From all of us at Morning Bray Farm, wishing you peace, hope and love.

New Year Card 2016

“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”  ~Henry Beston

We had a good summer at Morning Bray Farm.

Summer pastures

The herd loves their new farrier. Pedicures long ago stopped being an inconvenience for Ellsworth:

Ellsworth pedi

Grace did extremely well with her first pedicures this summer:

Grace pedi

We had the occasional peeping Moo:

Peeping Moo

We enjoyed many beautiful early mornings:

Early summer morning

…and the summer storms fondly remembered from my youth:

Summer

Pineapple weed

I had the gardens I’ve always dreamed of:

Summer garden

Butterfly bush

And, now…

“It is a delightful pastime to sit in the pleasant sunshine of autumn, and gazing from this little spot of free earth over such a landscape, let the imagination luxuriate amid the thrilling associations of the scene!” ~H.T. Tuckerman, San Marino

Autumn

We hope all is well in your world. ♥

Much to our delight, Don’s sister Debbie visited us over the weekend. Not surprisingly, things got rather gooberific here when the herd discovered Deb had brought freshly baked Paco treats with her.

They certainly have mastered their goober faces now, haven’t they?

From left to right: Ellsworth, Bernard, Nigel, Grace, Buck, Patrick.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As was the case in Albuquerque, you can’t swing a cat here without hitting a bird. That’s one of the many things we love about this place.

Wren1

This rooster house was kitchen decor in Albuquerque. I couldn’t find a place for it here, so I stuck it up on the wall just outside our kitchen door. I never thought anyone would actually want to live in it.

Wren2

Looks like I was wrong. This little house wren has definitely claimed it as her own.

Wren3

From Whatbird.com:

  • House Wrens are fiercely territorial, they have been known to destroy bluebird and other cavity nester’s eggs by piercing them, and then often removing the eggs from the nest.
  • There have been occasional reports of House Wrens killing young nestlings (4-5 days old) or throwing them out of the nest.
  • House Wrens live up to 7 years in the wild.
  • A group of wrens has many collective nouns, including a “chime”, “flight”, “flock”, and “herd” of wrens.

The Moo is in heaven here. How does it get any better when the world is your very own salad bowl?

She has free range of the entire farm, all the time. She coexists with the dogs. She coexists with the donkeys. She never gets penned up and she keeps her own schedule.

Moo1

She does insist, however, on being completely involved with all weeding and trimming projects. Seriously. You’d better believe she’s going to come running and screaming! when she sees the blue weed bucket.

Moo2

Some projects she prefers to tackle on her own. For example, she loves trimming the apple trees.

Moo4

She’s our good goat girl. ♥

The herd is doing extremely well in their new forever home.

They seem genuinely content here, and I think their unobstructed view of the surrounding countryside has a lot to do with it. (We were surrounded by woods in Lexington.) The Boyz and Grace get plenty of exercise walking their hills, and everyone is at a great weight.

MBF Donks

One morning a couple of weeks ago though, I went out to find Bernard in terrible pain. His chest was raw, swollen and hot. I immediately called our vet, who came to see him that very day.

Her exam revealed the following:

Skin disease; lameness: severe pyoderma in axillas, moist dermatitis, cellulitis: T: 99.4; fly bite allergy front legs distally and RH distally; donkey lame at walk from irritation in axillas and swelling in manubrium.

Poor Bernard!

Bernard's meds

While she was here, the vet administered Bernard dexamethasone IV and applied EquiShield ointment to the affected areas on his body. He was such a good boy and I think he felt better almost immediately. You know he loved the attention.

Bernard’s plan:

Give sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim 8 tabs twice daily for 5-7 days. Monitor for diarrhea. Give dexamethasone 2.5 cc orally tomorrow then 2 cc orally once daily for 2 days. Apply EquiShield ointment to affected skin 1-2 times a day. Can shampoo 2-3 times a week to clean affected skin of scabs. Use fan to reduce fly exposure. Start Zyrtec 4-5 tabs twice daily for 2-3 weeks.

We’re happy to report that Bernard is doing fabulously now. He’s a huge fan of Zyrtec these days, especially because it comes hidden in apple slices each morning and evening.

We’ve installed a fan up at the barn, and more than any of the other donkeys, we’re guaranteed to find Bernard standing under it when he wants to seek refuge from the flies. That’s my smart, smart boy.

Walking with Bernard

♥ ♥ ♥

Honey bees1

Honey bees2

We’ve been here for six weeks and it has felt like home since day one.

First day

We now have a porch goat:

Moo on her porch

Rain or shine, the gardens are lovely:

Garden after the rain

The herd has the farm’s best view:

Our first rainbow

Our snail races are exciting:

Snail races

Mornings are my favorite:

Morning


Hi. I know we have a lot of catching up to do.

For now, though, we’re finally home. In our forever spot. We’re never moving again.

I’ll catch you up on everything soon. In the meantime, I love the gardens here at our new place and can’t wait to share them with you. ♥

Hostas

From Wikipedia:

Hosta is a genus of plants commonly known as hostas, plantain lilies (particularly in Britain) and occasionally by the Japanese name giboshi. Hostas are widely cultivated as shade-tolerant foliage plants. The genus is currently placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae, and is native to northeast Asia (China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East). Like many “lilioid monocots”, the genus was once classified in the Liliaceae. The genus was named by Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinnick in 1812, in honor of the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host. In 1817, the generic name Funkia was used by German botanist Kurt Sprengel in honor of Heinrich Funk, a collector of ferns and alpines; this was later used as a common name and can be found in some older literature.

Did you know? (I didn’t!) Hostas are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses due to the saponins contained in the plant. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.

Meggie1

Meggie2

Meggie3

Meggie4

Meggie5