Saturday, August 20, 2011

New member of the family

A week ago Emma and I adopted a dog from a local animal shelter.  We wanted a dog that might be able to help us with moving our cows and sheep so we chose a 3 year old Australian cattle dog mix.  We don't know if she will make a good shepherd yet but we definitely lucked out in every other way.  She is incredibly sweet and well behaved so we named her Adzuki (the red beans used to make sweet bean paste). 

We've been keeping busy caring for our chicks and ducklings who are now 2 weeks old.  They are all still in great health and growing amazingly fast.  The ducklings are towering over the chicks now but the chicks have grown beautiful wings which they've been using to jump up on top of the walls of their enclosure.  We actually just yesterday had to put up a simple wire fence around their kiddie pool to extend the height of their wall.

To keep up with our rapidly growing birds Emma and I spent much of the week designing and building their future home.  It's a mobile chicken coop made mostly from scrap wood we found lying around the farm with a PVC pipe and plastic tarp roof.  The coop will serve as their nighttime roost and shelter from the elements.  It'll be surrounded with a perimeter electrified (for their protection against predators) fence once we put the chicks and ducklings out on pasture a couple of weeks from now.  We will move their enclosure, coop and all every few days depending on how quickly they eat the grass.

I have still found time to do my needlefelting as well, and in the past couple of weeks I have made this Ostrich on commission as well as a couple of dog portraits for my mother's cousin, Katherine.  Katherine's dog Rusty (the chow in the last photo) sadly just passed away yesterday.  I sincerely hope that my portrait of him will serve as a worthy memorial.


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