Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Things Can Really Change in a Week!

Spring has burst forth in all her glory!
It happened while we were away.

The funny thing is... before we left temperatures were in the 50's.
In Iceland temperatures were in the 50's... while here at home everyone was
enduring a short heat wave.
Now that we are home the temperatures are cooler again.
It seems we chased away the sun by coming home.

That week of heat and sunshine gave the gardens the boost that they needed.
The vegetables have grown like crazy.

As have the weeds and baby grass between the garden boxes.

The multicolored Echinacea plants that I planted in this box last summer
have all come back up again... bigger and better than before.
That's the thing that I love about perennials.

They multiply every year... making them worth every cent of their cost!

We are once again eating out of the garden.
Suppers include asparagus, kale, spinach, broccoli, and radishes... all freshly picked.

It's so good to be back amongst my friends again.

Though I have to admit that Hubbs has been doing the lion's share of the chores
as my toe (surgery) has not yet healed.  It's being quite stubborn.
So, while he picks up manure and shuffles animals in and out of pastures,
I work in the garden and visit with my furry friends.

Yesterday was the new chicks' (now awkward teenagers) first adventure into their yard.

With a gentle nudge from Hubbs' caring hands...

they stepped out into a whole new world....a scary one at first!

This one sought refuge on my arm.

"There you go.... you'll be just fine!"

What we noticed once they were all outside is that we seem to have a bantam hen in the mix.
She'll be fun to watch as she grows into a miniature version of her sisters.

I'm calling her Meg... as she's just a "Little Woman".

Monday, May 22, 2017

Home Again!

We are home again... tucked in safe and sound.
Our travels through Iceland are ones we won't soon forget.
It is like no place on earth.
In fact, it is otherworldly... like landing on a planet in a faraway galaxy that
can sustain life like earth yet vastly different looking than anything I had ever seen before.

Iceland lies on the borders of two tectonic plates...
making it one of the most geologically unstable places on earth...
a land of paradox...

 Volcanoes and glaciers,
rich verdant farmland and barren lava flows,
mountains and craters,
glacial streams, rivers, bays and hot springs, geysers, and steam vents
make up the topography of this visually abundant land.

It is a land once settled by the Norsemen and women, Vikings....
and now inhabited by rugged individualists...
a people with a can-do spirit who live a more minimalist existence
in this land where adventure awaits.

Situated in the Gulf Stream, with a maritime climate...
Iceland is more temperate than you might think.
Because it is just beneath the arctic circle, summers rarely exceed 70 degrees.
And winters hover around the freezing mark.

Summers of light and winters of dark are another juxtaposition...
the prize for 24 hours of darkness being the Northern Lights.
(no longer visible for our visit.)

It is a land dotted by farms... more rural than I have ever experienced.
Everywhere you look are their precious Icelandic horses...
perhaps my favorite part of the trip!

Almost every farm has a small flock of sheep and a handful of chickens.
The number one crop is grass hay.

With such a short growing season, it is hard to grow much in the way of produce.
Although they are beginning to experiment with growing in greenhouses.
Seafood is abundant... and it is fresh and clean like no other.

I could go on and on.
I was charmed by this incredible island.
I think I could live there... raising Icelandic horses and knitting Icelandic sweaters.
On second thought... how could I ever leave my garden?
And I am sure that Ginger and MaryAnn would not enjoy the change.

Seriously, though... it's great to be home surrounded by my loves.

Travel is great fun but my heart belongs to my home.
I missed you!
Hopefully you could enjoy our travels through photos on Facebook or Instagram.
Iceland may be remote, but it has free WiFi nearly everywhere!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Busy As A Bee

Whew!  This week has been a flurry of activity.
Preparation for leaving the farm is voluminous...
which is perhaps why we don't do it very often.
I have been planting, planting, planting....
weeding, watering, mowing, packing, trimming pig hooves, running errands
and trying to fit in being a wife, mother and grammie.

All of this has left very little time for me to blog...
so today is short and sweet.
I promise you a little more meat and potatoes for tomorrow's blog...
which will be the last for a week.

My list of chores that I must tackle when we get home is getting long as well.
There are seven equines in need of clipping...
and not enough time to do this before our departure.

Thank goodness the watering fairies will take care of all my baby plants while I am away!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

So Much Catching Up To Do

I have been a little lax lately, I must confess,
 in keeping you informed.
There is always so much happening around here...
sometimes I forget to bring you up to speed.

(Tree peonies from my garden....lovely, but smell yucky.)
First of all....the chicklets.

14 out of 15 are doing great.
(I found one had passed the other night...sadly).
These 14 are growing by leaps and bounds...

and some are even able to scale great heights...the whole way up to the perching bar.

Remember the Swedish Crested Duck, Stella, that joined us two weeks ago?
Stella is doing fine.

Bella, Della, and Ella didn't stick around to find out what a good home they had,
The first night after their arrival at the pond, they all three packed their bags and
headed for parts unknown.
My only solace is in knowing that all three couldn't have been gotten by a predator
in one evening, so I have concluded that they were unsatisfied with their new arrangement,
and headed off in search of a more suitable establishment.

The garden suffered a slight set-back the past two nights as we had frost.
We kept sprinklers running, which helped... and covered some of the other plants...
and yet we lost a few peppers and tomatoes.
I will be replanting this week before we leave for Iceland.
Please send warm thoughts while we are absent, so that the garden can progress on schedule.

I confess, I was a little hasty in putting in those tender, warmth-loving plants...
but I am on a bit of a tight schedule this month.
Apparently, Mother Nature wanted to teach me the lesson...."everything in its own time."
Ok... lesson learned.

The countryside is just lovely these days...
the trees are all filled in and everything is green, green, green...
with the exception of just about every other field...

You might look at these fields and be reminded of "amber waves of grain"...
sadly, however, theses fields are not as romantic as that.
No, these fields are winter wheat (a winter cover crop) that has been
sprayed (literally to death) with Round Up.
Don't even get me started.
[arms crossed, frown on face]
No need to go on... I'm preaching to the choir!

Yes, in case you wondered, I am still knitting.  
I have several projects on needles at the moment.
The one that I am working through til completion is this watermelon shawl/scarf...
a perfect little wrap for cool evenings in the garden!!

Thanks for all the sweet comments regarding my foot surgery.
I am healing great and back in shoes again.
I am confident this will not hold me back on vacation.
Which.... by the way.... I am over-the-moon excited for!!

If you want to follow my photos while we are away,
please keep an eye on the Bee Haven Acres Facebook Page,
or follow my Instagram Bee Haven Acres page.
I'll take you along with me (in my pocket...the one closest to my heart!)

And last but not least... to answer a question asked by several yesterday.
The pink "masks" that Daphne and Chloe wear to graze are called grazing muzzles.

They restrict the amount of grass that the donkeys can eat in order to reduce the amount of 
calories taken in while the donkeys are out in the pasture.
The muzzle has a small hole when the donkeys would normally chew the grass...
allowing just a small amount of grass to be eaten at a time.
This helps to keep them from gaining weight and from having the accompanying health issues.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Mother of All

It's hard to leave the moment when every moment is filled
with the sights and sounds and smells of the farm.
It's just how life flows around here and what makes this place so therapeutic.

There are places on this earth that are filled with healing, positive energy...
and this is most definitely one of those places...
especially in the Springtime!

It's hard to feel sad or anxious when you sit in cool, vibrant green grass 
and watch these gentle creatures all around you.

If I could I would bring each and every one of you out to the pasture to sit for a spell...
listening to the sounds of the mockingbird as it imitates the rest of the birds
who are singing in the woods and meadows.
You notice an obvious lack of man-made sounds...
behind the din of nature... silence.

You feel your blood pressure gently lower,
your heart rate becomes soft and regular...in no hurry to send energy to your relaxing muscles...
your lungs fill with the sweet, cool essence of fresh hay and lilac blossoms...
carried to your nose on a gentle breeze.

Your mind empties as your eyes watch soft, puffy clouds float across the vibrant blue
of a sky free from pollution.
You are surrounded by contented grazers...
happily munching their breakfast.

You lose all track of time... not knowing if moments or hours pass...
not caring either way.

It's in these peaceful moments you feel no pain...
no pain of body, no pain of mind...
your soul is lifted to a gentler plain.
All burdens and worries are left behind and in that moment you feel nothing but freedom.

In this fast-paced, filled-with-too-many-details kind of world
we need to take more time to do just this...
We need to take time to fill our souls with the pure energy of nature.
I can't help but think we would all be a lot healthier.
This is the world in which we live... the gift we have been given...
not the man-made this-and-that of everyday living...
but the realness and trueness that lives in a blade of grass...
in a puff of billowy cloud...
in the song of a bird...
in the gentle sighing breeze of the earth...
Mother Earth.

Take some time and spend it with your Mother... and feel her healing energy.
Happy Spring, friends.
Get outside-Be Well!


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