Sunday, April 24, 2016

Moving the Sheep

Hello everyone, it is that time of year when we start moving our sheep into a neighbouring pasture.  For several  years we have taken advantage of our neighbour's fields to provide our sheep with some additional pastures for grazing.  This helps to protect our pastures and also saves our neighbours the work of mowing their fields.  This is a relatively easy task as the entry to the field is directly across from our farm lane.  For our adult sheep this is always exciting in part because they know that when they cross into that pasture their will be grain waiting for them.  For our lambs though it is a little stressful as they have not yet figured out that when the gate is open they are supposed to follow their mommies!

So for the first few days we end up with our ewes and many lambs on in a pasture on one side of the road and some other lambs left behind at our farm.

The lambs that stay behind congregate at the fence and start bawling.

And bawling.

They are quite vocal.

And I must say surprisingly loud.  It only takes a few days for the lambs to learn that if they stay with the flock they will all end up together.   We only leave the sheep across the road for a few hours each day before bringing them back home again.

 While the lambs were embarrassing themselves I was busy in the garden with my assistant Chantalaria.  She is quite a grumpy cat but if the dogs are not out she likes to follow me.  Last weekend she followed me all the way to Lake Ophelia and we had to carry her back.  

I dont know what this it but it is blooming in various parts of the garden and lawn.

This unfortunately I know far too well.  Aegopodium is a dreadfully invasive plant that I received from the neighbouring farm many years ago.  Although I was warned that it was not well mannered I foolishly thought that it would be a great plant for the shady area under our large maples and for the first couple of years it seems that the transplants barely survived.  Now however it has spread aggressively and our attempts to eradicate it have failed.  This year I will be carefully forking it out and then covering the entire area with heavy black plastic to try to smother it.  Unfortunately it seems that there is no easy to way to get rid of it and once it takes hold the best one can hope for is to keep it to a minimum.  Dear fellow gardeners if you havent already had this experience please avoid the awful plant at all cost!

~Enjoy your week and thank you for visiting!~

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April Update

Hello everyone, we have been enjoying some beautiful spring weather here at the farm and I have a case of spring fever!


The pulmonaria is blooming.  I have several clumps of it in various gardens which originally came as a little division from the neighbouring farm.

The tete-a-tete daffodils are in full bloom.

Sadly this very old apple tree suffered serious damage in the Easter ice storm.

I am very puzzled at the condition of my daffodils.  What would cause the leaves to wither and turn yellow?

The Austrian Pine has also suffered much damage and so apparently has the fence!

The large maples along the road have lost many branches.

I love allium which has been reproducing reliably for many years. Even these plants have yellowing leaves.

This concrete statue is in memory of our yellow lab Ophelia.  We also named our pond Lake Ophelia to remember how she used to love to swim in it.  This statue is in the Ophelia garden.

This is Sweet Cicely which I also received from the neighbouring farm.  It is very persistent and self sows freely.  I am having some trouble getting it under control.

This borage also came from the next farm.  This year I would like to focus on creating bee friendly gardens and it seems that bees are very partial to borage.

It is taking me a while to finish this quilt.  It is going to go in the guest room once completed and I have been hand quilting it using the quilt-as-you-go method.  It is quite relaxing.

The guest room is coming along nicely.  The baseboards and trim have all been milled and installed and I am almost finished painting all of the woodwork.  We made a board with pegs as a transition between the old stonework and the painted wall, we thought the pegs would give it some character.  My husband is really quite talented!

I found these little delft ashtrays in various thrift shops.  We dont smoke but I love them anyway!

I have been trying my hand at making a rag rug.  No sooner had I put it down than Horatio took advantage of it.

The rug is made of strips of old sheets that I have crocheted together.  I am surprised at how many sheets it takes, I have already used 3 queen sized sheets for this little rug.  I have been crocheting it in an oval shape and it is a challenge to keep it flat.  I am deliberating...should I take it apart and make it a rectangle or keep going and hope that it flattens out over time?

I have also been collecting various Delft tiles that I will use to decorate the guest room.  As you can see the room has a Dutch theme!

I have also been collecting some lovely vintage textiles.  I often wonder about the history of some of these items...who was responsible for the lovely embroidery and how did these carefully created pieces end up in a thrift shop?  It is a little sad I think however I am glad to have brought them home.

~Thank you for visiting~

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Weekend At The Farm

Hello everyone, it has been a bitterly cold weekend here at the farm and according to the news today was the coldest April 10th on record!  I took a little stroll around the farm to look at the ice storm damage and to see how the lambs are doing.

I knew that we had lost many large trees in the recent ice storm.  While strolling around today I could hear the sound of chain saws in the distance; many of our neighbours are working on clearing up the fallen trees.

It is going to take us months to get the fallen trees cut up.  We do have a woodburning fireplace so will be able to put the wood to good use.  We will be able to chip the smaller branches using our chipper.  If there is too much we will ask the fellow that looks after our lawns to come with his commercial chipper.  We are always able to use the mulch in the gardens, and if I dont manage to get all of the mulch spread quickly (yes, that is usually the case!) the lambs love playing in the piles of mulch!

Some of our trees were completely uprooted.

When the weather was mild we spotted goldfish in Lake Ophelia.  As this pond is self-contained  there is no danger of our goldfish escaping into the waterways in our areas.  In some areas goldfish dumped into streams are becoming an invasive species.  People in urban areas are being asked to return unwanted goldfish to pet stores to avoid having them released into the wild.  Each year we also have a heron visiting Lake Ophelia and it seems to quite enjoy feasting on the fish in our pond.  For now though Lake Ophelia has a thin coating of ice and there are no goldfish to be seen!

There is our farmhouse in the distance.  The wing on the rear of the house was the new construction which was finally completed last spring.  We still have quite a bit of landscaping to do and we have not finished all of the interior work.

Our last two muscovy ducks are still doing well.  At this time of year they tend to look muddy and dirty.  The ducks are able to range with our sheep and when the temperatures get warmer we will find the ranging in the grove eating fallen apples.

And of course I have some photos of our lambs!  There are about 25 lambs in the barn at the moment.

This little lamb has a dirty face!

What better way to spend a Sunday than relaxing with a friend?

A moment earlier this lamb had its' head in the hay feeder.

I hope my daffodils recover from the ice damage.  Many of them have full buds but were crushed under the weight of the ice.  While the tulips tend to deteriorate year over year the daffodils reliably naturalize each year.  Their cheery yellow blooms are always a welcome sign of spring...and a symbol of our fight against cancer-many of us know someone that battled and then lost their fight with this horrible disease.

Freshly baked banana muffins fortified with walnuts and white chocolate chips!

Well dear friends it is hard to believe but I have broken my camera yet again.  I think I need to find something just a little hardier!   In order to prevent a recurrence of the previous damage I am always careful to use the wrist strap but while walking outside today I removed my gloves to take a photo and in the process...yes, you have guessed it.  I am not sure if I should pay to fix it or  buy something a little sturdier!  In the meantime I hope you enjoy my photos.

~thank you for visiting~

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

After the Storm

Hello everyone, many parts of our area are still cleaning up damage from our Easter ice storm.  I thought I would share some quick shots taken the following day....

As the sun came out and temperatures started to warm the ice looked like diamonds.

Even with climbing temperatures it still took almost 3 days for the ice to melt.

We were fortunate to not have more damage close to the house.  The falling ice sounded like shattering glass.

We lost several large trees along the edges of our forest.  Many trees toppled over with their roots being pulled from the ground.

This big old apple tree snapped under the weight of the ice.  Surprisingly the very old hollow apple tree nearby is still standing!

This past weekend we had another storm but this time it was all snow.  We received about 20 cm and with the very cold temperatures it wont be melting for a few days.  The good news is that the sun is getting warmer every day.

The little stream is flowing briskly which must mean that spring cant be that far away!

~Thank you for visiting~