Wednesday 29 May 2013

Team Flute

American Grand Champion/Canadian Champion Dinsdale Champagne Flute
Flute had a great time at the Schnauzapalooza event May 11th 2013 held at Purina Farms in St.Louis Missouri. It was a wonderfully attended American National Specialty, you can see the days entry here
I am the proud breeder of Flute and I co-own her with Brooke Thomas.  Flute is a wonderful result of our Dinsdale breeding program which began almost 20 years ago.  You can view Flute's pedigree on line by clicking here 
Flute was awarded an Award of Merit, only 3 of the more then 40 Special females were given this honour.   Even sweeter is the fact that Flute was being handled to this wonderful win by her co-owner Brooke Thomas, this was Brooke's first time handling a Special at an American National Specialty!  Not bad you two :-)
Flute will be coming back to Dinsdale to be bred in just a couple of months.  I am excited to see what her kids will be like, another generation of Standard Schnauzers at Dinsdale.

Tuesday 28 May 2013

She's got my back

Olive watching me leave the house to let the chickens out.  
"Don't worry Lori, we got your back and will sort out any unruly hens!"

Sunday 26 May 2013

Who's your daddy?

Beamish is all smiles, he is going to be a daddy in a couple of weeks.  Poor Clover has almost 3 weeks to go and the girl is HUGE!

Monday 20 May 2013

May weekend in the garden

The first long weekend of the Summer, weather was wonderful, we were able to get soooo much work done in the garden.  Most all of my seedlings are in the ground now, that was a feat.  We  worked non-stop from morning to dinner time.  Dogs feel slightly ignored, but, once we have this done we can relax a bit and enjoy the summer.  I added a couple of bean teepee's, lots of rustic charm, hopefully my DIY skills (old branches and twine) will make it through the bean season.
Finally by the end of Sunday afternoon I flopped down in the grass to watch the chickens and rabbits and couldn't resist the beautiful late afternoon light and the dandelions.  The end to a gorgeous weekend.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Mersey, best schnauzer nose ever!

Saturday 18 May 2013

Gateway to summer

What better photos to kick off the May long weekend in Canada.  Welcome Summer 2013 we have been waiting for  you!


Friday 17 May 2013

More squirrel landscaping

Thursday 16 May 2013

Mellow Yellow May flowers

We don't have much of a flower garden.  I did attempt gardens when we first moved here, however a houseful of schnauzers and pretty gardens do not really gel.  Mostly, we have handfuls of spring daffodils naturalized around the property.  I had planted crocus and tulip bulbs in the early years but the squirrels quickly put an end to that.  These tulips are at the side of the driveway, I don't recall every planting them, I think they were buried here by a squirrel that later forgot about his stash.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Chicken Feet

I have added two new breeds of chickens to the flock.  Both English breeds, the Silver Gray Dorking and the Speckled Sussex.  I wanted the Sussex last year, but, come hatching time there wasn't enough for me.  I placed my order early this year and am thrilled to have four little Speckled girls. 
The other breed, the Dorking, was a choice I made after a ton of research on breeds, I was looking for a breed that would lay a white egg, all my current hens lay brown, I loved that the Dorkings are listed as a rare heritage bird, and they have an extra toe,  only a handful of breeds possess this.  Here are some photos showing the difference between the four toed Sussex and the five toed Dorking.  I am not sure what the value is of that odd fifth toe, but it is sort of neat.
When the chicks first arrived they were almost identical in colour and markings, the toes were how I could identify them. 

They are beginning to feather out after a week and a half, losing the soft down and gaining their proper feathers.   Hopefully in a couple more weeks they can leave my grooming room and be transferred to their own area out in the chicken coop to grow up a bit before being released into our current flock.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Bedroom nursery

Our spare bedroom has always been a nursery for our pups, we even raised chicks in it for a few weeks last year, this Spring it has been set up with grow lights and our seedlings have been started there.
We planted seeds a month later then last year, but, hadn't expected we would have such a cold late  Spring, combine that with our super amazing grow lights and the plants are out of control.  That is a pumpkin blooming above.  Hopefully the hard frost of the last two evenings marks the end to the cold weather and I can get all these plants into the ground within the week.  I really don't fancy a wild pumpkin vine making it's way through the house!

Most of our Pepper plants are flowering, tomatoes started to set flower a couple weeks ago.  Not exactly the location I wanted to grow my vegetables in!
Wonder if we will have tomatoes & peppers on the vines early this year, or, will the shock of transplanting outside set them back further?  Guess we will find out.

Monday 13 May 2013

Hugo mug shot

A favourite old photo of one of our first Standard Schnauzers, Hugo

Saturday 11 May 2013

Ready for a road trip

What schnauzer doesn't enjoy a car ride?

Sunday 5 May 2013

Their here....

 Let the oohs & awes begin :-)  I love them!  Above is a Silver Gray Dorking and below a beautiful Speckled Sussex
Both are breeds that originated in England.  The Dorking is kind of cool it has an extra toe.  The Sussex are suppose to be very people oriented and full of character.  I have four of each and their little peeps are crazy cute.
My goslings didn't arrive, apparently fertility is low in them and their hatching didn't transpire.  I was so looking forward to geese, but, maybe in the the future, for now I will enjoy the new chicks while they are soft and sweet, they grow so fast.

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Spring = Work

Eranthis blooming today

It is a crazy time of the year, Spring.  With it arriving late this year it seems like we have been heaved into a mad sprint to get everything complete.  I apologize to anyone whose email has gone unanswered the last couple of weeks, I just haven't had the time or the motivation by the end of the day.

So, what is on the go? dogs, girls have been in and out of season (thank goodness as Beamish was losing his mind...again) Both Clover and Hilde have been bred, we expect pups mid June and early July.  One litter Pepper & Salt litter, the other Black, more on that another day.

We have a ton of vegetable & herb seedlings started, they are taking over my life.  With so many we have to run the grow lights 24/7 and each morning and evening I switch them out, half go under the bench and half go on top to bask in 12 hours of daylight.  It doesn't seem like much work, but, believe me there are hundreds of plants, they all need to be watered and moved.

Today I transplanted 60 sunflower seedlings to individual pots.  I now have an excuse not to groom my dogs as they occupy my grooming tables in my front room.  To thank me for giving them new roomy pots they are drooping and looking like they are about to die.

Of course, because we never like to do things in a normal, prepared fashion, we do not have the gardens set up outside to accommodate all these plants, which means more work.  Saturday we rented a huge tiller and spent the day tilling out a 20' X 30' garden plot.  Mick and I worked a tilling relay taking turns being dragged around the plot by the beast for 5 hours.  I couldn't move my arms above my head for two days.   Additional top soil will be delivered tomorrow, I have asparagus crowns and potatoes that HAVE to be put in the ground...NOW.

Our Garlic bulbs planted last Autumn are up doing great!

In typical leap before you look fashion, last January I ordered chicks and goslings.  My plan was to set them up in the spare bedroom for a couple of weeks then move out to the coop once they feathered out a little bit.  I 'figured' I could put them in the area that I store the feed bins, it is fenced and they would be safe from the adult hens until big enough to protect themselves and I could hang a heating lamp for them.  What I didn't count on back in January (when more poultry seemed like such a great idea) was having about 300 seedlings in my spare bedroom, hmmm.....not sure what I am going to do now??  They are suppose to arrive...tomorrow, ack!

Oh well, I will figure it all out, I'm sure.  The big bonus, more chick photos in the future :-)

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