Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Look What I Found In The Orchard!

Yesterday was one of those days when the weather changed every half hour.
Before dawn, the sky was clear... a new moon visible.

Dawn brought fog.

By mid-day the sun came out sporadically...

but disappeared altogether by mid afternoon.

I spent the sunny moments working in the garden.
One last weeding needs to be done,
as well as cleaning out garden boxes and mulching them with compost for the winter.

There are still some plants that are thriving...

Nasturtium...edible...but there's no way we can eat all of this!

I am lucky to always have such willing companionship...

Oakley: "Go ahead and take the picture...this is my best side."
For some reason he hates having his picture taken.
Actually, all three look as though they are being punished.
(I guess this one won't be our Christmas Card!)

It amazes me how quickly autumn color is disappearing.
This tree by the barn was gorgeous a week ago...

The trees in our front yard are looking wintry as well,

while the gardens still have remnants of summer.

And then there's this...

a volunteer from the bird feeder that is unusually late.

The pigs now sleep beneath the warmth of their heat lamp.

And bask in the sun when it makes an appearance.
Hay season has begun as grass is getting scarce.

The whole second floor of the barn is filled with hay.
And while we're on the subject of barns...
I have to tell you...
I love barns!
I'd live in one if I could.


there are so many different kinds of barns around us...

I wish I could explore each and every one of them!

And last I want to show you what I found in the orchard.

A couple of weeks ago I found an opossum carcass in the orchard.
It was covered in maggots.
Knowing that they would have the skeleton clean in no time, I patiently waited for that day.
Yesterday I found the skeleton...completely clean.
So, I decided to keep the skull and add it to my nature collection (in the barn).

Tyler will get a big kick out of this, for sure!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Morning Rituals

My days are full of little moments...
things that bring a smile to my face...
things that I make a mental note to share with you.

It always amazes me how our animals are such creatures of habit.
Day after day, night after night...
the same behaviors are repeated.

As sure as the sun comes up each morning,
the guineas start their morning ritual at dawn.
Primping and preening, they gossip back and forth about the previous night.
And when all are ready, they fly down from the old pine tree by the barn
and begin their day.

Each and every day is the same...they land at the same spot and go running 
up past the garden...
up, up, up to the chicken coop where they grab a little breakfast "scratch"...
and then off to work hunting bugs.
They stay together all day as a flock...scurrying about the neighborhood,
until the sun starts to set and they all fly back up into the old pine tree once again.
And as sure as the sun comes up the next morning,
they begin the ritual again.

Later in the day, when I go down to the pond to feed the ducks...
this is what I encounter...

and every day it's the same!

I think there is comfort in the rhythm of life.
The repetitiveness never bores me.
Each day as the sun rises, I look forward to these little moments.
I'm glad you're here to share them with me!

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Need A Week To Rest Up From The Weekend....

We were gifted with another beautiful autumn weekend.

By Sunday, however, the weather turned markedly colder...
a harsh reminder that winter is on its way.

We had farm visitors on Saturday...
three grandchildren of a friend.

The animals were happy to get extra loving...

and some, not so happy...

The horses and donkeys had apple treats.

The pigs had apple treats also, but not before they received an adequate helping of smooches!

The pigs always seem to be a favorite amongst kids.
Which works to Ginger and MaryAnn's favor...
since company is one of their very favorite things.
(Second only to apple treats!)

Of course there was the obligatory poop-scooping...

and egg gathering.

Saturday evening we saw these 14 wild turkeys in our field...

Oh, if only there were a few spare girls for Tom and Chuck!!

We had a blast Saturday night at our local corn maze.
We did the maze in the dark and it was haunted!
I think Hubbs scared me more times, jumping out from the corn, than any of the haunters did!

I spent Sunday alone on the farm and used the time wisely...
mowing the bee yard, turning the manure piles with the tractor,
making bracelets, ironing, riding the bike for an hour,
and cleaning the front pasture.

Bobby decided to come along for the ride...
and didn't mind sharing his seat so that I could taxi him around!

I picked the last of the frost was predicted for Sunday night.
Once frost has its way with the garden it will be time to clean out the garden boxes
and tuck them in for the winter...
with the exception of the kale... as that will continue to thrive for a couple more months.
It's sad to say goodbye to the garden...
especially the wholesome bounty it provides us.
But.. "To everything there is a season" and we are coming upon that time of resting and planning
and filling our time with the things that we don't have time enough for during the warmer months.

Every season has its wonderfulness...
and I wouldn't trade watching the seasons change for anything!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Walk On The Wild Side...Week 3

After reviewing this week's trail cam images,
it's official...
we have a lot of deer in our woods...and squirrels!

There were no surprises this week...
(except Hubbs riding his bike through the woods!)

This family of deer showed up several times in this clearing...

And several deer use this deer trail during the night...but not in the daylight.

In all of the pictures I saw several buck...with small antlers.

I have heard from neighbors that we have a buck with a huge rack somewhere in our woods.
So far he has eluded our cameras.
And so has that ole bear!

I have faith, though.
I am moving the cameras to new locations for this coming week.
Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feeding Time With Funny Face

The rain has stopped, leaving the farm a bit muddy.
I thought maybe you might like to come along with me to the barn today.
It's 11:00 AM and time for all of the horses and donkeys to come in from grazing...

Moonbeam has mastered the fine art of Funny Face!
While he is waiting for me to let him out of his stall,
he gives quite a good performance...

And now for the big finale....

Yup, that's my boy!

Don't forget to join us tomorrow morning for our ongoing Saturday morning
Walk on the Wild Side
where I'll share with you this week's "catch" on the trail cameras.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Rainy Day And A Step In The Right Direction

We had quite a rainy day yesterday.

My day off from farm chores was largely spent indoors.

A quick morning trip to our local bison farm to pick up an order of meat,
with a stop at the post office, was my excitement for the day.

We are very lucky to have farmers within a 10 mile radius to raise our meat.

The rest of the day was spent making a huge pot of vegetable soup,
(I made my own stock from bison soup bones)

some household chores and a little knitting...
I found a way to kill two birds with one stone...knitting while biking on our stationary bike.
Since the rain kept me from getting my daily (work)exercise outside,
I decided to exercise indoors.

I have to tell you, I am the worst about exercising.
I always rationalize that I get enough just by doing farm chores.
But, in fact, I know that it is not enough.
So.... I am going out on a limb here and saying that I am going to try to ride the bike indoors
at least four times a week.
(You are my witness....please keep me honest!)

We had a short break in the rain so I took the dogs for a walk out to visit the pigs.

I am amazed at how quickly the rain has knocked so many of the leaves off of the trees.
It's beginning to look like late autumn!

With the exception of what's on the ground,

the apple orchard is beginning to look a bit bare.
(Interestingly, when we arrived home from Tyler's soccer game last evening,
there were three big deer snacking in the apple orchard.)
The pigs will be very sad to see their daily snack time come to an end!

And at the end of the day....

Inside every cloud... there really is a silver lining!


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