Thursday, January 21, 2010

Farm Land

I was home all day today and decided to take our house dogs for a walk. They were full of energy, and I figured I could use the fresh air as well. What I hadn't counted on was that while it was a sunny day, the wind was bitter cold. Even all bundled up, it was still quite cold out there. I thought I'd take some pictures since I was out there anyway.

We live on a private drive back in the woods of rural Michigan. We literally have the Manistee National Forest in our back yard. Behind our land, there are acres upon acres of state land. We've found many trails back there. During the warmer months, the kids and I go on hikes in the woods. We spent much of last summer trying to map the trails. We built our house here in 2000:

Though that picture is from today, as you can see the farm truck and trailer in the background. Back when we built the house, we had no idea we'd become alpaca farmers. If I could do it again, I'd buy an older farm house in a warm place! Ah to not have snow and freezing temps for months on end. Even if we had to stay in this area, there are so many neat older farm houses with big pastures that would suit alpaca farming better. But, the economy is what it is, and moving is not a financial option at this point. So we've made due with what we have.

Our boys are in a barn right off the main country road at the beginning of our private drive. I took this picture walking from the main road:

The smaller barn is our hay barn. The bigger barn is where the boys stay. They live in about 1/3 of the barn. The rest of the barn is for storage of supplies.

This is inside the boy's barn:

Our house is about .16 of a mile from the boy's barn, we live further in the woods, away from the main road. On days I'm home all day, I walk down at least twice during the day to check on the boys. They are fed grain once a day, and twice a day I fill water buckets and hay bins. On the days I go work (I have an out of the house paid job), those day I stop by on my way to work, and on my way back.

The boys have a mouser, Gorgie:

We also have Fluffy, who is a great mouser too. Fluffy does not like our dogs (or more to the point, Dottie does not like any cat) so she was hiding during this visit to the barn.

The girls live in our backyard:

We chose to move the girls closest to us so we can keep an eye on the pregnant moms, and so we can see the pronking cria. I can watch the ladies from my dinning room table, and in the warm months I can lay in my bed and see the cria pronk through the pastures. This time of year it gets dark so early, and the snow is deep enough that there isn't much pronking, at least not that I can see. I think the little ones are looking forward to spring as much as I am! I decided today that I am ready for spring. Unfortunately, it's not coming anytime soon.

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