well shod and have healthy feet. He’s really not that much bigger than me, but he rules those massive horses. They obey him without question. Maybe it’s the routine or maybe his own skill with them is part of the reason they do what he wants. Either way, to see him in action is impressive.
To keep the horses still and to support their massive feet, they are led into a frame. The farrier works one hoof at a time and gives the horse plenty of time to rest in between. I enjoyed the entire afternoon of watching him in action. I’ve included some extra photos below so that you can see a little more of the farrier in action. And, as a bonus, you can see his dog AJ…and our farmer, Jim.
We’ve all been struggling with the loss of Jodi’s mom back in January. So, it was nice to have a happy memory of her pop into my mind last night. Roberta had a way of collecting cats. I would come home to find a new cat, that I didn’t recognize, sitting in my kitchen after I came home from work. I would ask her why there was a strange cat in our house and she would look at me with all seriousness and state “He looked hungry, so I let him in and fed him”. Soon enough, the cat had a name and was added to our permanent collection of cats. We only wanted one cat, and Jodi got me Sabi for Christmas one year. Now our collection of cats includes; Sabi, Betty, Jacky, Cooper, Oona, Elle Belle, and Riley. So, what does all of this have to do with my memory?
Last night, Jim (You must remember my friend Jim, we shoot together all of the time.) and I went to the Celtic Festival in Dayton. Along the way, we decided to stop at a Dayton favorite, Thai 9 for dinner. Jim went in to get a table and I parked the car…three blocks away. On the walk back to the restaurant, I spied this stenciled cat on the side of a building. I instantly thought…”he looks hungry…” and started to laugh. Roberta may not be with us in many ways, but in so many ways, she still is.
Have a great day folks.