Author Archives: bluestempond

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.

Curses! Foiled…

I’m in my annual battle with the house finches. They just love building their nests in the corners of our porch columns, soon to be followed by the barn swallows. I don’t mind them raising their families, but I take … Continue reading

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Loving the Sunshine

Spring is surely just around the corner! It’s 34 degrees out, but the sun is shining and the wind is blowing across the muddy fields and driveway and beginning to dry them out. The goats are starting to play with … Continue reading

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A Hard Decision

I love creating things, which is why spinning and knitting my goats’ mohair fiber is such a satisfying experience for me. One of my first big projects was to create a complicated sweater out of the white kid mohair that … Continue reading

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Vortex at Bluestem Pond

The whole Midwest is suffering under this year’s polar vortex, and we are feeling it here for sure. The temperature at 11 am has risen from 17 to 10 … (oh, that’s negative Fahrenheit, in case you didn’t know!) I’ve … Continue reading

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Mystery Hen

I have not much to say recently, as most of my farm experiences have become routine and not worth a big announcement on the blog. We’ve just returned from a week away, visiting for Christmas, and I am so grateful … Continue reading

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A Heavy, Icy Snow

We heard the blowing sleet hitting the house last night and the weather report said it would be a few inches by morning. Still, I was surprised to look out the morning window onto a prairie laid flat. Just yesterday, … Continue reading

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One Big Flock

I think I now have the correct formula for growing my flock of chickens without creating a riot.  It took a lot of patience. I had to keep the youngest generation protected in their box for a long time, or … Continue reading

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Here in Goatland

I sheared the goats last week, on an 80 degree day. They were panting out in the sun, and I figured they’d love to feel the cool breezes again. Of course, the next morning it turned cold and hasn’t really … Continue reading

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Segregation – in a Good Way

I think I’ve got this chicken dilemma solved. My baby chicks were being bullied by the young adults and I learned the hard way that this could mean mortal danger. I did some research and talked over options with my … Continue reading

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Graduating the Babies

Things have gotten complicated in the chicken yard. I brought eight baby chicks onto the farm last month, to replace the layers that were decimated by the fox. I had also added four young white hens that are now laying … Continue reading

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New Fiber Room

My husband’s antique printing press wasn’t getting much use, so he sold it to a local college professor to use as a hands-on experience for his graphic design students. Moving it out of the barn and down to the classroom … Continue reading

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Visitors

Big event, this weekend! Our son and his little family are visiting and we get to be “Grandparents: Live!” for a few days. Our little granddaughter has just mastered walking and in the last week started favoring it over crawling. … Continue reading

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What’s This Geometry?

I saw this on the porch screen and was perplexed at the pattern until I looked closer. I guess I should have respected their privacy but it was so pretty! I actually hate these little triangular flies that follow me … Continue reading

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Re-building a Flock

Yesterday, we followed a Craigslist posting and picked up four white hens that are close to the age of the rest of our babies. They are tall, sleek White Leghorns, the kind of chicken that produces your normal, ordinary, white … Continue reading

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Catching a Predator

We are gradually recovering from our chicken loss, and are getting ready for battle. The day after the attacks, I spotted a fox crossing the property, stopping to take a drink from the pond. I read up on it and … Continue reading

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I got a call from my husband in the afternoon, “You’d better come out to the barn right away.” I dropped everything and hurried out the door because this did not bode well. He met me at the entrance and … Continue reading

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It’s a Boy!

It is confirmed, one of our ten babies is definitely a rooster. Meet Prince Harry. I was beginning to suspect he wasn’t an ordinary hen, as his tail grew tall and he began strutting among his peers and leading them … Continue reading

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Two New Colors of Mohair

At last, I’ve finished dying the goats’ hair for the spring season. I have until October to think about it again. I am still experimenting with colors and techniques, but I do see that I am drawn to color more … Continue reading

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Pink and Violet

It took me about three months, but I finally spent a day cleaning and dying one goats-worth of spring mohair. I did Eddy’s white hair first because I’d bought a few new colors of dye and wanted to make some … Continue reading

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Endless Improvements, Fun Projects

We just can’t leave well enough alone around here! I’ve been feeling irritated that I often have to disconnect the electric fence in order to enter the goat pasture to dump out the water bucket or the feeding trough. It … Continue reading

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