Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Heat of Summer

It's a hot, hot week, here on the farm.

There's barely a cloud in the sky.

Most of us prefer the shade during the hottest part of the day.

Some of us prefer to cool off like this....

Ginger flops right down in the cool water of her pool.


She splashes and splashes...

Ahhhh.... that's so much better!
This is one happy pig.

Chester cools off in the pond....

(You can view the above video here.)

The verdict is in regarding the effectiveness of Japanese Beetle traps.
When I first put these traps out, my berry bushes were covered with beetles.
Now, after emptying several full bags of beetles,
the grapes and berry bushes barely have any beetles on them.

I call this a big win!

Monday, July 15, 2019

As Promised...

As promised, I video'd the runner ducks (new and old) this weekend.
You will notice that they are not out free ranging at the present time.
The reason for this is two-fold.
First, we have lost a couple more chickens to the foxes,
so, all of the poultry are confined to their yards.
Secondly, the babies are too young to be wandering
willy-nilly all over the farm.
Waiting until these twelve are well bonded, and the youngsters
are full grown is the safest course of action.

You can view the video HERE, if it doesn't show up automatically.

We had a rather busy weekend.
On Friday, a dear friend and I headed to Pittsburgh for Vintage Market Days.

We had a wonderful time strolling through aisles of vintage vendors.
Luckily, I drove our truck... because I found this wonderful cart:

which is now parked at the entrance to our barn driveway...
filled with flowers.

For autumn, I will fill it with mums and pumpkins.

I also found this...

And in case you cannot tell what is underneath that mass of greenery,
it's an antique porcelain bedpan.

Yes, I love a little medical humor.
Did I ever tell you that I use an old urine collection glass as a creamer?
Don't worry, I sterilized it first!!

I also saw these garden markers...

which I did not purchase,
because... I can make them.
These are going to be a winter project for next summer's garden.

I also thought that this was a really great idea...

using old music books as place mats!

Saturday, Hubbs and I attended the State College Festival of the Arts.

We strolled the streets of Hubbs' college town 
amazed by the creativity of others.

The remainder of the weekend was spent enjoying our own little
corner of the world... our favorite place of all!

Oh, how I love bringing in fresh flowers from the garden.
If only they bloomed all year long!
But, I wouldn't trade our changing seasons for all the flowers in the world.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Webby-Toe Excitement

After a week of anticipation, the new runner ducks arrived last evening.
We opened the door to the crate in which they were transported,
to find...

They were a little hesitant at first to leave the safety of their crate,
but, with a little coaxing, made their way out into the yard of their new home.
Our five original runners were warily watching from the safety of their house....

murmuring to each other excitedly.

Runner ducks are so very non-aggressive creatures,
that we had no worries about leaving the young ducks
with the older ones.

One of the older females seemed to take over 
the mothering role,
while one of the older males laid down the rules.

By the end of the evening, they were intermingling.
As I walked them into their house to close them up for the evening,
they all waddled in like one big family.

I have great expectations for the successful blending of these two groups.
It's going to be great fun watching them become one large cohesive group.

So far, this summer, I believe we have picked close to a hundred pounds of blueberries.
I have a freezer full of blueberries!
It looks like we will be eating blueberries on just about everything in the coming year.

Yesterday afternoon's rain gave me the opportunity to finish the dress
that I started for Mack.


I can hardly wait to see her in it!

I will try to get a video of all of the ducks together for you for next week.
In the mean time, have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hummingbird Morning

Every spring, the Ruby-throated hummingbirds return
to the farm.
In the beginning, there are just a couple of pairs that visit our feeders.
But as those pairs raise their brood, by mid-summer,
the feeders become quite busy.

These tiny avian hovercraft swoop and dive, turn, and stop in mid-air,
as they protect their precious nectar.
They are quite territorial and spend more time chasing each other
than they do eating.

If the following video does not show up,

PS.... thanks so much for sharing your farm stories with me in yesterday's comments!
I so love to hear about others' experiences!!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Who Is Training Whom?

It is my opinion that - 
of all the animals that live here on the farm,
the pigs are definitely the smartest!

Every morning, the gate to the front pasture is opened and they are given
free range.
It's at this time of day that the sheep and the donkeys are also in the front pasture,

the equines having spent the night in the upper pasture (in muzzles... to slow down consumption.)

The donkeys are only allowed a few hours of grazing,

while the sheep and pigs have access to grass for the entire day and evening.

For the past several days, when it is time to call the donkeys back in,
the pigs have been found loitering in the donkey yard.

Don't think for a moment that this is coincidence.
No, it is a well-planned, well-executed maneuver to procure
Ritz crackers!

You see, the only way to get the pigs out of the donkey yard is to entice them out
with Ritz crackers.

I quickly throw a few Ritz onto the ground to occupy the pigs,
while I run to the donkey yard and quickly close the gate
behind the already retreating donkeys.

Hubbs reminded me yesterday that I am reinforcing bad behavior.
That may be the case,
but... my method works.
And I hate to tease the pigs out with crackers and then not give them any.
Pigs are way too smart... and I don't want them to distrust me.
After all, they do come when I call them...
only because they know I bear treats!

Two days ago, Hubbs and I cleaned the upper part of the barn...
consolidating all old hay on one side.

Then yesterday, we took delivery on a hundred bales of fresh hay.

It's never too soon to start planning for the upcoming winter.
Not knowing what the remainder of the summer's weather conditions will be,
it's wise to take hay while it is available.

We'll need one more delivery before summer is over.

Normally, I load the hay on the elevator and Jack stacks it in the barn.

Yesterday, however, I was nursing a sore shoulder from the
previous day's stacking.
Light duty for me = documenting the day.
Luckily, we had help from Anna...


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