Because yesterday was Wednesday and my usual day off from farm chores,
I planned my day around an afternoon filled with errands
followed by dinner out with friends.
That left yesterday morning to get a little exercise for me and the dogs,
as well as get a few outside chores finished up before the frigid weather
predicted for the end of this week and next week arrives.
I mowed our lawn, and some other areas of the farm that needed it...
in hopes that this would be the last time for this year!
The dogs and I took a hike...down the driveway...
(There's Jim in the gator finishing up morning chores for me.)
with the intention of heading over to the
hundred acre woods.
Hello, Ginger and MaryAnn!
As we passed the barn, I decided to clean the front pasture then and there,
rather than waiting to do it after the cold arrived.
As I picked up manure...
Annie and Sam wrestled.
It amazes me how the horses just ignore the presence of the dogs...
even the growling and snarling of play doesn't worry them.
Oakley keeps watch over me as I work.
The donkeys are peacefully grazing...like bookends, rarely apart.
That is until Chloe spies me...
and heads over to say hello...
"Hey there, Chloe!"
sending Oakley scurrying for protection...
and eventually as far onto my lap as he could manage.
Oakely: "If I can't see her, then maybe she's not there."
When we finished our work, we headed over to the woods for a hike.
As I walked along in dry crunchy leaves, I enjoyed the last little
vestiges of summer that will surely fade in the coming week...
a solitary clouded yellow butterfly...
the last of summer's dandelions, gone to seed...
I love the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.
Yesterday the smell of dry leaves replaced the usual scent of loam and "green".
The sound of the wind blowing through the tops of the tall hemlocks drowned out all other sounds.
A favorite spot in the woods is this old pile of logs.
I have watched the forrest slowly reclaim this pile over the past years...
getting smaller each year as the moss and ferns feast off its decay.
The dogs stayed within yards of me, happily leaping through the woods
as they followed scent trails left by the nighttime critters.
They took off after a group of whitetail deer, but I called them back immediately.
We don't chase deer.
And these three were very good...they came back to me right away...as the deer
scurried off through the woods.
They did, however chase this poor squirrel high up into this tree...
Thank goodness the dogs are stuck on the ground,
otherwise no squirrel would be safe!
You may have noticed a brown wooden structure behind the gator in the second photo.
It's a new addition to the orchard...
Why it's a pirate ship, of course!
Now I ask you...what farm is complete without a pirate ship?
It is in need of having the slide and gangplank installed and then it will be ready
for its maiden voyage.
Actually, it is a hand-me-down from a friend.
And since we have so many child visitors here at the farm,
we thought it might be a fun addition.
I think we need a parrot!