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Monday, September 15, 2014

Today's Lens (09/15/14): The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show +

Things have been busy here on the farm! It's harvest time, and time to get things ready for the quickly approaching cooler (I hesitate to say the word colder at this point - summer isn't even officially over yet) weather. I did manage to take a little time over the past couple of days to pull out the Canon, though, so let's take a walk, shall we?

As always, if you’d like to comment on individual photos, please visit the Today’s Lens Photo Library.

I didn't get many good shots of the Harvest Super Moon. I was playing with the settings on the camera to see what I could create, and let's just say it was a phenomenal flop. I managed to salvage this one, but I'll keep at it! One day, I'll figure out the best settings to capture the magnificent moon.

This rough legged hawk was being chased by some crows. By the time I grabbed the camera, the crows had already flown over the roof, but I managed to catch this guy while standing on the porch.

As we start down the hill, this Spicebush Swallowtail hung around for a photo or two.

They're so darn quick! It's sometimes difficult to get a clear shot at all!

Bullwinkle decided to play hide-and-seek with me using milkweed as a disguise. He's such a playful little guy, and quite the ladies man!

Despite reinforcing the gates and fencing, he still manages to sneak out and visit the ladies in a neighboring pasture. Luckily, we've been able to prevent any unplanned breedings, but I really have to keep an eye on this little Romeo. Hmmm...I'm wondering if I shouldn't consider changing his name?

While I went upstairs to feed the chickens, Harlee hung out in front of the barn and watched over her kingdom.

On our way back up the hill, Bullwinkle was napping. I have no idea how this could be comfortable!

But this on the other hand, looks adorable!

These two hang out a lot with Honey. I sometimes think Bullwinkle mistakes her for his mama. He will lay right underneath her for the shade sometimes, and she is perfectly fine with it. She's even very delicate with her steps when he's around. 

Watching over her little friends, Honey is a great pasture companion.

A couple of strawberries  brightly say, "Hello," as we make our way back to the house. They probably won't be around much longer, but they certainly are cheery when they are.

A view from the top of the pasture-mates and a couple of Canada geese.

And, finally, Honey waves us goodbye. A swish of the tail, and she was off.

I hope you enjoyed today’s journey. Please, join me again next time for more Today’s Lens.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Today's Lens (09/03/14): Hodge Podge Kind of Day

I had another wonderful visit with Nancy today, and I've no doubt all of the photos she took will be incredible! There were some not-so-frequent visitors during our visit, but I didn't have my camera with me and will gladly defer the shots from earlier in the day to her.

I was able to catch a glimpse of the osprey this afternoon, and although they're not the best shots, they're not bad considering how far away from me he was. He visited earlier too.

While I was processing those, I also found some others that I hadn't shared yet, so today's journey will include some past journeys as well as this very brief present one.

As always, if you’d like to comment on individual photos, please visit the Today’s Lens Photo Library.

The hens on the hill! These girls are very busy egg layers doing an awesome job.

This is Duke. If you missed his introduction in previous posts, he is a Portuguese Water Dog who belongs to my brother and his family. He's still a puppy yet, and cute as a button. I love his one white paw! 

I think this White Admiral butterfly has seen some better days...

...his wings are tattered and torn, but he's still plugging along!

 A watering procession of Clouded Sulfur moths. It had been pretty dry until yesterday, and these little fellows were finding water amidst the dust in the road. They're funny to watch. Rather than head directly to a puddle, they will congregate on a damp area of ground, and siphon the water. 

It's the first time all year I've seen them stop long enough for me to press the shutter button.

There were quite a few of them in one small area; some even seemed to pose.

Can I say enough about our sweet little Mia? 

Or stately (peeking) Belle?

Unlike Belle, who is an old soul at heart, Mia is very playful (don't get me wrong, Belle kicks it up now and then as well) and very curious. She loves to jump and climb, and often spins right around in the air.

Too cute!

I grabbed these two small sunflowers before they faded for the year. The other larger ones are starting to seed, and I wanted some indoor "sun" to brighten up the counter.

The osprey was visiting Powell Pond when Nancy was here (I hope she was able to get some good shots), and came back later in the afternoon for a fly-over.

He was quite far away, but I managed to get a good enough shot to tell that it is in fact an osprey.

It looks like the landing gear is ready just in case he should spot something dive-worthy.

He soared in lazy circles as he headed west along the valley; eventually venturing too far away for the camera to find. He will likely head over the mountain to Merli Sarnoski Park in search of some dinner.

This has been a hodge podge sort of day, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. Please, join me again next time for more Today’s Lens.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Today's Lens (09/02/14)

Today's lens takes us to the barn and back, then to the garage and back in search of objects, rocks, and tools that I could use for today's projects. I'm no where near done with them all, but I needed to take a break and sit in the air conditioning for a while. I can usually tolerate the heat, but his humidity is wiping me out quick! Here's a bit of the day so far.

As always, if you’d like to comment on individual photos, please visit the Today’s Lens Photo Library.

On my first trip down the hill (walking), the geese were enjoying a morning stroll and some breakfast. Before long, they'll be flying off to warmer grounds. I can't believe it's that time already.

Is this not the face of one of the most handsome billy goats you've ever seen? Bullwinkle is growing up fast, but he's still a cutie pie.

The sign is up! Steve dug the hole and cemented the post the other night for me, and I got the frame up yesterday. This morning, I hung the sign. I went back down later to clean it up a bit (keep scrolling/reading).

On my way back up to the house, this guy nearly took my head off in his fly-over. My hands were full, but I dropped everything, and managed to get this shot of him before he took off again.

This time, I took the truck down; walking down again on a day like today would almost do me in, I think. Although, I'll probably strap on the camera and take an afternoon stroll to feed the chickens. It's good for me, right? Anyway, I cleaned this up a bit, drove some stakes to hold the lattice, and placed some plastic down under the mulch (free mulch, by the way - did you know that when the crews come through to trim the trees along the power lines, they are generally more than happy to dump the shredded waste where you can access it?) to try to keep some of the weeds away. Next up: Mums! I'm thinking rust and orange and yellow.

Before I headed back up the hill, I stopped by my mother's to steal, I mean borrow (no, I really mean steal) this five gallon crock from my mother's/sister's. We have some cabbages in the garden that make a basketball look small, and I need something larger than the one gallon crock that I'm currently using to make sauerkraut out of those babies. This one is now all scrubbed and sanitized and ready to go after the first frost sweetens the cabbage. Fresh sauerkraut all winter!!

Hmmm...not sure about this one, but I'm throwing it in anyway. I wasn't sure how big the crock was, so I grabbed a five gallon bucket from over by the barbecue pit for comparison. This is rust settling on the shovel that was taking up residence in the bucket. It was in big bubbles all over the surface of the shovel. I think this is one that I'll play around with in Lightroom some day; it could be fun!

Oh, and I mentioned that I was looking for rocks. Well, this is why. Cole stopped up yesterday when I was experimenting with the Spidey rock, and of course he wanted one. I promised him he could pick it up today when I got it finished. He said he wanted a fly too, so, being the spoiling good aunt that I am, I went rock picking and painted him up a fly or two. 

I've actually managed to cool off a bit while prepping this post, so I guess it's back to the painting, and other projects of the day. I'm fixing some shutters for an art display and hope to get some more canning done; I used ten pounds of tomatoes the other day for salsa, but there are still about as many sitting on the counter, and more ripening in the garden as I write. I might try some ketchup this afternoon. I never did it before, so it should prove interesting! I also have to get the beans steamed/blanched and in the freezer before they get soft on me. Phew...sounds like I'll be busy!

I hope you enjoyed today’s journey. Please, join me again next time for more Today’s Lens.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Today's Lens (09/01/14): A New Kid in Town

When we went to bed on the night of August 28, all was quiet in our little valley of the world, and the 29th dawned brightly. Well, maybe a bit more brightly, only we didn't know it yet. We went about starting our day as normal; I tended to the animals here on the hill, while Steve tended to the animals down at the barn, and then we were off on our merry, individual ways. What a surprise I was in for when I made my daily trek down to the barn for the mid-afternoon feeding of the chickens. We had another baby! Muffin, who we had been closely watching for signs that she was ready to kid, up and had her without me (I'm not really an integral part of the process, I mean, she's perfectly suited to perform the task without me, as she made well known, but I like to think I am) - and without warning. Her former owner had warned us that she wouldn't give us any warning, and he was definitely right. She showed none of the usual signs that a delivery was near - no hollowing at her hips when the baby moved into the birth canal, no dimples around her tail, not even an enlarged udder. Nothing. Then, bang, there's a baby all cleaned, up and running around in the goat pen. Mom and doeling were doing great! Ann and Ivy (who was actually the one who gave me a sign that something was up by running around just outside the pen door and catching my attention - I couldn't figure out why she was being so silly) stood off to the side to allow Muffin and her precious little one room to bond, frolic, and nurse. It was all so beautiful! See for yourself:

As always, if you’d like to comment on individual photos, please visit the Today’s Lens Photo Library.

Such a cutie!

Don't know why, but I love their little feet when they're babies. It's kind of like a puppy's paws - something to grow into.

Mama and baby.


As with all of our goats, I like to get to know them a bit, and learn their personalities before I come up with a name. Needless to say, I'm still working on it...

This little one is very active and playful - a name will come to me soon (I hope!).

"What's that you got there?"

Again, awww...

A very proud mama!

As well she should be!

Ann watches on from the adjoining pen.

And baby Ivy B peeks through to say "hello."

She's a super cutie too!

"How do I look from this angle?"

Look at that precious face!

I'm sure there will be more births here on the farm, and some may think that if you've seen one, you've seen them all. But, I never get tired of it! Life, especially new life, is such an amazing and awe inspiring thing!

I hope you enjoyed today’s journey. Please, join me again next time for more Today’s Lens.

Thanks for viewing!