Friday, October 30, 2009


I check the girls' coop several times daily and today being no exception, found Pip nestled in a nesting box. Could it be?Why yes it could. Shortly thereafter she presented me with a beautiful blue egg.
In the corner of the coop floor was Honey, she laid her first egg. To date Honey's is the largest of the eggs given.
Honey is also my smallest hen. Its true, good things come in small packages.
And then you have Winslow Homer, the king and leader of Dog Trot Farm. It is just recently that I have allowed Winslow out among the chickens. Prior, I had kept him on a run, afraid he would chase and do bodily harm to the them. Winslow as you know by now has quite a reputation for getting himself into trouble and being naughty.
Enter Gladys ring leader of the hens. Mighty frog and mouse eater ( who knew?) and apparently not afraid of a four legged, pucker ridden, funny looking so called dog.
It has become quite apparent that Winslow Homer must remain on guard as Gladys has no issue with making her presence known. She has no reluctance in chasing, pecking,
and putting Winslow in his place.
and should she not be able to accomplish this on her own, the reinforcements are called in.
You go girls!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


By now most of you know I spend a lot of time visiting with my "girls". What I have learned from them is each and every one has a distinct personality and each breed presents different traits. My Buffs are more reserved, not as boisterous, are lady like and enjoy their "dirt" baths. The Ameraucanas have a "look at me" attitude, strut around with puffed chests (you would think they were males) and are aloof and loud. Now the Barreds. Right from the start they were the more friendlier breed and most open to human contact. They enjoy being held, carried, and will sit on your lap. The other morning while brushing my teeth, I looked out the bathroom window and who do I see? Miss Willa perched on the porch window box. You cannot come in, I'm sorry. Then I stood still and just watched.
She was trying to get comfy in the window box.
She had a determined look on her face
and then would need to take "five."Egg laying is hard work.
Willa I think you had better rethink this.
I'm serious
Not going to work, I told you. Hens have a mind of their own, don't you know.
Oops.Next day, second attempt
Yup I added chips, she works so hard to give us her "gifts"
Go ahead give it the old college try. Do you see what I see, Bingo!
With a very loud announcement one egg was delivered perfectly centered in the window box. Chickens are amazing, well mine are anyway.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


This is "Ollie". I hooked him a few years ago. I dyed the wool and added a wool stem. He is patiently waiting for "Jack" to join him. Since today is cold and rainy, it's the perfect day to stay indoors close to the wood stove and hook. Jack is more than halfway completed. I need to cut the backing, stuff him and add a wool stem. Then he will be ready to join Ollie and his pals.
Egg production is really picking up here at Dog Trot Farm. The first egg was laid one week ago today by Willa. Since then I believe all the barreds are laying. On Wednesday with much fan fair Miss Pearl laid her first egg. This event has positively confirmed she is not a "he". Her antics began Wednesday afternoon. The girls were out foraging in the yard per usual when all of a sudden Pearl started honking, squawking and running (like a chicken with her head cut off) She ran inside the coop, under the coop, and proceeded to do laps around the pen. At first my inkling was Pearl warning me of a predator. ( I did in fact find a chipmunk in the coop, but once it saw me it promptly ran away.) Pearl still continued with her odd behavior till I realized she was trying to inform me she was ready to lay. All the girls were rounded up and put in the coop and a short time later I went to check on Pearl and low and behold in the outside run was a blue egg.

Thursday afternoon I happened to notice both of my Ameraucanas sitting side by side on a branch in their outside pen and together, simultaneously laid their eggs. Again outside.
Yesterday while all the other hens were out in the yard Willa was in the corner of the coop feathering her nest- making her sweet sing song sound. I quietly sat and watched.
The event took all of a half hour. Willa would add chips to her nest and then proceeded to slowly rise and squat numerous times. Then the egg just "plopped" out. She looked at it, squawked and ran out the door. I felt honored to have been allowed to watch such an event.
Needless to say I have been baking up a storm and the majority of eggs have been doubled yoked. Thank you girls, who knew keeping chickens would be so much fun. Now if I could only get them to use their nest boxes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


If you happen to visit Maine and are a fan of the late American realistic painter Andrew Wyeth, you must make a visit to the Olson House. It was a beautiful summer day when my husband and I returned for a visit. This is the home of Christiana and Alvaro Olson and the location where Andrew Wyeth painted the famous "Christiana's World". The old 1700 weather beaten farm house is located in Cushing, Maine by the Georges River and the ocean.Wyeth painted in almost every room in this house. Simple images of the paintings are framed in each of the rooms to give the visitor an idea of what Wyeth saw.

At the top of the stairs on the second floor is the room where in the summer of 1948 Wyeth painted "Christiana's World". Christiana had an undiagnosed muscular deterioration that paralyzed her body. She often dragged her body across the ground to pick vegetables and flowers from her garden.
This is the room where the painting took life. Wyeth took artistic license by separating the barn from the house and omitted a stand of trees. Wyeth also used his thirty year old wife Betsy as his model. In the painting Christiana is in a position that does not correspond to the precise lay of the land.This is the view that Wyeth saw.
Wyeth painted three hundred paintings in this home and had a studio set up on the second floor. The blue door into the kitchen from the ell which connects the barn.
Alvaro's favorite spot in the kitchen with Christiana's geraniums decorating the windowsill.

Alvaro's cap still hangs on the chair.
The original cook stoveand hand water pump.
This easel belonging to Mr. Wyeth was used over a thirty year period in this home.

Looking out this window-down the bottom of the hill on the ocean's edge- is where Mr. Wyeth is laid to rest. His grave is marked with a simple granite grave stone.

When touring the Olson house and realize one can stand in the exact spot where Mr. Wyeth gave us (in my opinion) some of the most stark and wonderful watercolor paintings, It feels surreal to say the least.
There is so much more to the Olson house and grounds than I can show you, come to Maine and experience it for yourself. Who knows you just might see me there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009