Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nature Notes...

Prairie Goldenpeas (thermopsis rhombifolia) which we call Sweet Peas, are blooming in the pasture.  Sweet Peas are a Mother's Day tradition here.  My children and their dad gathered handfuls of these golden beauties for me each year for Mother's Day and just because.  Hubby gathered them for his own mother when he was a boy.

A few Goldenpeas in the pasture.

  
These are Hood's Phlox (phlox hoodii).  An early bloomer on the prairie.

 These are the grape hyacinth in my garden.

 

 One more prairie beauty:  Plains Milkvetch (Astragalus gilviflorus).  I like to call it Wedding Bouquet.  The flowers grow in a clump that seems to form a cushion.  It's found on dry rocky ground.  The milkvetches are a type of "locoweed" which can poison livestock if eaten in large amounts, but we rarely ever see this happen.  It seems livestock have a sense of knowing not to eat it.  If we do have a large growth of locoweed, we will avoid putting livestock in that pasture until it is done growing.  This link shows a close-up of the Plains Milkvetch where you can see the pretty purple tongue inside the flowers.


This is a new arrival to us --  the Yellow Rumped Warbler.  
They love to eat insects from the trees, and they especially like the Willows.

In the Garden:
JJo, Peach, Toodles, Boy Blue, and Chief all helped me plant potatoes and onions.
We planted:  Yukon Gold, red, and white potatoes.
We planted:  Walla Walla onion plants and Yellow and White onion sets.
After this 82* day, we are expecting thunderstorms tonight and rain through the coming week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yesterday, snow. Today, sunshine!





And that's how it goes where I live. 
 One day you're wearing your parka, 
and the next day you're thinking about a bikini!

Yesterday, 6-7" of wet snow over slushy slop.
Today, sunshine and 65*.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Let's think about arranging flowers....

...on this wet and snowy April day.

Charles Webster Hawthorne (American artist, 1872-1930) 
Arranging Daffodils

 Francis Luis Mora (American artist, 1874-1940).  
Flowers of the Field 1913

   Richard Edward or Emil Miller (American painter, 1875-1943)

Karl Albert Buehr (German-born American Painter, 1866-1952) 
Expectancy

 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Mahda 1921

Jean Frederic Bazille (French Impressionist Painter, 1841-1870) 
Woman Arranging Flowers

  Theo van Rysselberghe (Belgian artist, 1862-1926) 
 Girl Arranging Flowers

Theo van Rysselberghe (Belgian artist, 1862-1926) 
Woman arranging flowers

 Robert Brackman (American artist, 1898–1980) 
Persephone and Flowers

 James Jabusa Shannon (American-born British painter, 1962-1923) 
The Green Vase 1898

I hope you've enjoyed this Sunday respite from the snow. 

"I am following nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."  Claude Monet


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chick arrival...

 
Hey Peepster, have you hear this one?
Why was the egg so afraid?
Because it was a little chicken!

 Box o' Fluff

 The Littles love the peeps!
So soft to feel on hands and cheeks.


Did you hear about the hen who could only lay eggs in winter?
She was no spring chicken!


Why is it so easy for chicks to talk?
Because talk is cheep!

(All settled in.)

The CarpenterSon asked if we could order all Pearl White Leghorns this time around, and I thought, "Why not?"  My MIL always, always raised the Pearl Whites and none other.  She claimed that they ate less feed and laid more and bigger eggs than any other breed.  We do have one, lone Black Cochin.  The hatchery sent it along with the others.  It has feathered legs.  Pretty cute!

The 27 chicks arrived this morning at our feed store, and two of the neighbor grandgirls begged to go along with me to fetch them.  Right after we picked up the chicks, we drove to the townie grandgirls' house to let them experience and hold the tiny fluffs before we took them home to their coop. Oh such joy is this!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Simple Little Things...

 It's tea time.
then I add...
some herbals (for health).
A mix of:
Red raspberry leaf, nettle, alfalfa, and plantain 
in a little fold-over tea bag.
This way I get my yummy caffeine boost
and health boost!
 
 Daffodils started blooming today!

 Do you see the tiny grape hyacinths shooting up?

 And the garlic scapes poking through the hay mulch?

 Rhubarb is coming on!
I'm dreaming of rhubarb custard pie.

 I got some new flip flops from Skechers
Yoga flips.  I like them

Miss Bee drew this picture on their sidewalk with chalk.
Its a mama moon teaching her baby moon how to walk in space.
(Isn't that sweet?)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Sunbathing...


The last couple of days have been so nice and warm, and I just cannot resist taking a little time during our noon hour to go lay out in the sunshine and soak up some rays.  The last month or so I've been battling a cold/flu or some such thing, and I think what I need most is a good shot of sunshine.  We know that the sun produces vitamin D in our bodies which we really need for so many bodily functions, but did you know there are lots of other things the sun does for our bodies?  According to Dr. Mercola's article here, sunshine provides us with lots of goodness.  It enhances mood and energy through the release of endorphins and  treats skin diseases, such as psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, and scleroderma.  It can synchronize important biorhythms through sunlight entering your eye and striking your retina. Sunshine regulates melatonin, can relieve fibromyalgia pain, and can suppress symptoms of MS.  My mom had MS and she swore that being in the sunshine really helped her.  I think she just loved the sunshine, and that in itself gave her a positive outlook on the day.

Born in the summer month of July, I am a sun-lover.  And I even think that it is something that I truly need.  (If I were a flower, I'd be a sunflower.)  I always feel better after spending even 20 minutes sunbathing.  I like the warmth, the relaxation, the energy it exudes, and I think it helps my attitude and mood.  Whenever I relax in the sun, Sue thinks I should throw the ball for her, so here she is, tossing the ball at my feet so I will throw it for her to chase.  

Have you ever noticed how much animals love to soak in the sunshine?  They know it's good for them too.  Here on the ranch, we often see cows or bulls lying on their sides, bellies pointed toward the sun, soaking in the warmth.  It's almost as if they know that they need that sun shining on their underbelly, giving them their needed energy and vitamin D.  Did you know that without sunlight -- or at the least, artificial light -- chickens won't produce eggs? 

 Back in the old days, they used to take the ill, the aged, and the infirmed outdoors to sit in the sunshine.  Perhaps they knew something that many of us have forgotten today.  Sunshine has lots of benefits!  Are you catching any springtime rays?  Are you one who needs some sunshine every day?  How do you think the sun benefits you?
........................................................................

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."
~Steve Martin
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/sunshine.html

Friday, April 01, 2016

April Fools!

This is the speed limit sign we put up years ago when the grankids started toddling around.
It's placed  on our road just before you enter the area where our houses are,
and where the children and pets roam free.
 
This was the funny joke Hubby played on me by putting black tape on
the sign to make the one into a four.
I didn't notice it for a long time,
but our UPS driver did!
He knew better than to drive 45 mph into the yard.
He's a good guy.

Any jokes at your house?
 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Twins...



 We're in the thick of calving with several coming each day.  We've been blessed with mild weather and the cows are out on the prairie having their babies.  We go out and check on them morning and night and tag and vaccinate the calves right after they are born.  We thought we were going to have a big snowstorm, but it tracked south and we got a little rain instead.  That's fine with us!


This young heifer had twins today!  When the cows were ultra-sound tested, we found she was going to have twins, so when we saw her out in the pasture walking with her tail sticking out, we knew today was the day.  We watched her closely and then brought her in.  First-time mamas sometimes need help and especially when there are twins on the way.  The men gave her a little help birthing and out came these two -- a bull and a heifer.  When twins are born in cattle -- a bull and heifer together -- the heifer is called a freemartin and is sterile.  It isn't that way if both twins are male or both are female, but only when they are male and female born together.  Isn't that interesting?

Spring is pushing up through the cold earth out on the prairie and in my gardens.  I'm so excited!  I'll be showing you soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

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