Clean Air, Sheep Maintenance, and Apple Picking

Yesterday ended up badly for me.  After I posted my blog post I started watching Apocalypse Cow Episode 1 by Dana Lyons.  I was enjoying this until Tom told me that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died.  She was a hero of mine, and I had recently read her book. I was devastated and start crying, no longer able to watch Apocalypse Cow.  I started reading tributes about RBG.  And then saw posts about all the lightening strikes around Cle Elum.  The wind was picking up there as well so I was terribly concerned about even worsening wildfires.  The smoke here was still bad, and I still couldn’t go outside without an N-95 mask. It just felt like the world was coming to an end.  I had reached my limit with the pandemic, racism, violence and environmental destruction.  

So I made myself a pizza and had a glass of red wine.  That plus an episode of Voodoo Chile by Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids (presumably a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Jimi’s death) lightened my mood somewhat.  

Plus for some reason I felt compelled to try to take photos of my goldfish.  My aquariums provide a calming effect on me for some reason.

And this morning, looking out the dining room window, I saw some blue sky!

And the AQI was in the good level!

It has been 11 days of smoke.  11 days of staying indoors as much as possible and wearing an N-95 mask outside.  

We did get some rain last night but not enough to appreciably help our fire risk.

But when I went outside without the N95 I could hear birds singing.  I had not realized that they had stopped singing all this time.  I knew I could not see them.  The swallows are gone still though.  I hope they just left early and didn’t die.

Since the smoke cleared we could finally do our fall sheep maintenance.  I did not want to do it in an N-95 so the smoke cleared in the nick of time.  With this, I check the body condition, wool and conjunctiva color of our flock (now at 18).  I trim their hooves.  I put zinc sulfate on their feet to try to minimize hoof scald when the rains come.  They all got CDT vaccine boosters.  They all got copper boluses.  And the ones prone to hoof scald got injections of Draxxin to try to keep it under better control.  Here is Walda getting her maintenance.

And here is Harlen getting his.

The only real surprise was that Tanya, our Gotland cross ewe, was a little thin.  But she is 12 years old so I guess it is not too surprising.  So she was moved to the spoiled older sheep and goat group to get extra treats.  

After maintenance we went to our friends’ Denise and Shimon’s place to pick apple off of their >100 year old apple tree.  The tree is gorgeous and always produces a lot of apples.

Here is a photo of one of the branches where I was picking apples from a ladder. This tree has character.

So that was my day. Now we are relaxing, watching the Mariners and listening to All Blues on KNKX. Having air to breathe has made a huge difference. But I feel so sorry for all the folks affected by this pandemic in our dysfunctional system, and all the critters (human and otherwise) affected by the wildfires. Plus all of my fellow Americans adversely affected by racism and violence. I still fear for the future, but had a nice day on our farm and our friends’ farm (socially distanced, of course). Tomorrow the plan is that I will get up early to do chores and then watch football. I plan on a lazy day. Go Hawks!!!

PS We were planning on going to our mountain trailer yesterday, but the smoke, fires and forecast lightening on top of my health issues forced us to cancel that. So that disappointment plus sleep deprivation (plus all the other events listed above) may have also contributed to my meltdown yesterday. I will try to recuperate and continue to try to make things better.

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2 Responses to Clean Air, Sheep Maintenance, and Apple Picking

  1. Michelle says:

    YES! The cleaner air and glimpses of blue sky make ALL the difference in attitude and quality of life! Plus, here we got a LOT of rain which rinsed off all the plants and made the world look TechniColor compared to the dingy effects of smoke. The swallows were gathering here during the worst of it, so I think yours must have left already since you’re farther north.

    Yesterday we were at a place with some beautiful Koi, and I got obsessed about getting good photos of them, too. Haven’t had a chance to look at them on my laptop yet….

    • Donna says:

      I am glad you had a nice rinsing. And thrilled to hear that the swallows are alive still. I hope your koi photos turned out. Not sure why fish are calming to me but I will take it.

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