A Mixed Tale

Yesterday was a mix of excitement and sadness. I should have heeded the warning of a red sun as it peeked above the horizon. I am privileged to see many sunrises, and this was one I had never seen before.  The sun was completely red as it rose in the sky... a most unusual sight.

 For the first time in months, with the snow finally melted, the horses were able to spend the morning in the upper pastures. 

 I walked Moonie up by himself and he took off at a gallop when I set him free from his halter.  Then I walked the little horses and Hubbs walked the ponies there as well. 

 As you can see... the ponies were quite eager to join Moonbeam in the farthest reaches of the pasture and took off like they were shot from a cannon.

Later in the morning, they had some company as Sid and his new gal-pal came out for a visit.

Everyone grazed as close to each other as possible.

I love how they are all so interested in each other.  Before they settle down to graze, they gallop and buck and kick up their heels to show off to their neighbors.  It is such great fun to watch.

By noontime, it was time to return to the dry lot.  Everyone was ready for naps, so rounding them up was easy.  You might notice that the little horses are wearing grazing muzzles.  Yes, two little men are in great need of a diet.

All of the pastures were in need of a good cleaning, now that most of the snow is gone.  Under Sam's watchful gaze we returned the front pasture to its baseline spic and span... something that makes my heart happy (clean pastures).

We let the donkeys out with us for a short grazing snack as we filled our muck buckets with manure that had gotten buried beneath the snow.  Chloe seems to be doing just fine post-surgery.  

It was a somewhat blustery afternoon, with the wind blowing and howling through the woods on the opposite side of the road.  In my mind, I heard the whistle of a train - the wind playing tricks on my ears.  Even with temperatures in the 30's and light snow flurries, I tended to chores with the promise of spring in my heart.  I was delighted to find the start of this year's wild day lilies popping up through the ground... the first tangible sign that winter is almost over!


Sadly, we lost our handsome turkey, Fred, yesterday, to a hawk attack.  We had been keeping the chickens and ducks sequestered in their yards after our neighbors witnessed a hawk pursuing one of our ducks earlier in the week.  Never in a million years did I think that our turkeys would be prey for the hawks.  Fred was a 25-30 pound turkey - no small bird.

Yesterday morning we went searching for him, as he had not returned to his house the night before.

  After searching all over the farm, we finally found him, half-dead in the aisle between the pastures...with our herd grazing close by.  Jack euthanized him as his injuries were too severe for us to save him.  From the looks of it, there had been quite a struggle, and then the hawk had broken his neck.  I will save you the rest of the awful details.

It is difficult to stomach this part of farm life.  We do everything in our power to keep our animals safe and secure.  We try to never take any chances with their welfare.  Little did we know that a turkey was no match for a hawk.  If only....


Yesterday was bread-making day.  If you work with sourdough, you know that there is a certain amount that is wasted when you feed your sourdough starter - unless you use that discarded portion for making something else.  There are all sorts of yummy recipes that you can use your sourdough discard with, but, our favorite is definitely crumpets. 

 There is nothing better than a fresh crumpet with butter melted down in the nooks and crannies... topped with some homemade brambleberry jam!

I have enjoyed this sourdough adventure and continue to learn all of the time.  Hubbs had read an article lately suggesting that you feed your starter twice in a row before baking with it.  As a result, my starter has become quite robust and the flavor is a much stronger sour dough.  We are loving this bread.
Now that I bake my own bread, I have to admit... I have been eating a lot of it.  

I also, yesterday, finished a project that has taken me most of the week... a black linen duster.  I used some leftover linen to make this practice version.  I plan to make another from a dark mustard linen.   I will wear this as a light wrap this spring time over my pinafores. 

 This was one of the most tailored patterns that I have sewn in a long time.  I did a little extra work and made all of the seams either French seams or finished them with homemade bias tape, so that there are no exposed seams.

 I am happy to say that it fits perfectly!  I'll model it soon.


Thanks Di, for recommending Arbico Organics.  We have actually used their products for many years. Their solar fly catchers are the best!!  And I am very familiar with MaryJane's farm.  At one time I was very involved with her Farmgirl Forum.  I went to Washington state in 2009 for their Farmgirl gathering and met her as well.  I always enjoyed her magazine... I am sure you will as well!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  We'll be back on Monday for a visit!


Lisa said…
Poor Fred.😢 But that's the way of life on the farm. I know it too well.
colleen said…
Your sunrise is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!
Sorry for your loss. It must of been a big hawk. All we see are shrikes and sharp-shinned. If we see them hanging around we leave our chickens in.
Nice looking duster. Do you always make a test run of a new pattern you are trying?
I would love to hear about your Farmgirl gathering. I have been a fan of MaryJane's farm for years.
I'm going to check out Arbico Organics.
Have a great weekend. xoxox
daisy g said…
I'm so sorry to hear about Fred. That was a hard lesson to learn, no doubt. He had the best life with y'all.

Yes, we have daffs and white crocus blooming here, so I know spring will show Herself any day.

Enjoy your weekend.
Lynne said…
Sad, sad about Fred . . .
I liked seeing “the kids” frolicking about . . . good ole’ sunshine!
That RED sunrise is amazing!
You are talented from bread starter to seam maker to pasture cleaner and beyond.
Inspiration for sure, in each of your posts.
Hope you can enjoy this “greening up” March weekend!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
oh no...not fred??? jeeze you guys have had a run of bad luck! are you going to get a new companion turkey?
sheryl said…
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Marcia LaRue said…
In CO, a red sun indicates smoke in the air ... however ... there is the old warning: Red sky at night, Sailor's delight! Red sky in the morning, Sailor take warning!
So sorry to read about poor Fred ... perhaps it was a gang of hawks that attacked Fred. It must have been pretty frightening for the Big Bird!
What a lovely week it has been ... despite the pitfalls! Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you on Monday!!
Anonymous said…
So sorry you lost Fred.
This N That said…
So sorry about Fred..BHA has had more than its share of sadness of late..Better days ahead!!
Pretty duster and such attention to detail..Beautiful seams...
Your bread looks amazing...tastes that way too...
Enjoy your weekend..hugs
Karen said…
I just loved that old fella . . . I am beyond SO sorry for your loss. I always looked forward to your pictures and stories of him. How sad for you both and your critter family. xoxo
Oh dear, I was so afraid you were going to say you lost one of your turkeys. Was Fred the brown one or the black one? I loved them both...especially how they were so gregarious and always seemed to be interested in people. You got Fred and Ethel at the same time, right? Now is Tom the one who is left? How sad. Thank God you could put Fred out of his misery. I'm glad I don't have pets any more.....I get upset when YOU lose a critter. Will you add another turkey to keep Tom company? Have a good weekend. Thanks for a great blog.
Jeannie said…
I'm so sorry you lost Fred.

I enjoyed the rest of your post, and I loved seeing your happy equines romping about. Brown Sammie always looks so stoic. The crumpets and jam made my mouth water! Can't wait to see your new duster!
Leslye said…
I am so very sorry for your loss.It is always so heartbreaking to loose one of our animals.