Monday, June 26, 2017

Moonbeam's Big Test

Early every morning we walk the horses up to the upper pastures.
It takes three trips...

two "Littles"...
and then, two ponies.

Typically, a few dogs and turkeys follow along, as well.
If Hubbs and I work together it still requires two trips.

We've been wondering what would happen if I led the Littles,
and he led the ponies,
and we let Moonbeam go by himself, without a halter.

We tried the grand experiment on Sunday morning.
They had been out in the pasture for several hours during the cool of the morning.
By 10:30 it was getting buggy and hot...
time to go back to the barn for their chow (vitamin/mineral supplement) and fly masks.

Hubbs, led the Littles back to the barn....

and then came back for the ponies.

The plan was to open the gate of the pasture after he had the ponies haltered,
and just let Moonbeam free.

Here is the big test:

What a good boy!
I am pretty sure that any one of my horses would do the same.
They hate to be separated from their family.

One thing is sure, however, I would not try this experiment in the morning
when I first let them out.
With all that good hay growing all around, who knows where he would end up!

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Day With The Murphys

Somedays you wake up and you can feel something different in the air.
It's nothing to do with the weather.
It's more like a feeling that things are a little off balance...
out of kilter.

Yesterday was one of those days.
With a long to-do list, we set out early to get started.
As Murphy's Law states...."what can go wrong, will go wrong."
I don't usually believe this... 
however on a day that feels a little out of whack,
it was most certainly true!
Our woes included a flat gator tire (later fixed),
a missing wheel from our large tractor's mower deck (new part ordered),
amongst several other moments of utter frustration.

By noon, it had become the kind of day that makes one want to go back to bed.
But... this is life on a farm, in the country.
Projects are often re-thought as roadblocks are thrown in the way.

And for all the little imperfections that life throws at you on a daily basis,
you have to look for all the amazing perfection that exists 
just a little bit beyond your own personal space.

We looked.
And we found it... all around us.
We consciously let go of the morning's vertigo and re-set our world.
A walk through the fields of our farm in search of wild raspberries

soon smoothed over all of the rough spots of the day,
and brought us back to what is important...

this little part of our world that we call home...

our valley...

this life that we have found here in our own little heaven...
beneath cornflower-blue skies...

where day lilies grow in abundance...
in just about any space that is not growing something else.

We walked, and picked berries, and talked of how fortunate we are 
to live this life.
And all of the inconveniences of the morning faded away.
And suddenly all was right with the world...
it was tilted back on its axis once again.

Last night, when a monsoon came and dropped a half inch of rain in 5 minutes...
windows were open, and gutters overflowed...
(luckily, now, I don't have to water the garden today!)
and the cake that I was making for today's guests fell apart...

I felt that old earth shift right back off her axis, again.
I did the only thing I hadn't tried...
I went back to bed.

Luckily, today's another day!
Make it a great one!!

If you have this honeycomb pan...
unless you make 2 cakes with it!!  It is way too much batter for the pan.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Around the Barn...

We awoke to a 58 degree, blue-skied day yesterday...
a perfect start to the longest day of the year!

Morning chores were started at 5:30...
finished by seven.
I spent some time in the garden weeding and found this...

Yes, ole Mrs. Hoppity has made her nest right in the middle of the potatoes.

I actually knew there was a nest here
because Sammy was walking around the day before with a baby bunny in his mouth.
He spit it out when I yelled at him and the bunny hopped into the barn.
Hubbs rescued the bunny from the barn and placed it back in my garden box.

So, how do you like that?
Seems a little strange that we would be placing rabbit babies back into the garden...
but what else could we do?
They are, after all, just babies!
And, as I said before... I planted enough for an why not share with
some cute fuzzy bunnies!
I know... it might make no sense... but it does to me.

There are tons of babies around these days.
Mr. and Mrs. Barn Swallow come back to nest in this nest every summer.
They have at least two batches of chicklets.
This batch is ready to leave the nest, now.

I interrupted flight school later in the morning

 and was
reprimanded severely by both parents.

Tuesday was freedom day for the daffy duckles that live in the barn.
We opened their stall door and gave them the run of the place....

They still haven't ventured out.

And yes....they are constantly running!.... that is why they are a blur in this picture.
at some point they will get up the courage to explore their world.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jammin' With The Pigs

This is my reward for a day spent...
picking, pitting, jamming and canning!

Yes, it's Cherry/Berry season on the farm.

The strawberries are ripe.
The blueberries are just ripening.

The black raspberries have been picked (first round...several to go.)

The cherries have been picked and made into sour cherry jam.

Today we will pick the gooseberries and get them into the freezer.

At the end of the day when the kettles have been washed and the kitchen is back in order 
once again, I head out to visit with my girls, Ginger and MaryAnn.
It's cool in the pig yard; the afternoon sun long ago disappeared behind the woods.
After a long day of grazing, 

the pigs are ready to lay down with me and rest.

Bobby approaches from one side of the pig yard, as our
barn kitty, Moll eyes him warily.
Normally she would be visiting with the pigs and me.
But, with Bobby in the vicinity, she stays away.
Bobby has a way of intimidating the other cats...
but certainly not the pigs.

The pigs are comfortable with both cats and vice versa.

This scene is the most peaceful one on the farm and one that I cherish.
These two girls are extremely sociable and very bonded to me.

They are gentle and loving and completely tolerant.
I clean their eyes and nose and ears as they lie beside me.

I lift up their lips and check out their teeth with no reaction from them.
We have a relationship built on mutual trust.

I plop Bobby on top of MaryAnn and neither one of them objects.
It's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

First Day of Summer Garden Tour

Happy first day of Summer!
Shall we spend it in the garden?
My garden is one of my happy places.
(one of many)

Arriving at the garden each morning,
while the dew is glistening like crystals in the rising sun, is delicious.

With the sun low in the sky, the green of the growing veggies
and the vegetation on the ground is intense... almost electrified.

Just across the lane, in the woods is a Baltimore Oriole singing its sweet song...
my morning serenade.
A chorus of song birds provide back-up, while our resident mockingbird
tries to out-sing them all.

It's hard to believe...
but, overnight things have grown just a little bigger than they were the day before.
The perfect mixture of sun and rain (and a little watering to help out) has made
this the best garden yet.

It's heaven, I tell you.
I wish you could come with me on my morning tour through the garden.

This year I am having a love affair with my garden.
In previous years it was a cross...sort of a love/hate relationship.
Previously it was always a losing battle with weeding.
This year....ahhh, what a difference.

Planting grass between the boxes (along with the weeds) has been a God-send.
No longer do I fret about what is growing on the ground.
Now I only concentrate on what is growing in the boxes.
And, oh boy, are things growing...
good things!

I have so many vegetables, I swear I could open a produce stand.
Sadly, though, with only 2 or 3 cars on our road each day...
I would not have many customers.

I made a little video yesterday afternoon after a storm
just to show you how things are looking...

Luckily, those storms held off til afternoon.
We had special farm visitors in the morning.

We love welcoming our farm friends here to enjoy our animals and our beautiful land.

You can never start little farmers out too early!

It was obvious throughout the morning that Tom and Fred thought
everyone was there just to visit with them!


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