Category Archives: piggies

I haven’t written in two months, so get ready for some photos!

My job is so busy and so wonderful but coming home at night to write has fallen away from me, I’m sad to report. My last post was about sweet Pandy’s passing and I still feel a pang for her each time I visit the farm.

I miss her so.

Pandy_Dog_Mindingtheminis

It’s all part of the bittersweet moments that make up being part of a rescue or having any animal in your life, really. The probability that you will experience their death is always there. So, take all the moments that you can with them.

Here are some photos of other friends at the farm that I’ve taken while my has sat waiting.

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Athena was shorn along with the rest of the sheep at the beginning of May. Her face wasn’t entirely done so as she’s gotten more comfortable with me touching her (I’ve gotten to where I can pet her without needing to give her treats! Full body pets!), I’ve pulled off what I could. I happen to really like the look though, so mostly I just go for the pieces that are really loose.

And if you don’t like it, this is what Athena thinks of you!

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The alpacas were shorn in the middle of June. This was actually a somewhat scary situation because there aren’t a lot of people willing to shear alpacas. It’s a dangerous undertaking for both the animals and the people involved, so unless the animals belong to the shearer, many won’t undertake the risk. Deb sent out pleas nationwide and finally someone came forward to do it. (Thank you!) Alpacas need to be shorn each summer so that they don’t overheat, which they can do very easily and it can be fatal. So, while they remained furry, we kept a special eye on them for signs of distress. I was thrilled to arrive a few weeks ago and see them sans fur!

First up, Pisca and Karolina. I especially love the patch of white that runs down Karolina’s back legs.

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Ms. Noelle!

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A cat nap is pretty glorious…

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…any way you look at it!

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Niko is going to have eye surgery soon and I am very happy about that. I haven’t posted about her in a long time, but she’s one of the cats who lives in Mooney’s barn (the name of the barn where Spirit, Lunar, Athena and Gully live) and she’s as sweet as ever, even when in terrible pain.

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Willow and Spirit becoming friends!

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There is a new structure near the big barn that was built for the goats. They’re kind of terrified of it though so it’s rare to actually see a goat on it. One afternoon, while feeding treats to Mervin at the end of my visit, I decided that he and I should go on an adventure.

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Here he is checking out the structure. “I don’t think so…”

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His opinion stayed on the “no, thank you” track until I pulled the treats back out.  And climb it we did! He discovered that there was tasty hay on the top, too. He even climbed around on the lower levels and followed me back up for a second trip.

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My plan, when it’s not a million degrees out, is to do this with a bunch of goats.

Last week, my friends came to the farm so I spent time all over the farm with them. I haven’t seen my turkey love in forever! He was just as affectionate as always and I plan to get into the bird house again soon.

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Noelle, mid-bite!

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I haven’t seen the donkeys in forever. Jezebel is such a beauty and has the sweetest disposition. And she’s soooo soft.

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They got to meet Gully and that’s always the greatest experience ever. (For me. He’s actually pretty standoffish with strangers.) Oh, Gully, my Gull. I love you endlessly.

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And since it’s July, there are tons and tons of dragonflies around, so I’ll end this catch-up post with another one of my favorite creatures on this earth.

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Have a happy week!

Follow me on Twitter (@mindingtheminis) or Instagram (mindingtheminis) if you want to see live tweets from the farm on Sunday afternoons!

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Filed under alpacas, athena, cats, dragonflies, goats, gulliver, horses, niko, pandy, piggies, sheep, turkey, willow, winslow farm

I’ll gladly give up an hour of sleep if it means spending more time with my buddies

What a joy it was this week to be there as late as 6:15 and it was still light out! I love spring so much. No more snow storms, please! I’ve already broken the top off of two plastic shovels at home since I haven’t gotten it into my head that you can’t step on the top of them.

I spent most of the time enjoying the great weather and hanging out with the animals. Dan, an amazing kid who’s essentially Deb’s number two, witnessed Athena rush me for treats. “Wow, she really comes right up to you,” he commented. I was proud of both Athena and myself at that moment.

Here are my favorite photographs of the day:

The always elegant Spirit

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Delilah looking super innocent perched on a fence post.

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And this snorty snout belongs to Miss Willow!

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I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Don’t forget to follow on me on Twitter (twitter.com/mindingtheminis) if you’d like to experience Winslow with me on Sunday afternoons.

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You wanted another video of Willow, right??

Here you go!!!

I can’t get enough of this girl!

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Willow, the new pig on the farm, is as adorable as her name!

Willow, the adorable new pig at Winslow Farm was found on the side of 495 as a piglet. She probably fell off a truck and was destined to be a pig meant for consumption. This would have meant she would have lived in horrible conditions as she waited for slaughter. Willow’s been living at the Animal League Shelter in Dedham while they looked for her owner (who never came forward) and then a potential adopter. She’s about six or seven months now and is about a quarter size that’s she’s going to be when she’s grown. She’s going to be bigger than Waterford who weighs about 800 pounds!

She is super friendly. I went into her pen and she immediately came up to me. She made the cutest snortiest noises that you can hear here. And she spent the entire time looking for food, most of which was spent with her nose firmly attached to the ground chomping away at whatever she could dig up. She also jumps up like a dog (which I discouraged but also found out after it means that she’s trying to mount me, so that was interesting).

Here she is. What a beauty! (I can’t believe how big she’s going to be!)

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It was hard to get a clear shot of her since she spent the entire time I was with her rooting around for food. Look at that pretty smile!

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I think she was checking out Waterford here. The plan is for them to be best buddies. In the spring, Deb hopes to knock the wall down that separates them. They’re already getting friendly with each other (and yes, she’s spayed and he’s neutered.)

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And because she spent the entire time looking for food, it’s only fitting to have a photo of her with her snout buried deep in a feed bucket.

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What a precious face!

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Filed under piggies, waterford, willow, winslow farm

Here’s a sneak peak at the new piggie, Willow!!!!

She is SO sweet!!! I will have photos and a story up soon, but in the meantime, I give you this!

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Whimsical Winslow ~ Opie!

This is what Ms. Opie does every night after dinner. It takes just about forever for her to get comfortable. And yes, she gets under the blanket by herself. So cute!

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Whimsical Winslow ~ Napoleon

Napoleon is a super polite gentleman. Watch as he kindly asks for his dinner:

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Whimsical Winslow – Waterford!

Watty snorts his way through the day!

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Wow, how time flies!

I can’t believe that my last post was on November 21st! It feels like 14 million things have happened since then. Although, realistically, it’s kind of amazing to me how consistent it is there each week. My duties pretty much stay the same, with an added blanket or an extra scoop of grain mixed in. Gulliver continues to be one of the most amazing beings I can imagine and cuddling with him is excellent every single time. That’s really no excuse not to write though, so I’m going to sit here eating gummy bears and try to fill in lost time.

One Monday, I spent a while walking around the corral with Lunar, my arm slung over her back. I’m not sure how adequately I can describe how cool that was.

The pheasant has continued to plague me. He is such a jerk! On the same day as the walk with Lunar, he made the mistake of trying to attack me with her at my side. She stomped after him with such force, neighing loudly, that it even scared me! Score!

A few weeks ago, I went down to the barn to collect Gulliver and there is a maze of gates to get through on the way back. He was so impatient that he didn’t wait for me to open one of the gates all the way and he got stuck. It took a while to stop laughing before I could free him.

Opie, the little piggy who spends most of her time snoring under a blanket, was out and about while on my way to collect Gulliver. I squatted down to say hello to her. She had food all over her snout and she kindly shared some with my knee. It was just about one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I scratched her head for a while and then continued on my mission.

Right about when the cold weather was kicking in for the season, I was given the task again to put on the horse coats. A little out of practice, Spirit’s snort of derision after I finally got his on said it all. Oh well, practice makes perfect, right?

Another day, I walked passed the regular gaggle of roosters (you thought I’d say “geese”, didn’t you? Nope. They just wait until I’m walking through and try to eat my coat). Standing among them was one of the peacocks. I don’t know why it was such a “wow” moment for me but it caught me off guard. There he was, going about his business, just hanging out, and yet he’s fluorescent blue. So normal and out of place at the same time. Majestic. I thought, “Yup. I get to spend time at a place where walking by a peacock is just a regular Monday. Awesome.”

Recently, Spirit and Cloud (the mule) have fallen in love. Hard core – don’t ever leave me – I’ll just scream on the top of my lungs until I see you again – love. When one of the kids brings Spirit up to the barn, blood curdling cries of anguish can be heard down by the lower barn as Cloud pierces the air with her mournful song. And no matter how much food and comfort I try to give him, Spirit yells at me for a solid five minutes in between bites of his dinner. Cloud has even been known to use her powers by breaking down fences to get to him. Now that’s Love.

Speaking of love, here are some videos of my friends being awesome:

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Filed under alpacas, athena, goats, gulliver, horses, humor, pheasant, piggies, roosters, videos, waterford, winslow farm

A month and a half was practically forever!

It takes me longer than most to adjust to new schedules and somehow the blog slipped away. And once a few weeks passed, it started feeling overwhelming. Rest assured though, I still went to Winslow every week. Goal going forward with a new job: No neglecting Minding the Minis!

Yes, you read “new job” right. It turns out that the nursery business, in addition to being seasonal, is greatly affected by the weather and current economy. So, even though I would have been laid off  for a few months each year (had NO idea), having a bad summer means letting go of extra hands like me. While I’m sad to leave the animals behind, my job was so focused elsewhere that I only had a few moments with them each day. Now I can visit the nursery just to feed them. Score!

Being at Winslow, as always, has been an oasis from the rest of the world for me. Lots of little moments have been lost in my writing absence but I will have lots of pictures to share…once I sift through the virtual pile.

In the meantime, here’s an anecdote from last week. I’ve talked about Waterford, the 450 pound pig, many times. Over the past month, I’ve started getting him into his pen by myself. For some reason, he’s been following me easily in without the aid of food. I sing-song to him and he gets up and trots after me, or in a few rare cases, he’s just seen me and off he went. Whenever I regale Deb with these small adventures, she’s always surprised at him and then follows up with warnings.

Feeling cocky, I went for another notch on my success belt on Monday and he completely ignored me. After singing his name, he followed me to the pen and then realized I had no food. He braked that big giant body, turned around and walked away. Hmmm. After a brief barn visit, I emerged with a scoop of hay pellets and he followed me once more. He went in but didn’t leave enough room for me to easily put the grain into his bucket.

So I nudged him.

He nudged back.

He does this very quickly, accompanies it with a snarl, a bite and jams his tusk in really hard.

While thinking, “oh. Ow!“, I quickly threw the food in and closed the gate. I can officially report that when he gets pissed, he means business and he acts on it fast. Much faster than his laissez faire attitude lets on. And he delivered the blow to my knee cap. While it broke skin, it didn’t bleed, but it was in ridiculous pain that night.

When I told Deb about it our adventure, her response was, “No one ever believes me.” Oh, I definitely believed her but really needed to experience it for myself in order to not want to experience it again.

I still love his big floppy ears though!

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Filed under behavior, piggies, waterford, winslow farm