Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand Who saith "A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" - From "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pictures of the Farm, Spring 2012, Part One


John came in late this afternoon and asked me to go riding with him around the property. So I grabbed my camera and hopped into the golf cart with him.

I managed to get a few nice pictures before the sun went down, and thought I'd share them with you tonight.

We started our tour near the chicken pen. That's Samantha in the foreground of picture #1. She's grown so much since we got her in December! She's the most fearless little animal I've ever known and an absolute bundle of love!

That's Maggie behind Samantha, watching the chickens, and yes, their "coop" is a dog house! That was John's idea, and it works! If you look close in the first picture, you'll see one of the hens up on the top of the pen. They do that all the time!

In picture #2, we're looking at the chicken pen through the yard fence. That black spot down center is my dad's Scottish Terrier, Chu Chu. All the dogs like to check out the chickens several times daily.

In picture #3, you can see the Crepe Myrtle. It hasn't bloomed yet, but it will be a dark pink when it does. More importantly, behind the Crepe Myrtle, you can see our primary fig orchard. We'll have an abundance of small brown figs ripening in August. Last year, I canned the harvest in a light syrup. This year I might try a fig jam!
Picture #4 is a shot of our back yard looking South to North. That entire row of greenery was fully blooming Forsythia only two weeks ago! In the distance, besides John's blue work van, you can see the chicken kite that John designed and built. Picture #5 is a close up of the kite from the back end. I'll blog more about the chicken kite another time.

Picture #6 is a shot of the back of our house, facing West. The patio is a bit junky right now. We've been doing our spring cleaning and we've gathered a lot of stuff we need to get rid of. John never disposes of anything too quickly, in case it has another use. I'm a household recycler, but John is a recycler of any kind of machinery!

Picture #7 is a close up of two of our three snowball trees. They bloom twice each year, in the spring and in the fall. I absolutely love these trees! As the blooms age, before they turn brown, they are easily blown from the trees by the wind. Once, the petals on the ground gave me an idea, and I gathered a bunch of the petals and strew them all the way up the driveway, as a welcome for my mother, who was on her way over to visit (with my dad). She loved it!

Picture #8 is a shot from the back gate, facing East over the lower part of our property. On the left, at that bunch of trees, are the bee hives. To the left is my father's grapevines. Further back are some storage units, and out of sight, to the left, our greenhouse.

Picture #9 is facing South, along the back fence. Those are Garden hives, 5-frame, that John moved there at the advice of a more experienced beekeeper. John successfully split our three hives into six, and may be able to split again in the next few weeks. On the other side of the hives is our mulch pile. It's three years old and a lot smaller than it was when we got it!

Picture #10 is of our one and only pear tree. In seasons past, the limbs have been so full of giant round pears that they hung to the ground with the weight. The tree hasn't produced in the last two years, but is showing a lot of fruit this year. Picture #11 is a close up of little tiny pears already filling the branches!

Picture #12 is a shot of the greenhouse. It sits on the back of the property on the North side. It gets the first rays of sun in the morning, and a good bit of the day's long light. John helped his father build this greenhouse in 1992. Picture #13 is a closer shot of the greenhouse. Those trees in front of the greenhouse are our secondary fig orchard. Yeah, we need to clean out the undergrowth!

It's after 11 p.m., so I think I'll stop here so I can publish this blog before Midnight. My next blog will be a continuation of this one, with plenty more pictures!


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