December 09, 2009

Update - and Giveaway Winner!!

We're in the midst of a major winter storm here--we have a lot of new snow, but the winds are blowing and gusting so hard that the drifting snow makes it difficult to calculate exactly how much new snow we've received. We think about 9 inches, give or take a bit.

So, indoors was the place to be today, and we're happy to say that we are ready to announce the winner of our book giveaway! Our randomly selected (by a computer calculator, no less!) winner is. . .

"Fiona, age 9"

Congratulations, Fiona! We hope you enjoy your prize! (Did you know that the chestnut pony at the top of this blog is also named Fiona??) Drop us a note at so we can mail your prize out to you right away.

We really enjoyed reading everyone's responses to the colts vs. fillies question--there seemed to be a fairly even split between colt enthusiasts and filly fans--and some of you couldn't choose. Foals are delightful, aren't they?? :-)

Pictures of the snow--hopefully tomorrow!!

December 06, 2009

Poster Book Giveaway!!

We had so much fun with our first book giveaway that we've decided to do it again. :-) This time, the prize is a copy of The World's Greatest Colts & Fillies Poster Book, which features 43 large, full-color, pull-out posters with photographs of adorable colts and fillies. The photography in this book is by Daniel Johnson. :-) This book would make a fabulous Christmas gift for any young horse or pony enthusiast!

For your chance to win this book, you can enter by leaving a comment to this post, answering the following question: What's your preference: colts or fillies?

Winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Wednesday.

Also, look on the right hand side of this blog, you'll see where you can click to "follow" us. . . we've just added this new feature. :-)


Sunday morning visitor

(Photo snapped from our kitchen window this morning)

December 04, 2009

Happy December!!

It's December, and we have the snow to prove it. :-) Naturally, we're turning our thoughts towards Christmas, and we've been busily decorating and shopping.

In the spirit of Christmas fun, we're having another book giveaway this weekend. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the details and to join in!! :-)

November 30, 2009

One final post for November. . .

and that is to announce that we had an unexpected snow storm this afternoon, and now there is a 3" blanket of snow covering the farm.

All of a sudden, it looks quite a bit more Christmas-like outside! :-)

November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

We're enjoying this Thanksgiving weekend and the weather really couldn't be nicer. We've had a couple of dustings of snow, but nothing substantial and it's been warm enough each day to melt it again. The ponies are quite happy and content in their pastures and are enjoying the pleasant weather.

We had so much fun with our book giveaway that we're getting ready to hold another one. :-) Check back very soon for details on the next prize!!!

In other news, Samantha and Dan's 2008 book, Horse Breeds: 65 Popular Horse, Pony, and Draft Horse Breeds has been doing well in sales and was #8 in the Horse category on Amazon yesterday--this book makes an excellent gift for the upcoming holiday season. Check it out here:

We'll close with a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure. :-)

November 25, 2009

November 25th. . .

. . . and we're still without snow!

They're predicting a bit for tomorrow, but the temperatures are still warming into the upper 30s and low 40s each day, so it shouldn't stick for long. We've been enjoying the extra-long autumn season and are looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend. We should have new photos to share over the weekend, so be sure to check back soon. :-)

November 23, 2009

The Winner!!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win our book giveaway over the weekend--we had a lot of fun reading your responses to the question: What is your favorite farm animal? Your replies were wonderful! Many of you had difficulty in choosing from among all of your favorite farm animals--everybody loves their farm animals, and so do we! :-) We had such a hard time choosing a winner that we ended up putting all of the entries in a hat and randomly selected a winner.

And the winner is. . . . "Pony!"

Congratulations--you've won a copy of The Quotable Farm Animal! Drop us a note at and we'll get your copy sent off to you right away. Enjoy!! Everyone else--check back again soon, because we're planning to give away more books during the upcoming holiday season. :-)

Thanks to everyone that entered!

November 19, 2009

Book Giveaway!

We're happy to say that we're having a book giveaway here over the weekend, and so here's your chance to enter to win a copy of The Quotable Farm Animal. This is a small hardback gift book, published by MBI Publishing. The book is filled with full-color photography of farm animals, accompanied by inspirational quotes.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, answering this question: "What is your favorite farm animal?" Entries will close at noon on Monday the 22nd, and the winner will be announced on Monday evening.

Have fun!!! :-)

November 15, 2009

Some Things are Just Too Cute. . .

. . . to resist sharing! During a recent photo session, 5-month-old Louie had lots of fun playing with a set of plastic toy bowling pins. He tipped every single one over and then played with the fallen pins. It was a treat to watch him enjoying himself, everyone was laughing! :-)

November 14, 2009

Candy Boards: Part II

It was another busy day in the candy board factory today. :-) Three additional batches of candy mixture were prepared today, and these should be sufficient to carry our bees through the winter, hopefully. Tomorrow's project: adding the candy boards to the hives.

November 13, 2009

Empty branches

The leaves are gone from the maple trees, and now we are left with empty branches. The blue sky is cheering, however! :-) The fact that it's November 13th and there is NO snow is another reason for cheer. :-)

We're working towards meeting some important deadlines on Monday, so please forgive the short posts these past few days. We do have some exciting news to post about, so hopefully we'll have a chance to get to that tomorrow. Stay tuned! :-)

November 11, 2009

Busy as Bees

The weather over the past few days has been simply splendid. Sunshine, temperatures in the 50's and 60's. . . calm winds and puffy clouds.
We worked outdoors for much of today. . . we're inching our way towards finishing up our pre-winter projects, but it would help if this fabulous weather would hold out for a little while longer. :-)

But then again, weather like this in November could go on forever, as far as I'm concerned. :-)

November 10, 2009

"Exclusively Etsy"

Don't miss the January/February 2010 issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine. Samantha's article, "Exclusively Etsy" appears in this issue. Check it out! :-)

November 09, 2009

Autumn Leaves

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,
While cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

-John Muir

November 08, 2009

Candy Boards

Today we had a very important project to undertake: making candy boards for the bee hives.

What, you may ask, are candy boards? Excellent question! Candy boards provide food for our bees during the winter, so that our colonies can survive through the harsh winter months.

While making candy boards isn't a quick process, it is relatively simple. A mixture of sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar is heated and prepared, and then poured into wooden frames, as you can see in the photo below:

When the mixture hardens, it turns white, and then the board can be added to a beehive to provide nourishment for the colony until spring.

All in all, a satisfying project for a Sunday afternoon! :-)

November 07, 2009

Gorgeous November day!

This was a picture-perfect November day. The sun was shining, the temperatures were in the 60's, and there was a gentle breeze. It's simply delightful to be enjoying this type of wonderful weather in November in northern Wisconsin.

It's a treat!!

November 06, 2009

It's Here!!!

We're very pleased to say that we've just received the advance copies of our latest book! The Field Guide to Horses (by Daniel Johnson and Samantha Johnson) is scheduled for release in December, and we're really happy with how it turned out. The book contains over 80 breed profiles, and also covers colors, markings, and patterns. There are full-color photographs throughout. You can take a peek inside of the book on

November 05, 2009

Our Birdbath Runneth Over

There has been so much rain in the recent past that the birdbath in our garden is overflowing. The birds are quite satisfied with the arrangement. :-) We've been seeing large quantities of chickadees and robins.

November 04, 2009

Countdown to Winter

Things have been busy on the farm. . . busy, busy, busy. For you see, winter is on its way. We are very thankful because it seems to be taking its time in arriving, and we're trying to take advantage of each warm and dry day to finish our pre-winter outdoor chores.
And so today's photo is quite representative of our recent activities: working on fencing. :-)

November 03, 2009

A visitor. . .

Someone has been visiting us recently, or so we've discovered by the "calling card" that was left for us in the remnants of a mud puddle:

This track, if you look carefully, was made by a Coyote. . . we've been hearing them quite often at night.

November 02, 2009

Starry Night

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to live and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."
-Henry Van Dyke

November 01, 2009

Crisp November Mornings

Well, perhaps "crisp" isn't exactly accurate. . . more like "cold!" :-) But we can't complain---we've had several days of fairly nice weather and very little rain or snow. So we complaineth not and keep proceeding through our list of "to-do's before winter" as quickly we can while the weather holds. :-)
Happy November, everyone!

October 31, 2009

Halloween Greetings!

A special Halloween greeting from Pierre! :-)

October 30, 2009

Pretty Pony

Sometimes you have to post a photo simply because it's cute. :-) Such is the case with this recent photo of Miracle Minute Maid (Mt. Ridge Yellow Jacket x Miracle Maid to Order by Gallimaufry Jaguar). "Cadi" is a yearling Sec A Welsh Mountain Pony filly, and of course we think she is pretty special.

October 29, 2009

The Leaves are Falling

What a warm day we had today----warm by October's standards, that is. Temperatures in the 50's felt quite toasty as we worked outdoors today. The winds picked up this afternoon and the rain has returned, and the leaves from our Sugar Maples are falling swiftly.

As we mentioned earlier, the autumn colors were not quite as vibrant this year as they usually are; nevertheless, the leaves are still a myriad of autumn-y shades, ranging from bright gold to peach to rusty red, and some brilliant oranges as well.

October 28, 2009

Check it out!

We've been working on a brand-new bunny blog, so "hop" right over and take a peek: There are articles, photos, links, reviews, and more, so be sure to bookmark the page and check back from time to time. Also don't forget to vote on this week's poll. (Above: "Bonnie," tort Holland Lop senior doe. . . isn't she cute?? :-))

October 27, 2009

Interior projects

While the rain and snow filled the air last week, we were hard at work indoors, where it was warm and dry and cozy. This was quite unlike the outdoors, where it was cold and wet and unpleasant. It was an easy choice to make. :-)

For our project, we decided to paint the foyer a brand-new color. After much deliberation (emphasis on the "much"), we settled on Benjamin Moore's "Thornton Sage," and we're really pleased with the color and how it turned out. In this photo, you can see part of the scaffolding we needed to reach the highest portions of the ceiling. It was a tricky job, but it's all finished and everything looks super.

Of course, now we're making plans for painting another room---stay tuned as we deliberate over the next color choice! :-)

October 26, 2009

As Promised---No Snow!

We're having a bit of a reprieve from the wintery conditions. . . . temperatures in the 40s today and no snow in sight. :-)

The autumn colors weren't quite as vibrant this year as they usually are, but Dan snapped some nice photos showing some of the golden Sugar Maple leaves against the bright blue sky---beautiful!

The forecast for tomorrow is sunshine and 50s---and we're glad, as we have a list of outdoor chores to get through while the weather holds.

October 25, 2009

Leaves 'n Snow

The snow is gone again, but these photographs from yesterday are so unique that we can't resist sharing them with y'all.

The trees still have the majority of their leaves---this is not something that we usually see in conjunction with snow. :-) Thus, it makes for unusual and interesting photography.
We promise----we'll post something besides snow photos tomorrow! (at least, we think so . . .)

October 24, 2009

More snow

We woke up to more snow again this morning, but the sun finally came out at around noon, so most of the snow has melted again.
We're still working on finishing up the last of our autumn chores and winter preparations---another couple of weeks of good weather would help us achieve that goal! According to the weather forecast, there isn't any more snow in the foreseeable future---so here's hoping that we'll be able to accomplish these additional tasks before winter sets in for good.

October 23, 2009

Look Closely - October version

These are the scenes that you find on the farm in October, if you look closely. Snowflakes, ice, water, and sparkling light.
They are beautiful in their own way.

October 22, 2009

Late October Scenes

The days are growing shorter. . . the temperatures are getting colder . . . and we had a bit of snow when we woke up this morning. Here are a couple of late October scenes from the farm.

October 21, 2009

Aerial Viewpoint

As promised, here is one of the photographs from the experiment with the "kite camera." The camera was set to take video, and then the best still frames were selected. The white line along the left side of the photo is the kite string. It's a treat to be able to see the farm from this viewpoint.

October 20, 2009

Stay tuned. . .

There have been some interesting photography experiments going on here lately. . . check back tomorrow for some "aerial" farm photos, courtesy of the kite camera. :-)

October 19, 2009

Checking on the bees. . .

"Where bees are, there is honey."

--English 17th Century Proverb

October 17, 2009

Year End Award update - Miracle Lady Fiona!

We're happy to report that two-year-old Miracle Lady Fiona (Section A Welsh Mountain Pony) is currently in 9th place on the WPCSA National High Score list for Section A fillies. Additionally, she is the Welsh of Wisconsin High Score Sec A Filly for 2009. Fiona is shown here with one of her Reserve Grand Champion ribbons from the "A Bit of Wales" silver show.
(P.S. Fiona's full sister, Miracle Lili Maiden, is currently available for sale, visit for photos and info!)

October 16, 2009

October Sky - 9pm

A dramatic view of the farm's western treeline, courtesy of Dan.

October 15, 2009

October Delight

I guess you could say that we're happy that the snow has melted, happy that the temperatures have warmed up a bit, and happy because the autumn leaves are gorgeous.
Yes, I think somebody looks pretty happy. :-)

October 14, 2009

Snowy Roses

Here are what the poor roses in our garden looked like yesterday morning. . .

Thankfully, the snow has melted again---hopefully it will be awhile before any more snow comes our way!

October 13, 2009

Two inches

An early October snowstorm dropped two inches of snow on us yesterday. . . . thankfully, most of it has melted already. We are not quite ready for the snow to arrive to stay!