A Post of Pictures, 6-10-23

First reader photos and then a stroll around the farm this morning.

This is Jamie who comments often – now we can see what she looks like when the visiting miniature horse visited.
Mollie visited yesterday

It’s a bright cloudy day – the best light for taking pictures so here’s my morning walk to the barn.

I hate this garden which is so hard to weed because the phlox have taken over!
One little hosta didn’t make it.
One of the Hoyas is blooming
These pencil trees are fast growers and become unmanageable very quickly.
Helicopters everywhere!
Tim’s beans across the road

And once again a sad note – something got my baby robins. I hate to sound upset about this but I watched them every day and yesterday the nest was empty.

Gone – think how Mama Robin must have felt watching them get eaten one by one. I can’t stand to think about it.

As I’ve said before, life can be hard on the farm.

61 thoughts on “A Post of Pictures, 6-10-23

  1. Jeanine from Iowa

    Thanks for the tour of the farm. Loved seeing it. We didn’t have as many helicopters this year, and that doesn’t make me sad! So sorry about the baby robins. I’m sure mama robin was devastated as well. Hoping for some rain down our way later today. We watered our sweetcorn this morning. One of my barn cats has disappeared. Nowhere in sight. I have one sad cat left. He is lonesome.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – I hope the missing returns. I saw Fluffybun racing from the barn to the shop this morning – I so hope she and Mama Kitty could be friends in the barn.

  2. Rosie Westerhold

    Oh, Mary, I’m sad about ALL of your recent losses on your farm, including the robins. A number of years ago (more than 10), a mama robin made her nest in an artificial pine tree we had on our deck. Right at eye level!! She scolded us every day when we went by, but we were here first!! She laid her eggs there, and I was fortunate enough to watch them hatch, as well as see them all fledge one day. It was the most amazing thing to be able to view the cycle of life. Mama and Daddy eventually learned we wouldn’t harm them and didn’t fly at us to try and dissuade us from being near their nest. When the birds were trying to fledge, I was very worried that one of my dogs would grab them if they fell on the deck. I kept my dogs away from the back for several days when I thought they were ready to leave the nest. It was absolutely incredible that one day I was looking out the door to the deck, and ALL of the babies took off at once, in completely different directions!! I was sad to see them go, but such is the cycle of life.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rosie – these babies weren’t ready to fly yet – very sad.

  3. Sheryl Harrison

    Love your barn picture! My peonies are long gone and I just finished deadheading the rest of them yesterday.

  4. Diane in Maryland

    A wonderful tour! Everything looks like spring. We have gotten into summer. Have had a little rain but we need a couple of days of rain. Still very dry.

    So sad about the baby robins. Do you suspect a snake? Don’t judge me, readers, but I hate snakes and at my age I won’t be changing my mind! Grandson Trice says “but they eat rats and mice” and I remind him that I have neither and if I do, I will buy a trap! Lol I use a lot of Snake Away every year.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I doubt it was a snake because I’ve seen only 2 here in 45 years. Raccoon?

  5. Pamela Dempsey

    I feel terrible about the baby robins, so sad. They were so cute. I hope mama didn’t see it happening. I love your place, something to enjoy everywhere you look. We had a nest of 4 bluebirds fledgling off and just found 5 eggs again 🪺, hubby was going to help clean it up a bit, the birdhouse, but too late. Tomorrow is my 64th birthday, will you still need me, will you still feed me…..I am going to fix homemade chicken and morning star crumbles tacos 🌮 and enchiladas 😋, one of my favorite meals. Daughter and husband coming over and we will enjoy Pepperidge farm coconut cake and watch Legend of Boggy Creek-Bigfoot movie and popcorn 🍿. Perfect day with baby kittens Penny and Lucy😻.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pamela – we had that song sung at our wedding reception – love it! And Happy Birthday! Hugs to Penny and Lucy

  6. Kimberly Lusin

    Your farm is beautiful! Thank you for sharing all those pictures of it. So sorry about your robins. We lost 2 this past week. Not sure what happened to them. I understand it’s nature, but it is still sad. Have a good rest of the weekend. I have binding to do on two quilts and it’s supposed to be rainy here in Indiana tomorrow, so a good day to do binding.

  7. Arrowhead Gramma

    Mary, just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the photos of your homestead. Your grounds are just beautiful, especially with all the shades of green. Favorite photo was of the barn, a real Americana photo. Love it. ❤️🤍💙🇺🇸❤️🤍💙

    Sad to hear of the loss of your feathered friends. Had a similar experience here. 🥲

  8. Joy in NW Iowa

    I loved the tour of your farm! Sorry about the baby robins! We had a pair of barn swallows trying to build their nest against our bathroom window trim. While we were in Michigan, they got the job finished and are sitting on their eggs. We can watch them from our kitchen window.

    We still have not received a good rain. It’s amazing that the crops are still alive. Humidity and a few drips once in a while. Jay has been diligently watering his garden.

  9. MaureenHP

    The picture of your home is so inviting. Thanks for the tour. We have a nest in a wreath on the front porch, hope to see some babies.

  10. Sharon G.

    Mary – BEAUTIFUL photos of your home, barn, garden, and surrounding area. A friend of mine moved to Pennsylvania from Washington state years ago. She said Iowa was the prettiest state she drove through.
    I believe it! Wow!
    Quilts are pretty today. I’m working on some hourglass blocks. Fun!
    So sorry to hear about the baby robins. 😢

  11. Kathy in western NY

    Loved the tour of the yard!!!! Thanks for that. We too have helicopters all over our plant beds.
    I picked up a copy this morning at the craft thrift store of your1997 book Life in the. Country. All soft bound books were fifty cents!!! I got several books and will pass them on. Anyways you speak of life on the farm and I chuckled when you said you’ve been known to fire a gun. Somehow I can’t see you doing that but back then we thought we could do anything.

  12. Barbara Moore

    Thanks for sharing all your lovely photos today. Here in the desert, green is only on the golf course, so all your green is amazing to me. I grew up with lots of green in NW Indiana, and I miss it. We had a hummingbird nest in one of our trees and it was ravaged by a larger bird, so maybe that’s what happened. Tough to see it take place. I love your gorgeous red barn with the flag, and the fowl sitting on the grass all look like decoys😆. Great photo shoot today!!
    Barb in Tucson

  13. Rhoda Ebersole

    Yes very sorry for Mama Robin
    Your Peonies are just lovely.
    Thank you for the tour of your farm today.

  14. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    I do enjoy all the pics of your farm! I used to come purchase from you when you had the store. Your place was absolutely the best! BTW – is there a pattern for the red/blue quilt you listed in this blog? I love the quilt!! Thanks!!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Elaine – I went back and looked for a red and blue quilt and don’t know which one you’re asking about. Please be more specific.

  15. Cathie

    Peonies are lovely – the yard looks so good and trim. So sorry about the baby Robins. It’s too bad we
    can’t protect Nature!
    Have a good weekend. And the mini horse is so cute!

  16. Rita in Iowa

    Mary I love your Red Barn and all the other farm pictures. Reminds me of the farms I lived on. Miss them.
    At least two of my sisters, maybe three have Hoya plants also. One said hers was blooming also.
    Sad news for our family, 2 of my sister in laws passed this week. We are on vacation in MN so will make a trip back to Iowa for the funerals.
    My two daughters and their families all stay together with us. Right now we are chilling and a wedding is taking place right outside our door facing the lake.

    Love the finished quilts, great job. Any finish is a win.

  17. Karen Miller

    Loved the tour of your homestead. It is lovely; especially liked the photo of your home under the trees.
    We had bluebirds that nested in our nesting box and had two eggs hatch. Enjoyed watching the birds grow and fledge. Then another nest of 5 eggs but I think they have been abandoned or something happened to the mama. The daddy bird comes to peek into the box but nothing else is seen. The eggs should have hatched by now. Last year 11 bluebirds hatched and fledged from our box.
    Our summer weather pattern of afternoon thunderstorms is starting and the humidity and the temps are getting higher. Ugh!
    Take care. I don’t know how you get so much done what with all the animals, gardening and quilting, not to mention keeping house and home together.
    Karen in NE Florida

  18. Gloria from CC

    Beautiful pictures of your flowers and farm. I would guess a raccoon ate the babies. All we’ve gotten done is watering trees, perennials and annuals. This drought is going to be very hard on mature trees. We won’t see the damage for a couple of years but it will be devastating.

  19. Teresa in Indiana

    So sorry about your baby birds. I would bet it was a raccoon. One got our nest and knocked over another’s birdhouse that they were still eggs. Such is nature I guess. I love all the pics of the farm. You have a beautiful setting. That little pony is adorable! I love your peonies, mine are finished. They are so pretty. Have a good evening.

  20. Julie

    Those babies probably left the nest. It only takes about two weeks for them to head out. The nest isn’t home. Just a place to grow until it is time to take off.

  21. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,
    Your peonies look wonderful! The rest of your garden looks great too, and well done losing only one hosta to the dry weather! Here it hasn’t rained for four weeks, which unheard of at this time of year. There is no rain forecast for the next two weeks, either, Also it has been around 90 degrees every day for the last week, whilst the thirty year average maximum temperature for June is 71 degrees. Temperature not expected to drop any time soon, either. Lots of plants are visibly struggling: and some trees are already dropping leaves. So we could do with a bit of rain too! I am keeping all the water bowls and bird baths full so that the wild birds and animals always have something to drink.
    With regard to the robins, are you sure they have been eaten? They look almost big enough to fledge is the last photograph.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fiona – they didn’t have many feathers so I didn’t think they were old enough to fly. Oh, I hope you’re right!!!!! Maybe they flew away??

  22. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, the peonys are beautiful!!!! They don’t grow here in the south, and I miss them. Rhubarb also. So very sad about the babies……. you are so correct — life is hard on the farm. Still sad. Xx

  23. Eleanor from RI

    Wish I could take a stroll in your gardens. You have a green thumb. What is the name of the chartruse plant/bush by the red barn?

  24. Cynthia from SW MN

    I loved seeing all your photos today! Things are so beautiful and green the yards and buildings and especially your house are so picturesque! The peonies are so nice! It was so hot here at the expend of May the blooms did not last long. I better get to the far side of my yard so I can check on other peonies that hadn’t flowered yet as well. I am still working on my Atkinson table runner. I have lost my motivation I think. I weeded in my flower beds yesterday and today, just have a bit more to go, then I will clean out and scrub my bird ants and fill them up again. I really have to scrub out my fairy fountain as well. I shall send you a couple photos when I am done. I took my collection of Jade plants and the aloe and a guava plant outside to enjoy the warmer days. I think I will give them all away this summer. I am recovering from a nasty spider bite on June 1st. I am in the care of the wound clinic and it is going to be a while before this is gone. Much healing ahead. I am going to the Minnesota State Quilt Show on Friday morning, I went last year as well. I am always amazed at the talent of the quilters. I am more of an everyday housewife type quilter. Also I love going to Grubers Quilt Store and I will try to get to Munsinger’s Gardens too. I was reading Bonnie Hunter’s Blog this week, they went to see the Cairo Tentmakers store in Cairo. I did not realize they were at the quilt show last year. Their talent and products are amazing. June is just about at the mid-way point already. I hope to get some sewing done soon, mostly I have been sleeping lately. One more fun thing on my list for the summer is getting up to New London, MN to see the ski show. Happy Summer and as always, I enjoyed your blog today!

  25. Ginger S

    I have a friend wyo had a nest of robins right outside her kitchen window. She had such un watching them. she said the fledged in about 2 and 1/2 weeks. Doesn’t take long. I’m betting that your’s were ready to soar. Sure hope so!

  26. Jan in Cosby, TN

    We have a Carolina Wren who always manages to nest and lay eggs at least once each Spring in our garage! She is very sneaky and usually it’s too late when we find the nest and it already has eggs. This year there are five that just hatched. Each time this happens, I am always amazed at how early these tiny birds fledge. I never think they are ready, but they go on their way! Last year, she made her nest on our backporch and it was much easier to watch them. They only had a few feathers and still fluffy heads when they left. So, this whole long story is to suggest that maybe the baby robins fledged!🤞

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – oh, I hope they flew away! They just didn’t look ready – I’ve seen baby robins on the ground that didn’t fly well and the cats or dogs get them so I just assumed. I’m just going to say they fledged!

  27. Paula. Nordt

    Love your place. It is beautiful! It is very sad about the baby birds though. We had a red ear turtle lay eggs at the base of an old tree stump this Spring. We guarded that nest for three months. The eggs never hatched. Now the ground is so hard and dry, nothing could dig out to the surface anyway. Seems like we went from wading through water when walking the dog to watching the poor wildflowers droop from the heat and lack of rain. We live about twenty minutes southwest of Houston and rain seems to stay north of Interstate 10!.

  28. Kim from TN

    Love the tour of the farm and all the things blooming, the Hoyas are lovely. I recall them being a stinky plant that my mom grew for many years. I have never seen the pencil plants before, so interesting. I’m so sorry to hear about your baby robins, the life circle can be brutal. We have a forecast of rain tomorrow; we need it here in middle TN. Love seeing Tims beans.

  29. patti

    mary, i loved the walk through your property. you obviously spend lots of time growing things. it looks so wonderful. more so since i have a ‘black’ thumb and can kill anything. here’s hoping the robins flew away. thanks for sharing your life so much.. patti in florida

  30. Linda

    Lovely tour. Your hoya bloom is beautiful. I love seeing your houseplants happy in their summer homes outside (summer camp for plants?) One thing that puzzles me –and maybe the answer has to do with my climate— how do you keep them free of bugs? Where I live, spiders of all shapes and sizes infest a potted plant immediately when it arrives outside. This is a hot, dry climate. I have tried putting my plants outside as I did in an eastern, more humid climate, but cleaning those babies up to bring them inside again is not a chore I ever want to face again –sticky webs, ect; not to mention the spiders and bugs hiding in the soil that I missed and brought inside with me. sighh. What is your secret?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I buy a commercial spray for houseplants – I spray them well and don’t seem to have any bugs coming inside – or if I do they join those already in the house – haha! One time I did bring in a toad who was buried in the dirt. You can also spray with soapy water or even put the plants in a warm shower. Now you’ve got me thinking and worried but I’ve never had much trouble when I treat them before bringing them inside.

  31. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Your yard is beautiful; thanks for the tour, Mary. The weather man promised us rain tonight; we are keeping our fingers crossed. 🥰

  32. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Hi Mary, I am sorry about your little robins. It is sad to see them gone. So far, our three little house finches are ok. My husband waters around their nest in my Mother’s Day begonia! They re up high enough that the raccoons around here can’t reach them.
    I have three quilts at two different quilters so I am moving along. I have been working on table toppers, table runners, and baby quilts.
    We are soooo dry. We’ve had no rain for weeks.
    I love seeing your farm in bloom. Our Irises are finished blooming, but the butterfly bushes are coming along.
    Take care.

  33. Jo in Wyoming

    The picture of the geese….what can I say. All the pictures were great, but the geese are my special favorites.
    We had a dove build a nest on a low branch hanging over the deck. I can watch her from the bedroom window. We’re getting a new roof and I’m sure she is frightened by all the banging, construction noise. What a good momma. She no longer moves from the nest, just keep watching for trouble. I can walk beside her and she stays put.
    We had rain yesterday afternoon and again last night. Wonderful, wonderful rain.

  34. Sandy in Indiana

    Thank you for the barn tour photos! Such a treat 🙂 Your peonies were so beautiful!
    Very sad about the baby robins……
    We had a mother blue bird & 2 youngsters show up at the feeder earlier in the week….what a treat! We have just started seeing bluebirds these past few years……
    Thank you for all your posts, I love reading them 🙂

  35. Mary Lou

    Another wonderful post of all the beauty of country life – love every photo and makes you
    feel like you would like to be there to enjoy each and everything… Thank for taking the time
    to share with all of us…So very sad about the baby Robins makes you want to cry doesn’t it..

    Thank you again and again… So miss living in the country…

  36. Kathy Hanson

    Loved all the pictures of your beautiful farm! Loved the sight about your dogs. I should have one just like it at our house!!
    We do have a note not to ring the doorbell and to call Jerry’s phone number instead. Of course if she sees a care drive on or someone walk up to the door we are well aware that someone is here! It gets crazy for sure!!!!

  37. Cyndy

    So sad about the robins. One of my joys of spring is a nest somewhere. This year at my neighbors’ since we have fewer trees. He shares them with texts. I can hear them while teleworking. So very sad for mama and you.

  38. Ann in Virginia

    A black snake got my baby blue birds in May. I hacked him with a shovel, but he got away up the tree. I shot at him, but to no avail. He’s still out there. Hate them.

  39. Susan K in Texas

    Thanks for the farm tour. I walk around our yard every morning when I let the cats out to play. It’s always fun to see what is blooming and the different plants coming alive as the warmer weather comes. We’re headed into the high 90’s by the end of the week. This morning I heard the locusts (cicadas) singing. That means summer is here.
    We’re on baby watch. Our daughter in law is due July 4 but has a scheduled c section June 30. So another trip to Iowa soon to take care of the other two grandsons. I’m looking forward to time with them and the cooler weather.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – too bad Davenport is so far from me! And I cannot leave the farm with Rick not being able to walk well. I’d love to meet halfway!

  40. Ruth Tacoma

    I love the farm tour! Such a beautiful place. Sorry about the robins…our poor little robins have had a rough year too. My granddaughter and I have found shells here and there on the ground, but I have no idea what has happened to them.

    By the way, what is the platform and steps that I saw in the photos? Was that originally on the front of a barn or is it a stage of some kind?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ruth – the platform was built just for the goats to play on – it’s shown in the Oh, Susannah! Book which is coming soon.

  41. Kris in Naperville

    Thanks for the tour of the farm… I know what you mean about the birds…. we have had 3 bunny nests in the back yard this spring… our dog, Bruce, a treeing walker coonhound, has sniffed them out and killed/or partially eaten the babies… just this morning I had to bury another one…. why do these bunny Mom’s choose our yard, 2 of our neighbors don’t have dogs…. arghhhh… sorry to complain…. nature is beautiful but sometimes it is so hard…. be blessed today Mary!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kris – and it’s not hardly fair to punish Bruce – he’s just doing what dogs do. But I just hate it, too. I have never gotten used to it.

      1. Kris in Naperville

        You’re right, we don’t punish Bruce. If we catch him before he kills them, he is good to drop them on command… I just wish these Bunny Moms would be alittle wiser….

  42. Sue In OR

    I bet it was the raccoons. I did not see this post until today. I commented yesterday, so now I am going backward. Your farm and yard are just lovely. I no what you mean about the phlox, though. They are taking over one of our flower beds, too. I have the big white one called David and he is aggressive. Butterflies just love him though, so I put up his presence. I just need to dig some of it out.
    I thought Mother Rabbits were wise, like Peter Rabbits’ mother. Guess not.
    We have a red-headed woodpecker visiting the backyard every day. He is pecking the heck out of the walnut tree.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – guess that’s what I’m going to have to do, too – dig some of the phlox out of that lily garden – I hate in ground gardening. Maybe I’ll just mow them down.

Comments are closed.