Friday, March 24, 2017

A Story's End

I am afraid I owe you the ending to a story.
It's a story that I have avoided telling.
I hate to tell stories of the brutal side of nature...
but it's important to be honest.


You might remember that about a year ago our two farm friends Maggie and Macy
brought us four young white chickens.... sex unknown.


It wasn't long until we realized that we had 4 roosters.
And the fun began.


All was peaceful amongst the boys until the day that that awful testosterone got the best of them.
Wars ensued.
Then floggings became a way of life for us lowly farm workers.

The peace of the farm was gone.
Roosters had to be locked up when visitors came for fear of floggings.
It got uglier and uglier.
And I stopped writing about it.

Well.... months have passed and in the interim, we had to say goodbye to two of the boys.
Of the four, there were two who just refused to get along with anyone...
not chicken, nor man, nor beast.

Long story short... two of the boys are now crowing their hearts out in that big henhouse in the sky.

Peace once again prevails on the farm,
and we no longer live in fear of the "stomp, stomp, stomp" sound
that had once signaled the approach of a flogging rooster.


The two boys that remain each have their own henhouse and a bevy of ladies to care for.


They take their jobs seriously and spend their days looking after their hens.


They seem very happy and (unlike the other two...God rest their souls)
are never looking for a fight.


Peace is good.

Roosters are handsome... but, oh my, they can be trouble!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Serendipity

It seems of late that I have been quite fortunate to be at the right place at the right time...
with respect to nature.
It's so wonderful that after all these years Mother Earth still has the ability 
to surprise and delight me.
Yesterday as I was driving to town alongside our beautiful local river,
I was treated to sight I had never before had.


A flock of swans had settled on our river.
It seemed there were hundreds of them.
Sadly I did not have my camera, though.
Luck was on my side, however, because when I returned home, grabbed my camera,
and drove back to the river...


they were still there.
Morning photos would have been far superior... but sometime you have to take what you get!


On the way home from the river I drove alongside our local creek
and saw a couple pairs of common mergansers...


also something I had never seen before.
This large, shy member of the duck family is apparently quite common...
so why have I never seen one before?
The male...


and female...


are quite dissimilar in appearance.
Isn't nature amazing?


Meanwhile back at the farm...


it was a beautiful, but cold and windy, day.
The wind is good... it will help to dry up all of the moisture from the melting snow.


While I was out cleaning the dry lot,
I happened to catch Ollie and Annie doing their usual "thing".

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Snowlong, Snow!

One week later and our snow is all but gone.


In its place is a quagmire of muck and mud...
the kind of mud that tries its best to suck the boots right off your feet.


There are little rivers running all over the farm...


and puddles standing everywhere.


The ground is completely saturated.
Given a little time, sunshine, and spring breezes, the ground will once again
dry and Spring will burst forth in all her verdant glory.
And I can hardly wait!
Oh, I am so eager to get my fingers into the earth once again.
I am still waiting for the completion of the garden boxes so that I can amend the soil
and begin planting.
Normally I would have sugar peas planted by now!


I've been spending these (once again) warmer days doing some clean-up chores.
Yesterday afternoon I worked on the pig yard.


There is still a good deal of snow in this one area of the farm as it is on a northern slope.


Can you tell where the treat corner is?


There is a little piggy highway leading right to the treat mailbox.
No matter the weather, these girls still find their way out to the corner
for their beloved Ritz crackers!


While I was cleaning up pig manure, somebody was trying to get my attention through
the bushes...


The poor equines are stuck in the dry (muddy) lot to preserve the integrity of the soggy front pasture.
I feel sorry for them each year at this time... having to stay in for days at a time.
Luckily the dry lot is fairly large and there's plenty of room for them to romp and play.

Since I cannot yet be in the garden, my spare time is spent working on this cowl....


I cannot tell you how many hours I have logged on this project...
and I am only almost half way done.
Luckily this is a fun pattern!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How To Attain Great Popularity....

I was never what you what you would call a "popular" girl.
I was the girl next door...never the prom queen.

Time has a way of turning the tables, however...
and now I am wildly popular.
Everywhere I go, these days, I am followed by an entourage...


How does one attain such high social standing?
Well, here it is in 5 easy steps.

1.  Order a handful (or more) of chicks (chickens or turkeys)


2. Buy or build a structure to house these chicks as they grow into fine young ladies.

3. Offer a constant source of clean water and nutritionally complete food.


4. Maintain good (coop) housekeeping.


5. Serve delectable treats often.



Follow the above 5 simple steps and you will have your very own entourage.
Everywhere you go you, too, will have friends "flocking" to you!


And... fresh eggs as a bonus!


PS:  I'm considering wearing a tiara now as I go about daily chores.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring, Spring, Where Art Thou, Oh Spring?

About three weeks ago, Spring, in her lovely green gown
and sweet fragrant breath,
came softly tiptoeing to the farm.
She teased us with her presence...
assuring us that winter had left and she was here in his place.


But, like Spring can be at this time of year...
a little cunning and mischievous...
she disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.


Now the calendar says March 20th.
 Spring is supposed to be arriving at 6:29 AM
and unpacking her trunks of her colorful finery.
And yet, she's nowhere to be found.


And winter lingers on....


Still, there's hope in the air.
You can hear it every morning as the sun rises and the bluebirds sing their songs.
The songbirds have returned and are busily building nests.
The air will warm a little each day as we tear pages from the calendar.
The days themselves are lengthening.
She's close... she's on her way... right around the corner!


I'll get her room prepared so that she can settle in quickly upon arrival.


Spring, oh, Spring....you tease us so...
and make us wait...
with butterflies of excitement.


You're a vixen and you're fickle...
and yet we cannot help but adore you
and welcome you with open arms!


Feel free to join us here on our "snoasis"!


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