Friday, April 22, 2011

Diamond dog...chickens???

Yes, it's true. I have a real love of chickens. And here on the Ranch, spring means adding to our chicken populous.
Elise aka "The Chicken Whisperer" is our designated chicken tamer. She has the Midas Touch when it comes to chickens.

We took an entire day last week to travel to Polk, Ohio in Amish Country to Meyer Hatchery  for eight new babies. Meyer Hatchery is one of Elise's favorite places. There is nothing quite like playing with a bunch of day-old chicks!

This is Fifi, the Salmon Faverolle. These chicks are rare in that they have five toes (chickens normally have four) and feathers on their feet!

Last year's chicks are now beautiful hens that provide a bounty of eggs daily on the Ranch. I call them "The Ladies." After being safely in our dark barn all winter, they have enjoyed free ranging on these sunny spring days, grazing on grasses and weeds - which provide the best eggs.

One of our Golden Lakenvelder ladies sunning herself

Some people say chickens and sled dogs can't live on the same property. I think with proper enclosures and supervision, it is possible. The chickens do keep a watchful eye out, though.

Reggae, Sophie's Polish Crested is ever vigilant

Our chickens have become like pets here. Who knew chickens could be so loving and calm! I used to be afraid of birds. Now I look so forward to my time with the ladies!

Lola, one of our Golden Buff's, likes to perch on my forearm for a visit
The favorite thing that the Ladies like best is when I throw fresh sunflower and other seeds down for a treat for them. They're spoiled chickens!

Happy Easter from our chicks!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shooting to stay alive

Sometimes, like a compulsion, my trigger finger itches.

Head cocked, left eye squinting, I cradle my lens with my left hand and the body of the Canon with my right. Then, I take aim and shoot.

Unlike other triggers, the trigger of this gun – my Canon – gives life, not only to my subjects, but to me as well, for sometimes it feels as though I must shoot to stay alive.

Sophie and I discovered an old, abandoned Chevy van near the Ranch recently. This eye-shaped window became a nice frame for a photo
There should be more time now that dog season is over. One would think, anyway. But spring is the time we put on our cowhide gloves and get to work cleaning up what winter left behind. Days slip away in the busy hum that is spring. Spring clean up astounds me every year. Snow that's disappeared quickly reveals all the things that were hiding for the last few months. I putt around on our seven acres on the four wheeler dragging the wagon behind picking up fallen branches, blown trash and other debris.

But spring is also time for birth and life. 
Jezebel, the Golden Campine chick
Spring babies and new friends at the Ranch

Spring is the time to ride herd.

Spring is the time to pull out the stops on all the new projects.

Spring also seemed like a perfect time to start investing in next dog season! What better way than with a new truck!

My new truck: a 2008 Nissan Titan 5.6L V8 4x4. This baby should get me through the snow in comfort next season!

Enjoy the seasons as they evolve. Maybe I shoot photos to remember how fortunate I am, and what awesome beauty there is in this world.