Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wow. Weird.

Yesterday we had a huge storm come through. At about 8pm, it cleared up to the west just in time for the sunset, but was still dark, dark, dark to the east where the storm was headed. The light was bizarre and eerie and it took me quite a few tries to set the camera to capture it accurately, but I think I finally got it. ...creepy, huh?

Monday, April 27, 2009


Blue Heron Farm is in a state of hyper-fertility. And there's no better state for a farm to be in, really.

In addition to the sweet ducklings we already have, (pictured again because I can't get enough of them) ...

...Harpo is on another nest. These guys should have cousins in a week or two.

Also, Dawn has finally set on her nest. At last count it had maybe 17 eggs. I had trouble getting and keeping an accurate count as they were buried very near some stinging nettle that I wouldn't get too close to, and Trudy liked to steal eggs when she was able to sneak into the goat barn. She managed to get at least three, but was unable to actually eat them, as guinea eggs have a VERY tough shell. They went in her strange pile of found items in the barnyard. Right next to that old skunk pelt I haven't had the heart to take away from her.

The garden is also going gang-busters. We have harvested and eaten quite a bit of Chinese cabbage and have learned that nine plants are WAY too many for a family of two. I still have about five giant heads to eat. Eggrolls for dinner again tonight.

We have also harvested a fair amount of strawberries, a few heads of broccoli and probably all of the snap peas we will get. They are unhappy with the heat and will be replaced by okra this week.

The jalapenos are REALLY coming in, the tomatoes have flowered and I've added one plant each of yellow squash and cucumbers to the bed. I learned how many cucumber plants were too many for us last year.

All in all we are feeling mighty pleased at how Mother Nature provides for you when you follow natural, sustainable patterns. This garden is entirely grown in the goat poop collected from the barn. The poop that lands in the fields all day is keeping the grass lush for browsing. The weeds and grass in those fields also make a good home for the bugs that ducks and guineas eat. It all works. ...the man can keep his stinkin' chemicals.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The cute... it hurts...

Well, the ducks are free ranging. And the little Muscovies seem to think the little Mallards are their moms. They follow them everywhere and mimic every last thing their "moms" do. Ooof. It makes my heart feel all squeezed.

Here are some photos from this morning. If you feel overwhelmed by the cuteness, feel free to take a little nap to recover. If you possess smelling salts, all the better.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's the rules...

If you live in Texas and you want to be considered a true citizen, you must go out and take wildflower photos at least every couple of years. It was a good year for wildflowers in our neck of the woods. Duty done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A typical morning at BHF

Last month, FOF Gawain Morrison stayed with us after spending a week filming the bands from Northern Ireland at SXSW. While we did the morning chores, he spent some time filming and put this awesome video together for us in, like, less than half an hour.

We are so thrilled with this, I'll probably watch it every day.

Which I suppose is kinda stupid, since we already live it every day. Whatever. It's cool.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Right on, Alice!

Buoyed by his correct pronouncement of Dory's gender issue, Christian has fancied himself as the resident poultry expert for the past couple months. Fresh off his success, he announced that Alice, too, was almost assuredly a dude.

Alice is our black Muscovy. She is not, mind you, the one whose sexuality came into question back in the fall when we had a little girl on girl duck action. No, Alice has been somewhat of an outcast in the BHF duck community. She has spent time at the pond with Flo and Karl, but never seemed too close to any of the ducks. And dinner duck has never really cozied up to her at all. No, Alice was always a bit different. A bit aloof.

When I told him I thought she was plenty female, he ventured forth with his second theory: Alice was a mule. Interesting note here: All ducks EXCEPT Muscovies are genetically related, descended through mallards, and can freely interbreed. Muscovies are an entirely different species and if they breed with any other breed, they produce sterile offspring, or mules. So Christian said if she wasn't a dude, she was at least a mule.

Well, I now have at least eight others who would beg to differ with both of his theories.

Alice had babies yesterday!

Now to be fair, we found her nest about a week and a half ago. So C already knew he was wrong. But we thought she had settled in to brood just within the last week. The sneaky little rat had already been on those eggs for three weeks! The babies are sickeningly sweet. It looks to me like three will be dark like mama and five will be brown like their dad.

Alice did great on hatching them out, but not so great at subsequent mothering, so we'll raise them by hand. They are inside right now, but will go out into the coop with the mallards (who have grown an insane amount) soon.

Yay, Spring!

...and Dawn has been making a nest, too! Come on, peep peeps!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Falling behind in the high season

We have been crazy here with full cheese production, two markets a week, multiple kiddings and a fair number of tours. I am woefully behind on getting my good, blog-worthy stories down in writing. If I can get it together, I plan to fill anyone who may be reading in on the following.

1. The story of boy pig's date with freezer camp, complete with my all-time favorite line ever spoken to me, "I can get you a head."

2. The story of Dory's slaughter (which we watched) and subsequent frying, which I can at least tell you did not result in the calling of the fire brigade. Which is good, as Field Store has no fire brigade.

3. The story of a few crazy kidding days including the one where I had to push a kid back into the uterus because Christian's hands were too big.

4. The story of our being total suckers and buying surgery for a barn kitty. You're welcome, Newman.

I will try to get to these things, but the problem is that more kooky things will happen before I can get to it. It is the busy season. For serious. Busy.

Ok- gotta go. There are ten baby goats that need breakfast.