Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall Garden

Hello dear friends, another vacation week is over and as always so much of the "to-do" list remains undone!  We did however have an enjoyable week with a Thanksgiving dinner, bicycle riding and puttering in the garden.  If the mild weather continues we may still have another 2 or 3 weekends of garden work before putting everything away for the winter. 

We have had a very dry and hot summer so are pleasantly surprised to see the maples put on a glorious display of colour.  This part of our property faces the road and runs along farm lane.  We like the look of split cedar rail fencing however it is not always practical with our collection of dogs who would like nothing more than to sneak through the rails to visit the dog across the road.  Although we live on a country road we still have car traffic and sadly some motorists think that a quiet country road is a license to speed.  Our various fences help to keep our dogs safe.

This part of the fence faces the road at our driveway.

This is a view of our lower lawn.  We like to give different parts of our property names so when we are having important daydreams about gardens we know exactly which part of the property we are referring to! 

This is also part of our lower lawn and we refer to this garden as Tessie's Garden.  It took a great many years for the blue spruce to actually start looking blue.  

This is a view towards the road.  A couple of years ago we had a new driveway constructed to allow heavy equipment to get to our house.  We have plans to continue the driveway to have it sweep around to the front of our house.  As with many projects however nothing is a simple as it seems!  In order to accomplish this task some fencing and a gate need to be moved, new fencing needs to be installed, a formal gate needs to be installed at the road and part of a garden needs to be moved.  In the meantime this little pasture holds much of the top soil that was removed to allow for some construction,  Perhaps next year we will tackle this big project.

Some of our round bales of hay patiently waiting to be moved to the barn.

It seems that we have either a resident squirrel or chipmunk making quick work of some of the apples in the grove.

A view towards the lower garden from the dining terrace area.

These are our two senior-most seniors.  Willow (left) is 10 years old and Drakk is 11 years old,  We are happy to be able to provide a great home in the country for these lovely dogs.

This driveway runs behind our house.  One of the mysteries of this old farm is why the driveway was built at the back of the house instead of at the front.  I regret not having asked the elderly couple that lived next door more questions about the history of our house.  They observed many changes to our property over the decades however as they have both passed away there are some questions we will never have answers to.  We have made many changes since purchasing the farm including adding a stone retaining wall and curving the driveway.  

 This is our dining terrace just off of our formal dining room.  We had hoped to add a second load of gravel to this area this fall but time seems to have slipped away.  There was quite a bit of settling of the ground in this area so have not yet finished it.

Lucy managed to score another apple.

A view towards the barn from our kitchen deck.  Our ever so practical hydro pole is a bit of an eyesore!  but very necessary,

Wishing everyone a great week!

~thank you for visiting!~

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thanksgiving Bicycle Ride

Hello everyone, we enjoyed a glorious Thanksgiving weekend with cool temperatures and sunny skies.  We decided to take advantage of the great weather to take a bicycle ride on a nearby trail.  The Elora Cataract Trail spans some 47 km stretching from Elora to Cataract and is a popular trail for hikers, joggers and cyclists.  In the winter it is a snowmobile trail.

Lovely wooded areas with sunlight streaming into clearings.

The leaves are turning colour and falling.

 We ran into our neighbour walking her new puppy.  Rowdy is a 12 week old Australian Shepherd.

The water levels are managed by the Grand River Conservation Authority.  The Belwood River is part of a flood control management system.  There are cottages along the river.

So peaceful.

This old fallen down bridge has been here for as long as we can remember.  We have no idea how long it has been there.

Almost home!  

 Coming up to our old farmhouse.

 What an interesting fungus in one of our old maples along the road.

That was great excercise, now it is time for coffee.

~thank you for visiting!~

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Prison Break!

Hello everyone, I was dismayed to receive a message early this morning from our neighbours advising me that there were sheep....lots of them!....at their home.  As we are the only sheep farmers in the area it didnt take much sleuthing to determine that they are ours. :)

Heading down the road....

Observing the posted speed limit.....

Stopping for apples....

Before being reunited with a new mum and her little lamb.

We are fortunate that our neighbours took this all in stride.  Just an another example of excitement at Carogil Farm!

~thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Colours of Fall

Hello dear friends, we are heading into fall with cooler temperatures and a fresher feel to the air.  It is time to start thinking about hearty soups and stews along with warm blankets and a roaring fire in the fireplace.  Next weekend will be Thanksgiving!  And we will be taking another week of vacation preparing the garden for winter.  In the meantime though I took a little stroll around the house to look at the leaves.

Leaves are landing on the decks around the house.

Leaves are also falling into the bird baths.

 This is some crazy deformed apple!

Many leaves are still green.  We expected with our hot dry summer that we wouldnt see much fall colour.


Beautiful warm colours.

Still working on my little garden shed.  I need to finish painting the windows.

Lucy is an apple thief and sneaks them into the house.

This rose was moved a couple of times and then trampled.  It somehow managed to survive and produce one flower. 

A view down the road.  Sadly we were advised that the power company will be removing many of the branches from our large maples so that they dont interfere with the power lines.  We believe that these maples may be 80 or more years old and they are taller than our house.  From our lawns they look like beautiful mature trees but from the road you can see that over the years many of the branches have been removed turning them into half-trees.  

I am anxiously awaiting my order of bulbs from Vesey's which will be delivered early next week.  Once the bulbs are planted it will be time to put all of the gardening tools away for another season and start working on the inside of our house.

~thank you for visiting~

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~