Friday, April 20, 2018

No More Talk of Weather... After This

I don't know about you...
but I can't remember a spring in which we talked about the weather
half as much as we have this year.


It's almost as if Springs arrival is tomorrow... every day... tomorrow...
except, tomorrow never comes.
Right?


We get a teaser day every week or more...
and then the next day... right back to where we previously were.


Yesterday, it snowed. 
Just flurries.
But still... snow.


And yet, the grass is getting green and growing like crazy.
It won't be long before the onset of mowing season.
I've never had to mow in a winter jacket.
I sure hope this year doesn't set a precedent.


It's also time to get out the grazing muzzles.
You might remember that I had great success in using grazing muzzles on the donkeys.
And the amazing thing was... they didn't seem to mind them at all.


Here you see Dr. Becky's pony, Shirley, (sister to my Donnie and Scarlet)
wearing her grazing muzzle.


Note the fancy hairdo that helps to keep the face strap in place...


Well... this winter I ordered muzzles for all of the horses and ponies.
Because new spring grass has a very high sugar content... and is very high in calories,
we will be using grazing muzzles so that our horses can still spend a decent amount of time
out in the pastures.

Otherwise, life is just too boring.
There's just no substitute for time wandering free in the pastures.


I also wanted to give you an update on Oakley.
His quality of life is being maintained by a daily dose of prednisone.


He continues to have a zest for life and is usually eager to join us for chores.


The rest of his day is spent snoozing.
He seems comfortable and happy... so we will just keep the Prednisone going.
At the end of every day, he snuggles onto my lap and fills my heart with
such love and gratitude.
I am so grateful this dog came into our lives 8 years ago.
Best. Dog. Ever.... Ever.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hatching An Idea

In case you are still wallowing in Winter's leftovers...
I wanted to give you hope.


We had a glorious day yesterday... not yet as warm as we would love it,
but still, not cold, not rainy, not snowy.
And since we cannot be picky, we will just call it glorious!


The sun shone and the colors brightened.

We've been having some trees cut down...
pine trees that are dead and threatening to fall on structures.

We also had a few black walnut trees next to the pasture taken down.
Black walnut is toxic to horses.


The sheep were quite curious about this new addition in the pig yard.

You might remember that we have a 250 year old pine tree by the barn.
It is mammoth and seemingly healthy, despite a lightening strike a few years back. 
Fifty yards from Sampson, out in the front pasture, lived his sister tree...
a much smaller version.
Sadly, this tree was half dead and needed to be cut down as well.


Yesterday, I was out in the front pasture cleaning up manure.
Hubbs was fixing fences,


and the dogs were busy playing.


As I worked around the felled pine tree, 
an idea started to percolate in my tiny brain.


I realized that the trunk of this tree was way too big for us to cut...
and it seemed a waste to just have it dropped into the woods to rot.

Why not turn it into a fairy garden??


I asked the tree cutters to cut off the bottom of the tree.
When I told them what I had planned to do with it...
they offered to hollow-out one side so that I could plant it.


They moved it close to the barn...
where I discovered termites crawling out of the wood.


Needless to say, we moved it to another location, far from the barn.
I'll show you the progress with this little garden over the coming weeks.


While I was working on my log,
the turkeys were outside the barn showing off.


One of the photos that I took of them shows perfectly
how their inner eyelid works...

open...


closed...


Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ambivalence

A song has been running through my head this week...
"This is the dawning of the Age of Ambivalence....
Age of Ambivalence...." a perhaps more accurate rendition of the song.
(After all, astronomically speaking,
the Age of Aquarius will not be dawning for another 579 years.)


Yes, Mother Nature is proving herself quite fickle this year...
her ambivalence regarding the seasons has us all a little crazy!


And so, while yesterday's snow was falling,


the trees kept budding, the bulbs kept blossoming,
and the first seedlings began pushing up above the soil in search of sun.
Search on, sweet seedlings...
for I know not where the sun might be.


Finally, there is evidence of growth in the vegetable garden.
The spinach and radish seedlings have emerged.


There is still no sign of sugar peas as I had hoped...
but the ground looks a little disturbed as if perhaps our massive rabbit population
has been dining upon dried peas.
If nothing germinates in the coming week, I will re-sow those seeds.


The rhubarb is coming in strongly as well as many tiny weedlings...
the tiny beginnings of my gardening nemesis (nemeses).

Warmer weather is inevitable.
With that in mind, we have scheduled our sweet sheep for their yearly shearing...
this coming Monday evening.


I can hardly wait to see how much fleece is removed this year.
They look especially fluffy.


And although they can see through their little woolen eye-holes,
after shearing, their vision will be unobstructed once again.


On every occasional warmer day that we have had thus far,
I have been tackling outdoor cleaning jobs....
washing moss from the decks and railings, 
and getting our screen porch ready for outdoor dining season.
This is quite a job...
 as floor, walls, ceilings and furniture get washed each spring... by hand.


Our teak furniture has weathered through 10 seasons, and is starting to show its age.
I decided that this summer it would be necessary to use a table cloth on our
outdoor table.
Because it is an unusually large square, tablecloths are rather limited.
Since the window trim on the porch is hunter green, I decided to just go with an inexpensive hunter green check table cloth.


That way the existing seat covers could be used again. 
(I threw these in the washer and dryer to rejuvenate them.)
Not wanting to mix too many patterns, I ordered two table cloths...
the second to be used for sewing accessories...
pillows and a small tablecloth to match.


I re-covered pillows that I had previously used, rather than buy new.
For the price of a second tablecloth ($12) I ended up with four throw pillows, 
a small tablecloth, and enough fabric to make dinner napkins.
Score!


(Although I would have loved a more colorful pattern, this will do just fine...
😐
and at this price, if I only use it for a few years....
I will have gotten my money's worth...
and then some.)
Excuse my ambivalence... it's must be the season!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Press Pause

Sometimes life must take a little break for the truly impotant things...
like a two year old who is under the weather.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more tales from the farm.



Monday, April 16, 2018

Yellow

Today's post is brought to you by the color yellow.
Bright. Sunny. Yellow.


You see... Spring visited (visited, as in temporary) us on Friday and Saturday.
To say those days were glorious is an understatement.
They were magnificent.


Warm, sunny, breezy...
birds singing, bees buzzing, buds opening...
perfection.
We revelled in the warmth and rolled in the grass.


And then it was gone.

Spring is a vixen.
She's a temptress, a tease.
She gives us a taste and leaves us wanting for more.

Once again we are plunged into what feels more like February than April.
It's cold and wet and gloomy and not Spring-like at all.
Except...
except, She left behind some yellow.

Yes, yellow... the first sign that more is to come.

Forsythia by the old log cabin...


Daffodils at the edge of the woods...


and goldfinches...
(who, for the past 6 months have worn a drab coat of tan)


It always amazes me how goldfinches have the ability to change the color of their feathers...
from brilliant yellow sunshine to drab olive tan...
and vice versa, in just a matter of weeks.


It's just another one of those little miracles that so often goes un-noticed.
Our world is full of tiny miracles like this... we need only open our eyes!

By Saturday I had feared that today's post might be a sad one.
You see, our house kitty, Ivy, who is an indoor cat who spends her days indoors and outdoors,
went out Thursday evening.


Normally, if she goes out at night, she is always home the next morning.
Friday came and went... and no Ivy.
By Friday night we were growing despondent... 
afraid that perhaps Ivy had fallen prey to a predator.

Luckily, she returned home very early Saturday morning.
I am assuming she took an extended hunting trip... as she was none the worse for wear.
I am happy and relieved that today's post has no bad news.
Although tiny in stature, this kitty is large in personality
and apparently quite capable.

I will be away from the farm all day today... in town taking care of one of our
two legged littles who is sick.
Thankfully, Hubbs will be holding down the farm.

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