Monday, September 15, 2008

A few updates

It was a pretty busy weekend here at Critter Farm and whenever that happens, I usually have a number of things I want to share. For example:

On Friday afternoon, we met a new farrier and had him come trim the donkeys' feet. I was SO proud of my boys. The farrier said afterwards that they behaved better than a lot of horses he had worked on. This made me very happy.

Of course, nobody likes having their feet messed with, but....(photos courtesy of Marcee-frugalmom)...

Pistol was awesome:

Brownie, after a bit of three-legged barn hopping, settled in nicely:

and Ian, sweet boy, just needed the comfort of my armpit to feel more at ease:

By the time she left, Marcee seemed to feel right at home here. She seemed confident at haltering donkeys:

And was very adept at maneuvering flakes of hay through fence rails:

She was able to tote a bag of scale-infested climbing vine better than anybody I know:

and the wheelbarrow...well, you all know from an earlier post how good she was with this baby:

Toward the end, I think Pistol had developed a pretty serious crush on Marcee-frugalmom:

and my chickens were all doing tricks for her:

But Saturday did arrive and it was time for Marcee to head back home. This is Marcee telling me to be sure to "thank Mr. Jim for her". (She bossed me around like this the *whole* time she was here):

I didn't feel particularly good putting her on a plane to Dallas/Ft. Worth, what with Ike bearing down on Texas, but everything worked out fine.

And nobody stole or hid my parking ticket to get out of the garage this time:

Roxy was disturbed when I got into the car without Marcee:

And put on her very best "sad doggy" face for me all the way back home:

Bye Marceeeeeeee! (Not her plane, but I sure thought it was at the time):

It's done, except for the finishing touches, like wood trim pieces over the intersection of the two different types of wire. Oh, and an exterior door latch.
I was so excited to get the door in place:

And the sun shield up:

The chickens seem to feel right at home in there:

Heck, *I* feel right at home in there:

Now, when I convinced Marcee-frugalmom to climb those barn attic stairs with me last week in search of really cool bats, I didn't have my camera with me. This turns out to have been a good thing because she was introduced slowly to bats via their shadows (and very small flashlights). I went up again on Saturday afternoon, this time with my camera, and this is what I came back with. Don't tell her about these, ok?:

As if one bat wasn't cool enough, I start hearing squeaking and chirping:

and, all of a sudden, there were two bats flitting around my head:

This one's my favorite shot. They are such incredible looking creatures!:

And now for the weather....
While much of the country has had Ike and torrential rain to contend with, we've been having a bit of a heatwave. Here's today's forecast:

Who doesn't love scorching sunshine...??

That's it for today - this was a long one. Sorry.


  1. Loved your post! Those bats are quite large. Ours here are much smaller. Your chicken run looks very fancy, very nice indeed. I am glad you and Marcee had such a good visit and so much fun this past week. Some day I'd like to vist Critter Farm too.

  2. You can buy an item called a Batapult, which is a low powered catapult, to feed bats with. Get some mealworms, and throw them up in the air, and the bats will catch them.

  3. Poor Roxie looked pretty sad. Cool pics of the bats. I need more detailed pictures of your chicken run! We haven't built our's yet.

  4. Oh this is funny because I just posted about bats in our house. I am not afraid of snakes, spiders, worms, slugs, lizards, bees or just about anything else. I don't like them but I am not afraid to catch them. However, it is a different story about bats. They really get to me.

    Your time with Frugal Mom looked like it was lots of fun and again....those donkeys. So darn cute. I love the chicken yard. So nice.

  5. Hi farmer jen - I don't know how fancy my run is, let's just keep our fingers crossed it does the job of keeping bad guys out!

    Hey solomon - a batapult, huh? I have fun just saying that word. I'll have to look that up. :-)

    Hi mim - I talked a bit more about my chicken run in this post: This post also gives the link to the original source (Angie of Children of the Corn) of the run, with very detailed instructions. Of course, we made our run significantly smaller than what they built, but it's the same overall design and strategy. They are JUST so clever. :-)

    Hey egghead - I do believe we were posting comments to each other's blogs at the EXACT same time. lol
    I was laughing over your crazy bat-in-the-house story and you were looking at my bats-in-the-attic pics. Great minds, eh? :-)

  6. So sad to see Marcee go home. I feel bad for Pistol and Roxy. It seems as though they really enjoyed her company! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. I enjoyed your frugal-mom posts so much! Do you know what kind of bats you have in your barn? They have very loooooong ears! Perhaps they are donkey bats! Very cool shots!

  7. Your donkey's are SOOO cute! I didn't know donkeys had such big heads! :-P

    Your coop is absolutely beautiful, congratulations!

    I see bats fly around in the air above me in the summer at night when the dusk is falling...they're cool. Great pictures!

    We got hit with some of Ike yesterday. All night long there were up to I think 60 mph winds and the power was out for over 8 hours, and a lot of trees and phone lines were down...not to mention having to deal with broken computers at school :-P. :) LOL

    Atleast you have it hot! Yesterday it was 90 and today it was only in the 60's! It felt like going from summer to fall in one night! :D

  8. We drove through your part of the state, I'm sure, coming up to Seattle . . . pretty darn warm, that's for sure! You can keep your bats, they give me the creeps and I don't know why...because I like the idea that they keep the mosquito population down.

    Great times with Marcee, what a fun and adventurous week you've been able to share. Lots of good memories for you both.

  9. Thanks for the update. I sure wish I'd of looked up at the fair and saw you and frugalmom (and the hay guy) eating a scone. Maybe next year.
    Hubby was riding his motorcycle the other evening and a bat hit him in the chest....or he hit the bat in the chest. Poor bat.
    Nice chicken run. And what well trained chickens. I'm going to try that.

  10. Wah....I miss you and the donks and Rox and...and... and Mr Jim and the chickens and even the very pokey blackberry bushes.

    So hard to leave. But so happy to be home all at the same time. Even if you did make me get on a plane headed into a hurricane. I didnt take that personally at all.

  11. I'm verklempt. Marcee went home, oh noooooooooooooo.


    It's MY turn to put that girl to work. I'm glad you sent her packin'.

    Looks like you guys had a blast, I had no doubt that you would. It's been a blast reading about it.

  12. Those bats are really cool! How fun to have them around.

  13. My, what a great life you do lead!

    Your chicken run looks like 5 star accommodations. Fabulous job!

    I'm really developing a love for donkeys and, my apologies to the others, Pistol is my favourite, I think.

    Hmmm...kinda looks like you had frugalmom working her a** off there...

    *I* love bats! I think that's so awesome that you have them living with you. 'Course the guano can be a bit of a problem, but they are, nonetheless, fascinating creatures and they'll help to keep the bugs under control in your area.

    I also LOVE steamin' hot weather. Our weather is really starting to cool down, although we're still blessed with sunny skies for the next few days.

    Great Post!

  14. You have the nicest looking run, trails, yard, barn, even your barn attic looks clean. Did frugalmom do all that?

  15. Oh yeah, gotta love those bats! I just don't get such a warm fuzzy when they buzz me in the dead of night and I've finally just fallen soundly asleep... Yeah, not so much.

    They are cool, though. And lots of fun to try and catch in the middle of the night while trying to let my sainted husband (who gets up at 4:30 am to get ready to leave for work) sleep! LOL! I've got my boys trained as bat wranglers pretty well now! LOL!

    I've said it before - I do love your barn... but I don't know - that chicken run is GORGEOUS. Nicely done!

  16. Glad the hoof trim went well. So many things can go "not well" when farrier comes. They definitely have to know their job and the animals.
    I'm still jealous of Marcee coming to visit and play with the donks and Roxy. Did I mention that I muck stalls.:)
    So, now that your chicken run is finished, can your work crew come down here and build me one just like it? I'd make them lunch.:)
    Bats, so cool!! Do you know what kind they are? They may hibernate in your barn this winter if they are the right kind.

  17. Hi amy - thanks for enjoying the marcee-posts so much - what (who) in the world am i going to use for material now?! :-) With regard to what kind of bats we've got, I'm leaning currently toward the little brown myotis (Myotis Lucifugus) because that is extremely common in our parts and they love to roost in human structures. I'm continuing my research, though, because I haven't found a picture yet that looks just like the ones I've taken!

    Hi mellimaus - thanks for the coop kudos...I think it's beautiful, too! That's some crazy wind you guys had. With all those trees around your house, were you a bit afraid?

    Hi californiagrammy - if you drove through Portland, then you drove through "my part of the state" :-), though I'm pretty far out of town these days. Hope your time in Seattle was fun!

    Hey goatgirl - I know, in hindsight, I probably should have motivated our butts up there, but it wasn't in the cards this time. I'm going to make an effort to get up there next year. Maybe you'll teach me how to show goats? (Though I think I look better in black than in white - lol)

    Hi frugalmom - me? You miss me? awww, that's nice to hear. And I came first before even the donks and Roxy! sniff. I miss you, too, girlfriend. :-)

    Gnighgirl, why do I laugh every time you leave me a comment? Maybe because you're DANG funny. Verklempt. Such a good German word! :-)

    Hey nw nature nut - Seems that people either love 'em or hate 'em - the bats. Nobody seems to be neutral. It is very fun (IMO) to have them around.

    Hi carolynn - now, you're one to talk, Ms. Adventure. You've got a pretty cool thing going on, too, with all your impressive personal challenges. :-) No problem at all with the Pisto-preference - he's got a very special charm and an certain donkey elusiveness that seems to appeal to people. He was losing a lot of that with Marcee, though, it was funny to watch. He thought she was the Baby Carrot Queen.
    Speaking of bat guano...can you believe, I've yet to find any? Or anything that I recognize as bat guano, that is. I routinely walk around, looking for tell-tale signs, but nuttin' jumps out at me. Well, other than the bats themselves, that is. :-)

    Hi sugarcreekstuff - I'm very selective in the photos I post. Remember this when you think these thoughts about my "run, trails, yard, barn, barn attic" being the nicest looking. Well, wait. Except for the run. The chicken run is very nice. :-)

    Hi dina - so you've got those little beasties flying through your house? Over your bed? You are a kind wife to try to not disturb your man. Bat wrangling boys -- I love it! Thanks for the praise on the chicken run. I'll pass it on to my man - the master chicken run builder!

    Hey ceecee - you're the only one who mentioned the hoof trim! I was SO nervous about this, I can't even tell you. I took the biggest breaths of relief when it was all done...and gave my burro boys the biggest pats and scratches. Phew!
    But seriously...why does everybody just wanna come see the donks and Roxy??? What about fun me? :-) Sheesh. Chopped liver. That's what I am these days. But if I've gotta be second (or third) fiddle, at least the other choices ahead of me are some incredible, wonderful animals. And to think, you were right there, in I said at the close!!!

    See my response above to Amy on the type of bats I think we've got - still researching further, though.

  18. Danni, you're the mom---you come with the package, you are a part of all that is Critter Farm. I would certainly hope that you would be there, should I come to visit!
    Hey, check out these pictures of the Myotis long-eared bat. Maybe yours?

  19. My fiance wants a Mule so badly...but I am sure he would fall in love with your donkeys!!

    I think I should use a donkey to entice him to make the plunge and move to the farm!!



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