December on the farm…

I haven’t posted in awhile – we’ve been really busy this fall.  Here are some updates:

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Here is our snowy yard today.  It took awhile to get this much – most of November we didn’t have any snow.  The chickens haven’t been coming out of the coop building much. I left the run open on days I was home until we got snow. Now the chickens don’t want to come outside anyway, and our white ducks might get lost if we let them out! They like the snow though.
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Here is Marigold, one of our female bunnies.
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Here is Petunia, Marigold’s sister. They were born this year in March.
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Here is Buddy, our male.
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The garden in winter. bleh. I’m already starting to plan next year’s garden!
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The back yard. The snow is pretty, but it gets to be tiresome after awhile. It’s nice through the Holidays and then I wish it would leave (it won’t for several months after, though).
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Our bird feeder is up, so the chickadees are happy. We kept it down in the summer, to prevent bears coming to our porch. The bears should be hibernating now.
specs resized
We lost our hen Specks a week or so ago. I thought she was egg bound or something (she was lethargic but still eating), so I treated her for that, but it didn’t seem to matter. We were very sad to lose her. She was a big personality in the flock. Very vocal about us coming in to get eggs. And very friendly -she liked being petted. We’ll miss her.
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This is a little older – here are a couple of pumpkins I ended up roasting. I made some pumpkin bread with the flesh, and froze some for later this winter.
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Here are all the tomatoes I canned this fall.
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Wintertime in the snow

We’ve been really busy this winter with the holidays and other stuff, so I haven’t had a chance to post anything in a while.  We’re in the middle of a typical U.P. Snowy winter.  We get a lot of lake effect snow from Lake Superior.  Here are some pictures of the past several weeks.

front-yard-storm
The view from our front porch during a blizzard a few weeks ago.
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Here are our cars during that same blizzard.
finch-on-a-flower-stalk
My husband took this picture of a finch, hanging onto a old evening primrose stalk.
overhanging-snow-curtain
We have a metal roof. When we have warm-ups, we get curtains like this hanging down. We were wondering how long these would get – they didn’t get much longer than this before breaking.
overhanging-snow-curtain-feeder
Our bird feeder next to a snow-curtain. This did not deter the birds from coming to eat.
snowy-trees
Here are our apple trees covered in snow.

St. Patty’s Day Pummelling

All of our snow was gone… I knew that we could still get snow, since it’s only March.  We got pummeled with snow last night.  This morning we woke up to a huge mess.  The weather people said that we were expecting 8-10 inches.  Today when I went out to feed the rabbits and chickens (who are NOT happy about this turn of events), the snow came over my boots. So I took a stick and measured it. At 8 am we had received 13.5 inches of snow.  And it was still coming down.  Luckily I don’t think we got much more.

treeline
This is what we woke up to.

In the night we knew we were getting some snow – we have a metal roof, and while we were in bed we kept waking up to strange noises. We realized that it was snow falling off the roof – snow that had piled up on the roof was falling off of the roof in little avalanches, since it wasn’t very cold outside.  We didn’t realize just how much snow we had gotten till we got up this morning.

Because there was so much snow, the trees were weighed down – which means that we lost power for most of today.  It’s back on now (which is why I can finally post this).  We dug the cars out and parked them across the street so my husband could plow the driveway. The problem is that under this snow, we had mud since it had been so warm. Our truck is currently stuck in the mud at the back of the driveway. So that’s another thing we have to do in the next few days – get someone to come pull the truck out of the mud. Here are some photos of our big St. Patty’s day snow.

buried cars
Here you can see our cars buried.  Yes, there are cars under that.
out front
Here is our street view this morning.
buried car
A view of our driveway from the front porch. The red bit is my car buried by snow.
fence
Our backyard dog run. It looks like the snow we got on Christmas, but I don’t think we got this much then.
snowy woods
Our driveway (and the rabbit hutches/wood shed) after our plowing attempt.
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Snow in the dog run. This comes up to my largest dog, Atat’s, belly. So the other dogs are buried when they go out in this.
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Our garage and our spruce trees. You can see how the snow is weighing everything down. The rose bush in the middle is very saggy.
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Our back yard/woods – covered in snow.

I hope it goes away soon. I was so excited by the spring weather we had.

 

  • Update – we got our truck unstuck. We just had to wait for the mud to freeze, and it was easy to get out.

Indoor Winter Gardening

In winter I would go bananas if I didn’t have green things growing, so I have a lot of houseplants.  I have a few sunny windows in my house, most get partial sun. I have two windows in my bedroom that are south facing. Unfortunately, my cat Wizard likes to lay in one. He would eat any plants I have there, so I only get to use the other window, near my dresser, for plants. But when I start garden seeds inside in spring, he gets temporarily banished from his window.  Here are some pictures of my indoor garden:

onions 1
Here is a pot of green onions. I grew them from old green onions that I had bought at the store. I just left the roots on the bottom base, popped them in some dirt, and they are growing well.
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Here’s my other pot of green onions. It’s overshadowed by my Christmas Cactus which is now blooming.
cactus
Here is my fully opened Christmas Cactus flower.  I had one years ago that had red flowers. I got this one from my boss a month or so ago, and it’s now blooming. I didn’t know they could get this pale of flowers. They are very pretty.
sink plants
Here is my kitchen sink garden, which includes the onions and the cactus above. It’s a west facing window, so it gets sun in the later part of the day. I need to get some hanging baskets for the spider plants in this picture.
art room garden
Here is my art room garden. The window is a north facing window, but the sun does seem to come in in the early and later part of the day. There is also an east facing window off to the right, not pictured, so they get some light from that side as well.  These plants have seemed to do well in here.
dresser garden
Here is my dresser garden, in the south facing window. I usually keep this dresser full so the cat doesn’t jump up and eat the plants.  The spider plant on the right had a long offshoot for awhile, it was hanging almost to the floor. The cat thought it was a toy and wrecked the baby on the end. So now I make sure the offshoots aren’t hanging off the dresser.
tall plants
This super tall plant is a Mother of Thousands.  It was not nearly this tall when I got it, about a year ago. It has grown quite tall. It will need a new pot soon, and maybe a way to put it lower so it isn’t touching the ceiling.
mother of thousands
Here is the top of the Mother of Thousands. It is touching the ceiling of my bedroom.
tomatos
These are some House Tomato seedlings – they are supposed to do well and actually set fruit in the house, in a pot in a sunny window. They are about ready to go into their gallon pots.

 

Snowy Farm in February

Today it’s cold – about 4 degrees F.  It is supposed to get up into the 20s though today.  I thought it was a nice sunny day for some pictures of our snow.  It looks pretty but I can’t wait for it to melt away.  Our side door is under a spot where our metal roof drops snow.  From plowing that and the rest of the snow away from the door, our driveway is packed down enough where we have to go down to the door. If you’re standing in the driveway you are a few inches above where you would be if you were inside the house, if that makes sense.  I hope you enjoy my photo tour.

snowy side yard
Our snowbanks in the back as you’re heading to the chicken coop.
snowy coop
The snowbank in front of the chicken coop. We have a trail to the actual door so we can get in.  Our chicken yard gate is not closing very well right now, but the chickens don’t really come out – they don’t seem to want to walk in the snow. The building through the woods is our neighbor’s house.
snowy woods
The woods, beyond the snow bank
rabbit hutches
Our rabbit hutch in the woodshed. We have a blanket that usually covers the rabbits when it’s very cold, but there was no wind today so I let them have some fresh air. They should get some sunshine too once the sun rises more.
snowbanks
Our snowbank on the side of the house near the woods.
squirrel tracks
Squirrel tracks! They come to eat the seeds the birds knock out of our bird feeder.
snowy street
A view of the road. The old building in this picture is our old hall, across the street.
snow by door
The side of our house. The snow gets really deep around the house because of our metal roof – the snow drops off in little avalanches when the temps warm up. Sometimes there are chunks of ice in it – you don’t want to be standing there when it falls.
front porch
Our front porch full of snow.
birds under cedar
A view of our yard under the cedar tree. You can see a couple of birds on the ground. They are waiting for me to move so they can come back to the feeder.
yard under snow
Our side yard, under a foot or so of snow. In the distance under our apple trees you can see deer tracks – the disturbed snow – they come to try to find apples under the snow. We’ve had them try to shake the trees before also. There are still some apples up at the top.

Late November on the Farm

woods with snow
Snowy woods.

We’ve been very busy this month.  In my last post, I said I would get some pictures of snow… well, then it melted.  But on Thanksgiving, which was a couple days ago, we got about 4-5 inches. So we have snow again.

Here is Nova.  We got her about a month ago, from our coworker.  Nova was her son’s dog, when he was in the Air force in Georgia.  Now he moved back to town and is going to college, and couldn’t keep her, and my coworker felt bad that Nova was home alone during the day.  So we took her in.  She gets along great with our other dogs and she is a sweetheart.

nova
Our Nova
three dogs
The three dogs on the back porch. Nova likes to eat snow.
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Another picture of Nova

The chickens aren’t minding the snow so much.  I have heat lamps in the two rooms of their coop, so they can go in and warm up their feet if they get cold.  Our batch last year (which we still have the hens from) didn’t like to go out in the snow. I’m not sure why they don’t mind this year, but they don’t.

winter coop
The chickens don’t seem to mind the snow at all.
snow chickens
Snow chickens. The dirt spot here is where we took away their old roost that was out there. We had to steal the sawhorses that held it up, for the rabbit hutch, which you will see below.
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Yesterday they found the dirt spot, and they were taking dirt baths in it. The ground is not frozen yet, luckily.

Last weekend we went up to my cousin’s to get the original hutch that I got with the rabbits.  We have set it up near our other rabbit hutch, so it’s now Rabbit Row:

bunny row
Rabbit row. On the left are the rabbits in the hutch we built, and on the right is the one that came with the bunnies. We’re getting it set up for the baby bunnies when they get bigger. The garbage bags in the picture are straw and hay – I have them outside, but covered for easy access.
old new hutch
Here is the hutch that came with the rabbits. It had a roof which we removed in order to get it in the back of the truck. We are just planning on using one side for the winter, so we have closed that side in with wood.
hutch inside
The inside of the new (old) hutch. It has a wire bottom, but I will cover it with straw to try to keep the babies’ feet more comfortable. I need to look it up, but I believe it will be a couple more weeks before they go in there. Hopefully we’ll get the snow out of there before then. We brushed what we could out, but it may melt a little too.

And here are the little baby bunnies:

baby bun
They are starting to munch on food – this one is eating hay.
bunnies
Here they are – they are all brown. But some are darker brown, and one has a little lighter fur. I’m assuming they change color as they get older, but I could be wrong. I’m still new at this. The mom is black and the dad is gray, so I don’t know how the brown comes in.
baby bunny pile
They like to pile up on top of each other, outside of the nest box. I think there are 8 of them. I’ve tried to count without taking them all out, and they jump around too much so I have not gotten a good count. I will be able to get an accurate count soon when I need to move them.

The rabbits have been doing ok with the cold so far.  We’re going to add a tarp to the front of the hutches to block wind from the inside. That’s one reason I positioned the hutches into “Rabbit Row.” – I figure it will help block wind somewhat. I’m already planning on a new setup once spring comes – more of a rabbit shed, I think. I’d like to add a run of some sort so they can hang out in the grass also.

We’ve also decided on names for the adults.  They are Earth, Wind, and Fire. (my husband came up with it) – The gray buck is Earth (since he’s on the left), the white doe is Wind, and the black doe is Fire.

white bunny
My husband built nest boxes for the other two rabbits, and they are lined with straw, so they can stay out of the wind when it gets very cold. They like to sit on top of them sometimes, as you can see Wind do here.

The farm is pretty much ready for winter.  It’s a nice time to just cozy up inside – we don’t have a lot of projects we can do outside in winter, except reinforcing animal housing and doing normal feeding chores each morning and night.  I like that it’s kind of a relaxation time.  Of course I’m already planning in my head what we’ll do when spring comes.