Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Preparing the barn

Five days until DD-Day (Donkey Delivery Day) and there's so much to do!

The barn really needed to be cleaned up, swept out, the hay storage area raked of old stuff and prepped for new, stalls needed to be cleaned and filled with new pellet bedding, gates needed securing, etc.

First things first, though. Water is a necessity, but we hadn't been able to figure out how to turn the barn water back on after it had been shut off for the winter. We had been given rather conflicting instructions from the previous owner that had us walking in circles, but, finally, after convincing myself that it was entirely possible that a water valve COULD be right next to a major electrical box, I took a deep breath, reached my hand into some sketchy looking insulation, and exposed a yellow lever!

This bad boy needed merely to be twisted and....

Voila! Water!

Feeling ever so clever, I moved on to the barn entry:

This gate can be pushed inward into the pasture or pulled outward toward the barn wall:

but there was no way to secure it against the barn wall to keep it from swinging back toward the pasture and allowing donkeys past it and into the driveway.

So, I drilled a hole, inserted an eye hook into the wall and now the gate can be secured with a clasp:

Roxy, my pup, did her part in the overall barn preparation by keeping a vigilant watch from this box:

Next, I tackled the hay storage area. It has had very old hay, dried leaves, unused pallets, and miscellaneous barn junk stored there for some time now:

I'm not sure if you can tell the difference in this picture, but I raked it out thoroughly, got rid of some junk and cut the pallets in half to store the new hay on. It's all ready for new grass hay now:

At the end of the afternoon, while I was sweeping out the barn...

I heard this high pitched chirping and thought it was a nest of mice in the walls. Walking around, the noises led me to the barn attic. Imagine my surprise when I found my head being "buzzed" by small, silent, flying things. Roxy and I quickly retreated to the stairs where we could then discern their shadows as they flew around. I couldn't see them well at all, so I just started taking flash pictures. This is what I got:

Can you see the little brown flying thing to the left of the blue tarp?

Now you can see it:

Here's a close-up of that last shot. He's smiling for the camera:


  1. I knew when you said "silent flying" and "high pitched chirping" that you had bats in your barn. That's the biggest bat I've ever seen close up. Ours here are much smaller. They are really good at eating lots of mosquitos and other insects.

    I love your barn! It's so cool! I want one of my own.

  2. Wow Danni Bats in your Belfry!!! (My smart daughter told me how to spell that)! Great pic by the way...he's looking right at you!! I thought my woodpeckers were scary!!!

  3. and her Mom said,
    Loved the picture of your water lever. The same thing happened to me once.
    Your barn is really beautiful and coming along so well with all your hard work cleaning.
    As to the bats, consider yourself fortunate to have them. I heard on our local news in Vermont that bats were developing some kind of sickness that is making them more scarce. We used to have lots of them in our old barn but haven't seen much of them lately.
    Can't wait until the donkeys get there!

  4. Good for bugs..but I no likey. What did Roxy think of the bats?

  5. You are lucky to have bats. They will eat lots of bugs for you.
    I am really excited for you and the donkeys. They are going to think they died and went to heaven.
    And poor little Pip. It has to be the hair.

  6. Looks awesome! Those bats are going to be great for keeping bugs away.

  7. Bats! Great for insect reduction, but what about rabies, is that an issue out there? It is an increasing problem here in Maine.

    % days before donkeys! You must be so excited! I hope everything goes smoothly, and the donkeys settle in well.

    Thanks for the compliments RE Henbogle. Now you know why we say we plan on leaving feet first.


  8. Oh cool, you've got bats in your belfry... uh, barn!!! Great for munching up unwanted bugs. I think it was nice you got one to pose so nicely for you!!

    Your barn is looking great. It's really kick as.sssss, opps, no, don't want to do that. ;-) I know you'll be very nice to your new donkey friends!!!

  9. Those are some nice looking Donkey Digs! We watch the bats at dusk most nights. We should get a bat house.

  10. Wow, what hard work you've been doing!
    Can't wait for donk pictures! What a nice place they'll be calling home.
    Lucky you, having bats. Like Jen says, they are excellent to have around. Just remember not to pick one up if you find one on the ground. Bats on the ground are usually sick.

  11. Way to go, you got a ton done!

  12. Excellent! A real barn with bats and all!!

  13. You sure have been busy!!! I wish we had bats here. The bugs are really biting!

  14. Bats are so awesome! I'm so excited that the donkeys are coming soon. Prepping for them must be so much fun.


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