Monday, April 30, 2012

A Bright and Bitter Day

Saturday morning, as is my custom, I went to water the garden.
Every thing was looking great.  Water sparkling on the leaves, no bug problem, no varmint nibbling away, weeds under control.
The lettuce looked so fresh, so green.  I had to taste a verdant leaf.
And it was... it was... horrible!  
Bitter as bitter could be.  Yuck!  
I sure hope the rest of the veggies don't follow suit, but I have a gnawing feeling they will.  I'm convinced, it's my soil.

To clear my mind and my palate, as is the custom, I took a stroll.  A bright lovely morning...

... until I heard about this hounds escapades!
Big Ole' Nasty Dog looks so serene here, doesn't he?

Nope.  He's looking for the nest of baby rabbits he found.  He thinks little creatures are his playthings.  Baby birds, chickens and now baby rabbits.
While I was at work, Big Ole' Nasty Dog got two of them.  
My husband chased that dog to get him to drop the poor little things but it was too late.
He buried the bunnies after locking the dog in the garage.  He-Man is still traumatized by the event.  He's very upset with Big Ole' Nasty Dog. 
The hound is all healed up from surgery and causing problems already!  (*sigh*)

 On the brighter side, as I was strolling around, with the bitterness of the lettuce on my tongue and the disappointment of our dog in my heart, I noticed activity in this Purple Martin house my husband built years ago.  

... ah ha!  Beautiful Bluebirds using it as their home!

I was thrilled.  I don't know if there is just the one pair or what.
Either way, it made the day a little bit brighter.

I hope your day, your garden and your dog is sweet and bright.
love from Whippoorwill Road,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Our Trip to An Organic Farm

He-Man and I have been watching great documentaries about food.
Food sources, food conglomerates, food production...
It's been an eye opening, jaw dropping, heart breaking, awe inspiring learning experience for us.
Thursday, he surprised me by booking a tour to a local organic farm called "Indian Creek Angus".  Yes, there is a creek called by that name on this property.   

Meet Carol, our guide.  In her former life she was a college professor.  Now, she's a farmer and loving every minute. 
She, her husband, Dennis and other family members own and operate this farm.

She loves everything about this life.  She loves the land, the work and especially, she loves the cows.

Their fields are lush.  They don't use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or weed killer on their pastures.
Their cows are healthy. They are hormone, antibiotic and steroid free.
And they are friendly.  Very, very friendly.

This one was curious as to who we were. 
She crept closer and closer, just to check us out.

Carol explained how each cow has it's own personality.
They have best friends and form attachments.

She drove us to see different pastures and different groups of cows. 
She's opening a gate to an area that has mothers and babies.

She gently shooed them aside so Richard could drive the farm vehicle through.
She offered to let me drive, but I was afraid my foot would slip, I would panic with the bolt of the engine, lose control, ram into a precious creature and accelerate down the embankment into the creek headfirst all the while yelling, "NO. NO. NOOOoooooo."
So I politely declined.

We learned about breeds, traits, genetics... (in lay-mens terms, of course.)

As we listened and learned, we took in all this peaceful beauty. 
The grass smelled good, the air was crisp and the clouds provided perfect shade.

He-Man got involved in a small farm chore.  He's filling the salt bucket dispenser, the salt licker hanger, the thingamajig,  the whachamacallit, the whachamadigger, the humdinger...  oh, whatever!
Anyway, he's putting salt out for the cows.

We drove to yet another pasture.
Carol opened a gate, drove back to the cows and the excitement began.  
After preparing her voice, she called to them and they followed her.  

They were excited to graze in fresh grass.
You could see it in their steps.  They kicked up their heels.
They actually looked giddy.

Grazing on a bed clover...  aahhhh. 
Doesn't that sound delightful?  For a cow, I mean.

This is the big guy.  The father of some beautiful light gray babies. He'll be retired from his job soon.  But for now, he's doing a fine job.
Fresh, healthy, happy, organic, 100% grass fed cows.  
Beef.  It's what's for dinner.
What?!...  Who said that?!...  Where'd that come from?!
Oh my!

It was a Bovine-tiful day
away from 
Whippoorwill Road,
p.s. if you'd like more information or your own personal tour, go to

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Farmer Jane's Daily Ritual

Every morning, I don my plastic boots and walk over to the garden.
I check for pests, for marauders, for thirst.
So far, so good.  Cross our fingers, knock on wood.

We spread a top dressing of mushroom compost.   
I don't know if this will influence the outcome but it was obviously too late to till.
That big oval light spot?  It's where we ran out of compost.

I pull a little weed here, a little weed there.
As summer draws near, I understand they won't be so little.
And I'll be in a fierce battle to keep garden wreckers at bay.
But for now I'm enjoying 
the tranquility on
Whippoorwill Road.
Farmer Jane

Monday, April 23, 2012

What to Do With the Weeds

Yesterday late afternoon, I pruned the rose bush.
The rains we fortunately have been having weighed them down to the breaking point.
They were lying all over the patio and looked a mess.

It was such a lovely evening, Smarty Girl and I stayed outside till the sun went down.
We sat and smelled the roses.  Literally.

As we sat and smelled, she wondered, "Can Buns eat rose petals and leaves?"
She brought out her computer and in the fading sunlight, began researching. 

Yes, rabbits can eat roses.  
She found that a lot of our huge weeds are also edible for rabbits.  
So, she went harvesting.
She brought in white clover, thistle, dandelion.... just to name a few,
and laid the smorgasbord at Buns feet.

Buns gobbled those weeds like he had been starved for weeks.

This new type of weed control is motivational.  I was inspired!  

So after we brought Smarty Girl back to campus, you know what I did this morning?
I went harvesting.
Bon Appetit, Buns.  

Hoping his appetite
remains voracious 
Whippoorwill Road,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Buns and the Girl

We picked up Smarty Girl from college.
It's her birthday weekend.

She loves her animals.
She thinks Big Ole' Nasty Dog is beautiful.  
Come to think of it, I do too.   He proves he's still a gentleman dog by treating Buns with respect and kindness.

When she's home, she drags me around town.  (She thinks I have the stamina of a teenager and I try not to disappoint.  *yawn*)
It brings her great happiness to buy treats for Buns.  
We bought this little edible hideaway house for him.

We underestimated his size.  He tried to squeeze in but was unsuccessful.
We'll give it to my niece's guinea pig.

She loves this little rabbit. 
After shopping, I feel exactly this way: Wiped out and in a trance.

For the record: I didn't put lipstick on Buns.  That's just the color of his lip area and ...
...Buns' feet are that color due to walking on newspaper.  
Not because my floors are that dirty.  Though I should mop and vacuum more often...  Second thoughts... nahhh....!

I hope you have a very relaxing weekend.
Put your feet up, lie back and chill.

Chill-axing this weekend
Whippoorwill Road, 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inspecting the Grounds

I love having privacy.
This morning I wandered around our yard, inspecting.
I wandered over to the garden.  

 I wandered over here.

I wandered over there.

Today, I didn't wander down there.

But I wandered around the front.

I wandered around the back.

And I did all this wandering in... my pajamas.  
My polka dot pajamas.  
My mother would be appalled.

Sometimes, it's checked pajamas.
Sometimes, it's another.
Isn't it great having privacy?  And pajamas, for that matter?
One day I'll be the epitome of the "little ole' lady" cliche'.  
You know, the one with the caption reading: "Little Old Lady Found Wandering in Pajamas".  Yep, that'll probably be me.

Until then, 
I'll love wandering in privacy on
 Whippoorwill Road,