Our biggest sap producer in the back yard of the mansion.
It’s getting close to time to make maple syrup again and Mother Nature split our best sap producer in half back in late summer. The tree is over 200 years old and we have pictures of my husband’s family having a picture made at it when his great, great grandparents had passed away. All of the children were standing/sitting in front of the tree when the picture was taken and the tree was only about 10-12 inches around.
This is a picture of my husbands great aunts and uncles taken at the mansion and the young maple can be seen in the background.
Now, three to four people holding hands around it can still barely reach around the base of what’s left of it. I’m hoping it may sprout new growth this spring and only time will tell. We got several truckloads of firewood from it and the rotted was carried to the woods to go back into the earth. This loss will make a big difference in our sap production but we do have several of the same size on the farm that we have not tapped before and will during our next production season. We probably won’t have a maple syrup weekend this year due to the crazy season we’re having this winter/spring. Here’s some pictures of the downed tree and the damage it did to fence and gates but thankfully fell to the north instead of on the mansion (family home of our ancestors).
That storm in July broke another of our heritage apple trees which seems to happen with every storm. We had another storm last night but thankfully no damage was found but for one huge pine tree in our back fields. Cattle and fences were spared this time.
It’s been a while since folks in our area have seen a storm like we had this week. I’ve got some time lapsed snow storm pictures to show everyone including Robin Reed our wonderful meteorologist.
January 21st – day before the snow started.
January 22 – Snow started falling sometime before 6:30 a.m. It started heavy and then by mid afternoon it quit.
January 23rd – We got about 6-7 inches the day before and woke up to this on the 23rd. The wind is howling and the wind chills were in the single digits most of the day and night.
Today this wind is very limited, the snow has quit falling the and the beautiful fun is shining.
All of the outside animals are doing fine but cold. Eddie is trying to feed the round bales but they won’t roll out because the snow is so dry so he’s feeding the cows 6-7 bales instead of the normal 2-3. The snow drifts are up over the cows bellies but the blessing is there are no babies due until March and April.
Prissy and George are doing well and taking care of Miracle. They tend to lay on the side of the haybale away from the wind. If not for the older orphans Miracle would have a time getting through the snow because it’s over her belly!
Here’s some more scenes of the last three days from the front porch and the kitchen window:
Visibility outside is almost non-existent with the wind blowing the snow but this guy found the bird/squirrel feeder.
The feeder is full of scratch feed and peanuts.
I’ll have to wait for the snowblower to come through the yard because the yard is drifted over my knees.
Look at that beautiful blue sky!!
Beauty of nature at its best!
Can’t wait to get to the henhouse and check on the girls, Rooster and Fred! Roscoe may even come out of hibernation with this beautiful sun shining and the temperature has already risen to 30 degrees. I’ve been watching the orphan calves this morning and Miracle tends to stay between Prissy and George for their body heat.
Stay warm everyone and pray this will be the ONLY storm we have this winter even though it’s only January!!
Well, it’s really cold today and I’m staying in the house except for emergencies. Check it out:
I hope the winter isn’t entirely like this!
It’s 9* outside with the wind gusting between 5 and 13 mph leaving us with a wind chill of -2. It was -3 with the windchill when we got up at 7:30.
We woke up to snow yesterday morning which didn’t amount to much but it still makes it colder.
Ground covered with snow on January 17th.
The wind is still blowing and Eddie fed everything early today and made sure they could get to water.
Wind gusting changes things on our weather station.
Stay in and stay warm! Spring is just around the corner (I hope!).
This is our outdoor weather station that I got hubby for his birthday.
We named him Robin Reed after our local weather forecaster.
Our pond had about a two inches of ice on it and now there’s patches of snow on top of the ice.
My wood pile is disappearing and I’m the only one using it!
Clear blues skies on Wednesday, January 13, 2016!
Hubby’s new weather station. It’s been used more than any he’s ever had.
Yes, it’s wintertime and it’s supposed to be cold but darn it we just got teased really bad with 50 and 60 degree weather and my body is just not liking this one bit! I can stand the cold if there’s sunshine to go along with it but that wind is wicked!! My son thinks I’m a wimp but one of these days he’ll understand where I’m coming from. Right, Shawn???
I know I have to stick it out for at least three or four more months so I guess I’ll be quilting, crocheting, reading, cooking, embroidering, and blogging a lot to keep me occupied for a while. I’ll be making hourly trips to the henhouse for eggs and taking them warm water. I’ll be checking in on Roscoe three or four times a day and making sure he’s okay with just his fur coat and watching to make sure hubby’s hounds will have plenty of protein for food and hay in their boxes for warmth. We have their houses facing the morning sun to keep them warm as well. Mother Nature will take care of everything else.
Now, to find my seed catalogs and make a list!!!
Posted in Animals, Farming, WEATHER
Tagged animals, clouds, firewood, ice, Robin Reed, snow, sun, weather, wind
It was still dark when I left for work last Thursday morning at -5* and Eddie said it would drop more as it became daylight. He had both stoves going when I got home that night, extra bedding in the dog boxes, extra hay left in the woods for the cows, wood boxes filled to overflowing, made sure new chickens given by a friend of his were settling in and he’s taking them warm water several times a day. The house was a “toasty 81*” when I got home but the wind was howling and made it feel like 75*. We even threw on an extra blanket and the bedroom window was closed. Even though my waist isn’t thinning I believe my blood may be!! I think the winter is just getting started this year and we’ve lots more cold, wind and snow yet to come.
As for the new chickens, a friend of my husbands had to get rid of them because they were eating his neighbors cat food everyday. This has caused my usual 3-5 eggs a day to jump to 12-18!!! French toast in the making!! Custard pies on the horizon (to heck with the weight)!! Egg salad for lunch! I could go on and on and of course we can’t forget the infamous fried egg sandwich w/cheese!! Of course, our benefactor will receive free eggs for a time.
I think he is a crossed Americauna, small but handsome!
Different breeds but beautiful eggs.
Got to think of a name for him.
Very pretty hen and very friendly.
They stay together most of the time and don’t mingle with my old girls.
The new chickens and my old chickens fought each other most of the day and the rooster that came with them is thankfully one of a kind and will not be with us long. I want a Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Black Orpington or a Dominique. Sussex and Americana are beautiful and good egg layers. I’ll check around in the spring when some of my girls tend to get broody!!
My older hens stick close to the hen-house and aren’t ranging out very far but there’s a very good reason. A couple of weeks ago a bird hawk, smaller than my hens, decided to invade the inside of the henhouse and killed two of my hens and the day before we found Ms. Crow dead in front of the door. We have a feeling the hawk got it as well but couldn’t carry her off. The hens are still skittish and stay close to buildings they can get under fast. They quit laying for a couple of days or are dropping the eggs outside of the nesting area.
This winter is the first in a long time that I’ve had to buy store-bought eggs and glad it was only for a couple of weeks. There’s nothing like fresh eggs from the farm. The eggs are coming more generously now and I can start selling them again but we’ve decided to raise the price on them to $2.00 per dozen because the is needing a new roof and we’ve had to supplement their feed with scratch grains because of the very cold winter. Keep them fat and the cold won’t hurt so bad!! We don’t believe in heated and lighted chicken houses. We keep everything as natural as possible.
On another note, Fuzzy is missing!!
Fuzzy, my orphaned cat. She was dropped at our home long before we arrived and survived wild until I finally coaxed her to my lap!!
I haven’t seen her since last Wednesday when she came to meet when I got home from work. I fed her that evening and haven’t seen her since. She left once before for about four days but this has been over a week and I’m so afraid a coyote pack got her. I hope I go home today and she has returned.
Posted in Animals, WEATHER, Winter
Tagged chickens, chill in the air, cows, dogs, firewood, hawks, negative temps, wind, winter, woodstove, work
It is so blasted cold and blustery today. It snowed for about 20 minutes this morning and then it got hazy and black looking and now the sun is shining. The weather is crazy!! I noticed yesterday that the allium, iris and sedum have peeped through the ground and some daffodils and Easter lilies but it’s calling for more winter sleet/snow by Tuesday again. I so want spring!!!
Allium and iris
Sedum peeking out from the leaves
Sedum likes the cold, I think.
Inside my house though, things are blooming so pretty and very out of season.
This is some type of begonia that is over six feet tall with very delicate blooms.
Amaryllis blooms in the spring instead of Christmas.
These two Christmas cactus bloomed last summer, two weeks before Christmas and started blooming again two weeks ago.
This is some sort of jade and normally blooms in early to late summer and it started blooming last week.
I have two shamrocks, one purple and one green, in our guest room and they’re both blooming. The purple one has pink blooms and the green one has white blooms.
It might be nasty and cold outside but I do have a little spring season in the house. It helps keep away the winter blahs!!
Posted in Seasons
Tagged allium, amaryllis, begonia, Christmas cactus, cold, lilies, sedum, shamrocks, snow, spring, wind
Our little neck of the woods has been filled with major low temps for the last six weeks with minor warm ups and like everyone else I am SOOOOOOO ready for spring. Yes, this is another post about the weather and knowing we can’t do anything about but gripe I think we are all doing that quite well!!
We were just hit with our first major snowfall which started around 2:30 on Wednesday evening causing me to leave work early so I wouldn’t be stuck out on the roads with my family worried to death. NO I’m not stupid enough to wait for the roads to get treacherous before heading home. I have a wonderful job and supervisors that allow me to head out early since I live about 25 minutes from home which is very much in the country. We had plenty of warning about the incoming storm and prepared well in advance. By the time I pulled into our driveway the roads were getting white and the mountain in front of our house and the one behind our house could not be seen.
Just got home!
This is what it looked like about an hour after I arrived home.
Hubby had worked most of the day before feeding the animals heavy and cutting some extra firewood for the main stove and the one in the kitchen. It’s a good thing he covered it as soon as he unloaded it. We had prepared for the electricity to go out as well and had five gallon buckets full of water for the bathroom, pitchers full for drinking and cooking and gallon jugs full for the animals and washing dishes. Thankfully the power only went out twice and it was during the night and only long enough to have to reset the clocks. Here’s a pictorial of how the storm grew as the night went on:
Almost a white-out!
Bird and squirrel feeders are full.
Birds are feeding heavily. They know it’s going to get bad.
Ground covered good with about 2 inches.
Snow accumulation just after dark.
Still piling up and it’s pouring huge dry flakes.
Hubby cleared a path so Sassy could get out to relieve herself and it’s filling in.
Here’s what we woke up to yesterday morning:
My car disappeared during the night.
Hope the roof can bear the weight and there’s another roof above it just as full. When it slides off we’ll know the sturdiness of our addition.
21* and holding. Wind is starting to get up.
We’ve muddled through with no major crisis and hubby has to start over this morning cleaning out the drifts to all the animals to feed. I’m keeping the fires going and cooking. Today is a good day for a pot of homemade venison/vegetable soup!!
Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012
June duratio takes down several apple trees.
In June of this past summer, we had lots of tree and fence damage from the “duratio” that hit our farm. I’ve never seen such wind and we were very lucky that we had no more damage than we did. We did loose several apple trees and hubby has been working hard since that wind storm to get things back in order.
Hubby started the clean up in the orchard today and got all but one of the downed trees cut up and hauled off. It looks kind of bare now but hopefully we’ll fix that. Here’s a picture of the cleaned up orchard as of this afternoon.
Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.
Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.
We won’t be able to replace those trees with the same type because they were trees grafted by the family years ago. Luckily there are several of the same type in the orchard and I have 30+ apple stock in the cellar that are two years old and ready for grafting. I need to get out soon and cut scion from the trees we have left and when spring truly breaks I’ll get that new stock in the ground, grafted and wrapped and shielded from all the wildlife that love tender buds.
I’m looking forward to another try at grafting myself. Hubby is a real pro at it! I’ve taken the classes but think maybe I try to hard. We’ll see how they fair toward the end of summer and look for new sprouts on the grafts. I LOVE FARMING!!!
Posted in Farming, NATURE, Orchards, Seasons, WEATHER, Work to be Done
Tagged apple trees, apples, chainsaw, cleanup, downed trees, firewood, hard work, mother nature, wind, winter
Posted in Farming, Future work to be done, Hard work, Orchards, Seasons, WEATHER
Tagged cleanup, fences, hail, roofs, storms, trees, wind