Wednesday, June 26, 2019

When your bees come home to forage

Yesterday I was watering the pollinator beds and I’m fairly sure the Arcadia bees have found the narrow-leaf mountain mint (and all the rest of the pollinator plants) in my garden beds! This is partly why I planted these beds, in anticipation of providing food for my own honey bees, and seeing them foraging was such a happy moment.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Day on the lake, with tribe

The cats, Corgis, and equine herd were with us in spirit, but what a joy to be on the lake with both my human children, my daughter-in-law, a good friend of our family, my husband, and Clem.

We rented a pontoon boat and had food, drink, gorgeous skies and temps, and the very best company. I came home relaxed and happy.

Clem loved it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Moons of Jupiter, charms of goldfinch, soft summer breeze

Last night we got out the super-duty binoculars and found Jupiter in the night sky. Three of its 79 moons are visible right now, and it’s pretty amazing to see them from the back deck and ponder science and science fiction and the magical, mystical world we live in.

I often wonder how it would be if the Earth had more than one moon and what our night sky would look like if it did. But 79? Can you even imagine?

While looking for the moons of Jupiter my husband downloaded a very cool app on his iPhone - it’s called Sky View Lite and the Lite version is free. You simply point your phone (or ipad) to the sky and it names what you’re seeing. I think we could have played with it all night!

This morning a different galaxy revealed itself as I was sitting on the front porch while the Mystical-kit meow ate his breakfast. A charm of goldfinches emerged from the seed heads of the first-blooming echinacea and dashed up into the sweetgum tree. What a sight to behold. Every summer I wait for it and it never fails to make me smile.

Yesterday and today we’ve had a constant soft summer breeze blowing. It’s not a cool breeze but it makes the most beautiful whoosh sound and is very welcome as the heat of early summer returns to November Hill.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

November Hill farm journal, 78

The main portion of the new interior fencing is now complete! It’s difficult to get one photograph that shows the overall layout, so I took several angles to try and capture it. This is the far end of what we call the dirt paddock - it runs from the back of the barn to our property line, and at the end, adjoining the property line fence, had gates to the front pasture and the back pasture.

Since we mostly keep the entire farm open to our herd, they often galloped through from one field to the other, which I love to see, but having our gates literally right on the edge of our property has always been problematic to me. If the neighbors had anything going on over there, the horses couldn’t get to the barn without passing right along that fence line. Since a large part of “what the neighbors had going on” often involved dogs who weren’t trained or on leashes and came through our fence, it wasn’t a good situation. We remedied that two years ago when we got the fencing replaced with 3-board/woven wire, but I continued to wish the gates were further in.

This spring the big posts the gates were hung on suddenly and out of the blue became loose. I have no idea why, but since they had to be replaced anyway we opted to go ahead and do the new design. One day as I was out pondering it occurred to me that I could use the far end of the dirt paddock as a dedicated garden space by simply fencing across the dirt paddock and rounding the two sides that border the pastures to avoid creating “dead zones” with sharp corners. This not only brought the gates closer to the barn, it completely removes the horses from being near that fence line, which for whatever reason seems to be a magnet for the neighbors and their guests.

The horses can move from one part of the farm to the other without ever going near that area. I think it turned out really well!

This is facing the new garden space, toward the neighbors. The little gate is my entry to the garden, and you can see the left side angling toward the exterior fence.

This is a closer shot of the garden gate, which I’ve opened.

From further back, looking toward the back pasture, and showing the new gate that goes to the back.

This next photo looks from inside the garden space toward the front pasture. You get a better sense here of how much space I’ll have for raised beds.

This is from the back pasture facing the front pasture, showing both gates. The horses can gallop through like they always have, but much nearer the barn now.

Overall, it’s so much better! And just in time. For the past month, the neighbor has had workers on her property and is yelling and screaming at them for not doing the work correctly. I’m very happy to have my horses well away from that behavior. Hopefully my garden space, and me being in it some of the time, will deter the rudeness. Maybe a “quiet please!” sign???

As you can imagine, I’m thrilled to be able to check this project off my master list. :)