Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cats too, naturally!

So I've done Daylilies, donkeys and dogs .... today I will introduce you to the last of my pets (thank goodness, my grocery bill is humongous!), my silly feline furballs.  You've had a glimpse of the big guy Bailey ... but I thought I would start with the oldest.

This is Cassie, she and her sister Ronni were found in a field in Akron, NY and the rescue group named them Akky & Ronni. Now really, Akky sounds more like a cat throwing up a hairball than a cat name!  So I renamed her Cassie.  They came to the farm as 6 month old kittens scared of their own shadows.  I put them in a room all their own, so they could get used to me and their new environment.  The room had a sleeper couch in it, and these 2 kittens got into the mechanics of the bed and hid in there.  I lost Ronni 2 years ago ... Cassie is 15 years old and still going strong.

Now, the big guy Bailey ... last time he was weighed he was 20.5 lbs.

He's your normal socialized, friendly cat .. that has to be involved in everything.

He usually wants to sit right on the keyboard while I'm trying to type!  He's 8 years old and loves everyone.  He and Lily, are the best of buddies ...

Then we have Momma ... Momma lived in my barn for a while, it was obvious that someone dropped her off, she was not feral but friendly.  She was fine living in the barn until I saw her nursing 4 fuzzy kittens, then I knew I had to do something.  I borrowed 5 hav-a-heart traps and trapped Momma and her 4 kittens. 

I had already found homes for the 2 female kittens ... Momma's kittens were long-haired beauties ... so I had Momma and her 2 sons spayed/neutered and tried to socialize the sons.  Momma was put back outside after she healed and then kept coming back to the house.  One autumn day, I opened the back door and told her if she came in she was never going back out .... she waltzed right in and made herself right at home.

I was unable to socialize one of her sons, so after watching him climb the tile wall in a bathroom to get away from me, he went out to the barn, and promptly disappeared (probably went and joined another barn cat colony).  The other son fell in love with Bailey ... so Figaro joined the inside menagerie.

Isn't he gorgeous?  All her kittens had the same long-hair.  I'd never had 2 boy cats and couldn't believe how close they could get.  Figaro follows Bailey around everywhere!

This past week I helped a friend and had 2 kittens in an extra bedroom, that she had rescued and had neutered ... when I told people about the kittens, everyone said "More cats?"  And I said ... "No Way!"  LOL!  4 inside cats and one feral barn cat were enough.  I found homes for the kittens and they left yesterday.

Oh yeah, here is Barn girl ... I didn't name her because I wasn't sure she would be around for very long.  I got her from a local rescue that was looking for barns to house feral cats they couldn't socialize.  She actually came with another cat that disappeared.  Barn girl has now been here over 5 years, she meows at me but doesn't let me get any closer than 4 feet.

She has food, water (heated bowl in the winter) and a dog house filled with hay in the winter to sleep in, in the barn.  I understand she terrorizes my neighbors indoor/outdoor cat ... and she gets along OK with my other pets.  Yesterday I watched the donkeys chase her around their pasture. I put new fencing up this summer and she doesn't fit through the fence anymore, needs to get to a gate and go under it.  The donkeys were walking calmly behind her, trying to herd her out of their space!  It was funny to watch!

So that's my furry family.  No wonder my grocery bill is so high!  Next post I'll give you a tour of the farm ... it's really pretty now with all the trees turning color.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dogs, of course ....

So I've posted about Daylilies (some, more to come) and donkeys ... today I'd like to introduce you to my silly pooches, or dogs!

I look for dogs on Petfinder and at local shelters.  I have had a great experience at the Erie County SPCA, and horrible experiences at the Olean SPCA and the Buffalo City Shelter.  I would never again even look at dogs at the 2 later places. 

When my previous female dog (Brandi, golden/collie mix) passed away, I started to look for another female within a month.  My previous male dog (Dakota, Husky/lab mix) mourned Brandi's passing and spent all his time sleeping.  So I looked on Petfinder and eventually found Lily .... this is Lily the first nite home.

Clearly exhausted after her eventful day ... she came from a rescue group out of Medina, they knew nothing about her since she had been dropped off in the middle of the night at a shelter.  They had an outdoor pen just for those types of dropoff's ... and the rescue called her Jolly, since she was a happy girl.  I changed it to Lily since every daylily person needs to have at least one dog in their lifetime named Lily!

Lily filled out and grew up:

And yes, she has one ear that stands up and one that flops.  The vet says she's probably german shepherd and australian shepherd.  She and Dakota were good buddies, but Dakota got old and left us too.  The house is always too quiet when I only have one dog, and the one dog needs a playmate.  This search took quite a while, with numerous mishaps .. had a home visit from the local Golden Retriever rescue, and Lily growled at and went after the person's dog.  That's when we knew Lily needed to meet dogs off our property, since she thought she needed to protect the property from wayward dogs.  :>)

I eventually emailed my friend Elise Able, who runs Fox Wood Animal Rescue; besides rescuing and rehabbing wildlife, Elise also gets needy dogs and finds homes for them.  So I jokingly asked her to find me a collie.  Her response was that she knew of one that needed a home!  Guess it was meant to be.  So my niece Tory and I took Lily to meet Rocky .. it was completely uneventful.  So Rocky came home with us ...

Rocky is a smooth-coated collie mix ... age was vague.  Lily and Rocky became best buddies .... this is my favorite picture of them

Rocky gets along with my donkeys and cats too.  He is an amazing dog and can be off-leash most of the time.  Lily can't, she has a strong scent drive and when she smells something she thinks she needs to follow ... she's gone.  My neighbor, Sally, is my dogs second Mom.  She is a hiker and loves to take Rocky on walks in the woods and at one of the local parks.  Lily's too tough on trails, she doesn't really walk, just stops and sniffs.

In the picture above, Lily was just shaved for the summer.  Isn't she cute?  She loves when I shave her since her coat is so thick.  And she's a real swimmer, so when she's shaved, she dries much faster.

Rocky has helped change Lily's personality.  She was very standoffish when she came here; when I got home from work, I'd have to go find her.  Rocky is my whirling dervish ... he spins in circles and jumps around when I get home from work ... Lily now greets me at the door and comes to me asking for affection.  What a great change!

Here's Rocky in his vest he wears once hunting season starts.  Isn't he handsome?

And here are the 2 of them playing in the snow ...

They both think my king-sized bed is their wrestling mat in the morning when I'm getting ready for work ....

The last picture for today, is the one I call the "cat sandwich":

I'll end today's post with this picture of Lily and Rocky with Bailey the cat between them.  And the next post will just have to be about cats!  Because, of course, I have some of those too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My donkey family ...

As promised, I'd like to introduce you to my 3 miniature donkeys .... Sambina, Cosmo and their son Merlin.  Everyone asks, how did you end up with donkeys?  Shortly after I bought my 20 acre farm, a neighbors friend came by and wanted to rent my barn and pastures for her horses.  Eventually I had to get my own horse ... you know how that goes....  But in the Spring of 2000, I shattered my ankle.  Between my full time banking career, the farm, the daylily nursery, and a horse .... something had to give.  So I found my horse, Casey, a good home.  After I had healed, a friend of the family called and said he had a baby miniature donkey he would sell to me for a very good price ... and so Cosmo arrived at the farm.

Cosmo was 8 months old and hadn't even been weaned from his mother when he arrived on the farm.  My friend, Shannon with the horses, laughed at how he tried to follow me around like a dog.  Then Shannon bought her own farm and moved her horses ... one donkey or horse, is a very lonely donkey or horse, so I looked around and found Sambina.

Sambina was transported to my farm on a huge multi-horse trailer ... the woman who brought her said it was the easiest transport she had ever done.  Cosmo and Sam (Sambina) got along great ... so great, the next thing I knew, we were expecting a baby miniature donkey!  (And then got Cosmo gelded so he would stop bothering Sam!)

I put a baby monitor in the barn and next to my bed because I wanted to see the birth of my baby miniature donkey ... yeah, right.  The night I thought it was going to happen, Sam was really moving around in the barn, so I went down to the barn 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night.  Of course, she waited until I went to work ... my neighbors (who had been checking in on her while I was at work) called me right after lunch and told me everything was good, and that I had a baby donkey in the barn.  I left work and came home to see the new baby miniature donkey ...  Meet Merlin!

Aren't baby donkeys the cutest things!  The photo above was taken by my neighbors shortly after he was born ... he's still all wet.  Here's one of Sam & Merlin a couple of days later.

I eventually had Merlin gelded also, you can't have intact males with their Mom's, and I wanted to keep my small family together.  Cosmo and Merlin get along great, they act like brothers not father and son ... always picking on each other.  Here they are playing with an old tire.

Donkeys are wonderful, friendly, smart animals.  They are just pets ... though some day I would like to teach Cosmo to pull a cart and compete with him.  But they just make me laugh ... and don't believe that they are stubborn or that they don't get along with dogs.  Those are 2 fallacies .... they are considered stubborn because instead of having a "flight" instinct like horses do ... they will stand still and figure out what's going on before they will move.  And donkeys brought up with dogs get along with them fine ... my silly mutts have been known to give donkeys noses kisses whenever possible!

Here's my cute little family:

Merlin in the front, Cosmo to the right and Sambina in the back.  Merlin has taken on the job of letting me know when I sleep too late for his liking on the weekends ... and brays loudly, hoping I'll get up and feed him sooner!  Too bad for him, that doesn't work!  LOL!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Daylily seedlings ...

Today, the 1st day of Fall, is definitely a fall-like day in South Wales, NY ... we're getting some much needed rain and it's very cool out.  The perfect day to spend time on the computer figuring out this Blog .... I think I finally got the header right, it took many different programs and tries to get it where I liked it.

Today I thought I'd share some of my seedlings that I took pictures of this year.

This first one I thought I was going to gather all the statistics on an register this year.  But I moved it early this Spring, and then it was such a dry summer, it bloomed very short and I couldn't gather any statistics.  So next year .... it's Blue-eyed Curls x Raspberry Butterflies.

This is another one I had hoped to register this year also ... it will wait until next year too ... it's another Blue-eyed Curls x Raspberry Butterflies kid.

This next one was a first year bloom for me, and I was so excited when I saw it blooming in the seedling bed .... it's tall, has candelabra branching and a good bud count.  It's parentage is DoThe Twist x Raspberry Butterflies ... (yes, I think Raspberry Butterflies is a great parent)

This one is a cross between Mystic Firebird x Platypus Pam ... love the shape, and it's a very clear yellow ... 1st year bloom for this one too.

Second year bloom on this one, Mystic Avalon x Vertical Horizon .... the color combination in the center of the flower was difficult to capture ... color is raspberry.

Last one for today, Mystic Avalon x Davey Jones Locker ... shows you never know what you'll get.  This seedling pinches nicely.

Hope you enjoy these seedlings ... they are just some of the seedlings I am evaluating.

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to my donkeys and dogs ... stay tuned!

Monday, September 17, 2012

So I find this blog "technology" very frustrating ... can't control easily what my blog looks like ... I think the title has now disappeared.

I supposedly set the font for the text, but I see I am typing in Times New Roman, a font I hate ...

I think I need help!! LOL! And more time on a wwekend, to figure this out!

Hopefully, we are getting lots of rain tonite and tomorrow ... I'll blog again when I can figure out better what the heck I am doing!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My first blog ....

I spent the weekend at a daylily convention in Canandaigua, NY hosted by our Region 4, and one of the speakers was Nikki Schmith ... who is an awesome blogger!

Her presentation was about blogging and she inspired me to try ... so here is my first blog.

My blog will be about my wonderful farm ... the daylilies and gardens I grow, the donkeys, dogs and cats I love ... rural living, and my other assorted hobbies.

The picture above is my "backyard" on a misty morning.

Here are my 3 miniature donkeys, I'll introduce them individually in another blog.

Here are my 2 silly pooches spooning ... Lily in the back and Rocky in front ...

I'll post pictures of some of my silly cats later this week.

I hope you come back and read more about my wonderful farm!