Archive | January 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Since this storm delivered historic snowfall, we felt compelled to record the event in our little corner of the world.

Our Snowmobile

Our Snowmobile

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Dogwood Tree

Dogwood Tree

You can see our foot and paw prints leading down the drive and to the pond

You can see our foot and paw prints leading down the drive and to the pond…

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Pond with the floating (and frozen) dock in the background

Pond with the floating (and frozen) dock in the background

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"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."...except for Snowzilla 2016

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”…except for Snowzilla 2016!

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Our Winter Garden...

Our Winter Garden…

The photographer pauses to gain the courage to climb up this hill...

The photographer pauses for dramatic effect and to gain the courage to climb up this hill…

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Western view

Western view

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Walkway to porch

We think we’ve had about 10 inches of snow over the past week.  It’s now in the 20’s, the sun is shining brilliantly and we expect we’ll be slip sliding on the ice when we take the dogs out today.  The impact of the storm was far greater all around our region – to the south, north, and east.  We’ve been places where the brunt of a hurricane affected us and we feel grateful that we were spared with this snow storm.  We never lost power and we stayed warm and toasty as Mr. Fifty Shades had our wood burning stove churning out the heat.

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Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team

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Sage Advice

Hi All –

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This week we celebrated one year since I adopted Scout and Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades.  It is a lucky thing I found them since they really needed my advice.  For instance, Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades thought that sleeping past 4:00 a.m. was normal.  Can you believe that?  Fortunately, I have been able to convince them that this was a crazy practice, or as Mrs. Fifty Shades describes it, “a faraway dream.”  I think that means it was just plain silly.

Scout and I have had the best time ever this week since it’s been snowing and cold.  Scout likes to lay down and roll in the snow.  I like to do whatever Scout does.  Here are some pictures that show all the delicious snow we’ve been enjoying…

 

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Bee Hives

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Chicken Coop

 

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The Pond

 

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Bird House

 

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Picnic Anyone?

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The weather predictions are for the snow to continue until Sunday.  It is also supposed to be quite windy and Scout and I just don’t know how much better it could get.

Here’s hoping you’re enjoying snow wherever you are!

Signing off,

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Sage and the rest of the Fifty Shades Team

Winter, Gardening, Birthdays

We’re well into winter and that means we are starting to look forward to spring and working in our garden.  This will be our fourth year with a garden.  Although we’ve been happy with our garden, some of what we planted just didn’t turn out – as in, it didn’t come up out of the ground, or the particular vegetable didn’t mature, or, the expected amount of harvest just didn’t occur.  We know that part of the problem is our soil – which is actually clay – which is probably the worst growing medium for a garden.  We added lots of compost and we know that helped, but we wanted a little more science to support us.  So – we bought a handy dandy soil test kit…

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…and we discovered it was a miracle that we managed to grow anything these last three years.  We are low on nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and our soil is alkaline.  So – we’ll be amending the soil (clay) even more this year with compost and whatever else we read about that will help us get better results.

To prepare our strawberry plants for the winter, we learned that a blanket of straw would help to protect them.  So, yesterday afternoon we laid straw down over the plants.  Here is Mr. Fifty Shades breaking open the bag – you can hardly see him since he’s in camouflage…

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Here he is starting to spread the straw over the berries.

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All done.

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When the job was done, I showed up.

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And,…if today is your birthday, Scout and Sage celebrated by taking naps in your honor.2016-01-18 02.51.042016-01-18 02.51.44

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres

The Chicken or the Egg

First we had a chicken problem.  Or, was it an egg problem?  The chicken problem began as a good intention – wanting to let our chicks be “free range” – letting them roam all around our property throughout the day and then shutting them in to their coop at night where they would be safe from predatory critters.  That worked for a while, but, last spring we lost a couple to a wily coyote, leaving us with only two hens.  While this may seem like plenty of hens to supply two people with eggs, we had to keep in mind that two hens are not enough for one rooster (we’ll leave you to ponder that one on your own) especially one as virile as our Murphy.

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To save our remaining hens, we ordered new chicks and received them on July 1st.  It takes about four to six months for new chicks to develop, reach their full weight, and begin laying eggs.  In the meantime, the five new chicks enjoyed learning the ropes from the two older hens.

Unfortunately, in October, we lost one of the original hens to natural causes (we think).  During the month of December, we noticed that hawks began circling all around the property from miles high, scoping out what must have looked like a nice buffet.  One day, I heard a racket outside and opened our front door.  This startled and scared off a hawk with one of our hens in its talons.  The hawk dropped the chicken, but, did not forget where a fine feast awaited.  The sad ending is that hawks took two more chickens and we finally said – that’s it – we need to stop providing the hawks with an easy meal ticket.  So, our chickens now reside in the coop full time.  There is actually plenty of room for them and Mr. Fifty Shades has already started to plan an extension.  For the record, we have four chickens now and Murphy, the rooster.

Beginning December 24th, the new chicks began laying eggs.  They started producing one egg a day and then….

…we had a two egg day

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….and then a three egg day!

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Can a four egg day be far off?

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We think not!

Hope all is well in your part of the world!

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team

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Happy New Year!

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The Scout Report

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve been enjoying winter so far.  Today was our best day so far this year, because it SNOWED!  Yay.  Hurray!

You can see here my paw prints in the snow and just below where I lapped up the snow with my tongue.  

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Sage wasn’t too sure about it at first, but, after a few tries she enjoyed lapping it up, too. Someone mentioned it might be like eating a snow cone, although we’ve been advised to avoid the yellow kind.  

Even though the cold weather is the best, I think Sage prefers staying inside with our new rope toy. We wore out the other one chewing and playing tug of war.
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There might be a picture of us doing this one day with the new rope, but, Mrs. Fifty Shades says it will be difficult since most of the time we’d rather stop what we’re doing to see what she’s doing when she brings out the camera. 

 

This is what it looked like just a couple hours ago when Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades and Sage and I took our walk.  

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Now the sun is shining and the light snow is melting.  The temps will be in the teens tomorrow – really – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Until next time,

Scout & Sage

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