December 05, 2010

Farm Happenings for early December

Winter has arrived and is officially here to stay, we have several inches of snow on the ground and it's snowing fairly heavily right now.  Fortunately all the winter chores got done in time and we have turned our attentions to some indoor home improvements.  Thus far, we are giving the main floor bathroom a much needed paint job and the hallway has been vastly improved with the addition of white beadboard and moldings.  It looks sooo much better now.  After seeing how nice the beadboard looks in the hall, I can picture it continued down in the laundry room and mudroom.  That's how home improvement goes...first one thing gets done and that makes everything else look tired and in need of an update.

Dan's new horse calendar is out, the 2011 Horse A Day calendar by Voyageur Press comes complete with a small Breyer model horse so it makes a great gift for just about any horse lover on your list.  You can find it at most bookstores as well as online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Qbookshop. 

In addition, if you're interested in photography, Dan's book is getting great reviews and people seem to be really enjoying it.  The title is the 4-H Guide To Digital Photography published by Voyageur Press.  It's also widely available.  Don't let the title fool you, it's not just for 4-H-ers, it's for anyone getting started in photography or who would like to learn more about photography. 

The ponies are all in their winter coats and settling into the winter routine.  We have no foals due this coming spring, but have several breedings planned for 2012 foals and are having fun matchmaking pedigrees and happily contemplating the future of our beloved pony program.  I was just outside bringing in the ponies from the snowstorm and as I was catching Buttons, I put my hands on her nose...she began nickering and the soft vibration and almost purring sound put my heart in a happy place, to be sure. 

Winter on the farm, a time for reflection, planning, fun-filled holidays and hopefully catching up on all things indoors.

November 08, 2010

We've been having a nice stretch of weather for the past few days, it's been sunny and warmer than last week.  We don't take these warm days in November for granted, each one is a gift.  The gardens are basically put to bed for the winter, but out by the barn I noticed a few leaf buds on the privets forming, are they thinking its spring again?  I wish they were right, but I'm sure the snow will soon arrive and take away all thoughts of spring for several months.

Our farm has a very small pond on it, and it has slowly grown smaller and smaller over many, many years and my hopes are to have it re-dug in the spring.  I can just picture it all finished and full to the top...a place for the birds and animals to enjoy along with me.  Perhaps a nice gazebo next to it, a place to sit and dream.  I think I will pond(er) on this idea.  :-)

Sumac goes un-noticed all year until late fall, when it's deep crimson leaves add to the beauty of the season. 

I love the seed pods on the Milkweed, each one bursts open and sends off it's fluffy seeds to the wind.  Every year I'm fascinated by the various plants, how they grow, how they flower, how they fruit and how they propagate.  Works of art, each one. 

October 30, 2010

Birds, birds, birds

For your viewing enjoyment...

a collection of recent photos depicting the birds that frequent our garden in the late autumn...

Here comes November!!

October 23, 2010

From Puff Ball Mushrooms to Albino deer!

It's been a beautiful fall, lots of nice weather though it appears to be finally coming to an end. We're supposed to have rain now for the next several days, so that means wet feet and muddy trails on the farm. We had our driveway regraveled and so now there are no more pot-holes to surprise the Fedex and UPS delivery guys. The pot-holes worked well as a sort of speed bump, helping to remind the drivers to slow down. We also had the entrance to the barn regraveled and it's sooo much nicer now, though of course most of the ponies had to look twice to make sure it was ok. :-) The ponies are now covered in their heavy winter coats and so I guess they know some colder weather will soon be approaching. There were snow flurries in the air yesterday, but thankfully only a few. Here are a few photos from around the farm and one from a recent visit to a friend's home.

This giant mushroom was at least a foot in diameter, it started out white and then turned this brown color once the weather changed.  It's a type of Puff-ball mushroom, biggest one we've seen here on the farm.

 Leaves!  We've had plenty of leaves to add to our garden and it's always appreciated when one of the family members pitches on the raking duty.

 Due to the warmer weather, a bewildered daisy thought is was summer again and rose from the depths of the fallen leaves to show her lovely face to us.  I miss you Daisy, can't wait to see you again next year!

 Another spectacular sunrise on the farm.

 My beautiful Myferdog, my constant companion for the past 11 years.  When I first saw this photo, it brought tears to my eyes....because that's me she's looking up do you not love someone who so obviously devoted to you?  I don't know how much longer my sweet Myf will be by my side as she has some major health issues, but I cherish each day with her.

The last shot for this post is a photo Dan captured while we were on a photo shoot earlier this week.  This albino doe walked into the yard and it was a real treat to see her.

October 10, 2010

Visitors on the hill.... and giveaway winner!

Look who came for a visit!

These photos were taken on the hill behind our house--we watched them from the dining room windows. :-)

Quite an attractive little group, aren't they?!

In other news... the winner of our book giveaway is Jenna, who says that her favorite season is spring. (We agree!)

Congratulations to Jenna!!

October 05, 2010

Book Giveaway! "The Quotable Farm Animal"

To celebrate the arrival of Autumn, we've decided to have a book giveaway. :-)

This week, we're offering a free copy of The Quotable Farm Animal. This 96-page hardback book features full-color photographs and inspirational quotes. A fun treat for anyone who loves cows, chickens, or goats!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post and answer this question:

What's your favorite season?

For an extra entry, mention this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, and leave an extra comment here to say that you did. :-) Spread the news of the giveaway and earn an extra chance to win!

The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and will be announced on Thursday. Check back then to see if you're a winner!


October 03, 2010

Apples, Apples, and more Apples!

Sometimes we like to let the pictures speak for themselves. . . :-) Suffice to say that it's apple season in Wisconsin. :-)

(Check back tomorrow for a book giveaway!!)

October 02, 2010

Autumn Colors

To usher in the month of October, we thought we would post a few pictures that illustrate the beauty of Northern Wisconsin at this time of year.

The autumn colors are particularly vibrant this year--positively breathtaking.

September 21, 2010

Trying something new...

We have been working on a new video of Miracle Lili Maiden, and thought we would share the results with you all. Lili is a 4-year-old Section A Welsh Mt Pony mare, sired by Mt. Ridge Yellow Jacket and out of Doncardeb Miss Sunny Ruby.  Enjoy!!

September 17, 2010

Is it September already?

We're not sure exactly how it happened, but somehow or other, it's September.

I guess it came up on us while we were busy doing other things:

  • Going to the fair:

  • Picking tomatoes...

  • Hosting a farm party

  • and photographing ponies

The leaves have started changing and the geese are headed south--not to mention the fact that we've had rain (and rain, and rain! 3" on Wednesday night)--it's beginning to feel a lot like September.

Happy Autumn!

August 28, 2010

You Guessed It: More Garden Updates

Our apologies if you're growing tired of the garden updates, but since it IS that time of year, we can't resist sharing a bit more of our veggie fun:

These guys are HOT... but they are so pretty with their brilliant foliage and fruit, they earned a place in the garden simply for that reason.

Here are the White Wonder cucumbers. They have produced abundantly and are positively crispy--truly delicious.

And last but not least, here is a pepper that is decidedly not hot--a delightfully sweet King of the North that is turning a deep red.

August 23, 2010

We ♥ Potatoes

We're harvesting potatoes!

The Yukon Golds were ready first--so we had a few meals of new potatoes and now are letting the rest of them wait underground so that they will be better suited for storage.

(There are a couple of Purple Vikings in the photo, too--we wanted to test them out)

And here is how they grow--rather amazing, isn't it?

If you haven't yet checked out Samantha's article in the current issue of Hobby Farm Home, don't miss One Potato, Two Potato in the September/October 2010 issue.

August 15, 2010

Have You Seen Jimmy Lately?

About a year ago, this was Jimmy (known more officially as Miracle Jack Bee Nimble). He was a week old in this photo:

We thought you might enjoy seeing how Jimmy is looking now, just after his first birthday...

and another view....

He has certainly grown a bit, hasn't he??? :-)

(BTW, Jimmy is available for sale, visit our pony site for more details)

August 10, 2010

Garden Update : Heirloom Beans

It's August, and we're harvesting beans.
As you may recall, we planted three varieties of heirloom beans this year:

  • Empress
  • Dragon's Tongue
  •  Bountiful

As usual, Empress is outproducing everyone else. We've been picking and picking and eating and eating and there are still more coming along. Here are a few:
But we have to admit that Dragon's Tongue is holding its own--the plants are loaded with these delightful speckled beans. They have been very prolific thus far, in addition to being of superior taste.



As for poor Bountiful... it wasn't. Sadly, it didn't meet our expectations in terms of production. We harvested a few, but the amount was nothing like that of Empress or Dragon's Tongue.

But that's part of the fun of experimenting w/ new and different varieties. Some are better than you expect, some don't quite measure up. It's always enjoyable, though!


July 28, 2010

Flowers in July...

are simply beautiful. Look at the marvelous colors, the delicate petals, the unique qualities of each individual flower... and then smile. :-)

July 25, 2010

For those who like ponies... Part II

We love summer for a myriad of reasons--but it's also our favorite season for Pony Photography. Since it has been awhile since Miracle Maid to Order (a.k.a. "Chocie) was photographed, she had a quick photo shoot last week.

Chocie is a daughter of Gallimaufry Jaguar and Heritage Hall's the Cat's Meow, and she is the dam of Miracle Minute Maid. She has many championships to her credit and is just generally a fun pony to have around. :-) We like her, and we think she's pretty cute, too. :-)

July 22, 2010

A Very Charming Visitor

We see Whitetail Deer quite frequently here at the farm, but it isn't every day that we spot such a charming visitor right outside our dining room window:

Don't you love those spots? And those eyes? And how about those ears?

Just as quickly as he arrived, he took off for the woods again with his Mom and his twin sister. Happily, Dan was able to snap these pictures before the little guy disappeared. :-)

July 21, 2010

A Rose by Any Other Name...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -Shakespeare

July 12, 2010

For Those Who Like Ponies...

(Which we do, incidentally... :-))... here are a couple of recent pony photos, showing a couple of our young Sec A Welsh Mountain Pony fillies:

Miracle Lady Fiona, 3 yrs old, sired by Mt. Ridge Yellow Jacket and out of Doncardeb Miss Sunny Ruby. As you can see from the photo, Fiona enjoys having a good time--she exudes joie de vivre. :-)

And here is Miracle Minute Maid, aka "Cadi." She just turned 2 yrs old on June 16, so this was her birthday portrait. Cadi is also sired by Mt. Ridge Yellow Jacket; her dam is Miracle Maid to Order.

We're quite pleased with how these lovely girls are maturing. Hope you enjoyed seeing them as well.