Saturday, December 11, 2010

A day on the farm in 30 seconds

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I have a web cam down in the barn area (did you think I wouldn't?), it's published on this blog with the weather stuff.  Besides doing that it captures a full day worth of images and makes a daily movie out of it.  They can be kind of neat to watch, with the sun coming through the trees and the animals moving around.  Here's one from the other day, if you have 30 seconds check it out....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Georgetown Christmas Tree Raising

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Every year the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department cuts down and stands up the towns Christmas Tree, then afterwards they have the holiday lights parade in town.  Here's some photos from this years tree raising (next year I guess I'll be one of the ones raising the tree!)

I've included one photo below, to see the rest of the photos please go to the Flickr page:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas tree is here...

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We decided to get a Christmas tree that had real flocking!  We drove up to Pollock Pines this last weekend, they had some pretty good snow going on and we wanted to go to the snow and get a tree for the first time.  I think we came home with a good tree and had some fun out in the snow!

Here I am heading out for the hunt!

Chris doing her best to stay warm!

Our "perfect" tree ready to take home

All lit and decorated for the holidays!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some snow video

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The snow last night and today was definitely more than we had yesterday. A few pictures to check out from today as well as a couple of videos (links to YouTube).

Molly playing in the snow
A shot from down at the barn
Another barn shot, with a little Splash
And a shot up at the house

Photos: As always, click on the photos for a larger view.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First dusting of snow 2010

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We had our first dusting of snow overnight, started late last night and continued a little into the early morning.  Really light amount of snow, but it looks GREAT.  We're supposed to get a bit more tonight though, so it should look much different in the morning I think.  Here's a couple of shots from this morning....

As usual, click on the photos for a bigger version.

Looking down towards 193 from the barn area

Looking back up towards the house with the barn in the foreground

Dewey, the Snow Leopard / Barn Cat trying to figure out snow

The trucks license plate takes on it's full meaning!

Snow on the trees!

We'll have to see if all the other animals know how to play in the snow...

Friday, November 19, 2010

First bit of snow on our rear deck

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our first snow coming this weekend?

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I guess we'll know for sure this weekend, but here's the weather alert as of this afternoon.  Our place is at about 2400 elevation.

Special Weather Statement

Statement as of 4:13 PM PST on November 16, 2010

... Wintry weather to return to northern California this weekend...

A cold low pressure system developing over the Gulf of Alaska will drop southward and affect northern California this weekend.

Ahead of this system on Thursday and Friday... winds will increase over the higher elevations of the northern Sierra Nevada and become strong at times. Gusts of 40 to 50 mph or more will be possible along the crest.

This storm will bring cooler temperatures and a chance of precipitation over the northern mountains starting on Thursday. Precipitation will become more widespread on Friday. The main portion of the system will move through northern California over the weekend bringing heavier rain and snow and lowering snow levels. Snow levels are forecast to lower to around 2000 to 3000 feet later Saturday into Sunday. There is the potential for significant accumulating snowfall over the west slopes of the northern Sierra Nevada and over the northern mountains.

Residents of the mountains and higher foothill elevations... and anyone planning travel to the area this weekend should monitor the latest weather forecasts and prepare for hazardous winter weather this weekend.

An update to the report this morning:  For the foothills 6 to 12 inches of snowfall will be possible above 2000 feet this weekend.  Some light amounts of snow may even fall in parts of Redding Sunday night.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One year ago Chris and I saw this house that looked interesting...

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It was one year ago, on November 6th, that Chris and I first saw the house on Hope Mountain Road in Georgetown for the first time, my how time flies and how things change.  When we first saw the place I took a few pictures, we were back viewing the place about a week later and I took more.  I have "re-taken" those shots to compare things after that one year period.  Granted, we have not been living here for one year yet, it's only been six months, but there has been some change.  In this first set of pictures the change is not really noticeable.  Most of the work we have done has been down at the barn area and inside the house, but we'll start here.  When I get a chance to take a few more pictures I will post them.  Remember, you can click on the pictures for a larger view of them.

2009 - Looking back towards the main gate.

2010 - Vincent and Chris removed all of the red rock and roses that were not doing well.  The circle was not laid out properly, you couldn't drive around it.  We'll do something different at some point.

2009 - Looking towards the house / garage, although you can hardly see the house.

2010 - Again, more work done by Vincent and Chris to clear out a bunch of overgrowth in the front yard, getting us to a point where we can start from scratch.   A couple of decent size trees were removed as well.

2009 - Looking from the garage towards the house, it is in there, somewhere.

2010 - You can see the front of the house!

2009 - Barbara and Chris walking along the deck to the front door, hard to see the house to the right of the picture.

2010 - Once again you can see the house now!  Landscaping work ahead of us though!

2009 - Back of the house

2010 - Most visibly you can see we removed all of that juniper that was growing wild.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lots of rain on The Divide

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Glad we were able to get our winter prep pretty much completed.  Splash has a nice shelter to stay in now and all the rest of the animals have the big barn.

First real rain of the season is much more than what we were used to in Gilroy.  Yesterday we had almost 1.5" of rain.  Today, it's only 2 PM and we're already over 4" of rain.  The picture below shows a few of the "community" weather stations like ours that report in the area, I highlighted our location.  The numbers show the amount of rain so far today.

Of course you can look at the real time weather image to the right on the blog as well as a current image of what things look like (assuming it's not dark).

Haven't had to crank up the generator yet but I would not be surprised if that happens....

Click image to see a larger version

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RIP Annie

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On Monday, 10/18, we lost our friend Annie. 

This is an older picture of Annie (taken at our old place in Gilroy).  Annie was owned by our dear friend Alice, but has lived with us for many years.  She is a grand old Shire Draft Horse and has been a wonderful companion for Chris' horse Splash. She had a great comfortable life and reached a wonderful old age of 26.

We were happy to have her be a part of our family, she will be missed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shelter construction complete

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Well, they (Foothill Country Sheds & Shelters out of Shingle Springs) finished their part of the construction of our new shelter today.  They'll be back tomorrow to clean up.  So the rest is in our court.  We need to finish filling in the rock, finish up the fencing, drop in a gate and then I have some electrical and water work to do so we can get this all wrapped up!

Here's some shots from today to show how it looks all wrapped in it's metal outside (click to enlarge):

Our entry door to the side.  The gate will go from that round white post on the left to the corner of the shelter that is trimmed in white.  We ordered a 4' overhang in the front and the half wall will give them some protection but allow them to look outside which they like to do!

Here you can see the back, the wash rack is behind it.  I'll be running water out to there for washing and for the water inside the shelter.  Will also be putting some gutters along the back and probably the front.

Better view of the half wall.  They don't finish the inside all the way to the ceiling (unless you ask for it), we just wanted some kick walls, 5/8" thick plywood.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More winter prep - shelter, barn, generator...

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We are trying to do everything we can think of to get ready for our first winter at the new place.  Vincent has been up quite a bit helping Chris and myself on a variety of projects.  I have included a few of them below, but there are so many more and I'll try to update when I have some time.

Also, I am going to try and take a series of before and after pictures soon.  The photos we first shared of the property when we visited it for the first time are still on Flickr (, amazingly enough we are coming up on our first year anniversary of these pictures.  So I thought it would be good to try and show those same views as they look today.  Hopefully I can get to that soon.

Until then, enjoy these shots from my cell phone.  You can click on the pictures to see them a little bigger.

Trudy, one of the outdoor cats, standing at the opening to the main barn.  Vincent and Chris put a whole bunch of rock down in the barn to level things out and then put down these great 4x6' rubber mats.  Really makes cleanup a lot easier, cleans up the look and the rock raises things up a bit for winter rain....
Annie and Splash are standing near the new winter shelter that is being put in their paddock. This is a 24x12' building, metal outside walls, will never have to repaint and will have a metal roof for them as well.  Should be very cozy for them to stay out of the rain inside of this.

Closer shot, there is a door on the side so we can go in and out, we will continue the fencing up to the shelter once they are done to enclose it in.  There is a half wall on the one side so they can look out, the other half will be their "doorway"

The back....

This is looking at the inside.  Will have to fill in more rock and we'll be putting rubber mats down in here as well.  I also have some electrical work to do to light it up like Las Vegas baby...
And finally the generator.  All the wiring is pretty much done at this point so we're ready to go.  The cord on the front runs around the back of the generator to the next picture.  Battery start, just turn the key and go.  And it's portable so I can use it around the property.

This is where the generator plugs into the house...

And this shows the new transfer switch on the right.  A few key circuits I'll need to keep working when the power goes out and to keep food cool were moved to the transfer switch on the right.  When the power goes out, you start the generator up and then flip the switch, those circuits now have power!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Customized weather for MountainEars Farm

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We have been publishing our weather station info to Weather Underground here:
But now I have our own customized weather page with a better webcam view of the barn.  First stab at the page, whenever I finally create a website for the farm I'll change the format around.  But for now, it provides some simple stats in one view plus the better webcam view.  It will begin to generate a daily time lapse movie from the webcam which has the overlay of the weather information at the time the picture was taken.  Should be interesting to see when it snows...

Here's the link to the custom page.  Unfortunately with the web hosting I have the link is case sensitive.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Angus Lee has arrived - our new mule

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Angus Lee (or Angass) recently joined our farm community.  He is a five month old mule that Chris found.  She has been looking for a mule for a long time and they finally found each other.  The picture below is when he first came into his new home and was looking at his pasture mates (the donkeys) for the first time.  His ears were at full attention!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some new fencing

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Started work on some of the fencing around the barn area. 

Currently all of the fencing is painted this deep dark brown color, kind of depressing.  Much of it is already in not great shape as well, I've already had to replace a few weak boards. 

We liked the way we had our fencing in Gilroy, just a top and bottom rail with mesh in between. It kept the animals from chewing on the fence and opens things up a bit so you can see the donkeys better.  Because the donkeys have started chewing on some of the fencing, we started on that section first.  Here's a few cell phone pictures, you can click on them for a larger view.

All of the posts were in pretty good shape, so we kept them.  Here you can see some paint in place on the posts and you can see the old fence boards and their brown color.
Another angle, you can see another area of fence in the background that we'll get later.
We pre-painted the boards (and some spares) to get a good coat of paint on them.
All the new boards screwed into place and the mesh in place.  Back in business.
Some upset donkeys, no more wood for snacks!
Even the telephone pole got a little paint on it to blend in!