Monday, February 25, 2008

Farm Photo 2/25/08:
A Rare Winter Sight - And Geese!


Frozen Water & Flowing Water

It isn't often that our wet weather creek starts running when there's snow on the ground. But one of the recent snow and ice storms we had (they're all becoming one big white blur in my mind) was followed a few days later by a downpour, resulting in a lot of runoff from the surrounding hills and higher water levels underground. For a while the little trickle of overflow at the spring box looked like a miniature Niagra Falls, and the pasture around it was flooded. The creek is one of my favorite things about the farm. I really wish it ran all the time, but after a decade of drought I suppose we're lucky it still runs at all.

One of the other things I love about the farm is that it's located in a migratory flight path, and this morning I was surprised and delighted to hear the unmistakable sound of geese overhead. It took me several seconds to realize they're already heading back north. Most of them were traveling above the clouds and out of sight, but a couple of low-flying flocks went by while I was down at the barn, and of course I stopped to watch. I must have seen two thousand geese in just a couple of minutes. After all these years they never fail to mesmerize me.

I probably could have snapped a couple of good photos - something I've been hoping to do for ages - but it was raining, so this was one of the rare times I didn't have my trusty little camera slung around my neck. Instead I stood with my face to the sky as I listened to their incessant honking, foolishly tried to count them, and soaked up the joyful moment with everything I could.

Winter is flying by.

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where rubber boots are all the rage and the only traffic to be found is on the goose expressway high above our heads.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Farm Photo 2/24/08: Snowed In More


The 'No Accumulation' Just Keeps Piling Up

So the agreed upon plan was that yesterday the snow and ice would start melting off, today it would finish melting off, and by Monday morning vehicles would once again be able to get up and down our driveway. But when I sleepily padded by a window this morning I found myself blinking confusedly. Everything is a whole lot whiter out there than it was when I went to bed.

Phone call to the builder. Phone call to the drywall finisher. Phone call to the sheep shearer. Phone call to the general store in town where they've been holding a package for us since Wednesday.

Now I love Weather Underground as much as the next girl (actually probably more than the next girl), but once in a while you have to step away from the computer, take a look outside, and accept the fact that no matter what everybody in cyberspace is telling you, it most definitely is snowing. And accumulating.

Want to see more?
Snow Photos & Snowstorm Stuff
Other Photos Of My Favorite View
Same Scene, New View Photos
Hayfield Photos
Farm Landscape Photos

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where it doesn't take a meteorologist to predict that someday this really will all melt off and we'll be able to get in and out. In the meantime, it sure is pretty. Kind of a pain in the butt, but pretty.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Farm Photo 2/23/08:
Please Don't Step On My Heart


Watch That Hoof, Dolores

A year of Farm Photos ago:
2/11/07:
Cary's First Woolcut
2/18/07:
More Scenes From Sheep Shearing Day 2007
2/19/07:
I Love Black Sheep!

Two years ago we also had a lot of snow:
2/16/06:
Poultry In Motion
2/17/06:
Up For The Winter Look
2/18/06:
This Is Not Cute Donkey Abuse
2/18/06:
For Some Reason I Thought They'd Be Safer Indoors
2/19/06:
Same Scene New View - The Haybarn
2/19/06:
Winter Spring & Better Than Evian
2/20/06:
Snow Dance
2/21/06:
Note To Self Re Snowstorm Preparation: Think Tarp
2/21/06:
It's A Boy! It's A Girl! It's A Boy!
2/22/06:
Snow Love (What a heartfind coincidence!)
2/23/06:
Martha & Her Baby Girl
2/23/06:
Chickens On Snow - Not A Recipe

And out of the kitchen came:
Susan's Super Spinach Soup
My Best (And Very Popular) Bran Muffin Recipe (Has it really been a year already? Wow.)

© Copyright 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where hearts are found all over the place and treat-seeking donkeys are constantly crashing into photo shoots.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Farm Photo 2/21/08:
Another Day, Another Ice Storm


Dan Is Ecstatic - Can't You Tell?

So almost all of the 'no accumulation' that piled up during last week's crazy storm finally melted off - and now it's back. We even had more thunder. At least we were able to get out to the feed store to stock up on sheep and donkey treats before being snowed (iced? sleeted?) back in again.

Want to see more?

Snow Photos & Snowstorm Stuff
Farm Landscape Photos
Donkey Doodle Dandy Photos
Donkey Photos

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where a donkey look says a thousand words - but is a whole lot quieter. Not that our donkeys are actually keeping quiet during all of this frozen, snowy, icy weather nonsense.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Farm Photo 2/20/08: Our Resident Weather Girls


Dolores & Daphne Check The Temperature

Welcome new visitors!
Click here for a brief introduction to this site.

Want to see more?
Donkey Photos
Dolores Photos
Daphne Photos
Snow Photos

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where all the donkeys believe that if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, they won't survive the night without plenty of extra treats. And triple everything if there's snow on the ground.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Farm Photo 2/19/08: Eco Art Or Washed Up Junk?


Depends On How You Look At It

I rarely get out to museums or galleries anymore, but I still love to see art. Fortunately it's everywhere you look around here - even in a piece of old wood that washed up from the creekbed one year during a particularly bad storm.

Want to see more farm art?
8/28/05: Discard On Display
9/26/05: Well Seasoned
9/29/05: Heart Of Vine
11/27/05: More Found Art
12/15/05: The Weathered Look Is Very In Around Here
1/29/06: Bird Nests Are Definitely Works Of Art
3/30/06: More Old Stuff Just Hanging Around
8/9/06: Feather Wait
8/29/06: Seeing Things
9/16/06: The Farm Is My Canvas
9/29/06: Perfect Landing
11/19/06: Farmyard Still Life
1/6/07: Precious Farm Jewels
12/15/07: Still Life With Barbed Wire & Buck Brush
1/27/08: Fence As Farm Art

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where you just might find a masterpiece in a mud puddle - and we're not snowed in anymore!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Farm Photo 2/16/08: Snowed In, Day Six


Just Chillin'

Nobody gets in, and nobody gets out. The half-mile-long, steeply curved part of the driveway is still covered with an impassable layer of snow and ice from Monday's crazy storm, and the rest of the farm hasn't defrosted much either. Yesterday I rescheduled the sheep shearer for the third time.

The sheep are restless, the donkeys are bored, and the chickens are threatening to fly south until spring. Topaz, who had become quite the little outdoorscat, ventured onto the front step this morning and hightailed it right back into The Shack. Robin The Mostly Retired Beagle Dog has been camped out by the woodstove all week and must be forced to go outside and pee.

But the temperature has warmed up slightly, the builders are hoping they'll be able to make it down the driveway on Monday, and we were only without electricity for a couple of hours. There's plenty of firewood, plenty of food, and that pesky little plumbing problem has successfully been fixed.

Thursday I sowed a patch of Swiss chard seeds in the greenhouse. This morning I watched a bright red cardinal bopping around in the snow. The scenery is beautiful, and the animals and farm chores keep us plenty busy. Winter is good.

Want to see more?
Snow Photos & Snowstorm Stuff
Farm Life Tidbits
Sheep Photos
Farm Landscape Photos

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where 240 acres of snow and ice is fun for a while, but it's starting to feel like we live in Minnesota.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Farm Photo 2/12/08:
Frozen Water Everywhere & Not A Drop To Drink

,
Farm Boss Patchy Cat Knows How To Get His Point Across

So that crazy weather forecast I wrote about the other day? We got it. All of it. And then some. I don't think I've ever seen so much weather happen in one day. We had freezing rain, we had sleet, we had ice, we had ice pellets (which I'd never even heard of before moving to Missouri). We had huge bursts of echoing thunder while it was snowing huge, soppy flakes. And then we got several inches of what I can only figure was 'no accumulation.' Which then froze solid last night.

This morning Joe was watching through the living room window as Bear walked around on the no accumulation. "The ground is so hard Bear isn't making any footprints," he reported. Then we suited up and he walked out the front door ahead of me. "The ground is so hard I'm not making any footprints!"

Every single thing outside is totally encased in ice. We've gone into a sort of hibernation mode. I made a batch of Chocolate Babycakes With Mocha Buttercream. Joe calculated how many feet of oak door casing we'll need in the new building (a lot!). We bottled a bunch of beer.

During times like this, things around the farm are reduced to the bare minimum: making sure everybody has food, water, warmth - and that we say upright while we're slipping around out there on the ice.

It feels very isolated, but in a good way. It's doubtful anyone could get down here unless they hiked - and even that treacherous undertaking probably wouldn't be possible. Meanwhile we have no desire to see if we can get out.

We're thankful that the only damage so far appears to be several broken trees, and we're very glad we still have power, especially after hearing on the radio down at the barn (the only place we can get reception) that thousands of people around us are without it.

A big ice storm like this happens at least once a year here but I usually forget about it - or else I mentally block it out. The landscape actually looks really cool. I took all kinds of photos, but I think this picture of Patchy Cat standing in his water dish pretty much sums things up.

Want to see more?
Snow Photos & Snowstorms
Farm Landscape Photos
Patchy Cat Photos
Cat Photos

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where Joe is in the kitchen frying up a big cast iron skillet of wild venison in homemade lard for dinner, and we're really glad we cut all that firewood on Sunday.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Day Treats: Lots Of Sweet Recipes On My Latest Recipe Roundup For FoodieView


Chocolate Babycakes With Mocha Buttercream

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and while the traditional card and box of candy or bouquet of flowers definitely lets that special someone know you care, a homemade treat from the kitchen truly says I love you. You'll find a wide variety of romantic recipes from around the web - including Chocolate Mousse Tartlettes, Coconut Orange Cake, Homemade Berry Marshmallows, and these Chocolate Babycakes (made using my super easy Emergency Chocolate Cake recipe I wrote about back in 2005) - in my Valentine's Day Treats Recipe Roundup at FoodieView
.

FoodieView is a neat site run by some really nice foodies that makes "good food easy to find, whether you're dining in or dining out." Check out the restaurant guides for nine major cities (more will be added) or search through over 1 million recipes from places like Cooking Light, Eating Well, Gourmet/Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Food Network, Sunset, and Saveur. The neatest part about the FoodieView search engine is that you can narrow down your search criteria by ingredient, dish, cuisine, special considerations (gluten free, low carb, vegetarian, etc.), sources, and more, including famous chefs.

My last FoodieView Recipe Roundup covered Cozy Breads For Cold Winter Days, and my next one will be all about potatoes. You'll find all of the FoodieView Recipe Roundups here, and you can subscribe to them via e-mail here.

So what's your favorite Valentine's Day treat? If you've written about it on your blog, you're welcome to leave a link to it in the comments section.

Sweet tooth still not satisfied? You might also enjoy some of my other recipes:
Decidedly Different Chocolate Chip Cookies (And How To Correctly Hug A Sheep)
Chocolate Biscotti For Beginners
Toasted Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Crazy Cookies (with chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, nuts, & oats)
Molasses Ginger Spice Snaps
Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins
Mexican Monkey Cake
Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Apple Blueberry Crumble Bars
Really Raspberry Tartlets
Cranberry Christmas Scones (tasty any time of year)
Lazy Susan's Whole Wheat Scones With Currants & Oats

Don't worry - we eat more than dessert here on the farm. We enjoy lots of homemade bread, too. And you'll find plenty of my Less Fuss, More Flavor savory recipes (let's hear it for vegetables!) in the sidebar of the Farmgirl Fare homepage under Previous Posts: Food Stuff W/ Recipes. May you always eat well.

© Copyright 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where dessert often comes first, and it's never hard to rationalize eating chocolate cake for breakfast.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Farm Photo 2/10/08:
Blue Skies, Nothing But Blue Skies (For Now)


Yesterday's Sky Looked Fake

Which was especially nice to see since tomorrow the forecast says rain, freezing rain, sleet, ice, thunderstorms, and ice pellets. How can that much weather be squeezed into one little day? Today it was sunny but windy and cold, and we spent much of it enjoying the brisk, fresh air while cutting a big load of firewood to keep us warm.

Some of you will recognize this photo of part of the hayfield as my favorite view on the farm. It also happens to be some of the view I'll see when I'm standing at the big stainless steel triple sink in the little artisan bread bakery we're slowly building (the sheetrock finishers will be here in a week!) - or looking out the window from the bedroom in the new living quarters above the bakery. I can't wait.

You know I love hearing about the weather in other places. What's it like in your neck of the woods?

Want to see more?
Other Photos Of My Favorite View
Same Scene, New View Photos
Hayfield Photos
Farm Landscape Photos

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where a day spent cutting firewood brings aching muscles but toasty toes, and we never need to Photoshop the sky.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Farm Photo 2/9/08: Donkey Update


We Call Them The Greys

Dinky (who is Dolores' son) has fluffed up for winter and is now definitely two different colors. At just over 7 months old, he's also officially taller than Dan (who's taking this news very well).

Daphne has her winter coat on, too, but all that bulk isn't just fluff. Yep, that's right. If all goes well, around the middle of April Daphne will have a baby - and Dan will become a Donkey Doodle Daddy. I wonder what color it will be.

Want to see more?
Donkey Photos
Daphne Photos
Dinky Photos
Dolores Photos

© Copyright 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where Donkey Doodle Dandy is looking small but walking tall.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Farm Photo 2/8/08: Handful Of Heart Rocks


Today's Additions To My Collection

This afternoon I finished up an article about Valentine's Day treats for FoodieView (more about that on Monday when it's published) and headed outside to stretch my legs, enjoy some fresh air, and check on the sheep.

A quick lap around the front field and back up through the creek bed yielded all of these heart shaped rocks (though I realize the one on the right is a bit of a stretch). I figure it must be a sign of some sort. Either that or we just have a whole lot of heart shaped rocks on the farm.

Want to see more?
Pictures of my heart rock collection

A year of Farm Photos ago:
2/3/07:
Stock Dog Extraordinaire
2/5/07:
Hay Checkpoint
2/7/07: Cary Coming At You!

And two years ago:
2/1/06:
Reflecting
2/2/06:
New Purpose - Visual Pleasure
2/3/06:
New Digs
2/4/06:
Lucky 13 Likes To Be First Through Any Gate
2/5/06: And You Thought He Just Herded & Protected Them
2/7/06: My Seed Starting Headquarters (and seed starting tips)
2/8/06: There's Something About A Sunrise

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where we love good food and rocks.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Farm Photo 2/4/08: Saturday Was A Snow Day


And Doris Was Thrilled















Not.

Want to see more?
Sheep Photos
Snow Photos
Farm Landscape Photos

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where the sheep always let you know what they're thinking and all the animals believe Farmgirl Susan is directly responsible for the weather.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Farm Photo 2/3/08: Handyman Special


A Man & His Supervisor

"Um, honey? The bathtub just puked up the dishwater I poured down the kitchen sink."

So yesterday Joe dug into what we thought was a small plumbing problem.


Way More Exciting Than Watching The Superbowl

Turns out it's more like a medium plumbing problem. But at least it stopped snowing. And hasn't started raining yet. And the ground isn't frozen. Well, not solid anyway.

Want to see more?
Hunky Farmguy Photos
Lucky Buddy Bear Photos
Dog Photos
Snow Photos
Farm Life Tidbits

© Copyright 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares more than you probably want to know about life on 240 remote Missouri acres - and the dirty dishes are starting to pile up.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Farm Photo 2/2/08: The Return Of Chucky


Happy Groundhog Day!

This is our resident woodchuck. Woodchucks are also called groundhogs, and when I woke up this morning for some reason I happened to remember that ,"It's Groundhog Day! And I have groundhog photos!"

We didn't see any sign of our woodchuck today which was perfectly fine with Joe, as he despises them with a passion that borders on obsessive—and hysterical. He has a valid reason for his hatred, which has to do with them building burrows out in the fields and cows falling into the burrow holes and breaking legs, but still.

When a forty-something, mostly sane man is standing at the living room window drinking his morning espresso and yelling, "CHUCKY! I SEE YOU OUT THERE WATCHING ME, YOU FURRY LITTLE BASTARD!" there's nothing you can do but try not to hurt yourself laughing.

There used to be a woodchuck living out in the hayfield. He could often be seen brazenly sunning himself in the grass in full view of The Shack, but never within a clear shot. He did this, according to Joe, for no other reason than to torment him. These staredowns between the two of them went on for years.

Then, thankfully, Chucky disappeared—until last November, which is when I took these photos. We were headed down to the barn to tuck in the sheep one afternoon and both spotted something moving in the small grassy pen adjacent to the barn.

"What the—"

"What was—"

And at the same moment we each realized who it was.

"IT'S CHUCKY!"


Home of the happy groundhog

And boy did Chucky have it good. He'd taken up residence under the stump of a fallen tree at the edge of the south facing hillside, building himself a burrow that included a downstairs residence, a covered porch, and an attached sun deck. It overlooked a beautiful, green, freshly seeded, high dollar expanse of what Joe soon started referring to as "his lawn."

Between his house and the lawn was a conveniently located fence which, while not entirely dog proof, did afford him an extra few seconds to dash into his burrow and escape any oncoming jaws of death. This had to be groundhog heaven on earth.

Chucky would spend each morning on his sunny lawn, rooting around with the squirrels and ignoring us unless I came too close with the camera. Then he would give us an evil stare and scurry into his house. Joe stayed remarkably calm during all this; he didn't even start toting a gun to the barn.

But when the donkey peddling cowboy and his dad were driving through one day and stopped their truck next to the pen then yelled, "Hey, Joe! Do you want us to shoot this woodchuck for you?" I quickly called out "NO! Thank you!" just in case.


Oh, Chucky! Where are you?

The morning sightings went on for about a week, and then Chucky again disappeared, though this time I think it was only into his burrow for winter. As I said, we didn't see any sign of him today, but if he did pop out in honor of Groundhog Day he most likely dashed right back into hiding.

Not only was the sun shining brightly, but there was snow all over his lawn. So I think we should all be safe (and sane) for at least another six weeks.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the furry foodie farm blog where woodland creatures sometimes run our lives and hunky farmguys always crack me up.