A Super Moon (whatever that is!) in November. Too bad the street light is there.
Can you see the icicle on the elm tree? It is the sap from the tree. We had a quick and steep drop in temperature the night before.
Dave was bothered by the absence of globes on the dining room chandelier. Me, not so much. The weekend after Thanksgiving he said let’s go to The Antique Factory and see if we can find some. I was very doubtful we’d find what we needed. Couldn’t believe he found some right away and they were 50% off! It does look much better with the globes.
Many photos of our Christmas Day hike in nearby Montgomery Hall Park.
The dogs had a great time being off leash. Not many people about.
We had a new visitor over Christmas weekend. A black and white kitten. I’m surprised our 3 cats didn’t chase it away. Hope we can find a new home for it. We certainly don’t need another cat.
More Christmas cheer.
More time for quilting in the winter. I’m basting my ocean waves quilt.
A couple days ago it was near 60 so Dave got out the chain saw and shredder and Damian and I helped him take down and shred some of the trees growing into the meadow…
and around the spring house. It seems to be some sort of invasive that keeps spreading into our native meadow.
Our daughters’ friend, Soupy, built these stairs for our tool shed. We are doing an hour exchange for her. Dave is doing computer work for her and I’m doing some mending.
Another photo of kitty. Uh, oh! We are all getting too comfortable!
While at the family reunion, Dave, Samantha and I went to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.
I didn’t know Virginia had such swamps.
These are called knees.
red belly snake
water moccasin or cottonmouth – good thing this one wasn’t on the path
garter snake – which was just made the state snake of Virginia
A couple weeks ago we were in Williamsburg for a family reunion. Some of us toured Colonial Williamsburg.
These first nine photos are of the Governor’s Palace garden.
The back side of the Governor’s Palace.
Purple Coneflower and Bee Balm
Love the arbor
Ahhh, shade. It was a very hot day.
The next four photos are of the Wythe House garden.
I recently read on Michael Weishan’s blog, Old House New Garden, that the gardens in Colonial Williamsburg are among his favorites in the U.S. because the gardens are well suited to the homes. He said the reason the garden is there is because of the house and it should be designed with that in mind.
The next ten photos are of the Colonial Garden.
Like the crushed oyster shell walkway.
Notice the wattle fence center right.
Bruton Parish Church in the background.
I enjoy looking across the road at my neighbors cows. He’s had four calves born this spring. He buys several cows at auction each spring and never knows how many are expecting. It has been a banner year for him.
These were the first two calves. I love seeing them romp around.
Dolly and her chicks.
Dave set up a drip line to water the tomatoes, sweet potatoes and summer squash. We kept transplanting the peonies from this site and they just kept on sprouting! I think the root stock is very old.
The kitchen garden – onions, collards, cilantro and borage.
I went strawberry picking one morning at Troyer’s in Waynesboro.
The barn garden – strawberries in front of the wormwood, potatoes on the right and a row of parsnips in the center.
Larkspur in the morning light.
I planted coleus seedlings in this bed off the patio. As you can see there are none in sight. I’m realizing Freda likes to nap in this bed and the chickens scratch around in it. I decided to put what seedlings I had left in pots!
Frustration with my computer and lots going on has kept me from posting as often as I want to. I’m determined to post my photos. Hence, the two month delay!
The Hahn Horticultural Center at Virginia Tech. We were at VT for Colin’s graduation on May 13th. Grandma came with us and Damian stayed home to take care of the animals. We stayed in Floyd – about 30 minutes southeast of Blacksburg.
On the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We visited the Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary.
A fascinating place.
We could see Riverstone Organic Farm in the distance.
Bonnie and Emmy Lou are mothering their four chicks together.
Ground Ivy growing at the foot of the elm tree in the backyard.
The chicks quickly started eating greens we brought to them.
Dolly hanging around the brooder.
Tom Thumb lettuce
Just two weeks old and the chicks are out and about.
Also up on the roost and atop mom. Already!
We attended the Augusta Garden Club tour. This copper beech impressed me the most. It was planted in 1945 and is huge. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this tree when I drove by it.
Leo/Rex and his ladies.
Dolly and the girls
Smokey striking a pose.
Found this radish in the barn garden this morning. It was just sitting out of the ground. Almost like it was saying – I’m ready to be eaten you dummy. I thought it was too early for the radishes to be ready and would not have checked for some time yet. How it got out of the ground will remain a mystery.
A flower bed with a new rock border and all mulched. Luminaria blooming in the background.
Picked this one as I could see the red peaking out of the soil.
Had a chicken liver and bacon salad for dinner. Delish!
Two firsts I saw today –
a rabbit in our pasture between the backyard and the spring house (did he have anything do do with the radish appearing – seems unlikely – wouldn’t he have eaten it?)
as I was driving home from Heartland Harvest I saw a cow licking it’s calf. The calf was curled up on the ground. I wonder if it had just been born?
Over the holiday Damian is taking care of some animals in Raphine. Helen lives in this cute little cottage.
On Christmas day, Samantha, Duke, Len and I visited during evening chores.
We want a couple of these goats! Too cute!
While we had lots to do at our own place today we decided to go ahead and drive an hour west of us to the Highland County Maple Festival. I’m so glad we did. We picked up a map at The Highland Inn in downtown Monterey Virginia. A gal there told us about some of the sugar camps. We wanted to go to the small operations that used old methods. Our first stop was Laurel Fork Sap Suckers.
This was our view as we walked from the parking area to the sugar house. The sugar house was down this hill. It didn’t seem very steep until we had to climb back up it! What a work out!
Here Ronnie Moyer gives us a tour of his sugar house.
The sugar water is cooked down to make the maple syrup in these old trays. I believe he said the tray on the left is 100 years old and the one on the right is 80 years old. It takes 44 gallons of sugar water to make one gallon of syrup.
Even though the house is vented there was condensation dripping from the rafters and the house was cozy warm and smelled wonderful.
A more modern set up in the next room. I think he said this was 1950’s technology.
They were very generous with their samples. We each had a couple spoonfuls.
Next, we visited Duff’s Sugar House. Here Sheriff Duff (yes, he is the real sheriff) explains his operation.
Beautiful views at Duff’s.
I can’t resist the sheep!
Dave had a barbecue sandwich at each of the sugar camps. Sam and I shared this maple chicken and cinnamon sugar sweet potato at Duff’s. Delish!
It was interesting that Laurel Fork said it was a great year for them and Duff’s said it had been horrible and both attributed it to the cold winter. Only Laurel Fork Sapsuckers maple syrup came home with us. Duff’s wasn’t selling any. This stuff is so good. I’ll have to try basting my roasted chickens with it sometime.
We went on a field trip today to Brightwood Farm. Susan and Dean were so inspiring. They, too, were suburbanites before starting their farm 13 years ago. First, Susan showed us the veggies growing in their greenhouses. They have a winter CSA which I think is super smart. I don’t even know of anyone around my area who does a CSA in the winter. They are all in the summer. They also sell their farm bounty at the Charlottesville Farmers Market.
Then we took a look at the Tunis ewes who were born last year. They didn’t let us get close to them – all together keeping their distance in a mass of reddish wool. We also saw the chickens and goats. The buck was getting amorous with one of the does. She wanted nothing to do with him. I could see why. She and the other does had just given birth two weeks ago. The paddock was full of little goats. They were adorable. Next, we headed over to the other paddock to see the older ewes and the ram. The ram was on loan from another farm. They keep him for about six weeks and I think they said their lambs would be born in May. They don’t breed their ewes in the first year because they say it compromises their health. That is why the young ewes were in a separate paddock while Joe, the Tunis ram, was in residence. Susan and Dean showed us how to trim the hooves of on one of the ewes and with their coaching I gave it a go. A new skill learned!
Susan conducted a wine tasting for us with their elderberry, elderberry flower, grape, blackberry and peach wines. They were delicious and we took home three bottles to serve next month when we host the (h)OUR Economy potluck.
By this time it was feeding time for the bottle goats. While Susan held the little goats, Dave helped them drink from the bottle. They were still learning. Hope they all thrive. They really were just too cute. I believe Susan said they were Spanish goats.
No pictures in this post. I thought about taking my camera but didn’t want the distraction.
Here are some links Susan and Dean gave us-
Virginia Associate of Biological Farming – vabf.org
Fencing supplies from Premier 1 – premier1supplies.com
ATTRA sustainable agriculture – attra.ncat.org