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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer Visitors

 ~ red fox in our yard ~
We've had some visitors this week, in particular, this red fox came by just prior to dusk. The dogs, Thank God, were in the house; I've no interest in seeing anyone injured and, contrary to popular opinion in the valley, don't want to kill the fox. That's been done, once, on the farm and while I realize it was necessary at the time, I don't want it to happen again. I cornered a juvenile fox in the granary and couldn't get him to run out so our neighbor shot him. The fox, probably, was sick as his coat was ragged and this was broad daylight; foxes aren't broad daylight critters and all evidence pointed to sickness so killing was the merciful thing to do. The hard thing to do as well but that's life; we're terminal as soon as we draw the first breath and it's my desire to live ready so I can die ready.
~ looking for a way out ~
~ escape needed ~
It was at this point, s/he noticed me standing on the porch and stopped and looked straight at me. Unfortunately, I was too busy moving back into the house to take a photo; I have no desire to stand between a wild critter and their way out. Our yard is fenced, rather strongly I thought, but the fox is lithe and long and, with fear as an inducement, was able to push through under the fence and escape.
~ grazing white tail deer ~ 
These two beauties look like adults and it never, never fails to thrill me to see wildlife. I'm the visitor here and they the residents so I try to live in peace, as much as possible, with everyone staying healthy.
 ~ days of sunshine ~
We began cutting hay yesterday and are hopeful to bale it tomorrow; today it's being kicked or tethered into long rows. This is the first few days we've had without rain and while the rain is a blessing, so is the sunshine. This means I'll have hay to feed this winter and horses and sheep will eat. This hay is a bit tough as it should have been cut a few weeks ago; weather didn't permit so we work within our parameters. This field is about eight or nine acres and will yield forty, give or take, bales of hay. We're cutting on shares, meaning the other farmer will get half and we'll get half. If I have too much, I'll sell some of my bales to someone who needs hay and, generally, will get $25 for these 4x4 bales.
~ new porch furniture ~
Brian and Donna live up the valley and simply amaze me with what they accomplish. They are fantastic gardeners, Brian is a wonderful woodworker, Donna makes beautiful quilts by hand and they both know how to shuffle the groceries to make a meal to make your tongue slap your brains out. Brian made this rocker and it only needs a cushion to be perfect.

Dave and I live, for the most part, quiet lives; we tend to stay on the farm, tend to our own business, take care of our family. We enjoy visitors and have some scheduled for this summer and autumn so the porch furniture will get a good workout.  Aunt Bonnie spent more than sixty years on her farm and it was second in her heart only to her beloved husband. She spent a grand total of three nights off her farm and when I asked her why didn't she leave more often, she answered, "Why would I want to leave heaven on earth?"
 ~ looking from our side porch, down the valley ~
Then, I understood with my head. Now, I understand with my heart.

Blessings ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ visitors ~ animals ~ porch furniture ~ hay ~ knowing wonderful folks ~

Dei Gratia,


  1. A lovely post and one that also reminds me of how much I miss living in Virginia.

  2. A very sweet sentiment - I'm pretty much a home body too! I love seeing foxes...

  3. This is a wonderful post, Sandra. I can see why you wouldn't want to spend time off of the farm. I may be moving to the country sooner than I thought - maybe by the beginning of August if I find a place to rent. I emailed you privately to let you know the details. I'm glad you let the fox go on its way - I am all for live and let live, unless of course, like the young fox being sick and showing characteristics that are not normal for foxes. Have a great Thursday. Take care, from KY.

  4. So interesting post!! Fantastic photos of the fox ! Something is always happening on the farm :o))

  5. when i look at your photos i understand why you are a home body. it is magnificent where you live. and the wild animals just add to the beauty!

  6. Love the wildlife photos! I rarely see red foxes though I know we have them here. Hard to get a daylight photo of them. I can relate to your Aunt Bonnie -- I feel very lucky to have been born where I prefer to be. Saves me the effort of figuring it out!

  7. Love your visitors! So beautiful to see them. Great photographs:) Blessings, Jeanne

  8. We have been sighting a high number of red fox this year, here in Tn. I wonder why?

    I love this post. It makes me proud of how we live and I know it is right for us. Connecting with God's creatures and land. It just makes me happy!

    Thanks for awesome pics! xo, misha

  9. i love your posts so filled with herriott
    goodness and humor.

    we have foxes, too, which are partly
    tame but never trustworthy. :)

    good luck with the hay, hope it's
    not too tough.


    ps. what are you reading this summer?

  10. We also have foxes around our place this year - first year since we've been here none of our neighbors have large outdoor dogs so the fox are rather bold. Had to wait for two fox kits to finish playing in front of our gate to the road - they were in no hurry and we sat laughing at their hijinks. Country life does have special charm - often we has to stop and remind ourselves this is our home!

  11. I feel like I've visited your farm. The beauty is breath-taking. My cousin owns a dairy farm in VT and I've pretty much been a city girl all my life. There is much to be said for a simpler life closer to nature. I'm almost jealous.

    Thanks for this post.


  12. Dear Sandra,
    Enjoyed your post today. Good to be able to stop for a visit.
    God bless and may you have a great 4th of july,

  13. Sandra thank you so much for visiting my blog. Of course I had to return the visit and what a beautiful visit it has been. I enjoy your writing and the view from your front window is gorgeous. Country living is a smile in our heart. Everyone around us is cutting and baling, I love the sounds. I'll be back to do some more reading and to see what you see from your window!

  14. i have had so many people remark about
    what a fabulous book, "pillars" is. i look
    forward to your synopsis.


  15. More and more often, we hear of coyotes and foxes in town. Even in New York city! You are really blessed to get to see them in their natural environment. I always feel a little sad when I see one where it shouldn't be or on the road run over. Just too soft hearted.

  16. Love the pictures. =)

    I would love to travel but I have to agree with Aunt Bonnie .. if I had my own lil farm I would be content to stay home too!

  17. Deborah - VA is a great place to live; it's beautiful.

    affectioknit - home body is best!

    Kathy - hope the move is going as planned.

    Timi - you're right, there's always something going on at Thistle Cove Farm!

    Life is good - yep, living here is perfect for me!

    Eliza - makes life easier when we don't have so many things to figure out -smile-.

    Jeanne - thanks, glad you like the photo.

    Misha - not sure why so many red foxes but it pays to be careful around them, they can carry rabies.

    Lea - you are SO kind, thank you for the lovely comparison to Herriot; you cannot imagine how that pleases me!

    LindaSue - we're the visitors on this planet; animals were here first, eh? -smile-

    Dawn - I'm glad you visit Thistle Cove Farm, you're always welcome here.

    Rural Rambler - thanks for returning the kindness; you're always welcome at Thistle Cove Farm.

    Lea - Pillars is a tough read; I hate violence and there's quite a bit of violence. Slow going...

    Debbie - I saw a fox in downtown London in January; I was told they have a fair number as well.

    Penny - Aunt Bonnie was a wise woman -smile-.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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