Tag Archives: tulips

May Flowers

Just a quick follow-up to my last post…

All of those April showers finally brought me some May flowers!  The tulips are in their full glory now and I absolutely adore them.  What a beautiful way to kick off the gardening season.
photoWherever you live, I hope your spring days are brimming with color too!

Lynell

 

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Tulip Time

Despite the continuing cold temperatures, spring has sprung around here and my tulips are ready to delight me with color.  It is just the start of the spring flower show and I could not be more ready.

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I just snapped this picture with my iPhone 5s as I was strolling around the yard this evening, all bundled up.  Temperatures were only in the high 40’s today.  Things are looking up for the weekend though.

I hope you are enjoying some spring color in your neck of the woods!

Lynell

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Spring? Finally.

Last Friday we received about a foot of heavy wet snow.  It was depressing and everyone was complaining and crabby, including me.  It felt like spring would never arrive.  April has been a strange and very snowy month.spring1

One week later and it looks like this…

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Yes, I think spring has finally arrived.  The last two days we have enjoyed temperatures in the low 70’s.  It is not expected to last all week, but it sure has helped to melt the snow and get spring kicked into gear.

Last weekend, when it was still cold, we hosted a smoking party at our house.  Jesse was going to fire up the smokehouse while the temperatures were still cool with the snow on the ground, so he invited friends to bring over anything they wanted to smoke.  We had a real assortment of good stuff:  almonds, peanuts, cheese, cheese curds, leg of lamb, pork chops, pork roasts, ribs, and chickens.  Once the smokehouse was loaded up, we enjoyed chatting and having some beverages while we waited for the smokehouse to work its cold-smoking magic.

We also started cooking sap to make maple syrup the same day.  The sap ran very late this year due to the crazy spring.  We were not sure if it would run at all, but the trees finally started dripping and actually produced a lot of sap.

Jesse found this stainless steel pan at a restaurant equipment store and it works great on our outdoor stove to cook the sap.  It has a lot of surface area to help with evaporation and to cook the sap down faster.  The sap looks just like water when you first collect it from the tree to start cooking.

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As it cooks longer, it starts to brown up and begins to have a sweet caramel-like aroma.  We cooked down enough sap last weekend to make one gallon of syrup.

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This past Thursday evening Jesse fired up the stove once again and cooked down the rest of the sap overnight.  In total, we ended up with two gallons of syrup.  Yum!
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Yes, spring is here.  The birds have been singing, the geese are honking, and the frogs have awoken and are singing their lovely spring song.

All varieties of wildlife are on the move. During the day yesterday, I was working at home and as I glanced up from the file I was reading, I noticed these turkeys come walking past the back of the barn and headed towards the river. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots.

We joke sometimes about living in a nature preserve.  I guess we have the river to thank for the wide array of wildlife we get to see and/or hear (the owls hooting at night are my favorite) on a daily basis.
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Along with the melting snow comes spring flooding.  The water has risen rapidly in the last two days and the river is overflowing.
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We spent yesterday evening and today outside enjoying the warm temperatures by starting our spring cleanup.  I cut down any perennials that stood through the winter and raked all the leaves out of the gardens.

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Tired of the chickens coming up by the house and digging in the dirt of my perennial garden, we decided to lock them in the vegetable garden fence today to enjoy the sunshine.  Ironically, we built this very fence in part, to keep the chickens out of the vegetable garden.  They loved kicking around the bit of straw, pecking at the grass, and digging in the dirt all day.
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Underneath the piles of leaves I discovered some flowers eager to get growing.  These tulips had obviously decided that spring was here, despite the foot of snow we received just a week ago.
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Likewise, the peonies are bursting out of the ground.  I love peonies so much.  They remind me of my grandma.

spring8Our old girl was out soaking up the sunshine today too. I love her an awful lot too.

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The beehives are sitting empty across the field awaiting their new residents.  We ordered two nucs of bees that should arrive in about 10 days.  The nucs contain some frames of brood and a queen, so they are already somewhat established.  Since we are starting over again after a year of bee-keeping drama (swarming, robbing, etc.), it will be nice to have the hives get up and running quickly.
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So, after a very long winter, it seems as though spring has arrived.  Finally.

There may likely be a few more bumps along the way, but we are definitely headed in the right direction.

Lynell

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More Snow…and Tulips

Winter seems to just keep going on and on here.  We received several more inches of fresh snow this morning.  February is almost over though, so logically, I know the end is getting near.DSC_0006

Nonetheless, the drudgery and length of winter here in Minnesota can sometimes get me down.

This morning, as I walked into Target, I saw bouquets of tulips on display.  I knew that a splash of spring in the house would definitely lift my winter weary spirits.
photoSo, I decided to treat myself and I chose a beautiful pink color for big impact.  I couldn’t wait to get them home.
photo1I feel so much better already.  Life is so dull without flowers.  Thank you, Target, for this lovely pick-me-up.

Come on, spring!  Hurry up!

Lynell

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Catching Up

I am SO far behind on posting, it’s a little embarrassing.  Although life has been crazy with our oldest son’s high school graduation and departure to West Point on June 26th, I have still managed to get out and take pictures around the farm.  Having the time to put them together in a post however, has been another story.

Instead of authoring blog posts, I have spent most of my free time searching for photos of our son on flickr and facebook.  West Point does a great job of photographing the new cadets as they are going through their summer basic training, know fondly as “Beast Barracks.”  Every once in a while you can catch a glimpse of your new cadet on one of these sites and it makes the lack of communication just a little easier to tolerate.  He will be able to contact us by phone and email once again when the academic year starts in late August.

But back to life on our little farm…

Spring came and went a long time ago, but here I am posting just a few of my spring pictures in the middle of July.  Admittedly, this is lame, but here I go anyhow.

I had some fun experimenting with my telephoto lens this spring.  I tried it out on some lilac buds and thought the results were interesting.

The tulips I planted last fall in my new perennial garden were as beautiful as I had hoped.  Tulips are such a welcome sight in the dreariness of spring.  I hope to plant some more this fall.

Last year I purchased a Star Magnolia tree and planted it in my new perennial garden.  It was a pretty small tree and I didn’t know what to expect this spring.  I was pleasantly surprised when 4 large white blossoms emerged.  In another 10 years this should be an impressive sight in the spring!  🙂

And of course, every spring we enjoy this Prairie Fire crabapple tree outside our kitchen window.  It is always loaded with honeybees (click here for pictures) and the intense color is splendid!

So, there’s a little glimpse of spring here on the farm.  Better late, than never!!

Lynell

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