Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday Afternoon

Hello dear friends, after what seems like weeks of oppressive heat and drought we have finally had some rain...about 80 mm in the last week which is more than we have had here at the farm all summer.  In a few short days the lawns have gone from crunchy and yellow to lush and green.  For the first time in weeks we will need to have the grass mowed!

There seems to be a little whiff of fall in the air.  The apples are starting to change colour and this morning the air is crisp and cool.

Thank you Greta for these beautiful roses.

 And thank you Yvonne for this lovely notebook!

I have a new camera and was anxious to start playing with it.

Our dear old Drakk relaxing on the veranda and supervising a work project.  Weekends are far too short, don't you think?

~Thank you for visiting~

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August Heat Wave!

Hello dear friends, here at the farm we do tend to obsess about the weather!  We are in the grips of yet another heat wave with humidex values well into the 40s.  The drought conditions continue and even though some areas have received localized heavy rains we have had less than 40 mm of rain here since the beginning of July.

Just for the record this is Celsius, not Fahrenheit!  The is also in the shade. :(

This is part of crab apple grove.  Although the trees have been holding on there is no hope for this pasture to recover.  We will need to reseed it next year and hope for rain!

This is part of the pasture that our sheep graze across the road from our farm.  The land is parched.

The thistle on the other hand is quite content!

Fortunately we have many shady areas on the farm that provide our sheep with relief from the heat and they always have access to the barn which is cool and dark.

The weather forecast is calling for much needed rain over the next couple of days so we are hoping that the rain clouds are squarely focused on our farm and will give us a good drenching!

~thank you for visiting~

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Early August at the Farm

Hello dear friends we are nearing the end of another vacation week and have had a pretty busy week here at the farm.  It has been a very hot and dry week with high humidex values so we were not able to accomplish quite as much as we had hoped.  Much of our hard work revolved around trying to stay hydrated! 

The small pasture in front of the house is a cloud of white flowers with Queen Anne's Lace in full bloom.

Our round bales of hay are now back at the farm.  Eventually they will be moved to the barn.

The ash trees lining the farm lane are still green but many of our other trees are showing signs of the hot dry summer.

This year we are putting most of the hay into square bales.

One of my favourite views of one of the sideroads on the way from our farm to the paved road.

Horatio enjoying the hay.

The sheep are waiting to come home.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

~Thank you for visiting~

Putting Up Hay

Hello dear friends, I am taking a few moments to share some quick photos with you.  We have been struggling with drought conditions in our part of Ontario and it has been very difficult for farmers with crops in the ground.  On our farm it means that our pastures are in poor condition and that when we should normally be able to take a second cut of hay we havent yet managed to pull in the first cut. For farms with livestock the quantity and quality of hay is critical as it is the main food source for our animals over the winter.  This year we are fortunate to have access to some hay fields on neighbouring properties and over the next week or so we will be cutting and baling those fields to use for our sheep.

It would seem that no farm task can be completed without Horatio's involvement.  Once our hay wagons arrived he took the opportunity to climb to the top to investigate.  There are no doubt crickets, mice and voles hiding in some of these bales.

 Holly cant take a chance that someone wants to steal our hay wagons!  She is on guard.

We store the hay in our old bank barn.  I love the way the sunlight streams through the boards onto the hay.

The barn is starting to fill up!  So far we have only done square bales, this week some of the hay will be baled into big round bales.  The squares are easier for me to handle and are easier to use in the feeders in the barn and generally have less waste.  The large round bales are more convenient and a much faster way to feed the sheep if we want to use the tractor-we can place a large round bale outside and let the sheep pick their way through it.  On our farm we like to use a combination of both. 

Wishing everyone in Ontario a safe long weekend!  We will be enjoying another vacation week here at the farm and will share updates on some of our other projects later!

~Thank you for visiting~

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday Evening Stroll

Hello everyone, another vacation week has flown past so I thought I would take a few minutes this evening to share some photos.

We were very excited earlier this week to learn of much need rain in the forecast.  Unfortunately we only received a scant 6 mm, not enough to bring any relief to our dry gardens, lawns and pastures.  

Here is the view that our sheep enjoy during the day.  We are surrounded by rolling hills and the view in the distance is on the other side of the river.  This pasture actually belongs to our neighbour but our sheep graze it daily.

One of our hay fields.  This field was seeded last fall so this is our first cut.  Our fields are surrounded by hedgerows and forests providing cover for all kinds of wildlife.  

The hay looks great.  Some bales are already in the barn and this cut will be baled this week.

Another view across the road.

This maple tree has suffered a mysterious crack and will need to be cut down.  We are not sure what happened to it, I wondered if it has been the sustained winds that we have had lately?  We only just noticed it this week.

A view down our road.

And turning around here is a view of our house.

We found this little welcome ornament on a trip to the Home Depot and my husband thought it would be fun to have on our gate to greet visitors.  And to our friends that know ....no we still only have 4 dogs, not 5!

Our little garden privvy is still on the list of things to finish.

On the other hand the gazebo is finally stained.  I noticed that it is framing a view of one of our farm tractors...this is after all a working farm!

I have started painting the trim on the little garden shed.  I have decided I quite like the red against the green.

Finishing the area around our decks is quite a job.  This area next to the house had to be regraded and when finished will form a small enclosed courtyard with a fence and arbour.  It will be a lovely cool spot to enjoy a cup of tea or glass of wine during the summer heat!

~Thank you for visiting and have a great week!~

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Late Afternoon Garden Stroll

Hello dear friends, we are enjoying a fabulous vacation week.  As always we have projects and farm chores galore!  While waiting for my parents to stop by for a quick visit I thought I would take some photos to share.

We have 4 large dogs living with us and yesterday they mastered the art of the photo-bomb!  This is Holly's back end and Drakk's front end.

Hello again Holly!  She is a very pretty girl.

Several years ago I created a shrub border running along the road side of our property but over the years it became overgrown.  Earlier this year we removed many of the large and overgrown junipers and have been cutting away at the virginia creeper which has been appearing everywhere.  This little rose bush has emerged from the wreckage!

Painting the trim on my little garden shed is still on my list of things to do this week.

Garden statuary.

One of the great things about a large property is that there is no shortage of seating areas!  These 2 Adirondack chairs are next to a Turkish grill which I bought several years ago from Lee Valley, one of my favourite stores.  The grill is made of copper and we use it as a little fire pit but can also use it as a grill for cooking.  It is made of copper and has a decorative lid to protect it when not in use.

Many parts of our province are being impacted by drought-like conditions.  We have had less than 20% of the rainfall we would expect to have since the beginning of June and many plants are starting to show signs of stress.  Not only has it been very dry but we have had some very warm days.  Some of our ferns that are planted in a consistently moist part of our garden are also starting to turn brown and wither.

This lovely plant is Matricaria Feverfew which self sows freely in the garden.  At the moment we have white clouds of blooms everywhere.

This statue is the newest addition to the gardens and will soon be part of one of our memory gardens marking the resting spot of our beloved dog Kodiak who passed away last year.

I love our new water gauge!  We have a large gauge on one of the fences along the driveway which is very practical and most unattractive!  Now we need some rainfall.

Now we are off to work on more of our current projects.  If all goes well I will have additional updates shortly.

~Thank you for visiting!~

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hello everyone, we are enjoying a week's vacation at the farm.  Of course, for us vacation means we are taking a week off from our jobs in the city...there is always much to do around the farm!

It appears that the bird bath makes a great water bowl for Horatio.

The sheep always make a quick right hand turn on the way home from the pasture across the road to munch on the apples trees.

This old girl is April's grand-daughter.  April was the very first ewe we ever had on the farm.  Her progeny have black mottling on their faces.  Some day I will relate the story of how April came to our farm.

This is a view down farm lane towards the road.  We have 12 ash trees lining the farm lane-although they still appear to be healthy Emerald Ash Borer has been identified in our area so sadly it is just a matter of time before we lose these trees.  We are carefully watching another large ash tree close to the farmhouse which we suspect may already have been infected.

We have started cutting and baling hay...the first bales to go into the barn are beautiful!  The bales have a lovely green colour and a fabulous sweet hay smell.

A snail visitor at the bird bath.

~Thank you for visiting~