Saturday, June 5, 2010

Farm and Garden Weekly - weeks of May 23 and May 30

I didn't get a chance to write last weekend, so here is two weeks worth of news. First I'll offer Weather Report's Birdland, a word that pretty much describes life around here these days.

We have two pastures across our dirt road from one another. One is the 'home' pasture, the south pasture where the barn is. The other is the north pasture. If the weather is good, we let the farm animals across in the morning and bring them back in the evening. Well, this one day it was rainy in the morning so we didn't cross them. By evening the weather was gorgeous and with these long, long days, we thought they could go over for a few hours. Suddenly, the male bluebird was going wild, coming to our screens, perching on the roof of the house, calling its cry of upset. We saw that all the animals were gathered around the telephone pole where the bluebirds made their home. A couple were shaking the guy wire as they scratched their backs. We quickly moved the animals into their home pasture, and after maybe an hour the bird settled down. And then we didn't see them again. We have a feeling that the babies were fledging just at the time the farm animals were all around their birdhouse. We think the male got all shook up. Anyhow, all is quiet now, and we're wondering if they will come back next year or decide it was just too chaotic for them at Windy Poplars Farm.

Phoebes are nesting in the barn,

and I hear their song all day long, as I do the Song Sparrow's. I've never seen the nest but I'm quite certain it is nearby.

There are robin nests everywhere: the big maple tree, the honeysuckle along the fence (where we saw one blue egg a while ago, and now the inhabitant has flown), and this one just discovered this morning in the trellis that supports the Dutchman's Pipe. A couple years ago we had a disastrous time with a robin building a nest there because the nest wasn't secure enough (even after we had supported it ourselves) and two babies fell out and died. But this year's is in a different spot; on a stronger section so we're hopeful it will be successful.

This is truly the blue/purple season of the year.

The Bearded iris

The Siberian iris

The Korean lilac

Baptisia australis

I don't think there is any flower more difficult to capture than a display of lupines. Even calendar photos are never that good, in my opinion.

I love this one with the bee who flew into the picture just as I was taking it

The spiderwort - and as I note each time I mention this beautiful plant, don't forget Henry Mitchell's correct pronunciation!

And last but not least, in the vegetable garden we planted three locally grown tomato plants and two basil plants. The bushy plant is thyme, a perennial

And the spinach is ready to harvest


  1. So much going on in your garden. I love the bee photo. That bee has lots of pollen in its little sacs.
    I hope your bluebirds come back. Maybe they will even renest this year if they have good luck there. I can picture you moving the animals back and forth. That basket of strawberries on your header makes me hungry just looking at them. Yummmmm

  2. There sure was lots, Lisa! I can't imagine that they'll be back this year. That dad was just so stressed. The strawberries are just as good as they look!

    Sherri, thank you!

  3. Beautiful lupines! You captured them, I think. I love to see hillsides of them, and ditches full of them--which might be hard indeed to photograph.

    (Do you remember the Monty Python bit with the highwaymen demanding, "Stand and deliver LUPINES!" Probably not.)

  4. Nan, your garden looks great. I made a 10 x 10 square with 3 each of tomato plants, squash, zuchinni and melon. Green onions, lettuce a few green beans - enough for One Woman.

  5. Love those three phoebe faces with their wide mouths all in a row. What is the word for their expression??? It escapes me, but they would be fun to draw with that strong horizontal line.

  6. Mary Lois, I don't remember it, but I'm not all that familiar with MP. We used to watch occasionally, and I am very fond of several skits (nudge-nudge, spam, silly walks), but don't know this one.

    Your garden sounds just perfect, One Woman!

    J.G., they are so wonderful. Tom was lucky enough to pop into the barn and catch this shot. I love it.

  7. Lovely post. I love all the colors, especially those lupine!

    I still haven't planted any new perennials or annuals this year. We've either been away or it's been too rainy. I'm hoping to get some things potted this coming week.

  8. Les, thank you! The only annual I bought this year was cosmos.

  9. We are enjoying lupine season here, too. And spinach. Now if I could only figure out what is eaating the lettuce and cauliflower and broccoli. Nibbling. Nothing slimy. I just sprayed bunny and deer repellent, but I don't know if they are the problem.

  10. Common Weeder, I'm sure that whatever is nibbling is very, very cute. We don't have to share our garden since the big black dogs scare everything away. :<)

  11. Lovely garden shots, it looks like England :)
    We're also in Northern England, but England UK (1,000ft up). Looks like we might have a similarish climate.
    Great photos :)

  12. Hillfarming, thanks for coming by! I love our similar blog names. I stopped by one day, but will be back to spend more time.


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