Friday, April 13, 2012

Field Trip Friday-Episode #6-Spring at the Homestead

Today is Friday the 13th, and around here that means a lot of motorcycles on the road, heading toward Port Dover. The date had completely slipped my mind, but as soon as we hit the road for today's Field Trip, we were reminded. Amelia noticed first. "Mama! Look! A million motorcycles!!" It was all very exciting.

The original focus of the Field Trip was a trip to my sister's farm (or homestead, the term they prefer). My sister, along with her husband and 4 young children, moved to a 19 acre property a few months ago. Neither of them are what you would call 'country folk', but they are energetic, enthusiastic and willing to learn what they need to know to have the kind of live they envision for their family. From what I understand, the plan is to work toward becoming as self-sufficient as possible, starting with raising and growing their own food.

Not only is it fun to visit our cousins, the drive to get there is peaceful, and chocked full of fun little towns and inspiring vistas.
Any town with a Watermelon Festival is worth a visit, in our opinion.
Where the letters to the Corinthians are sent, I presume.

The first time we visited was in February.

We toured the house and property and got a feel for what their new life was going to be like. We even got to meet Minew, the cat that belonged to the previous owners of the property. They were in a temporary location for a few months, so they thought it would be best for the kitty if she stayed on the farm until they were settled. She incredibly friendly and followed us everywhere we went.

Mimi was enchanted.

Minew's humans came to collect her a few weeks ago, and I'm sure she's happy and settled into her new home. I must say though, I was sad not to see her run up to the car when we arrived this morning.

Today's visit was all about spring!
This is their first year on the property so they are just getting started with acquiring livestock and planting fruit trees and other edibles. The property already has some fruit trees, and other fruit bearing shrubs like raspberries and blueberries. My sister is so excited to see the plant life begin to come alive and all around the property.
It's too early to get started in the vegetable garden, but the forest is alive with wildflowers.
The sides of the wooded ravine are blanketed with trilliums...a mesmerizing site. I have spotted trilliums here and there on forest floors before, (you cannot have attended a school field trip in Southwestern Ontario and not hunted for them....I think it's in the curriculum, or something....) but this was just extraordinary! There were so many, you had to be very careful not to stomp on them.
Most of the flowers were white, but we did spot a few dark purple as well.
Dotted among the trilliums were a few, delicate Dogtooth Violets.
Erythronium dens-canis, 'dogtooth violet'
The first time we visited, the chicken coop was cold and void of chickens,
posing by the chicken coop in February
but now it is filled with 6 laying hens.....
They seem quite happy, and I think they're pretty cute....for chickens.
But if it's cuteness you're after, you really can't top ducklings.
Muscovy ducklings, 4 days old.

These two little ducklings (tentatively named Duck-Duck, and Goose) are 4 day old, Muscovies. They are cute now, but from what I've learned that won't last too long. They best quote I read on the internets tonight was "what kind of duck is that, and what is WRONG with it's face!" 
Adult Muscovy

Let's just enjoy them while they are gorgeous, shall we?
We had a great day exploring the country life. I can't wait to go back and help plant the veggie garden!


  1. Love seeing the place through your lens! They are so much bigger today again. And I'm convinced the size difference is growing. The muscovies are the only domestic breed not descended from the Mallard, and I was surprised to learn that their closest relative according to molecular data is the North American wood duck, one of the prettiest ones I've ever seen.

    Looking forward to the vegetable plot next...


  2. Hi Angela, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris