September 30, 2011

Apple Update

It's that time of year again---time for picking apples! Four trees, planted in Fox Hill Farm's garden in 2009, are now growing beautiful, delicious apples. They're perfect for making that sweet, creamy delicacy we all enjoy . . . applesauce!

And in the orchard, "Duchess" (an antique Duchess of Oldenburg tree that has proven her worth many years running) continues to thrive and produce the crème de la crème.

Here's an interesting fact: in Anne of Green Gables, it is said that Anne and Marilla pick apples from their Duchess tree. (Only the best for Fox Hill Farm!) J


This post is courtesy of Farm Girl Rosie at

April 29, 2011

18 Beautiful Birds

We’re happy to bring you this guest blog, courtesy of Farm Girl Rosie (, as she shares about her recent experiences in bird watching.

I just recently began studying which types of birds tend to gather in the area where I live. So many birds are attracted to suet feeders, and this is a compilation of the different kinds I’ve seen so far on the feeder:

1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. White-breasted Nuthatch
3. Red-winged Blackbird
4. Hairy Woodpecker
5. Pileated Woodpecker
6. Dark-eyed Junco
7. European Starling
8. American Robin

I’ve also spotted these birds in the past few weeks:

1. Canadian Geese
2. Mallard ducks
3. Bufflehead ducks
4. Red-tailed Hawks
5. Killdeer
6. Mourning Doves
7. Northern Flickers
8. American Crows
9. Eastern Meadowlarks
10. Eastern Bluebirds

I highly recommend The Backyard Birdsong Guide by Donald Kroodsma for those who are interested in identifying birds and their calls. This book also comes with a birdcall player; you press a button on the side of the book, and you can hear the call of every bird discussed in the guide. The Backyard Birdsong Guide has been so helpful to me in figuring out which birds are which!

Hairy WoodpeckerRed-winged BlackbirdHairy Woodpecker

April 28, 2011

The 4-H Guide to Digital Photography on Kindle!

Did you know…? Dan’s book, The 4-H Guide to Digital Photography, is now available as a Kindle download! Visit to add this popular book to your Kindle e-reader today. Also, check out the five-star reviews! J

April 27, 2011

A Special Day for a Special Pony

We should have posted this last week, but a belated birthday greeting is better than no birthday greeting at all…

Ten years ago, on April 22, 2001, a very special foal arrived at Fox Hill Farm/Miracle Welsh. Miracle Maid to Order, a black Section A Welsh Mountain Pony filly, was born in the early hours of that Sunday morning. Sired by Gallimaufry Jaguar and out of Heritage Hall’s the Cat’s Meow, “Chocie” immediately claimed her place as a VIP (“Very Important Pony”) at Miracle Welsh. She was shown quite successfully as a filly, winning multiple championships, and placing well regionally and nationally. She is a Liberty Class winner, a leadline winner, and the dam of Miracle Minute Maid by Mt. Ridge Yellow Jacket.

And so, on her 10th birthday, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate Chocie! We ♥ her.

April 26, 2011

How to Build a Beehive

Have you checked out the latest issue of Hobby Farms magazine? The May/June 2011 issue features a how-to feature on “How to Build a Beehive,” written by Samantha and photographed by Daniel. The article explains all of the steps involved with constructing a beehive, from gathering the materials to painting the finished product. If you’ve contemplated the idea of raising bees, this article provides helpful information to get started.
We are busily preparing for the arrival of our spring bees—they are coming in sometime within the next week, so things will be buzzzzzing around here. J

April 25, 2011

Waiting on Spring

Spring is quite late in arriving this year—we had 2 inches of snow (again) on the 23rd and it just doesn’t seem to want to warm up. But the ponies are shedding, the birds have returned, and the daylilies are poking up in the garden, so spring must be on its way.
After a particularly cold night last week, we noticed an interesting sight: a sapsicle. At first glance, it appeared to be an icicle, but upon closer inspection, it was obvious that it wasn’t an ordinary icicle—it was frozen sap, dripping from a broken piece on a large branch of a Sugar Maple. It was particularly intriguing to note the amount of sap that was pouring forth from the small hole in the branch.

Farm life—especially in spring time—is always interesting! : )

February 02, 2011

News from Fox Hill Farm: Bees, Birds, Bunnies and Brrr!

Northern Wisconsin in early February is filled with lots of snow and very cold temperatures. Last weekend brought an additional eight inches and today is very cold and windy. It will be interesting to see if spring comes early again as it did last year.

We've spent time building some additional beehives for the upcoming season. Our bees have been successfully overwintered every year, even in our very rigorous climate. We feel the key is making candy boards in the fall and putting them on the hives. The bees love them and feed on them throughout the winter and make it to spring successfully. This eliminates having to purchase bees every year unless you're adding new hives.

Some of the ponies have started shedding their winter coats, but some won't let go of their coats until June. I have noticed that our palominos and buckskins are the first ones to shed out each year, with the roans staying furry far longer. The birds on the farm love it when the ponies start to shed and especially love it when we thin manes and tails. Then in the fall we find the abandoned nests and see which pony was the favored choice of that particular bird.

Our rabbits enjoy their winter quarters, in the former milk room of 1932 bank barn, the milk room is heated to 50 degrees and the rabbits are so happy, neither hot nor cold... and just like the three bears... they're "just right." We acquired another breed of rabbit last fall, the Harlequin, a beautiful breed with loads of friendly personality.

Photography and writing keeps us all busy as well, we've had some good snow sessions with a few breeds of dogs and plan to attend the Three-Bear Sled Dog race this upcoming weekend. Loads of dogs and sledders and hopefully it won't be so cold this year. March will bring Klondike Days with a sleigh rally, horse pulls and dog pulls. Lots of great opportunity for capturing unique images. Last year's sleigh rally was a lot of fun.

January 01, 2011

Starting out fresh again!

Happy New Year to all!  Fox Hill Farm rang in the new year with very cold temps and 30mph winds, making for a brisk day outdoors.  The ponies all cheered this afternoon when they heard us coming out to bring them back into the barn for a well deserved meal. 

The seed catalogs have been arriving and making plans for the garden is always more than a good time.  I have some ideas for expanding the garden a bit more and getting started a bit earlier, maybe with a cold frame or two.  It's always enjoyable to ponder on the things we hope to do and accomplish each year.

Have you visited us on facebook yet?  You can find Miracle Welsh Mountain Ponies at  and you can find Fox Hill Photo at

Have a great year!