Friday, July 22, 2016

Dragonfly Afternoon

It's been hot and dry...
we've had no rain in weeks.
The earth is parched and the grass is getting brown.


Because the sky has been so clear and blue, our nights have been unseasonably cool.
Our afternoons....blistering.


Afternoons are generally quiet these days.
Animals, who spend their nights grazing, prefer to find a comfortable place to sleep.


Why they sleep in the hot sun, however, is a mystery to me!

I took my camera to the pond yesterday afternoon and found a cool spot to sit.
The pond is scum-covered from the heat of the sun and lack of rain.
I sat there and watched... looking for any and all signs of life around the pond.


The koi seemed curious with my presence and one by one came close to shore to get a better look.


I was amazed at how quiet it was.
Even the songbirds seemed to be napping.


The only critters who appeared unaffected were the insects.


I watched several tiny butterflies flit from stone to stone beside the water...
each no bigger than a nickel.


As I sat on the shore of the pond, this little "skimmer" type dragonfly sat close to me on a stick.
(I have always been fascinated by dragonflies 
and for years felt a sort of spiritual connection to them.)


He would leave and return, leave and return.


Finally deciding to stay, he lifted his abdomen high straight into the air...
a behavior know as obelisking.


Dragonflies do this presumably to decrease the surface area that the sun beats down upon....
keeping their abdomen as cool as possible.
Dragonflies breathe through their abdomens, so this keeps the air from warming too much as they respire.


It is said that if a dragonfly sits with you it is because he wishes to communicate with you.
Because of his short life span, apparently everything he does has a purpose.
And so, I just sat and listened.... and listened.
And what he told me is that if one sits perfectly still and pays attention with all of his/her senses... 
being completely present in the moment...
one can live a happy life in a single day!


So, let's take the advice of the dragonfly.
Let's live each moment as if it were the only moment we have!

Have a wonder-full weekend filled with wonderful moments!!
See you Monday with more Tails from the Farm.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Counting Sheep

I wonder what it must be like to be burdened with a wool coat for one's entire life!


Sitting with the sheep and watching them on this particularly warm day,
I imagine that it might be something like a hot flash that never goes away.


Amazingly, the sheep never appear irritable from the heat.


They are, however, wise at picking what type of activity belongs with what temperature.


They are much more active in the late evenings these days...
while afternoons are spent beneath the shade.


I am sure that wintertime is their favorite
and that they never feel a chill.


One thing I will say is that sheep are stoic.
You never quite know how they feel about much of anything.


They are as peaceful as can be...
spending their active hours happily tearing off grass, chewing, swallowing,
only to later bring it all back up again and chew, chew, chew.


Gracie and her girls are quite secure in their tranquil world...
with no predators to upset the routine...
and they graciously share that sense of peace with anyone who will sit with them.


You only have to spend a few moments listening to the soothing chewing
and your vital signs drop... you mood mellows...
and for the time being, all is right with the world.
It's no wonder that sheep are the animal of choice for counting to sleep.


Last night under the orange light of this moon...


we said goodbye to our fainting goat, Chip.


His condition was obviously neurological and it came on quite suddenly.
Dr. Becky felt it was some sort of central nervous system lesion.
There was nothing left to do but euthanize the old boy...
as he was thrashing about and unable to stand on his feet.

He had a good run, Ole Chip...
and we still have several of his children amongst the herd.
He was one of our original breeders and came to live with us at an early age.
Here is a photo we took to register him as a fainting goat.
(you have to provide proof of fainting when registering!)



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sunrise

It's 6:30 in the morning and morning chores are finished.
The sun is just peaking above the hills;


quickly burning off the pre-dawn fog.


The garden is just waking up and I hear the hum of pollinators
busily flitting from blossom to blossom.


The dew on the asparagus fronds reminds me of frost.
(A condition to which I am not anxious to return!)


Watering was done the previous night and will be repeated this evening as well.


We are reaping the rewards daily...
with meals that include green beans, squash, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and more.


The morning glories have just opened their smiling faces to greet the day...


capturing the rising sun in their centers.


The horses are in after a night of grazing.
We've been letting them out in the front pasture during the night hours
so that they can graze without bothersome flies and without annoying fly masks.


Once back in the dry lot, fly masks are on and they are ready for a morning of napping.


Ollie falls asleep with his fly mask half off.


The animal enclosures have all been cleaned, waters have been changed, 
and food has been distributed.


I walked the sheep back down to the bee yard.
They've been spending half of each week there and half in their own yard.


The bee yard is the coolest of all the pasture areas as it is shade-covered from noontime onward.


With a lack of recent rain, we are trying to keep from over-grazing a single area.

The Roos are out on patrol.
They spend most of their days around the farmhouse...
foraging for birdseed on the ground beneath the feeders...
crowing incessantly!


I love the early morning hours on the farm...
Peaceful, cool, and bug-free!


It's going to be another hot and humid day here on the farm.
I will be working on some indoor projects during the afternoon hours with a couple visits to the animals in between.  Later, as the sun sets I will tend to the garden once again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

For The Love...



Of Watermelon!



According to Ginger and MaryAnn, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot afternoon!

We are in the midst of a heat wave.
It's been very hot and sunny... with no rain.
So, farm chores are done early morning and late evening.
I've been doing a bit of sewing and weaving during the hot hours of the day.

How are you weathering the heat?

Monday, July 18, 2016

SummerFest

Happy Monday!
Summertime is here in full force...
and with it, all of the things that go with summer.
Like... watermelon...


cookouts...


swimming...


and hours spent relaxing on the porch!


We had our family SummerFest on Saturday to celebrate the best of summer.


Four generations spent the day together...


picnicking, playing, swimming, and enjoying each other's company.


The youngest generation...


cousins.


Above is my beautiful Momma... enjoying her great grandchildren.

The grandma's got together and made giant bubbles.




It was the best of summer all rolled up into one day..
and so special to share it with loved ones!

By the way... thanks for all of the well-wishes from the past week.
Sadly, however, Hubbs and I are still quite under the weather from this strange virus.
Keeping my fingers crossed that it soon decides to leave!

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