Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Walk In The Woods

                         ("Pizza By The Pond" Opens This Sunday May 1st!)

Waking up this morning to a  fresh carpet of snow was simply an insult to my dogs' and my sense of humor! 
The cold temps have kept the grass from it's typical spring explosion of growth, and the wet sloppy snow makes for wet sloppy dogs. Thankfully, the snow was short lived and was melted before noon.
Poor "Pumba"

It seems that the best way to beat the "gray sky grumps" is to take off to  the woods in search of  wild edibles! 
On the way to the woods, I met up with  our wandering  "nomadic sheep".Freshly shorn this week, we turned them loose so that they would have their choice of shelter  during this nasty spell of weather.
"Nomadic" Sheep

Once  in the wood lot, the "ramps"(wild leeks) did not disappoint, their vibrant green leaves waved in the soft breeze, promising spring's eventual arrival. The drought of the past 8 years truly hurt the ramp  population and knowing that they take over 5 years to reach maturity prevents me from pulling  them up by their bulbs. I'll simply clip the tasty leaves instead, they will make a fine addition to the "Pizza By the Pond"  menu.
"Wild Ramps"

As I followed a path of ramps, meandering from one clump to another, the sound of splashing  in the nearby little lake got my attention. Looking up I saw a  nesting pair  of  trumpeter swans tucked into the shoreline marsh grass.  The cob swam out to check me out,  he posed beautifully for the photo.
Trumpeter Cob

Deeper into the woods on  my way to a secluded  bog, I passed  the first emerging   woodland  flowers,(bloodroot) not yet in bloom,  patiently waiting.  
"Wild Bloodroot"

Best time of year to visit the little bog, no bugs! Unfortunately, no fiddleheads yet either,dang!
"Dormant Ostrich Fern"
Oh well, the tiny little coils  do appear to be ready to pop, they just need  a couple of warm days and then  they can grow 6 inches overnight! I'm crossing my fingers that there may be some ready for this Sunday, but low night time temps  may make them  hold off  until nest week.  

Looks like I will just have to "force" myself to go for another walk in the  woods before Sunday,  life is so  tough!

Friday, April 22, 2011


( "Pizza By The Pond" is closed until May 1st)

                                                    Off They Go!

The sheep are rebelling! The grass wont grow when temperatures are below 40F and they are simply tired of eating hay, so over the hill they go in pursuit of greener pastures. They are just as tired as we are  of this gloomy cold weather. Will spring ever get here?   Maybe  this IS spring this year. Maybe, just maybe.... once the cold weather  stage finally plays itself out, we will automatically  jump into summer? Maybe not.

I think we all secretly want to be like real sheep. We all want the freedom to be able to say , "the heck with it! I have  had enough!" as we throw our inhibitions aside and  charge off in a new direction hoping   for the best...eating whatever we find in our path.
That's how real sheep solve their problems.
If that were to actually happen, who would the shepherd be?  Who would be the one running behind us yelling expletives at our defiance, wildly waving his  arms in angry frustration, loudly yelling threats as he  protests our impulsive act? Would  his angry  rhetoric escalate, or would his behavior eventually yield to gentle, persuasive murmurs?  Would he indulge us as we  wander for a while, allowing us to eat our fill of the sparse morsels of the fresh sweet grass before  he attempts to entice us  to follow his direction?
Or would he simply say "the heck with it!" and call in the border collies?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God, Geese, A Symphony Of Peace

("Pizza By The Pond" is closed until May 1st,)

There Really IS a God! The Ice is GONE!!!!

The long light of evening shimmers across the pond in a rare lonesome dance, no buzzing  of bugs, no frogs chirping, just stillness. The conductor raises his wand commanding a brief moment of silence,  the air is thick with anticipation of the imminent music. 
The change of seasons is so subtle, it can slip by  unnoticed!
Two geese nestled in a trance like repose, hidden behind the shoreline trees. The gander alert to protect his mate, yet silent, in a quiet hush awaiting the first hatch of  the season.
Ewes on the hill, relaxed, grazing.....
lambs lazily napping, mamas savor their brief moment of peace....


they have a trusted babysitter....
old Xena LOVES her lambs!
Life is a gift!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ice, Lambs, Fresh Air and Yard Ornaments

"Pizza By The Pond" is closed until May 1st, maybe then the snow will be gone!

The sun is shining, the mud is ever so slowly receding, and there is actually a glimmer of green grass. This week I celebrate my 25th year here on the farm, and this is the very first year that I have seen the ponds and local lakes  still frozen at this late of date!

Lambs are FINALLY out on the pasture, even though there really isnt any grass to graze just yet, at least they are able to cruise about and enjoy the sunshine.

Since the pastures arent truly ready for the animals yet, (if they are all put out too soon  it  can ruin the fields)  Dave has been creatively  'relocating " the beasts to different locations so they can enjoy the warm fresh air.   Needless to say, I am not thrilled  by the new "yard ornaments"...yes, that really is a cow, along with sheep and goats in my back yard grrrrrrr.

The guardian dog pups and goat kids are enjoying lounging about  in the warmer temps, although the geese are loudly complaining about the lack of "swim-ability" of  the  ponds. The muskrats, however, have been extremely active...despite the fact that  their spring time exploration has, on occasion, led to their untimely demise. They seem to insist on breaching the lambing paddock where the guardian dogs have no tolerance for their shenanigans. I will leave the rest to your imagination.