Friday’s Farm Fotos

October 8, 2010

Time for a round-up of photos from around the farm this week.  We’ve had some beautiful weather, and critters and people are all enjoying it.

The guineas are done nesting for the year, and back in one big flock.  Here they are in our front yard. . .

picture of guinea fowl

Foraging Guineas

They hatched a lot of keets, but made a poor showing for keeping them!  There are only two survivors.  Guineas will NOT be winning the mother of the year award!

The chickens like to forage in the grass too.  It’s a nice buffet of seeds and bugs.

picture of red rooster

Strolling along. . .

They not only forage in the front yard and fields, they go down around the pond too.

picture of chickens

Grazing by the pond.

And they are often near the birdbath, since they like to use it for their local watering hole.

picture of polish silver laced rooster

The Patriarch Rooster of the Chicken Clan

While the chickens are running around, the goat and llama are taking a break and enjoying the sunshine.

photo of goat and llama

Resting in the sunshine.

Since the weather was cooler, Toby and I decided to walk in the woods.  In the bottom pasture, there are still some butterflies flitting around.

picture of Gulf Fritillary butterfly

Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae)

There are still white flowers blooming in the fields and woods.

picture of plants with white flowers

Anybody know what these plants are?

Since ya’ll are so good at identifying birds, how about trees?  There is a pretty tall tree in our woods with purplish stems at the top.

photo of tree

Name this tree!

And to help with the identification, here is a closer look at the leaves of the tree . . .

picture of tree

A closer look at the leaves. . .

And now, a closer look at those purple stems at the top of the tree. . .

photo of tree

Looks like there was fruit here?

So how about it, anyone know what the tree is?

And now, it’s time to jump into the week-end!

picture of chicken

"Gotta Fly!"

Hope ya’ll have a GREAT week-end!

Butterfly Rescue

September 20, 2010

I’m thinking of getting a lifeguard certification. Except for I don’t really want to be doing the mouth-to-mouth thing on the creatures I rescue. That would be pretty hard on something as little as today’s pool catch anyway.

photo of black butterfly floating in pool water

"Help, help! I'm all wet and I can't get out!"

I practiced the finger-lift rescue operation this time.

photo of butterfly

"It's a miracle! I'm saved!"

I took the butterfly over in the sunshine to let it warm up a little and dry its’ wings.

photo of butterfly resting on person's hand

"Sunshine, beautiful sunshine, there is sunshine on my wings today!"

But you know, a lifeguard’s duties only extend so far, and I couldn’t stand around all day holding this butterfly while its wings dried. So I figured I’d put it somewhere else to finish drying off.

And what could be more appropriate than to put a Black Swallowtail Butterfly onto a Black Knight Butterfly Bush?

photo of butterfly on butterfly bush

Food, warmth and sunshine... what more could a butterfly ask for?

So there I left it, a little bedraggled to be sure, but it’s got all the amenities a butterfly could wish for!

It may be September, but it’s not fall yet!

September 8, 2010

The calendar tells me it’s already September 8th, and we are rushing towards not only fall, but winter.  The time is going by TOO FAST!

However, it still looks like summer around here.  The butterflies are still drinking nectar from the butterfly bushes and other flowering plants.

black butterfly

Enjoying nectar from a bi-color butterfly bush.

And I still see bees gathering pollen, like this big old bumblebee. . .

bumblebee on flower

Still foraging for food.

And the hummingbirds are still hanging around the feeder.

male hummingbird

Sitting near the pole where the feeder is hanging. . .

However, I relocated their nemesis, the praying mantis, after discovering that they could indeed catch and kill a hummingbird.  I never thought about them using their foreleg as spear!  I figure there are plenty of bugs and stuff the praying mantis could eat without having to dine on the hummers.

So all these summer creatures are still busy flitting around and gathering food.  Plus the grass is still green, and I know we’ve still got some hot days ahead of us.

But fall is coming, and it’s my second favorite season of the year!

Conundrums on the Farm

August 25, 2010

Conundrum – defined as

  •  a : a question or problem having only a conjectural answer
  • b : an intricate and difficult problem

Besides the obvious conundrum we’ve had of wondering why the cria was born too early, there are other puzzles on the farm.

For instance, what happened to this rooster’s tail feathers?

red-gold rooster

Where's the tail feathers???

Or how about this?  Why does this guinea hen have a chicken chick?

guinea fowl with chicken chick

Mama guinea with her chicken chick

Or we might pause to wonder why there was a foil star balloon blowing across the main pasture . . .

balloon hovering over grass

Why do we have a balloon in the pasture?

And perhaps we could wonder where it came from in the first place.

Then there’s the question of why something so pretty as a butterfly should enjoy something so disgusting as manure tea. . .

2 yellow and black butterflies

Taking a break at the Manure Tea Cafe

We could also wonder what all these peafowl and guineas are looking at.

peacocks and peahens in aviary

Do you see THAT???

Except that’s not really a conundrum, because I know what they were looking at and squawking about. . .

hawk in sky

Soaring and Seeking

There’s a hawk that’s been hanging around the last couple of days, and I fear it might enjoy a chick or keet for a meal.  If it’d eat the mice, I’d be happy, but I don’t think it will be particular about eating other birds.

Maybe it’s a conundrum after all.  How do you enjoy having beautiful predators like hawks around without having to worry they’re going to snack on your baby birds?

An intricate and difficult problem indeed!

Friday’s Farm Fotos

August 20, 2010

The Fridays keep coming around way too fast!  My weeks never seem to be long enough to get everything done I want to get done.  Oh well! 

At any rate, here are a few pictures from around our little farm this past week.  I’m just putting them up in the order they came out of the camera!

I saw this critter one day as I was walking back from the mailbox.

green frog

A haven from the snakes?

Maybe he was just looking for some sunshine, or maybe he figured out it was a good place to keep an eye on any snakes hanging around.

There are still lots of Eastern Swallowtail Butterflies hanging around on the Joe Pye weed.

yellow and black butterflies

Butterfly Cafe

Here’s our silly lady llama getting a drink from the water hose while The Farmer tries to fill up one of the drinking pools.

black llama drinking water

Well water is nice and cold!

You can see Toby, the farm collie, in the background hoping The Farmer will turn around and spray water at him.  Keira wants sprayed too in this hot weather.

black lama

Shower Time!

And I can’t resist taking more pictures of butterflies when I walk by the pond and see them.  This one is a female Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly.

black butterfly

A sip of nectar by the pond.

It’s easy to tell the black ones are females, but harder to tell which yellow Swallowtails are male and which are female!

Here’s our female goat and a couple of ewe sheep hanging out under the big oak and walnut shade trees in the back yard.

goat and Shetland sheep

Shade tree air conditioning!

And lastly, here’s a Blue Jay I saw at the birdbath this morning.  I don’t often see them around close to the house.

Blue Jay at bird bath

Getting at drink at the local pub.

And there you have it, another week on the farm!

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