Friday, October 12, 2012

October Beach Days

We had a really warm day this past week and we decided to take this, most likely last, opportunity to spend it at the beach.
So we packed up and went but it was actually rather blustery when we got there and the waves were really rough and because tourist season ended ... there was no hunting allowed... heh heh heh... Just Kidding! But off-season the beach is practically empty except for a few fellow locals, so there are No life guards on duty which meant there was to be No swimming this day!


So,I just sat in my chair all bundled up with towels watching Webster digging his huge pit and piling up his Sand of Gibraltar, as he affectionately called it, and relaxed.

I began thinking of the amazing the difference between seasons here, the transformation between the hustling, bustling crowds that were here just a few short weeks ago and how now the beach is barren and practically deserted... and it was about then that I noticed this little guy only a few feet from me.


I thought what a difference for him it must be also between the congested snack packing, chip dropping, crumb leaving crowds of summer and the placid desolated sands of now... I wondered where do the crowds of seagulls go? Do they migrate with the tourists? Do they *gasp* all starve to death?? Was this poor little thing left behind to fend for himself?!? I watched as he paced forlornly about in front of me.

He did look hungry. Then remembering that Noah did pack a snack, I leaned over and fetched the box of Ritz crackers and retrieved a sleeve and opened it and tossed the cracker in the direction of the forlorn bird who immediately sprang into action and gobbled it down... he then proceeded to screech a seagully cry of satisfaction as if in gratitude for my generous gift! Ü So feeling pretty pleased with myself, I tossed him another to which I heard the same seagully crys... but this time they weren't just coming from him but from also behind me. It would seem we had company stopping in for dinner!


So I tossed a few more crackers.

And a few more showed up.


And so I tossed a few more crackers...


you see where this is heading eh?

I have since come to the conclusion that seagulls are amongst the worlds most elusive shape shifters, as it would seem, unbeknownst to me, that the same gully cry of gratitude were also a beacon call to any friends and family within earshot who must have been disguising themselves as grains of sand as they seemed to have come from from everywhere and out of nowhere at once!


It was a grand and marvelous (and slightly scary) sight to see as they flocked in from all directions around me.

So... I tossed them a few more crackers. Ü

It was causing quite a scene and those who were there that day were stopping to watch. And Webster came running to get in on the feeding frenzy. So I relinquished cracker duty to him and handed him the package ... he emptied what was left of that sleeve so I handed him another.
Then he started tossing them up high into the air and letting the wind take them, he loved watching as the gulls would swoop and dive in flight.


And they were beautiful...


and because it was so breezy they would hover seemingly effortless in the air without ever having to flap their wings,


just soaring a few feet above me,


I could have reached up and touched them if I had been so inclined to do so...


but I was not inclined to do so.

But it did give me an idea... I suggested that Webster hold out his hand with a cracker to see if one would take it from him.


to which he did...


and it worked! *snicker* Hehehehe ... Bah-hahahahaha!!!
His face is precious and his expression is priceless!

But he lived and realized that this was actually a really fun thing to do and went through the last sleeve of crackers!


But then.... a feeling of doom came over me


and I clutched the empty box of Ritz to my chest and gasped...


I thought to myself, 'What have I done?'as from behind us the sky darkened and a Huge flock of Big black birds crested the dune and flew directly over the group of gulls and ourselves...


But I let out a big sigh of relief and loosened my grip on the box when I realized these were only  comorants, a diving, fish eating sea bird not a cracker eating one... which was a very good thing because of there being no more crackers left! 



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Rare Visitor...

So, this past Sunday afternoon, I was blessed to see a very rare visitor to my flower garden. I was inside the house when I butterfly caught my eye. I could tell from the shape and flight pattern that it was some kind of swallowtail. So I grabbed my camera and ran outside to get photos so that I could identify the species later as I had never seen it before except that it was reminiscent some tropical species I had seen at a butterfly conservatory I had visited a while back.  It only stayed in my garden a short time before moving on and I am so very glad that I happened to see it when I did otherwise I could have missed it entirely!

The species is called the Giant Swallowtail and is mostly seen in southern states and Florida where the caterpillar can be a pest as it feeds on citrus trees! A far cry from the trees that grow around here!

The flowers it was sipping on were Zinnias

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

And as it was flying away it visited some white cosmos and this Rose of Sharon

I was thrilled to have been a spectator, and blessed for the opportunity to photograph the moment and am glad that this rare butterfly found my little patch of heaven to nourish it on it's journey to warmer climates ... Personally, I'm beginning to think this may have been a sign from God giving me direction, telling me I need to be like this butterfly and migrate to warmer climes for the winter... heh heh heh 


You Dirty Rat...

So last night Webster went out to lock the chickens up and comes back in and tells me one chicken wouldn't go in and he didn't know where it went.... ??? Grrrr... so I get the spot light and go out with him to find the missing chicken. I first wanted to take a head count inside the coop hoping that perhaps Webster just missed seeing it go inside somehow.
So I'm at the door shining the light in when I suddenly see a small furry head bob up in one of the hen stations, look at me with it's beady little eyes and in less time than my mind allowed me to interpret the scene, it swiftly scurried down the boards to the floor where it bounded towards the doorway where I was standing between it and  it's freedom... *cups hand to ear and listens* Interesting... I believe I am still hearing echoes of my bellowing scream? heh heh heh


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The Contest is Over!
Roseann correctly guessed it was Garlic!
Congrats Roseann!

Attention: I have updated this post by adding a couple of more pictures and a hint at the bottom, so scroll down to see the update!

I remember watching a TV movie called Skylark many years ago. It was based on a book by the same name that was written by Patricia Maclachlan and was one of a series of 5 books including Sarah Plain and Tall.  
 One of the things that stuck with me from that movie was the scene where the family dog is being introduced to Sarah and she asks what the dogs name is and is told Guess. And so she guesses... and guesses... and guesses again, not realizing that the dogs name was Guess!

And it seems, I am always remembering that when ever I hear someone say, "Guess?"
And the reason why I am telling you this now is because I'm asking the question of you!

Can you Guess?

As I was going about my farmly chores recently of harvesting such things as strawberries...

And lavender...

and this stuff...

 When I thought to myself... Hmmm? I wonder if anyone could guess what these things are? 

So then I thought, wouldn't it be fun to not only have people guess but to make it an unofficial
1st ever Bountiful Blessing Farm Contest* 

And what's a contest if there isn't a prize?

So, to the first person to guess correctly what the green things are that I am holding in my hand in these pictures, will be given (or sent depending on where you live) a $10.00 personalized Bountiful Blessings Farm Dunkin Donuts gift card! 

How Sweet is that? Literally even! You can get yourself something sweet and yummy for your tummy!

If you are the winner, you can choose (or I will choose for you) a critter from our farm or flowers from my garden or some such other thing found here at our homestead to personalize your card with.

Here's an example of what your card could look like using a picture of our Ducks

I love my ducks ♥

But the picture could be of any other variety of the Flora or Fauna found on our Farm-a.

You be the first to provide the correct answer and I'll provide the picture and the card.
Easy peasy!

So then... Do you care to give it a Guess?

For the sake of simplicity, and to keep guesses in one place, please go to our 
Bountiful Blessings facebook page
and leave your guess in the comments section under the link to this post

And I will contact the winning guesser to set up the card details.

So there you have it!

Happy Guessing!

*You do have to live in the USA

(and preferably for you, near a DD Ü)

I would add something like, 'no close relatives or friends may enter this contest' but I doubt any of my close relatives or friends could guess correctly anyway (and you know who you all are!) so, hehehehe... go for it!


Funny, because my one concern of doing this contest was that it would be very short lived, meaning I envisioned the first person to see it saying, "Oh, I know what those are!" and guess them first thing and then the contest would have been over... which would have been alright but I'd hoped for a little bit of suspense and mystery along the way.
Heh heh heh!

Well, I guess it's working!

Everyone is in suspense at the mysterious greenery suspended from my hand but no one has been able to guess correctly yet. 
So, I thought I would add a couple of more pictures that show more of what I am holding.

And perhaps give you an extra clue... 

These are not the main harvest but rather an edible by product

Any more guesses?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meow... Meeee-oooow!

I love birds, they are so fascinating in their diversity, complexity and their beauty. And this is one of my many favorites. It's called Dumetella carolinensis or better known as a Gray Catbird. 

A rather non-distinct little fellow and one that you may not have even noticed with it's slate gray plumage but you may have heard it before, for it is named for its unique cat-like meowing sound.

But that is not the only sound they make as Catbirds are relatives of mockingbirds and thrashers, and they share that group’s vocal abilities, although described as more raspy and less musical. The Catbird copies the sounds of other bird species and strings them together making their own song with some songs lasting up to 10 minutes!

Their summer breeding range spans across southern Canada, southward to N.E. Arizona and eastward to N. Florida. 
They spend their winters along the East Coast from southern Massachusetts to Florida, and from the Gulf Coast southward into Central America and the Caribbean.

Catbirds like to build their cup-like nest close to the ground in dense thickets, woodland edges, parks and residential areas, especially near a water source. 

They're ground foragers with their main food source being insects like ants, beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars.  But when wild fruits are available they also eat them too such as holly berries, cherries, elderberries, poison ivy, bay, and blackberries.

They are sometimes garden pests, eating cultivated fruits such as raspberries, grapes and strawberries. And I know this first hand as I saw one fly out of my strawberry bed and upon closer inspection there were peck marks in the ripening berries! But alas, I can't be mad as it was my own fault, I should have had the netting over the berry bed already, which I didn't, but I do now! 

So now, the next time you think you hear the sound of a cat meowing outside think again... it may just be a Catbird! 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wildflower Bouquet

I picked flowers from my garden and made a bouquet!
And the really cool thing is that almost all are wild flowers and weeds!
For flowers I have Tickseed Coreopsis; Oxeye Daisies; Loosestrife and Bedstraw and I tucked in a Lupine and a Foxglove.
And for the weeds... I used grass seed heads and a Curly Dock seed spike.

It's actually become quite the 'in' thing to do to use weeds and wild things!
I once saw bouquets of flowers at a wedding that had Poke Weed berries nestled in it! I thought it was ingenius and certainly made me think about what I could use for a bouquet! It seems some weeds are moving on up and taking starring roles mixed in with the good old standards. So move over roses, Poke Weed is coming on in!

Poke Weed Berries
Large Image of Pokeweed
Photo by Dr. John Meade, weed scientist emeritus
Rutgers Cooperative Extension

So go ahead and pick a vase of weeds!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Winter Walk - January 17, 2011

Last year, we had snow.
This year we don't.
So last year we went for walks in the snow.
This year we can't... Not that I'm really complaining about it!
So these pictures are from last year... when we did have snow!

This is our friend, and former farm worker, Dougie... Last year he and his family went for walks with us in the snow, but this year he can't. IMG_1836-2 copy 2

Dougie has since moved on to bigger and better pastures. He joined the Navy and is now in Texas going to school... there's no snow in Texas either. That is Dougies sister Estelle... she goes for walks too.

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Dougie had snow shoes on... Webster was coveting his snow shoes.

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So Dougie, not being stingy, let Webster use them.

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Dougie helps Webster put them on.

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Dougie and Estelles Mother is the walking ring leader. She is in the middle... sorta like Monkey in the middle, but not quite.

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Hmmm...What is that speck on the path behind us?

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Uh-oh... I think we have a soldier down

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Really though... Webster needed to soldier down.
You see, he wasn't happy that we weren't feeling sorry for his young little legs being tired and we kept walking, leaving him in the dust... or... snow.

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But we did wait for him to catch up... which was very motherly of me don't you think?

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I don't seem to think wearing snow shoes makes walking any easier?

I think Dougie is checking the map to see where we are... and he is saying we are lost.

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Just kidding, we weren't lost.

It is really awesome that our town has it's own forest with walking trails... I think all towns should have their own forests.
Wouldn't that be cool?

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I like this picture of Webster that I took... he looks like he is sleeping... and he is so calm and quiet when he is sleeping.

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That's why I really do like this picture.


A Winter Walk

 January 17, 2011