Thursday, March 17, 2016

News And Views From Around The Farm

This has been an odd winter, at first unusually mild and then unusually icy. Nevertheless, it has remained lovely. This was the view at the edge of the north field one morning, just as the sun began to light up the sky. The trees at the edge of the field were still covered with ice, the birches bowed and with their tops to the ground. A severe beauty:

The ice storm also bowed the cedar tree next to my house. It doesn't normally bend this far over the roof, though it always does lean over it a little bit. As you might imagine, I felt panic when I walked out of the barn and saw this:

The fantail pigeons began pairing off in February and there was even a brief flurry of nest building (if indeed a pigeon could be said to build a nest - their nests are mostly made of poop) and egg laying. But the frigid temperatures killed all the eggs and they gave up. I trust they'll begin again when the weather is warm:

The chickens too have had a couple of attempts at egg laying. They've been brief and resulted in only a half dozen or so eggs, but I ate and enjoyed them:

And our sunsets are often spectacular. The secret is to catch them at just the right moment. This is the view, looking west across the county road and corn field:

And another view on that same evening, but angled slightly northward:

I have flocks of colorful sparrows every winter at my bird feeders and have been calling them Chipping Sparrows. Well, I finally figured out that Chipping Sparrows do not winter here. Tree Sparrows, however do. Tree Sparrows are a far northern species who apparently regard the winters here like a Florida vacation:

They are spectacularly colored birds, with chipmunk stripes on their back, a chestnut red crown, white wing bars, a "diamond stickpin" spot on their breast and a stripe through their eyes. They also have a bi-colored beak - black on the top and yellow on the bottom. They're really quite spectacular and allow me to get fairly close, though not nearly as close as the Chickadees have this year:

But the big news is that I purchased two miniature horses to join the family of critters here. They are both male, ten months old, and very sweet and tame. This one is Coyote Blue, a black horse with white socks and blue eyes. He is at his former home with his former owner, the man who taught him to be sweet and gentle:

And this is Blue's silly, ecstatic face when he gets his chin rubbed:

The other horse is Remington. He's a little taller and of thinner build. This will give you an idea of his size:

They are both very gentle and sweet. That's Blue on the left and Remington in the center. The horse on the right was Blue's mother:

A close-up of Blue. He didn't seem to like me at first and kept shying away. But we stayed in the stall and chatted for a time, during which he checked me out and decided I was safe. After that, we were friends:


  1. Welcome home Coyote Blue and Remington! How exciting to have new members of the family.

    1. Thank you. I just built them a new stall which will, sooner or later, make it onto the blog.