Thursday, April 16, 2020

My Hat! The Farm Report: 04-16-2020

My Hat!
The Farm Report

Well, here we go again. We had a big wind and my outdoor lawn mowing and general purpose favorite old straw hat blew off. When I looked out the shop door to find it, here is what I saw. Two pointy ears sticking out of my hat!

This is what I really saw from the door. Annie stopped long enough to look back at me to make sure I knew she had my hat. She even sat down and waited for me! "Nah nah nah nay-ya. I've got you're haaaaat! And you can't get it!"

As soon as I started to approach her to maybe - just maybe! - get what was left of my hat back, she headed for places unknown. And my hat was now making a major step back toward what it once was; a pile of straw. I really needed a new one anyway.

So we're needing the Super Zoom Biggie Sizer on this one. I've been having a lot of fun watching the Cedar Waxwings this week. That's an Eastern Redbud tree you're seeing with the pinkish blossoms. It is right outside my kitchen window. I see them when I'm making coffee first thing in the morning. There are actually about 16 Waxwings in the trees in this pic, but they're really hard to see. They're here at the farm year around. I always hear them before I see them. They make a high pitched whistle, and they're always traveling in groups. 

Here's an internet picture of one. They're beautiful up close; they look like any other brownish bird from a distance.

Audubon 'embellished' them a little in his prints, but they are pretty.

 Here's a bigger pic if you want to try blowing it up to see them. They're eating the blossoms. Did you know the Eastern Redbud is in the same family as peas? Did you ever hear the one about.... Sorry. I promised to stop telling pea jokes. I apologize.

Annie needed some outdoor action, and it was a nice day, so I took her up to the creek in The Timber. She loved it. WATER! Oh Boy! So far, she hasn't gone in for a swim, but it is only a matter of time.

After a self-inflicted disaster with my original strawberry plants up in the Hydroponic Strawberry Patch, I'm thrilled with the recovery results. Just look at 'em!

Blossoms! Now for another dilemma: How to pollinate them? When the weather is nice, I'm leaving the doors wide open now during the day. Bees fly in and can do the job for me. But right now, we're having a winter re-do. I think I'll take a little paint brush up to the greenhouse and I'll be the bee.

I can't get over it. I just planted these new plants a few weeks ago, and they all are showing big blossom buds and lots of them. Stay tuned!

'Rex' Hydroponic lettuce. These are just in the soup for a few days.

Here are the roots going down into the wet goodness after just 4 days. Lettuce loves passive hydroponic growing. One method uses a one gallon milk jug with the top cut to fit one of these little net pots. Yield: one head of lettuce. Anybody can do this.

Fast forward. This is what the lettuces will look like when they're nearing harvest time. Actually, these are hold overs from last fall. They made it all the way through the winter this time.

This is what their root system looks like.

Spinach likes it too.

I use old tire sidewalls for garden plant surrounds. Annie has decided they're better dog toys than a frizzbie, and they're tougher too.

You can bite 'em, chew 'em, toss 'em and run with 'em. Perfect!

Doggie 'Hula Hoops?'

Doggie 'Ring Toss?'

Doggie 'You can't catch me?' She thinks they're great. Unfortunately, she has been getting them by pulling them off Joyce's roses! The roses are still dormant, so we have time to recover. What's a farm dog to do on a nice spring day though?

Annie is now 10 months old. She's still full of it, but she's settling down. She'll make a nice dog.

This was Annie at her Kindergarten Graduation in September. That was just 7 months ago. My how she's changed. Another thing that has changed is that her adult teeth are not like the mouth full of little baby teeth 'fish hooks' she had back then. I'm all healed up now, but I can still show you the scars!!! She is mouthy like a labrador retriever. Still is; probably always will be. That's one reason I don't mind her chewing and tugging on the tires sides. Better them than something important.

Can you say, "Intense!" That's Annie Oakley. She is a ball of energy, playful and fun, but INTENSE! She's looking at my phone/camera as I'm trying to take a selfie. Whatever it is we're doing, she thinks it is serious business! The mail lady brought a package up to the shop the other day. Annie was out on the lawn when she drove in. I think she looked like this to the mail lady. If you didn't know, you might think this was her 'mean' look. Annie is pushy and assertive, but there is no meanness in her. She's a happy dog. The mail lady understands these farm dogs though, and when she got out and said her name, Annie was instantly a ball of wagging tail and jumping beans. She loves everybody - and expects them to love her right back, too! 

Well, I had intended to end with the picture of Annie above. But this afternoon, April 16, 2020, we're having a snow storm. They're saying 5 to 8 inches by this time tomorrow. Annie and I are both about over having fun in the snow for this year. Ah, Iowa! We built a fire in the outdoor wood boiler this morning, and we have the greenhouse heater full of fuel for tonight. We're all set, so we're just going to enjoy this one last time. Then it will get hot. Cheers from the farm. Stay home and stay safe! 'It ain't over 'till it's over.'


  1. Oh my. I've seen mid-April snow posts from a couple other blog pals, too, while we are unseasonably warm and dry.

  2. Thank you again. 70’s here. Lots of sun. Enjoy your dog

  3. It has been in the 70's and even 80's and more here, too. But Whammo! The snow is deeeep this morning. Pretty though.


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