Oh, I love the lazy days of summer. Okay, so they're not so lazy, but I have been having a great summer so far. I can't believe that the 4th of July is almost here!

I never got a chance to buy flowers this spring, so I was excited to see that an area greenhouse brought plant to the Wednesday morning auction this week. I bought geraniums, vinca vines, a new guinea impatiens, a tuberous begonia, and some lavatara (sp?) plants (they're like small hollyhocks). It's nice to get some flowering annuals planted.

The trees, perennials and shrubs have kept us fascinated so far. The Black Locust trees were in full bloom when I got back from out west. They smelled so sweet for about 10 days, and the bees were humming in the branches. They've finished blooming now and the peonies have picked up where they left off. When the peonies peter out, the lilies are next on the docket.

The sheep are not crazy about our 80 degree days, but they are doing fine. I decided to offer more mature ewes for sale since I'd like to get my flock down to 15-20 sheep for next winter. It's so hard to make these choices!

We dropped Cocoa, Jasmine and Elsa off at their new home and they all disappeared into the tall grasses without even looking back. I've heard they are doing very well. Cocoa and Jasmine had their lambs with them, but Elsa's twins are still here. Boy, they were so sad that mom was gone!

The chicks are in the barn now, they have a 6 x 8' area which gives them plenty of room to roam. I have a light on them all the time, but with the warm days, I think I can cut back on that in a week or so. They are growing so fast! We lost one chick the first day when he got stuck by the waterer. But the hatchery gave us an extra chick, so we're still at 35 total.

The good news here is that hay prices have come down again! After buying those flowers on Wednesday, and bidding on turkeys and geese too --thankfully I didn't go high enough to bring any more birds home. ;-) -- I stuck around for the hay auction too. Prices were averaging $2-$2.50/bale this week. I got a stack of 52 bales of first crop alfalfa grass hay. I would have liked the other stack of 50, but someone else got first dibs. It was hot that day and I was glad to have our youngest son, Matt, home to help me get those bales loaded up and stacked in the barn.

Our own hay crop is ready to be cut. It will probably get done next week because the next few days are supposed to be rainy here. We have a grass, clover, and Timothy mixture in our fields. This spring we spread orchard grass seeds, so there may be a little orchard grass in the bales too. Looks like we'll be back to small squares again too. They are much easier to feed than the big squares, but such a pain to stack when the weather is so hot and humid. Oh well, I'll just be happy to get lots of hay put away for next winter!


  1. Hi Becky!
    Your flowers look so pretty and your hay looks wonderful!!!

    Have a happy fourth!

  2. Beautiful photos.
    I have been stocking up on hay too. Usually hay is cheap and plentiful here in Iowa, but this year we have had a LITTLE moisture problem and there is a big concern that hay will be in short supply this winter. I usually turn my nose up at first cutting, but I was happy to fill my barn with it this year.....I don't think my girls will be equally excited about it though!

  3. Thanks, Nancy! Our neighbor kids have already started with the firecrackers, etc. I really don't like all that noise, it stresses out the sheep and Ozzie.
    Corrine, we drove through Iowa on our way out west in early June, before the worst of the flooding and even then it was shocking to see all the rain-soaked fields! I can only imagine what Iowa hay prices will be this fall. Hay was still going for $5-6 for a 50 lb. bale here until about a week ago. Yup, I'm buying the alfalfa/grass hay while it's reasonably priced. I'm saving it for lambing next year. Normally we only get one crop a year off our own hayfields, so the sheep have to take what we get. ;-)


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