The whole flock greeted us as we arrived at the farm.
Fortunately we had a bucket full of food scraps for them. Ruby had to help clean them up.
Two of our young roosters posed for a picture. Notice their combs and waddles are larger than the hen on the right.
My husband showed me a recently build nest he spotted in the woods. We’re not sure who it belongs to. There were no eggs or babies in it.
I spent some time pulling weeds in the Prayer Garden and as I got up to empty my weed bucket I caught a glimpse of the setting sun.
I set my weed bucket down and grabbed my camera to get some photos of the bright orange ball in the sky.
I had to wander to the north a bit to get a shot that was more sun than trees.
As I returned to my weed bucket, I found that some of the chicks had decided to explore it.
Several years ago, my oldest daughter and her husband bought me a Solomon’s seal plant for Mother’s Day. I planted it in a wooded area and had a small fence around it so I could keep track of it. It came back for the first few years but last year it never came up. Last week I noticed it was up. It’s not flowering yet but should get small, white, bell-shaped flowers soon.
Peanut was resting in the multi-purpose chair. I call it the multi-purpose chair because a while earlier my husband had been sitting in it, and even earlier in the day one of the hens laid an egg in it. LOL!
In April, when I published this post about toad mating day, one of my readers asked what a nest of toad eggs looks like. I was able to describe them and send a link of a website that had pictures, but I never saw any nests of toad eggs to get pictures of.
Two weekends ago, May 6th and 7th, what I thought were frogs were loudly and proudly singing their mating song.
I wandered the edge of the pond until I found the “party”.
It was a two-day event.
I took some pictures on Saturday and more on Sunday.
On Monday the frogs were quiet. I went to the area of the pond where the “party” had taken place and discovered eggs. It wasn’t until I did a little research on the internet that I realized that these are toad eggs. The difference being that frog eggs are laid in a large cluster while toad eggs are in strings like beads. What I thought were frogs were really toads.
They may be a bit difficult to see in the photos but the eggs look like black strings under the water.
Closer up they look like tiny black beads enclosed in a clear gel-like tube.
I couldn’t even begin to guess how many toads laid all these eggs or how many tadpoles would emerge from them. It’s my understanding that these eggs could take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to hatch. It largely depends on the temperature of the water.
It was Friday, May 12, when they hatched.
These are probably the tiniest tadpoles I have ever seen. (Can you make out some of the tadpoles in the picture?) They were making their way to the beach area where the water is shallow and thus warmer.
It will now be two to three months before these little wigglers grow legs and lose their tales. That is when they will leave the pond and spend most of their lives on land.
In honor of Mother’s Day I decided to share a collection of flowers that we have in bloom right now. I hope you enjoy.
I don’t think a Mother’s Day bouquet would be complete without dandelions since they are often the first gift a child gives to their mother or grandmother. What a delight it is to see the little one tottling through the grass plucking as many blossoms as their little hands can carry then presenting them with pride to mom or grandma. That is a gift of love!
Then it’s mom’s turn or grandma’s to teach the little one the value of a dandelion that’s gone to seed. Pluck the biggest puff ball you can find, hold it in front of your mouth, (some will tell you to make a wish) then blow, scattering the seeds as far as the wind will carry them. What precious moments shared generation after generation.
Every bouquet needs a beagle. LOL!!!
Strawberries in raised beds. Looks like a good crop coming on.
The violets that showed up on their own in our prayer garden often hide under or around other plants.
Addie loves flowers so grandpa cut her some daffodils and lilacs. After using them in various arrangements to decorate our picnic table she decided to wrap them in a towel.
The pansies that we bought and potted back in February are enjoying spring.
I took a short walk in the woods behind our house this morning looking for blooms.
Among the flowers were wild geraniums.
These tiny pinkish/white flowers that I am not familiar with. (Anyone know what they might be?)
The Mayapples are up but not blossoming yet.
Two different varieties of ferns. Ferns are plants that do not produce flowers or seeds. They reproduce through tiny spores.
My main reason for trekking into the woods was to look for trilliums. They were one of my mom’s favorite flowers and they usually blossom around Mother’s Day, so each year I try to remember to look for the trilliums in memory of my mom.
In 2012, when we planted the berm bordering our pond with forsythia and lilac bushes, I thought how lovely they would look when the bushes matured, and an array of yellow and purple blossoms filled the expanse.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that forsythias bloom in early spring while lilacs take their time, waiting for warmer weather that usually comes later in May. We have never before seen the forsythia and lilacs blossom at the same time. They normally bloom in succession rather than unity.
This year the forsythia blossoms have held on longer than most years. It’s been over three weeks since their blossoms opened and while they are beginning to shed their petals one of the lilacs has began to open her flowers.
I am mostly inclined to attribute this phenomenon to the cool weather we have had this spring inspiring the forsythias to hold their blossoms so long.
Last week we had, what my husband referred to as, the soft opening. He had completed fencing the perimeter of our property. The only thing left to do was put up the gate across the driveway. Until he could get that done, he made a makeshift gate by using a piece of the fencing to extend across the driveway and clamping it closed.
Putting up the grate took a few days. First my husband rented a post hole digger to make the holes for the wooden posts. Then he had to measure the depth of the holes while putting the posts in and filling in around them with quickcrete (cement). On top of the quickcrete he put stone then topped it with soil. He used a level to assure that the posts were straight. Once they were in place he left them for a few days to let the cement set up. On May 2 he attached the gate to the posts and the project was complete.
All of the rain that we have had in the past week has the ground saturated. We now have pooling water everywhere.
We have a bumper crop of dandelions this year.
Even though we have been wishing for the temperature to hurry and warm up there are some good things about the cooler temperatures.
The apple trees have not blossomed yet thus reducing the likelihood that they will suffer damage from heavy frost or freeze when in bloom.
The forsythias have enjoyed a long bloom time because of the cooler temperatures,
as have the daffodils.
For years my primrose plants have struggled just to survive. Last fall, after learning that primrose like wet soil, I decided to move my plants to a lower area in the prayer garden.
Already this spring they are thriving.
Our old chicken coop is still standing. Tearing it down is on our to-do list but has not yet become a priority. My husband had leaned the old gate from the chicken yard up againt the front of the old coop.
Earlier this week he noticed that a bird, most likely a robin, has built a nest on top of the gate.
I couldn’t see inside the nest while standing on the ground, but I was able to get a look inside by holding my camera up above the nest and taking a picture. This was two days ago, maybe I’ll take another picture today.
On April 23 our bees arrived. We had lost all three of our hives over the winter. We decided to start just one new hive this year.
They have been very busy this week – enjoying the dandelions.
Our old hens are enjoying springtime. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that at least six of the nine are laying eggs. I really only expected that four were still of laying age, but somedays we find six eggs. 🙂
Here’s a cute story: last week while working in the barn my husband found, in a dark corner, a nest with seven eggs in it. One of our black hens has been sneaking in there and laying her eggs. Apparently, she was getting ready to brood some chicks. Sadly, he had to get rid of the eggs because we haven’t had a rooster since last November, so none would be fertile. Perhaps next year, when our new roosters are mature, she will try again.
Our young chicks are enjoying life at the farm as well.
We are experiencing a lovely day today as it seems like are warmer temperatures have finally arrived, so I’m heading outdoors to get some things done. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.