A little red kite

Yesterday Connor our second woofer joined the fold.

It is a funny thing how a person begins an intense communication with me as they travel across the country and sometimes across the world to my little farm. As they get closer our txts and calls get more frequent as I navigate them closer to the farm, like an air traffic controller, until we are almost old friends by the time they arrive nervous but at least they know they are in the right place.


It sometimes feels like they become like a little red kite on the loose in the billowing wind of public transport, un-moored from their homes,  not exactly sure where they are going and as they swoop past me I have to jump and grab the trailing string and haul them in and guide them down, then settle them beside me and off we go.

cat in basket

Connor took a train from New York all the way to Chicago, then another down into the country and at the end of a 24 hour journey practically fell off the train into my little car. He was eager to get to work but was falling asleep with his arms in the sink. So he was sent to bed early. Today he will begin to get his bearings.  There is a lot to take in during the first few days and he traveled a long,  long way.  Imagine seeing a live pig for the first time!

cow and calf

Today we begin to plant the tomatoes, and finish clearing out Poppy’s pen.  If she is to have piglets this rotation it will be  in 8 – 10 days. I need to look up a picture from her last pregnancy at this stage. If I have time that is! And anyway a sow will look different at this stage, she was a gilt last time.  H ere are a few old shots. Poppy with 7 days to go.  Poppy with 10 days to go.  I will try to get a side on shot of her today so we can compare.  But I think we will know for sure in the next couple of days.


Things are hotting up.

I hope you have a lovely day.


PS The  magnolia in the header was hit badly by that snow and frozen weather last week. The pink one is struggling along but the yellow blooms  on the little tree are all brown and that tree will not bloom. Ah well. Worse things happen at sea.


36 Comments on “A little red kite

  1. Welcome, Connor. I bet you’re glad you came in April rather than one of the winter months!

    Go, Poppy – add your two-pennorth to the Farmy nursery.

    It’s a lovely day here today, despite the overnight frost.
    ViV xox

  2. Have a great day planting your tomatoes. Are you putting them directly in the ground? Mine are still in seed trays but not doing too well. Finally my basil seeds decided to sprout – I had almost given up all hope.

  3. Welcome Connor, what a happy start to your Farmy visit, a real, warm, breathing, friendly pig. I hope he makes friends with the dairy ladies too. Go, Poppy, give us some more lovely lively healthy but not too excitable piglets!

  4. Celi, your passion for the land and your ability to physically cope with all the life on the land throws at you continue to amaze me. I hope the fire damage was not too extensive. Welcome Connor!

  5. Journeying on a train sounds like a beautiful adventure to your farm. Welcome Connor! What an exciting time to join the farmy tribe!

  6. I love train travel. And I already feel affection for Connor. Tell him hello! Does he realize he already has a global fan club? The bunny is beautiful. How on earth did you nab that shot?

    • I just returned from Portland, OR on the train travelling to Sacramento. CA and I slept the next two days and nights. It was good to be home once I became “operational”. Had two 20 minute naps on the overnight train ride. Much love, Your grateful Gayle. Magnificent post.

  7. I think that is the first bunny I’ve seen on the farmy, just in time to eat newly planted vege. Txiki Chick looks like she has grown some too. Welcome Connor, to where we would all like to be. Laura

  8. Oh Ms. C~ I have another completely-unrelated-to-the-conversation pig question again. This time it’s about Willow’s um…..udder. Though she’s only been nursing 3 babies for a week (instead of the full 10), her udder is still absolutely pendulous! They just flap about when she runs and they loll every which way when she lays down. Bless her heart! Will she ever get back to “normal”? (Thank your for letting me hijack your ongoing dialogue with the fellowship to answer these silly questions.)

    • First of all why is she only nursing three? Her udder may still be making milk for ten which could be a bit tricky for her udder health. But i am sure there are lots of things I do not know. Anyway the short answer is yes it will go down, he udder will shrink when she is fully weaned. And remain crinkly and a bit low. Have a feel of her udder and make sure there are no lumpy areas or unusual heat.. c

      • We were allowing her to just nurse the smallest 3 until yesterday. The size difference is great between the other 7 piglets and these three. Plus it seemed to abrupt to pull all her 10 babies away at the same time. But we pulled these last three into the weaning pen yesterday so she can fully dry up now. Her udder is cool to the touch, smooth and not red just pendulous.

  9. Better to be a late bloomer. I enjoyed your description of the traveller being reeled in like a kite. Sometimes the string breaks and you get hung up in a tree. Maybe you’ll get discovered. Maybe not. Hope you have clear skies and good planting.

  10. Can’t wait to see the piglets – and I loved the photos of Poppy when she was pregnant the last time and lying (at least part of her was lying) in the tub of water!! ; o )

  11. Yes, interesting how un-pregnant a piggie just a week away from giving birth appears. I guess once her udder becomes starfish shaped, that’s a clue.
    You’re planting out your tomatoes already? Do you worry about frost attacking them? Here, in southern Ontario (similar latitude to you) the 24th May is considered last-frost. Mind you, recent years we haven’t had frost anywhere near that late… but mid-April isn’t too early?
    It’s so true that travelling, where you do absolutely nothing but watch others work, is exhausting and a 24-hour trip will completely knock the stuffing out of you. Fortunately when you are young you recover quickly and am sure Connor will be ready to steam ahead once he wakens. A 24-hour trip? Where does Connor originate from?
    Sad about the magnolias; I recall, I believe, you saying they were your favourites. Ah well, there is always next year, I suppose — and, yes, there are worse things.
    Have a great day ~ Mame 🙂

    • Our last frost date is April 24. And if a frost looks imminent we just cover them. These are so big.. and I have piles of visitors this summer and there are no frosts in the forecast as far as i can see, so i am chancing it. c

  12. I’m so interested in your Woofers! We live on a 26 acre homestead with a herd of Dexters, milk goats, layers and broilers. We also do our own hay, butcher said broilers, milk the goats and all that comes with that task, and garden. I was wondering if you find the Woofers looking for something larger or are they just wanting to glean all the knowledge they can, where ever they can? I would certainly have enough work to keep them busy and varying types of work too, but wasn’t sure if they look for a larger operation? We do have a wonderful guest cottage they can stay in so it really would be a working, learning vacation. We have a mutted Gingie cat just like yours!

    • You place sounds like a perfect spot for a woofer, with that cottage. It is work in itself though – in a strange way it assuages my need to teach and be around young people- I do miss teaching. Now is the time to sign up as I am getting requests every day but can take no more this year.

  13. So that little “bunny” and its thousand close relatives have no eyes for your veg and kitchen garden? Maybe you can train it to herd chickens. Or eat only weeds…

  14. Love your cute photos today very much – especially that shy hare…. and the lovely cat.
    All the best for you, Celi and hello and welcome to Connor!
    May you have a good time together!

  15. Welcome, Connor! I remember my first sight of a real pig, and touch – how bristly! Sweet bunny! I haven’t seen one around here in awhile. There was rumor of a fox in the neighborhood. Love the orange kitty in the basket!

  16. I’m sorry to hear about the magnolia, it’s such a shame the weather is so uncertain. I do hope you have been enjoying the warmth that we’ve been getting up here. Looking forward to the stories from your new billet.

  17. The sweet picture of the cat all curled in the basket. Love it. And the bunny too. You didn’t give him away!

  18. It’s looking lush on the farmy. That’s a very cute bunny, but it would be straight in the pot, here in Cataluña 🙂

  19. Welcome to Connor! May you be very happy during your time on the farmy!! I don’t think anyone leaves it without it forever being a memorable part of their life . . . The Weather Gods also smiled!!! And a bunny was awaiting to say ‘hello’ . . .

  20. I’ve been catching up on posts I’ve missed due to unavailability of data time as I travelled. It’s so comfy being back, sort of like when you’re at the beach and you wiggle your butt to have it fit “just so” in the sand. Much love, Your Gayle

  21. Sorry I am late. but with a name like Connor, I have to say céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes)! Txiki really is growing very fast.

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