Photo Friday ~ July 24, 2015

Here’s a sample of life around the 5 acres this week:

24 Berkshire 24Cows_on_Pasture 24Summer in Illinois 24th FlowerBed 24th Happy 24th Popcorn 24th Sunflowers

 

Happy weekend, friends!!!

Posted in Berkshire Pigs, Country Living, Happy, Photo Friday, Polled Herefords, the Donkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Crop dusting

When crops get too big to bring equipment into the field without damaging them or when field condition are too wet for working, there is another option available to farmers, crop dusting.  Pesticides and fungicides can be applied aerially.  I have seen this yellow bombardier in the skies in the last few days.  When I heard him today, I was able to capture some cool pictures for our enjoyment.

Cropdust1

Cropdust2Cropdust3Cropdust

But wait! What does the belly look like?  {That’s a throwback to the snapping turtle post.}Cropdust5

Even though I think these pilots have to be a little crazy, I really admire their craft!Cropdust4

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Photo Friday ~ July 17, 2015

Just because my sons are 23 and 20 doesn’t mean we don’t have Nerf swords at the ready!Bubbles

Her dragon(fly) …
Dragonfly

Finally, the weather has cooperated and I had some good work time in the Pumpkin Patch.IMG_1650

In the goat pen:

Goats Guilty

Wagon

BarbedWire WreathBarbed wire wreaths at The Mayson Jar, Westervelt, IL.

July14 Barn_Swallow_nest StrawEarly am Lake Shelbyville

Wishing you a beautiful weekend, friends.

Posted in Boer Goats, Country Living, Photo Friday, Pumpkin Patch | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

We never know what is possible if we don’t try.

The rains have passed and now the sun + moisture + humidity make it feel like a sauna.  I have never understood why people pay good money to sit in a sauna.  If you grow up on a farm, there is plenty of that feeling.  {I will take it over winter weather though!!}  It is perfect weather for these cherry tomatoes – DSC_0560

The goats were quick (as always) to greet me as I checked everyone’s water this afternoon, adding cool water for them.DSC_0552

The cows were hot, but at least in the shade of the barn.DSC_0554

July14Happy tuned me in and came to the fence for a handful of red clover,Happy Ears

and the fat hogs woke up to see if it was feeding time.  Sorry guys – go back to sleep.July14 Fat Hogs

Pig-farmer news:  he has decided to sell Bert and Bernice (boar and sow).  His work is taking lots more hours and lots more travel.  Even though I am home to do the chores, there are still a lot of extras that he is in charge of.  It will be easier, for now, to buy small feeder pigs to raise for pork.  Not having to worry about breeding and farrowing the pigs will be a relief as we do not have a lot of facilities and we have to significantly change the buildings around to meet the needs of whatever stage the pigs are at.  Fortunately, he is selling them to someone that wants to breed and raise pigs.  We are happy they will have a good home to go to and a super cute little boy to keep an eye on them and feed them marshmallows.

With the eventual sale of the cattle due to the genetic udder problems, Bert, Bernice and the processing of the three fat hogs in the next month or so … plus the sale, at weaning, of the young goats … winter is shaping up to be quite different this year!  Due to the rains, I anticipate good hay and straw to be in demand, therefore more expensive, so it is good that we do not have to lay in a large supply.  I will not mind easier chores for winter time.  It will be a good time to evaluate our little farm and how it can be best put to use.  Probably, buying young animals to raise our own meat, without having to do the breeding and birthing will make the most sense.  For now.  We’ll see.  It’s a learning process.  Dip the toes in the water and adjust as necessary.  We never know what is possible if we don’t try.

Posted in Berkshire Pigs, Boer Goats, Country Living, Happy, Pig-farmer, Polled Herefords, Positive Thinking, the Donkey | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Perspective

It may be a strangely rainy summer for central Illinois … with a high of only 64 degrees predicted for today.

It may not be the summer for bumper crops and beautiful vegetable gardens.

It is, however, just another day in paradise!

Robin_on_fence_postEspecially when compared to this photo!It’s all about perspective; wouldn’t you agree?

 

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Garden walk

Normally, July in Illinois is not a rainy month.  Hot & humid, yes.  Wet, no.

Normally, we are wanting a good rain.  Not so much this year.  July7

I am thankful my gardening is done predominantly as a hobby and for enjoyment, rather than for our livelihood … such as the grain farmers.

This morning, in between (and even during) sprinkles, I took the camera around the garden patch at my house.  The pumpkins are at Mom’s place this year, so I’ll get photos of them another day.

In the foreground are a few rows of popcorn, then you will see the taller ornamental corn, beyond that is a farmer’s field of corn.July7Corn

 

The ornamental corn is starting to tassel.  The tassel is considered a “flower.”  It will drop pollen onto the budding ears’ silks.  The sticky silks catch the pollen.  A pollinated silk forms the kernel.  One silk for every kernel.  That’s what I’ve been told … I’ve never actually counted.  ;)July7OrnamentalCornTassels

 

I was glad to see the ornamental corn tasseling before the popcorn.  I did not plant them at the same time, hoping to avoid cross-pollination.  However, ornamental popping corn may have been fun, though?

This is the 3rd year for my apple trees.  The blooms got nipped by frost last year.  This year, I have a few apples.  I don’t spray for any bugs or issues – maybe a few will mature into nice apples.July7 Apple on branch

 

Only one beautiful Monarch butterfly was dancing about this morning.July7 Monarch

The row of annual flowers are thriving with the rain.  July7 Zinnias

My sister decided we needed to add sweet potatoes to the fall fun.  She said we needed to plant plenty.  Since she was helping, we bought two batches of slips … 35 or so plants!  They are doing well; beginning to vine.  I have taken to mowing between the garden rows!!  Too wet to till or hoe.July7 Sweet_Potatoes

 

Ah, but I did find a bit of sun!July7 SunflowerThanks for putting on your boots and taking a walk with me.  Hope you enjoyed – weeds and all.

 

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Oh Snap!

Upon returning home one day and checking my mail, I was greeted by a snapping turtle.  Either the mail carrier couldn’t get him in my mailbox or he was displaced by the mowing of the roadside ditches that had occurred that day.Snapping_TurtleHmmm.  It was hot and his mud-covered shell was drying out.  What to do?  We looked each other over and thought about our options.July6 Snapper 3 July6 Snapper2So, I called to my son, that has only a few weeks before he begins his career as a middle school science teacher.  Verrry quietly and quite stealthily, he sneaked up behind Mr. Snapper.July6 Snapper 4Imagine the surprise!July6 Snapper 5Hey, it’s better than getting ran over by the cars and trucks that fly past our house!  “But wait!” I said!  What does his belly look like?July6 Snapper 6

Okay.  Science lesson satisfied.  Off to the ditch for you.

Happy Snappy.July 6 Snapper 7

I guess, he’s happy.  I didn’t notice his expression changing one time throughout this encounter.

Hope your mail brings more than bills!

 

 

 

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