Sunday, July 25, 2010

świnia: The Proof is in the Photo!

świnia: that's Polish for pig! My Gram, Irene, and my Aunt Florence visited the farm recently and I got evidence of my Gram feeding Morgan grapes! Irene will be turning 90 this year and it only took that long to get a photo of her with a pig! She doesn't normally use a cane but is for the terrain at the farm. Irene, as I call her, has always been one of my best friends!

Morgan sleeping the summer away in the sun. She'll tell you that she is hard at work acting as "watch pig" to the chickens! I am often jealous of her life: sleeping, eating and I will add always making people smile!

Egg For Sale...Scratch That...Eggs For Sale!

Well, not exactly...but it turns out that the chickens that Pat and Dick gave us are not defective after all.  We knew they weren't but for the first few weeks they didn't lay one.  For the past few one of them has been hard at work laying an egg a day.  The first day I joked that I needed to put our our "Egg For Sale" sign.  The next day when she laid another one I joked that we had to change it to eggS For Sale!  Our other chickens are still to young to be laying eggs so it's really nice to have the one girl working hard for us.  I made omelettes for us for dinner one night using herbs from our garden and they were delicious.  So no, we don't have eggs for sale yet as we are not getting enough.  Come fall that should change.  Having chickens is wonderful!


I keep forgetting to post about the book shelves and fireplace mantle/surround that my Dad built for us.  They are perfectly gorgeous and we love them!  We bought stacked stone for the surround but for now we like the look of the concrete board.   This link shows what they looked like as they were being built (it started out as a large and very boring paneled wall).  Amazing!

Nighttime at Czar of the Woods Farm

As stunning as the mornings are here the nights are equally beautiful. This summer, June was quietly rich with fireflies while July is humming with the steady chirp of crickets and intermittent buzz (zzzz zzzz zzzz zzzz) of cicadas (click link to learn more) (note: cicadas take 17 years to develop in the ground before reaching adulthood-the cicadas that you are hearing tonight as you read this and those that I am hearing as I type this were born in 1993!!) It's interesting that when you pay attention, really pay attention, you can keep track of time by noting which insects are out. The other night and went outside and it was one of the most beautiful nights that I can ever remember: stars, no wind, crickets, cicadas, the moon, thick heat that you could smell. Summer nights don't get any better than this. For as muggy as it is, remember what the middle of February is like!

Boysenberry (one of our house cats-a munchkin mix, notice the short front legs...of course we adopted her too!) says "I think I'm warm!"

Morning at Czar of the Woods

I have posted about mornings here before but they truly are special on a farm.  I get up earlier than when we didn't live on a farm so it certainly opens up a whole new world for me as I get to see everything awaken and start the day, come to life if you will.  The light is soft as it glides through the trees and reflects off the dew.  All the animals are ready and eager to start their day and all seems okay in the world.

If you look closely in the very center of this photo you can see a mama deer and her baby out for a morning stroll.  We have seen 3 moms so far this summer on our property, one of which has twins.  So cute!
Traveler enjoying the coolness of the morning, albeit brief, as the sun washes over the trees.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bad Blake Says Happy 4th of July

Bad Blake and all the animals of Czar of the Woods (as do we) wish you and yours a very Happy 4th of July.  He, as a barn cat, knows what independence is but he also knows the responsibility that comes with that-staying safe and allowing us to keep him safe in his own enclosed room in the barn at night (so he doesn't get eaten by coyotes and such). 
On this 4th take the time to enjoy your family and friends.  Go out and see some fireworks.  Don't take amy of them (including the fireworks) for granted.  Today's blog post is dedicated to Art Reimer, my parents' neighbor who passed away suddenly, and all too young, yesterday from a massive heat attack.  
Seriously, go see some fireworks-there is lots of new technology out there now and some really cool new ones.  

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Landscaping Update

Before looking at the latest photos of what the landscaping looks like now please re-visit these 2 links to see what it looked liked the day(s) I designed and built the areas in early spring (literally as the snow was still melting-couldn't wait to get out there!)  My designing and building hasn't stopped and all the hard work is paying off.  The ornamental grasses are really looking great!

An Elephant Meets a Pig...or Dadddd, What the Hell is That???!!!

Elephant, one of of indoor cats, named Elephant because she's grey, noticed that some sort of jabberwokkee or wookalar walked onto our back patio.  Well that was Morgan, our Vietnamese Potbellied Pig who was out for a stroll.  Elephant kept looking back at to as if to say, "Dadddd, what the hell is that???!!!"  Very cute!  Side note on Elephant: I helped deliver her when she was born, she is very bonded to me. :)

And I had to put this one in of two chicks sunbathing!

Chicken Update

The chicks have been outside for quite a while now and they are absolutely loving life!  Lots to explore and eat in their yard.  We adopted 2 adult chickens as well from Pat and Dick.  They were getting picked on by the other adult chickens in their flock and needed a new home.  We have named them Abelene and Millie-their breed name is called Black Star.  All went well with the introduction but our chicks were wondering where these steroid chicks came from-"why are they so much bigger than us?!"  It's really kind of neat to watch the little ones (relatively speaking) learn from the older ones.  I often find myself pulling up a chair to watch the goings on in the chicken yard.  Again I will use the term chicken TV.

Here the "little ones" are confused by the size of the new arrivals!  Huddling together discussing things no doubt and trying to decide if they are going to be eaten!

The new girls checking out the chicken yard...

That's Abelene in the foreground and Millie behind her, both roosting...

Morning is truly a beautiful time in the chicken yard, so much to explore and the sun hits it just right!

A couple of Polish chickens out for a stroll.  Gorgeous birds!

Chickens love to find a spot that they can scratch out a depression and have a little dust bath.  Ironically this helps clean them.  That's our Silver Spangled Hamburg on the right and one of our Partridge Rocks on the left.

The coop door to the inside

This is our Silver Laced Wyandotte, "Badger," sunbathing in the dirt!

ps to Pat and Dick: these chickens that you gave us are defective, they have yet to lay any eggs! :)