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

All posts in Our Farm

img_0181

 

The month of October has been so beautiful here in Western New York, I have enjoyed trying to capture some of the color and some of our labors on the farm.

 

dscn5569

 

Penny enjoys being a part of canning days in our farm kitchen.

 

dscn5581

 

 

Above, are the aronia berries I was canning for juice, and below are the warm-colored jars of  hot peppers and salsa from our garden.

 

img_0140

 

The jeweled colors collecting on the canning shelves in our basement make me smile with thankfulness for the abundance we’ve been given.

 

img_0136

 

Sometimes you will find an autumn bouquet on our table.  This one has pretty patterned zinnias, marigolds, snapdragons, and lavender-colored autumn crocus accented by parsley leaves.

 

dscn5674

 

Sometimes you will find a messy project like tomato sauce in the making.

 

dscn5661

 

Or mounds of our own grass fed beef being weighed and wrapped for the freezer.

 

img_0007

 

This is an early morning shot showing the soft colors of a waking world growing light.

 

img_0044

 

And here is an evening shot of the geese honking against a glowing sky.

 

img_0069

 

I love the magnificence of this grand old walnut tree.

 

img_0060

 

And the fullness of the golden maple tree.

 

img_0145

 

These leaves may be spotted and imperfect, but they lend their beauty to the world just the same.

 

img_0164

 

The arbor of wisteria vines is turning a pretty yellow above its twisting branches.

 

img_0196

 

The cosmos are towering over the garden fence, nodding in the breeze.

 

img_0192

 

We aren’t the only ones putting up food for the winter ahead.

 

img_0163

 

Now join me for a little walk through the vegetable garden.  The cherry tomatoes are a favorite snack as we pass by.  A pet chicken has kept the bottom branches cleared of fruit as it ripens, so its a good thing this vine is growing on a trellis so we can claim the top ones for ourselves!

 

img_0170

 

The queer shape of the romanesco broccoli is fascinating.

 

img_0227

 

The nasturtiums are bright and vibrant even after the frost has touched them.

 

img_0171

 

Its time to get dirty and dig the potatoes.  Do you see the little fellows that were overturned also in that soft soil?

 

img_0226

 

The pretty garlic bulbs have been drying up in the hay mow.  Once the outer skin is brushed away, they are a clear, smooth white color.

 

img_0233

 

The Rat-a-Tat-Cat is on farm patrol.  Her fur is growing in so thick and soft for the cold days ahead.

 

img_0213

 

While surrounded by all this beauty, we know that without a doubt, the Father above delights to shower us with His blessings.

Please know that you are loved always.

Its written in the autumn colors.

 

img_0154

 

 


DSC00678

 

One autumn, several years ago, we found a wee baby snapping turtle.  He had hatched from his leathery egg not long before.  What a fascinating little creature!

 

dsc00671

 

We liked to turn him over and see his shell in the shape of a vest underneath.  He was a friendly little guy, and seemed to enjoy all the attention he was getting.

 

dsc00669

 

How do you do, handsome Little Snapper?

 

dsc00633

Some day you will grow big, but for the moment, you are just my size.

 

dsc00682

Come sit on my lap and lets be friends.

 

dsc00665

We called this visit “All creatures great and small” because – look who we found next.

 

dsc00563

 

A giant of a toad!

dsc00566

Grumph.  No, I most certainly will NOT sit on your lap.

Thank you very much.

 

dsc00562

And you shan’t sit on mine.

dsc00651

Farewell.

*******


IMG_8430

 

Penny is perched here on our front porch with her binoculars, glassing that big tree across the road.

 

IMG_8428

 

Because it was in this very tree that we saw an eagle perching recently.

Yes, a real live eagle that lives nearby.

Here, in the pictures I took then, you see him high in that same tree, flanked by crows that were there to pester him.

 

IMG_8418

 

By zooming in as far as I could with my camera I was able to capture him like this…

 

IMG_8420

 

Wow, MAJESTIC!!

“of lofty dignity; stately; grand.”

 

 

IMG_8416

 

Here is a video I took as he sat there on that windy day, with those crows pestering him.  It is so amazing to see him alive and responsive.  Just look at that beak!

———-

By reading the Sibley Guide to Birds, we learn that a bald eagle can be 31″ in length, have a wing span of 80″ (nearly 7 feet), and weigh 9.5 lbs.  It can take 4-5 years to acquire adult coloring – that is the white head and yellow beak.

 

IMG_8596

 

Not far from our house at the Wildlife Refuge there is a nesting eagle.

My parents love to take part in watching and monitoring this nest.

They took these following pictures over there.

 

IMG_8452

 

Though in that previous picture, the nest looks almost like another weed head, it really is a huge structure far up in that tree.

 

IMG_8463

 

This nest originally was an osprey nest, a rather loose and bulky affair, but as the eagles arrive in our area first from their winter migration, this pair claimed the nest and added their own touches to fill it out.

 

IMG_8579

 

Adult male and female eagles look alike and take turns sitting on the eggs.

Usually two eggs are laid.

 

IMG_8581

 

Did you see that little head poking up?

Keeping the little ones fed is a full time job as they grow.

 

IMG_8584

 

Here is what the Refuge looks like this time of year as we watch the buds swell on the trees.  Soon the green will come.

 

IMG_8469

 

If you look over at this row of pine trees, you will see that I boxed in the location of the eagles’ own original nest.

 

IMG_8465 copy copy

 

Since the eagles have moved to larger quarters,

someone else took up residence in this vacated nest…

 

IMG_8574

 

Now, what do you think of that?  A Canada Goose!

I looked that up in The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior and found that though Canada Geese often nest on the ground, they do at times choose unusual nest sites such as old eagle or osprey nests.

My, my!  Dad says that the little goslings better watch out for that first step, its bound to be a BIG one.

 

IMG_8473

 

Almost Majestic.

_______________________________________________

*****

“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians,

and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”

Exodus 19:4

*****


DSCN5313

 

Spring has officially begun, but here in Western New York, the landscape in March still looks a little bleak.  What really lets us know that spring is on its way are the smells and sounds that are awakening after a snowy winter.

I took Penny exploring one morning recently and together we enjoyed gazing across the hills and poking about in the hedgerows.  Penny found this little hooked branch that looked as if it was meant for her to sit in.  Not quite a swing, but rather fun just the same.

 

DSCN5321

 

We found many fun places to explore, piles of rocks, aging wood, and the morning sunshine streaming through secret paths.

 

DSCN5325

 

It is thrilling to see that the tree buds are swelling, they hold delightful promise of greenery soon to come.

 

DSCN5336

 

Then under this evergreen, Penny spotted a fallen robin’s nest from last year.  We love robins; they are returning now as a welcome sign of spring.

 

DSCN5342

 

We also love to watch for the coming of the pussy willows!

Pardon my gloves in the picture.

 

DSCN5347

 

The snowdrops are the first flowers to show themselves, then crocuses too.

 

DSCN5349

 

Hello pretty robin in the maple tree, won’t you sing us your sweet song?

 

IMG_8219

 

Later, I planted the first box in the garden with the early seeds of beets, carrots, swiss chard and such.  The silkie chickens are my inspectors, keeping a close eye on what I’m up to.  It was warm enough to leave my coat off, and no freezing fingers, yay!  Its time to get the rest of the garden weeded, don’t you think?

 

IMG_8226

 

As I worked the geese were flying overhead.

 

IMG_8221

 

The hillside looks grey but color is coming soon.

 

IMG_8222

 

I like this shot of the geese in air as they “honk, honk, honk” overhead!!

 

IMG_8223

 

Rustic beauty.

 

DSCN5370

 

But winter reminds us that it isn’t far gone.  Just a few days after our hike, we had freezing rain.

It really was pretty coating everything, even the old weeds.

 

DSCN5361

 

And ice covered crabapples are pretty too.

 

IMG_8282

 

But never you fear, spring is really here…

 

IMG_8277

Bless the Lord, O my soul.  O Lord my God, Thou art very great;

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works.

The trees of the Lord are full of sap,  … the birds make their nests:

He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down.

O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! … the earth is full of Thy riches.

Thou renewest the face of the earth.

The Lord shall rejoice in His works.

I will sing unto the Lord…my meditation of Him shall be sweet.

Praise ye the Lord.

(Little snippets of the beautiful Psalm 104)