Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Around the Farm

One of the redbud trees in sunlit glory.
Some of the blossoms open right along the trunk or the branches as well as in the more familiar manner.

My darling old Eggnog has decided that the bow window is her favorite place. Its the only window with a sill wide enough to make a cat comfortable.  I cleaned the grime of years from the panes yesterday--inside and out while Eggie kept watch.

An old apple tree coming into bloom with the weathered barns in the background. Part of this tree's stump lies along the ground.
There were ancient apple trees on my Grampa's farm, remnents of the orchard which was a common feature of most well established farms.  I remember an apple tree whose trunk had developed a thick horizontal branch a few feet above the ground--a wonderful place to sit with a book or merely to survey my kingdom.

Winged pods on a maple.  J.M. who sold us the place, calls this a water maple.  J. thinks it is what we recognized in New England as a "soft maple" or "swamp maple."

I'm thinking this is an apple tree, but the blossoms are a deeper pink than I've ever seen.  They have the classic apple blossom scent.  The new leaves are so glossy and fresh.
A brisk wind ruffled the grass and sang through the newly leafed tree branches this morning as we sat on the porch with our coffee.
I was sad to see that most of the petals on the pear tree were drifting to the ground. I hope the bees have done their work and there will be pears in the fall.

I encountered this wooly bear near the garage and moved it carefully out of the way.
Moments later I watched a yellow swallowtail butterfly drift on the wind currents and disappear above the roof of the house.

The three redbuds at the foot of the long drive.
Power lines run overhead here, a distraction when taking photos. 
Some of the 40 pounds of seed potatoes which I cut yesterday. All but a few are now tucked in the ground.

J. spent Monday afternoon trundling back and forth to the seed and fertilizer plant nearby.  J.M. had soil samples taken last fall and J. took the resulting maps to the fertilizer man who blended the fertilizer for each plot.

Today we went back for seed. I was given the task of dipping out seed from each of several sacks and mixing it in the five gallon bucket.

J. borrowed an ingenious seeder from J.M. It hooks into the battery of the 4-wheeler, a lever is pulled and off one goes with the seed spraying out.  J. devised the "drag" to cover the seed from several boards and a fence panel.

With my contribution to the seeding finished I walked up to the edge of the woods which form the boundary, but didn't climb over the fence as it is festooned with what I believe to be poison oak. I think these wildlings are called May apple--I need to ressurect my book on eastern wildflowers.
Twice today I heard wild turkeys clucking and gobbling in the wood.
When we went after the seed a few minutes after first hearing them, I saw one toddling hastily up the next door pasture.


  1. It's great to be kept up to date with developments at the farm. It gives us an insight into your day.

    The photo of the road and woods also shows its a much less harsh and barren landscape than you left behind in Wyoming I think. I can just picture an Amish buggy trotting by. Having such a traditional community around would be nice I think, almost a barrier against the pace of change. Are their farm products available to the wider community too? I remember reading descriptions of Amish farmerhouse sausages and bread/baking and other items being sold at local markets from James micheners 'Centennial' many years ago....

    J must be feeling life is better now that he can throw himself into the daily life of farm work. It must be his background from previous years too. His energy - and ingenuity - is incredible.

    Cleaning windows is an awful job. I always think they are called window 'panes' because they can be such a nuisance.

    kind regards....Al.

  2. I love those redbud trees! I planted one a few years ago, and it's a joy. After the lovely flowers, then comes the prettiest heart shaped leaves. You are discovering all kinds of beauty there, and it's fun for us to come along for the ride.

    We had 91 degrees here yesterday - too darn hot for April! My aunt always said we get Kentucky's weather after you all are done with it - so please get some cooler air and send it on out to us!

    It's good to see the cats relaxing and enjoying their new home, and hope you are doing the same!

  3. I did enjoy this lovely post, with all your photos. It is such fun learning my way round your new home and seeing it coming together. Eggie looks very settled in her new home.

  4. I am so enjoying your posts ...the photos are stunning. You are so busy ...and energetic ... you both are true homesteaders ... hope the pear tree bares some friut for you ...pear crumble is yummy.

  5. We had some of your sunshine yesterday - nearly t-shirt weather here! Send some more please!!

    The new homestead is going to delight and you will gradually identify all you have growing on your plot. It sounds like you are fitting into the new community already.