Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

New Year's Day dawned bright and very cold here. My part of Oregon has been frozen solid for the last few days and that always changes life a bit on a farm that is normally extremely wet but relatively warm in the winter. So it was no surprise that I was thinking a lot about ice this morning as I went out to feed my critters.

The freezing temperatures have created works of art out of simple objects I've left lying around. An old screw on a wooden plank takes on a whole new look:

An old horseshoe found out in the pasture last year is transformed into an object of many textures:

Our clay fireplace now has icy moss adorning its sides:

Likewise, the shrubs and bushes all look like they were were decorated especially for this holiday morning:

The chickens received warm cheesy rice for breakfast with a few ripe banana pieces thrown in for variety:

Poor, sweet Cowgirl. While the rest of my hens have made it through their feather molt and have a full body of feathers to keep them warm again, Cowgirl just began dropping hers about a week and a half ago:

She's having to keep warm with only about half the amount of feathers she normally carries on her body, poor lass:

Beau and Chester wished me a sweet good morning. Actually, in this photo they are letting me know that I am late to breakfast:

Outside the barn, ice needed breaking on the stock tank:

And I scooped the pieces out with my tiny blue fish net:

Mr. stock-tank-goldfish is alive and well. He has no problem withstanding the water freezing solid over his head:

Chester's furry winter brow is a hearty one this year:

Even at meal times, my Kai llama is ever on guard. Here she is watching a dog with jingle bells attached to his collar (poor guy) run past on the road above. She was entirely unimpressed:

And here's Chester, telling me I've admired Kai llama for long enough and need to appreciate him again:

This is bad. This is telling me that despite all the precautions I took to prevent my barn water from freezing, not only did it freeze, but something has gone wrong and I have a burst pipe or something. Water marks and icicles next to closed spigots are bad, bad signs:

Have you ever wondered what frozen donkey poop looks like? Well, now you don't have to. I enjoy the ring these little icicle balls make when they hit my metal wheelbarrow:

Later on, my goat boys told me they wanted to go for a walk:, of course, we did:

Kai llama, Pete and Reggie then "did lunch" together in the center pasture:

Back inside, Roxy politely told me that she was finished with the Christmas tree for this year (it will come down tomorrow):

...and then immediately offered me my choice of toys to throw for her:

So, here's a toast to the New Year:
Goodbye Two-Thousand-and-Ten,
I was really ready for you to end,
Anticipating the bright new year,
I've got plans and I'm full of good cheer!

p.s. Chester and Beau think they're really cute.


  1. Sending the warmest of wishes (from the even colder 'other side') for you and yours. 2011 is gonna be amazing... I can just feel it!


  2. The frosty ice makes everything pretty. But, it makes taking care of the critters harder. Your critters look very happy. Happy 2011!

  3. I like your New Year's toast. And I noticed your green John Deere sweatshirt. I have one too! Lovely post as always. The ice may be treacherous, but it is still so beautiful in your photos.

    Happy New Year Danni. May this one be a great year full of peace and prosperity, laughter and love.

  4. Happy new year critters!

  5. Happy New Year Danni & Critter Farm. Let the good times roll!

  6. C & B are really cute!
    Happy New Year! It can't be too cold if your jacket isn't zipped up.

  7. Well Chester & Beau are cute, but so is Roxy, Kai Pete and Reggie :D I would shiver with Mr Stock Yard Goldfish, if it wasn't so hot, and I wasn't wanting to dip my toes in for a few seconds to cool down. Happy New Year... LiBBiE in Oz

  8. hi dani....i think chester and beau are really cute too. and thank you for showing me the frozen donkey poop. another thing i can check off of my bucket list! everything looks magical with the frost attached! happy new year!

  9. Wow. I'm not a big cold weather fan, but I have to say the ice in your pictures is just beautiful. Stay warm!

  10. Tee hee...Chester and Beau ARE really cute! What lovely photographs of gorgeous friends and a lovely place to live!

  11. I would have to agree with Chester and Beau....they're pretty darn cute! Poor Cowgirl. My Little Lizzie had the same thing happen. Everyone else is thru their molt, but here she is, without half her feathers in Winter. I was thinking it was because she had been broody, not sure though.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  12. Chester looks so darned cute in his "Moe." Happy new year, Danni - I hope your 2011 is warmer and dryer and free of emergency visits from the vet and the plumber.

  13. You need to knit that hen a sweater! I have a pattern believe it or not.

  14. Well, hello?! Chester and Beau ARE really cute! :D

    Great post... as always, Danni. What beautiful pictures of your frozen landscape.

    Stay warm... spring is just around the corner. When are you going to plant your tomato seeds? I don't want to start too late this year like I did last. :)

    I'm also intrigued by Mr. stock-tank-goldfish...

  15. All the pic's of the ice crystals forming on everything is so pretty..its breathtaking at times to see what art Mother Nature perform's for us..
    Onward 2011... I'm excited to see what its going to bring for us all..

  16. The ice crystals do look magical, sensational photographs. I have the chill-to-my-bones feeling looking at them. Burr-willies it looks oh-so-cold!

    Happy New Year to you and your critters.

    I do have one question though, is there a purpose to the goldfish in the drinking water?

  17. Great New Years Day post and photos, as always! I have to agree...even though cold and frosty, these chilly winter days do have their own beauty. I think I prefer them to the dreary, gray rainy ones we get here most of the winter. Ugh!
    And all your critters are dressed in their winter finery to keep them warm..well except maybe poor cowgirl but I suspect her sisters keep her warm at night!
    When I'm done with our tree, my little goats get it to munch it definitely gets tree-cycled. They don't leave a single needle on it!
    Happy 2011 to you!

  18. Hi Farmgirl dk!

    Was catching up on your posts today (lovely shots of the ice btw) and noticed your poor barn spigot. That's a huge bummer. You can try two things: you can install a frost proof hydrant or use Heat Tape to wrap the pipes. I have both and use the Heat Tape with a thermostat so they only come on when it's about to freeze. Works like a charm and I no longer have to hoof 5 gallon buckets of water from the house up the hill to the barn to fill chicken and duck waterers :)

    Happy New Year!

  19. if i could, i would get goats just so they could go with me for walks (and i have seen this in portland). i grew up with goats and love them so much.

    happy new year!

  20. I so enjoy making your morning rounds with you! I you think Mr. Stock Tank Goldfish would like a Mrs. Stock Tank Goldfish to keep him company? Goldfish are very social, they really love having a pal!

  21. Growing up I had a friend whose family lived on a dairy farm...I learned through them that the calves have to be fed, the cows have to be milked, among other chores no matter what the temperature is...I remember one winter morning going out in a rare snow and coming back with completely frozen toes! (Mississippi girls have no earthly idea how to dress in that kind of weather!)
    I guess your animals all have pretty thick hides to keep them warm? Except of course for your poor chicken! Do you ever wish you could just bring them all inside with you? ;)

  22. Chester and Beau are cute!! Look at them. They are adorable.
    I love...
    "Anticipating the bright new year,
    I've got plans and I'm full of good cheer!"
    I feel the same. May the New Year bring you and yours many blessings, Dani.

  23. Happy New Year Danni!! Did I tell you I don't like the cold!! I was really hoping Alabama would be warmer!! hahahaha! Give all the Critters hugs, and I'm with Roxy. The tree is down and let the new year begin!

  24. Danni, Love your photos! Your chicken needs a sweater. Have you seen these?

  25. I love the way you SEE things!

  26. Happy New year!! I love the way the frost makes things look so pretty, too. Now if only we could that have the beautiful frost but still have it be warm....
    Poor Cowgirl....shes making me cold just looking at her missing all those feathers.
    I dont have a stock tank full of water to break, but all my water buckets need that a few times a day here lately...I cant wait till the temps get back to above freezing.
    Reggies coat looks so bright white in those pictures. I love that.
    Hi Roxy! Ill play with you...bring me that pink pig...:-)

  27. Happy New Year to you and all your friends too! Always enjoy hearing about what's going on on the farm.
    PS: Your chickens are WAY spoiled! Cheesy rice for breakfast! Really? I'm just curious, are those your leftovers or did you cook specifically for them?

  28. I've been without internet for almost a month now and I finally have it! So I come to your site and realize I have missed 3 - yes 3 - wonderful posts with peaceful beautiful pictures and lovely poetic narrative to go with it. There is so much I would like to say but my time tonight is short....but thanks for bringing warmth into my home tonight :)


I ♥ it when you leave a comment.