Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - The Butterflies

Now that it appears I may have safely lived through one of my worst summers (worst summers so FAR - insert hysterical, as in she's lost her mind, laughter :-o), I am going to try to catch the blog up with at least some of the actually good parts from the past few months.  

I hate that I let the blog slip so far away.  I did keep the Instagram feed running all summer and I'm extremely thankful for that, but I'd much rather have the higher quality photographs from the "big girl camera" and more stories.  Even sad stories deserved to be told.

That being said, these next few posts may be more letting the pictures tell the stories, just in an effort to get them posted, but hopefully, as I get back into the routine of blogging, the rest will come back as well.  

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - The Butterflies

I think it was around mid July when I first heard about looking for and bringing in monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars and raising them in a secure location away from mowers, chemical sprays, even predatory birds and other insects. 

It took some practice to spot them, but as the summer progressed, I got pretty good at it and ended up setting up a pretty big butterfly nursery on the back porch.  I lost track of how many I helped hatch, but there are a ton of pictures of the nursery and hatching butterflies on my Instagram feed.  

Watching eggs hatch into teeny tiny caterpillars who then grew and grew into big caterpillars who then transformed into the most beautiful green and gold chrysalises and finally hatched into beautiful butterflies never got old.  

The first to hatch here were actually brought in when Robin and Julie came to visit in August.  Three hatched the first morning they were here.  We gave them several hours to dry off and gather strength and then released them out by the Frog Pond.

This is a female.  You can tell by the two thick black diagonal lines and the clean lines on the lower wing patterning.

This is a male.  The diagonal lines are not as thick and there are two dots on the lower wing patterning.

The very next day, my first butterfly hatched :-).

It was very excited to get out and immediately flew up into a tree.

Is this a male or a female?

This is one of my favorite videos from the butterfly posts.  See, it wasn't all bad, Sara :-).

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Guess What!

It's time for the Kentucky Wool Festival.  This weekend.  Like starting tomorrow.  How on earth did that happen?!?  

What a year...

We're there.  We are set up.  The booth is jam packed with beautiful raw fleeces and pretty roving, a few colorful wool pumpkins, the 2019 Farm and Lamb Camp calendars, some Christmas ornaments, tote bags, Mug Shot mugs...and a fun new addition just outside the big tent.

Last year, for fun, we did the My Favorite Sheep Is... contest.  That was hilarious, so we are doing it again.  Since I didn't get any tech-y-er (see, I can't even spell the word) since last year, we are going to run it exactly the same way as last year.  Here are the instructions for how to play :-).

Come on out and enjoy the festival and please stop by the Punkin's Patch/Equinox Farm booth and say "Hi!" and vote for Maisie your favorite sheep.  You'll get a free prize!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

You Think You're Funny?

"You just wait."

I think Maisie was actually happy to take the blame for a natural disaster.  She's got an image to maintain you know!

In the middle of the "natural disaster" I almost forgot to do the farm-iversary drawing.  Random.org picked Michelle  :-D.  As soon as the calendars are printed, I'll get one sent out.  

Speaking of the "natural disaster", thanks to Stanley Steemer and Auntie Monica, the Wool House has dried out and we are close to putting the carpet back down.  It could have been much, much worse. 

Now to deal with the barn.  The friend rebuilding our skid steer has "run out of parts", so it's apparently ready to be picked up ;-).  

Monday, September 24, 2018

I Can't Help But Think


"How come every last thing that goes wrong around here is my fault?!?  What on earth happened now!?!"

I went in to the Wool House last night to get some of your wool to make Christmas ornaments for the Wool Festival and found it had flooded.


"Sorry about that."

"You're still going to use my wool though, right?"


We received 4 1/2" of rain yesterday morning on already saturated ground.  I posted a few flood pictures throughout the morning culminating with a pretty video of the "new water feature" in front of the Wool House.  Sigh...

A post shared by Sara Dunham (@thecrazysheeplady) on

I'd watched to make sure the water hadn't breached the door frame, thought all seemed good, was in and out of the wash room side all day, walked into the big room last night...and found it had flooded.  Maisie... (said like "Newman..." from Seinfeld ;-).

I can't help but think if I'd gone in there to get some of Liddy's or Bullwinkle's or Blossom's wool that I wouldn't have spent much of last night and most of today dealing with water damage... 

Just kidding, Maisie.  Sort of ;-).

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Equinox Farm

Today is our 15th anniversary.  It doesn't seem like it's been that long.  And it seems like we've been here forever.  Now that I think about it, I haven't heard our farm referred to as the "Douglas place" or the "Singer place" in several years.  Usually now it's "the place with the sheep."  I guess we've become part of the history now.  Or the sheep have.

I found some old pictures Tim took from the early days, the day we first saw the farm and some of the early work we did.  I thought I'd share them here because they are fun to look at and try to put then and now together...and if the house ever burns down, they'll live on forever on the internet.  Worst Case Scenario reason #168 for blogging... 

From the road.

This is looking at the back of the barn.  Tim took this picture from what is now the back of the Del Boca Vista paddock.  I am standing near the gate to the arena.  The corgi is sweet Sophie and the collie is my beloved Sam.

Standing at the back corner of the barn, looking out to the road.  Tim is standing pretty close to where the Grahaminator2000 is now.

This is the barn lot.  The weeds on the left are now where the front corner of the Del Boca Vista fence is, the two gates that make the corner.  The sliding doors are the barn aisle.  Those doors now roll all the way to the right along with two more doors that cover the end openings for the inside and added on outside shed.   

Looking out towards the back.  I think that's basically where the curved alleyway goes down the hill to the left, heading to the middle paddocks.

The gate at the front corner of the horse side of the barn.  Now the fence curves down to the left, following the driveway.

Looking up from the road.

The old stripping room, now where the Wool House stands.  

The corn crib on the left is now the garage.

Looking at those two buildings from the yard.

View from the back corner.

Closer view of the big pond, now known as the skating pond :-).  Where Tim is standing is now all full of trees and undergrowth.  

The old cistern.  Now the home of the greenhouse.

I find this picture one of the most amazing.  I'd forgotten how you could see the neighbors across the sheep field.  The raised bed garden is the asparagus bed.  Punkin is buried underneath; Abby on the right side.

There were two round rock gardens, one on each end of this.  There were quite a few little gardens or landscapings scattered throughout the yard.  I wanted to consolidate and clean them up so we connected the two gardens here and it made a nice natural division from the yard to the orchard.  

I fought weeds in here for years though and finally this summer I'd had enough and we took it all out.  I'd hoped to transplant the bleeding heart, but I couldn't find it.  I should have dug it just after it bloomed this spring.  I'm hoping a piece will poke through the grass next spring.  I did get my favorite rose bush moved and so far it seems okay.

This must have been the next spring when they started fixing some eroded areas and sink holes we and had the riding arena enlarged.

I'm not exactly sure what this is.  I know the wet weather creek runs through there, but there isn't water anywhere else so maybe this is leftover from the spring fed pond that used to be out front.  

It had been filled in years before, but I believe it needed some work and they also put in a bridge to drive from one side of the creek to the other.  Cecil Aguilar later added the stone work to all the bridges and culverts.

This is looking out back towards the Frog Pond.  The guys doing the grading work wanted to just tear out the little pond.  I'm glad I fought to save it.  Not only is it pretty, it's also good habitat for birds , rabbits and frogs, monarch butterflies, sometimes muskrats and even a skunk family has lived in there.

The barn.  Tim tore out almost everything on the right hand side and put it the big sheep stall.  

And the rock.  Oh the rock.  

This is something else I barely remember.  We walked up and down the grass hill to get onto the porch.  There is a concrete sidewalk to the front door and I think the couple we bought the farm from were front door folks.  I primarily use the back door and it didn't take long for this to get messy.  The rock sidewalk was a huge improvement.

I think pretty much everything was a huge improvement.  We've let some shrubs overgrow that I wish I'd stayed on top of better.  The beautiful tidy porch...will never be the same, but it's a porch that is well used and well loved and I think it's happy even though I'm sure it would appreciate an overhaul.  I think the rest of the farm is happy, too.  

Happy Anniversary!  We're glad to be here.

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And if you are still here, leave a comment telling us your favorite part of the farm and Sunday night I'll draw for a winner and send out a 2019 Equinox Farm calendar.  They are almost done and ready to print :-D.


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