Friday, September 28, 2012

Goose Guardians

My dear friend now has a pair of Buff Geese to guard her rare ducks.

They do a great job protecting the duck flock, PLUS they position themselves as sentrys in yard locations that afford them a wider view of the area.

Smart geese.

Handome geese. Male is on the left. He is a blue Buff.
Did you know that geese mate for life?

And when they run AT you, most people and animals, get out of the way!!!

I think there will be some goslings in the spring.

Can't wait to see what those look like!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Today was Son's Day at the farm.

I found all of the male calves hanging out with their dad on the hillside chewing their cud and having a sunny conversation about the rest of the herd.

This obvious separation from the rest of the herd was more than just a little interesting to me.

I went to do some errands and when I returned the boys club was still in session.

The grass is still green here and the herd is still content.

Wish we had enough rain to fill the streams for longer than 24 hours.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Old Barn, Old Stuff

Yesterday I visited an antique store that was located inside an old dairy barn.

Many crafts, vintage quilts and old housewares were exhibited where the old milking parlor use to be.

Stacks of old bowls, pewter, cast iron pans, milk bottles and butter churners were standing where the bulk tank use to be.

This old wheel dates back to 1888.

The farm has continually been occupied by families of farmers since 1880.

The barn is as worn out as the weathervane ( headless).

As I wandered through the isles of great old junk, this particular piece caught my eye.  I didn't have the purchase price, so I took a quick pic and went to look at the other old old old stuff that filled this once thriving dairy farm.

Every farm I stop at has been an adventure. This one was a real treasure, inside and outside.

Every year there are less and less barns standing on American soil.

Appreciate the ones you see as you drive by them.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chickens on the Porch

On hot days the pullets make themselves at home on the porch, in the shade.

They sit under the Norfolk pine tree and under my chair.

When they hear my truck coming up the road they stand up and get ready to jump off the porch so they won't get caught in the "no birds allowed" zone.

 As soon as I drive into the yard, its a mad dash off the porch and down the driveway to greet me.

A few of them have made attempts to jump into the front seat as I exit the vehicle.

These pullets are like golden retrievers. The only difference is that they lay eggs.

Who greets you when you come home from work?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mite Meets Might

The reluctant cow dog came to work with me this week.  To the office we went.

Quiet, well behaved dogs are allowed at work.  Because of this simple rule, there are not very many dogs that actually accompany their moms & dads every day.  Mavis is very well liked at work.   Whenever I go into the office without my canine companion, I am always asked "Where is Mavis?"  "How is she?"  "When is she coming in?"   
Its kind of funny, but no one ever asks how I am..... or notices when I do not come in.....  

Mavis hits the ground running the minute we enter the building. She visits every single person who has treats in their desk drawer. She has her favorites and frequently sleeps under my former supervisors desk... not wanting to miss a morsel. He has the really healthy yummy treats and Mavis knows it.

The environment is very inviting at work, with trees and plants, soft music and sounds of happy staff working away at their long list of tasks.

As Mavis was sleeping at the end of my office the other day, a large 6 month old Irish Wolfhound puppy came bounding around the corner.

The sudden appearance of a huge dog startled Mavis, but she immediately did a play bow and they started chasing each other around.  It sounded like 2 ponies galloping by as they ran the entire length of the building and around the cubical areas.

When they slowed down the butt sniffing started.

Cecil the puppy is growing leaps and bounds every day.  He is very well behaved and will be a regular "worker" here very soon. He has been coming in twice a week with his mom so he could learn the rules. His mom works at the other end of the building so Mavis never met him before.

They have become fast friends and Mavis liked it the next day when he came out of his way to visit her all by himself.

I think she has made a very special impression in him.

Stay tuned for more news from the dog office.

Do you get to bring your dog to work?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Barn of the Day

Today I traveled to the southern part of Vermont and was glad to see the new look on a very old barn.

Last time I saw this barn it was looking shabby and missing parts of its wood, roof and doors.

It recently got an extreme make over, complete with its historical "name tag."

Please click on the photo to see it in a larger format to really appreciate it.

The now deceased farmer at this farm once had 19 bull calves born in a row one spring and quickly christened the farm Bull Run.

The land is now leased to a young farmer who raises all grass fed beef and sells it locally. He has grown his herd and his meat customers so much the past 4 years that this is now his full time job.  You can see some of his Black Angus to the right of the barn in the field.  He is so successful now that he has to lease and borrow fields all over his area in order to have enough grazing for his ever growing herd plus hay for the winter.

Another success story!

What is the name of your farm?

If you don't have a farm now, what would you name it if you did have one?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My View Today

A peaceful day today.

Much to think about.

The past. The future.

When I think, I drive.

To wonderful quiet places.


A few residents of my favorite round barn.

What does your view look like today?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wing Man

Since my small flock succeeded in destroying every bug, slug and snail in my garden they have been foraging in the nearby fields for their meals.  Sometimes it is difficult to find them amongst the tall grasses and bushes that dominate the unused calf field.
I can hear their constant chatter as they graze, but I seldom can actually see them since they are so well camoflaged.

This morning I crawled out into the field to try to capture them as they searched for delicious morsels.

I noticed that as one of the ducks foraged the other duck would be on alert and scanning the sky for predators.

Each took turns being the forager and the wing man.

I also noticed how beautifully blue their wings were this morning.

 In my rural area there are many predators on the ground and in the air so I am thankful that for the most part my flock has good ground color and a sense of where to run to should they suspect a problem.

Here are the 2 boys deep into the field and the ferns.

I had to follow the rustling of the grasses to finally locate them.

The Wing Man spots me and checks me out.

As the grazer keeps grazing.....

Then they both decided to waddle across the field and down the hill to come greet me.

Rudy and Agnew are more like 2 dogs than ducks.  They prefer the company of people.

When I come home they wait at the bottom of the steps for me to come out and play with them and take a walk around the farm.  They enjoy our walks and chat with me the entire time.   The chickens come along too, but are not as verbal as these 2 precious boys are.    I love hearing the sounds of them waddling next to me. They are heavy walkers.

Sometimes we tour the garden and I pick cherry tomatoes for them or open a dried sunflower for their enjoyment.

I have a 15 foot enormous sunflower that keeps growing.  I am so afraid it might fall over in a strong wind and knock one of the chickens unconscious.   I might cut it down soon. I will need an ax cause the stem is more like a tree trunk.

 The chickens are also enjoying free access to the garden and helping me eat the extra tomatoes that I don't pick for myself or to share with village families. None of them touch the hot banana peppers.....

I have noticed that the hens don't really watch out for each other like the ducks do. The hens have become much more solitary as they age, whereas a month ago they all hung out together, they don't now.

Do your hens have designated Wing Men?

Saturday, September 8, 2012


On the most rural road, in the middle of nowhere, I found this wonderful inscription on the side of the mountain.  Complete with a pewter mug and cold running spring water.

To The Thirsty I Will Give Water Without Price.

Have you found any unusual things in your travels?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday's Child Has Far To Go

The weather was perfect, the sky was perfect and the entire day was perfect.  I didn't waste a minute.

Here are some select photos of my spectacular time outdoors.

My carrot harvest has been very colorful. Every few days I dig a bigger bunch.
Making soup with this batch.

My photo assignment took me to an new area to explore.

A beautiful valley where Scottish cattle graze.

 And Jacob sheep wearing bells, with different tones, make music on the mountain.

Rare Randall Linebackers greeted me as I wandered by.

I found a secluded lake to drop my line and soak my feet.

I was the only one for miles. The only sound was the soft waves lapping at the beach.

More farms to find with vintage tractors that still do the heavy tasks.

There are so many old barns on the back roads of Vermont.

Heading home, I spent more time in the garden.
My sunflowers are enormous and the bird and bees are enjoying them.
My chickens love the seeds. They are a real treat. I give them big heads to pick on.

 My rare pole beans had a bumper crop.   I saved many for seeds for next year and still had lots to freeze for winter soups and succotash.  Hopefully next summer I will have enough beans planted to send seeds to Seed Savers.

How did you spend your day?