Friday, March 13, 2015

Old Friends, Reunited

Where does the time go? Do you find yourself asking that question – a lot?! Me too! I had mentioned posting an update on the Shouse (aka Barn-Cottage). Well, that didn’t happen. Yet. But soon. I have company coming over the course of the next couple of weeks, so that will force me into cleaning mode.. and therefore, I can see that would be a great time to take pics :)

Today I want to share a picture of my father-in-law, the Blacksmith’s Pops, our dear “G-pa.” He hasn’t been able to live at his home since last Summer (World War II Vet, in his 90’s). We see him pretty often, but hadn’t gotten around to getting his beloved dog the updated vaccinations so “Shorty” could go to the care facility and visit. Last week, I finally accomplished the vet visit. Over the weekend.. these two were reunited. Needless to say, it was a very happy moment! Had to share. There will be more Shorty visits in the near future.

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Hope everyone has a great weekend! The weather is pure perfection here.. absolutely Spring-like, and the chorus frogs are singing like crazy. Happy happy!!

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

An Enormous Flock of Geese, and a New Donkey?!

We’re baaack! Let’s see, lots of things happening around here. We are {mostly} moved into the Shouse (aka Barn/Cottage). This weekend we hope to move the all-important kitchen appliances to our new abode. I will try to do an update with pics next week on the Shouse. Lots of tasks have been accomplished, but still many details to finish. Very happy with our little Barn/Cottage <3

So, what else is new? I have a new donkey.. but she needs some work. I will share a photo of “Opal” at the end of this post. {Teaser}

Our Gorgeous Trumpeter Swans have moved on, but they’ve been replaced in the same spot with the most ginormous flock of geese that I have ever had the pleasure to view!! It was impossible to show just how many geese were there, but here is a sampling. This group was mostly Snow Geese, but there were also Canadians and various others. It is pure eye candy for the Avian Lover, but probably not a welcome sight for the host (Farmer).

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Now, about this new donkey. We were furniture shopping over the weekend, and next door was one of our favorite antique malls to peruse: Veranda Antique Mall. Opal appeared to me, like a vision, when I first walked in the door (after grumbling because no purses are allowed-- you must lock them up in a locker or take them back to your vehicle – I get it, buuuut, it’s a pain.. ok?!). There she was, my Beautiful White Donkey in all her glory, pulling a cart with loose wheels. It was love at first sight, in spite of a few flaws.. a loose tail and ear, some chips here and there, and the obvious.. wheels propped up on either side of the cart. She holds promise though.  Don’t you think? Best part is, Ruby and Gracie will not be jealous of Opal.. and she doesn’t eat much. Just an investment of Bondo repair putty and some artistic TLC and she should be good to go. I will update with pics as she is transformed.

Presenting Opal…

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It is super cold again here in MO.. just a reminder that Spring has not arrived just yet. Have a Happy Valentines Day weekend, Folks!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Natural History of the Chicken

Internet connection woes, computer monitor woes, and other issues have prevented me from blogging yet in 2015. So, I thought.. why not re-post one of my favorites? I previously blogged this post in March of 2010. As you may know, I did finally become a chicken mama (again) in 2010. 12 of those original 17 Ameraucanas remain, and are still doing pretty well. I am ready to watch this documentary again.. I just love it. The video and links below are to various youtube segments of the original documentary. Also, if you have Amazon Prime (and a faster internet connection than we do right now!), the full version is free to watch on Amazon. Enjoy!
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Dear friends who love chickens (like myself)…
Have you seen this documentary? It’s been around awhile, but it was my first time viewing it on PBS this week. I loved every minute of it (although much of it is admittedly quite bizarre). My desire to be a Chicken Keeper again was strengthened ten-fold. (ummmm… Mr. W, get ready to build that chicken coop!).
A word of caution for Big Saps like myself… grab that box of Kleenexes. (sniffle-sniffle).
This is part 6 of 6 (my favorite), but if you want to view more, click here for part 1 and proceed through all 6 parts.
Back to taxes and purging…. Fun Times!
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: The Year in Pictures

Goodbye 2014 and a Big Howdy to 2015! Happy New Year from all of the family here at Flat Creek Farm.. Blessings to All!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Peace Love and Joy

Our 2014 edition of the annual Hee Haw card…. Merry Christmas to all!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Trumpeter Swans for Christmas

We are blessed to see these beauties at least once a week. I consider it a wonderful Christmas gift :)
They had moved a bit, so we were able to get a little bit closer. Please see this recent post for lots of info on Trumpeter Swans!

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I’ll close with this video. I apologize for the shakiness.. super zoom is great but makes for a little instability.

Trumpeter Swans at Rest in Cut Cornfield

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday: Check out Wild Bird Wednesday for beautiful wild birds around the world!

Have a wonderful remainder of your week.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

An Eagle and Trumpeter Swans

Mr. W is the Eagle Eye.. he spots some great photo ops for me on our road trips (sadly, I don’t always capture them the way I like). Thanks to Mr. Eagle Eye, we have been fortunate enough to observe a nice flock of Trumpeter Swans along our regular route for the past few weeks. At first, Mr. W remarked, “hey, some snow geese.” However, after I took the zoomed but blurry pics I realized they looked far too graceful to be snow geese. Trumpeter Swans they are! We have been back through that route several times since that first day. Today I was able to capture some non-blurry shots. Yay! I’ll make you wait to the end of this post for that though.

We spotted a bald eagle today also. Such a majestic and glorious bird!

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“Our” Swan Flock…
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I have included a little info from Missouri Department of Conservation on Trumpeter Swans in Missouri below. Also, I reported our sightings to the conservation department, but haven’t heard back if they have actually investigated “our” local flock or not.

“Family: Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans) in the order Anseriformes
Description: An all-white swan with a wingspan of nearly 8 feet. They fly with their extraordinarily long necks outstretched. Distinguished from tundra swan by its straight upper bill and the broad base of the bill against the eye, making the eye appear as part of the bill from a distance. Voice is a low trumpetlike sound; that of the young is higher and more nasal.
Size: Length: 60 inches (tip of bill to tip of tail).
Habitat and conservation: Formerly a common migrant statewide and summer resident in northern Missouri. Currently, individuals and family groups winter in Missouri, foraging in shallow water. Some birds may be from the wild population of the Nebraska Sandhills, but most are from captive breeding programs. If you see trumpeter swans with neck collars, use your binoculars to see the color and numbers of the collar, and report them to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Foods: Trumpeter swans forage in shallow water on aquatic vegetation, roots, seeds, and insects.
Distribution in Missouri: Statewide.
Status: Rare winter resident at marshes, lakes, and rivers; formerly a common migrant statewide and summer resident in northern Missouri. A Species of Conservation Concern, it is considered critically imperiled in our state.
Life cycle: Trumpeter swans breed usually in freshwater habitats with dense emergent vegetation, as in inland waters and ponds. Nests are constructed of emergent vegetation and feathers, on the ground surrounded with water. Four to 6 eggs are laid; these are incubated for 33–37 days, and the young fledge in 91–119. Breeding in Missouri is extremely rare but may become more common in the future.
Human connections: There are only about 5,000 trumpeter swans in the Midwest, and they are considered extirpated from our state. Hunters who shoot trumpeter swans risk thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail. If you’re hunting snow geese, make sure you can distinguish between them and trumpeter swans!
Ecosystem connections: 
Swans, geese, and other aquatic grazers are important components of wetland, pond, and lake ecosystems, pruning the steadily growing vegetation and insect populations. In turn, these birds, especially their vulnerable eggs and young, provide food for carnivores.”

As you will see from the excerpt above, they are still considered imperiled and extirpated from our State. It warms my heart to see so many healthy Trumpeters in one flock! Also, my favorite book as a 10 or 11 year old girl was The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. I’ve always been a bit partial to geese and swans. This has definitely been a highlight of my 2014 to say the least. They are incredibly beautiful and graceful birds.

Enjoy your weekend! Hope you can get out there and enjoy some nature in your neck of the woods!

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Friday, November 28, 2014

A Wine Barrel Chair

Not just any old chair. This is my favorite chair! And I’ve planned to blog about it since Spring! Where has this year gone?

Fabricated by a good friend of the Blacksmith’s -- from a wine barrel at a local winery. Coopers Oak Winery, to be exact.


You might see our Banjo girl peeking thru.. above.



also notice the cute socks (dressed up for Winter).

Looky, a specially designed wine glass holder built in the chair… very handy ;)

A custom laser personalization with (squee! my favorite!) hummingbirds!


yep, that’s me….

It is a beautiful piece of furniture, AND so comfy! It is also a permanent fixture in the shouse. Great for Chillaxin’ time.

Additionally, to go with the chair, there is a handmade wine glass and wine bottle holder (aka portable wine rack) and two lovely etched Coopers Oak wine glasses. There was a bottle Sawmill Sweet wine from Coopers Oak (who knew our favorite winery had such a wine?!) I did have pics for the portable wine rack also.. but alas, I cannot find them right now.

Indeed, I am one lucky gal.

The backstory: the Blacksmith’s talented woodworker friend makes some gorgeous furniture and other lovelies from wine barrels. If you’re interested, and happen to live in our neck of the woods, shoot us a note and we’ll get back to you. The craftsmanship is remarkable… Something to last for generations!

A big shout-out and THANK YOU to the talented craftsman, Mr. JM.

Cheers!

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