Friday, September 20, 2019

Enjoying The Last of Summer's Gifts

This week's beautiful weather has given us the perfect opportunity
for enjoying the last of summer.


The garden is still lush and colorful...
as it will stay until the first frost finishes it off.


It's quiet, now, though...
a stillness has replaced the activity of weeks ago.


Where once there were butterflies and birds swooping in and out,
There is now just the occasional bee buzzing the zinnias,


or a grasshopper leaping up to nibble on greenery.


It's a beautiful afternoon, with a clear blue sky.
The sun is warm, but the air is cool.
I lie in the grass of the goat yard watching the goats.


They are curious as to my purpose there,


and a couple of them come close and smell my shoes.


Then back they go to the business of basking in the sun.


I often wonder whether the animals notice the subtle changes around them.


Do they notice that the bluebirds and orioles no longer sing?
Do they miss the sight of colorful butterflies?
Do they enjoy the cooler nights?


I'd like to think that they are even more aware of their world than we are.
Perhaps though, like many people, they don't even think about it.
Or maybe they just see what is,
without thinking of what was, or what could be.

I harvested a 3 gallon bucket full of hot peppers...
I'll be crying, sneezing, and quite possibly peeing myself,
as I clean all of those hot peppers, chop them and turn them into relish.
It's definitely a labor of love!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Heartwarming

There is nothing quite as heartwarming as the enthusiasm 
of a pig...
especially a pig who is happy to see you.


Yesterday afternoon, I was outside the pig yard.
The pigs were out in the pasture for their afternoon meal
(which is nothing more than a continuation of their morning meal and
a prelude to their evening meal!)

As soon as she heard me, MaryAnn came running from the pasture
into the pig yard and up the hill to say hello.


Don't you just love the smile on her face.

Apparently Ginger was at the furthest point of the front pasture
and was unaware of my presence,
so I decided to give my special, high-pitched pig call:
"Pig-PIGGGGG!"
(repeated several times)


Ginger heard me and came running as fast as her little piggy feet could carry her...
the tassels on the sides of her jowls flopping up and down as she ran.


Truth be told, while MaryAnn is content to be petted and loved-up a little,
Ginger is merely looking for Ritz crackers.


Of course, she is not disappointed.


No one is around here.
We have terribly spoiled animals.


And we wouldn't have it any other way!!


After treats were given out, I headed for the chicken coops
to check on the hens and Elwood, the newly discovered rooster.
Elwood is still young and has yet to taken over his position
as "the boss."


He's not tried any "funny stuff" with any of the hens, that we have witnessed.
 With that silly crow of his, I don't think the older hens take him seriously at all.
And the younger hens are all so skittish, I doubt he could catch them.

Every batch of chicks that I order has at least one "surprise".
Always there is a surprise rooster (or seven),
and usually there is an exotic chicken like Isabella,


or Izzy.
Frizzy Izzy.

 Ever trip to the barn includes some kitty love.
Moll is always looking for a belly massage,
and does her very best to entice...


"Surely you want to rub my belly!"
How could anyone resist?

Meanwhile, a little sewing has been happening in my free time...
for someone out there who is partial to cows...



I know you're out there somewhere!


And small wristlets (5X8)... large enough for a phone, some money, and lipstick...
(the essentials when out on the town)

Lastly, I was asked how many of my stories I have shared so far on the blog.
I believe the ones that I have shared are Ollies Story, Moonbeam's Story,
and long ago, Oakley's Story.
Let me know if I've missed any.
I plan to share more from time to time.

We have a fun day ahead today... a visit from our Littles...
with lots of rides on the GoGo!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Surprise!

Surprises are definitely a part of life on the farm.
And I'd have to say that chicken surprises are at the top of the list.


Yesterday morning while I was changing chicken waters and cleaning
their houses, I witnessed this:

Surprise!!
I truly thought we had no roosters in this last batch of chicks.
This fellow sure did take his time in revealing his true identity.
It's almost as if someone placed a rooster in our henhouse overnight.
I swear I never saw him before!!


Perhaps he had a sudden surge of testosterone overnight...
and quickly morphed.

One rooster to 34 hens is not a bad ratio at all.
Hopefully he remains well behaved.

I'm not sure if it is my perception or reality...
but, it seems to me that we have had an extraordinarily beautiful summer.


And with Autumn just a gnat's breath away,
the spectacular weather continues.


I've been riding my bike on a daily basis...
anywhere from 5 to 20 miles.
Yesterday, I set off by bike to the meat market for a whole chicken for dinner.
Because it was frozen, I knew it would be fine in an insulated bag
while I took an even longer ride.


It's been fun to watch the subtle changes in the land as I ride past familiar fields.
Roadsides that were populated by thousands of butterflies just last week
are much quieter.
However, the road, itself, is now dotted with wooly caterpillars
in white, yellow, brown, black, and russet.
Grasshoppers and praying mantises are also on the road...
the grasshoppers hopping up and hitting me on the legs as I pedal by.


The sun remains warm, but there is definitely an autumn feeling in the air.
My tires crunch on dry leaves that have fallen,
and the fields are now a true patchwork of brown and green.


I pass farms with pumpkins for sale....
giving me the inspiration for fall decorating.

I have found that my endurance is increasing, so I meandered through the countryside
just enjoying the vistas.
By the time I returned to the farm, I had ridden 23.7 miles.


Ready to usher Autumn into my home,
I drove to a nearby farm and picked up some pumpkins.
Several were placed on the driveway fence...


and the rest in the wooden cart by the barn driveway.


You might notice that the Profusion zinnias that I had planted early in the summer
are now looking more like mums.
That is one of the reasons that I love this flower so much.


This flower transitions perfectly from summer to autumn,
with no need for mums (which never seem to last very long.)

In the house, I changed out the summer dough bowl arrangement...
for more pumpkins and gourds (not real, however.)


The mantle got a make-over...


as well as other spots in the dining room


and kitchen.


On the kitchen counter are:
pinky-winky hydrangeas from the garden and an autumn candle.



In the blink of an eye, the house is transformed to its autumn look.
Oh, how I love this time of year!!
Now it's time to get busy and make some pumpkin-flavored yummies!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Oliver Twist... A Story

From time to time I like to share stories of how
our animals came to live on the farm.
Today I am sharing Ollie's story.



It's hard to believe that this little fellow has called the farm home
for over ten years...
as has his brother Red.
At 34 inches, they are the tiniest of our herd.
Their personalities, however, are the biggest!


Monday, September 16, 2019

To Ithaca And Back

The weekend took us to Ithaca, New York,
for the wedding of our friends' son.
(His parents are our close friends and often our traveling companions.)


The bride and groom, both graduates of Cornell,
are truly special young people who are going to spread a wave 
of positivity wherever they go in this life!


The wedding was truly a joyous celebration of friends and family...


held at a lovely farm venue...


complete with chickens!!


There is nothing like crowing roosters to provide the perfect wedding backdrop!



Cornell University has a spectacularly beautiful campus.
We spent the few free hours that we had before the ceremony
strolling the campus botanic gardens.


Knowing that Summer's colors are soon to fade,
I snapped a few photos... also as a reminder of plants 
that I would love to add to my own gardens.


This was a tree whose center was cut out and a bell was hung inside.
The tree continues to grow seemingly unaffected.


I loved this metal sculpture.


I took the opportunity to absorb all of the color that I could...
knowing that soon our world will transition away from color.






We came upon a few critters who were willing to pose...



I fell in love with this flower and will be searching for my own specimen.


Isn't this vine magnificent?


It was a fun weekend... a beautiful weekend... a sentimental weekend.
And at the end of it all...
so good to return home to all that we love!


PS... I may have bought myself a hat this weekend.
Sometimes this crazy thing comes over me and I just have to have a hat.
Truth be told, I LOVE hats!!  Many hats don't love me,
so when I find one that looks decent... it tends to follow me home.



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