Sheila Goes Walkies.

Every afternoon when I take my break I take Sheila and Tima down the back to munch on some long grass.


Before Sheila settles down to eating she has to do her inspections.

sheila and tonton

Naturally the compost heap is taken very seriously and  after that she has to check to see if there is any asparagus up (none yet) then she wanders into the long grass.
sheila and tonton


By then Tima has made a few cursery  sweeps of the bank then comes to where I am sitting for a wee lie down.

tima walking with tonton5

She still tries to drape herself across my legs but she is a bit too big for that to be comfortable so settles for Close to my legs. (This  is an awkward shot but you see what I mean).

tima sleeping

Sheila looks huge next to this baby tree in the Fellowship Forest. The Fellowship Forests are being planted on both sides of the creek that was a creek but is really a ditch.  I try to keep up with my readers, planting a tree for each of you. But some of you are having to share (actually a lot of you are sharing) as I only get about a hundred and fifty a year planted though they are spread across both farms. That is my goal anyway. Not all survive of course. But the majority do.


If you stand where Sheila is under her tree, then leap on the Flying Fox  and fly straight across the creek you will land in the shot below.

Here is that shot. Standing on the The West Bank of the creek looking West to the West barn. (that’s a mouthful)  There are more trees going in here this year. I will be swinging across the creek with saplings and milkweed seeds in my pack!


Below we are looking back at the house(towards  Sheila) from the exact same spot. Are you dizzy yet?

Many of the trees I grow myself from cuttings or dig up and replant them when I find young ones at other farms  (or the Matriarchs backyard)- especially the Maples and Mulberries.  I only grow what wants to grow. Black Walnuts are still my favourites (and Sheila’s). Every time I prune a tree (that has not been grafted) I strike some of the prunings. Or from seeds.  This year I am focusing on Willows, Mulberries and Native Wild Pears.  (The wild pears I will have to buy to begin then grow from the seeds after that).  Every year I make sure to plant some flowering trees to encourage bees, butterflies and birds to return.  Milkweeds are essential for the Monarchs so I sow as many of these into the wild areas as well. And I love the scent of milkweed.


The turkeys (much to everyone’s relief) have been given a pen to live in. My porch was clean for the whole day. They were such mess makers and such a nuisance.  They do not even move for cars and trucks driving into the yard, just stand and stare.

Turkeys were an interesting venture, but like the ducks will not be repeated.

turkeys and peahen

And last night it rained and they did not have the brains to go into their shelter so I had to climb in and physically carry them to their house. Then shut them in so they did not stand in the rain all night.  Geraldine sleeps as usual in the high rafters of the barn with the peafowl. She is not worried. She is a big girl now.

The rain is good –  it will settle in all the seeds we have sown into the pastures. John is  exhausted after this weekend – he is going back to work for a rest!

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi




53 Comments on “Sheila Goes Walkies.

  1. Turkeys. Domestic turkeys will actually look up into the sky in the rain to see what is going on and drown. You hope the wild ones have more sense.
    I like the way you “repurpose” tree that show up in the wrong place or get clipped. Seems right as they used all the effort and energy to survice and poke through the earth’s crust. Bet those are some of the happiest trees – just like a stray dog that’s found the right home. (Wondering, of course, if the dogs ever confuse them small trees with toys like Molly does.)
    Enjoyed the walk. Perfect way to start the day!

    • My mother used to say that about the turkeys she raised – that they didn’t have the sense to come in out of the rain.

  2. Sheila acts just like a dog, a very big one, but s doggie nonetheless.
    It is so nice to hear that you are planting so many trees, it saddens me to see all the forests being cut down here for logging.

  3. So cool to see the Home Front and the West Barn from the sides of the creek! Gives a bit of perspective to your travels back and forth! Gosh, I know what you mean about the turkeys…..and the ducks. Two turkeys are plenty for us! They were given to us by a neighbor. They are very cool to watch, and the female is laying already, so that is wonderful too! But they live in the chicken yard, which is a good thing! We only have 5 ducks now, and they roam on their own, and have their own small plastic swimming pool to frolic in. Too many ducks can be very destructive for anything planted! Our guineas also roam, and can make big holes in areas I try to get grass growing in! 😦 But, they eat the ticks and chiggers, and we are very happy about that!!!

  4. It’s so wonderful that you are planting all those trees. We are going to be getting your wet weather combined with rain coming up the coast later today and tonight. The muddy spots in the paddocks were just firming up a little, too! Have a wonderful day!

  5. Lovely, the thought of sitting in dry grass. Many of your pictures won’t download here where the Internet is slow, but I can imagine the scene from the Flying Fox as you traverse the ditch/creek. It’s nice to know Sheila is a Compost Inspector. I’m sure she’s a good mixer as well. Enjoy your day.

  6. Such a fun post today. I felt as if I had gone walkies with you, and Sheila of course. Are turkeys the inspiration for that silly phrase, ‘Bird-brained’ I wonder? Decidedly too much work to be worth it I feel, especially if you are trying to run a farm where the majority of the animals can think for themselves and know to come in out of the rain… 🙂

    • Yes, they are going to have to go in the pot. That brown one is a bully too so things will be a lot calmer when they are gone. I will send them away (and all those roosters) with the first wave of meat chickens.

  7. Lovely Sheila is like a Dowager Duchess, large but gorgeous, inspecting the bounds of her estate escorted by her faithful retainers Tima, Ton and Miss C. All is well, so she settles down for some light snacking and perhaps a snooze. She is wonderfully elegant for such a large pig!

    • well said Miss Kate!! you wrote my thoughts!!! Miss Sheila is a grand one!! except she had only one Corgi walkin’ with her this morning!!!

      • She has immense dignity and self assurance, doesn’t she? Poor Ton, relegated to the job of Corgi, but he does look rather short compared with Her Grace the Duchess of Farmy.

      • * the hugest grin* Some of us just may be ardent royalists, Miss Kate [if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!] and having brought up and lived with some of the most gorgeous Pembrokeshire corgis possible, I kind’of know from personal experience, their hugely independent and delightful characters: one ‘Sheila’ would not faze one corgi’ a’tall : actually I would fear for her ankles!!

  8. Can you imagine Sheila’s reaction the first time you ride that zipline?

      • Maybe the first time you should ride it towards her, rather than away. So she can see how it works without the disappearing part.
        (Trying to imagine how things appear to the animals is always a part of my project planning, can you tell?)

  9. Love the pics!
    Just cos I’m a sticky-beak, is the west farmhouse occupied Celi?
    Maybe if you have to purchase trees you should put out a call for “sponsors”? We have sewn hundreds of fruit and berry trees at our kids’ school in the last few years {New school in only it’s 6th year which we’ve had our eldest at from the start} = a lot of the inaugural families sponsored the trees! We bought 3! The orchards are coming along nicely and the kids have happily started to be able to pick a fresh piece of chemical-free fruit whenever it’s ripe 🙂 I for one would love to sponsor a little piece of love on your farm 🙂

    • Jake rents the little house over there at the moment – and I have the big homestead (about 9 miles from here) going up for vacation rentals this summer. Great about trees at your school – that is an excellent project.

      • In Sacramento, California (where I live) one can get trees for FREE! One can specify which tree they want and all you have to do is to go to a demonstration of how to plant said trees. I got a couple of trees years back and could NOT keep up with the fruit production, us being a small family and all. But it’s a great idea. I’ve heard that Sacramento is second in the world for trees per capita. First? Paris. Much love to Fellowship and Celi, Queen of same, Gayle

    • In an ideal world I would love people to bring their own trees and plant them themselves – that would be even better! It is good for the soul to plant a tree. c

  10. Sweet Geraldine sitting close to her friends even thought she is still free to roam for a little while longer 🙂 Pleased to read the summer farmhouse rental is still on track for this summer. Laura

  11. I think I need a nap. That walk was exhausting! How Sheila does it is beyond me. What a lovely idea to plant trees for the fellowship and you are correct, it would be better if they each came and planted their own. Now I must hurry and make my plane reservations and pack my shovel. 😉 Have a lovely day. We will see the sun tomorrow!!

  12. FD is much like John today… off to work for a reprieve! We’ve been diligently mushroom hunting, mowing, gardening, and FD has been setting steel fence posts for our pool fence. Weekends often end up being a lot of physical work here.

  13. my days always begin with a sense of peace and a smile after reading todays and every days posts! I am in awe of your tree and milkweed planiting- the earth is a better place with people like you. HUgs!

  14. Are the pear trees you grow fruiting ones or the ubiquitous ornamental flowering pear we are seeing here in Ohio? It was not present when we grew up here, over 40 years ago and it is self seeding and seems to be taking over in some areas.

    • This one is an American native pear, the pears are smaller than the domestic one and not as sweet (think settlers pears) but I am sure the pigs will love them. c

  15. I love these piggy pictures this morning!! Sheila such a grand one!! Sheila and her chooks on the calendar picture!! and TonTon right along beside her!! and Tima taking a nap with her Master!!

  16. A great walk – the little rest in the middle was a life saver for me. It’s a good Sheila doesn’t fancy lying across your legs!

    Planting trees has to be the most planet-friendly public-spirited thing we can do. Good on ya

    ViV xox

  17. I thought of this once before when you mentioned the planting of trees… but here, in Canada, the Boy Scouts have a tree planting programme. When my son was young and I was involved, it was called “Trees for Canada” and now, I just looked online to see if it was still active, it appears to be called “Scoutrees”. In any event, we were living in a small town at the time and there was always a problem finding places for the boys to plant the trees each year. Public areas were first choice but, when they ran out of those, private properties were planted. The property owner could pretty much dictate the type of tree they wanted planting. Their website says they have planted 80 million trees since beginning in 1972!!! That is a lot of trees. I mention all this in case of two things… lol… one, that you’d maybe like to make use of such a programme and, two, the Boy Scouts down there have a similar thing going on. It was always free to the property owner, the saplings were provided by some government agency. It was a fundraising programme and the kids obtained “sponsors” for how many trees they’d plant.
    All that being said, I love your photos today… one in particular, of Sheila, brought to mind the lovely little illustrations of Beatrix Potter stories.

  18. Is it my imagination or is Sheila a bit leaner than she used to be? Everything looks lovely. I find the Fellowship Forest very touching. I love it that you do that. We are so lucky to be honored in that way. Thank you thank you!

  19. What the World needs now is Love sweet Love~Dusty Springfield! And Trees! You can get 10 free trees when you join the Arbor Day Foundation for $10.00. So not really free but $1.00 a tree is pretty good! They’re just little saplings but won’t be little forever…
    I love Sheila!

  20. I see why there has to be a good plan to cross the creek that was a creek that is really a ditch.

    • Hmmmmmm, not so sure Mad. I think Sheila would be marvelous at finding them, but Miss C might not get many truffles. Is there perhaps some kind of muzzle? And I’m pretty sure Sheila would not like that. It would be a great sight though wouldn’t it?
      Chris S in Canada

  21. I DO hope Ton knows asparagus will be definitely not on Sheila’s menu when it springs forth! Interference needed perhaps ? Glad to have news on the Friendship Forest: thought you may have had to ‘give up’ due to lack of time . . . remember when vivinfrance and I got the first willows 🙂 !

      • *huge smile* . . . Just have to get to Chicago soonest: and have to take a look myself: and just perchance one kind soul may give me a ‘lift’ south to have a huge hug of tree, Boo, Ton, driver, Sheila [do I dare?] etc etc . . .methinks you said you were not that hugely inclined to hugs, but I would try . . . . 😀 !!

  22. Thee are sooo many things I loved about this post!! I think it’s wonderful that you plant so many trees and also plant milkweed just for the Monarch butterflies. I had some growing in my yard this summer and wouldn’t let my ‘lawn guy’ cut it down. (I could tell he thought I was nuts!) We had a lot of milkweed growing on the edges of our farm and I, too, love the smell. I’ve cut some and brought it in the house, but the sweet smell became overpowering, so I just ‘take a sniff’ when I’m outside.

      • Exactly – people don’t realize that’s all that Monarch butterflies eat. What was Mother Nature thinking? Well, she probably was thinking there would always be enough Milkweed to go around…

  23. I’m sorry to say it yet again, Celi, but seeing the stick carrying Ton in so many photos just cracks me up.
    I ordered milkweed seeds myself this year. Don’t know where I’ll plant them but I’ll find a spot or 3. I’ve tried transplanting some from the fields in Michigan but was never successful. I think I’ll take the extra seeds and spread them around the back of Zia’s property. I think she’d enjoy seeing monarch’s back there. Well, I know I will. 🙂

  24. Apparently our turkey is a big giant pansy! LOL The first sign of anything falling on him (including a leaf) and he runs for barn shelter – what a big baby he is. Oh, and very unhelpful in the gardens – NOT – he will follow me all around the farm. When I go to the gardens I usually end up sitting on the ground to work an area – he thinks I can do it better if he helps – jerk! He will stand right where I am working unless I chase him off…then, as soon as I sit down again, he is right back. Doesn’t even eat bad bugs while he is buggin me – darn bird!! LOL

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