Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Challenge Took Me Back To Quiet Valley

I received a neat challenge from Jo,  The Good Life, to post the eighth photograph from my eighth album. Thanks to digital cameras and laptop computers, this was not as difficult as I first thought. I just hoped it would be an interesting picture. Of course, I knew in all probability it would be botanical- or grandchildren- related. I was thrilled it is this picture of my grandson, taken in June, 2004 when he was three years old. He is examining a hen and her chicks at Quiet Valley Historical Farm located near here. This is a working farm where you can learn about Pennsylvania's agricultural heritage. People there wear period dress and reenact the life of the family who lived at the farm in the 1760's. It is a great place to visit with kids!

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to 'kill two birds with one stone' so to speak, and make this post (with the hen and chickens) my entry for today's  Camera Critters. Camera Critters is a great Saturday meme which I hope you will check out. You can click on the picture in the sidebar to go there.

In preparation for this post, I took a 'critter walk' around our property. I had a few surprises ...

I was thrilled to see the purple-martin house is occupied this year by a pair of purple martins, instead of the dreadful starlings that usually nest there. 

The female martin was collecting straw to make a nest ...

... while her husband stood guard on the tractor shed roof -

He watched as she took each piece of straw and twig inside the house ...

... and later, while she was working inside, he sat on his front porch and rested (no comment). 

I saw two other critters resting in the sunshine. My miniature horse, Dude, and his companion, Billy Goat, were fast asleep. 

I was going to let sleeping critters lie, but they heard me approach, and thought I was bringing food.

I was pleased to see the three-legged deer at the edge of the top field. She has survived another winter! The local hunters have a code not to shoot her, but we are always afraid some outsider will bag her. It was probably a hunter who caused her to lose her leg in the first place. She has been visiting our property for the last three years.

I was returning to the house when I say this ruby-throated humming bird resting on the pasture fence.  (Sorry the picture is a bit fuzzy - I couldn't get very close and my camera's zoom is not the best).

The little hummer was darting back and forth to the sweet, pink honeysuckle on the arbor and the flowers in the hanging baskets newly placed outside the garden room window.

I hope you enjoyed this critter walk with me. 

Now I have to fulfill the rest of Jo's 8 x 8 challenge and pass it on to eight more bloggers. I hope they will accept the challenge, then give it to others:

Town Mouse
Muscari Musings
Eden, Ever After
Gardening With Soule
Gwirrel's Garden
Gardenless Gardener
Vintage Garden Home
Crystal Coast Gardener

Those of you who live on this side of the pond, have a wonderful Memorial Day. I wish everyone a great weekend.

Your friend in gardening, 
Pam x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. What a lovely photo for the 8X8 challenge. It's so nice to be able to look back at our children or grandchildren as they grow up so fast. I also enjoyed seeing the animals around your home. Dude and Billy Goat have got the right idea, resting in the sun. I love the little humming bird. I remember the first time I saw one in St. Lucia, I didn't know what it was, they're so small. Glad to hear that the deer has survived another winter, and I think that's very sportsmanlike for the local hunters to have a code not to shoot her.

  2. You did get lucky on your picture - grandkids are the best.
    That's funny about the male bird resting while the female does all the work. A pair we have here every year (swallows maybe?) work together. She brings a load while he stays with the house and then while she's putting it in he leaves and comes back with some. Same after the babies come - they take turns staying at the house. Are those big pink blooms your honeysuckle? Huge and beautiful! That is very neat about the hunters and the deer. I really enjoyed the walk.

  3. Fun idea for a contest - we'll see what town mouse comes up with. thanks for dropping by to enjoy the honeysuckle success story! I so relate to your nostalgia for your grandmother's garden. For me it's my grandfather's vegetable allotment, but it's the same kind of thing I'm sure. It's not such a good idea to reproduce British gardens in California, however - conditions are just too different. We have to learn to love where we are, eh?

  4. Wonderful post! From the chickens at Quiet Valley, to the purple-martins (cute story), your miniature horse and the goat, the three legged deer and the humming bird ... wonderful walk around your place. Thanks for taking us along! Happy Critter Day!

  5. All the photos are excellent...but that 'challenge' photo is so darned adorable.

    My Camera Critters are 'museum quality'....Click Here to join me if you'd like to view them.

  6. Jo - It was a fun challenge. Thanks you. Glad you like my 8x8 picture. My grandson wss so cute back then. Now he's nine and wont allow me to say he's cute!

    Rain Gardener - Maybe the martins will work together once they have babies. Glad you enjoyed the walk!

    Country Mouse - It is difficult here to create an English garden in rocks, shale, and clay. There's a saying that a Pocono gardener's trowel is called a backhoe! I am glad you folks are taking the challenge. I look forward to seeing your 8x8 photo.

    Snap - You made such nice comments. Thanks for visiting!

    Hootin' Anni - Glad you like my post. I'll visit you real soon.

  7. Hi Pam,
    What a fun bunch of critter photos! That's a precious photo of your grandson.

    I've combined memes before, and have seen other people do a number of them in one.

    Have a great rest of the weekend!

  8. Oh, and the horse and goat lying down, and then getting up when they saw you are so funny!

  9. Sue - I don't do too many memes because they are so time consuming. Combining them helps. Your critter photos are great!

  10. You captured an amazing variety of birds. I've never seen a humming bird in the UK before...

  11. Hi, Pam,

    I'll see what I can do about that challenge, but I think it could be tricky! :) Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! :) I enjoy your blog, too! :)

  12. Hello Pam,
    Thank you for thinking of me with this challenge. So, do I understand it correctly that I am to post the 8th photo of my 8th album? Like Ruth said, I'll see what I can do about it :-) And I love the story of the three-legged deer, thank you for sharing that.

  13. Pam I will gladly accept the challenge but I am not sure I am quite that organized. I will have to look back. Your walk through your yard let you see quite an array of critters. You are very lucky. The name dude cracks me up. Love to see the purple martins in your house. We live in the city so that isn't something I see often. Hope your holiday weekend was great. I will let you know when my post is up with the photo.

  14. I'm so jealous of all the hummingbird photos! I haven't seen one yet, but of course hubby did. Darn it!

  15. Hi, Pam, Well, I did it! I met your challenge today, well, yesterday now, so come by and see! :)

  16. Lady Fi - Welcome to my blog! I never saw a hummer in UK either. I hope you will visit here again!

    Ruth - Love the 8x8 challenge photo you posted. Well done.

    Chamomilla - I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I am confident it will be a great photo!

    Teresa - Your photography is amazing and that's why I picked you to do the challenge.

    Ms Robin - I hope you see a humming bird soon.

    Everyone, Thanks for visiting!

  17. Pam,
    Thanks for visiting me and including me in your challenge. Not sure I will get to it this week though, I have a trip planned.
    Yes, this is my favorite time of year, I love the flowers that bloom now, but as usual they just go so fast. We have been very short on rain here so today's showers are a welcome event.
    There is always dirt under my nails even though I wear gardening gloves. Oh Well, Happy Gardening, Your Friend Meg

  18. Let sleeping goats lie. :)

    That is a fun challenge. I love the variety you took. Esp. love the hummingbird shot!

  19. Love the critter pictures. Have to see about the challenge, maybe Country Mouse can be convinced ;->

  20. I have seen animals sleeping or resting, but never absorbed so deep as with Dude and Billy Goat. ~bangchik

  21. The billy goat and I guess it's a really small horse are too funny.
    This critter post would be a good meme. Lots of fun !!

  22. Great series of 'critters' Pam. Thanks so much for identifying the flower for me. I didn't realize that the puschnikia's came in those that is what they are then.

    Also thanks for the link to the pen. I actually have one just like that that I currently use plastic markers - so that's what I will use on my new aluminum-type markers.

    Cheers, Diane