Doors of Shelburne Farms 

Even though it was technically closed for the season (no admission charged ūüėÄ), we managed a good walk on the grounds of Shelburne Farms yesterday.


This is a charitable education organization, with a campus that is a 1400 acre working farm, forest and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain, Vermont. 

 
This magnificent farm barn houses, among other things, the cheesemaking facility, offices  … 


And a bakery, which was open! (Yes, we bought one of those warm from the oven loaves) … and … through these doors…


A school!! A kindergarten to Grade 8 school!  


Imagine being a kid who gets to go to school IN A BARN!!  Or his teacher! I think that would be my dream teaching job. 


This farm barn is just magnificent!




Just past the barn, the trail took us through the woods. We went past a sugar shack – the doors shut – all ready and waiting for the late winter maple sugaring season. 



A little further along, we came across the Coach House.



Here, the door was open, inviting us in to view an interesting art exhibition. 

Then it was on to the Inn. It appears that the main house of the original estate is now the Inn and Restsurant. It was closed for the season, but tempting for another time. 



I might have to come back again sometime. In season. 

Linked with Norm’s Thursday Doors 

Full of Care

So.  We are renovating the chicken coop.

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We are effectively doubling the size of the fully insulated, winter cozy, multi windowed coop. This, at a time of year when we simply do have a spare moment to take on an extra project.  All because we have broken our cardinal rule: do not become too attached to chickens!  Or, in this case, hen.  That sweet little Phoenix hen was my gardening companion all summer. And I grew to love her. I like to think she feels the same, but who knows?

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If you recall, we introduced a new flock of babes to our one remaining hen last Spring. ¬†(Click here to read that sad tale: Garden Share – July) ¬† That flock grew to produce four roosters, and everyone knows that’s at least 3 too many. We were especially disappointed to realize that both of the Silkies are fellas. ¬†But it is the two Australorp guys that are bothering that sweet little hen – driving her to distraction, and causing us some real concern for her health. ¬†Those guys could really hurt her in their enthusiasm. ¬†For the past couple of weeks I have been keeping her in a dog kennel in the barn and only allowing her to free range when the other crowd stays in. ¬†But that is far from an ideal situation. ¬†With the weather turning cold, I worried she was cold at night, all alone like that. ¬†And I feared she was getting lonesome. ¬†We knew we had to make some decisions.

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The solution is two of the roosters will have to go: one Ausralorp Roos and a Silkie. ¬†We’d need two separate coops: one for the Australorp family and one for the Phoenix, Silkie, Houdan crowd. ¬† Oh my, what a racket!

My carpenter (and mate) was home just for the weekend (between business trips) – and the rush was on! ¬†Once started, it was important to get it done quickly and have every bird secure by mid-day Monday. ¬†By early Monday morning, conversation went a little like this: Him: “Janet, I don’t think we can do it! ¬†I don’t this we can make it!” ¬†Me: “just focus on one task at a time…… focus! What do you want me to do?”

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Which is how I got the exciting job of removing nails from boards.  I learned, the hard way, to take care not to kneel on this upturned nails.  And I tried not to comment (too often) about poses such as this which include too many blades and limbs.

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In spite of all that, or maybe because of it – it’s amazing what can be accomplished with a firm deadline, we managed to finish to the point in which all birds are secure for the week. ¬†This weekend we will insulate and finish the interior. ¬†They will be snug and ready for winter … And no one will be sleeping in the dog house.

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So, that’s how we came to be renovating the chicken coop.

weekly photo challenge: careful

Late October Drama: A Mix of Sun & Cloud

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After saying good-morning to my (very spoiled) chickens, I turn back toward the house and this is what I saw. ¬†A late October drama playing out between the dark cloud¬†in the west¬†and the early morning sun, punctuated by that glorious maple tree. ¬†One of those “stop and take a breath” moments.