Sunday, June 28, 2015

Veggies Are Growing!!

Our gardens have taken off!  At the risk of jinxing things that's all I'll say on that.

The cucumbers are starting to climb.  Also added some pepper plants, an Early Girl tomato and (3) heirloom type cherry tomato plants to this bed -

The garlic continues to do well.  I removed the flower shoots (scapes), as I typically do, so the plants put more of their effort into the bulb.

The tomato have taken off.  I've had to tie them twice so far.  The squash is also doing very well.  There's a summer squash just about ready to be picked. The sunflowers, which grew on their own from last year, are going to be BIG.  Thankfully I transplanted these in a row along the fence behind the other plants.  Although, you can't seem them in this photo the peppers have taken hold and finally starting to get bigger.


Chicks No More

Here's a current picture of the chicks we brought home back in April.

These are Ameraucana chickens, layers of blue shelled eggs.  They're also known to have earmuffs or fluff sideburns.  Only one of the three has this feature today.  We'll see if the other two will produce them as they get older.

The next challenge is to introduce these young'n in with the other older hens.  Initial attempt was unsuccessful but we'll keep trying.  We have all Summer.

Can't wait till they begin laying!

Our Zantedeschia Aethiopica


Our Calla Lily is sporting a beautiful flower!

I'd like to think it's the plants way of saying thank you for over wintering in the basement.  Seem to take a while for the plant to appear after the long Winter, but once outside it didn't take long for the plant to take off.

BDay Celebration

Following a delicious dinner, we joined our friends to cap off the evening with a roaring fire, cold beer. birthday cake and lots of laughs!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today Is Your Birthday!

Happy Birthday My Love!

Insect Fornication

TGIF folks!

Enjoy your weekend!

Dog Days...

Another lazy Sunday afternoon.

Trixie dog and I Just sitting back, relaxing and taking it all in after a hard days work in the yard.

Where does the time go?!

Work Ducks

Where I work has this great, peaceful courtyard.  The only way in an out is via the access doors located in the building or from above.

This female Mallard duck pictured below decided this was an ideal location to set and hatch her eggs.  Now from a predator standpoint she couldn't have picked a safer location.  However, from a food and water standpoint I question her decision making, as there's none.

She hatched eight adorable little duckling.  The courtyard was essentially turned into a fishbowl for the employees who would line the windows to catch a glimpse of the mother duck and babies waddling around.

Food and water have been provided, so for now they're doing just fine. 

Pests On A Fence

Pesky House Sparrows...

As much as I despise these flying rodents this is a nice picture.  

Photographer Emilie snapped these young'n lying together and enjoying the warm afternoon.

Deer Damage, UGH!

So, we've been having a terrible time with the deer this Spring.  I don't recall them being this damaging or this bold in all the years we've lived here.

Most of the damage has been to the perennials located at the back of our property.  However, they're brave and on several occasions that I've noticed they've been up to the gardens and in the front yard.

Seems the Hosta, Phlox and Echinacea are their favorites, as they've done a number on them. As you can see in the picture above.  To the right of the doe's behind is a Hosta with all it's leaves eaten off.   They have also gotten into our Strawberry plants and Cucumber plants, UGH!

Oh Dear!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing my dad and my brother a Happy Father's Day!

Miss and love you both very much.

Wish we were all together on your Tennessee road trip.  Enjoy your visit!

Here are two Daddy Long Legs, which I've named after them...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the above photo?

Mom's Poppies!

My mom's Poppies!

We moved several clumps of my mom's Poppies from Westwood to Franklin and they're doing terrific!

It's a long story on how they were dug up and who dug them up.  Fortunately, in the end, the all survived.

They remind me so much of my mom and bring a smile to my face when they flower as beautiful as they are.

NO Vacancies, Shoo!

So, in theory the idea of hanging bird houses around the old homestead with the grand plan of attracting beautiful song birds is a good one.  However, in practice it has it's flaws.

Over the years we've been fortunate and had the likes of Blue Birds, Wrens and Chickadees take up residence - these birds I welcome.

The dreaded House Sparrow on the other hand is one I do NOT want but have been unable to deter.  Our neighbor has a Purple Martin house atop a tall pole, which has turned into low income housing for the dreaded House Sparrow, UGH!  They're an unattractive, a nuisance, a lazy and a dirty bird.  They're forever on and in the chicken coop stealing feed and pooping on everything.

Here is a male perched atop one of our houses -

Here is my solution to encourage them to go elsewhere.  Sadly, this applies to all letters -

Here is one of the many Catbirds we have checking out my handy work and in complete agreement with my methods -

The only flaw in this method of mine is a 13yo named Emilie...

Inferno Are The Senior Division Champions!

Take a look at what Emilie found out in the yard the other afternoon - a four-leaf clover!

Not sure how she spotted this lucky charm but it's already proved "lucky", along with some very hard work and grit.

Emilie and her softball team, the Infernos, won the Senior Division Championship the day after she found this four-leaf clover!

It was short season that went by awful quickly.  They had their ups and downs but they're a determined bunch of girls who kept fighting and never gave up.  They're perseverance paid off by taking the Senior Division Championship...

and a very impressive trophy too! 

Congratulations Emilie!

A Black-Capped Chickadee Moved In!

A pair of Black-Capped Chickadee's moved into the pool fence bird house this Spring.  In the past this little house has been a favorite of and home to many a Wren family.  I'm not sure how they decided that the Chickadee would occupy this year but I'm happy either way, as both bird varieties are terrific at foraging and catching unwanted insects for their brood.

Have a look for yourself below!  Quite the variety of creepy-crawly meals!

** Pictures taken by and a courtesy of Ms. Emilie Frye

A Pergola Hawk

Working from home the other morning and was surprised to see this handsome hawk land atop the neighbors pergola.

Although, it might look like this dude is just hang'n on a wet morning.  However, there was no resting for this dude, no sir.  This handsome bird of prey was being somewhat prey upon itself.  There were several smaller song-type birds dive-bombing and pestering this huckster.

He was chased off in short order with the smaller bird not far behind.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Finally Found Our Way.

The Quabbin Reservoir.

We made a couple attempts last year to find to the Quabbin but were unsuccessful

Yesterday, with half the riding crew and after a late start (~2:30PM start), we headed out.

After about a 3 hour ride up we found our way to the reservation and climbed the Quabbin Observatory for a spectacular view in all directions, WOW!

It was a short visit, now about 5:30ish.  We needed to get back on the road as the clock was against us.  Although a chilly ride back once the sun went down, the three hours seemed to go by quicker than the ride up.  After about 180 mile round trip ride, we met our families around 8:30PM for dinner at Coles Tavern in Franklin.  We arrived just in time for the chicken wing appetizers and a cold Coor's Light!

Now that we know our way, we'll plan another ride up but this time we'll  leave much earlier.

Best Idea Ever!


I've always hunted for and fished out the burnt or "toasty" Cheez-It.  No more with the new extra toasty Cheez-It offering.  Now every Cheez-It is a burnt Cheez-It!

Best idea ever!

Long Overdue Marshfield Visit

Emilie and I took a drive last weekend to make a long overdue visit to our farmer friend Tim!

I will not tell you the last time I was down or how long it's been.  Suffice to say it's been too long.

It's always a unique and enjoyable time.  We stopped and picked up sandwiches for lunch, then sat with Tim ate and chatted and swatted mosquitoes.

We brought with us six baby chickens about two months old; three Buff Orpingtons and three Rhode Island Reds.  Already weened from the heat lamp, fully feathered and ornery.  I must admit, it was SO nice to see them gone and not have to clean them any longer.

As usual we left with a car load of flower and vegetable plants, which equate to hours of work getting them planted once home. 

His place is a tad overgrown ever since he got rid of the goats.  Off in the distance is the greenhouse -

Here are just some of the Hereford cattle and pigs - 

And here's more of the pigs.  Another pen -

Sure do wish we lived closer...