Farm Life - Fiesta or Siesta?

Stop by the front pasture on any given afternoon, and you will either see fiesta or siesta... depending on the moment.

Yesterday, while the guineas were squawking and running around as guineas do - fiesta-style,

 the sheepy gals were in the midst of their siesta.  

For a moment, I had to stand and watch Hope- just to make sure she was breathing.  She was, but she was dead asleep!

I sat down to snap a few photos of my wooly wonders, and soon became the object of piggy affection.  Oh, that MaryAnn, she loves me (quite possibly more than any other being on this planet.). I truly love this pig right back.  There is a good possibility that if I were alone in this world, MaryAnn would be living in my house with me. (Don't tell Hubbs!)

Afternoon chore time is typically when we spend the most time with our animals.  

Without the long list of chores that are done both morning and evening, there's more time to just sit and chat with my friends.

And though it doesn't happen often, yesterday I finally got all of my ducks in a row!

Yesterday was a gray sky day... no peek of the sun at all.

Don't be surprised if you see a little bit of our woods in the coming posts.  It's that time of year. 

The forest is my cathedral.  It is a place that fills me with reverence and a deep desire to preserve these wild spaces for future generations. 

I only wish I could take you with me as I trample down leaf-covered pathways.  The air is heavy with the smell of moisture and decay - a pleasant, loamy aroma unlike any other.  

 I walk with my face towards the forest floor... both so that I don't miss any unusual fungus, and also so that I don't end up tripping over fallen branches. 

Every few yards, I stop and look to the trees.  There are often surprises that can be found in the branches over our heads... a silent owl, perched high above, or oak galls clinging to the branches of an oak tree - the remnant of an amazing nest made by the spongy apple oak gall wasp.

 In the distance I hear the alarm call of a pileated woodpecker, upset because we've invaded his territory.  A few crickets, their lives soon ending,  are singing farewell to the eggs that they've left to hibernate in the soil... passing the memory of their songs to the next generation. 

We are in the woods in search of a very remarkable fungus that our brother-in-law had spotted.  I am so happy we found it, because this one is fairly rare (an edible that is exceptionally delicious, I hear).  

It is called a bearded tooth mushroom, or lion's mane mushroom.

Isn't it spectacular?  I wish you could touch it... so very soft, and cool... like fur made of silicone.  There were two of them... one in a groove in the bark of this dead tree... and the other, globe-shaped and slightly higher on the trunk.

Although we could harvest this fungi and eat it, we leave it behind... to finish its life cycle in the forest.  To me, it's too magnificent to remove.  I will, most likely, return to appreciate its beauty again.

By the time we left the woods, Chester was wearing his very best look of contrition.   He had rolled in something that had the most disgusting, fetid smell you can imagine - most likely some sort of scat.  You can also see the dark brown stain on the side of his neck.

He knows what's next... a bath.  The look says, "I know it was wrong, but I just couldn't help myself!"
Rolling in the smelliest of substances is Chester's foible.  He's like a moth to the flame.

I had a lovely surprise in yesterday's mail, made for me by a dear blog friend.
It's perfect!
Thank you so much Mary... I will cherish this.

I have been very blessed with so many sweet blog friendships.  I only wish I could meet you all in-person. There'd be many hugs exchanged!!


Cappy said…
Chester!!! LOL!
daisy g said…
What a beautiful mushroom! Never seen anything like it.

Your walks in the woods must be healing. I need to get out there this fall and winter and start hiking again. It feeds my soul.

Blessings to you for sharing so much wonder and goodness. We sure do need it these days.
Kathy S said…
Beautiful sampler, Mary! What a wonderful gift.
Wow, that lion's mane mushroom is so unique looking!
Anonymous said…
I had ordered an insulated drink cup for you with BEE NICE and beautiful little bees on it. But I finally checked on status when I did not receive it after four months. It had been lost in the mail they said. I wanted to surprise you but it didn’t work out.

Marcy in Atlanta
littlemancat said…
The woods as your cathedral,yes! I feel that way when I'm out in the "wild" too. The scent of the leaves, love it!
And those fungi- wow,treasures. I'm glad that you're leaving them in the cathedral.
And happy that you like the sampler,it's come home to Bee Haven Acres.
This N That said…
Sounds much like my life..Fiesta or siesta!! I never saw the Bearded tooth Mushroom before..It's beautiful..kinda looks like icicles..
Good job Chester..Don't you just love it??
Love the Sampler..perfect
Enjoy this rainy day..Mollie actually shortened her walk today..unusual for her..Wait til she find out that it will b e just the same later..maybe worse..Hugs
jaz@octoberfarm said…
freddy and teddy were like chester though they usually rolled in something when we were on the road with nowhere to bathe them.
Karen said…
We live on a large creek that has spawning salmon return every fall. My dogs love nothing more than to roll in dead salmon - the smell! I mean it lingers for days . . . .sometimes we just can't manage a bath for them and I have found something that works pretty well (I found the tip on the Internet) - Febreeze fabric spray! I only use Febreeze. I liberally spray the offending dog and I rub it in a bit with a towel- and as it dries the smell is MUCH better! *Chester has the same look our dogs have when they do something naughty - and I'm saying "you DIDN'T!!" They have shown up with hunks of salmon hanging off their necks - oy!