I am not one of those people who have beautiful gardens year round. If you visited the farm in the winter time you would be sorely disappointed with the appearance of the gardens. I am not one of those who clears out summer's dead growth in autumn so that the gardens remain manicured.
No, instead, I just allow all of the skeletal remains of Summer's blossoms to sit, undisturbed, until just before gardening season in the very, very late of winter. There are two reasons for this. One: because by the end of the summer gardening season I am ready for a rest. Two: and most importantly, we leave all of the old seed heads to remain throughout the winter so the the birds have more to forage.
Allowing the billowy seed fronds of the tall grasses to remain offers yet another type of food for nature's winged beauties.
And yes, we have many bird feeders that are well stocked year round - but it is also important for the birds to be able to round out their diets by foraging.
And so, our landscaping - neglected for six months of the year - will remain thus until the snows and harsh winter winds have all but gone.
At that time, I will cut down all of last summer's growth and prune the shrubs that need pruning, and then place all of the trimmings in the woods. Piles of trimmings offer shelter for the smallest of creatures. This organic matter eventually breaks down adding more nutrients to the forest floor and ultimately becoming additional topsoil.
This tiny bird, a Carolina wren, has been spending its nights in our garage.
It flies in at sun-down, and then each morning when we open the garage door to go out to the barn, flies back out again... landing in a tree singing its "Germany-germany" song, then heading for the bird feeders.
We had noticed in previous summers that a few Carolina wrens built nests in our garage, tucked in whatever tiny spaces they could find. Apparently our garage is a wren condominium. You can't beat a warm bed and three square meals!
Like you, perhaps, we spent a quiet weekend here at home. Our days, punctuated by the needs of our animal friends, were filled with various indoor activities and brisk walks in the woods. Temperatures stayed in the 20's (F) making other outdoor activities less desirable.
The pull of a crackling fire was hard to resist! I started a new knitting project... a sweater and was able to finish two pocket linings and both sleeves.
Sadly, I received word that our oven replacement which was due to be delivered this weekend, has been put on hold for another two weeks... a bit of a crisis for a gal with a sweet tooth like mine!
As planned, I did make a Friday trip to the Amish bakery and bought a half dozen delectable glazed donuts (still warm when I bought them).
I promptly polished off three before getting them home. There are still remnants of glaze on the floor of the car. Hubbs ate one, and I had to finish the other two. Yes, that's right.... I ate 5 glazed donuts in less than 24 hours. (They don't keep.... and are really only good the first day! No, seriously!) Luckily I don't do that on a weekly basis. I hadn't had any since mid-summer. Thank goodness I was able to make up for lost time in just under a day. They were wonderful! You'll have to take my word... there is no photographic evidence.
Our equine family was able to enjoy lots of time in the pastures this weekend.
While the upper pastures still have a good amount of grass left, the front pasture is down to tiny nubbins.
I spread hay around the pasture to make up for the lack of grass. And though there is nothing much for grazing, the herd enjoys the time to roam and run.
Every evening we head out to the barn to do the last chores of the day. The dogs always come along (on every trip, of course.) Old Brown Sammie has a habit of sneaking off into the woods on a hunting spree while we are at the barn. A few nights ago, Sammie returned home with a nasty gash on his face. Apparently he had had a tussle with a wild critter while out in the woods.
No worries, Nurse Chester to the rescue!
Chester has been licking Sammie's wounds for a week now and they are healing beautifully.
Every day during this pandemic I have been thankful for the internet. It's the best way to keep up with all of our Littles. I thought you might enjoy seeing the littlest of our Littles.
Elijah... (Mackenzie and Easton's little brother) (those cheeks!)
and Wren Marie (our [North] Carolina Wren) (can't wait to meet her in person!)...
Such happy babies!!