It’s been a cold spring. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. For the last 5 years it seems like we are just a tiny bit ahead of WildRootsHomestead in Alaska. I know we aren’t, but it feels that way, when I see other folks posting photos of open poppies, and day lillys that are almost bloomed out. Here are our dallias. Well, some of them anyhow. We have about 120′ row of them growing all down a fenceline, and when they are blooming, they are beautiful. It just seems like it takes f. o. r. e. v. e. r. for them to get rolling. Same with the garden. And I’ll show that to you in another couple of days.
So, what’s blooming in your neck of the woods? So far we’ve seen the dandy-lions and fruit trees. Oh, and the trillium make their show again.
It’s that time. With all the hoopla over Santa, and the ‘culture war’ that seems to pit the ‘keep Christ in Christmas’ with folks who don’t care where Bethlehem is, it seems like some quite would be in order. It’s my favorite part of the candle light service. The hush, and the light. If you want to admit it or not, it’s the season to give, for we have all received so much…
Just a quick pic from the ol mobile phone, and description….
Those on FB will have seen this already, but to describe it a bit more.. I have a hive at a friends house, near the farm, but close to some better nectar sources… One of the frames in the bottom super was all torn up, so I had pulled it, with the intention of returning and dropping in a replacement… And life happened and about a week went by. When I pulled it out the bees had moved on without me. As in, had pulled down comb and ‘replaced’ the frame. I was able to salvage it though. I used an old empty frame, and some wire to wire the ‘home drawn’ comb into a frame. (for what it’s worth it’s a state requirement that bees be kept in hives with moveable frames so they can be inspected for disease, so in some ways I HAD to do something).
Bees still amaze me.
Edit: the bees moved on as in, they kept working. They are still in the hive and doing well, all that honey comb in the photo above is proof of that!
There is a hymn about the father’s love for us… Seeing my wife’s toes last weekend I though of how deep her love is for her girls. Our eldest wanted to paint her toes. To give her a ‘special spa day’. For a first try, I think she did OK! I was happy to help with some touch up. And with the 4th just around the corner, a ‘re-do’ was easy to explain.
The girls picked their color scheme. Almost as cute, watching the two year old almost walk into walls as she admired her toes.
You goose you….
We’ve had two geese for several years now. Noisy, and charming in their own ways, having a mis-matched pair has been a blessing. Not that we are some kind of ‘purest only!’ farm. But it’s easier to not go there with an Embden and Toulouse as the only two geese on the farm. And they are a lot of fun. Ten months out of the year they as as docile as sheep. Then Toulouse (yes that’s her name) starts to lay eggs…. Embden (yes, again… That’s his name) also steps up as the proud papa, and will honk your honker if you give him the chance. And he is smart enough to grab for flesh above the top of a rubber boot…
Then we has a friend with a sad story of a nasty neighbor and chickens and ducks with broken legs. Yes. Really. We offered our farm as a haven for the critters till the folks could find another place to move to. They covered the feed cost, and we have gotten to keep the eggs. Not all bad really. The one down side, more goose yelling about things that freak out geese. And with almost a dozen of them now either nesting or trying to be the protective papa, unless you are standing close enough to touch each other, you can not carry on a conversation outside… And yes, there is a bit more poop. Let’s just say, that pasture is gong to be get a good rest before we run anything on it.
The ‘pretty’ geese in the bunch are Sebastopoles. Imagine a frilly white napkin… Really a very pretty bird. But not if they live outside. Cause then they get dirty, and they look miserable…
My favorites are the Dulap, or African Grey. Biggest, and with a quiet hoot, (unless you really get them riled up) they are nice. Probably not as cold hardy as the Embden or Toulouse (they have a big fleshy knob on their head) they have done fine at our place this winter.. Here are a few frames of them honking at the freaky guy with the food…
As for size, these grey guys do get big. This guy could pull my wallet out of my pocket, and keep his feet flat on the ground.
That always makes me think of the ‘Beef, it’s what’s for dinner’ commercial. Funny how they would chose a song with that title…
We, however do have a turkey in the straw. We have three Royal Palms (ALBC link here) that are more pets than food. “Duke” and “Earl” have been with us for some time now (See T-day post from two years ago), and last fall, in an attempt to establish our own breeding flock, we purchased three ‘hopeful hens’ from a great guy up in tulip country (Skagit Valley). Two ended up being toms (who knew?) but “Duchess” has been popular and although not as friendly as the boys, it’s nice to see a turkey who is a little more about business than showing off. She started laying this spring as they days got a bit longer (next year we will take better farm notes) and would leave the eggs all over the pasture. They are a bit bigger than a chicken egg, with a bit more of a goose flavor (our Turkeys eat lots of grass). I had been gathering them so the crows wouldn’t get any ideas, but when she started getting some consistency in her drop zone, I began pushing them into one spot. She ended up picking a corner of the old loafing shed for her nest, and last time she was off them I counted 14.
These pictures are from a couple weeks ago, and for the past 14 days or so, she hasn’t been off the eggs for more than a drink of water and a bit of grass and feed.
We’ll let you know how it goes.
Oh, and the funny part? We weren’t sure if she was going to start sitting on the eggs, so Farmer J ordered up a batch of Royal Palms at the Country Store and as she pulled past the turkey run, saw Duchess sitting on the eggs for the first time… I suppose that’s all well, as having a bigger gene pool can’t hurt.
We have a great garden in this year. And on the advice of my dad, I planted a bunch of radishes… They come up super quick and with an antsy preschooler that’s a good thing. We went out a few weeks ago and snagged the first couple of radishes for a dinner salad. Crisp and yummy! She said I had to put one up on the blog. So everyone could see it. And yes. It’s just a little bigger than a blue berry.
Another shot from our woods (which by the way would make a great spot for a photo session if anyone is interested in booking…. This is Trillium ovatum. Thanks again to good ol’ Linnaeus for that. Most people call it Trillium and it holds a special spot in my heart as my dad’s mom was the first to tell me of it’s common name “Wake Robin” and the meaning. When the flower blooms in the Spring it wakes up the robins (who have been silent all winter). And they start singing. And they are, singing now. Every morning.
See, you knew Latin!
What a sad name for a pretty flower that heralds in such a wonderful season. Linnaeus called it Dicentra cucullaria. I don’t think that’s much better. There are tons of these coming up in our woods. We went for a little stroll the other day and I grabbed a few “flora” shots. These are so soft and delicate….
I love these little flowers. They like to grow in rafts of soft green. From the side it looks like little pink flags waving over a soft green mist.
With just a little dew they look like they are made out of glass.
Leave it to kids to find mud. It hadn’t rained for a few days, but there must have been standing water in a bucket somewhere… First it was stew, then paint, finger paint to be exact… Everyone got hosed off before coming in for dinner. I like that one of the hand print palms’ looked like a heart.
In the interest of full disclosure, this went up on my photo blog a few days ago… But it’s more our farm really. So it’s gonna get some mileage here too!