Robins, plentiful around here, are hatching. Finding the cast-off shells from the successful hatches (and this one showed the signs of just that: the shell broken in the upper third, the inner membranes and blood vessels dry) is like finding a small, incredibly gorgeous treasure. Yes, a well-known jewelry retailer uses that hue as their “signature” color, but it belongs to the robins…and that beauty belongs to all of us.
Among the myriad plants that are currently blooming, the unassuming blackberries have also put forth their flowers. Enthusiastically. Seeing those white blossoms means that, in the heat of summer, juicy blackberries will hang heavily from the vines, inviting careful picking (lest the thorns should grab).
Yes, they may not have the glamor of the scarlet peonies, or the ethereal beauty of creamy elderflowers, but these blooms should still be appreciated for what they are: the precursor to one of summer’s most beloved berries.
May the pollinators reach every single bloom and may there be many succulent berries soon!
We’ve known about a skunk living under the barn’s tack room for a while. It sprayed in the barn a couple of times, then stopped (thankfully). While we didn’t necessarily want a skunk living there, we decided to just try to co-exist with it.Continue reading “Around The Farm: Solitary Striped Skunk”
Each morning, I watch the birds at the feeders from the kitchen window. There are large birds (Blue Jays, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, cardinals) and small birds (titmice, nuthatches, finches, sparrows, chickadees, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers). Doves (mostly Mourning and the occasional Ringneck) mill around on the ground, looking for scattered seeds. And while I watch those birds going about their business, I’m not thinking about the pandemic, the climate crisis, ongoing destruction of the environment, or the many social issues we’re facing; instead, I am enthralled by bird life.Continue reading “Musings: The Benefits Of Birdwatching”
A strong storm blew in yesterday – the kind that made me wish I’d shut the solid coop door (often open for airflow this time of year, with the chickens safe behind a wire-covered “screen” door). The rain pounded the earth in slanted sheets, and the trees’ limbs flailed in the whipping wind. Thunder rattled the glassware in the china cabinet and I steered clear of the windows, wary of the brilliant flashes of lightning.Continue reading “Haiku: Mercurial Mammatus”
With Autumn upon us, flowers like Queen Anne’s Lace have mostly bloomed and gone to seed around here. While the goldenrod is still going strong, another “weed” is alive with insects seeking nectar. It’s so popular, in fact, that the bushes buzz with the sound of the industrious creatures.Continue reading “Around The Farm: Busy Bees And Working Wasps”
I must confess that I’ve taken the grasshoppers and crickets here for granted. Pastures teeming with the insects seem to imply that their populations are healthy…but, on a larger scale, they’re not. One day – soon, even – they may disappear.Continue reading “Haiku: Ghost Grasshopper”
The Autumnal Equinox occurs today in the Northern Hemisphere. And it’s raining. It’s been raining for the past couple of days, and I’m not going to even pretend that it’s not a bit…dreary. The oppressive gray clouds, thick and unrelenting, filter the sunlight so that it’s unusually dark, even during the day. In spite of the inclement conditions though, beauty is just waiting to be found.Continue reading “Around The Farm: First Day Of Fall”
It’s orb weaver time of year. Throughout the pastures, the industrious creatures have been at work, draping their webs between stalks of grass. Wet with morning dew, they’re stunning to behold. I try my best to avoid damaging those webs as I move through, but, sometimes, a spider will decide to make a web in a place where it can’t be – like atop the wire “cage” that secures the ramp from the chicken coop – and I have to ruin the spider’s masterpiece.Continue reading “Haiku: Obstinate Orb Weaver”
As I walked through pasture, still wet with morning dew, a leaf floated down, spiraling as it went, right in front of me. It was as if the big silver maple, so stoic and steadfast, was telling me something…and I am listening.Continue reading “Haiku: Foretelling Fall”