Friday, September 24, 2010

WindHarvest Farm Raspberry Festival!

I just got off the phone with Jeff Edwards at the WindHarvest Farms. They are having their 1st Annual Raspberry Festival tomorrow, September 25th from 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM.

They have several varieties of Raspberries.

Red Raspberries
Varieties: Polka, Polana, Joan J, Himbo Top & Caroline

Yellow Raspberries
Variety: Anne

Diane and Jeff said everyone is welcome to enjoy the day. There will be Food, Music and Berries.

If you have missed out on their produce this year... don't fret, it might not be too late.

Cantaloupe are now available-picked daily and available on the farm or at the Farmers markets!

Rhubarb season is over-there may be some in the freezer though.

Fresh Frozen Strawberries are available.

Fresh Frozen sweet corn on the cob and sweet corn off-the-cob are available.

Click on the link below for more info!

WindHarvest Farms

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Begins

Yipee!! Today is the first official day of Autumn!

Things I love about Autumn
(in no particular order, just as they pop into my head):

Frost on the Pumpkins

They just make me happy. I love the color of them, the variety, their shapes, carving them, the smell of them... one of my favorite Bath & Body scents is "Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin" and now they have a new one that is equally as yummy, "Creamy Pumpkin."

Beautiful Japanese Maple Tree in Tokyo.
Took this picture when we were there in December of 2009.

Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Bread
Honey Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with raisins
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

Hand-painted and Hand-stitched art by me.

The smell of fallen wet leaves.

Hand-painted by me.

The unmatched beauty of the changing Aspen trees in Colorado.

More of my art.

The end of irrigating! Whoo-hoo!!!

Another one of my paintings.

The end of chicken processing for the season,
it's not here yet,
but it will be soon!!!

Another painting of mine.

I have a reason to buy CANDY
even though we never get any trick-or-treaters out here in the boonies.
No Goonies for the Boonies...

Harvest Moon in August at Table Mountain Winery.

Harvest Moons

Harvest Moon in August at Table Mountain Winery.

Colorful Mums

Baby in the corn. Sooooooo cute!

Corn Mazes
need one to go to?
Ellis' Harvest Home near Lingle, WY

Country Chicken Girl working hard (at the napping tree.)

Snuggling on the couch with a comfy blanket
and watching one of my favorite musicals!

...or an afternoon nap down at the napping tree.

Felt and Stitchery art by me.

Hay Rides

Bon Fires

Bobbing for Apples

S'mores over campfires and hot dog roasts

Fall Cleaning
I know, I'm weird like that.

High School Football

Morrill High School Lions ~ 2009


Hand-painted and hand-stitched art by me.

and all this leads to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

The End

Thursday Morning Inspiration: September 23, 2010

Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

If you are a Christian, chances are that you have heard this passage before.
Each day that passes is one less day to share the love of God.
Will you share today?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Year of the Grasshopper




Look how intricate his markings are. Almost looks like lace.

Who knew there were so many different kinds? If you didn't know, we have had a grasshopper invasion this year and they are driving me CRAZY!

I wrote a column for the Gering Citizen a while back concerning grasshoppers. Here it is if you missed it along with some pictures I have taken of these despicable things.

(Remember that you can click on the pictures to view a full screen version of the shot, hit your browser's back button to return to the blog. These pictures are really cool if you click on them! Really they are!)

It Could Be Worse

I thought I would take a break from my “Buy Local” soapbox and talk about something completely off the subject. I want, or is it that I need, to talk about grasshoppers. That's right. Grasshoppers. I think I can honestly say that I loathe them more than I detest our Western Nebraska wind. I don't know how bad the grasshoppers are in town or at your house, but let me tell you how awful they are out here where I live.

I spent most of the day today working outside. First thing this morning at 5:30 am I went on my morning walk with my neighbor. There are so many grasshoppers in the borrow pit alongside the road that it sounds as if a small herd of cattle are walking along side us in the grass. I caught myself looking behind me a couple of times to see if something was following us but there wasn't anything there except for the grasshoppers. Peggy told me that she thought that her sweetcorn was drying up and turning brown but upon further observation, she said that it was completely covered with grasshoppers. My husband thought the same thing about one of our fields of alfalfa which was also covered with grasshoppers.

Young one, look at his wings. I don't think they are fully developed yet.

After our walk it was time for me to take care of the chickens. Even the chickens are sick and tired of the grasshoppers. When the chick are young and still in the brooder, a stray grasshopper who happens to get in the brooder with the little peeps is one sorry fellow. The poor hopper is immediately spotted by the chicks' keen eyesight and a game of “keep away” instantly breaks out. I like to throw grasshoppers into the brooder for a cheap form of entertainment. It never grows old. But on the other hand, the chickens who are old enough to be in the movable pens and out on the pasture have lost their enthusiasm for the hoppers.

When I feed the chickens each morning and night they always come running to greet me as I come into their fenced pasture. We keep them in paddocks with about 100 chickens in each paddock. So picture this if you will... 100 chickens running towards me, eager to get their grain, along with hundreds of grasshoppers jumping every which way and the chickens are actually dodging the grasshoppers! Instead of gobbling up these tasty treats, the chickens are actually trying to avoid them. I guess they are sick of eating them. At least the chickens know when to say “when” and aren't such gluttons that they gorge themselves and eat themselves sick!

Weird Green One

Black One, you don't see too many of these.

Once the chickens are taken care of, it is time to irrigate. All of our irrigating is done by hand with tubes and ditch. The grasshoppers are in several of our fields. What I hate the most about irrigating is when I am walking with my irrigation boots on and a grasshopper jumps straight down my boot. I wear shorts so there isn't a pant leg to stop the hoppers plight straight down the boot. I hate how their legs have those little pinchers that grab onto your skin. I hate having to stop every 50 feet to empty my boot and get rid of the hopper before it goes down any further and gets squashed by my foot. And let me tell you, it isn't very fun driving the four wheeler 25mph with a gazillion grasshoppers flying at you every which way. I'm always afraid one is going to fly into my mouth when I'm talking. I've seriously contemplated wearing a full face motorcycle helmet and biker leathers to combat the hoppers while driving the four wheeler.

The grasshoppers have managed to eat most of my garden. My tomatoes are the only thing that they haven't devoured, yet. Last year when the grasshoppers were so bad, they devoured almost every new plant that I bought and planted. This year I told myself NOT to waste the money on any new plants because the experts were forecasting that the hoppers would be as bad as they were last year, if not worse. Well, I couldn't resist and bought two new apple trees to replace the cherry trees that the hoppers destroyed last year. The apple trees are nearly stripped clean of their leaves now.

Look how he blends into the leaf. Love his pink and green coloring!

I can not imagine how bad the grasshopper plagues during the 1870's and 1930's were. I've heard of complete fields of corn being devoured within an hour, livestock dying because of the lack of feed due to the grasshoppers. I read that the conventional wisdom was that hoppers liked salt, and so they would eat the shirt off your back, or wherever else sweat landed like hoe handles or wooden tongues of horse-drawn equipment. The grasshoppers ate household items like curtains and even the paint off of buildings along with fence posts. And how about the stories of cars squishing so many hoppers that the roads became slick. There were even reports that trains couldn't get up hills because the hoppers' bodies "greased" the tracks.

So all in all, I really do detest grasshoppers but am extremely thankful that our situation is not as bad as it could be. I wonder what chocolate covered grasshoppers taste like?

Check out this contortionist!

Weird eyes!

It was a dark and stormy night...
Hope I don't have grasshopper nightmares tonight! LOL

Hey, what is this picture doing in here?
A Lady on a fainting couch??

Oh look, it's a grasshopper on her fainting couch!

Actually, I think this hopper is dead.
Too bad, so sad.

Check out his hind leg,

then check out this guy's leg.

Notice the subtle differences between the grasshoppers?

or not!

Grasshopper enjoying one of my tomatoes.

Thanks for saving me some, you jerk!

Whoo-hoo, love this spider!
She's wrapping up the grasshopper like a tamale to eat later!

And last, but not least, for your viewing pleasure...

... a video of grasshoppers destroying a sunflower plant.

If you turn up your sound and listen carefully you can
actually hear the grasshoppers eating.


Hurry Mr. Jack Frost! The grasshoppers are dying to meet you!

That's it, the End!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ever See a Rubber Egg?

The first time I ran across one of these I was totally fascinated by it! What a shock it was to reach into the nesting box, expecting to grab a solid egg but instead to grab a rubber egg. It freaked me out a little!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eeek, A Spider or Two or Three!

I have been noticing tons of spiders around our place this year. I don't know if we are having a spider population explosion or if I am just that fascinated with them that I am noticing them, where as before I just didn't see them because I wasn't really looking for them. At any rate... here are a few I have seen just in the last couple of days.

Note: Click on the photo for a full screen view and then hit your browser's back button to return to the blog. Seriously folks, you have to see the full screen view of these photos! If you don't click on the photo I'm not going to post anymore, ever, that will be it, the end, finished, forever.

We've seen lots of these spiders out in the pasture along the fences.

We've also spotted several while we were out irrigating in the alfalfa fields.

I think they are beautiful!

This one's body (not including it's legs) is probably the size of my pinkie, say 1/2" X 1 1/4".

This one is busy wrapping a fly up in a straight jacket with it's extremely strong and sticky web stuff.

(I know... don't hate me because of my big vocabulary when it comes to describing spider stuff!)

She lives in the "preschool" chicken coop along with at least 7 of her sisters!

I hate going in there to turn on the lights when it is dark outside.

I'm paranoid I'm going to stick my hand in one of these spiders' webs
while groping around in the dark for the light switch!

These spiders must be nocturnal, because I don't see much of them during the day,
but I always see them at night and many times first thing in the morning
when I am doing my morning chores.

Did you read these previous posts?

Wow, That's a BIG Spider!

The Spider, an Update!

The Spider, Again!

I think this is the same spider from those posts.

I've been checking on her almost ever day and she never leaves this place where she seems to have made her home.

Interesting, huh?

I wonder what those big holes are for in her back.

Look at the stripes on her body.

And why are some spiders so hairy while others are not???

The End

Goodnight, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite... or the SPIDERS!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Hawk

The other morning I found this here feller lurking around the egg layers coop.

I don't know if he was thinking about trying to eat one of the egg layers or not. And yes, hawks do eat chickens. At least I have heard that they do.

Although we haven't lost any chickens to hawks,
that I know of.

Sure seems like there are a lot of hawks around here lately.

I'm not positive, but I think this might be a red-tailed hawk.

Did you know that
there is no room for eye muscles in their small heads
so they must move their heads to look around.

The End

The Bee

Can I just say that this is one of the reasons why I love working at home? I love taking 10 minute breaks in which I grab my camera and see what kind of shots I can get. I usually only have 10 minutes because Dan the (Slave Driver) Man is usually waiting on me to go do something like irrigate or move cattle!

Please click on the photos to enjoy a full screen view of them,
hit your browers back button to return to the blog. Thanks!

Just look at all that pollen this guy has collected!

The Bee
by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry

Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!