This photo was taken from the top ridge of the hill to the south of the farmhouse where the cows hang out in the summer and fall...thought you might enjoy a panoramic snowy winter's view! 'Annie' sits to the very edge at the left, 'Woodrow' is posed in the center, and 'Sissy' sits staged at the right edge of the photo--surprisingly, this shot was taken on WALKABOUT March 25th 2014. We were in the midst of lambing and calving!
This photo was taken on WALKABOUT September 9th to the Top of Bald Knob to photograph the Sunrise over our farm and the Lost River Valley. Sissy is poised graciously overlooking the valley. Our farm lies beneath the rise of the hill some 800+ Ft. below the top. It was a brisk beautiful morning. The slightly waning Full Moon had just fallen prey to the day's rotation and hidden itself to the west of us. A glorious way to start the day....
Our 200-acre farm.......
lies at the base of Bald Knob -- the top of West Mountain. This mountain is the beginnings of the headwaters for the Lost River. It lies along the 'Divide' in the easternmost part of Hardy County, West Virginia. We have lived here 37 years. We have NOW lived here longer than any one family since the 1850's when deeds were recorded and maintained by the county. The farm elevation is 1800 ft. West Mountain's elevation is either 2615 or 2715 ft. depending on which map you use as reference. It snows most years--sometimes less, sometimes more (...this year far less than in 2016, a mere 8")! Fortunately, summers are relatively mild, with daytime temperatures in the 80's-90's; and comfortable nighttime temperatures in the 60's-70's.
Our cows; sheep; "Flame RedDog" one-horse, and "Tinkerbell Eoyore" one-donkey graze 100+ acres, The remaining woodland acreage is managed as wildlife habit; we gather just enough firewood from the 'dead and down' trees for our own use. Deer, squirrel and red fox thrive here. Coyotes do, as well, but are held at bay by the 'Don't Even Think About It' attitude of our ANATOLIA Sheep Dogs, "Sissy" and "Annie"! The stalwart 'ole Farm Shepherd, "Woodrow", provides backup when necessary!
There is no 'real' cropland. In good years, we harvest hay from our one pasture field beyond the barn past the 'ram-pasture' pond. We otherwise make hay on the farm in nearby Bergton, Virginia, where my husband was raised. Our hay and pastures are fertilized and limed regularly and consists of orchard grass, timothy, and clovers. We buy alfalfa hay from a local farmer in nearby Broadway, Virginia, for the sheep during gestation and lambing. Unfortunately, alfalfa does not grow well at these higher elevations in our poorer high shale soils.
Sheep and Cattle are pastured all year and supplemented with hay during the winter months. Ewes are fed grain for the 6-weeks prior to lambing and 6-8 weeks of lactation when the grass is just peeking through the ground. Lambing and calving are scheduled for early March. Lambs and calves then grow to coincide with grass growth and are able to graze nutrient-rich, brilliant early grasses in mid-April, early May. Herbal, homeopathic, and essential oil therapies and 'organic' methods are used in treating all injuries and illnesses. Vaccines and conventional antibiotic therapies are ONLY used if and when situations dictate "no stone unturned"!
"Flame-RedDog One-Horse" and "Tinkerbell-Eoyore" help with predator control and simply provide entertainment and joy during walkabout-rides.