Around the Farm

We’ve had sunshine.
We’ve had heat.
We’ve had rain.

Weeds in the garden are fighting me…hard.
But in some places I’m winning.
πŸ™‚

I have a whole bunch of grass down for hay.
Actually, should be baling it today.
Then I have more to cut along our property.
This year…whew, every little bit is going to count this year.
So even though I’m tired af, I’m still going out and cutting, raking, turning, drying, baling…
Oy, and the horsefly bites!!
Yikes!
Bruises upon bruises from the rotten little s.o.b’s.

But, there’s some good stuff too…

There’s beets in them thar weeds!!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

beans are turning into flowering bushy masses…

look at all the apples!
*swoons*
So. Happy.

It’s supposed to be one of those Russian Giant sunflowers.
Not very tall, but I’m hopeful for a large head of seeds.

Flowers on the strawberries…

And there’s the pigs…

naptime

Oh George…

George has happily chewed the side out of the shelter so that, on super hot days, he can stay inside in the shade and still munch away on the thistles and other garden weeds I toss to the pigs.
Whatever works for him, so long as he’s growing.
πŸ˜‰

alfalfa blossoms

dragonfly

There are so many dragonflies here this year!
I love seeing them flitting around.
And they make the poor chickens lose their minds, as the birds try to chase them to catch and eat.
Every now and then you’ll see a bird run by with one in her beak, but the dragonflies tend to be too fast for them.

the thistles are blooming…

Thinking I’m going to dry some for tea this year (thistle is good for liver health and is supposed to ease asthma attacks/symptoms)…but right now I’m mostly cutting them for the pigs and the poultry.
They all love thistles to eat.

And finally, because I haven’t shared a picture of her in quite some time…

Daphne

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Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2018

Every New Year’s Eve I try to do a recap post.
This year, I’m revisiting Ashley Sisk’s Memories Dreams and Reflections prompts.
Yeah, the post is from 2015, but the prompts are the same.
And they’re a fun way to see what 2018 was like here on the Farm…

So, let’s get to it, because this is gonna get long.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Me

If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know, I’m behind the camera 99.9% of the time, so there’s not too many shots with me in them…but this one I took for an Instagram challenge, where I had to show myself in the midst of a farm chore…

Ruby’s dainty hoof…

What better than a foot/hoof selfie with Ruby?

I Love You

How could I not love these 3?

Kid and her Sable ❀

And this…I ❀ this image…and these 2.

Still Laughing

MCFHubby and Astrid

It started out as a normal ride…and ain’t little Miss Astrid just the prettiest damn thing ever?

But then, things went a wee bit wrong…
See, that lead rope got tangled in the bail, Hubby pulled and the end snapped poor little Miss on the bum…

And then, as she tried to go forward, Hubby squeezed with his legs trying to hold on, while pulling her head around…and Astrid said “Listen, I had enough. Get. Off. Me.”

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Okay, so it wasn’t funny ’til we knew they were both okay, but we’re still laughing about it, because mixed messages with equines all too often means eating dirt.
Oh and Hubby ate dirt…

Winter Wonderland

January 28th, 2018
First day I picked up my camera in months, and finally started to become myself again.

Beautiful Girl ❀

Astrid having a nap in the snow of our winter wonderland.

Birthday

So May 21st was supposed to be a Certain Girl’s 13th birthday.
I had planned out a shoot a year prior for it, and well, even though she wasn’t with us anymore, we went ahead with it anyways…

We let her herdmates enjoy the carrot cake in her honor…

He mighta smooshed it into her muzzle a wee bit…being it’s a cake smash and all… πŸ˜‰

Ruby’s turn…

And then Hubby set the cake down, so all 3 could enjoy it at once…

“CAAAAAAKKKKEEE!”

Friends

2018 was a year of getting to do some great photography work with friends…

Shaila of Pugtail Photography

The Cream 1/2 of Cookie’n’Cream Photography

We shot train robberies together…

Gentle giant Clyde, meeting one of his adoring fans…

And we shot images for a calendar…

Oooooh, scary ghost!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings, collaboration wise!

I Was Inspired

Inspiration was hard-fought in 2018.
But I managed a few inspirational (to me) images…

This was my “Until We Meet Again” image…

It took a bottle of whiskey and a whole lot of tears to create.
Afterwards, my heart was so much lighter.
I just really needed a way to express my grief and say goodbye.
This was it.
❀


And then for Hallowe’en (and ultimately the anniversary of her death) Hubby helped me create this image.
Cookie’s skull, in sunlight, under our tree.
❀

Spring Fever

Chicks!

The perfect photographic depiction of spring fever…18 little balls of feathers that lived in my bathroom for a few weeks, ’til they could go out to the coop.

Travel or Vacation

Having started an Instagram account for Ruby, The Painted Unicorn, we found a toy to represent her as we traveled here and there…because The Painted Unicorn Ruby has to stay home and guard the beer and food, while DecoyRuby goes out and is social. πŸ˜‰

Summer Days

Gone fishin’

Friend Will’s giant fish. πŸ˜‰

The Palomino Princess at sunrise…

Getting her teeth done…

Bird watching

A Day in My Life

Sunrise photoshoots…


Staff meetings…


Dogs with sticks…


Finding stray nests…

16 eggs!!

Feeding baconators…

nom nom nom
This good stuff, Food Lady!

Bobbing for apples…


Getting sick babies well again…

Drugged for x-rays…

And photos taken as the sun sinks down…

All Smiles

I just can’t help but smile at this one…
She’s sleeping, snoring, licking and running all while flat out.
❀

Autumn Harvest

look at all the tomatoes on there!

Helper chicken

Garden tomatoes…

Our garden did it’s best since moving here.
So many tomatoes, beans, beets, carrots…
As well as other yummy things.
It was a prosperous growing season for sure!

Home


This just says “home” to me…
There’s no words to explain why. It just does.

Celebrate

Yule pictures!
πŸ˜‰

Let’s Do It Again


Let’s nap in the grass…


Doze in the rising sun light…


Enjoy the splendor of an early sunrise…

I Miss You

Always and forever…

❀

Until we meet again…

❀

I will miss you until the end of time.

“Oh! Hey Mama…whatcha doin'”
~Cookie

There is never a day where I’m not thinking of you.

Beautiful

This…

And this…

And this…

Dress Up

Aside from Yule pictures with the lights, I don’t think I did any dress up kinda shoots with my animals this year.
So, for this one you get Dukey…an elder mini gentleman who lives at West Wind Stables.

See?
How adorable is he?

Macro

I got nothin’ macro from this year.
Not sure I even used that lens for anything other than a few portraits.
This one is an older shot, trying to convince Cookie to wear a Canada Day headband.
It didn’t work.
πŸ˜‰
But those whiskers…and that muzzle.
❀

“So scary smelling. Can’t let this any closer to me. Sorry Mama.” ~Cookie

Holidays

The holidays can be rough, y’know?
Especially when you’re a famous unicorn.
That’s why you have your very own masseuse…or in this case, a cat-sseuse…to massage out all those tight, achy muscles while your herdmate tried to push in and get a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for herself.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


And then, once everything’s loose, it’s time to go to work…them pretty holiday photos ain’t gonna make themselves happen.
πŸ˜‰

My Favorite

My Remembrance Day shots…


For the simplicity, the beauty and because I let myself just follow my camera.

Don’t Ever Change

Don’t ever change, my RubyGirl.
You keep your headstrong, boss bitch attitude.
It’s one of the main reasons I love you and why I love working with you…and it makes for grand photos!

Just Because…So There!

Hopes and Dreams

As always, we have big Dreams here at Midnight Calico Farm.
This past year we got a little closer to stocking the pantry shelves to acceptable levels, as I got back into canning.
While our pigs didn’t grow as well as we’d hoped (they arrived way too late for them to get as big as we like them), I did find a fantastic deal on Muscovy ducks, both for the freezer and for eggs and meat next year.


I hope y’all will stick with us, as we grow and learn from our mistakes.
And I promise, I’ll try harder to put up posts more often.
Life has slowly returned to center.
It’s been a long road.
I’m ready for 2019.

Happy New Year!

πŸ’–πŸ–€πŸ’–

Snowflakes

We have had some wild winds this week.
Cold, windy…makes a girl want to hibernate.
Oh, but yesterday, the winds died down for while, and we had a little bit of snowfall.
In fact, winds were quiet enough that we fired up the bbq for the first time in near onto 2 weeks.
That, for us, is a loooong time to not be grilling something. Even in winter!

While I left the Hubby to tend the food, I grabbed my camera (it’s happening more and more ❀ ) and headed off to see the Girls.
See, in a lot of the photography groups, macro shots of snowflakes is all the rage. I’ve done it before:

Snowflakes on Astrid (from 2016)

Snowflakes on Cookie(from 2016)

Last night my best shot was on Sable…who kept turning around to see why I was getting so close to her belly without scratching all the spots that need the scratching.

Snowflake on Sable

The important thing in last night’s image though, isn’t the snowflake.
It’s lovely, but look deeper…beyond that long winter coat, you can see hints of gold in there.
That, my friends, means our Palomino Princess is starting her summertime coat.
Spring is coming!
πŸ™‚

Fragrance

There is no denying the effect that the fragrance of horses has on people…

You either love it, or hate it.
We, ’round here, are quite firmly in the “Love It” camp.
πŸ˜‰

Make no mistake, there are days when I say to the Girls “Could ya stop lying on, and rolling in, the manure pile? Damn, you stink!!”
For the most part though, the Eau De Equine soothes the Spirit, eases the aches and pains of the daily grind, heals the open wounds in our souls.

I say it a lot…only the horses are allowed to eat money around here.
It’s true, horses are a money pit.
So, why do we keep them?

“oh, hi Mama…you got treats for me?”
~ Ruby

“The Hell, Mama!!
Stop calling me, I ain’t dead! I *was* having a great nap though!”
~ Astrid

LOL!! We had another passerby stop in to tell me about the “dead horse” in the pasture. Astrid was not impressed. πŸ˜‰

“I hear your beepy thing…I know you’re there…I’m too sleepy…”
~ Cookie

“I be rollin’
My back is itchy…oooooh, feels soooo good!!”
~ Sable

We keep them because horses change lives.
Our lives are so much richer in ways other than money.
Yeah, they eat money, but what they give back to us is worth so much more.
Those days I have to leave the Farm, I’m always thinking about coming home. About standing in the midst of my little herd, breathing their unique scents, feeling their breath, touching coats, leaning on bodies that love to support us…

Many times I’ve been told that they’re lucky to be with us.
And while I sorta agree, because of what could have been when they were in the auction ring, I tend to lean farther towards I’m lucky to have them. We’ve given them a soft place to land, a Home ’til the end of their days, with good food, health care, and a whole lotta love.

❀

What they’ve given me, all of us here at the Farm, is so much more.

Friday’s Hunt Feb. 19th

What a lovely week of weather we’ve had!
It’s hard to believe it’s February. Yesterday we hit an amazing +6*c.
Sooooo nice!

The horses have been happily basking in the sunshine and the hennys have loved every second of outdoor time they’ve gotten. My birds are spoiled, they do not like to get cold, so when it’s below -15*c, I leave them in the coop. But this warmth? They’re loving boking ’round the chicken yard, snow drifts and all.

This week’s prompts are Starts with G, Week’s Favorite and Pink.
And here’s my images…

Starts with G

Who else could possibly be used for the letter G, other than my Ghost?

<3

❀

My big, sweet, supposedly feral, TomCat.
The Kid and I worked hard on gaining this guy’s trust, and now, he’s the best barn cat ever. Even when he follows me around the Farm yard yapping up a storm. πŸ˜‰

Week’s Favorite

Well, you saw that image the other day:

I love this shot so much...feral or friendly Palomino?!?

I love this shot so much…feral or friendly Palomino?!?

Definitely my favorite shot of the week.

Pink

This one is a close second though…just shot fresh this morning, with the help of The Kid.

pink-mintsMs Cookie lipping up pink mints from The Kid’s hand.
And, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been asking about her, offering wishes of good health and been checking up on us.
Thankfully, my big donkey is back to her normal, delightful self..
Eating her beet pulp happily, and scrapping with Astrid again.
❀

Sharing for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.

And So We Begin Again…

First…

Thank you everyone who sent good wishes after Cookie’s *ahem* incident. She’s doing very well, and back to being herself 100%.
And, a huge thank you to those whose shoulders I cried on during and after…words can’t express how much I appreciate the support and love y’all sent my way. ❀ ❀ ❀

This week marks the 2nd round of the alphabet for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
I am going to work very hard at making sure I get the whole alphabet done this time. No slacking, no missing letters, no excuses. I hope. πŸ˜‰
And so, this week, we have prompts Starts with A, Week’s Favorite and Macro.

For starts with a, we have this cutie…

Anna Kitten

Anna Kitten

This is Anna Kitten. She and her sister…

Banana Kitten

Banana Kitten

Are the last 2 kittens of the season. And, with a whole bunch of spay and neuter surgeries in progress, hopefully some of the last kittens we have here on the Farm.
We had an awful spring with kitten loses and sick Mamas, that I looked for a low-cost spay/neuter clinic and have been working on getting as many cats fixed as possible.
One of our girls, though, had these two Numpkins hidden in the garage. Well, once we caught her for her spay, we had no choice but to catch them and bring them in. Right now, they are loving the indoor kitty life. So, we are hoping to find them an indoor home.
We already have 4 indoor cats. I don’t want 6. lol!

Snuggling and being cute

Snuggling and being cute

Anna Kitten showing me how tired she is of my taking her picture. ;)

Anna Kitten showing me how tired she is of my taking her picture. πŸ˜‰

My favorite this week was taken yesterday…
I went out, with Hubby, to take some Canada Day pictures with the Girls. As always, Sable shows what a natural in front of the camera she is…

Sable Canada Day 2016 wmHubby draped the flag over her rump, stepped back and Sable just turned like this…perfectly beautiful.
And then, there’s Ruby.
Hubby was showing her that the one hat wasn’t scary. Just look at her expression…

"Seriously Mom? What *is* this guy's problem?!?"

“Seriously Mom? What *is* this guy’s problem?!?”

She ended up wearing it no problem (I’ll share that shot later on in the week.), with her trademark shake to dump it at the end.
We tried to get Astrid and Cookie to wear that hat too. Astrid was not impressed. She did wear it, but wow, I don’t think anything has come across as so scary to her before. We let her sniff it over and over, which led to a great couple of macro shots.

Astrid checks out the head wear.

Astrid checks out the head wear.

I’m sure the problem was a combination of too many bugs, and the fact that the head wear had shiny moving parts that made odd swishy noises by her ears.

"So scary smelling. Can't let this any closer to me. Sorry Mama." ~Cookie

“So scary smelling. Can’t let this any closer to me. Sorry Mama.” ~Cookie

Cookie wouldn’t even stand for me to raise it to her head. She sniffed, snorted and backed up away from it every time I tried to raise it. In the end, I just let her sniff it until she relaxed and then took it away. It wasn’t worth fighting with her to try to force it on her.

A Jumble of Cats!

That’s a real thing, right?
A jumble of cats?
Well, for me it is. πŸ˜›
This weeks prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are…Starts with J, Week’s Favorite and A Cuppa.

So, starts with j is clearly a jumble of cats…all over my couch!

Look at them all...all comfortable and happy, like they think they live here or something!

Look at them all…all comfortable and happy, like they think they live here or something!

Good thing I don’t let the dog on the couch too, because there’d be nowhere for me to sit!

I have a couple for week’s favorite…since we had a couple more rounds of snow, I thought I’d try taking some macro shots of snowflakes on equine winter coats. Sounds like it should be easy, but it’s not. Crispy macro demands stillness, not 1200lbs of breathing, twisting “Whatchoo doing so darn close to me with the camera for Mama?”
In the end, after 2 tries I got 2 shots I’m happy with, and, they qualify as my week’s favorites.

Snowflakes on Cookie

Snowflakes on Cookie

Snowflakes on Astrid

Snowflakes on Astrid

And finally, for a cuppa, my morning tea…

Mmmm, hot sweet tea.

Mmmm, hot sweet tea.

Normally, I have coffee, but this morning I felt like a cup of tea, sweetened with a generous spoonful of brown sugar. Yum! It’s a lovely way to start the day. πŸ™‚

Sharing with Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.