Thursday, April 30, 2015

What's New Around The Farm

The pace of life has increased as the snow has melted. The chickens, locked up for a week to keep them safe from our marauding fox, are once again free to roam during the day. I round them up about dinnertime and herd them back indoors for the night. As for the fox, I presume that something or someone killed it because it has disappeared:

As the ground thawed and the spring rains began, I used the tractor bucket to reopen the trench in which water drains away from the barn:

The drainage trench runs from the barn to the dirt road:

My thirteen bantam hens were laying so many eggs that I was feeding them to the dogs. Alas, both Seamus and Jack (especially Jack!) were rapidly gaining weight. This pan of 27 eggs was their last breakfast of scrambled eggs. Since then, I've been giving the eggs to the family across the road who plows my snow in the wintertime:

The fantail pigeons have bill billing and cooing in a most charming way, but now that the weather is warm enough to raise babies, they aren't:

The hens check every inch of ground for possible edibles and tractor tire tracks are a good place to look for earthworms:

And bugs might be hiding along the base of the barn:

Every morning I open their door and watch them all scramble down their ramp, excited to begin their adventurous day:

Both the house and barn have filled with flies. The flies (and ladybugs) in the house seem to die as soon as they emerge, but the flies in the barn are alive and active, crawling all over the windowpanes:

The neighbors were actively sugaring this spring. They seem to be all done now, though the lines are still up:

I open the pigeons' window on nice days, but they have not been going outside. This one bird got as far as the windowsill for a look around - and that's about it. I guess they figure they're warm, safe and fed indoors, so why invite trouble?:

A lawn full of chickens. There are rotten apples all over the ground there, but the chickens don't seem to be eating them:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dogs And Cats

Snoozey has been slowing down and showing his age lately. He was adopted as an adult cat in 2004, so he's no spring chicken (or spring cat, as the case may be). But Snoozey is happy and doing just fine, considering his age:

The new dog in the house, Jack, has made himself at home and been completely accepted by all the other dogs and cats. He is, however, quite clingy and forever getting under foot. But I can forgive him for that. He's very sweet:

Clover loves to hang out along the fence line and watch the other dogs bark their fool heads off:

Jack, Fergus and Seamus - three who could fairly be said to "bark their fool heads off:"

Clover and Daphne, the Silly Sisters:

The Silly Sisters again, lounging together in the warm spring sun:

Clover looked slightly guilty and embarrassed, caught as she was in the act of canoodling with a cat (Snoozey):

Dog pile! Fergus, Clover, Seamus and Daphne:

All five dogs in their outdoor run:

Seamus, Fergus, Clover, Daphne and Snoozey:

Clover, Snoozey and Bramble:

Draco too is looking older and a bit frail these days. He was adopted as an adult in 2005, so he's allowed to look old and frail. His favorite sleeping spot is on the chair, beneath the kitchen table:

Monday, April 27, 2015

State Route 11B, From The County Line To Nicholville - Part 2

I was on Route 11B, approaching Nicholville, and snapping photos of local farms (see Part 1, yesterday). These friendly cattle watched me with interest as I snapped their photo:

This house was was so colorful that I wondered if it was a bed and breakfast. I saw no sign, though, so I decided it was not:

A big pile of rubble beside this barn. I guessed that it was being renovated:

A classic, small farm house with two chimneys and a front porch:

Hip-roofed barn and hip-roofed farm house, great for winters with lots of snow, like the one we just had:

This old barn was in great shape and had several new, modern windows:

I entered the little settlement of Nicholville, where the houses were closer together:

The homes here had a small town charm:

This old, brick home may have been a farm house once upon a time:

The Nicholville Volunteer Fire Department:

Nicholville has its own, small telephone company and I turned off the highway at one of their truck garages. This was the end of my driving tour, so I put my camera away and concentrated on finding my way home:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

State Route 11B, From The County Line To Nicholville - Part 1

I was on the road on a lovely, sunny day and decided to take a driving tour of State Route 11B in St. Lawrence County, from the Deer River to the town of Nicholville:

This is farm country and the first farm at which I stopped had these huge grain bins (and barking dogs who were not happy that I'd stopped along the road):

This lovely old farm house had built a brand new barn just recently:

This farmstead had freshly washed quilts flapping in the wind to dry. It is spring cleaning time, after all:

There were a number of Amish farms along the road, all of them looking prosperous, but this was the only one without Amish people working out front. Knowing how they dislike being photographed, I don't usually stop for pictures when they're outside working:

I stopped at this old silo, standing all alone beside the foundation of its former barn. I was intrigued by the picnic table nearby. Does some family have picnics there?:

A small house with a bright red roof and a tractor parked out back:

An enclosed front porch:

This small, abandoned house got me wondering who had lived there and what life may have been like for them:

A red barn and a greenhouse:

A farm stand and several barns were part of this farmstead. This was indeed beautiful, rural countryside and I had more distance to go before I arrived in Nicholville, so I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Duck Pond Trail - Part 2

The dogs and I had hiked as far as the oxbow (see yesterday's post) but not all the way to Duck Pond. We began returning to our parked car. The dogs by then had run off some of their excess energy and were much better about staying close to me:

But they still had lots of fun, running and playing and exploring:

And it was a glorious day, with warm temperatures, sun and blue skies:

Though it doesn't show in these photos, I could see Azure Mountain through the trees almost the entire way, adding to the scenic beauty:

The road through the forest was lovely and I figured that flowers would be blooming in one more week:

The dogs continued playing and sniffing:

The pooches were happy, and so was I:

I saw this giant rock, a glacial erratic, leftover from the retreating glaciers, down in the woods and we veered off the road for a closer look:

The side trip was fun, but brief. We soon returned to the road and continued on our way back toward our parked car:

And soon we saw our bright red car, just ahead:

Another vehicle pulled in and parked just as I was loading the dogs back up into the car. A local man was using this for his base of operations, from which he planned to run on Blue Mountain Road. He came over to say hello to my dogs, who, I am glad to say, were perfectly behaved:

So we settled in for the drive home, with a much calmer Daphne, Jack and Clover on the seat beside me: