Thursday, December 30, 2010

Celebrating the New Year with Pigs and Pomegranates


Source: Beliefnet.  The pig is the symbol of good luck in Vienna, Austria. Pigs are let loose in restaurants and everyone tries to touch them for luck as they run by. In private homes, a marzipan pig, with a gold piece in its mouth, is suspended from a ribbon and touched instead. In Greece, it's customary to throw a pomegranate wrapped in silver foil on the threshold, to spread the seeds of good luck for an abundant year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Large Black Hog Boar Rodeo

Our Large Black Hog boar Tater is the size of a Shetland Pony.  A fact which proves to be too much of a temptation for this boy.  Tater takes it all in stride, then gets a wild hair, what with all this snow thawing and deliciously warm wind, and decides to romp.  And rolick.  Just a wee bit.  But enough to send this  er ... "wild" ... boar tamer sliding off to the safety of terra firma. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There's Always One ...

First thing I do when I go down to feed the herd of "little" pigs in the morning is count snouts.  One ...  Two ... Three ...  Four ...  Five ...

And then I have to look for number Six.  There's always one pig who is lagging behind.  Snoozing under a tree.  Holed up in the straw in the hoop house.  Investigating something of great porcine interest. 

These Large Black Hogs show up in stark relief against the bright white snow.  But you should try to feed jet black hogs in the pitch dark of early early in the morning before you have to drive into town to go to your day job.  I crawl over the fence with a bucket of feed in hand, Coleman lantern dangling from a post, straining to see.

Then I hear them.

A dozen cloven hooves coming right at me until they are bunched up in a heap, a low lying storm cloud, a squealing mob of onyx pigs around my knees.  Plus one straggler.  I do the math, and realize that I am surrounded by at least a thousand pounds of very very hungry hogs, pressing their snouts against my shins and wringing their tails.  I should probably be worried as they cling to me like keening remora fish as I make my way to the feed trough.  Instead, I am thankful for good balance.

On this winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, I am very happy to think of the sun beginning to trace a higher arc across the sky as the days begin to get longer, a little bit of light at a time.

I am also very glad that my large Large Black Hogs have much better manners than this unruly, but positively lovely, horde.

Our Hog Hoop House Design Proven in the Snow!

We got dumped on with over 2 feet of snow, and the Large Black Hog Hooch (hoop house) we built weathered it like a champ.  The little pigs were cozy as could be. 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trailblazers

These six-month-old Large Black hogs lift their dainty hooves as they prowl about through the brand new snow, which just reaches the black bristles of their chinny chin chins.  They hold their snouts aloft, sniffing in wonderment at all this white stuff.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ebb and Flow

These "little" pigs (now 6 months old) rush out of their hoop house when I call, investigate the snow, decide that getting a little back scratching is not worth wading through two feet of snow to all the way over here where I am crouched with my camera, and rush back inside.

Large Black Hog Hibernation

Two feet of fresh snow outside.  Tater and Prudence are in hog hibernation.  They remind me of bears.  Or walruses.

I love the peace, the utter contentment, of the barn on a snowy winter afternoon.

Smiling Large Black Hog

What's not to smile about?  This is the first snow this Large Black Hog gilt has seen, and she thinks it's pretty cool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Iron Clad

Large Black Hog Tater is one handsome boar.  He is also a complete gentleman.  Which is a good thing, because at a year and a half he's the size of my kids' old pony (500 + pounds) and has armor.  No kidding.  This big pig is as iron clad as the Black Knight himself.

This being the first boar I've ever had, I was surprised when I was scratching Tater's various itchy spots about 6 weeks ago, which I am pretty much politely requested to do every morning at breakfast time when he sidles up alongside of me, rumbling and grumbling, and discovered that this big critter has grown armor plating, a thick protective layer, along his neck, his shoulders, and down his ribs.  No wonder ancient peoples had boars on their coats of arms.  No wonder today's wild boar hunters talk about the armor of their prey.
This Large Black Hog boar is a rugged creature.  (Who will flop over on his side in a heartbeat for a good belly scratching ...)  The kids are no longer in grade school, or I would be tempted to take this boar in for show and tell, like we did with their old spotted Pony of the Americas.  (Not!)  What a good impression we would have made.

Tater's tusks are starting to peek out as well.  Now that's going to be truly impressive.

How the Little Pigs Grow

May 2010

November 2010

 And more little ones on the way!  (I've got a feeling Large Black Hog Prudence is eating for a dozen this time around ...)

The King of the Large Black Hogs

Autumn Hogs