Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hopkinton To Fort Jackson - Part 1

Recently I parked along Route 49 and then walked to the highway to view the Hopkinton Summer Festival Parade. Walking back to my car, I took note of the small town, rural, summer beauty all around me and promised myself that I'd make a driving tour blog post before winter. So here it is, beginning at the village square in Hopkinton:

I drove north on County Route 49 beneath blue skies, viewing comfortable homes surrounded by trees:

Almost every home was backed up by corn fields or forest, and almost every yard was chock full of perennials, fruit trees and shade trees. This home also had a roof full of solar panels:

Most homes had a covered front porch from which to sit and watch the rural beauty all around, waving at neighbors who drive by:

I passed green farm fields and forests:

This home had a bicycle leaned up against the flag pole as well as old fashioned, steel lawn chairs out back:

This old style home had a tire swing out back and that was sufficient to prompt me to include this photo despite the sun's glare:

All surrounded by trees:

There were two buildings like this, each of which apparently contains several small, one floor apartments:

I crossed a bridge over a small stream, a beauty which I suspect most people never even notice:

I passed by the lovely Fort Jackson Cemetery, backed up by forest and a sharp drop-off down to the St. Lawrence River:

The lush green of the vegetation and blue sky set this apart as an idyllic setting on a near perfect day:

This home had a made a good start on the winter's firewood supply. But there was more yet to see on this short section of road, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August Around The Farm

The five Barred Rock Bantam chicks are about half grown but still peeping. I've been advised to keep them apart from the adults until they leave the peeping stage. The one little rooster tries to crow sometimes, but he sure hasn't got the knack of it yet:

One of the fantail pigeons continues to take short trips outside to enjoy the fresh air:

Queen Anne's Lace, also called Wild Carrot, bloomed everywhere during August:

And August gave us not just a full moon, but a "super moon:"

The baby pigeon left its nest but continued to grow rapidly:

Birds in general, and pigeons in particular, grow at an astounding rate:

Both parents tend the eggs and feed the babies. One of the parents was feeding the youngster when I walked in one day, so I snapped a picture. Like all the doves, they feed their babies partially digested food, often called "pigeon milk:"

Just look how quickly that baby has grown!:

There is the above breeding couple which has produced two offspring this summer. Then there is this couple, who sit together in a nest with no hay, no eggs and no baby. One day I saw this alarming and curious scene. One pigeon had its head beneath the other and didn't move. I became concerned and lifted it out of its strange position. It was fine. I guess that even in the pigeon world, some individuals are smarter than others:

The chickens have had the full run of the place for the entire summer and have managed to stay alive, well fed and happy. Each night they collect back inside the barn, where they have food, water and safety from predators:

They peck at bugs and leaves and gravel. They take dust baths and sun baths. They've had a good year:

But I couldn't end a series of farm photos without at least one photo of Rosella. She's already got neighbors watching her and stopping by to see her. And I've had a possible offer to buy any bull calf which is born (I'm still waiting for Jasmine to calve and she's overdue):

Friday, August 29, 2014

A House Full Of Pets Is A House Full Of Love

Old PeeWee had yet another stroke or seizure, though this third one was much less severe. He snapped out of it and was enjoying life once again the next day:

And as they often do, the other four dogs draped themselves languidly on the ramp between the porch to their fenced yard. It's been a lazy, comfortable summer for them:

Clover and Daphne curled up together on one of the fleecy dog beds in the kitchen:

Less comfortable, perhaps, yet still enjoying each other's company were Seamus, Fergus and Snoozey at the foot of the stairs:

And more camaraderie - Clover atop Seamus, with Fergus and Daphne curled up beside them:

Speaking of good buddies, Draco and Bramble have long been best friends. In this spot, it appeared that they'd added the chainsaw bear and the RCA dog to their social circle:

PeeWee still sleeps with his plush squirrel, though I can't be sure if he's even aware of it:

Dog pile! Clover, Daphne and Fergus all scrunched up together:

Draco and Bramble again:

And the four dogs once again on their ramp:

Upstairs in my bedroom, away from the cats, lives Dixie the guinea pig:

And Chirpy the parakeet lives in the bedroom also. Both Dixie and Chirpy once had cage-mates, but now live alone. Their cages are adjacent and I stop to give them attention often during the day, so they seem to be living happy lives:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Red Poll Cattle Photos

The girls have been looking good this summer and lots of the neighbors have commented on their beauty:

When the pastures began getting low on grass, I threw out a bale of hay - and because the apples were falling early, I poured some of them atop the hay:

Was my hay/apple mix a hit? You bet it was!:

Scarlett even brought little Rosella over to the feast:

Little Rosella was still on a milk diet, but she scampered and played while the big cows ate:

Everything is new, exciting and fun for a little calf:

She sometimes tries to nibble at grass, but in the end she always returns to her mother's milk:

Instead of feeding hay in the middle of summer, I opened up a section of field for the cows to graze in. That made them very happy:

Jasmine got bigger and wider, passing the end of the normal cow gestation period but her udder hadn't even filled up yet. I was perplexed:

I always took lots of photos of Rosella, my first calf:

One day, Scarlett brought her daughter into the barn to play while she ate a bit of grain. It became a daily routine after that:

And Rosella delighted in playing with those feathered creatures she found in the field. They clucked and ran in such a fun way when she chased them:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Clear Pond, In The White Hill Wild Forest - Part 3

We were almost back to our parked car when I stopped to let the dogs again play at the edge of Clear Pond. A couple of Purple Loosetrife bloomed there and once again I was glad to note that it no longer seems to be an invasive problem:

Pink Steeplebush was also in bloom along the water's edge:

And Clover and Daphne, with their limitless energy and enthusiasm, explored every hill and every hole in the ground:

Clover climbed out onto a rock to survey the lake. Perhaps she was looking for the Loon who was making so much noise:

We continued along the shore toward our parked car:

And I marveled at the wild beauty of the scenery:

Seamus got wet again, though it was too rocky for him to go in very deeply:

Pickerelweed bloomed all along the shore:

And the dogs continued to run, play and explore:

When we were almost back to the parking area, I called the dogs and put them on leashes:

There was only one other car in the forest, a family who was camping near the water's edge. A little girl asked if she could pet the dogs and I agreed. When she asked to pick up Clover, I allowed it, but insisted she learn to do it with plenty of support. So the dogs and I had a grand day at a lovely, wild lake, and a little girl learned the right way to pick up a dog: