Thursday, December 25, 2008

White Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating. I hope your day was a pleasant and joyful as ours.

Our cherry tree on Christmas morning. It was lovely to see the sun.

We had this cedar topped and limbed-up in the spring of 2007. That's the wrong time of year for doing drastic things to trees, but I hated how it obstructed the view of everything. It is my favourite tree at Farcical Farm, especially in winter.

Looking north from the end of the driveway, just past the cedar tree.

Country road, looking west.

Country road, looking east.

Horse paddock from the road, looking south. Nice to take the blankets off for a day.

We call the house the Ruddy Beast because our address ends in 666 (one sign is decorative, the other is reflective). According to municipal records our address should be 10670 so someone must have willfully adopted the mark of the beast at some point. You have to admit that Timbit and Titan are quite beastly.

Goat van in the snow. Quite a lot of snow.

Don't expect me to prick my ears and pose for you when I am eating alfalfa.

Is that thing in your hand alfalfa?

Tonka looks so sweet in that picture, and I want to comment quickly on troubles. All swelling is gone and his body is back to normal. Furthermore is personality is back to normal. He had been a bit rank over the past weeks -- unusually grumpy and uncooperative (yet still quite sweet). I had assumed that it was the crappy weather, but I now assume that the lump stuck in his sheath had been bothering him for some time. Yet another good lesson in listening closely to your horse.


Funder said...

Beautiful pics, but MAN that's a lot of snow. One time in VA it snowed 10 inches overnight, and that's 1) the most snow I've ever seen IRL and 2) the day I decided to move back south and never leave.

Does Titan really spend his nights outside in that snow? Does he bed down with the goats or dig a little snow cave or what?

Also there are no DDR pictures in this thread, therefore I am somewhat disappointed. :(

adedshoo: achoo plus achoo plus achoo.

dp said...

Don't feel too bad for Titan either, folks. His coat is the thickest thing I have ever seen on a dog. He sleeps with the goats in the van, which 95% closed up. Sometimes during the day he digs a hole in the snow and sleeps there. I have noticed that the horses do the same thing -- I think snow is actually quite warm for animals once they melt the layer directly under them.

DDR pictures will follow soon. I really do promise.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Oh my, those are truly "winter wonderland" pictures. Very beautiful! Glad to hear Tonka is back to his happy, healthy self, and that you and David enjoyed your Christmas day. Titan looks like he has a very thick coat, and I love the idea, somehow, of him snuggled up with the goats in the van. Amazing for me to say that, as, up until now, I've always felt sad for outdoor dogs. Sorry if I've missed this elsewhere in your blog, but does he come inside once in a while? Now for those DDR pictures. I can hardly wait! Sorry for mentioning them in my blog comments as well - really didn't mean to nag, but hadn't read this post:)

dp said...

It's all semantics, but I consider an "outdoor dog" to be a pet dog that gets kept outside (not acceptable in my books). Titan is a working dog who is expected to guard his small flock and to keep us aware of any threats to the property. He cannot do that unless he is outdoors.

Titan has never been in our house. Raising a maremma right requires a fine balance between human contact and simply leaving the pup alone with its stock. You do not want to end up with a very expensive and specialized couch ornament. Titan comes out with the pet dogs for playtime each day, but he is otherwise left to his own devices with the goats and it has been that way since he arrived at 12 weeks.

Titan may have been in our neighbor's house. They are very fond of him and enjoy "liberating" him with regularity. Otherwise they are fantastic neighbors so we don't get too uptight about it, but it has resulted in a maremma that is overly interested in human companionship. Titan has a very loving personality, so this was always a danger with him. On Farcical Farm this is OK (he still does a fine job of detecting threats) but he has probably been ruined as a serious stock guardian at this point.

Anonymous said...

Very pretty pictures!

Snow actually acts as insulation for a dog's "den". It's also why igloos have been successful in the north. Plus, maremmas are designed to handle the cold. Huskies don't sleep indoors either in Alaska. Well, not the sled dogs.

My Freya used to get a thick and luxurious coat every winter when we lived in Alaska. I'm sure she could have happily lived outside year round, but I just preferred keeping her inside, where she was able to protect me and alert me to goings on.

dp said...

Titan is the first line of defense, but Tilley is the only dog who is a real danger to human intruders. She is fiercely protective of territory and her people -- a typical aussie girl. She broke through the living room window at our old house trying to get the mail carrier. There is something very comforting about having such a dog around.