Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just enjoyed a WONDERFUL family reunion in Southern California --- where the food was amazing and the company even better. It was a great opportiunity to remember just how many reasons I have to be thankful. Picture can be seen at the link below.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall Colors

Wow. Fall is officially here, with cold weather and vivid colors everywhere. The farm is gorgeous --- and I will plan to take more pictures this weekend. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Double Trouble

Aw shucks. Don't they look cute? Amazing how much trouble two adorable dogs can get into, especially when they are working together though. Our move to the front house continues, albeit slowly --- and I have spent at least a few hours patching holes under the new fence created by the oh-so-adorable canines above. Gadget (on the left) is by far the more guilty party, but Pilot (on the right) is a mighty good cheerleader. All of my dogs seem to like the new place though, and I am hopeful that we can get completely moved in before the end of 2008. Wish us luck.
On a side note, I am thrilled that the second farm camera seems to be working again. See the link at the right --- and let me know if you have any trouble at all. Thanks again to my brother John for setting these cameras up in the first place.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Yes, this is an actual spider web, found on a gas pump I was using late at night. Yikes.

Happy Halloween to all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Northern Cardinals

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is the State Bird of Virginia --- and cardinals are always some of my favorite visitors to the bird feeders. These two were especially entertaining as they shared a meal. I had been told to buy sunflower seeds if I wanted lots of cardinals --- and that has proven to be great advice. They really do seem to prefer sunflower seeds to anything else --- and interestingly, they seem to prefer the variety with the shells best of all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

State Fair of Virginia 2008 --- Plant in Shoe

In a moment of possible madness, I decided I had time to enter yet another competition at the State Fair of Virginia 2008. They had a special category this year, called PLANT IN SHOE, which was exactly that. So --- I headed to the Salvation Army, bought an odd-looking pink shoe and planted a matching phaleonopsis orchid inside, surrounded by ivy and spanish moss. And we won the blue ribbon --- plus $8, which covers the cost of the shoe, if not the orchid. Silly but fun.

State Fair of Virginia 2008 --- Photography

A belated update follows of my results in the State Fair of Virginia 2008 photography competition. My pictures did pretty well --- and (as before) I really enjoyed entering and then visiting the photography exhibition area after judging. There were some impressive photographs this year and I am again inspired to keep shooting during the year ahead.

1st Place (and $5 prize money!) --- 5x7 Color Portraits
Mike Goldberg --- meteorologist, musician and my co-host on Pets & People

2nd Place --- 8x10 B/W Portraits --- Kelsey on a Swing

2nd Place --- 5x7 Color Animals --- Carolina Chickadee

2nd Place --- 5x7 Color "A Fair To Remember" --- Ferris Wheel

3rd Place --- 8x10 B/W Children --- Christine by JCB

2nd Place --- 8x10 B/W "A Fair to Remember" --- Soda Stand

3rd Place --- 8x10 Color "A Fair to Remember" --- Fun Factory

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Frog on the Blog

This guy was sitting on the cement pad outside my metal building one evening last week. I feel certain my dogs were laughing at me as I lay flat on the ground (still dressed from work) trying to get pictures before the frog hopped away. I have seen a lot of frogs around the farm, but most are smaller than this guy. I love how his legs seem to be attached backwards.

Resolution --- I intend to get back to posting to the blog more regularly. Wish me luck.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Adorable E

Joanne visited this past weekend with her adorable new puppy "E". Hard to imagine a cuter or smarter or better behaved little dog. I am sure she has GREAT future ahead of her in agility --- or whatever else she has an opportunity to try. Welcome little E. Come visit again soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to Sarah's Farm Report

Happy Birthday to my blog. Today represents the one year anniversary of my first blog post. Wow. It sure seems like a lot longer than that --- but it was 9/2/07 when I first created Sarah's Farm Report and started this blogging adventure. As someone who has never kept a diary or journal, I am surprised at how much I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting progress around the farm and (perhaps more importantly) having a reason to notice and photograph the changing flora and fauna throughout the year. I am totally hooked at this point and will likely be blogging for many years to come. :-)

Sunday, August 31, 2008



There was a black cat running around the farm a few weeks back, darting in and out of the woods and then vanishing completely. She looked very thin and sounded (meow meow meow) hungry, so I left out some dog kibble, and she continued to show up periodically for over a week. She acted very feral (i.e., wild), but she would wait until I got within about 4 feet or so before bolting. Not wanting a litter of kittens in my woods, I did trap her and take her to the Richmond SPCA for spaying. Her ear, it turned out, had already been tipped (see above) --- which is the universal sign that a feral cat has been spayed or neutered. We knocked her out to confirm she was spayed (she was) and to give her all of her shots and flea/tick prevention. I brought her home the same day --- and decided to see if a week or two in the well house (small empty building) with twice daily delivered meals might win her over --- and to see if she might be persuaded to use a litter box. Happy to report that she was and I was able to (very cautiously) pet her after about 4 days of hanging out. Two weeks later, she actually seems quite social, if not exactly confident. She hides whenever the door opens, the door shuts, the light comes ON, the lights goes OFF, anything drops or moves, etc --- but seems to be "recovering" more quickly each time. And she will now let me stroke her and pick her up without protest. I have been calling her "Relay" because the day I trapped her was the day of the now famous Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak come-from-out-of-nowhere swim relay in Beijing. Somehow the name seemed appropriate.

Cooler Weather

Thor --- 9 lbs lighter and full of energy

Pilot and Daisy (who looks a bit crazy here)


Daisy and Flake



Gadget in her Donut


Cooler weather is coming to Virginia --- and all of us on the farm (canine and human) are sure ready. The dogs have LOVED running in the fields every day recently --- and especially after a heavy rain, when they could get really really wet and soggy. I'm partial to the dryer days, but I love seeing them so happy. Little Ms. Gadget spends a good portion of her "field trips" intent on escaping --- as she is convinced that all manner of small critters live just outside the field and need to be chased. Unfortunately, the bunnies and other critters do find or make holes in the mesh fencing around the field with some regularity, so I was spending the better part of my time each day chaperoning Gadget and trying to find the holes before she did. Donna Anderson ( and Richmond SPCA instructor) came up with a brilliant idea, which has worked very well so far. Gadget now wears an inflatable donut around her neck when she is in the field, and can no longer fit through the small holes or under the low deck, try as she might. These donuts are sold as an alternative to Elizabethan collars for dogs post-surgery --- but work great for this alternate purpose too. She looks silly, but at least she is still around. :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moving Forward

Metal building with apartment/deck on the left
(picture taken from yard of the front house)

Yard of the front house with new deck on right

Daisy loves the new yard!

The new deck

Crosby approves of the deck

New fencing for dogs --- and the view across Osborne Turnpike

Now that the fences are installed, the house on the front of the property is ready for me and my menagerie. I am hopeful that we will be officially moved out of the garage apartment and into the front house during the first week or two of September. Have already enjoyed entertaining on the new deck several times --- and of course enjoy the yard daily with all of my dogs. There is a whole lot of moving and packing ahead still, but I am very much looking forward to getting it done. Wish me luck.