Category Archives: Wisconsin

A Surprise Parade!

I was getting ready to open the door to the chicken coop when I heard the chugging sound of an old tractor.

I turned toward the road and saw one, then two tractors, one pulling a wagon with people waving a flag. The best part there was more coming down our country road.

I ran to the house to get my camera.

You can see the tractors just below the tree limb as I raced for my camera–my photo came from critter cam I had on the porch.

I raced back to the road with my camera and started snapping pictures.

the caboose

I might have recognized a driver or two, but I’m not sure, I was too surprised and excited by the passing parade.

I don’t know where they came from or where they were going, but I sure was happy they passed by Sunnybook Farm.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

They’re back!

I saw them from my kitchen window and reached for my camera.

Two, and then three, were on the ground right across the street from the house. At first, I thought I was seeing turkeys coming close to the house.

I was wrong. These are not turkeys, well not exactly.

This is a Turkey Vulture!

These birds return to this area the way swallows return to Capistrano, well almost, pretty close to the same date every year.

With a huge wingspan, these birds are fun to watch as they ride the thermal winds, looking for carrion to eat.

But don’t be afraid, though they aren’t the prettiest bird in the neighborhood, they won’t hurt you or your pet. They prefer roadkill.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Lucky side of the storm

There was a winter weather warning last night. Sunnybook Farm was on the edge between the rain and the snow. We ended up with more rain, but we did get snow, about an inch.

From the upstairs window of the front yard

Some places to the northwest of Seymour got a lot more snow, ten to twelve inches. Luckily, that missed here.

the snow will melt soon

There’s no shoveling here.

Across the driveway

The worst part of the weather is the wicked wind. Good thing the chickens are fed and watered. I do not have to rush out to tend to them.

Old farm tales say that spring snow is good for the growing season. I don’t know what the people who got a foot of snow think about that, but somehow I believe they might debate the usefulness of spring snow.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A bit of color

I’m trying to bring more of my regular life back. This has little to do with the virus, but more about living without Bob.

While raking and picking up branches, I came across a tiny bit of color.

Seeing this feather made me stop.

It’s from a bluejay, so it’s not one to collect. It’s one to admire. BTW: those are basswood seed pods, not rabbit droppings.

The blue of the feather was what caught my attention. There are a lot of bluejays here. They hung out at our feeder all winter long.

I keep the outside cats well fed so they don’t go after the birds that come to our feeder.

This feather was alone. It wasn’t found amongst a pile of feathers–I take that as a sign that a cat had not had a meal.

Feathers that can be collected are from birds that are hunted: turkey, duck, and geese. Bob often brought home a found turkey feather for me. The bigs ones were easier to find and pick up. I treasure the ones I have.

Just saying a bit of beauty can be found everywhere, even when one is breaking her back picking up branches after winter storms–the basswood tree is notorious for dropping branches along with leaves and seed pods.

I encourage you to look for the beauty that surrounds us. The big and the small. The sunsets and the feathers. Each is a treasure as are you.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Happy Spring!

It’s still March in Wisconsin, but officially spring is here. It arrived late last night, so this is the first full day of spring.

Other springs haven’t been so cold. Some years spring came too early and messed up the blooming of our apple and pear trees. The blossoms came and then came a frost. That was the year without fruit.

Today it snowed, but it will melt.

It’s hard to say what weather will come next, but no matter, you can’t do much about the weather.

We can look forward to better days. I’m positive those will come, too.

Patience is what we need.


Flowers from another first day of spring on Sunnybook Farm

Dance, even if in your living room. (Our dog Sunny thinks I’m crazy when I’m dancing around the kitchen, but that’s okay. I got him to move, too. He followed me around from room to room trying to get the treat I offered him, so he was dancing with me even if he didn’t know it.)

Have a good first day of spring.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved