Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Early September

Hello dear friends it has been a little while since I stopped by with an update on activities around the farm....not because we havent been busy-we have been very busy indeed!!-but because I want to share photos when our farm is looking its' best.  That is of course a relative term, we have a very large old property and it is a lot of work to maintain it.  Are you ready?  Off we go!

This post started out as a mission to find our gold fish,  We have a small waterfall pond at the house and each year we buy shubunkins to add to the lower pond.  They are very pretty to look at and help to eat the mosquito larvae that are found in ponds.  In the fall we move the fish to Lake Ophelia.  I have tried several times to photograph the fish in the little pond when we feed them but havent mastered the art of taking a photo without getting all of the reflection on the water.  So you will have to trust me when I say we really do have fish in the pond.

Here is Lucy relaxing on the lawn so I snapped a quick picture of her.  She is our "youngest" dog and is now 6 years old.  Lucy wanted to come with us but as it wouldnt be fair to take one dog and not the others we left her in the house.  The walk to Lake Ophelia in the heat is getting too much for the older dogs so we let them have their naps on the furniture.

Here is Frau Hen.  We have 13 hens and to be honest I cant tell them apart.  During the day they wander around an enclosed area picking away in the dirt looking for bugs and young weeds.  We feed our hens grain but they also receive grass clippings, weeds from the gardens and assorted scraps from the house.  Stale bread is very popular.

This variety of rudbeckia has done reasonably well with the hot and dry summer we have had here in our region.  Although we recently had 80 mm of rain it is not enough to undo the stress many of our plants have suffered from our drought-like conditions.

Hildegarde is content in the shade in one of the gardens.

I have finally finished painting the garden shed.  These old windows were the original windows from our stone house which we replaced many years ago.  I found little valances at a thrift shop so we used them to decorate the windows.

We heard many frogs while we were walking around Lake Ophelia.  The water levels are very low and the bullrushes have been aggressively taking over the banks.  We walked all around but couldnt see any signs of our goldfish.  In previous years we have had a resident heron but I have not seen it this year.  We are sure that the fish are taking cover in the bullrushes.

We have thistles growing all over the farm.  This one is going to seed and looks beautifully fluffy.  The goldfinches like the seeds.

This old water trough was in this spot when we first moved to the farm over 20 years ago and is a fixture.  We dont actually use it for anything but I like the way it looks.

There is our old farmhouse in the distance.

My favourite old lantern.  It is still not hooked up although we have all of the required wiring safety installed in conduit.  If not this year maybe next....

An early morning cobweb.

Some of the fruits of Frau Hen's labours!  There is nothing better than fresh eggs.

We have had some cool evenings and now there is the faint smell of fall in the air.  I for one am happy to lose the oppressive heat and humidity that we have been experiencing all summer.  Many trees have shown signs of heat stress and as a result we expect that the leaves will just turn brown and drop.  Many years our maple trees provide us with a glorious display of colour.

One of the crab apple trees is laden with little apples,  Another crab doesnt have any fruit at all.

This sage plant has been thriving in the hot and dry conditions.  It is time to make a butternut sage lasagna which is a nice treat in the autumn.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick little tour.  Wishing everyone a lovely week.

~thank you for visiting~

Monday, August 29, 2016


Hello dear friends, I recently purchased a new camera and have been having fun playing with it.  My previous photos were all taken with a popular brand of camera which was very easy to use but rather....umm-delicate! After being replaced once and then repaired twice I decided that if it malfunctioned again I would get something different and now I am the proud owner of a Canon Rebel.  I ordered it with a zoom and wide angle lens and this will keep me busy for a while.  As my skills develop I will be able to order more accessories so be prepared for more and better photos!

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my birthday week and have enjoyed a very long lasting bouquet of pink and red roses.  I hope you enjoy them.

Wishing everyone a lovely week.

~thank you for visiting~

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Early Morning

Hello dear friends, after what has been a very hot and dry summer at the farm we have finally had some much needed rain.  The moisture in the ground combined with a couple of relatively cool nights have made for some delightfully misty mornings.

The mist over one of our hayfields.

The sun is just starting to come up.

Gardens next to the house.

Rays of sun coming through the ash trees at farm lane.

I hope you enjoyed this quick morning stroll!

~thank you for visiting~

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~