Birds, Garden

Planning for Spring

Oh my goodness, where does the time go? January has already receded into the past while the first of the year seems as if it were yesterday. The positive side of this runaway timeline is that Spring is ever so much closer, which in turn means it is time to plan the garden. Some of the beds still need to be reworked and new ones made, but the garlic is already planted and waving its green scapes in the chilly air. Collards, broccoli, and cabbage are in the ground, but they seem to be at a standstill because of the cooler temperatures of January. In the next few days, seedlings will be started indoors and artichokes will be planted in the ground.

A second fruit orchard has been set up that includes Paw Paws, Fuji Apples, Mayhaws, Figs, Peach, and Plum trees. There is still a spot left for a couple of Elderberries for future batches of Elderberry Syrup. There are also two cooking Pear trees that have been producing quite well.

This year has been filled with birds coming to the “Breakfast Buffet” during morning coffee. They devour the seed and suet that is spread just outside the kitchen window. It is a joy watching them every day. Here are a few of the daily visitors.

Click on an image to see a larger picture!

It is evident that there is a lot of work to do to welcome Spring so wish me the blessings of Nature!

Don’t Judge the Moment, Live It!


New Year New Day New Way

Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.
~ Michael Josephson

It is the last day of the old year and Father Time will be giving way to Baby New Year. We are programmed by the reigning society to set new affirmations at this time, but should we be doing this or should we be reinforcing the positive aspects in our lives that we are already working to master? Many of us are expert at beginning new projects however we are also adept at not finishing before we start a new activity or goal. This new year would be an excellent time for us to reflect on the positive blessings and achievements we have attained in the past year and at the same time jot down those items we would like to continue to improve. As our new year progresses new aspirations will arise and be added to our list in a natural manner.

I wish us all a spiritually blessed, prosperous, and happy new year!

Don’t Judge the Moment, LIVE IT!

Morning Moments

Nature Altering Her Robes

The chill of Winter is beginning to set into the Deep South, and I just want to sit by my window and watch Nature alter Her robes as I drink my morning coffee. It is interesting that as She removes Her coverings we increase ours, and as She envelopes Herself with heavier layerings we decrease ours.

2018-08-17 buffalo spirit tree
Buffalo Spirit Tree
Darlene Callahan Hohensee
Click for larger image

This morning as I scanned my small corner of Creation the leaves were dropping from my Buffalo Spirit Tree. I soon realized that leaves just don’t drop that heavily. That is when I spied a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker, and I just couldn’t resist grabbing my camera. Thanks to Audubon’s website I was able to identify him and find out what a wonderful companion he is for my garden and trees.



Pileated Woodpecker
Darlene Callahan Hohensee
Click for larger image

Pileated Woodpecker
Darlene Callahan Hohensee
Click for larger image

“A big, dashing bird with a flaming crest, the largest woodpecker in North America (except the Ivory-bill, which is almost certainly extinct).

Excavating deep into rotten wood to get at the nests of carpenter ants, the Pileated leaves characteristic rectangular holes in dead trees. This species became rare in eastern
North America with clearing of forests in centuries past, but has gradually increased in numbers again since about the beginning of the 20th century. Where unmolested, it even lives in parks and woodlots around the edges of large cities.”
~ Audubon Guide to North American Birds

May your day be equally and more abundantly blessed!


Elderberry Promises

Having a very good morning today! While getting ready to meet with a friend for lunch and some shopping I was stopped in my tracks by this beautiful site.

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Such wonderful promise of a large elderberry harvest.

For the first time last year, I made Elderberry Syrup and used it during the winter months to keep my immune system in high gear. I am amazed at the benefits of this delightful bush.

In an article from the University of Maryland Medical Center, that is no longer available on their site, the benefits of Elderberry were listed and explained. Thank goodness I saved a pdf file containing that information. It was stated in the article that,

Elderberry, or elder, has been used for centuries to treat wounds, when applied
to the skin. It is also taken by mouth to treat respiratory illnesses such as cold
and flu. Some evidence suggests that chemicals in elder flower and berries
may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, including the sinuses, and
help relieve nasal congestion…

Elderberry also contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and may
help prevent damage to the body’s cells. In fact, elderberry outranks
blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries in terms of total flavonol
content.” Elderberry _ University of Maryland Medical Center

Of course, before you decide to use any natural products check with your physician for any interactions with your current medications.

Naturally, the dreaded disclaimer:

Any content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Wishing you all a very blessed and beautiful day!


Chickens Goats & Garden

Well, the varmint was caught and the access has been severed. This little demon was trapped and released. Hubby couldn’t bring himself to kill it so he released it at the dump. The little booger took off like a “Nine Foot Indian.” (I wonder where that phrase came from other than my childhood.) He cleared a fence as if it weren’t even there. The next night another two chicks were lost with one of their heads stuck inside the coop door. Never did catch that one, but at least I now had an idea of what was going on with the raids. It seems that the ambidextrous coon can lift a wooden door that is even difficult for us at times. Now I could get a game plan together.

After a visit to the local Home Depot with two screen door latches in my pocket I secured the coop door from the inside (I really have to clean my tools and give them a good oiling as they were left in the rain by someone who will not be mentioned). This has seemed to work well as we have no longer experienced any losses. Now to begin work on a covered pen that will incorporate the door inside. Purchased some fence posts yesterday and as soon as I finish baking for the Farmer’s Market I’ll be able to start on the new yard. After that is completed I’ll have to sit in the orchard with the Ladies while they free roam. A chair, a book, a cup of coffee, and Nature all around… I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time!

In the meantime, one of my Does surprised me with two new, beautiful Doelings. Sitting with them is such a breath of fresh air. They are the cutest and sweetest little girls ever. Now the herd numbers twelve. This season the Girls will be taking a break from breeding as I find a new Herd Sire for them. Should be interesting!
Spring is in the air down here in the South and what a welcomed time it is! The garden I started to put in was very nice, but with the demand at the Farmer’s

Market for produce and herbs, I have had to redesign AGAIN! Here is the updated version that is the template for those to follow. In addition, I will be planting two new strains of hull-less seed pumpkins. I can’t wait to see if these are successful. Plans are in the works for potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, green onions, thyme, oregano, parsley, and too many more to mention here.

I’ve also been able to set up a new compost bin and loaded it with fresh kitchen scraps as well as horse and goat manure. This should make some fine garden soil in a few months.

Let me know what you have planned for Spring!

Don’t Judge the Moment,
LIVE IT ! ! !

Out for Blood

I am in hunting mode (which has never happened in my lifetime) and looking for blood!

We’ve been hit again by the infamous predators, seven more birds down. I am beyond flabbergasted as the new birds are in the hen house and it is a HOUSE! The doors, windows, and ramp were closed tight. How, how did they do it?

I’m on a mission! Went out an bought a trail camera and rat traps today. Tonight we set out the three rat traps and a have a heart trap one on each side of the house. I thought I would never say this in my lifetime as I totally believe is live and let live. But if anything survives, it will be its last day tomorrow.

My greatest loss this past year was my Light Brahma Rooster that I raised from a chick. Everyday I went to see him I would tell him “good morning” and reach down and stroke his back. Eventually, he thought his name was Good Morning so it stuck! What a great boy he was and he died saving his Ladies.

RIP my sweet boy!

Update: February 2, 2018

All rat traps were sprung but no critters in the traps. However, a 15-20 pound raccoon was caught in the have-a-heart trap and will be released today at the local dump where it can eat to its heart’s content! Hubby doesn’t have the heart to kill it!

Don’t Judge the Moment,
LIVE IT ! ! !