Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Friday, February 25, 2011


 Seriously though, WHERE did the month of February go???
We had an absolute blast last week with a big ol' buncha music friends in town.
Some of our buds were nominated for a GRAMMY(!) a few months back and attended the awards show a couple weeks ago, just before headin' to Montana to play in a festival. Watch Video for Magic #9 (the grammy nominated tune) here! It's rad, but the videographer cut off Travis' head. Whoopsy.
In the photo above you can see members of the bluegrass bands Crooked Still(watch the latest awesome Crooked Still Video) , The Emmit-Nershi Band, and our favorites, The Infamous Stringdusters having a low-key fireside jam one evening prior to festy time. There aren't a whole lot of places we'd rather be then listening to that ruckus.
("sir can you DESCRIBE the ruckus?")
Each year Big Sky Resort throws an awesome bluegrass festival called Big Sky Big Grass. We countdown the days all winter to it, and relish in the fact that sometimes your favorite things (in our case, skiing and bluegrass) CAN collide. What could be better?
Not too much I'll tell you what.
 Above from left to right: Aoife O'Donovan from Crooked Still, Chris Pandolfi (www.chrispandolfi.com) from The Infamous Stringdusters, and Bill Nershi from The Emmit-Nershi band.
Aoife (pronounced EEF-ah) and I had some great 'maiden' time skiing together, while Chris ("Panda") and Ed tore up the more gnarly terrain together along with Travis Book, also from the Duster crew, and Corey Dimario from Crooked Still.
Overall we had some awesome snows, killer shows, and made ALOT of great memories!
 So...recently I have noticed a bit of 'growth' in my nubian goats!
If you remember to November, we had sent our three does off to Farm 51 in Bozeman for 'dating' purposes.
Having a 5 month gestation period, our girls could start kidding in about 4-5 weeks!
Runty, the spotted mini girl on the right above is one of our potential mamas.
I really cannot imagine her fitting a kid inside of that tiny body of hers, but only time will tell.
 Janet, as you can see above, has most definitely started to show! I wonder if that means she has more than one kid inside of her!? She is my most social doe, and I hope she has at least one little girl, or doeling, for us to keep. Her shape is fantastic with wide hips and perfect proportion, making her an ideal candidate for some gorgeous Nubian kids.
 Wild Child, above, my veteran doe, has not yet started to show. This comes as no surprise to me, however, as she is much larger than the other two does. She will be the one to show the others the ropes, as she has already experienced the miracle of life last spring when she gave birth to Cheap Trick, our token wether.
Well....I suppose only time will tell as to who is carrying baby goats inside of her and I will try to keep on with the pictures of their growth over the month of March.
We are about to place a large 'kidding order' with our favorite goat dairying supply company: Hoegger Dairy Goat Supply.
As the supplies roll in, I will be sure to detail the things that we order, why, and how they are used in the kidding processes.
Meanwhile, you get yourselves ready for some cute kids to arrive!
A parting shot foreshadows to some new Infamous Stringduster action.
Stay tuned.

Hugs and hay in your pockets~ The Coyles

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fun With A Scouting Camera

Coyotes and Chickens

I've been having some fun with this scouting camera lately. It's a camera that's triggered by motion. It attaches to any tree or branch with a strap and is pretty durable to the weather. This is just the beginning. I have a number of little scouting camera projects planned that I'll be doing over the next few months.

It started out a few weeks ago when one of our hens died. I decided to donate the chicken to the natives to help 'em out a little during this years tough winter. Why didn't the chicken go in the soup pot you might ask? Well, we weren't totally sure why the chicken died, leaving us second guessing if we wanted to eat it ourselves. So, into the forest I went to set up my camera......

It took a few nights for anything to appear. I was hoping for something really cool to come by and have a snack like a bobcat, a mountain lion, or if I was really, really lucky a wolverine. I'm not completely sure, but I would imagine that a predator wants to eat it's own kill instead of snacking on the trash. So I settled for a coupla cool shots of some coyotes. Here's the first shot of this coyotes grand discovery:

 Mmmmmm, this looks delicous. I feel like chicken tonight, like chicken tonight......

There was over 30 pictures from one night, of what I made out to be 3 different coyotes. Each one came back a second time, just to make sure that he or she didn't leave any scraps. One of them had the mange, which is a very contagious skin disease caused by parasitic mites. You can see this guys tail fur is almost completely gone:

Foxes and Mountain Goats

Last week I was out cruising on the snowmobile. I had the camera in my pack, and was really hoping to come across a mountain lion kill in the forest, in hopes of setting up the camera to catch the lion coming back later in the evening. Out of the corner of my eye, I see what I thought was a mule deer antler shed. I hopped off the sled and as I got closer realized it wasn't a shed at all. It was a mountain goat. The goat looked like it died of old age, but there had already been some animal tracks and scat around it. Perfect opportunity to set up the camera on a nearby tree:

I went back on the first couple days and there wasn't much action. After about a week of not checking at all, I went back today and found over 70 shots of a fox. He or she came in a few different times over the course of 4 days. We saw a fox on the road at night a few weeks ago, and I think this was the one.

I'm still trying to figure out if this is the same fox. It could be the photo, but to me it looks like it's legs are alot darker in a few of the shots. What do you think?

You may call me crazy. This post has nothing to do with sustainable living. It definitely doesn't have a word on our goats that have recently seemed to grow a bit larger, or our thoughts on the pigs we'll be picking up here in a few months, but I think it's kind of fun. I'm looking forward to the bears waking up this spring. Hope to have you along........