Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Springtime’ Category

The Full of Spring

Springtime in Oregon is gorgeous!!  The greens…..

May 2015

…are so vibrantly green.

The wild flowers bloom with ease……

May 2015

….and beautiful abundance….while some……

May 2015 IMG_9936 IMG_9938

….had a little help being seeded into this Oregon soil a couple of years ago.  California Poppies were just too beautiful to leave in CA…we brought a few seeds along for the ride.

Welcoming of new life……

May 2015

…is always a happy, springtime folly.

The sun…..

May 2015

…the rain…..

May 2015

….the long shadows…..

May 2015

….all lend to the beauty of this alluring season.  Oregon is beautiful in the spring.

Although work on the farm amps up as the sun lingers longer in the sky…..

Thanks, Justin, for helping out this week!!!  You are awesome!!

Thanks, Justin, for helping out this week!!! You are awesome!!

 

…..there is always time for a roll in the tall grass…..

May 2015

….day dreaming into the blue sky…..

May 2015

…..soccer tournaments.

May 2015

As springtime takes it’s journey into summer, there is much to anticipate…..

May 2015

……and possibly our first year of ripened fruit…..

May 2015

….and hopefully, a worthy suitor for our majestic princess, Penelopi … aka, Penni.

May 2015IMG_0261May 2015

Yes, spring is a wonderful season in the pacific northwest.  My heart and prayers go out to those in the southern states getting hit so hard by the recent drenching, flooding rains.  Please stay safe out there!!

Thanks for taking time in your busy day to visit the farm today.  I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

 

 

 

 

Peahens and Peacocks

April 2015

We’ve had an invasion of sorts….a far east, invasion.  Exotic? … Yes …. Beautiful? …. Yes …. Loud, chicken feed loving, and hard to capture by cell phone photography? …. Yes, yes and yes!!

April 2015

I think it’s mating season!!

April 2015

Our neighbor’s Peahen hangs around our back patio area…many times sitting at the glass door, almost as if she is saying, “Can I hide out for awhile?”

But, the boys call out to her….and she hides in the grass….

CAN YOU FIND HER??

CAN YOU FIND HER??

The boys seem to know where is…..

April 2015

They climb the waterfall as their instincts tell them that they are getting closer…

April 2015

Ms. Peahen is well hidden…she has gotten as low as she can in the tall grass…..

April 2015

…well, maybe not in this picture….but, you can’t see her at all in the next picture….and the boys searched…

April 2015

…and I believe that they peacefully found each other, or they didn’t…either way, they disappeared.  Maybe in a couple of months or so we will see something like this again…..from 2014….

I hope you enjoyed our little far east invasion……

Please have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

My Coyote Theory….

The coyote incident made me start thinking, “What if that wasn’t a coyote at all?” Okay…so here is what a coyote looks like that has a range within the Pacific Northwest….

Coyote

Coyote

….notice their thin style build, and pointy nose.

There is another carnivore in town, and no, it is not the grey wolf…however…..! Meet the Coywolf…

The Coywolf!

The Coywolf!

Although the link below talks about this hybrid originating in Canada and migrating down the eastern United States…as I have researched, I have found that they have migrated out west. There have been many sightings (sounds like I’m talking about Bigfoot, haha) in the Pacific Northwest…and I’m thinking right here in our little part of the grander forest that sits behind us.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/meet-the-coywolf/meet-the-coywolf/8605/

Every year since we moved to our home in Oregon, we have experienced about four daytime coyote sightings from spring through the end of summer. However, many times I have thought that the canine running by or away did not quite look like a coyote…in fact…they have looked more husky…more like a wolf. Others that I have talked to in the area, have also noticed the same thing.

Granted, the only coyotes that I have seen (before seeing them on or near our property) have been in zoos. Maybe in the wild they look different…beefier….with a heavier coat and head; I don’t know. The coloring of their coats have basically been the iconic lighter brown with dark brown/grey ticking of a coyote…but they just seem larger…heavier…with a more rounded nose, and a very bushy tail. Could this be a coywolf rather than a coyote?

I’m ready with my camera if it decides to show up again…we have heard their calling…they (yes, more than one) are still near! Penni, our Great Dane, ……

Penni...protector of the flock!

Penni…protector of the flock!

…..once in awhile, lately, barks at the fringes of the fence lines, which are lined with 2 – 3 rows of Douglas Fir trees. Kind of creepy!! I’ve cut down the pasture grasses so if one aims to come out from the trees…we should readily see them…and then I’ll get a picture!

The Great Adventure part 2

The underside of a felled Douglas Fir tree.

The underside of a felled Douglas Fir tree.

(cont.) I gathered up these little babies, and out of the corner of my eye…I saw mama turkey carefully approaching……

….so did Penni, just fractions of a second before I did..but that was enough time for her brain to excite her body into “chase mode” and off she went. Mama turkey immediately took flight. I looked around the area, checking carefully before each step. Wild turkey poults instinctively hide, low and silent in tall grass. They are very difficult to see. Knowing that there were hidden babies right around me, I had to be careful not to step without caution.

A hidden poult!  With her head slightly raised, this one was actually a little easier to see.

A hidden poult! With her head slightly raised, this one was actually a little easier to see.

Penni’s distraction away from the hiding poults gave me a chance to assess the condition of the little ones I had been holding. If you will remember, Penni is a wanna-be-mama-dog. She has helped raise up all 4 broods of chicks, protecting them from hawks, and if Tucker or Karli got too close (she let them know in no uncertain terms that they shouldn’t get any closer to her chicks.)

Making sure all is right with her little puppy-chicks.

Making sure all is right with her little puppy-chicks.


I was confident that these beauties were perfectly fine. They were very young, and were still sporting that fashionable egg-tooth.

Still sporting a prominent egg tooth.

Still sporting a prominent egg tooth.


They were playing "possum" hoping I wouldn't see them.

They were playing “possum” hoping I wouldn’t see them.

My shirt was doing double duty, acting as, well, a shirt…and also a catch for the poults. They lay quietly in their cocoon, huddled together looking at me with their big eyes…I was surprised at how much larger their eyes are than chicken chicks eyes.

Wild Turkey poult #1.  The first little one found by Penni.

Wild Turkey poult #1. The first little one found by Penni.


Kermit!!!  See how much small her eyes are compared to the wild turkey poult.

Kermit!!! See how much small her eyes are compared to the wild turkey poult.

Following her nose, Penni came bounding back directly to me and the poults. She nudged the buldge in my slinged shirt, indicating that she needed to check on the babies. I let her take a quick look, and big sniff into the pile of young poults…and as is Penni’s style…she gave them a lick (No, not to taste them!!)

May 2014

Hoping that mama turkey would not be afraid to come back another time, I walked towards the house. My plan…as long as I had the poults, Penni would follow…she did! Securing her inside the garage, I headed back. In the background, Penni shouted her protests…loudly! By this time, my daughter had gotten home and joined me in the quest to reunite the family. She held a couple of the poults in her sweater, while we sat behind a tree….and we waited……

May 2014

(To be continued)….please come back tomorrow to read the rest of the story.

Hoping you have a wonderful weekend
Tami

Change is in the Wind

These wild Lilies are growing everywhere in the shady/partial sunny places right now.

These wild Lilies are growing everywhere in the shady/partial sunny places right now.

My thoughts have been so distracted as of late. Really!! Can’t the world just step aside and stop threatening to take time from us? Time from the needs of our farm, from being physically present to care for our family, from being able to take the time to grow and prepare our own food, from the ability to write a simple blog post. I’m sure most of us feel this way … this past week has been especially hard for me due to changes at work which will directly affect my position, and my availability for those things I just mentioned. My husband has felt it all along, but he is driven to be a great provider. He, with God’s great blessings, have made this whole farming thing possible…I do not say, “Thank you,” to Tony enough…not nearly enough.

The outdoor brooder...now a roost...maybe we need more chickiepoohs! ;)

The outdoor brooder…now a roost…maybe we need more chickiepoohs! 😉

So life on this farm will be changing, soon. I’m going to have to figure out how to flip-flop some things, how to get ahead of the game on others, and how to get everything done in a timely fashion so that we are not eating dinner at 10:00 p.m. rather than 9:00 …. 7:00 p.m. which was my goal, definitely seems a bit out of the running, but we’ll see. Right now, through summer, the impact will seem less as the sun is up until about 9:00 p.m…it will be the dark, earlier evening hour seasons that will become much more difficult. Maybe this is the incentive I need to kick up my understanding and knowledge of an income producing small farm, and work towards that goal. I think that is a goal worth striving towards!

In the meantime, I must remember that change does not inherently equal a worsening of conditions…it may even result in a more enjoyable life experience (in this case, at work.) And, since I believe that Jesus Christ is the author of my story…the Pilot of whom I seek to follow…the Protector of my home and family…and the Great Counselor from whom I gain wisdom and guidance…my family, myself, and our farm are in great hands!!! Nothing shall befall me that He doesn’t already know, and that He can’t handle!!

Please enjoy this rainy, spring day of Oregon…..

Hoping you all have a wonderful day!
Tami

Irish Soda Bread

I’m trying to “broaden my horizons,” “tantalize the taste buds,” “teach this (not so old) dog a new trick,” by trying new recipes. I’ve been “stuck in a rut” too long. Little by little over the past 2 years, I have tried this and that…some successful, and some not. Last night I tried my hand at making Irish Soda Bread, and a very hearty vegetable soup…doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron? A hearty vegetable soup? My husband was skeptical, but willing which is not common when it comes to vegetables, especially when I started adding more veggies than what was in the original bagged of dried, milled veggies. The difference here is that HE picked the milled vegetable soup mix…what’s a milled vegetable soup mix?…well…keep reading!!

In March we took a trek up to Milwaukie…that’s Milwaukie, Oregon…to this little place…

This is the home of Bob's Red Mill

This is the home of Bob’s Red Mill

….if you are at all interested in cooking things you have never even dreamed of, this is the place to go!! There are so many milled flours, milled dried beans and vegetables, milled nuts, milled…..everything! All the products are milled, right in Milwaukie, and the cafe / store is just a few blocks away (5000 SE International Way – Milwaukie, OR, 97222.) Your imagination can go CRAZY at Bob’s!! BTW, when I say milled….I’m talking the old way…with a milling stone, using rustic, whole grains!! You can also find their products in some grocery stores. Hey, seriously, I don’t get anything from plugging their great products…I’m just finding a world of wonderfulness…and I’M EXCITED!!

So what we came away with was a couple of flours, dried beans, nuts, and a vegetable soup mix (only includes the milled veggies, and grains – all spices, etc. are yours to add.)

This soup was incredibly hearty, and wonderful on our cold, rainy night.

This soup was incredibly hearty, and wonderful on our cold, rainy night.

Tony thought that this kind of vegetable soup looked good, because there was no sign of any fresh cut vegetables…little did he know that I had other plans..heh heh heh. As it cooks, the soup has the consistency of like a good hearty split pea soup. With Tony cringing, I added the fresh carrots, celery, onions, garlic, spinach and green beans, but I promised I would put it all in the blender and serve it in the fashion he was used to in the Spanish / French Basque kitchen of his childhood. My added ingredients also included chicken broth, salt, Creole spices, and thyme. It was really yummy, and the milled whole grains withing the dried contents was a surprisingly happy, chewy surprise!!

The Irish Soda Bread recipe also came in a freshly milled package of whole grain flours, and all necessary dried ingredients. I added water, oil, and egg.

It was so fun to take these grains and make them bread.

It was so fun to take these grains and make them bread.

I mixed this up using my hands....fun!

I mixed this up using my hands….fun!


Such a pretty little round!

Such a pretty little round!


Into the pie dish...

Into the pie dish…


Traditionally, you cut a cross into the bread dough before baking.

Traditionally, you cut a cross into the bread dough before baking.

Traditionally, cutting the cross into the bread dough was a way of blessing the bread, and then after it cooked….

All warm and crusty!!

All warm and crusty!!


Uhhm...Yummmm!

Uhhm…Yummmm!

…it gave a means for the symbolic breaking of the bread at the dinner table.

Such a hearty soup, and a very dense bread...this meal will keep you warm all night, and the only meat product is in the chicken broth.

Such a hearty soup, and a very dense bread…this meal will keep you warm all night, and the only meat product is in the chicken broth.

What I can say is that this combo was really, really hearty, warm, and satisfying on our cold, rainy, spring night…even the hubby thought so!! The best thing of all…Tony ate all of his vegetables!!

Love, love, love this place!!

Love, love, love this place!!

Better Late than Never

Well, they have arrived!! Tony and I were pretty much convinced that the window had closed, and the yearly visit was not to be. We missed our friends, and wished that we could roll back the calendar for just a day to look upon their elegance. No doubt this is a curious way to speak about a friendship, I mean, I would laugh…really hard…if someone spoke of me that way, I’m just so NOT elegant! However, these friends that I talk about walk, dress, and present themselves so differently. I catch myself looking at them, no, gazing at them…sometimes too long. When their eye catches mine, I am somewhat embarrassed; they seem uncomfortable. I would too. It’s just really hard to turn away.

Our friends showed up yesterday morning, unannounced!! That kind of spontaneity is not always easy for me, I must admit, but their faces were so familiar…through my surprise, I tried not to stare…but stare I did. I’d like for you to meet them……

The Elk have returned!!

The Elk have returned!!

Their appearance was brief, and they did not return this morning…but the elk may be back tomorrow!! Last year, they came quite close to the house. It is so amazing how incredibly HUGE they are!!! The pictures below are quick shots we were able to capture last year. The elk are very quick to retreat if they sense we are watching, so we could only get this close using the camera on our phones…please forgive the quality…

Elk 2013
Elk 2013
Elk 2013
Elk 2013

Believing that this is the one and only time we’ll get a glimpse of our seasonal guests this year, we say, “Welcome!!,” and, “See you next year!!!”

Catching Up…

I really dislike it when “life” gets in the way. There is a lot to update on the farm…I will let the pictures do the talking.

Five of the six Originals

Five of the six Originals


Riesling and her man Benedict!

Riesling and her man Benedict!


Jag....one of our Buff Orphington / Rhode Island Red mixed roosters...very handsome!

Jag….one of our Buff Orphington / Rhode Island Red mixed roosters…very handsome!


The Muppets and Chardonnay!

The Muppets and Chardonnay!


Benedict checking out his progeny!

Benedict checking out his progeny!

As the sun came out, so did those who inhabit this hilly forest…..

The Muppets, testing their feet on the green grass.

The Muppets, testing their feet on the green grass.


Not too sure about this...

Not too sure about this…


Hey Ma!!!  It's still a little cold out here!!!

Hey Ma!!! It’s still a little cold out here!!!


Penni watching over the youngest flock.

Penni watching over the youngest flock.


The Muppets following mama with no boarders!!

The Muppets following mama with no boarders!!

…and the trees decided it was time to make their long awaited appearance….

The first Cherry Blossoms!

The first Cherry Blossoms!


Apple trees

Apple trees


Beautiful Pear Trees

Beautiful Pear Trees

…but the Chestnut trees are still in that “groggy” state right before they wake up! The first pasture’s grass needing to be mowed down is completed (only 8 more hilly acres to go…uuggh..but also 🙂 …..

The back hillside is mowed....to be repeated at least 4 more times this season....

The back hillside is mowed….to be repeated at least 4 more times this season….

….producing this lovely, lovely product….

All these cuttings and not a single goat, cow, horse, or rabbit to feed it too...

All these cuttings and not a single goat, cow, horse, or rabbit to feed it too…

…hhhmmmmm maybe we need to rethink this……

Our neighbor's horse!

Our neighbor’s horse!

…but I don’t think we are quite ready yet…the good extra work of spring has worn us all out…

Tired old Tucker

Tired old Tucker


Karli catching some rays in the warmth of a beautiful spring day.

Karli catching some rays in the warmth of a beautiful spring day.


Hank, the cat, kicking back on Easter.

Hank, the cat, kicking back on Easter.


Tito and Lilly

Tito and Lilly

…but the epitome of being worn out due to excessive spring-like-I-can’t-believe-the-sun-is-out behavior goes to….Penni!!!

What a day!!!

What a day!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter!! Enjoy the burgeoning springtime!!!

A Blessing and a Curse

Oregon, west of the Cascade Mountains, is green. To quote a famous frog named, Kermit,… “It ain’t easy being green…” is an understatement. Oh, the green permeates the environment quite readily as soon as the first rains hit the ground after the dry season of summer….wait….what? You didn’t know that up here in the Pacific Northwest we have a dry season? Well, in fact, we do!

The dryness of a late summer walk with Tucker & Karli.

The dryness of a late summer walk with Tucker & Karli.

But that’s another discussion!! So to get back to topic…it’s a wondrous sight to watch how the grasses green-up in mid-fall, yet they don’t really grow due to a shortened day. The grasses remain a straw-like green throughout the winter…even under a blanket of snow…but the show really begins as winter starts turning to spring. The vibrancy that ensues is absolutely gorgeous!! This is a true blessing!!

As I stand outside, I see that blessing everywhere around me.

The beautiful green...the beautiful Penni!!

The beautiful green…the beautiful Penni!!

This compound color of blues and yellows surround our land in differing hues…it is quite stunning! However, there is another picture in my mind that I have to continually blot out so as not to hinder the true romance of the spring eruption…that is the “curse”…one of hours and hours of….MOWING…GRASS/WEED/BRUSH/ENORMOUS WILD BLACKBERRY BUSH CONTROL!!! ugghh! My husband and I keep about 17 of the 34 acres we live on groomed or in some areas, just managed. The other 17 are left to be natural wooded acres for wildlife and just, well, nature to thrive. It is a very healthy forest. Once we get the bridge rebuilt across the creek, we’ll be able to groom the already existing trails. Right now we hike back there with a machete in hand for the overgrowth.

While we wait for the ground to solidify a bit from the winter/spring rains allowing us to get this toy…

She sure doesn't look that new anymore!!  LOL

She sure doesn’t look that new anymore!! LOL

…out and mowing, yesterday, I started on grass management within the pond…that is the removal of dead grasses that float causing a disruption to birds, and frogs…besides looking really yucky. Tony and I don’t use any pesticides, fungicides, etc. on the property so the work to keep the land and water manageable is very labor intensive. Sometimes we win…sometimes the forest wins…but either way, it is a healthier ecosystem! So for almost 3 straight hours yesterday, using an 8 ft. long pool cleaning pole with an attached net, I cleared the pond of all the dead grasses that I could reach….

BEFORE:

The pond full of dead grasses.

The pond full of dead grasses.

AFTER:
I couldn't reach everything, but it will eventually make it's way closer to shore.

I couldn’t reach everything, but it will eventually make it’s way closer to shore.

BEFORE:

The right side is where I've already worked.

The right side is where I’ve already worked.

AFTER:
Most of what is left on this side are still rooted.

Most of what is left on this side are still rooted.

It was a hard job, but well worth it! Gloria’s Pond looks beautiful once again, and the balance of the ecosystem has not been compromised! I read somewhere that you can tell a healthy pond by the presence of frogs because they breathe through their skin…I’m very happy to report…we have a lot of those guys!!!

WELCOME SPRING!!

WELCOME SPRING!! You’ve been asleep too long!!

Penni relaxing in the warm 58 degree sunshine!

Penni relaxing in the warm 58 degree sunshine!

Old Man Winter is keeping his finger on the temperature controls a bit longer…we are still waking up to temps in the twenties…28 degrees at 7:00 this morning. The afternoon temps are getting into the high 50’s so we are totally warming up!! Driving around the lower elevations in town, and out to Salem, trees are in various stages of bloom. Daffodils are blooming like crazy in some places, but up on our hill…we are just now seeing the first brave Bulbasaurs (couldn’t resist that…my son grew up as a big Pokemon fan.)

Our first Daffodil blossoms

Our first Daffodil blossoms

Our young fruit trees that were planted this past fall, are just now starting to swell…sooooooonnnnn to be blossoming!!!

The Pear trees show the most spring-like activity.

The Pear trees show the most spring-like activity.


The Chestnut trees are trying hard to be part of the big spring show!

The Chestnut trees are trying hard to be part of the big spring show!


"I'm Here," shout the Cherry trees!!

“I’m Here,” shout the Cherry trees!!

It’s great to know that these young trees survived the harsh cold, and unusual large snowfall that hit us in January. These beauties are shouting their presence and eagerly waiting to spring forth into the 2014 growing season. The roadblock in front of them are the freezing temperatures we are still experiencing in the early mornings. There is still “frost on the pumpkins” and cars, and rooftops, and ground. We may still be three weeks out before that ends, meaning, sadly, our garden has to wait awhile longer. Although the Giant Sequoias experienced a little frost burn on their tips, the branches are still green and pliable…WHEW!!! That is good news. On the 300 Douglas Fir saplings…we may have lost half of them due to the big snows. It may not be as bad as it appears, but on numerous saplings, needles come off in our hands…not a good sign. In normal conditions, we would loose many of these trees, one reason why you typically plant so many, but this winter was definitely NOT normal!

Definite signs of spring on the farm…starting with our most welcomed tenant, GLORIA!!

GLORIA!!! Our little wild duck that migrates back to the pond every spring!!

GLORIA!!! Our little wild duck that migrates back to the pond every spring!!

The first dandelions of the season!  My flock is very happy!!

The first dandelions of the season! My flock is very happy!!

We've hung the wasp traps to capture as many queens as we can when they emerge from hiding!

We’ve hung the wasp traps to capture as many queens as we can when they emerge from hiding!

I know it's spring and not summer 'cause the Barn Swallows have not made their nests yet in the barn.

I know it’s spring and not summer ’cause the Barn Swallows have not made their nests yet in the barn.

One side of the wood paddock has been burned through the winter.

One side of the wood paddock has been burned through the winter.

The ultimate of ULTIMATES!! The frosting on the cake! The sure sign that spring has sprung…..
Welcome to the farm…to havadanehill….WELCOME THE MUPPETS!! First one hatched, Kermit…March 21, 2014…

Welcome little Kermit!!!

Welcome little Kermit!!!

…three more hatched on March 22nd…Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf (after the two old guys who sit in the Muppets Theater Balcony)…

Chardonnay (Mama Hen), Kermit, Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf!!

Chardonnay (Mama Hen), Kermit, Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf!!

……I could feel three more eggs were cracked under Mama hen yesterday…she hasn’t shown me the new little ones yet today, so I’m not sure how many more have hatched…but I will update soon! She had 10 eggs under her before hatching started!

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