Friday, September 14, 2018

Off We Go!

This is it.

The day has come.
Our bags are packed...but then, you already know that, because they were packed weeks ago!

I know that this will be my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Africa, 
so I will make the most of every second.
I will try my best to capture every bit of it through the lens of my cameras.
I am packing each and every one of you, my friends and family,
into the pocket that lies closest to my heart and taking you with me.

The farm will be in good hands... and daily life will continue here as always.

I am guessing that internet will be sparse where we will be,
but if I happen to grab some web time, 
I will post a few pics on Instagram

It seems like so much of the farm activity of late has centered around ducks.
I suppose that is because they are so animated regardless of the weather.
And let's face it, there's only been one word to describe the weather...
Yesterday was ducky as well.
I got a text from a friend about another friend who had one lone duck on their property.
It had belonged to a flock that had been culled by winged predators.
One lonesome duck needed a home... and friends...
something that we could offer.
And so...



A happy ending, we hope!

It is my hope that you have a safe and happy September.
We'll be back October 1st with tales to tell.
Until we meet again...
Much love and hugs from the farm!
Bev and Hubbs and "friends".

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Water, Water Everywhere

We are still under a thick grey cloud of rain... with showers soaking us almost hourly.
And yet, there is such a quiet peacefulness here.
It's a little eerie.
No birds, no sounds... but the gentle chirp of crickets...
and the drip, drip, drip of rain on the leaves... a drip that continues in the woods
long after a shower has ended.
Wet has become a way of life this summer.
We have not seen the end of the wet, either.

It's another day of staying inside.

Outside is this...

Of course the rain does not deter the ducks.
They have all become quite bold... unafraid of the horses.

The muscovy ducks have even begun hiking up to the goat pen to visit
the goats each morning.
(and dirtying their water buckets!)

Each morning, when their house is opened,
two of the muscovys take off in flight,
making a huge circle around the farm.
They come right's the strangest thing...and hopefully I will catch it on video for you.

During the rest of the day, you can find them just about anywhere.

Our little white muscovy who insists upon her solitary pond life,
has laid another clutch of eggs.

Hubbs stole them away to keep her from being broody...
sitting on a nest that will never yield any ducklings
(no one to fertilize the eggs).

To my friends in the southern coastal states...
be safe.
You will be in our hearts and in our prayers in the coming days.
I fear it will be a long time until many of us are dry again.

PS.... 2 days and counting (fingers crossed).
(Excited beyond belief)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Horsing Around Between Showers

Rain does magical things to the earth.
There is something wonderful about stepping out into nature,
after a rainstorm.

Trees and shrubs are decorated with millions of glistening orbs...
which glisten like gems in the morning light.

Rain turns an (extra)ordinary spider's web...

into a spectacular chandelier,

complete with sparkling prisms.

Sometimes it takes a little effort to look beyond the mud and flood...
but if you do... you will see a whole new world
dressed in glistening finery.

I wasn't the only one who was happy that the rain stopped for a little yesterday.
The horses had spent the past two days in the (wet) dry lot and were ready
to kick up their heels...

and enjoy some freshly washed grass.

I haven't formally introduced our equines in a while.
And since they were all obliging with my photo shenanigans yesterday morning,
I will do so now.

Moonbeam, gentle leader of the herd... his size determines his status...
the personality of an unemployed, blond, surfer-dude, mellowed out with a toke.
"Wowwwwww, man......"

Scarlet... the herd's protector...
(she'd be a shield-maiden if she were human!)
but, interestingly, last in the pecking order when it comes to food.

Donnie Brasco... Scarlet's brother...trustworthy statesman, equinitarian (I made that up)...
always level headed and kind...
has won the "best pony in the world" award for the past 10 years.

Oliver Twist (Ollie)... the orphan of the group...
started out more of a Fagan than an Oliver...
his one blue and one brown eye reflect his dual personality...
 but, has become sweet as pie through the years.

Red... Ollie's half-brother... handsome, and he might just be aware of it....
has two blue pools of water for eyes... the kind in which a gal could drown.

Ollie and Red are the closest of all the equines... and most always together.

Please accept the herd's apology.
No one looked their best yesterday, after two solid days of rain.

Daphne and Chloe, half sisters... our wonky donkeys...
tolerated, but not-quite-befriended by the horses.

The horses are a tight-knit group. 
 Take one away and the rest will complain vehemently.
"We're family, through thick and thin!"

Take away the donkeys, and no one bats an eyelash.
"Distant cousins.... and definitely divas!"

It seems like forever that I have wanted to share this particular moment with you.
Each morning when chores are finished, we sweep the barn...
gathering the hay remnants that have found their way to the floor.
As soon as the broom comes down from it's hanger, 
Moll cat (Moll Flanders) appears... begging to be broomed.

Yes, for some reason, this kitty loves to have her back brushed with the broom.

She arches her back and stretches out as long as she can to enjoy
 the broom's bristles as they brush down the length of her.
Silly cat!

Finally, yesterday, I was able to herd Faith and Hope into a corner of their yard

and close them off with a gate, so that they could receive their vaccinations...
right through their wet sweaters.

No one seemed to mind...
Ritz crackers will do that!

Such sweet sheepy friends!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

It's Raining Ducks and Ponies

Greetings from the land of the be-draggled!
It is about as wet as it could possibly be here on the farm.
We've had several days of rain and there is just no where for the water to go.

It's a wonderland if you are a duck!

These guys and gals don't even seem to notice the rain,
but spend their days with their bills to the ground...
looking for tasty earthworms who have come to the surface to avoid drowning...
a fatal mistake!

Early morning chores...

For some, it's a "bad feather" day...

How will we ever dry out these sweaters?

The rain continues today and later this week compliments of Florence.

It's still dry season in Zambia.
If we get off the ground on Saturday, it will be good to go somewhere to dry out.

Monday, September 10, 2018

This and That

On Friday, I wrote that I would share some photos of where we are staying in Africa.
And since we had a rainy weekend... and I didn't spend any time outside, except 
for chore times,
I don't really have a weekend farm story to share.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that Hurricane Florence stays at sea and does
not come inland.
Besides causing havoc to those in her path,
she may have an affect on our departure from Washington DC on Saturday.
Fingers crossed for all!

If we do make it off the ground, we will be arriving in Zambia on Sunday morning.
We will be staying in a rather remote part of Africa.
Our safaris will be in areas designated as national parks 
where the animals are protected from poachers.

Our first camp will be here for several nights...

The inside looks like this...

From there we travel to a bush camp which is quite a bit more rustic....

After four nights in the bush,
we return to Camp number 1( and running water) for a couple more nights.
We then fly on a small plane across the country to this camp.

There are more photos to see on their website.

In the mean time, this week will be filled with trips to the feed store to stock up,
mowing the farm,
and getting everything in order for our friends and family who will be taking over for us.

Indoor activities have filled my free time during this rainy time.
I spent a good part of yesterday baking and decorating these cookies
for a friend's granddaughter's second birthday.
She's having a Minnie Mouse party.

I've been working on this piece of embroidery...

and knitting this autumn wrap...

As for the animals... they are all staying under cover, out of the rain.
Summer's heat has left us.
And although the thermometer will eventually rise again...
the dog days of summer are over....
and Autumn is peeking around the corner.


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