Tuesday, March 26, 2019

What A Difference A Day Makes

With hopeful anticipation, we headed out for the barn yesterday morning
as the sun was rising.

I was hoping that I would find sweet Daphne in much better shape than the previous day,
when she could hardly bear to put any weight on her front left hoof.

Thankfully, she was walking around without a limp.
It's amazing how quickly equines get relief from an abscess 
once it is opened and allowed to drain.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief... hating to see any of my animals in distress.

I checked on her again in the afternoon and once again she was doing great!
As you can see, though, her sister, Chloe had some snowflakes on her face.
Yes, it snowed yesterday!
 (no accumulation... just enough to let us know that winter has not yet moved on)
I am hoping it is what we Pennsylvania Dutch like to call the onion snow...
ie, time to plant your spring onions.

It is time to get some things into the ground,
although I must confess, I have no desire to work in the garden when it is 
cold enough to snow... and especially when it is snowing!

Soon, though.... very soon it will warm up and then there will be no stopping me.
Dirt beneath my fingernails will be my most frequently worn accessory....
soon to be followed by the yearly farmer's tan.

I am happy to tell you that the rescue of the three black kitties has ended up being
a great success.
All three are now healed well from their spaying (yes, all three are girls.)
I call them my rafter cats, as they spend more time up in the barn rafters than they do
on the ground.

At the same time, they remain "homebodies"...
with no apparent need for outdoor exploration...
at least, not as of yet.

They enjoy Sammie's frequent visits.
He's definitely their favorite creature.

The rest of the barn cats seem to ignore the girls,
which is much better than the alternative.

They prefer to enjoy our company from afar.
Perhaps they will choose to get closer as time passes.
Perhaps not.

The tablecloths that I dyed this weekend...
became these.
Free clothes!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Never Alone

The past five days have been relatively quiet here on the farm - 
as Hubbs was away on a "boys" trip... 
golfing down south where the weather is warmer.

Although I was the only human left here on the farm,
I was never alone!

There are always plenty of souls here to keep me company...

and several of them are quite obliging!

There has been a hint of spring in the air lately,
and although our mornings are quite chilly...
it warms up by afternoon.

The trees are full of buds.
And tiny wildflowers are popping up in the garden.

It was finally warm enough to work in the garden on Saturday.

As I pulled the leftover remains of last summer from the soil,
I had plenty of company.

See what I mean?

Never alone!

"What?... you're done already?"

Sunday afternoon I spent a bit of time with the pigs.

It was time to trim their hooves and I knew that if I just stayed in their yard
with them for a while,
eventually they would roll over for a belly rub...
which happens to be the best time to trim hooves.

These gals never mind me fussing over them.

I clean the "gunk" from their eyes,
pick the sticky food residue out of the hairs on the sides of their mouths,
and just generally give them a good going-over...
sort of like chimps grooming each other,
although it is a one-way process.

Sunday morning I found Daphne limping on her left front hoof.

A visit from Dr. Becky revealed a hoof abscess.
The abscess was opened and packed to allow for drainage.
(It's impossible to keep the packing clean on the outside.)

Hopefully Daphne will be feeling much better in a few days.
It worries me so when one of the animals is under the weather.
I'd rather have the symptoms myself than have them feeling miserable!

I love watching the behavior of our animals... some of it instinctual and some learned.
Something that I have noticed about our birds is that they are always keenly aware
of what is in the sky above them.

Here is Prince... mid-crow...

when suddenly he is aware of something in the sky....

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?

Nothing dangerous... so back to crowing he goes.

I have to say... he is a really nice rooster, so far.
He takes good care of his girls.
And leaves us humans alone.

I did a lot of sewing while Hubbs was away.
I took a couple old linen table cloths and dyed them to use as fabric for sewing.

Photos to come when Hubbs is home and can take them for me.

This green fabric became a summer jumpsuit.

I don't mind being alone.
There is always so much to do and so much fun to be had!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Rainy Season Begins

I awakened very early yesterday morning.
Done sleeping, I decided to greet the day very-pre-sunrise.
Lots of rain was in the forecast and it was due to arrive at daybreak.

I was determined to finish chores before the rain began.

We have an outdoor spot light at the barn, so by the light of the spot,
I looked for glistening piles of manure...
deposits from the previous night.

I have forever held the opinion that "more comes out than goes in!"
If there's one thing that we excel at... it's manure production!

And so with chores finished,
I arrived back at the house just after sunrise.

The rain arrived slightly behind schedule, but made up for it
the rest of the day.
It poured most of the day.

Can you tell?

I spent part of the morning staying with these two while their Mommy
went to an appointment.

This little guy's vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.

I spent the afternoon in the sewing room,
and the evening finishing up another Icelandic sweater.

(I still have to take photos of the sewing... waiting for some sunshine to light up the house.)
I am finishing up all indoor activities so that as soon as sunny weather
arrives, I can focus my attention out of doors.

Thursday, March 21, 2019


Did you see it?
Did you hear it?
Maybe, feel it?

It came without fanfare... no trumpets heralding its arrival.
And yet, there it was... a subtle rumbling in our souls.
That moment when light equals dark, day begins to stretch, night to retreat.

She slipped in, ever so quietly...
whispering her greeting to the tiniest of bud, roots, and blades.
A subtle vibration across the land, as sleepy souls lift their heads and say,
"Oh, hello, I remember you.  Yes, I remember."

If you are reading this, then congratulate yourself.
You survived yet another winter.
Perhaps you immersed yourself in all things cold and icy,
perhaps you hibernated beneath wooly sweaters and blankets or beside a fire.

Either way... you've paid your dues and now you will be rewarded.

Soon, very soon, the earth will shed it's dull winter vestments and exchange them
for the colorful wardrobe that's neatly tucked away in her trunk...
just waiting to be unpacked.

"Welcome!  Welcome!... you are a most-welcomed guest,"  we cry
as she knocks on our door.
"Unpack your trunks, please and consider staying a while.
Don't be in a hurry to rush off, in deference to Summer.
Your big sister, Summer can wait.
We long to catch up with you... to commune with you."

"We long to sink our feet in green grass,
to watch the tender buds unfold into bursts of living color,
to watch as seedlings push aside the earth on their quest to reach the sun."

"We long for the smells, the sounds, the tastes of you.
We long to enjoy every moment of your visit.
It's your season - time to work your magic,
while we watch and savor each moment, each miracle."

Welcome Spring!
May you be fruitful and prosperous,
and may we enjoy every magical moment you bestow upon us!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In Contrast

While the black barn kitties might be a little hesitant to face the great outdoors,
the runner ducks are the opposite.

As soon as their door opens in the morning,
at sun-up,
they are out the gate and off to do some very important work.
They have a tight schedule and many miles to cover in a day's time.

And boy, do they cover the miles!

By the time we finished chores, they had already run down to the old log cabin
to bathe in the spring water that runs from its cellar.

This water runs beneath the driveway and down to the pond,

making a little stream as it goes on its way...

the perfect place for a morning bath.

If you look back up towards the barn, across the front pasture,
you will see that the duck yard,
which is situated on the other side of the barn,
is quite a hike.

Before they day is over, they will have run over just about every foot of open ground
on this entire farm.
All of this is done at a running pace.
They have much to do, those ducks!!

Yesterday morning, the sun rose into a crystal clear blue sky...

heralding a magnificent day...

the perfect day to make electricity!!!!

Morning chores were done to the nest-building song of the robins.
Just in the past week we have started to hear the robins sing again.

Their return was late last year...
a matter I will have to take up with that old groundhog who predicted an early spring.
Apparently, the robins did not get that memo.

It remains cold, but that will be changing in the next few days.
I hope to get a garden clean-up done by the end of this weekend.
Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.


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