One of the flower images in the set is this Texas bluebonnet, a wildflower that grows gangbusters across the state of Texas, and is in fact the state flower. The bluebonnets have just started to bloom here -- we haven't had as much rain in our area as other areas, which seems to have set spring back a bit for us.
The bluebonnet stamp included in the set is a solid image stamp. I colored the stamp with markers, spritzed it with water, and then stamped it on my paper a couple of times to get a first and second impression using the same ink. Some wild and crazy stitching seemed fitting for this card.
And, I am HAPPY to see that FRIDAY is just around the bend! Bring on the weekend!
The month of August in the 2011 On the Farm calendar features butterflies! I love photographing butterflies, and they tend to be plentiful when the wildflowers are blooming and the flowers are blooming in the garden.
I should be enthusiastic about the changing of the calendar month, but August isn't exactly what I would consider to be my favorite month. I have no doubt that we'll see all 31 August days at well over 100 degrees. By mid-September we should see a bit of relief, but personally I'm rootin' for OCTOBER! Come on OCTOBER!
Stay tuned for the 2012 calendar details in the next couple months! It promises to be a good one!
How about another sneak peek of one of my new images for Whipper Snapper's Fall/Winter release! Inspiration for this image was from a pretty antique blue Ball jar of wildflowers I had in my kitchen window this spring. Here's hoping we get LOTS of rain this winter to give next spring's wildflowers lots of reason to grow!
Phweew! Yesterday was a scorcher! The hottest day of the year so far, having hit 93* degrees. Thankfully, a front blew in last night and cooled the air down to the mid 40s overnight, and today we have a perfectly cool and slightly breezy day. I'm going to ENJOY it while I can!
Yesterday, Alan and I ran some errands and noticed that the bluebonnets and red indian paint brush flowers are starting to bloom along the roadways. It's such a pretty time of year ... well, the prettiest it ever is in Texas, if you ask me! Last night I was inspired by those lovely little blue flowers and thought I would add them to this colored image of Annika. All colored up, she's ready to be added to a card or other paper project. But I haven't gotten that far yet.
While on our errands yesterday, we stopped at a small town hardware and lumber yard to see what kind of prices they had on wood for the new raised garden beds I want us to build for the garden. They carry a small supply of newly cut lumber, and I noticed some "aged" lumber in the rafters and asked about it. We told the guy what we wanted to build, and he took us out to where he had "used" lumber stacked. Various lengths of 2x6, 2x10, and 2x12 boards taken out of an old barn. And the price? $2 each. That sounded better than $7-$12...
Irish Dexter, that is! Happy St Patty's day, from the farm!
The photo of Dixie above taken in May 2010... hopefully that means wildflowers are on their way for this spring! Oh, and if you don't know, the cattle we raise are Irish Dexters. You can learn all about them HERE. Moooo!
We had a bit of rain last night, which always puts me in a happy mood. I love rain! Weather like we had to day reminds me so much of the pacific northwest. It just feels "right". I pulled out my camera and Alan and I walked around the farm to see what we could see. Here are a few photos for you.
This bush is blooming near the house. I think it's some sort of hollyhock, but I'm not sure.
The goats were enjoying fresh green grass.
And then Alan rattled the treat bag...the race was on.
It's nearly impossible to photograph BAD Boxcar Betty. I always get "action" shots (aka: blurrrrr).
Callio-Pea always brings up the rear.
CallioPea's wattles are really swingin'!
Lucy and Darcy were munching grass.
The other cows were munching grass, too. Notice all the wildflowers! Pretty!
The blue bonnets are really fragrant.
There are all kinds of flowers blooming, and so many that haven't started blooming yet!
The Indian Paint Brush are so neon! I think they are so pretty!
The neighbors have lots of Indian Paint Brush this year!
...look at that storm north of us!
Unfortunately, the poison ivy is growing like crazy, too... this particular plant (and it wasn't the only one like this) has wound it's way up to the top of a fence post, and will soon be more like a tree than a bush! YUCK!
Another horrible pest here are fire ants. Here is a small nest that has pushed up between two patio stones since the evening rain. Fire ants are terrible creatures! Be careful where you walk!
The hens are doing well, enjoying the cooler temperatures. They were busy in the chicken yard.
Weezie is always on a mission, squawking all the while.
Dot, a guinea hen, was watching wild birds flit around in the treetops.
Brown Manetta (a turken hen), looking lovely, as always...
Here is one of the Cuckoo Marans girls, watching me very closely, just in case I have treats in hiding!
Just-a-Minute was napping on this bale of hay. Shortly after this photo, he ran off.
The baby ducks are GROWING so FAST! Still without names (I know, I know...), these two are fascinated by the grass growing at the base of the chicken coop.
I might call this duck Nellie. I'm HOPING it's a girl. I've read that the girls are the most chatty/vocal, and this one is just that. But she's also a little Nervous Nellie... so, Nellie fits.
It's hard to believe that the two bigger buff colored ducks are only 4 weeks old! We brought them home on March 20th. The white crested duck and the khaki duck are now 3 weeks old. Growing like weeds! Remember when I brought them home, how LITTLE they were! They are the happiest little creatures!
Where has time gone!? Where have I been!? .... Well, I've been here, and I guess I've been BUSY! Thanks to those of you who've sent emails asking if things are OK. I love that you check in with me if I've been quiet on the blog for a couple of days or more.
The wildflowers have started blooming so I need to get out and start taking some photos. They're pretty patchy right now, but soon they'll be covering the fields with color. It looks like we'll have a bumper crop of Bluebonnets this year, which is fun!
I went shopping yesterday, so I was away from the house all day. Larger stores (like Costco, Sprouts, SuperTarget, Joann's, Hobby Lobby, etc) are about an hour from us, and I don't get up there very often. When I do go, it's a day-long event. I had to pick up some essentials at Costco, and was thrilled when I saw they had delicious packs of fresh strawberries again!
I also picked up some (non)essentials at a few other shops. Like some cute yardage that I whipped up into an apron for myself last night! I do have a couple other projects to share with you as well, but need to get photos taken first.
The pasture is loaded with bluebonnets this year! Thank goodness! We only had a handful of flowers last spring, and it was just dismal. We had a few HOT days last week, so I knew I needed to get out and take some photos before the flowers were gone.
Miss Daisy was LESS than thrilled, as you can see.
Then something across the pasture caught her interest...
Mister Farley thought the entire scene was just too boring, but he did an OK job of listening to me -- he just wouldn't LOOK at me.
The wildflower display around here this year is fairly dismal. Nothing like it was last year.
Ah well... what few flowers we do have are pretty, regardless of the limited number of them.
This pretty little (and I stress LITTLE) bluebonnet is growing near our garage. The afternoon sun was shining on it, making it ever so blue. We need a bit of rain, and maybe the wildflower crop will get better.
In other news, today I am the featured blog on the Typepad blog! They wrote a nice little blurb about my site. Thanks Typepad!
Alan and I went out into the far pasture this evening so I could take photos of some of the purple wildflowers I saw out there earlier today. It was really HOT and muggy, so we weren't out there for very long. But I did manage to get some fun shots of the flowers, and even a butterfly!
This flower is called a Shaving Brush (or Star Thistle or Basket Flower). We have a BUNCH of these in the pasture! Gobs and gobs! I thought this photo turned out pretty cool -- reminds me of an exploding firework. The flower bloom is about 2 inches across (some were larger, some smaller).
You can see more of the photos I took today in my Flower Gallery. The first 8 shots in the gallery are from today. Enjoy!
The wildflowers are blooming outta control right now, so if you start to feel like I'm inundating you with photos of flowers -- oops! They're all just so pretty, I can't help myself! =)
This is the Texas Paintbrush. They're so vividly colored, they're almost hard to look at! They're so much brighter than everything in their surroundings.
I thought this pair of paintbrushes was really quite amazing. They grew side by side, one almost an exact replica of the other. How cool is that!
An interesting thing about the Paintbrush flower -- the red area of the plant isn't actually the flower. The flower is the smaller creamy and light pink colored flute that's surrounded by the red and green leaves.
Today we had a severe storm come through, right in the middle of the day. At the time of the storm nothing out of the ordinary showed on the weather.com radar map for our area. So for us to have a storm so big, LOUD, and full of rain and hail without warning was a bit odd. So much for mowing the lawn this afternoon. Ha! Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.
This evening after the storm the sun came out a bit, so I popped outside to get some photos of the Indian Blanket wildflowers blooming right now. They're so PRETTY! They're taller than the bluebonnets - more like daisies. They create a sea of red and yellow where they grow.
I liked how the sun was shining through the petals on these flowers. It really shows the veins of the petals off! The flowers are a bit tattered from the storm and from bugs, I'm sure. But they're wild. And I still think they're lovely. There are more wild flowers blooming right now that I want to photograph, so I'll go out again maybe this weekend, and get some more shots.
Today I ordered a *bunch* of sunflower seeds, zinnias and cosmos from Henry Fields to plant around the farm. I'm sure I'm LATE getting them in the ground ... so, our sunflowers will be late bloomers. Hope they grow big! Last year there was a field near by that was solid sunflowers (a small-blossom variety - not the jumbo kind)... I can't wait to see if the farmer plants them again this year!
We are having some CRAZY wacky weather here today! Ice storms and Snow - in Texas - in APRIL!? I grew up in Northeastern Washington, and it was pretty typical to get the occasional bit of snow on Easter, but this is Texas!
I think this is just SO WEIRD!
I took a few photos this morning at about 11am. It was REALLY snowing!
This photo is a small part of the patch of Bluebonnets that I photographed the Longhorns in just the other day.
Look at all the SNOW coming down!
This is Rover, a stray dog (or one that was just dropped off in the area by his owner) that has decided to call our farm home. He was less than thrilled with the morning weather. Here he's about to go curl up between some of the round bales of hay and wait for things to warm up a bit.
It's just about 1:00pm now and it's still snowing, but it won't stick around for long. The ground is too warm. It's quiet outside...the look on this little concrete raccoon says it all. The chickens are all still huddled up in the
barn. The donkeys are huddled under the trees,
and a few of the cows are in the barn with the chickens.
Earlier this week we had a couple of 85 degree days, so the drop to the low 30s is a bit shocking. The high temperature is supposed to be 39 today... it's only 38 now.
The family that owns the land across the road from us keep a small herd of Texas Longhorns. Today the cows and their babies were milling around and napping in the HUGE area of Bluebonnets just on the other side of the fence from us. Compared to our little Dexter cows, these Longhorns are enormous! And would you LOOK at all those flowers! Beautiful!
We got another storm tonight, although a small one. And a little bit of rain to feed the fields. It's a lovely spring here this year...we could use more rain! A couple years of drought have really dried things out. It's so NICE to see green!!
This afternoon we took Daisy and Farley out to the pasture behind the
house so I could get some photos of them in the Bluebonnets.
chased each other round and round and round until they were both
totally worn out -- and of course, all this BEFORE we took photos. Before we could do photos I had to clean up lots of slobber, and
I got a LOT of shots with big tongues! Oh well... at least they had a
Between the two storms we had on Thursday and Friday, we got over 9 inches of rain here on the farm. Sheesh! Talk about soggy!
And the weather has taken another crazy turn... it was 80+ today, and supposed to be about 84-85 through Tuesday before it cools down again later in the week. I can't wait to see how the fields of wildflowers thrive with all the rain and now the warmth! Should be extra beautiful!
The flowers are so pretty, and really smell good too! They're kind of sweet smelling. They seem to have kind of like an artificial grape scent. We don't have many Indian Paint Brush flowers on the farm, but there are some up the road a bit, so at some point this week I'll try and get out to get some photos. Maybe I can find a few other types of flowers as well.
I look at these photos and I can't believe how gray Daisy and Farley are getting. They'll both be seven this year. Farley on April 8th (SOON!), and Daisy in September. What a couple of happy pups.
I haven't been able to do much crafting this weekend. We've been pretty busy with out-of-the-ordinary things.
Alan and I spent the better part of yesterday in North Dallas. We had to take Twinkle Toes up to a bird clinic to have an egg removed. She layed four eggs this week, and we think it made her so tired she wasn't able to lay the fifth. Poor little thing!
She was looking really sickly and tired Friday night, and I was so worried about her. But we had an appointment with the vet bright and early Saturday morning, and the vet was able to collapse the egg and get it out of Twinkle Toes. She's going to be on antibiotics and serious vitamins for the next couple of months while her body heals. She's feeling MUCH better, but still not 100%. She can't be in the same room as Huey now, since it seems that his swooning could put her right back in egg-laying mode which would be very devastating to her little body. Who knew Huey could be so convincing!
Thanks to all of you for the good thoughts and kind notes you sent while we had the big storms. I've learned a lot about Texas weather in the past week. I know we're not the only area to have wicked weather this past week, so here's hoping you're all safe where you live as well!
While Alan and I were out in the pastures today taking photos of wildflowers, the donkeys decided to come "help" us. I'm THRILLED I was able to capture this photo of Fitz as he walked through an area of Bluebonnets.
Even though I'm the photographer, I think I'm still allowed to say that THIS
is the CUTEST donkey photo! Fitz is deceivingly adorable here.
In reality, he's is a wild animal full of spunk!
Maybe I can find a magazine to take this photo as a cover -- I think it'd be perfect! =)
Texas wildflowers have started to bloom, and I'm going to capture what I can while they're out this year and share photos of them here on my blog. So, Alan and I went out to the pastures today and I took a few shots of the Texas Bluebonnets (the Texas state flower) which have started to fill the fields and ditches along roadways.
In other places in the US, this flower is called Lupin. Lupin grows wild in northeastern Washington too, which is where I was raised, and has always been one of my favorite wildflowers. There are very large domestic varieties of Lupin too, available in all kinds of colors.
Here in Texas, Bluebonnets can be seen as single plants scattered here and there, or grow in huge thickets large enough to cover fields. Regardless of how many you see at once, they really are quite beautiful! They grow in our pastures and oddly enough, the cows and donkeys don't bother to eat them.
Alan and I also found this little yellow daisy plant in the pasture surrounded by Bluebonnets. The blooms on this plant are about the size of a penny.
I like how they grow in a small cluster of blooms, making them seem much larger than they really are. It isn't a very large plant in general. These blooms were only about ten inches from the ground, and sat at the very tip top of the stems.
I'm looking forward to the other wildflowers that will bloom here on
the farm as well -- Mexican Hats, Indian Blankets, and Indian
Paintbrush are just a few of my favorites that will bloom soon. Can't