Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Spring Visit to Paris Barns

Willie (with the requisite bedhead)  and I got up early this Sunday to head out to Paris Barns in rural Virginia (Paris, Va) to spend some time with their rescue animals and check on their bees.  One of the pleasures of the DC area is that you don't have to travel very far to find working farms and a completely different lifestyle from the stresses of city life or the comfortable vehicular life of the suburbs.

 John and Martha Boneta, the proprietors of Paris Barns, are passionate animal lovers who rescue horses, cows, goats, sheep, emus, and llamas that are in danger of being put down or neglected by their owners who have run out of resources.  This is a labor of love, and their brood is growing as some of their flock have continued to procreate.
These baby emus emerged this winter in the snow.  they appear to be about 25 lbs.  They are not even three months old!

This cow stared us down:

Then decided to stand up and greet us politely:
Their flock of sheep has grown by about 20 lambs over the last year.  Minor animal husbandry surgery has prevented that explosion from happening again.  With all the wool-producing animals on the farm, they may become the locavore fiber producer!
A curious parent....

And their bees...not such good news.
 This has been a tough winter for most local beekeepers, partially due to mites, partially due to the long winter and slow spring.  These hives succumbed to what we believe was a mite infestation that took hold in late fall and caused the bees to abscond.  Mice took over each of the hives.