Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Peepers

The peepers are in full chorus now. A few brave virtuosos started a couple weeks ago. I hope their eagerness to grab the spotlight hasn't cut their song short.  At least their arias did not go unnoticed. I love to hear the first peeps of the spring. It usually happens on a warmer day in early February here in Virginia.

The daffodils are popping up too. The spring birds are arriving and the first clouds of bugs are in the air.  The early pond guests of migrating ducks have already been through - hooded mergansers, ring-necked ducks, blue teals.  The wood ducks seem to be the only ones to set up residency with a few pair of Canada geese and the ever stalwart blue heron.

I'm not sure if they are all ahead of schedule or not. All I can say is the weather patterns have changed.  More wind. Stronger storms. Extremes in both directions.  Climate change is real, folks. Mother Earth is having having hot flashes... and we're the cause of her 'menopause.'  Hope we can survive her mood swings.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Music for a cause

You can help out the SPCA (Charlottesville/Albemarle chapter) and listen to a great song at the same time.  Go to iTunes and download Schuyler Fisk's single "Love Somebody" .... 100% of the proceeds go to the  Charlottesville/Albemarle SPCA.

Schuyler, and her mother (actress Sissy Spacek), have done a lot to better CA-SPCA program.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aluminum recycling

One, you should be recycling your cans anyway....  That being said, did you know you can get money for them?  We save our soda and cat food cats and instead of taking them to the recycling center weekly, we go to the scrap metal yard three or four times a year. I went last week and the rates went up.  They're now paying 50 cents per pound - an increase of 10 cents since my last visit. I had 38 pounds of aluminum and got enough money back to treat me mum to lunch.

Tip: crush your cans... they'll take up less space.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Frog Pond Farm Draft Horse Rescue

I've always had a soft spot for draft horses. 

Then one day a friend sent me a link to the Facebook site for Frog Pond Draft Horse Rescue. The "Ponders," as they call themselves (and their loyal followers), are among a few rescue operations specializing in drafts. They raise money to purchase unwanted drafts horses from feed lots and auction houses. Many of them retired Amish farm horses. 

Hours of volunteer time and care and loads of money are put into their rehabilitation.  Evaluated and healthy, the horses are then put up for adoption turning these once cast-out souls into beloved family members.  

The Ponders do amazing work and are developing quite a following. Their Facebook page is quickly nearing 8,000 fans.  Check out there site and consider sponsoring or adopting a horse yourself!

Link to: Frog Pond Farm Draft Horse Rescue
They're located in Cambridge, Ohio

Protecting our four-legged friends

I've been raising llamas since 1986. There are 75 llamas and one alpaca in my fields. Twenty percent of them are "rescues." They are animals we have given a home to that were either destined for an untimely end, had owners that had died or had become too ill to care for them, or animals with no breeding value re-homed due to retirement. 

Fortunately, llamas are fairly easy keepers....   But still they require some attention.

That is why so many in the llama industry have been shaken to the core with the closing of the Montana Large Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. MLARS was thought to be the safety net for aging llama owners. But the funds ran out, animals were left to fend for themselves, pregnant females went unchecked, their male offspring were never castrated... and they warned no one that the sanctuary was crashing to the ground.

Folks from across the country have rallied to save the animals from "sanctuary." Rescue outfits across the country have worked hard to save and relocate as many as possible before it was too late (over 600 made it!).  These groups could use a pat on the shoulder if not a monetary donation. I'm sure the coffers have been severely reduced.  Here are a few that have answered the call to arms:

Thank you to everyone who aided in the effort and to the scores who have opened their barns to the llamas in need.