Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in The Farm



Nesting in this post refers to the sport of hunting up bird’s nests.  After a mighty wind storm Penny and I found this lovely, tidy little nest on the ground beneath the elm tree.  How sad that some faithful mother bird lost this nest that she so carefully built.  But what a thrill for us to find it and get to examine it closely.  What a lovely job she did!




Fine horse hairs line the inside, and on the outside some curly twigs add artistic interest.  It is fascinating that God put into these birds to know how to do this.  I enjoy many crafts, but creating a masterpiece like this is far beyond my skill level!




Down inside our dairy barn the barn swallows have a whole community of mud nests attached up near the ceiling beams.  Penny and I found one of these fallen on the barn floor.  Ah, a new type of nest to explore!




Inside, the nest is made of flat grasses from the loose hay around here.  Outside it is daubed with mud, and here is the flat side where it had been attached to the wall.




Ohh, and here is the feather bed insert that fell out!




Princess Penny wonders if she can have this feather bed in her room.




A pretty place on our farm is the wisteria arbor Dad built for me.  It is all in bloom now and smells so heavenly!  (Pardon all the weeding and cleaning up you see that still need to be done around here this spring.  And yes, we are hanging our laundry here for the time being until we can relocate our clothesline poles from where we used to have them.)




Here is what I wanted to show you.  A humble, sweet little mourning dove has built her nest here.  I am happy to say that this one is fully in service and has not fallen down.




If I were a bird I would love to have a nest here in this beautiful place.  I enjoy walking gently under this nest and peering up to find that steady dark eye of hers on me.  When I have to hang the laundry I am so regretful that she often flies away in fear, though I try to be as slow and careful as can be.  Do not be afraid, Dear, I want you to enjoy your nest here and know that you are safe.  It is curious to me how small her nest looks under her, not as big and roomy as a robin nest.




No, Penny did not fall out of this tree.  She wanted her picture taken next to it so you could see how she found a tiny tree just her size.  When you are little, finding something just your size is a rare and special joy.  This stray cottonwood is growing in the middle of a hay wagon out behind the barns.  A funny place for a tree for sure.  Yet it is delightful to find surprises in unexpected places, isn’t it?

Have you found any unexpected natural wonders showing up under your nose lately?




Wow, the weather has been so very cold lately, but on this sunny afternoon Penny decided to brave the elements and sit in a chilly snowbank enjoying the view.




The winds blowing snow off the barn were blasts of frigidness!




Here’s dreaming of summer days all hidden away for now…



Gratefully contemplating the rest and confidence we have available from above:



Dear restless heart, be still; don’t fret and worry so;
God has a thousand ways His love and help to show;
Just trust, and trust, and trust, until His will you know.

Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.

Dear restless heart, be brave; don’t moan and sorrow so,
He hath a meaning kind in chilly winds that blow;
Just hope, and hope, and hope, until you braver grow.

Dear restless heart, repose upon His breast this hour,
His grace is strength and life, His love is bloom and flower;
Just rest, and rest, and rest, within His tender power.

Dear restless heart, be still! Don’t struggle to be free;
God’s life is in your life, from Him you may not flee;
Just pray, and pray, and pray, till you have faith to see.

–Edith Willis Linn



“Cold nose warm heart,”  an embroidered book bag gift from a friend with a sweet message.




One of the special thrills of summer at our home is the activity of the hummingbirds.  We have a total of 6 active feeders, all set in crucial places where we can view them from the comfort of our living room, or other frequently used windows.  This way we see them up close and can get a good look at them without scaring them away.  But even in the kitchen dooryard we joke that you must duck when they swoop by as they think they own the place.




 At the end of July we noticed an added flurry of activity, it seemed that their favorite feeders needed refilling everyday as mobs of hummingbirds were draining them as fast as they could.




Oh dear, that is a sign that they are fueling up to head south.  It seems way too soon, already!




But what a delight it was to see them so active and so thickly congregating on the feeders!   In this next picture can’t you almost hear the zipping and swooshing as they all hurry hurry to get a turn at the feeder?




 In the picture below is the greatest number I caught in one photo at the busiest feeder.

How many do you count?   – And there were more hummingbirds around!




Now here is an video so you can see and hear them in action!  Wow!

Watch for the flick of their tongues…



 There is a star magnolia tree here beside this feeder and its knobby branches are full of places for the hummers to perch.  Its a treat to see them up close and sitting still.




Or going about their business of preening and grooming and looking about at the world.




I caught this male on video at a favorite perch outside our pantry window where no feeder is, just a bare branch he thought was about right for someone his size.  I was amazed at how busy he was – scratching, cleaning, combing and preening himself, this is fascinating to watch!  (I took this video from inside a closed window so the noises you hear are chicks scratching about in a cardboard box.  Penny has photos of those to post soon.)



 “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.”  Psalm 40:5



June gives us such a flush of the most beautiful flowers, Penny and I thought we’d go into the yard and capture some in photos for your viewing pleasure.




The mock orange bush fills our yard with the most heavenly aroma.

I think of these flowers as bridal flowers because we picked huge bunches of them for my brother’s wedding.  Congratulations on 7 years of marriage, Tim and Jessica!




And now for a cheery chat with a smiling pansy.




Bleeding heart, it sounds so sad, but is such an elegant flower.




Peek-a-boo, I see you!!




A bouquet of my favorite poppies.




Our garden would not be complete without the whizzing little hummingbirds that zoom in and out and chatter and squeak.  They don’t seem to mind who is nearby.  I am glad that Mom has so many feeders, and places them right outside our windows so we can see the activity so close up.




Chives and pink columbine.  I didn’t realize that so many of my pictures were pink.  I wish I had captured some more of the blues and purples for this “visual bouquet.”




Peonies are so gorgeous!




An explosion of soft pedals.




You may not recognize this unusual flower.




That is the blossom of a tulip poplar tree.  Quite a work of art, isn’t it?

Next is the beauty of the draping wisteria on our arbor.  Another very fragrant place!




So much life and beauty.





All creation has a language,

Words to say what must be said.

All day long the heavens whisper,

Signing word in scarlet red,

Amber rays and crimson rainbows,

Twinkling stars and flashing light,

Punctuate the heavens’ statement:

“God is glorious, perfect, right,

God is glorious, perfect, right”


All day long the sun proclaims it,

Like a Bridegroom dressed in white,

Coming from His tent to greet them,

All His guest feel His delight.

Words of love and warmth He whispers,

Warning all who hear His voice,

“Oh, be glad and share My table

Dance and celebrate . . . rejoice!

Dance and celebrate . . . rejoice!”


All creation sings His praises,

Earth and heaven praise His name,

All who live come join the chorus,

Find the words His love proclaim.

the song “Anthem” by Steve Green.     Words and music by Gloria Gaither and Michael W. Smith.







Earlier this spring, when I was out in the alpaca shed doing my chores, a mound of straw I had just stepped on began squeaking and squealing at me.  Greatly mystified, I dug into the loose straw and found a snug little nest buried deep down in a warm place.  A nest of little wild bunnies!




They were so snug and warm all cozied together with their mother’s soft fur lining the nest.   And quite perturbed that I was interrupting their snooze.




What an amazing little being;  so soft and warm, so alive and perfectly formed.




He looks quite tame and drowsy in this picture, but I had to be careful as they would be quick to spring away from me.  I had to scurry after them and return them to the safety of their nest.




Awe, Penny makes a good gentle little mother.


In other newborn news, I found a robin’s nest on the antique threshing machine.




With a perfect little ledge where Penny could perch and gaze into the smooth round interior and count the pretty blue eggs.  The robins here have fledged by now.  I enjoy finding the egg shells around the farm where the mother birds carry them off and drop them elsewhere so no one can trace where they came from.  Robins are such a friendly bird to have around the home.  I like to hear their conversational “chuck, chuck, chuck” and other songs.





All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia!   Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise Him, O praise Him,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
…Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness.
O praise Him,  Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One! 
O praise Him,  O praise Him,
Alleluia,  Alleluia,  Alleluia!
—  St. Francis of Assisi  1182-1226