Saturday, March 20, 2010

Farm and Garden Weekly - week of March 15

'Beware the Ides of March' indeed! In the morning, Margaret stopped by with her dog, Lexi. Lexi is a wonderful mixed breed dog who can jump over anything. Well, this day she jumped the four foot high electric fence into the pasture. I awoke to Daisy hee-hawing and Margaret screaming. You see, the reason we keep donkeys is that they are terrific protectors of sheep. We had heard of a donkey in a nearby town who grabbed a dog by the scruff of the neck and threw him out of 'her' pasture. Finally, Margaret got Lexi out. But during the fracas, Daisy had slipped and fallen on the ice. She's an old girl- 28 in June, and we were concerned, but she seems fine. As does the sweet dog. You may remember an appearance on the blog in December.

The daylilies have popped up on the south side of the house.

On Wednesday there was another little farm adventure. After Tom had done chores and closed the barn door for the night, there were two chickens outside. They had gotten out through a space in the fence, which is now repaired.

Isn't the evening light just beautiful?

So I opened the door, and they began hustling into the barn.

Except this hen who decided to go the other way.

Now what do I do?

She ended up going back just the way she came. These chickens live in the whole barn with the donkey, sheep, and goats. They don't have a separate coop except when we get new chicks, who stay in there for a while before being let in with the older chickens.

For the first time since October it has been warm enough to let the woodstove die a few nights this week.

This morning we saw robins on the lawn for the first time! How did they know it is the first day of spring??


  1. I love it! the the photos!
    Such fun and excitement!
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Nan-you had quite the morning on the farm! Glad everything is ok now. Have a great weekend!

  3. that was a great picture of the chicken with the evening light. I often wonder how these animals know...guess God just wired them right!!

  4. You have beautiful chickens. Such excitement at your place. I enjoy hearing about all your adventures.

  5. Daylilies are really amazing. They are the first green shoots to emerge, and probably the last to bloom

  6. I'm glad Lexi and Daisy are both alright after their little mishap!

    Lovely, lovely evening light. "The golden hour." A photographer's delight.

    I saw dozens of robins yesterday -- as the snow was falling. Poor things must be terribly annoyed. ;)

  7. Hi Nan: I just wanted to tell you how very much I enjoyed your "Farm and Garden Weekly post. I will be eagerly awaiting the next. You are lucky to have spotted a robin, I have been looking for one all week, but so far haven't spotted one.

  8. what pretty chickens! They look like you painted the designs on :)

  9. Can't believe your daylilies are sprouting already! We saw our first robin this week, too. Happy spring, Nan.

  10. Gosh, I am so pleased you liked the little report. Thank you all very much for writing with such kind words. It was fun to write, and I expect some weeks will be quiet and others quite action packed as this past one was -well, what passes for 'action packed' around here anyway. :<) Thanks again.

  11. You are living the retirement I can only hope for!

    Been watching the "greening" myself the past few days. We've got some daffodils up and flowering. And of course the unbeatable wild onions are sprouting as well.

    We hit the 70;s yesterday - I forgot what that was like.

    Loved the header photo - but I wonder who besides book people would know what "verso" means?

    And of course the opposite of verso is...? :)

    - Jeff

  12. Yes, Donkeys were used as sheep and cattle protectors, and especially to deter coyotes out west. Thats why sometimes they don't get on so well with dogs....... but they are supposed to be great pals with goats!

  13. Oh I loved that post and story. Like the March blog header, too!

  14. I hope Daisy is okay. What a perfectly lovely name for her! So old-fashioned and self-possessed. It suits her.

    The chickens seem pretty self-possessed, too, huh?

    Now wishing you a teeny bit less excitement for the week to come.

  15. Jeff, are your wild onions like these?

    There was a comment that wild leeks and wild onions are the same. What do you think?

    And my friend, you are by far the greater genius! I only copied the word to give credit to the picture. I didn't have any idea what it meant, and sadly didn't even have the intellectual curiosity to look it up. Well, now I have. And found the other word as well. Very funny!!

    Julie, it must be some kind of instinctual thing in the donkey?? And yes, the goats are great pals. But goats are a whole other blog entry. There is nothing like them. :>)

    Vintage Reader, thanks! I love those WPA posters and hope to use them often.

    J.G., Daisy is fine. Unbelievable. She could have broken something and had to be put down. That was her name when we got her 20+ years ago. And the chickens are really quite serene. They should be - they've got a perfect life!

  16. Hey Nan:

    Nope - the wild onions I have growing are small bulbs that send up a round green shoot in bunches. Around here they're considered pesky weeds. If I leave them long enough, they have a small flower at the top. I was warned by the previous owner of the house to not even think about eating them since they were to "hot'!

    And a genius I'm not - been accused of many things but never that! I'm an old print guy - grew up in the publishing industry when hot metal type was still being used. Terms like recto, verso, frontmatter, endmatter, headers, footers, etc were all part of my daily vocabulary as a proofreader and production man in the book publishing industries. Heck - I even know the "real" definition of font, not the general way it's used today in word processing programs! And how the terms "upper case" and "lower case" came about. (Wikipedia it - I dare ya!)

    But those are stories for a later time... :)

    - Jeff

  17. I don't know how they know, but they do! those are beautiful chickens! My grand children also have chickens and it is so fun to see how they love them and want to take care of them! I just finished for the 3rd time Bridges of Madison County. I just needed a good love story to read and it was easy reading...took all of of 2

  18. Jeff, Tom has so enjoyed this interchange! What a lucky man to have done this work.
    I'll have to find out if wild onions grow around here. I just learned about the leeks last year.

    Linda, I love thinking of children caring for chickens. If I've told you my Bridges story, don't bother reading on. I thought it was true. I went to the library and looked through old National Geographics for the photographer's work. The librarian gently told me it was fiction. :<)

  19. Love those hens! Aren't they beautiful? Have been enjoying your posts so much!

  20. Poor old Daisy. I really hope she's okay a few days after her fall! I love donkeys and you may like this poem by G.K. Chesterton "The Donkey"

  21. Aisling, thanks so much for your encouragement!

    K, I'll look up the poem. Daisy is just fine!


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