"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday 28 March 2014

Let there be music

Apologies for my absence this week - I've had laptop issues.  When I turned on the laptop I got the message: "The User Profile Service service failed the logon.  User profile cannot be loaded."  Turns out some update has altered something.  Now, I'm nervous when it comes to fiddling with Windows Registry, which is what I have to do to resolve the problem, so I have to wait until I can get together with my S-i-L for him to have a go.  He's an IT boff, thank goodness.

So, in the meantime, I've switched on the business PC and am doing this blog entry from there.  I like to keep business and pleasure separate normally, and also try not to use the PC too often as it does guzzle more power than the laptop.

With that explained, down to business...

For those of you who were following my blog during the sale of our town house, you'll recall that I was horrified at the thought getting rid of all our 33.3 inch long playing records.  What you don't know is that I didn't :)

There are just so many memories wrapped up in those LP's.

I placed them in a cardboard box.

But - I couldn't ditch them.

And neither could RMan ditch his amplifier, CD player and turntable.  We figured that they would just consume too much of our stored solar power.

So - they were schlepped with us to the farm.

And they stayed in their packaging, which slowly got more and more covered in dust and other items.  Isn't it funny how a surface - any surface - immediately becomes a possible repository for something - anything.

Well, a week or so ago, we were feeling reminicient.

That resulted in RMan hauling the hi-fi equipment into the lounge, placing it in the empty cupboard which had been "in waiting", putting it all together and plugging it in.
Only 129 watts is required to run our amp and CD
Tee Hee!

The amp and CD player only consumed 129 watts of power.  The amp and the belt driven record player must consume less than that!
Good music being played through decent speakers)
is wafting (or should that be belting) through the
house again :)  Now, as the volume will be sufficient,
I can once again sing in my tuneless voice
whilst I'm doing the housework, and, hopefully,
nobody will be able to hear me.
The record player is already connected, so now all I have to do is find the box of LP's, bring it into the house, find somewhere in the house to store the LP's and we're definitely back in business.

Happy Days :)

Monday 24 March 2014

A drop of water...

Last Saturday was international water day.

Without water we have no life.  Everyone knows that.

I received the following e-mail from WWF last week:

Hi there, I'm Droplet, but my friends call me Drop. I'd like to share with you a story about my epic journey. Like most interesting tales, it began one stormy afternoon. I found myself hurtling out of the sky towards the earth at break-neck speed. Down I rained, withthousands of other droplets, torpedoing into a little stream far below. The current caught us and I felt like I had entered a super waterslide. Sploshing and splashing, I twisted down the stream into a river. Just as I became accustomed to the twisting river, we came to an unexpected stop in a large body of water. I felt dazed, confused and dirty after my long journey. But the journey had just begun…
As I floated with others like me, feeling sick and travel weary, I was channelled through a canal into gravity pipelines, towards a water treatment plant. I was sure I would suddenly evaporate into the atmosphere, from exhaustion and heat, like so many of my newfound friends. Was my journey going to end before it had really started? In my anxiety, I recall floating through a giant screen. That heavy, grimy, sick feeling seemed to lift from me. Most of the large pieces of dirt that had collected on me during my travels through the river had been left behind. I felt cleaner, happier, but not yet 100%. Who knew water purification could be this exciting?
As abruptly as we had arrived at the treatment plant, we were immersed in chlorine and filtered through silica sands and pebbles which disinfected us from harmful micro-organisms and any leftover debris. I thought the best had come and gone, as I tumbled into a reservoir. Just as I started to get comfortable, we were sucked into a pipeline that travelled underground towards the big city. My journey had finally reached its climax as I burst out of a tap into a giant white tub. A person got into it, bathed and then collected us into a bucket and threw us onto flower beds in a garden.
Finally some resting time, I thought, as I nestled into the soil, drifting off to sleep in the hot sun. I vaguely remember becoming weightless and evaporating as the flowers around me bloomed. I knew that my journey had not come to an end but that a new adventure was waiting for me in the clouds from where I had come…

Thank you for reading the inspiring story of 'Drop'. Water doesn't come from a tap. To find out where your water comes from, go to www.journeyofwater.co.za
If you go to http://www.journeyofwater.co.za, you'll be taken to this page on their web site:
Click on the blue "Locate" button below "Find your nearest water source" - you'll be amazed at the facts and figures they provide.

Reading their "10 ways to save water" - inspiring!  Help spread the word - please...

Saturday 22 March 2014

Gutless skiniving pests

I woke at 5.15a.m. the other morning.

Taking a solitary walk in the quiet calm and early morning coolness of an autumn morning that is a welcome change from the sometimes overpowering heat of summer, and, is, to me, the very best way to start the day.

But, that morning I discovered that we have been infiltrated by a gutless skiniving pest!
The start of our lemon orchard in December 2010
Some of you may have been following my blog back in 2010 - 2011.  And you may recall my showing you the lemon trees that I grew from pips.  Well, this pest, who lurks, hidden, beneath the leaves of the lemon trees, has invaded our citrus orchard.

It is called a Woolly Wifefly and I have no alternative - I have to eradicate it. Pronto!


Well, to quote from http://www.cals.arizona.edu/crop/citrus/insects/woolywhitefly.pdf

"DAMAGE: Woolly whiteflies suck phloem sap, causing 
leaves to wilt and drop when populations are large. 
Honeydew droplets collect dust and support the growth of 
sooty mold; large infestations where copious amounts of 
honeydew are produced, can result in the blackening of 
entire trees. This reduces photosynthesis, resulting in 
decreased fruit size. Honeydew and sooty mold can also 
contaminate the fruit. Although this contamination can 
be washed off at the packing shed, harvest is slowed in 
infested groves and harvest crews are hesitant to pick 
heavily contaminated fruit."

I know of a commercial orchard near the Peregrine Restaurant on the N2 between Grabouw and Bot Rivier that had to destroy an entire orchard a couple of years ago because of this nasty critter.  How that farmer must have bemoaned the careless domestic garden custodians and their lack of concern for our citrus / fruit producing orchards.

There are a number of commercial citrus orchards in nearby Buffeljags too - and I have a responsibility to them and their produce.

If anyone finds woolly whitefly on their lemon / orange / naartjie / grapefuit / lime trees in their gardens - please - start treatment immediately! Irrespective of where you are on this planet.
Here the black sooty mould, an accumulation
of the honeydew from the woolly whitefly,
is clearly visible.
I have not heard of any parasitic treatments available in this country, and, having experienced this once previously whilst we were still in our town house, I had taken a leaf to Starke Ayres nursery on Rondebosch, and, Diane, the very helpful manageress, identified the pest, and gave me this eco-friendly recipe - which is also available online at http://www.starkeayresgc.co.za/admin/upload/.../woolly_white_fly_leaflet.pdf%E2%80%8E
Unfortunately, the nearby bees are attracted to the lemon trees - they want the honeydew which is produced by the woolly whitefly. 
Ah - the bees...
We all need them, so I have to ensure that they
are not caught in the spray.  Thankfully, they are
not interested in the leaves with no honeydew.
I set to pruning - and pruning radically.  Yes, I know it is not the time of year to do so, but I had to try and save my citrus orchard from complete annihilation by these pests.  The link to the www.cals.arizona.edu... above, recommended pruning as the first option, as this will also open up the canopy and make spraying easier and more effective.

The pruned branches were immediately burnt in an empty, rusty 55 gallon drum the builders left behind, and which we keep specifically for the purposes of getting rid of nasty plagues - be they leaf mould on cucurbits, or woolly whitefly...

Nothing lost, nothing gained.
Before - the lemon trees have grown nicely, and
should start producing fruit next season.  If the
woolly whitefly will give them a chance...
Note to self: get a bigger spray bottle!
The next morning, being up and about early again, the bees hadn't arrived in any significant numbers yet, so I got to work with my trusty spray bottle slung over my shoulder. (note to self: buy a bigger spray bottle with a more effective spray head...)
There are enough of them that I am able
to photograph them with my very basic
Kodak camera
A close-up of the woolly whiteflies
Those little critters had the gall to fly about as I started treatment.
A close-up of the cotton wool appearance of the
woolly whitefly nest
With any pest control of this nature, it is important to find out if your neighbours have the same problem, because any infestation that you sort out, can be all for nought if they don't climb in and do their bit.  Unfortunately, our neighbour is not that sort...
After - the pruned and sprayed lemon orchard
I have too much invested in this orchard to let the woolly whitefly destroy it. And, most importantly, I have too many exciting long term plans for the fruit we hope to harvest.

I believe that perseverance pays - so I am going to have to prove that... :)

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Minky in all his glory

We have shortened Foothills Michael's name to Minky - it so aptly describes the colour of his fleece.  He has the cutest little white spot just above his right eye - a remnant of his father's white fleece genes.

Here are some updated pics of his progress:
Can you see the white patch of fleece above his
right eye (look at the corner where his forehead

meets the shadecloth tree protection structure)?
 And just look at those eye lashes LOL
Any which way you look at Minky, he is a
very handsome fellow :)
Can't you just eat him up!
Too adorable.
I just want to hug him, but
those eyes have 180°
vision, and he expertly, and
playfully, skips sideways
to avoid the hug most times.
Minky is coming along in leaps and bounds  Here he is at just half an hour old...
From this...
And here he is at 14 days old.  My - how he has grown!!  Miranda is proving to be an excellent mother to her precious little cria.  She has visibly settled down since Minky was born, and now, finally, spends most of the day grazing in the paddock, and lying under the Black Wattle trees when she needs shade. What a turnaround from hiding in her stable most of the time.
...to this in 14 short days.  Don't grow up
too quickly, Minky.
Minky and RMan have a definite "thing" going.  RMan spends a very healthy portion of his day just sitting in the paddock, and Minky can't resist having a regular sniff of RMan.  Alpacas are incredibly inquisitive creatures.
There is nothing Minky enjoys more that a good race around the paddock, and RMan is more than happy to oblige.  Anywhere that he runs, Minky has to beat him there... :)

We have opted to lock them into the stable (with the top half of the door left open) at nighttime, in preparation for the cold, wet winter nights which lie ahead.  If we can achieve a routine now, then it won't be so difficult to achieve then - we hope... LOL

Monday 17 March 2014

Cape Town Eco Film Festival

Hmmm, wish I was in Cape Town at the moment - I received an e-mail from Sustainable's PR company, and I wouldn't mind attending this :)

It’s Time for the Cape Town Eco Film Festival – Win a Sustainable.co.za Green Hamper Worth Over R1000
Sustainable.co.za have announced their sponsorship of the Cape Town Eco Film Festival this month. In anticipation of the festival, Sustainable.co.za is running a competition for the month of March to get people talking about the issues at hand.

The Cape Town Eco Film Festival will be the first of its kind in the city. The festival will take place at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street in Cape Town, and will run for five days from the 27th to the 31st March. It will bring together the best local and international documentary films focusing on environmental issues. Altogether, the festival will feature 25 eco-films and 10 local premieres. They will also host guest speakers and Q&A sessions to discuss important issues around environmentalism, from
climate change and pollution to plummeting biodiversity and diminishing natural resources.
For each ticket purchased at R45, R5 will be donated to Greenpop, who will use the money to help finance their re-forestation efforts in South Africa and Zambia. You can reserve tickets for the Cape Town Eco-Festival by calling the Labia box office on 021 424 5927 or you can buy tickets at Webtickets.co.za

Zeke Murphy,  of Sustainable.co.za, comments: “I believe that a film festival such as the Cape Town Eco film festival is critical in the continued effort to protect our planet for our children. Sustainable.co.za is committed to raising awareness regarding issues with our environment, climate change and protecting our wild life, and we feel that our involvement in the film festival is a wonderful means to raising these issues within the South African community.”

Green Competition
To promote the event and get start the eco conversation, Sustainable.co.za is hosting a Facebook competition this month. The competition will run from 10th March right up until the start of the festival. The competition quiz will ask questions regarding environmental issues. Participants will be in with a chance of winning a green home hamper worth over R1000, which includes a-water saving showerhead, solar jar, energy monitor and eco cooker from Sustainable.co.za. More information about the prizes can be found on the Sustainable.co.za blog. To enter, all you have to do is visit Sustainable.co.za’s Facebook competition page and test your knowledge by completing the quiz, after all, the first step towards action is awareness.

Sustainable.co.za helps people live a more environmentally sustainable life by providing the necessary information and eco-friendly products all in one location.  They supply a wide range of eco-friendly goods to create sustainable lifestyles, provide practical guidance on measures to live more sustainably, give information on organisations linked to sustainable living and alerts people to the local and global environmental situation. For more information visit: http://www.sustainable.co.za/

For all of you who are, hope you can make it there.  The very thought provoking movies include the following:  (click on the link below each pic for a preview of the movie




By the way, there is a very nice prize on offer too :)

It consists of a hamper with:

1  a Niagara Conservation - Earth Showerhead;
2  an Efergy Energy Monitoring socket;
3  a Sun Jar 7 - in colour;
4  a Hotbox eco-cooker - all valued at over R1000.00

Unfortunately, the competition is only open to South African's, but why not take the quiz anyway, and find out how much you know ;)

Disclaimer: I receive no benefit whatsoever for this posting.  I merely aim to spread the very worthy word.

Saturday 15 March 2014

Tomato preserves

It would appear that the tomato blossom end rot only affected a couple of my tomato plants.

So I was been busy harvesting tomatoes frantically over the last weekend.  I had sowed both red heirloom, red and yellow cocktail and large yellow tomatoes - can't remember where I got them but I think that they were Franchi Sementi seeds.

Not having the power to run a freezer in order to preserve my harvest, I have had to think laterally.

So, here is a preview of what I have done with the first batch of tomatoes that I picked :)
A collage of my first tomato preserves for 2014
I made 6 jars of whole peeled tomatoes, 3 jars of tomato sauce (ketchup) and...
Bottled tomatoes and tomato
sauce (ketchup)

The tall re-used bottle of tomato sauce
from the red wine vinegar will have to go
in my fridge to be used first
... two ice trays filled with tomato purée concentrate.
Tomato paste
When I peeled the tomatoes I kept the skins to one side.  I shoved them onto an oven tray in the solar oven to dry out - with the lid open so that I didn't burn them.  Unfortunately, before they were fully dry it started to cloud over and drizzle.  That put paid to solar drying my tomato skins.

My solar dehydrator is still not ready.  Will I be able to use it before the end of this season?  Time will tell...

The next sunny day was predicted for 2 days later - I couldn't wait that long to pop them back into the solar oven - I was in the swing of it LOL
Drying the tomato skins
On Sunday night, as the weather was a bit iffy, we lit the Rosie for the first time this year and I put the skins in the oven to finish drying.  (Lighting the Rosie was a definite teaser for the winter ahead - I can hardly wait LOL)
Using RMan's coffee grinder to grind the
dried tomato skins
When they were good and crispy, they got shoved into RMan's (cleaned) coffee grinder and blitzed for a couple of minutes, until they looked like this:
A close-up of the ground tomato skins
The crushed skins smell amazing, and I'm looking forward to adding them to pizza's, bread and cheese scones :)  Those I'm storing in a jar with a sachet of moisture absorber (I can't remember the proper name, but you know what I mean?) that arrived in my bottle of magnesium tablets.

Even the pips didn't go to waste.  After I had made the tomato sauce (ketchup) and the tomato concentrate, I was left with a whole bunch of seeds and some remnants of tomato flesh in the sieve.  That went into a container in the fridge and got added to a bolognaise sauce I made for RMan's dinner a couple of nights later.  Very tasty it was too :)

It is the first time that I have ever used the entire tomato and I can't imagine why it took me so long to do so.

There is triple the amount of tomatoes reading for picking this weekend, so come on sun - I need to make some sundried tomatoes in my solar oven, and a batch of my salad dressing which uses whole peeled tomatoes, and there are also lots more to bottle...

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Plant identification required

Please - Diana or anyone out there - can you tell me what this plant is called?

This is a photo of what the plant looks like - minus a couple of leaves which were eaten by a calf.
And this is a close-up of the flower.:
Stunning, isn't it!

I found it growing near our gate, and have never seen it before.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Eco-friendly pest control

I have long waxed irritatingly with regard to the field mouse problem here at Foothills Farm.  I realise that we are invading territory which they have inhabited for centuries, but, I have to ensure that they stay within their natural environment and don't invade ours.

So, this last week we took steps to ensure that no more of those incontinent field mice gain access to our home, and those pesky flies stay outside - permanently.

Firstly, I have an aversion to rodents.  Not only for their incontinent disease spreading capabilities, but also because each and every time they have entered our home, it has resulted in my having to wash anything that I think they may have traversed.  Spring cleaning a kitchen 10 - 12 times a year is not fun!

And, having to clamber up onto a chair whenever I saw a mouse inside was disruptive to say the least.  Hey, just because I live on a farm - no one said I had to be or was brave ;)

Way back in 2008, when we initially built phase 1 of our farmhouse, it was only planned that it would be a weekend / holiday situation, so open plan kitchen shelves were part of the "farm" look we were willing to embrace.
Before - open plan kitchen shelves
But, the open plan decor made it easy-peasy for the mice to climb into everything that was at floor level, and, through a gap in the shelves, up onto the shelves and into their contents.  That included pots and pans, casserole dishes, and the basic kitchen appliances which were stored in open boxes under all the shelves.
After - kitchen cupboards LOL
I guess I wore RMan down with my field mouse nagging, because, when we were in the local Co-Op and I saw an advertisement for work posted by a local carpenter, and I suggested that we "just" get a quote from him, and RMan finally succumbed.

Receiving his quote, and checking the references he gave, we gave him the go ahead to make cupboard doors for the open shelves.
As I only had the one drawer my kitchen utensils
were stored in "trays" on the shelves.  What a
waste of shelf space!
 The difference was immediately noticeable.
After - kitchen utensils are in their proper
place.  Can you tell where they are...?
Because the beautiful clay floor tiles are hand made, the floor is not completely level.  Some of the tiles are concave, and others convex.  That creates a problem when you are trying to create an opening which is less than a pencil width.  Why a pencil width?  Well, apparently a mouse can squeeze through any opening wider than a pencil.
A mouse proof strip across the entrance at floor
level takes care of the gap below the doors.
Note the big drawer above the cupboard...
Thus a strip was installed across the opening of the cupboard at floor level.  It will also help in preventing dust and dirt from accidentally "brushed" into the lowest section of the cupboard.

But, not only did he make doors, he also made me a wonderful, wide and deep drawer.
...Ha! This is where all my utensils are now
stored :)  For the drawer runner we have used
a sliding mechanism usually reserved for a
drawer / sliding shelf in a TV cabinet - so we
 know it is strong enough to handle the weight
of all those utensils without collapsing in future 
It is the perfect size to accommodate all those carving knives and forks, hand whisks, potato mashers, egg lifters, scissors, garlic press, wooden spoons, etc. that one accumulates after 31-odd years together.

It is too wonderful - everything is now in one place- no more searching through individual "trays" in a shelf :) 
We kept the old drawer from the caravan drawer
- why not, it was perfectly usable.  We
merely changed the face of it to match the
new drawer and cupboards.
And the old caravan drawer is now allocated only for our daily knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons, as well as the tin opener, cup measures, peelers and spoon measures.  Which gets the old cutlery caddy off my work surface, and gives me that little bit more room to work.

Sigh - I love it :)

Then - the fly problem.

Flies are part and parcel of farm life.  But there are just so many fly strips we can hang in a day, and just so many flies that I can, and will, handle crawling over me in the evenings when we are relaxing in front of the TV.

That's where the carpenter came in useful again.
A very solid fly screen covers
our kitchen door entrance
 He made us very sturdy fly screens - for both the back kitchen stable door...
A double fly screen was installed at
the Happy Doors :)
 ... and for the front "Happy Doors" which lead onto the patio.

Fly screens are commonplace in the US of A - I know because I have seen plenty of them in sitcoms and movies - both on TV and on the big screen the few times RMan and I have gone to the movies.

But, here, in fly country / continent, they are uncommon.


Who cares - I finally have some, and they work! It is the strangest sensation to stand at what looks like a closed door, and feel the breeze wafting through. Quite peculiar LOL

Yeeeeeha!  No more complaints about field mice or flies on this blog ever - I promise.

Saturday 8 March 2014

For all homesteaders in the making

If anyone would like a chance to win a book on homesteading, please won't you head over to Leigh's blog, 5 Acres & A Dream.

Reading the reviews on Amazon it appears to be a must-have book, giving Leigh and Dan's nuts and bolts account of their path towards self-sufficiency on their 5 Acre homestead - along with hints and tips and alternatives, and recipes.

I have been following Leigh's blog for a number of years, and her stamina and knowledge is amazing.  She also spins and weaves - one of those hobbies I hope to attempt and master in the not too distant future so that I can process all the alpaca's fleece we gain at shearing time - especially as we will be gaining 50% more since the birth of Miranda's cria last Monday LOL

Amazon has the following summary of her book:

"What does it take to become a successful homesteader?
Based on her popular homesteading blog, 5 Acres & A Dream, Leigh Tate shares how she and her husband Dan are facing the challenges of trying to establish a self-sufficient homestead; from defining their dream, finding property, and setting priorities, to obstacles and difficult times, to learning how to work smarter, not harder. She shares what they've learned about energy self-sufficiency, water self-sufficiency, and food self-sufficiency for themselves and their goats and chickens too. Included are copies of their homestead master plan plus revisions, homegrown vitamins and minerals for goats, and several of Leigh's favorite homestead recipes."

Please - support a fellow blogger and pop over and take a peek at her blog :)

Thursday 6 March 2014

Thought for Thursday 6

"And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said: 
      Your children are not your children. 
      They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
      They come through you, but not from you, 
      And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. 
      You may give them your love, but not your thoughts. 
      For they have their own thoughts. 
      You may house their bodies, but not their souls, 
      For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. 
      You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. 
      For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday. 
      You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. 
      The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. 
      Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; 
      For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."

from "The Prophet" - the chapter on "Children" by Kahlil Gibran.  Kahlil Gibran was born in 1883 into a Maronite Catholic family in northern Mount Lebabnon.  He emigrated to America with his mother and siblings in 1895 - the same year that he started school at the age of 12.  He died in New York City in 1931.

Personal note: I can highly recommend reading "The Prophet" - a moving, thought provoking and inspiring collection of poems.  The book is available to read online - just click on the book title above for the link.

Monday 3 March 2014

At long last...

... Miranda gave birth to her cria at 11.00a.m. (what a civilized hour) this morning.

She had been humming strangely all morning, rolling on the ground, then getting up, then cushing, then getting up again, over and over again.  After 3 trips to the midden in quick succession we knew something was about to happen.  At 10.37 she started straining, as though she was at her midden. Initially, she was in her stable, but suddenly she walked out and went to her favourite spot between her and Kris' paddock.

Back legs straddled, neck pointing straight out horizontally, Foothills Michael started appearing, a hoof at a time.  Miranda tried to cush,  and that's when RMan stepped in...

Then we heard Michael's gasps - he's breathing... :)

A bit of assistance in helping Michael fully emerge, and it was all over within 20 minutes.
So - with no further ado, may I introduce to you all, Foothills Michael, a healthy 8.0kg bouncing, brown baby cria.
Foothills Michael in all
his cuteness
We have named him Foothills Michael in honour of our grandson, who sent me a text out of the blue this morning asking if the cria was born yet.  We have decided to keep the M-prefix so that we can identify the lineage in the future, in order to keep the bloodline clean.

I'm not going to say much now, just enjoy the pics :)
Just as he was born
Miranda checking that everything's OK with her
new son

"Hello there, my little one.  Glad to finally meet
you after all these months" :)

It's warmer for him in the stable

Michael's first steps

"Oh, wow - it's big out here.  Mum, look, oh look..."

So much to see...

Within 65 minutes of being born, Michael had
already found the midden and proceeded to
empty his bladder.

How adorable is this picture :)
 Michael coming to meet and greet his midwife
while Miranda keeps a careful eye on him.
If he wanders near Kris, Miranda immediately
runs up and steers Michael away / spits at Kris

"Mum, do you mind if I have a little rest?"

"Ah, yes - food!"
(colostrum actually, but it is vitally important
for the cria in the first 36 hours of life)
With all the heat we've had recently, Miranda chose to give birth to her son on an drizzly, overcast day when the temperature was 17oC.  Not the warmest. Shame, the little cria was shivering madly, so we boiled the kettle and wrapped towels round it, to use them to warm him up.

Within 5 minutes of being born, the cria was already attempting to stand, succeeding at that when he was 15 minutes old.

He battled to find the teats - even with RMan's "guidance" - only having his first drink at 2 hours old.  But, now he's an old pro at that already.

It is amazing.  Within 65 minutes of being born, the cria was emptying his bladder at the midden (how's that for instinct?!) and an hour and a half after being born he was already romping round the paddock.  Miranda passed her afterbirth (which must be burnt or well buried so as not to attract predators) and she's toddling round like nothing has happened.

A treat consisting of a helping of freshly grated carrot mixed with a portion of maintenance meal was scoffed down in an instant :)
You would not believe how utterly soft
and cuddly his fur is.  As long as we
crouch down both Miranda and Michael
are happy to walk up to us.
Miranda was amazing.

Me, I was a complete waste of space.  Utterly useless.

RMan, bless him, was the midwife and paediatrition.

I have discovered that when it comes to humans in distress I have no problem, and RMan falls apart. But, animals - nada! I'm a shaking bundle of panic...

A right pair of Mutt and Jeff we are LOL  And very, very happy and excited Mutt and Jeff :)

If I knew how to upload to Youtube, I'd be able to show you Foothills Michael's first foray in the paddock.  No promises, I will try...