Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Monsoon in June


These photos of one enchanting sunset from the first week of June are evidence of the amazing weather we have enjoyed this year...


Unusual weather as well as the rains are usually gentler and fewer in May, and June is typically quite dry, and usually May and June are quite hot.


This year the rains came early...


...and have stayed...





Toads are abounding around SunStar... our population has increased well these last few years..
This year the first toad was spotted months early hanging around the front of the house.. 
a good sign for a wet year




Many evenings this summer we have driven home from GoatScaping somewhere to watch incredible electric storms and black-wet micro-storms trending across the sky, trailing water as they go...



The weather has been wonderful, may it continue! 


The goats are busy working in weedy yards and in invaded fields and under overgrown solar arrays... 
Any time spent at home on the range is an opportunity to jump for joy, kicking up their heels in frolic as they head to their tumbleweed field to fill up full of tumbleweed and grasses and clover and saltbush...



GoatScaping Solar Installations in New Mexico


This solar array at the San Marcos Cafe and Feedstore south of Santa Fe on Hwy 14 (well known for their fabulous food) is the second large solar installment that our goats have worked. 
In both cases they have proven to be very safe and effective in reducing the vegetation which will otherwise grow tall and interfere with accessing the panels for both maintenance people and importantly: sunlight... 


Many installations across our nation are currently maintained either by hand pulling the weeds or with the all too common herbicide, Rodeo. 
One being very labor intensive and the other being at odds with the "green" nature of solar, and with balanced life on earth. 


Managed Goats and Sheep are a perfect match for photovoltaic arrays...


Mowers and weed whackers can be used but they must not throw rocks. 
Also, much of the biggest and thickest vegetation often grows right up against the panels and the frame making mechanical removal there difficult to impossible...


...Goats enjoy working photovoltaic arrays...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Llama Dogs


Heading out to find the Llamas... 
I had to stop and smell the Primroses along the way.
Gorgeous to look and and heaven to smell!


Chopo and Pecos are ready to work the camelids...


The Llamas saw us coming and waited... 
We had to wait a few minutes while a pair of bicyclists passed by. 
Once they were out of range we started the llamas moving toward home..


...Badger celebrates the finding of his llamas...


Hart II's SunStarBuck watches the llamas, waiting for the signal to start his critters moving... 



Llama Ha, Hellon Wheels and Flash have been on the range for a few months and are not immediately willing to go back home... A little cutting-horsework keeps them from turning back... 
Guppy backs up Pecos and dad...



Pecos loves this part of the job.. So much like Polo!


Our dog pack, together, help the llama herd move forward calmly. The Australian Shepherds gently but assertively and firmly push the fuzzballs along. The big white Maremmas have calming energy and show the llamas no ill intent. They lead the herd and join in making us all one big group moving together.


Flash has broken down pasterns and is insecure about moving forward, 


The dogs keep the pressure gently applied...


Together, Zuli shows Guppy the fine art of gentle persuasion and firm assertion...



Guppy takes the job on and keeps Flash moving...



Flash stops to challenge the dog, Guppy patiently holds her position pushing back just a little...


Flash moves along, but checks out Amber... Still no threatening movement from the dogs...



On we go...



The Llamas pause...


The dogs worked very well together. The mature Zuli, Guppy and Bucky each take charge of a llama while young Badger follows along and backs up different mates...




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Doonie Growing Up


Throwback Thursday!
Here is my Dun horse, Doonie, when she first came to be mine, 
one week before her first birthday 


She was about to shed when we got her, our first experience with the color changing gray...
First she darkened to become liver chestnut... Here she is at two or three...


And at five years old...




Starting to really work at six...





At seven Doonie had a run in with a field of Cockleburs that drove her nuts once tangled in her hair.


We twitched her lip to be able to get anywhere near her head... 
For awhile she sported a stylish mohawk...


An old pro at age eight...

 

Loving life at age 10...


Pony Rides in the park in Santa Fe at age 11...
Giving big and little folks a fun ride is a job she loves...


Now my girl is weeks away from giving birth to her first foal, due on her birthday...
And still turning whiter yet with each brushing as she sheds her winter coat... 
In a few years she will have lost all those lovely dapples, freckles and tiger stripes...
A horse of many colors!