A warm puff of spring

two cows

Cows watching the grass grow. This is what cows do when they are locked up in the yards. Watch the grass growing.  I need to clean these yards off again this week. Four cows is a good amount of manure. And our gardens are fertilised from the previous winters manure. Soon the cows will be out on the fields full time. We all can’t wait.


John has come up with the great idea of making a flying fox (zipline) so I can leap across the ditch that used to be a creek the dogs running through below me. The ditch is about 70 feet wide and  probably about 15 – 20 feet to the bottom of the creek and we have agonised over how to build a bridge which would be massively expensive and just will not happen. Then he thought of a flying fox.  Yesterday he put the  first two poles in.   In New Zealand we call this a flying fox though a Flying Fox is actually an Australian Bat.  Here in America what John is building is called a zipline.  Below is an image I found  on the internet to explain the zipline.


This image comes from the site highlighted above. But this is pretty much what John is creating. There will be two lines  so I can fly there go to work in the West barn then  fly back home going the other way. The poles are old telegraph poles.  It will be a long project but with luck it will be finished this summer.

All this so I can walk from my own property across the creek and walk through our own fields to the West Barn as the crow flies,  instead of walking all the way out to the road to that bridge and around again.

dexter heifer alex

And for those of you who care to  watching the development of  an udder here is Alex from behind. (An unfortunate angle but I spend a lot of time looking at animals bottoms.) She is due in late June but I am thinking early June. That udder still has a ways to go.  Lady Astor has just begun to develop hers too she is due in May.




As an extra bonus Aunty Sheila and Tima seem to be rattling along ok.  So I am going to leave them together. They are both on the same diet of grass, hay and kitchen scraps so it works well as long as Tima eats faster!

Good morning. This morning we are going out to the field behind the West Barn with tape measures and stakes and big orange ribbons  to measure up the new two acres of hay that I  am taking out of cropping and putting into pasture.  I am putting all grass hay in this year.  With our inclement weather all the alfalfa hay,  except the last cut, I brought in last year was woody, past its used by date,  and not terribly nutritious,  and the cows hate it – they prefer the grass hay this year, it is so easy for haymaking to go wrong. Grass hay is a better option for pregnant cows anyway.

I use the alfalfa hay to fatten up animals in the winter. Pregnant cows should not be fattened of course.

This afternoon I hope it is dry enough to top sow the alfalfa hay field out here by the house. Most of the alfalfa is gone, weeds are developing and the wet has left it with great gaps. So I am top sowing with a grass blend.  Then it will rest for a while, I will cut it once or maybe later in the summer.  Then we will see.  Maybe it will continue being a hay paddock, maybe I will fence it and let the cows fertilise it.  We will see how it goes.

I hope you find loveliness in your day.

Love celi


80 Comments on “A warm puff of spring

  1. Welcome Back Celi. A zipline sounds like a good idea and a real timesaver! Had to chuckle at the comment that Tima will have to eat faster! Have a great day.

    • Hi Vesta! Sheila thinks all the food is hers of course so I feed them in seperate fields. Still when Sheila is finished she trots at speed to see what Tima has left in her bowl. Pigs!

      • I feed Percy on the ‘porch’ outside the building, next to the water dish. I feed the goats just inside, when Otis goat hears Percy taking a drink (Percy is a slurper), he zips out there and gobbles as much out of Percy’s dish as he can before Percy is done getting his drink. And people think animals are dumb!

  2. A zipline! What fun! I am picturing you flying over the ditch, dogs splashing through below. Writing from sunny (sort of, but at least warm and humid,) Florida where we are grabbing 10 days before our busy season begins in earnest. We look forward to 80,000 onion plants which will arrive to plant in early April, followed by overbearing strawberries a week later.

  3. I am envisageing a dangling Celie wearing a backpack and a frontpack and carrying tools and baggies in each hand, whizzing through the air. Bon courage, John, for the building.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    love, ViV xox

  4. Oh boy! I can see many a splash and a very wet Miss C  

    Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 1:06 PM

  5. We had to put a bridge over our creek – it actually flows and helps share water with dozens of our neighbors, so there is a law in our county that you cannot block the water flow. But your zip-line sounds like SOOO much more fun! wooo hooo We were lucky with our bridge – the last couple of years telephone and electric companies have been replacing poles on our property – for the access, we had them give us 3 pole and they even laid them across the river/creek. All we had to do was screw on the 2″x12″ boards on top and this puppy will last for years. Normally all we have crossing is ourselves, a couple of cows and/or horses (used to be goats – maybe again soon?). And – once again – you have provided some wonderful pics! (I want one of you flying across your zip-line – so jealous – Lol!

    • Oh how i wish that my ditch was not so wide – that would be the perfect answer and we did try but the poles are too short.. great that it worked for you too! c

  6. Wheeeee. Remember water and sarmies in case you hang out in the middle one day 🙂 Laura

  7. What fun – zipline! We will have to see pics of you in action C.
    How lovely Spring has shown her face. We are still enjoying lovely days of an extended summer – long may they last.
    Have a beautiful week ahead C.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  8. Dolly, our Blue Healer does the same thing as Sheila does with Tima when eating. In fact we have to separate her from our thin German Shorthair Pointer, Daphne, as Daphne eats leisurely and often leaves food behind, that Dolly then tries to scarf up! Dolly must be kept on a strict diet regime, or she will pork up like one of our pigs!!!

    • Dogs – just like pigs. Ton won’t eat if anyone is watching (like royalty – no photographs) so he and his food are set inside the basement door. c

      • Cats too! My middle cat scoffs her food, while her mother Molly savours every lick, then naughty Velvet pushes her aside to finish Molly’s…..Molly lets her unfortunately. But Mirrhi knows I scold Velvet for being greedy so she watches and lets me know when Velvet’s advancing.

  9. There is much planning to do about use of land – what works and what doesn’t, and then what is needed and how to best utilize the space. This continual thinking is much of a farmer’s life. It is a practical nonsensical approach to animal husbandry and being a good steward of the land. I love that you manage to explain all of this to us in layman’s terms, why and how you make your decisions. You are a wise and practical farm woman. A zipline?? What a clever bit of genius to make way as the crow flies!! That is one of my favorite sayings… I suppose because it is the way I travel most of the time to the river and beyond.

    Wish me luck this morning. FD and I going morel mushroom hunting and I am hoping to get at least a sackful of them! The weather hasn’t been the best – kind of dry and chilly lately. Conditions must be just right for them to pop up in the lowland areas – warm days with a little rain. It’s like a treasure hunt when we go foraging for them. If we are lucky, I’ll be busy frying some up fresh and dehydrating others for winter use. 🙂

  10. a zipline suits you. will you be carrying feed at the same time?

  11. My heavens, Sheila is HUGE ! Just look at the comparison with Ton, as he approaches her. I am also seeing Tima attempting to gobble faster than Sheila, and it’s like a pig being piggy… funny. Wonderful photos again today… such colour, and promise of warmer days.
    And a zipline would be soooooo cool. Your creek/ditch is 70 feet wide? I had no idea… I think I thought of it at about 20 feet wide — 70 really is a good ‘zip’ away… lol My mind’s eye is seeing a ‘zipper’ with a foot-hold, so you don’t tear your arms out of their sockets — but I am sure you will figure that all out. Sounds like so much fun. Your summer workers will be fighting you for the chance to use it… lol
    Hope you have a great day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  12. Will there be corn on the far side of the ditch to get through? Great idea!

    • Hi Kim, this year it is beans and I just might mow a slim path right through the beans – it will be a pretty walk – my main worry is that the job will be finished – you know how these things are. c

  13. Please include some video of you on the zip line when it is finished.

    You get to choose your own Easter greeting card. Pick a card, any card, from this collection at the New York Public Library. It won’t be easy.

    Happy Easter.

  14. Pingback: Zipline Moonbeams – Chalk Hills Journal

  15. I was struck by a mental vision of you zipping over the ditch on the flying fox, astride a broomstick. You must be a witch, it’s the only way I can think of which lets you get so much done! Now THAT would make a Farmy Christmas card worth having! Perhaps John or a WWOOFER will oblige with Camera House – back view only, of course…? You’ll be installing a ferry next, on a cable between the two poles, a nice wooden raft for transferring dogs, hay, errant pigs and dubious cows….

  16. I’m wondering if John could add a chair for you–like for a ski lift.
    And Ton! Who knew he doesn’t care to be seen eating. How did you ever discover THAT about him? So many secrets!

    • Hi someone, a chair sounds so GIRLY don’t you think however it would be good for transporting things, Ton and Boo might be wanting to clamber onto my knee though.

  17. I’m wondering if John could add a chair to your biplane–like a ski lift chair.
    And Ton! Who knew he doesn’t care to be seen eating. Such a subtle knowing mistress you are. How did you ever discover that about him?

  18. I was thinking so you could have your hands full. I just read yesterday’s comments about Sheila and I’m remembering her throwing her food bowl out her window when she was through with it–and picking it up in front of that man who was there to assess her motherliness.

  19. You are a strong woman, from what you post, so we are not worried about the zipline for your need. After all , you were rock climbing in NZ just the other day, so a mere 70 foot zip should be a piece of cake. You Aussies are tough people.

    • You are right Spike, though I am the NZer climbing the Australian rock face you are quite right that I am strong enough to hold my own weight. It will be a millisecond Zip! c

  20. What a brilliant and fun idea! You will be the talk of the barnyard! Get ready for hoards of kids to show up! 🙂 speaking of kids…does the Cadet still come to the Farmyard or has she moved away? Hope she is doing good! Sounds like you are though.. Gearing up for your busy season and getting ready to go zipping!!

  21. A zipline? I can just imagine what you will look like flying across the pond in your clown suit early in the morning! Sorry but I can’t stop laughing (not at you, ok, maybe a little ;-)). The fields are starting to look like spring, sadly we’re still winter up here. I am looking forward to warmer days for sure.

  22. Dear Miss C – only you would think of a flying fox to make your already fast day even faster! Fun and quick, but ‘Mama’ says’ – do take care! 🙂 ! Working during uni holidays I had a cashier’s job on a number of occasions – guess how much of the moneys arrived at my cash desk? Flying foxes from every direction of the store floor, making a hell of a racket but working fast and fine!! Whoosh and bang, whoosh and bang 🙂 !! There is still one rather famous store in Queensland using them a s ‘tourist attraction’ – sheesh, I must have put on some years !!!! The term ‘zip line’ does not sound nearly as much fun . . . . 😀 !! Enjoy and, yes, we definitely shall want photos!!!!

  23. I love a Flying Fox. Watch out for all the neighbourhood kids and your woofers queuing up for rides!

      • You said it WAY better than me 🙂 ! Thinking about it, I SO agree about it having the possibility of a local ‘Luna Park’ ride!!!!

    • And thankfully Eha the Flying Fox is right in the middle of nowhere and I can guarantee you that the locals will not be walking the half a mile to this ride! I am safe. c

      • You are the boss 😀 Oh, Celi, may we not have the occasional giggles . . . C) !

  24. A zip line! What fun. I’ve yet to manage an elegant dismount from one though. Maybe you can set up a bicycle at the end so that you zip straight onto the saddle and zoom off to do your chores. Sorry, may have slipped into fantasy there.

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