Interesting Reads

Chaotic Caroling for Copulation

August 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jack Fernard Spring is in the air … I just wish it would wait until after the alarm goes off!   Photo by Fotolia/mbridger68 Cheerful chirping woke me up this morning. One might think that I would appreciate this as we moved to the out the country in order to be closer to wildlife. But alas, the robins were calling to each other long before the sun or me were even up causing me to, temporarily, miss the snowy days of silence. And can anyone tell me why so early? It’s been a little while since I’ve dated, but last I recall, girls preferred being serenaded before they go to bed, not before they get up. And it’s not just the robins who are piercing the cozy darkness with their jarring calls. A few weeks back, I was woken at 2:00am to the hooting of owls. Now those birds are LOUD. I swear their calls were actually echoing inside of the house. Consequently, nature-boy got sent outside with the mission of chasing off whoever it was that had to be sitting just [...]

Invasion of Black Blister Beetles

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Joan Pritchard I have had a few insect problems in my flower and herb garden over the years. For several years, grasshoppers attacked, eating any and everything green and even ate the bark off the small trees. Although I have not seen black blister beetles for several years, this year they have arrived and are doing great damage. Blister beetles will feed on just about any leaf that grows in your garden. They have now removed the chard from the garden and are starting on my hostas. They seem particularly fond of certain weeds that grow in the pathways. The experts tell us they can arrive in swarms, and indeed, they do seem to have done so. The one redeeming quality of black blister beetles is that they also do damage to grasshoppers, one of the most destructive farm and garden pests. “Newly hatched beetle larvae use their legs to seek out clusters of grasshopper eggs to feed on. In this sense, blister beetles can be considered a beneficial insect, but only in the larval stage. [...]

Storm Shelter

July 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Joan Pritchard Regrouping after a total loss takes a while, and it has been three years since my old farmhouse burned. The replacement is pretty overwhelming and there are so many issues to consider, I am just now breaking ground. I am excited to describe what I’ve chosen to build, but my first priority was to make absolutely sure there would be a storm shelter, something the old house lacked. I spent too many storms cowered in a closet. Originally the farm had a “cave” built in the early 1930s. It served the primary purpose of food storage (potatoes, jars, eggs, etc.) with underground protection during storms. Like many “caves,” however, it began to collapse, became unsafe and was bulldozed. Also it had snakes, mice and bugs and I knew I wanted a better shelter. I had learned of new shelter types recently and have a steel “safe-room” in my city house. As I began to research for an appropriate farm shelter, I considered, A shelter that had a tested FEMA rating. The [...]

Photos Mar 2016

July 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

A pedestrian walks through snow covered trees at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Heavy snow and strong winds have shut down some highways and schools in Colorado and cancelled flights at Denver’s airport.Picture: Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette via AP   Butterflies lap up some orange juice at the Natural History Museum’s latest exhibition, Sensational Butterflies in LondonPicture: Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph Hundreds of people line the beach north of the Cocoa Beach Pier in Florida to watch the launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force StationPicture: Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima’s light installation for Art Basel Hong Kong entitled Time Waterfall is projected onto the facade of the International Commerce Centre on the Kowloon waterfrontPicture: AFP Azaleas in bloom on the first day of spring at Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, South CarolinaPicture: Planetpix/Alamy Live News [...]

Disneyland’s Disastrous Opening Day

July 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Christopher Klein   Few smiles could be found at the “Happiest Place on Earth” when Disneyland opened its gates for the first time on July 17, 1955. Epic traffic jams, counterfeit tickets, broken rides, food shortages and a lack of water on a 100-degree day all plagued the theme park’s unveiling. Look back at the day park employees dubbed “Black Sunday.” Whether or not Walt Disney wished upon a star, his dreams were about to come true as nearly half of the United States gathered around black-and-white televisions on July 17, 1955. After more than two decades of planning and a breakneck year of construction, the Mickey Mouse creator had transformed a 160-acre orange grove in Anaheim, California, into a $17 million theme park—Disneyland. Disney at the grand opening on July 17, 1955. (Credit: Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) Bankers and even Disney’s brother Roy, who was the financial director of his movie studio, thought the [...]


July 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Allyson Crockett On tiny white paws she crept, under cover of dark, while everyone slept … She slunk in through the cat door, lured by the irresistible smell of food. Too small to catch anything but bugs, and now, too weak from malnutrition … With her little empty belly overriding all her fears, and hunger making her reckless, she forgot everything her mother had taught her, and survival instinct took over. But the food was so good. She grew careless and stayed too long. Daylight came. The other animals, the dogs, woke up. There were strange noises, smells, and movement in the house. She couldn’t make it back through the door to safety without being seen, or even caught, and eaten. She hid in an open cupboard, hoping to creep out the next night, and escape. All day I kept hearing strange noises coming from the cupboard. The dogs, and a couple of my cats, set up camp on the floor outside the cupboard door. I figured it was either rats, or a snake. I didn’t want to deal with [...]


July 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

8/7/2015 By Nancy Addie I love our little farm! It is quaint, and the animals, for the most part, behave themselves. Well, unless there is a bag of grain sitting out where they can see it. That’s usually when the shoving, grunting and the fake sounds of growling tummies can be heard over the song birds! This summer has been joyful and heart breaking. We waited for the birth of our second baby llama that we expectantly named Blessing. Super Farmer helped to bring her into the world without mama llama’s permission (think mama llama moaning and spitting as Chad pulled on the first legs out). She was going to get help whether she wanted it or not as the anticipation was too much for us to bear! Baby Blessing was born on Father’s Day this year, a perfect gift for her human granddaddy! We ooohed and ahhhed, along with our Addie Acre Facebook followers, who rejoiced at films and photos posted over the next week. However, Sunday I found our precious Blessing barely breathing on the [...]

Life at Mudville

July 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ginnie Baker I can’t believe the Fourth of July has come and gone already. I know I say this every year, but where has the year gone? It doesn’t seem like too long ago we were shoveling snow and freezing. Now, you’re mowing the grass and sweating! Samson and Delilah seem to enjoy this hot stuff. Sometimes I forget that their heritage goes back to Sicily where I’m sure it’s hot. Both Samson and Delilah love clover and their pastures have quite a bit of it. Unfortunately, they can’t eat fast enough so the hay grows up taller than their shoulders. Sometimes, all I can see are their big ears poking up. So John mows it down, making paths for them to walk to their sand piles and around each pasture like a maze. Delilah is an eating machine! She doesn’t eat to live; she lives to eat, as the saying goes. If she hears me or sees me working in the garden, she gives the most pathetic bray, telling me she’s hungry. I usually give in which is why I’m going to enroll her in [...]

Momma Hattie and Country Living

July 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

Momma Hattie and Country Living By Laura Lowe Brother and I called her Momma Hattie. Her name was Hattie Mastin Mark. She was descended from Native Americans. By all accounts she was indeed a character. I remember her unabashed joy in life, her stinging criticism of anything with which she did not agree, and the last months of her life. Momma was often mortified at something her mother would say to folks. We were visiting a neighbor once when Momma Hattie decided to voice her opinion on the woman’s housekeeping skills or lack thereof. “Uh huh, honey you need to call dem chillums in here and make em clean up this dirty house.” The woman often made people mad, but more often than not people would seem to forgive her for her cutting remarks. Momma Hattie would come to visit us sometime. She spent most of her time quilting. Brother and I knew better than to bother her when she was in the process of creating those beautiful quilts meant to keep us warm in winter months. I know now [...]

Word On Ducks

July 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

By Erin C My husband and I were talking about getting ducks next year, when we had a chance to catch up from everything new we are doing this year. It was agreed up, and a pinky-swear oath was performed. Then that man took me to the feed store. Let’s just say that they had a few older Rouen ducks on sale (not brand new ducklings) and that “on sale” are a siren song to this farm girl. We talked about it while we walked around the store getting the items that we actually came for, and by the time we made our way back to the ducks, we had agreed, that while this was probably a bad idea, what could go wrong? A few minutes later, we were the proud new parents of two ducks; hopefully a drake and a duck. Let me tell you what I knew about raising ducks before last week: they’re cute and they like water, and their eggs taste pretty darn good. Let me tell you what I know about ducks this week: they are so messy! In all seriousness though, what is different about raising ducks than, say [...]