Life Happenings

Oh the busy hustle and bustle of May.  Gardens need tending, animals need more care with bug protection and heat protection, the yards require time, the kids sports and end of the year testing and parties.  It seems to be a blur!

We have had some downtime and these pictures walk you through how you have to find the blessings in the busyness!

The man and I worked on getting the boat ready for the season.  We put it at the dock after launching it and watching the sun set!

My sister and her husband came to visit.  The kids had a great time dipping their legs in the Niagara River and chatting with Auntie Ann after a family cruise.  Even Gram and her hat had fun!

We had some extremely warm temperatures for a few days.  The animals were set up in their houses with fans and frozen water bottles to lay against.  Bailey did venture out for a bit of grass in the shade but preferred the comfort of the fans in the cooler barn.

The hummingbird tree is set up and some beautiful flower baskets were purchased!

The pool was opened and used immediately even though it was very cold, meals were cooked on the open fire and some night swimming and tightrope walking ended an evening or two.

The Teen Queen celebrated her 14th birthday with a full face snorkel she wanted!  She and 2 close friends are saying goodbye to junior high and were welcomed into the Class of 2020 at their new Catholic High School of choice.  She received the highest scholarship rewarding all of her hard work for the past 3 years.

Gardens were planted and a few things were harvested.

My little great nephew and my Godson are buddies even though they live miles apart.  They love spending time collecting eggs for breakfast, frogging in the pond, playing fort and just being farm boys!

On the sports front softball was put on hold for a few weeks due to a break to the fingers from a hit by the ball on a swing from the Teen Queen.  Never fear, she’s back in the game. The boy’s team won medals for their hockey tournament and he is enjoying being able to play for his jv soccer team at school.

And some big bonfires and smores have been enjoyed before sleeping in the cabin which is set up for it’s first summer season on the farm!  More of the cabin in the next post…..

 

 

 

Advertisements

Niagara River

516d

As you know if you follow my blog, we live on an Island surrounded by the Niagara River.  The river is fed by Lake Erie and eventually goes over Niagara Falls.

island

This is an aerial view of our Island, Grand Island.  The little Island up in the left hand corner is Navy Island which is owned by Canada and is an uninhabited island.  The white spot in the left corner is Niagara Falls.

falls2

 

You can see why I love where we live.

516c

This morning I took an early morning walk before heading into work.  I walked in the city of Tonawanda, which is across the bridges from our island.

516

This is the large hotel located on Grand Island.  It’s a pretty view if you stay on the side facing the river.  The towers in the background are for a local TV station located on the island.

516b

At one point I came across this funny little decorated post.  It gave me a morning laugh for sure!  Whoever took the time to decorate it did a great job!

There are informative pieces of information scattered about the walkway which share a bit of the history of Grand Island and the Niagara River.

516a

There are little walkways built over the water where you can really appreciate the beauty of the river.

On the way back these seagulls lined the bridge as I walked over.  Only one was brave enough to stay and watch me without flying off!  Only one pole I saw marked and ironically it had one of my favorite numbers on it!  #28 is my son’s hockey number and our favorite player #Zemgus Girgensons from the Buffalo Sabres!!!

This bridge and walking trail is beautiful any season for walking!

forget

It was a very chilly walk along the river today.  I love being surrounded by the water and when the weather is warm this is my favorite spot to be, floating on our boat watching the sun set!

 

A Walk in the Woods

Saturday morning was beautiful for a quick 4 mile walk through the woods on our property and some neighbors.  Below are some pictures to share….

Heading down our main dirt trail and took a trail heading to the west.  It’s a twisty turning trail that heads directly down to the creek.

Heading up the trail from the creek I see a neighbor has put up a new tree stand.  There are make shift bridges along the creek like the one above.  This bridge actually gets moved every year by the creek and they have to reset it, as you can see they have done.  Another neighbors trail that we have helped to maintain for years is in a low spot and is always full of water.  It’s a great spot for polywogs!

After the long low spot you head down to their bridge that is build out of railroad ties.  Perfect for the weight of horses and four wheelers.  Up the hill from the bridge is an old tire marking a property stake.  You can see the spring rains have kept these trails wet!  You continue on this trail and it leads you in a circle back to our property connecting to the open field.

Look closely and you can see the Man and Boy’s double tree stand for hunting.  It’s a special spot where a little boy has gone with his dad to share in a hunting trip!  Just past the stand I saw this poor broken robins egg on the ground on the trail heading back to the middle of our property and the arch where you know to turn.

The old pool deck serves as Grandpa’s tree stand as he can no longer climb into a tree.  We moved it back to an area he can drive to on the 4 wheeler and still enjoy time hunting.  Turning from there to the watery trail leading up to our bridge.  Once across the bridge turning to the east the creek overflows and when it dries up, lush grasses grow.  The bridges in the lush grass serve for 4 wheeler or walking access to the east trails.

Heading up the east trail towards the house completes the “loop” we call it.  There are many little trails that run off the main trail but if you follow the main trail you will come to the opening of our back pasture.  There is an old farm implement that was abandoned back in these woods and when we cleared for the new pasture, I insisted on leaving it where it was put to rest.  I wonder how much work it did and who left it back there in the middle of an over grown field.

IMG_5825

And we have come full circle to the back of our little cabin in the woods heading home.

I’ve walked these trails and woods since 1972 and I was 6 years old.  Each trip is a new adventure with downed trees, new sites, water and animals.  I will never outgrow the excitement of walking in the woods!!

Farm Happenings

419

Blue and Oreo finally enjoying a sunny day

Spring on the farm is one of the busiest seasons.  It is the time for cleaning up the winter mess, prepping the gardens for planting, fixing up all of the animal pastures/enclosures that have weathered the winter snow and ice, starting all the seedlings in the greenhouse, spring hockey, jv soccer, varsity softball, work, meals, and trying to have a bit of fun inbetween.

Here are some of the things we have managed over the last week (not including meals which will come in a later post 🙂 :

If you have followed along with my Facebook Page…Chasenchanceranch, Disco foundered in January and has had a rough road over the last 2 months.  With aggressive treatments he is on the mend thankfully and even had his mane trimmed as he always has for riding and showing.  Even if he never makes it on the trails again, we are beyond grateful to have him comfortable and not in pain.

The baby chickens coop has been completely netted over the fencing and roof so there is never another hawk issue and they can be free and go in and out of their coop at will.  We have owned this property in my family since 1972 and have never had an animal lost to a hawk until this year.  It was a very hard life lesson for the kids to handle, but we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of all the animals!

The bunnies have a new run attached to their house so they can get some exercise and play during the day.  Meanwhile the “Chicken Brigade” travels the yard making sure to keep the bugs to a minimum!

Pops of color from the spring perennials are starting to liven up the grounds while some plantings are thriving in the portable greenhouse.  If you do not have primrose in your garden, I suggest you invest in some.  They are a very hardy spring plant and have beautiful green leaves during the summer when not in bloom.  They bloom in early fall as well and add great color.

Spring sports are underway.  The boy (in red) at his first jv soccer practice, the Teen Queen practicing catching and throwing for Varsity softball, and the boy playing in a jv hockey game.  Our nights are busy after work for sure!

The cabin is being set up for the summer to live in, the awning is up on the house for some outdoor dinners, morning coffee when not sleeping in the cabin, and rainy days when we play board games under it.

419g

This robins nest is in the eave of the cabin.  We have to leave it as it contains these cute little eggs and a hopeful robin mommy!

And with the nicer weather comes our weekend bonfires to end the nights.  This was the “big one” as we burned up all the branches from around the yard and a few pallets.

And that’s part of the week in review!  Tonight is the first Varsity softball game…Go Lady Eagles!!!

 

The Story of the Woodpecker and Finch

birds2

I know, I know…yes another bird picture from me.  I can’t help myself!

I was going to take a picture of the colorful woodpecker eating at the feeder and that’s where the story begins…….

The hungry woodpecker was happily enjoying his breakfast.  He didn’t have a care in the world even when he noticed me with a camera watching him in the window.   He was a relaxed woodpecker enjoying life on a cold snowy morning.

Along came the golden yellow, beautiful, small finch.  He eyed up the feeder and saw it held many treats for a hungry bird.  He did a fly by once and then again. Out of nowhere he appeared with wings spread and an angry look on his face.  He zeroed right in on the happy woodpecker and chased him away!

birds3

And he ate and ate until his heart was content

The End!!  For today that is…..

Snow

oreo escape2

Sissy stuck her head out and went right back into the coop after we had snow last night.

All winter we begged for snow!  My kids love snow, we are outdoor people regardless of the snow.  But we only had a few lucky days of it compared to last year when we were buried most of the winter (this was the last week of March 2015)

hockey net snow

Now we have switched to “spring” mode and sure enough here comes the snow!!

I actually planted bulbs yesterday from our hyacinth plants and the primrose are in full bloom as seen in the pictures below:

And this is the little garden today after a bit of the warm sun melting the snow.

43

Tonight we are getting another 5-8 inches so somehow, someway…we need to switch our minds back into winter mode for a few days.

Easier said than done!!

Beaver Dam

IMG_5304

Rohan looking for the beaver

This is a creek that eventually meets up with the Niagara River.  Last summer a beaver made this little area his home.  Every few days the kids would go down and check his progress on building his dam.  Yesterday we took our little nephew there as he wanted to check for the beaver and collect more of the chewed wood for his collection.

IMG_5306

pile of sticks that were once the beaver dam

The town got sight of the dam in the fall and came and removed the dam with a backhoe.  This is all that is left of the dam today.  The kids were very sad but understand the importance of keeping this creek flowing.

IMG_5307

It’s amazing to see how hard this little beaver worked even taking down quite large trees all along this area. These are things you can’t teach in a classroom and so valuable to share with the kids in my mind.

IMG_5305

He is missed but the kids will keep looking for signs of him throughout the next few months to see if he returns.