Wednesday, July 29, 2015

15 minutes can change a lot

7-28-15 Started out a normal day. Nice, sunny, and  hot. Not many clouds. The kiddos and I spent about 2 hours in the gardens weeding and picking. It looked so nice when we were done.
The night had been unsettled. Thunder and lightening almost all night, but no rain. It had started again late in the afternoon on the 28th. I  could hear the rumble and grumble of it in the distance.
It was late in the afternoon when my Mom called me. I was finishing up cooking supper and the kiddos were chilling watching a movie after a long day. She told me we were having a tornado watch. WHAT?! I live in New England!  We don't get tornadoes! But we did have a funnel cloud here, last week or so.
 So I hung up and went to tell my husband. Then I checked the weather on the computer. It had a severe weather warning. Heavy rain, damaging winds of  60+ MPH, heavy hail, and heavy thunder and lightening. Headed our way at 20MPH! I quickly told my husband and hurried the kiddos to do chores, not telling them why. Didn't want to alarm them.
We had about 20 or so minutes to get things done. Getting the cows in, the horses fed, making sure water was plentiful in case we lost power, etc. We also made sure to put things away that could be a flying hazard too! I watched the storm coming closer. The thunder was angry with it's rumbles and clapping and more rumbling as it moved closer. Then the hard snapping crackle of the lightening. The air changed. I sent the kiddos and dog in the house.
I wanted some pictures of the storm coming. I love to watch them rolling in. Coming up from the valley. I could feel the wind kick up, and the air change and the first drops of rain hit my face. This storm sounded angry, and looked angry.
But come it did! First the wind with the thunder and lightening. Then the rain. It came down so hard and so fast.  I was in the living room with the family when I heard the hail. I pointed to the window as it came down and hit the windows. But then with a swiftness and anger I have never experienced before the hail came down. We couldn't see out the windows the rain and hail was coming down that fiercely. The noise was deafening as it pounded on our metal roof. I couldn't hear my daughter speak to me and she was right in front of me!
And just as swift as it came it was gone. In about 15 minutes. And just as fast as the water flooded everything it was gone too. Really weird, but I'm glad it went!
 We went out and I had my camera ready to go around my neck!
This is in front of my house right after the storm. Standing water! I have a flat driveway.

I was looking around when I noticed something on the ground near the grass. This was the first piece of hail I found...
We all came out and started looking around. Then I noticed this
 The river that was coming down the neighbors driveway that we share and the wheel barrows blown into it. Then I saw this
Our hay wagon crashed into the chicken coop. I just laughed. Then upon further inspection of the ground I found more hail. The kiddos had never seen anything like this before. Ice in the middle of the summer!

More hail. Then I went out back to see my gardens...

Destroyed by hail. Oh how I wish I had taken a picture of before.  Green beans and tomatoes are all that were in this garden.
They were so beautiful. Doing so well and the first fruits were coming along. I should still get some carrots and beets. As for the rest I have no idea. It doesn't look very good or promising. How depressing. I am not, and was not mad. It's life and I know. I've never experienced anything like this. I was shocked.
We kept on looking around and found more hail. Here is 2 more of the biggest pieces we found. Ping pong ball sized.
Our poor broilers were in standing water and not at all happy. We moved them, fed and watered them and they settled down. We had to put 4 in the brooder with a light on them. We didn't think they would make it through the night outside. They were not walking, very droopy, and not eating. Not good signs for them at all. But this morning they were up and eating and warm and dry. I'm happy to report!

 To give you a look at how strong the wind was, here is a round bale in the field that got blown away. I'm standing about where it was left out of the baler. See it's path?!  Ya.
And again. The wind blew our chicken brooder about 4 feet from where it started too. You can see the white and brown thing the left. That is what we propped it on to keep it even and steadier. Some serious wind and damage to the farm.
As the sun was setting and we were wrapping up chores I was in awe of God and his awesome power to control all things. The wild winds that do His will, came to mind. I am so thankful and grateful to Him. The storm that destroyed our garden did not harm any of the critters. He protected them through it. Our home and vehicles were not damaged. But most of all, He kept all that I hold near and dear to my heart and my whole being revolves around safe. My family. Humbled and thankful I went to bed to start a new day. Today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

year of the bull

Yup. That's right. We had our third and final bull calf born yesterday afternoon. Maggie surprised me with it. Now  knew she was due, but I really didn't think she would go yesterday. It's baby number 6 for her, but she just didn't look like she was going to go. But thinking about it I think her due date was yesterday.

My husband and son were away for the whole day, and I was home with the girls. We weeded one of the gardens and staked up tomatoes. Then I went to clean the horse barn, while the girls played in the kiddy pool. The reason I mention my husband being gone is due to Maggie's attitude when she has a calf. She is VERY protective and gets mean for about 3 days, then chills out. Throwing her head and pawing the ground. She has tossed her head at my husband and pushed him aside in a not so friendly way in the past after calving. She's a wonderful easy milker and mother. So I guess we take the good with the bad. She's just doing her job, as we have let the moms raise the calves for now.
I had come out of the horse barn and had things to put away. I looked up in the field and saw Maggie and said "son on a gun. She just had that calf!" I dropped whatever I was carrying and trotted up to where Maggie was. Sure enough there was the calf. I still have no idea what was carrying and where I dropped them. The girls called and asked if they could come up. They did.

He was almost dried off. It was such a warm beautiful day yesterday. It was also Suzie's first birthday too! (Last years calf)
We stood and watched for a while.  Then I called my husband to let him know. He said let her be for the afternoon, and milk her later in the evening. Then I called my brother and father in law and asked if they would come over after work to help me get Maggie and calf in the barn. I needed some help in case something went wrong, and I got hurt.

Well much to my surprise Maggie was totally fine. She did paw the ground when we walked up to her pen, but then she just walked nice as you please to the barn. She chowed down her grain while I milked her out. Then my BIL helped me give her some calcium to help prevent milk fever, and she never tossed her head. She just was like OK. I could hardly believe it. She was a totally different cow! I wondered when she would act out, and kept my guard up, but she was fine. I was so very thankful.  Later that evening when my husband called to see how things went I couldn't stop gushing about how good she was for us! He was pleased to hear that! Almost as pleased as I was to tell him.

Here he is this morning. See his tongue? He was a hungry little bugger. The pail that I milked in was almost full. We don't save the colostrum milk. That is why it's in the dirty plastic pail.
Well as far as the cows we currently have, we are done with our calving season. 3 bulls in one year. I'm thankful for the healthy calves and mamas. I am lookin forward to breeding them again, and hopefully getting some more heifers next spring and summer!
Have a great day ya'll!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

some of the Creators handy work

I just love the view from our farm. I pray when we move to our own land I can enjoy the beautiful sunsets in the evening after a long day. And the warmth of a fire pit makin s'mores with my loved ones around me.
I can't find words to describe these sunsets other then one word. Beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed the view from my place and my fire pit.
 Have a wonderful day!