Home Again … Jiggedy …

Lots of pictures today. Because. There is nothing quite like stumbling off a cramped shared-air airplane and straight back out onto the Midwest farm with its wide open spaces and air as sharp and clean as a whistle. And so much green growth. Everything is flourishing.

I am back on the farm for a month and there is LOTS to do.

bales of hay on a hay rack seen through the open barn

Actually, I rushed straight off the plane (everyone rushes off planes – barely concealing their anxiety to get the hell out of that strange metal capsule as fast as possible), the drive home takes an hour and and then I jumped straight into throwing hay. It makes the 3.30AM (in CA) start all worth it. And the bales were not too heavy which is always a bonus.

2 bales of hay resting beside a freshly mowed field

While I was away the lilacs came into bloom and the mulberries came into leaf.

green grass seen through a canopy of purple lilacs

The flock of ducks are gone. I can only surmise (and hope) that they were scared up and fright-flying (like pheasants but they don’t fly as far) ended up in the creek where I hope they would have made a swift getaway. The gate to the creek was left open. So I do hope that is what happened.

No sign of the flock at all (not in the fields that were cut for hay or in the wilding field) and more importantly no bodies. When there is a mink attack there are always bodies.

Duck on her nest in a blue tote

Only one duck is still here. Sitting on her infertile eggs in the big barn. So she would not have been with the flock. She has been sitting for too long now so I have to tip her off her nest today and dispose of the rotting eggs. I suppose I will put her in with the chickens.


Tima in concrete yards with broken down car behind

Two bobbies. All fat and happy.

Two calves looking back into the barn with fields behind

Chickens leaving the chicken shed in the afternoon.

WaiWai. Grumpy and whining at me. He always punishes me for going away.

Wai the rescue potbelly

Or it takes him a few days to realise it is me – one or the other.

The Glasshouse

These early flowers on the zuchinni are all male so far, I think, and I bet Mad is going to tell me to stuff them and eat them which is something I have never done but must try. When the female flowers begin to make an appearance I will pollinate between them with a paint brush. (Unless I can talk one of my bumblebees into popping in).

courgette, zuchinni, growing in lean to glasshouse

The Wheat

This is the Soft Red Winter Wheat.

organic wheat heading up in organic wheat field

Heading up. This happened in 7 days. When I left there were no heads at all. The table and chairs are totally disappeared from view, swamped by the rising wheat. So I will go in and take them out now. Farmer Ross and I are thinking maybe we will try bar stools next time!

The Farmyard

chickens and pig with old barn in the background and blue sky above

We are baling the last two fields later this morning. So I had better get a wriggle on.

What do you do when you first return from a journey? I check every corner of the farm and check every animal then I set up my desk. The keyboard, the laptop, the bluetooth mouse, the microphone (I will be recording later today). Leads and chargers.

As I travel – anywhere I land – setting up my writing space has high priority. Before a Gin and Tonic even! That is serious don’t you think?

Good morning!

As I write Boo is sitting outside my studio french doors with one eye on the sun and the other on me. If that dog had a watch he would be checking it every few minutes. Pointedly.

It is cool, unseasonably so I think – with a cold Easterly blowing. The cool breeze and low humidity is why this first cut of hay has dried so nicely. The temps are in the low 50’s overnight and the mid 80’s for the next ten days. No rain as far as I can see. But these temperatures are perfect.

It was cooler than usual in California, too.

When the heat finally arrives we are going to be moaning our arses off.

What are you up to today? Hay and suitcase (in that order) for me. Maybe a second coffee first.

Have a great day.


24 Comments on “Home Again … Jiggedy …

  1. Good to hear you are home safe and sound, though busy, busy as usual. Poor ducks, whatever happened let’s hope they continue to have a good life. The cast all look well and content. With the exception of Wai the grumpy, l’m sure he’ll come round very soon. Boo will just about have stopped his checking on your movements as you are about to go away again. Don’t work too hard! Ha ha!

    • Not for a month! So he can rest for a bit. Me leaving the pack to go lone hunting evert now and then is part of my pattern so I don’t think he worries.

  2. After travel, the very first thing is to retrieve doggo from whatever luxurious accommodations he’s been forced to endure (either friends or the local ‘pet resort’. He’ll tell me all about his sufferings, interspersed with bouts of sulking and pointedly ignoring me (unless there’s a frozen chicken neck in the offing, in which case all bets are off). Only after that can I relax enough to check the house, visit the chooks, see what’s ripe, grimace at the weeding and unpack the bags and put on a load of laundry. When I next travel, they will have started the Crush, so the local air will be filled with the scent of crushed sugar cane. Think brown sugar with a side order of cut grass and a dash of apple cider vinegar. It’s like nothing else, and it pervades the air. I’ll know I”m home.

  3. It’s so good to visit the kids but also so good to get home isn’t it! The gang looks well and happy, but alas the ducks. How funny if they magically made a reappearance now that they hear you are back!

    I am chuckling at your now needed reconnaissance mission into the wheat to find the look-out table and chairs but those early views were lovely to see.

  4. Glad to hear you are home and right back at it, like a true farmer. When I return home from my travels I tend to check every corner of my house to make sure all is well, then check my emails and messages. I unpack later or in between things. But I guess the very first thing I do is cuddle and play with my dogs to let them know I still love them and will always return. (Whenever I go away they think they will never see me again)

  5. City person has to go to the grocery store. Ugh. Next go through tons of mail. Ugh-Ugh. Finally go into the basement and start big laundry. Welcome, home Cecilia Was TonTon happy to see you?

  6. Poor duck or lucky duck?
    Upon arriving home… wander garden, wee, open all the doors in the house, make cups of tea. This applies even if we’ve just been to town for errands! If it’s just a day in town without dog then greet dog, play fetch with dog, feed dog who doesn’t eat if we aren’t here and only after he’s had a game. If we’ve been away longer (dog is always with us) add check rain gauge.
    Have a lovely weekend. It beautifully late autumn here and a Saturday with friends-family come to visit.

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