Thursday, May 16, 2013

Critter central

We have so many critters here I thought I would post a few pictures so you can share in the fun too.  
Today the cattle were "released" into the pasture just behind the barn for the first time this year.  They loved the green grass after months of eating dried bales.  
The ducks and geese enjoy whenever we refresh their water in the kiddie pool.  Such silly birds!  
We add 18 chickens as I mentioned before and they are growing quickly.  Bertha is the largest one and she will  follow me where ever I go.  
We have successfully hatched 3 ducklings in the last week,with at least one more on the way.  The goslings are not forming correctly in the eggs, unfortunately, so we have had very little success with them.  
The dogs are living the good life with 
 of the spring smells.  
Summer break is less than 2 weeks away and I don't know who is more excited, the boys or me.  
Sending love and kisses from the farm. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Good Day

Today is Monday which means I woke before the sun to get my farm chores done prior to
leaving for school. Travis and Arliss are finishing their last few weeks of school and then summer will officially begin.
Sweet hubby started the tomato seeds a few weeks ago and the tender shoots have come through the dirt.
I finished teaching and then picked up chick #18 from a student who was unable to continue caring for it.
As I drove in, Travis met me and asked me to drive him to the high school to cheer on his fellow track team members in their final events. His final meet was last week and I knew he'd want to be there, so off we went.
When I returned, chick #18 was adjusting to his coop mates and I washed the dishes. The yard beckoned and while the dishes dried I went to cut the grass and let the ducks & geese out to forage.
Now I sit on the porch relaxing, watching the sunset and realizing it has been a good day.
Many blessings to you and yours. May your week be filled with "good days" too.
With love from the farm,

Saturday, May 4, 2013

April and May events

home sweet home
Illinois has experienced a wild winter.  Much of the time was spent with either warmer than usual weather, frigid, windy days and then finally snow.  Now that April is over and May has begun, it would seem that the seasons have started to remember what they are supposed to do.

The rains in April, which brought record-breaking flooding in my area, also rejuvenated the grass and now the yards and hay fields are so lush and green it would make the Land of Oz jealous.

The 5th grade class at my school hatched 20 chicken and I brought them home last week to raise here on the farm.  The chickens were hatched from brown eggs so I have been researching the various breeds that lay brown eggs.  I believe the chickens are either Plymouth Rock or Rhode Island Red, but they could be Australorp or Barnevelder for all I know.  I have checked the color of the skin and the color of the ears which are both reddish-pink.  I will have to wait and find out.

In the meantime, while the chickens are growing and learning their roles on the farm,  the ducks and geese are doing their part as well.  We have more eggs than I can ever eat in a year!  Our incubator is still working, but we have been having trouble with the final week or so in the eggs' development and unfortunately we have lost 5 goslings that were fully developed but didn't finish.

I walked around the property this morning taking pictures of the trees and plants as they prepare to show their blooms and blossoms.

The cows and calves are longing for the green grass on the other side of the fence.  I have made some fast friends with the cows by feeding them handfuls of grass while they wait for freedom in the pastures.

Sending love and rain-kissed smiles from the farm.

pear blossoms

macintosh apple blossoms

cherry blossoms

wolf river apple blossoms 

chokeberry bush

raspberry patch

virginia bluebells

peonies from my great-grandmother

lilacs -- brought from OK to CO to IL by my mother-in-law

duck eggs and goose eggs ready for consumption