Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Springtime On The Farm - Part 2

I ordered two Ninebark seedlings and planted them in compost where I removed the old, rotten stump last year. Ninebark is a cold hardy shrub with red leaves, white flowers and mottled bark. I have great expectations for them - and the little fence will hopefully keep me from mowing over them:

The Shadbush began blooming at the end of April and was almost finished, so I decided to get a few photos of their lovely blossoms before it was too late.

And I returned to the country road where the White Trilliums bloom by the thousands every year. They were reduced to only one small patch this year, but my timing was good and I got some photos:

Trilliums are truly a beautiful flower:

These tiny blooms are from my Bush Cherry, and will produce many miniature cherries later on. Alas, the birds got all but one cherry last year - and I had to eat the last one before it was fully ripe or I'd never have gotten to taste them at all. It was very good, though:

And my full sized cherry is blooming abundantly. This looks to be only the second cherry crop I've had since I moved here:

Need I add that Dandelions are everywhere, great oceans of them across the lawns and pastures. Some people hate them, but I think they are both attractive and useful:

We had so much rain that the drainage ditch by the barn was filling in. So I used the tractor bucket one dry day to reopen it:

And Wild Strawberries are blooming all over the pasture and lawn:

I also opened up the far field for the herd, which made them very happy. Those are the last of the Shadbush in bloom behind them, not to be seen again until next spring:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Springtime On The Farm - Part 1

After all the false starts and relapses back to wintry weather, the violets began to bloom in my lawn:

And the tulips I planted last autumn started to flower:

We had several days of freezing cold and snow, but then it began to warm up again. You can see two cows in the background:

The fantail pigeons stayed warm and comfy inside their large room. They've been nesting and laying eggs, but I've not yet seen any sign of fertile or hatching eggs:

My little bantam hens, however, have been laying nicely - and the neighbors are the recipients:

I was upset that only these few Tulips bloomed, and only one variety, so I looked up the package labels of what I planted last year. To my surprise, these were the only Tulips I'd planted. But there were lots of Iris, Lilies and Fritillaria, all of which are pushing up out of the soil and looking promising. The Magnolia in the center, however, did not live. I will replace it with something more cold hardy:

The pasture has been growing faster and faster. The herd now has so much grass that they won't even come in for grain:

I found these Marsh Marigolds in a wet spot alongside a country road. The ground right by the road was dry, so I got a closeup look:

Right next to them were these slightly different plants, with no white on the petals (they're really sepals), slightly different leaves and some flowers with extra petals. I looked them up when I got home, thinking they might be Lesser Celandine, but apparently not. I concluded that they too were Marsh Marigolds:

The spring flower season is already past in many parts of the country, but up here it's just beginning:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dogs And Cats And Guinea Pigs, Oh My!

Despite our snow and cold nights in the early part of May, the grass greened up and the dogs got to spend some warm afternoons in their back yard as the month progressed:

But the kitchen corner was and is still the most popular spot for snoozing:

Fergus and Jack love to bark, watching everything that moves from their back yard:

Georgette is getting old now, and seldom leaves her bed atop the kitchen table:

Seamus and Daphne like this corner of the back yard because they can see any activity at the neighbors' house and bark at them:

The dogs love their time outdoors, but they also love returning to their soft beds and catching a nap with whatever cats want to join them - in this case, Bugsy:

And as if sleeping all day in the kitchen isn't enough, the dogs also get to sleep in the bedroom:

Enjoying springtime:

I should perhaps have saved this picture of Rocky for Halloween. His eyes came out spooky looking:

And back to the floor pillows and dog beds, this time with both Rocky and Bugsy:

Ruby and Megan, the resident guinea pigs, are the reason the cats can't come into the bedroom. Their cage came with a great hiding spot, but I added the pipe fitting as a place to hide or just to play in. They do seem to like it. I can tell by how much poop I clean out of it each morning:

Daisy is difficult to photograph. Like Rocky, her eyes glow strangely in direct, frontal photos - and she also tends to roll over on her back when she sees me. In this case, I just snapped her picture anyway. This is, after all, how she normally looks: