Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Random pix

As you can imagine, it's been a busy week full of many tasks. I've been writing so much that I've hardly had a chance to think of anything useful to post on the blog. So I'll fall back upon what I often do when I can't think of anything better: random pictures. So without further ado...

Strawberry pies, ready to take to our neighborhood potluck.

On November 1, I took these photos of the bald-faced hornets nesting on our front porch. Their activities have been curtailed with the advent of cooler weather. Here they're clustering at the tip of their hive, for unknown reasons. Sending off the new young queens, perhaps?

We've noticed NO activity in the nest in the last week or so. Still, I'm not going to chance removing it until we've had a few days of bitterly cold weather, just to make sure everyone's dead.

Talking a walk one afternoon, I liked the way the sun glinted on some distant young pines.

Tamaracks, also called larch, are coniferous trees that turn yellow and lose their needles every fall. It's about the only autumn color we get around here.

Red tailed hawk. Hard to focus, it was moving fast.

Some examples of Younger Daughter's schoolwork: Bible, history...

...and math.

Foggy deer.

Same photo, with the color automatically adjusted.

Visiting a friend, I noticed some additional visitors on her stoop.

Altogether: "Awwwww...."

Lydia, crammed in her favorite chair. The girls covered her with my shawl.

Altogether: "Awwwww...."

More Lydia pix.

We had our first snowfall a couple weeks ago.

It didn't last long, but it was very pretty.

It's always funny to watch the younger chickens seeing snow for the first time. "What IS this stuff?"

Hawk on a distant treetop.

"Brrrr! This water is c-c-c-cold!!"

One last leaf, desperately clinging.

Watch out, guys, Thanksgiving is coming.

Young birds clustered in Matilda's stall.

I thought the composition of this photo turned out splendidly.

Chilly toes?

The dark lines are vines on our front porch. I was shooting through them, focusing on the quail but trying not to scare them off.

Younger Daughter, looking rather ghostly in the cloak made by her grandmother, goes for a walk in the snow.

Older Daughter throws snowballs for the dogs.

Old Major is doing fine after his near brush with death last February. A little stiff and sore, but then he's also getting up there in years.

We got another, harder snowfall last week (it's all melted off now). Older Daughter and I went for a walk. Got some beautiful photos.

I thought this looked like a Christmas card.

Chickens in the compost pile.

Smoky, our setting hen from last summer, has become so tame she's presumptuous.

She knows she's become a special pet.

Sunset after a rainy day.


  1. Dear Patrice - thanks so much for the lovely pictures. I grew up in a small town in Northern Maine and many of the pictures remind me of that place. Like walking in the first snow and seeing the snow and ice glisten on the top of trees.
    I was a town girl in the 1950s - we didn't have chickens or other animals nor land - but hundreds of miles of wilderness surrounded the town. We were at the end of the Appalachian Trail (near Mt. Katahdin) and so spent a lot of time out in the woods and on the beautiful lakes that surround the town.
    Keep the pictures coming.

    Kind Regards to you and your family and Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Thanks for the cheerful pix - they make me feel good.

    Hangtown Frank

  3. Beautiful. I really like the Quail shots. May I ask what brand/type of camera you use?

    1. It's a Panasonic DMC-ZS19. A little pocket point-and-shoot, got it at Costco. It has an excellent zoom feature.

      - Patrice

  4. Patrice, we SO enjoy your pix! And you're right, that one photo does indeed look like a Christmas card. We won't be getting any snow here for probably another month or so. We're at 4000' in northwest AZ. We get some very nice snowfalls, but rarely ever get snowed in. A half a foot of snow at the most, but that's enough to make everything gorgeous. We don't have the tall pines here. Mostly Pinyon pines with even what appears to be an occasional Ponderosa pine. We also have many junipers that grow to huge proportions, often 30 feet high and nearly as wide! Thank you for sharing your photos! God bless. --Fred & Deb in AZ

  5. Have you ever though of selling prints of some of your pictures?

  6. Hi Patrice,

    Great pictures all. How old is the white and brown dog. He sure looks like a good old boy.

    As for the bald faced hornets. My bet is their queen is dead and the queens that have emerged from the hive have gone off on their own leaving what workers that are left with little to do except feed any larva that are left (which by this time there are few to none) and make paper.

    Bald faced hornets are a paper wasp and don't use the same nest twice, but they are robotic in many ways. There have been times when I knocked out a bald faced hornet’s nest and a few days later found that the workers that returned (fifty percent are out foraging during the day) started making a new hive, although there were no combs and no queen. They are just paper making fools. I would be willing to bet that is all they were doing….they don’t seem to have a choice. As I said….robotic in many ways.

    Great pictures and best wishes to you and your family,

    Rich Kozlovich

    1. The white dog is our 3 1/2 yr old Great Pyrenees (female). Here's the blog post about when we got her:

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      - Patrice

  7. LOVE random pix! And thanks for the pic of Smoky-I'm missing ours right now. For some reason my husband wants to start over so he sold all our Araucanas (we had a few Smokys-they're my favorite).

  8. Just stumbled on your blog after reading an article you wrote about once-a-day milking. It was very helpful, as our jersey-holstien, Gertie, has just been bred, and we were starting to worry about how much time we'll spend milking her and our two goats!
    You live in absolutely beautiful countryside! I'll definitely be exploring your blog some more.
    -Nathan Bechtold
    The Ozark House