Peace Like A River

 Thank you for all of your ideas, suggestions, and personal stories regarding our discussion of flies in yesterday's post.  A really great point was brought out that I had not considered.  With cicadas being more than plentiful this year, the birds and reptiles that normally eat flies are satiated with larger meals (cicadas) and most likely are not eating the amount of flies that they normally would.  I think it is highly likely that this is the principal reason for the hoards of flies that are so abundant around our farm this year.


I have witnessed that our runner ducks spend a lot of time each day combing through the tall grass at the edge of the woods.  I am assuming they are looking for cicadas.  By the end of the summer, we are going to have to change our name from BeeHavenAcres to the Fat Farm!  Our birds are all going to be plump from their abundant cicada meals.  And we already know that the pigs are going to be plump from the mulberries they are consuming.

It's been an amazing berry year so far.  I have been picking black raspberries almost daily and have frozen at least a dozen quarts of them.  What yummy jam (and maybe a pie) these will make this winter!

I enjoyed a few magical moments yesterday afternoon as I walked along the wood's edge between rain storms.  The air was much cooler than it had been in days and my long sleeves and long pants were comfortable.  In the orchard, behind me, I heard the rat-a-tat-tat of a pileated woodpecker.  Gone was the overpowering din of cicada song, replaced by occasional waves of their scritchity song. 

 I reflected back on my week.  On Tuesday I went to town to attend a memorial service for the mother of one of my long-time friends.  As we sang the old hymn, It Is Well With My Soul - that starts out, "When peace like a river attendeth my way..." I was reminded of life on the farm.  This quiet life, walking hand in hand with nature most definitely is peace like a river.  In this little patch of green, filled with such abundance, it is most definitely well with my soul!

As I filled my bowl with fruit, I heard the soft chatter of the runner ducks.  It's unusual to see them this close to the house in their daily wanderings.  There they were, bill to ground, gobbling up whatever it was they were searching for. 

 They were wary of my presence and eventually sought cover in the woods.  I kept picking, however, and they eventually emerged once again.   Interestingly, our eleven ducks split into two groups each day... one group of eight, and another of three.  

They can usually be found at opposite ends of the farm... meeting in the middle at their yard for occasional drinks and swims in their pools.  I still have not figured out what drives this "clique" behavior.  It's curious, for sure.

I also stopped to check in on Pop(py) and Posie.  

"Pop" is growing more handsome by the day with his fluffy cheek muffs.  Every morning, he crows his welcome to the farm.  If only he were a she.....

There is hardly a day that goes by without seeing our lovely doe.  She has gotten so used to our presence that she is never in a hurry to escape our gaze... often stopping at the edge of the woods to look back at us.

As I traveled from one part of the farm to another in search of juicy berries, I snapped a few photos along the way. I stopped by the pond to check on the pond ducks, of which there are only two (the 50 mallards that stay here in the winter must have summer homes elsewhere.) Stella and Beau were busily grooming themselves...

not bothered by my presence.  They went right on getting all of their feathers in order.

As I headed back towards the old log cabin, I caught sight of our feral kitty.  He/she had been elusive the past couple of weeks.  Fearing that he/she might be hungry, I went to the barn and got a can of cat food for her, which I opened and placed outside the old log cabin.  I am hoping by winter this kitty will feel comfortable enough to call the barn "home."

 At the barn, my roses are blooming in red, pink...

yellow....

and this new rose, just planted this year...

In the garden, the larkspur that I started in the greenhouse is now blooming amongst the zinnias.  I am hoping that this re-seeds itself and spreads out a bit next summer.

Yesterday's rain was wonderful.  As I ran a few errands, I was caught in quite torrential storms, however, we only received a quarter inch here on the farm.   I am hoping that today brings more precipitation.  It's quite dry for this early in the summer.

I will be spending the rest of today in the kitchen, finishing up preparation for Saturday's picnic.  I'll be sure to take some photos of the festivities and share them with you on Monday.  Have a lovely Fourth of July weekend and stay safe!!

H

PS:  Happy Birthday today to our Easton (4) and also to Dr. Becky!!

Comments

jaz@octoberfarm said…
will we ever know the secret behind the runner ducks split? haha...a mystery that may never be solved. they are curious creatures. we had wonderful rain yesterday too! have a great weekend!
Marsha said…
Your flowers are beautiful this year!!

I absolutely love your posts! They are such a pleasure to read and your photos are a story in themselves! Thank you for starting my days off right.
colleen said…
I sure hope Kitty makes his/her way to the barn for winter. Happy Birthday, Easton and Dr. Becky! My great-grandfather used to say he was going to celebrate the 3rd on the 4th with a 5th, for his birthday.
Lynne said…
No doubt about it . . .
Peace like a River as I read through your post
and enjoy each thought, photo . . .
You are surrounded . . . thank you for this post . . .
Refreshing and Peaceful . . .
Happy picnic day . . .
daisy g said…
Such a lovely snapshot of life on the farm.

Enjoy your family time.
R's Rue said…
Beautiful photos. I love it. Have a happy and safe weekend.
www.rsrue.blogspot.com
Jody in Georgia said…
Great post and photos. As I read your posts each morning, I am left with the realization that life is good and at this stage of my life, I am just where God meant me to be and I'm happy and at peace with His decision. Have a great 4th!
I love roses but all of my bushes were decimated a few years ago by Japanese beetles and never came back. I just cut them down. How do you keep them off your roses? I would love to get some new bushes but I don't want to if they will just get eaten again.
Wanda Devers said…
Those runner ducks are probably like a bunch of middle schoolers forming their little groups. When I worked at school I kept an eye out for such goings on and made the perpetrators stop it. Told them they could have a group alone in the time out corner!! And worked to instill compassion for others in their hearts. Hope it worked for some of them. It seems like cruelty is just rampant today--glad I'm retired and deal with it much less now.

All your flowers are beautiful! I am a flower killer so I am limited to zinnias and marigolds!

I hope that kitty finds his/her way into joining your farm family & thank you for caring for him/her. So many people are so mean to cats but I think they are nearly perfect creatures.

I had to make a trip to the dreaded Walmart a few days ago. We were desperately needing rain and when I got to the exit, it was pouring down. As usual my umbrella was in the car. Waited a while and it began to slack off a little so I made a run for it. Trunk was full so I had to put everything in the back seat and I was literally soaked--rain was running off my head. Finally got in the car & the rain immediately stopped. Got to our house not more than 5 miles away & not a drop had fallen. I hate going to Walmart anyway but we don't have many choices here anymore.

We did get a long rain yesterday. One of the slow ones that is so good for the garden.

Our pond geese have raised all of their goslings this time. (so far)
Our old fellow who was cared for through the winter by out neighbors across the pond has vanished. We hope he was able to fly away.
Junebug said…
No berries for me this year! The extreme heat 117° did them in plus my hydrangeas and roses! Most of all the berry farmers lost about 80% of their crops. This is a year to remember! I did manage with lotd of water to dave my vegetable garden, a good positive!
This N That said…
Are the two baby runners still segregated?? Too bad about "Pop"..I.m sure Posie will miss him..
Your Doe looks pregnant or maybe she is better fed than ours..I hope the stray kitty gets the word and moves in..Your flowers are beautiful..Mine are just starting to bloom..The Japanese Beetles have arrived..They love my fern and Maple trees..Have a Happy 4th..xxoo
deodar said…
Just a caution about using the fly tape on the crank out roll. I used it a couple of years with no problem but the last time I had it up a baby swallow got stuck or tried to land on it and died. I don't use it anymore.
THE BEARDED ONE said…
ALWAYS SO VERY ENJOYABLE...DID NOT HAVE INTERNET FOR 4+ DAYS...HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND !!!


EDGAR C. BEARD
Rain said…
Your roses are gorgeous! The Fat Farm lol...love it! :)