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.