Friday’s Farm Fotos

November 6, 2009

Another Friday, and I think I’ll share some of the pictures I took around the farm this week to make it another Friday’s Farm Foto’s Day!

This first one is of Samson, our male llama, out in the main pasture grazing.

Male llama, Samson, grazing.

All the animals seem to enjoy the medium length grasses in the main pasture, although the llamas like to browse the taller weeds along the fenceline too.

However, they don’t stay there all the time.  They have a routine, and part of the day the sheep and llamas and goat are in the back yard.  This particular picture is of one of our shyer Shetland sheep, Valrhona.

Shetland Sheep: our ewe, Valhrona.

Of course, our farm collie, Toby, can be found in the backyard almost any time, along with some chickens, plus the peacocks and peahens in their pen.

Toby, American Working Farmcollie

The signs of fall are everywhere, but when the sun shines just right on some of the trees along the edges of the bottom pasture, the leaves glint and make it look like the trees are full of white blossoms. I did a double take the first time I saw it. After all, it’s not time for trees to be in bloom!

Bbottom Pasture at Kings Keep Farm

Except, of course, the camellia is still blooming. Some of the blossoms look pretty ragged, but I don’t think this Grandaddy Long Legs minds.

Grandaddy Long Legs on Camellia bloom.

Did you know that these critters, also called harvestmen, aren’t really spiders?  They may look like one, but the biggest difference is that spiders have two body segments, whereas a Granddaddy Long Legs has an oval body that is only ONE segment. They also do not produce silk or a web, so turns out they are not true spiders.

The ferns back in the woods are still nice and green, but then, they stay pretty green all winter.

Ferns in woods on Kings Keep Farm.

The creeks and sloughs are full of colored leaves that have fallen from the trees.

Colored leaves floating on water.

Meanwhile, when the sun warms things up, there’s usually at least one little turtle on the long floating in the pond.

Small turtle on log in pond.

However, they are still very shy, and don’t let people get very close before they plop back down into the water and disappear.

And while our lone wandering white rooster is still AWOL, it seems we may have missed a couple of younger chickens that are roosters.  I looked out our dining room window yesterday and saw at least two roosters fighting.

Roosters fighting.

There was a third one nearby that acted like it might join the fray, but since it never did, I’m not sure if we have 2 or 3 young roosters running loose.

This morning I looked out to see a bunch of squirrels running up and down the fence posts.  This one peered inside a rotten post. . .

Squirrel looking in rotten fence post.

I think he’s wondering if he put any nuts in there.  Maybe I should tell him he’s looking in the wrong direction.

Cause there are some big nuts inside the house!

Going Squirrely

July 28, 2009

Yes, this place is NUTS!

We have lots of nut trees around here.  There are hickory nut trees in the woods and bottom pasture.  There are several walnut trees in our backyard.  There are lots of oak trees producing oodles of acorns.

In other words, this place is a haven for squirrels.

They have regular highways, and love to use some of the pallet fences as a regular access road.

Squirrel on pallet fence.

Sometimes the squirrels run along one edge, sometimes they go for a dual track.  Talk about agile!

Squirrel walking edges of pallet fence.

They often take flying leaps and move so fast I have a hard time aiming the camera and catching them as they go.

Squirrel leaping along pallet fence top.

From the pallet fence surrounding the trumpet vine in the back yard, the squirrel goes zipping across the wooden gate that leads into the main pasture.   The squirrel ignores the pasture and heads for the side yard.

Squirrel on wooden gate.

You see, this particular Squirrel Highway leads to a specific destination.  From this gate the squirrel either runs a short distance on the grass or uses a picket fence path to get to the tree by the birdbath.  There are bathers there before him, however.

The pair of cardinals were having a great pool party until the squirrel came along.

Cardinals playing in birdbath while squirrel climbs down tree behind them.

Once he made the scene, they left.  That suited the squirrel just fine, who decided to get up there and get a drink.

Squirrel drinking out of birdbath.

After the squirrel quenched its’ thirst, it was time to check out what was stored in the pantry.  This means searching around for buried treasure. 

Squirrel looking for buried nut.

Evidently this squirrel thought the area around the birdbath a good place to bury nuts.  It finally found one, dug it up, and checked it out to be sure it was still good.

Squirrel taste-testing nut.

Once the squirrel decided this nut was indeed still worthy of keeping, it picked a new place and buried it again.

Once the nut was buried and the coast was clear, the squirrel took off for the treetops again.

At least until the next time it wants to travel the Squirrel Highway.

Squirrely in Sanford

November 29, 2008

We went down to central Florida to visit family for Thanksgiving. We were staying in housing close to Lake Monroe in Sanford. In the morning we enjoyed walking along the lake. Not surprisingly, there were lots of boats in the lake though there is only one in this particular picture.

Lake Monroe

 There were lots of other people walking along the lake, many with their canine companion (s).

We don’t see many palm trees in our part of the world, so it was neat to see the ones lining the side of the walk closest to the lake.  Many of them were full of berries.

 The birds were munching up on the berries, and there was another familiar critter in the trees…

Squirrel in Palm Tree.

Squirrel in Palm Tree.

Yes, these furry little beasties seem to be everywhere!  We have lots running around in our walnut, hickory, and oak trees back home, but they look to be equally at home in the palm trees in Florida.

However, this little squirrel didn’t limit itself to berries from the palm trees.  It also looked for bread crumbs on the sidewalk, and when it saw one, it went flying across the walk to pounce on it.

Yep, things are squirrely in Sanford!

Going Nuts

November 19, 2007

We have several walnut trees in our back yard that are producing a bumper crop this year. The Farmer gathered up a bunch of these, first filling a wheelbarrow, then several plastic bags. He put this horde of nuts in our storage hut.

One of nature’s other bumper crops discovered his treasure trove.

Yes, there are lots of squirrels scampering through the trees and all over the yard, and they discovered Nut Heaven. No work at all, right there in one place was a mountain of walnuts.

They helped themselves.
They went nuts for the nuts, and now… they aren’t many left. The full sacks and full wheelbarrow are mostly empty.

Wasn’t it nice of The Farmer to pick up all those nuts so the squirrels wouldn’t have to work so hard?