Friday, August 29, 2008

A walk around the farm...

Fall is in the air, and I can't say I'm thrilled. Much as I enjoy autumn, I am not ready for it yet! This is a bittersweet time of year for me anyway. Both of my parents coincidentally died on the same day in September, five years apart; last year our sweet Zöe-kitty died unexpectedly at the end of September. I lost the first dog that was truly "mine", Chelsea, in mid-August five years ago. And we always seem to be moving at this time of year! So late summer/early fall has always been a time of change and loss for me. I am hopeful this year will be different.

It's looking quite nice around the farm. The soybeans are maturing in the fields and some are already starting to die back and dry out...

We have a spring-fed, natural pond on our property that desperately needs a source of aeration in order to prevent this:

One day we have visions of having a windmill-propelled pump here so that it doesn't get clogged with gunk every summer. That said, the frogs love it. In this pond we have Spring Peepers, Bullfrogs, Leopard frogs, Wood frogs, Mink frogs and Northern Green frogs. (And I found a Tree frog dead on the mesh covering the top of our rainbarrel!) Frog paradise around here (toads, too.) They leap out of my way every day as I walk the cow lane down the middle of our farm all the way to the river. I believe this one is a Northern Green frog...or is it a Mink frog? I have asked my herpetologist buddy for help with the i.d.:

The dogs also love the pond, and they leave the frogs alone:

Here we have the ubiquitous goldenrod, with some bugs on it I haven't yet identified. They remind me of lightning bugs. Anyone? (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Here is some variety of ladybug on Queen Anne's lace...

And the ever-lovely Monarch butterfly. It was difficult to get closer, because Sophie helpfully ran up and scared the butterfly away:

I think this is a Clouded Sulphur butterfly, with another one of those mystery bugs. This is Joe Pye weed, is it not? I a not good with wildflower i.d. but I'm working on it (thanks for that orchid i.d., HWB!!)

And in the woods, bazillions of mushrooms:

But the dogs were anxious to get down to the river for a swim. These pics were taken last week before Tristan became cowphobic and started refusing to walk in the fields!

Looking back through the back pasture towards the woodlot:

And eeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!! Do you see the leaves turning??!! Lalalala, I can't see you, lalalalallala!

Sophie is enjoying the Beaudette River... is Pincushion. I mean, Tristan...

Nothing like a cooling swim in summer!

Oooh! Hellooo! Is it time to go?

Enjoy your Labour Day weekend!


  1. Wow, you've had quite the busy week between cows, porcupines and cool weather approaching. Please send a little cool weather this way over the next few months.

    I love it when summer arrives but now, I'm quite done with the mosquitos & humidity. TS Fay dumped a lot of water and now all those mosquito larva have hatched. It's unbearable outside.

  2. Thanks for the update and the *beautiful* pictures!

  3. I LOVE your farm, and the pictures are so beautiful. The goldenrod is gorgeous as is the butterfly, the river, the frogs -- well, I LOVE it all. The goldenrod is blooming here too. My sister thinks they're weeds (hahaha). One person's weed is another person's flower. Poor Tristan. I hope he's able to forget about the cows and the porcupine enough to enjoy the rest of summer and fall.

  4. Anonymous7:48 am

    So many signs of fall. I'm not ready for summer to end.
    Porcupine quills can be awful, glad to know you and Tristan got through it!

  5. Anonymous5:27 pm

    Them dawgs sho is in paradise! :)) Too bad the cattle have to color it a little for T. :(

    I really enjoyed this entry ...enjoy them all but scenes of the farm are like tonic to poor city dwellers.

    Does G mow the "cow path"? i didn't think you had a tractor and mower yet.

    Everything is so beautiful. How nice to have all those swimming places for the dogs ..and the wildlife. IT really is a little paradise.

    Those bugs do look like lightning bugs. Have you seen them at night? Do you and G spend some evenings just sitting outside and enjoying the silence of nature? have you had time to get the telescope out? You must have very dark nights...however with all that water, I guess you have quite a number of mosquitos which might dampen any outdoor night activities unless you use the dreaded BUG SPRAY!

    Kind of a bummer to see the leaves changing :( ... and sorry fall is so full of strong and not very pleasant memories for you. ...but it is kind of a cosy time of year. Maybe you will have a little less of a winter this year.

    Thanks for the farm update!

    how are the cat-boyz?

  6. You guys have such a beautiful farm! I love the pics of the dogs in the water. Reminds me so much of when we used to take Sinjun to the river.

    And yeah, we had our first cool snap last week, and it started getting into the 60's at night. That's unheard of here for August. We may have a really early fall here if it keeps up like that. Thankfully, with the hurricane activity, we've had a lot of warmer air in the region.

  7. A beautiful & scenic place you have! Loved seeing your dogs enjoy themselves and the butterfly pic was great!

  8. Definitely a Clouded Sulphur.

    Very likely Joe-Pye Weed (the only other vaguely globular pink flowered thingy with long leaves that I can think of is Swamp Milkweed).

    Could the bug be a Soldier Beetle of some sort?

    And I'll leave the froggie for the herptile specialist. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about Mink Frogs here, so there is one less choice for me.

  9. Mexicali Anonymous, G does indeed mow the "cow path." We have a zero-turn Bush Hog mower that I have got to take a picture of.

    The other night we dragged out the chaises longues and lay back looking at the sky with our binoculars. We had the "My Sky" thing out too. Saw quite a few meteors. There was no moon, so the sky was quite dark. Unfortunately, it doesn't get as dark as it did over the ocean in NS. Ottawa, Montreal and Cornwall are all a little too close. But it's pretty good, much better than the sky in, say, Abbotsford!

    The mosquitoes have been less than wonderful this year, but we do use bug spray. Now, however, they only seem to be out for an hour or so at dusk, so if you can avoid that time you're fine.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!