Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Peabody boy and girls, up for adoption

Its the time for our dear little peababies to "fly the coop" I hate to loose them, But I simply cannot have 8 peafowl here. I have limited myself to our original 4.
It seems like just a minute ago, they were wee pea-chicks! 
 Now, our 2 little peaboys and 2 little peagirls are looking for a good home, with lots of space to roam around in, a garden to be beautiful in and  a mistress or master who will love them.
 At this age, it is difficult to tell the males apart from the females, save for a copper colored wing feather adorning only the males. We have 2 males, 2 females.
 I will soon be putting an ad, online, for their adoption, but wanted to give my readers first chance to adopt. If you live near enough our farm to pick them up ,( I am in East Tennessee) consider the joy of having peafowl in your life.
  Let me tell you all that you need to know about this wonderful bird.
 It goes without saying that they are gorgeous creatures, even the females, who don't have the spectacular feathers and color as the boys, but are graceful and elegant with lovely shades of turquoise, blues, aquas and greens adorning their long necks.

The males? No words necessary, just look at this handsome fellow below.

  This is a daddy, Hans... or Moses.. I still can't tell them apart. 
It takes at least a year for the males to get their true colors. In late summer, all the tail-feathers fall out one by one, and once they are gone, the feathers begin to grow back over the winter. Each  new tail grows  longer  than the one before.
This male has lost his tail feathers for the year. 
 The males start to grow that beautiful tail at around 2 years old and females of 2 years will begin to lay eggs.

  These are very intelligent birds, much more so than any of my other bird flock. They can be quite tame and will come when you summon them with treats. My youngsters  are eating from my hand. 

 What DO they eat? Ours free-range on BUGS, grass, and weeds. I supplement their diet with corn and they have a particular love of dry cat food, bread, chicken bones and just about anything you toss to them.  I have only seen them eating flowers once.  Here is a great plus for the gardener: peacocks, unlike chickens, do not cultivate in your garden and destroy everything in sight. They will, however, pick off the Japanese beetles and the other noxious pests, one by one.They stroll through the cottage garden  with great dignity and elegance, looking quite at home. You will love it! Oh the photos you will get!

  They do like to traipse through your vegetable garden and grab a tomato occasionally, but they won't devastate your crops.

You should have 2 birds, they need a companion and will become best friends.. I will only sell mine as pairs.
 They do get along with all other birds, but will definitely be the dominate, head honcho on your farm. ALL birds are beneath the Peacock ( at least they think so), as they are the ELITE of the bird world. No one messes with a peacock, even my dogs steer clear.

Peacocks, both male and female, perform a comical little dance when trying to show off or intimidate. I can't even describe it to you, it's a bit like the hokey-pokey.  They will shimmy, shake their back feathers and turn round and round. They are specifically trying to get the attention of another peafowl, but if one is not available, they will dance for any old rooster, hen or duck.
  Peafowl need protection from bad weather, they hate the rain. They need a barn or a shed to take shelter. But in the summer, they will happily roost in your trees at night.  Which brings me to this; Of course they fly, and until they are accustomed to their new home, they may sit on your roof for a few days. It is best to keep them in a confined space, like inside a barn, for about a week before letting them out. But they need room to roam, birds need freedom and should not be confined permanently.
 Peacocks have many many different voices,  a honk, cluck, ,  a chirp, a whistle, a quiet pleasant,click, click, click, and the males have, what would best be described as a "SCREECH" The first time you hear it, you are shocked! But you get used to it and come to enjoy the  absurd sound.  Your neighbors may disapprove, OR, they may like it too.. This is not a sound they make often, only during mating season, or to warn of a predator. The Peacock screech has been compared to the sound of cats fighting, a baby crying or a woman screaming... but I don't hear the similarity at all!
 Am I forgetting anything?  You may add to this list,if you wish.

I love these birds! I really do. I wholeheartedly recommend you add a pair to your farm family. I will be asking a very fair price for a pair. If you have any questions or  are interested in adopting our Peabody adolescents, born and bred in Hopalong Hollow, please email me at jeri@hopalonggreetings.com.
 Thanks for visiting today!  Jeri

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Country Living Fair, a few photos

This fair is the very BEST! It has everything we love. The venue of Historic Ohio Village has as Wonderful atmosphere; it is early morning before the customers arrive, all is quiet.

Vendors arrange their wares to best advantage, for when the gates open there will be crowds of folk pouring in, buyers have come from all over the country.
 There are antiques and collectables to ponder over.
Multiply this booth 350 times and you will get an idea of the size of this show. I couldn't begin to tell you how much is here. I had very little time to take pics, so these are just some sneak peeks.
  There were many Gardeners delights; all those tents in the background had garden items, but it was 7:30 in the morning, and none of them were open yet, so I couldn't get photos. However, this little courtyard full of plants to purchase was nice.

Why doesn't my washtub garden ever look this good?
But that ornamental cabbage looked a bit wilted on this, the 3rd day.
 Notice the pictures on the wall? 

 They are succulent gardens in a shadow box. I don't care for the brightly colored frames, but the little gardens are charming.

 Need a pumpkin? How about a gourd? How about a squash?
 How about a really cool old red truck?!

That big greenie was the size of a small child!
I think the pumpkin pyramid must be the most photographed object at the fair.
Last year I purchased dozens of packets of heirloom pumpkin and gourd seeds  to emulate the pumpkin pyramid at my house; I forgot to plant them! Oh well, next year I will do it.

 How about some sinfully sugary snack?
These bakers ruin my diet every year.
There were many curiosities....
  Like these mounted bunny heads? Of course they are NOT REAL BUNNIES... You know that!
There were Book signings, a huge variety of needful things,
  and curious objects,
 and enthusiastic customers.
These were my neighbors. Do you need an extra large canvas bag portraying a porker?
  A a nice little pillow with a penguin?
  There are darling little shops with tiny gardens throughout the Village.

   I love this secret pavilion. Well, it's not really a secret, but it is tucked back behind a worn old wooden fence covered in "Virgin Bowers" Clematis. There are sets of cast iron tables and chairs sitting on the brick courtyard and on the grass, beneath a heavily vine-laden pergola.

 Here you can sit and admire your purchases whilst sipping a cold Lemonade and eating that Cobbler.
I didn't take nearly enough photos, because my camera battery was dead. I had to use the phone to take these pictures. Therefore, I have little else to show you. But, take my word for it, this is the best fair to attend all year. I love it, we did well and now we are home regrouping for the next event in Madison, Indiana in  10 days. You can be certain my camera will have a full battery next time!
Fondly, Jeri
Visit the Pumpkin Pyramid here:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Old houses and New Kindreds..

 One of the things I love about traveling this land, is visiting the old towns we often pass through.
This is Warren Pennsylvania, 6 miles outside the Festival we did this past weekend.
 Ever since childhood, I've been in love with old homes. Oh how I longed to live in an old house with twisty stairways, hidden niches and cubbyholes and quiet nooks and crannies.
I imagine this old gal has a lot of those.

My camera is always at hand to record the wonderful architecture of a bygone age. Charming gems!
Just look at the corbels and roof line on this marvelous house. They don't build houses like this anymore. Look at those windows and the porch posts. The roof is covered with slate tiles. I want to knock on the door and ask for a tour.
But I always admire from afar.  
Have you EVER seen corbels THIS big??

Here is the BEST  house on the street. Look at that wraparound enclosed porch with the arched windows. Can you imagine living here?  Where would you put your studio.... how about in that charming addition on the back of the house? Sweet.That addition is even big enough for a shop.. I could call it "Mamsey's Mercantile" or "Kizzy's Curiosities".
Ah, dream on.. I would live in any of them, still, I am happy as a peach to come home to my FAVORITE  little Old HOUSE; the one I live in.
It is not as ornate or spectacular as any of the houses in Warren, Pa, but it is ours and I love it in all its BOXY Simplicity, It's more of a cottage and it DOES have a wraparound porch. Home sweet Home.

I was thrilled and delighted to meet a long time blogger friend at last weekends show. Linnie and her husband Gary drove on a rainy, wet day, from NY to visit us at the WILDWIND Festival. We got together after the show and had a lot to talk about, INCLUDING Old houses... keeping bees, gardening, wallpaper, Laura Ashley Dresses, donkeys and dogs. I  met 3 of her "pups" who came along for the ride, one of whom is a baby Corgi pup.I had never held a Corgi, Linnie said they just HUG you, and it was true.  The time went by too quickly. There are times, you meet a person, and it's as if you've been bosom buddies forever; that's the way it is with Linnie. Love you Linnie!
 Linnie's blog is The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY , http://thebuttryandbookry.blogspot.com/    She  posts on very interesting subjects, often of a historical nature. I always feel that I've learned much after reading any of her posts. I hope you will visit her.

Back on the Road... again
James and I drove home from the show on Monday, 10 hour drive. Since we need to leave again on Wednesday for the Country Living Fair in Ohio, I've only had time to: pick a pack of weeds that seemed to have grown 3 feet while we were away.

 Pick a peck of tomatoes
Aren't they beauties?! Big fat heirloom Tomatoes. I planted them, so that I could paint them. We certainly can't eat all this lot, and dozens more, but the critters will get a nice treat later on.
Well, I must go do some laundry, repack our bags and prepare to drive off again in the morning. See you in Ohio!
Fondly, Jeri

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Project, and a busy schedule.

         I am taking on an ambitious art project. It includes the creation of 3 books at once,  a calender and  a line of stuffed, mohair critters. So far, I am in the planning stages using my notebook and several sheets of  15x15 watercolor paper. These are items I can stuff in my travel bag which is important at this time of year, as I have 4 big art shows in a row. That means very little time at home for the next month.  . I can work my art while on the road. I'm so grateful for a reliable friend who takes charge of the farm while we are away.  Here, I list my shows for the month of September and invite you to attend, if you are near any of these locations.  If I weren't doing these events, I would never have seen some of the prettiest towns and locations in the USA. So, this September, as I participate in these shows, I will visually share with you  each location via photos and video. Starting with:
1st show: Sept.6-7th 
Wild Wind Folk Art and Craft Festival
Pittsfield, Pennsylvania
Warren Ct. Fairgrounds
       This wonderful show is pure happiness, with true folk-art and craft, spinners and weavers, potters and carvers and quilters and painters; as well as music and a fresh farmers market. This will be the 35th year for the Wild Wind Festival  held at these quaint fairgrounds 6 miles from the gorgeous Victorian town of Warren PA. I am the Guest Artist this year. Come and see me and all the the other wonderful artists and craftsmen, for a day in the Pennsylvania countryside.
Check out the website for all the details.
Country Living Fair in Columbus Ohio
Sept. 12-14

Fabulous folk art, antiques, food and demos, book signings, you name it. Hey, if you don't want to purchase a book from me, check out Will Moses!
This is my favorite of the Country Living Fairs held in Historic Ohio Village, a charming place. You must try the Blueberry, Apple or Cherry Cobbler, it is my one weakness ( as Dorcas would say)

3rd show:
Sept. 27-28
Madison, Indiana
This is one of the  most beautiful  Historic towns in America, circa 1840's. High Quality Artists and craftsmen
line the streets with a back-drop of  Federal style homes and mansions.
Many of the booths face the Ohio River, where ferry boats still tug along the water.
 In 2013 I won an award at this show, 3rd place in fine art. From 2012  and backwards,I won the award for Best Booth presentation, 4 times in a row. I am probably jinxing myself telling you all this, and will never win again! Booth design REALLY is my forte. They always give  nice awards AND a check.

4th Show is in
 Louisville, Kentucky, Oct.3-5
       This will be my first year at this show which is held in the neighborhood of the largest grouping of Victorian Homes in Old Louisville.  For years, I've heard rave reviews from other artists  concerning this event. I hope it is as good as everyone says it is!  A very large show covering many streets and avenues. I will be in Booth 895 on Third Street,
historic Old Louisville among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes, the St. James Court Art Show® - See more at: http://www.stjamescourtartshow.com/#sthash.vD5xttZB.dpuf
historic Old Louisville among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes, the St. James Court Art Show® - See more at: http://www.stjamescourtartshow.com/#sthash.vD5xttZB.dpuf
historic Old Louisville among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes, the St. James Court Art Show® - See more at: http://www.stjamescourtartshow.com/#sthash.vD5xttZB.dpuf

 I guess I won't be doing much gardening this month!
But I will try to do a lot of drawing while I travel to and fro from these shows. Stay tuned for the photos of each town as I attend.
Fondly from the Hollow, Jeri

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The gardens in August with Fionna Goosefeathers..

The Mistress has enlisted me, Fionna Goosefeathers, garden guide and top manure spreader, to lead you  through a few of her gardens in the sultry month of August. She would guide you herself, but is  weary-worn  from all the back-breaking chores she did this season, and is taking a long nap.
I hope you don't mind if my little charges tag along.. I adopted  6 of them, me being a motherly type.
P.S. That pesky peacock is NOT one of my charges! Only the little ducks are MY charges.
 Let's start with the garden re-do a month after the new plantings... this has been christened Kizzy's garden. We will tell you all about THAT in an other post.
 The bedding plants have grown quite nicely, but still are not as tall as my head.
Even without my bonnet on.

   The Mistress spent a good deal of energy cursing the pesky little weeds that kept springing up between the walkways...even though we WEEDER Geese TRIED to keep them at bay.
 The ducks? not so much...
Finally, she got fed up and pulled up ALL the bricks one by one, put down a weed barrier and laid the paths all over again! She did this on 4 pathways, no wonder her back always hurts. Silly Mistress... what's so bad about weeds? Weeder geese find them quite delicious.
It's a darn good thing there are plenty more weeds around here for us WEEDER Geese to tend!

Below is the Front yard garden, it started out as a puny little triangle section in the corner surrounded by lawn, but each year, the garden part grew larger and larger, till there was no more grass at all!
I guess the mistress forgot, that we WEEDER Geese ALSO like to eat grass... good thing she left a little for us....along with extra weeds.

The Potagerie

The Potagerie off the side porch is full of Herbs, roses, and the all time favorite of  those stuck-up Peabody boys and girls: TOMATOES.

They have NO shame and snatch those tomatoes straight off the vine, EVEN when the Mistress is LOOKING!
  But the Mistress grew SO many heirloom tomatoes she could not use them all and did not mind the Peabody boy thievery. After all, says the Mistress, how many Fried Green tomatoes can one lady eat?

 That was installed because of those trouble making chicken-folk, who think nothing of digging craters around her lavender plants just for the sake of a dust bath. Have you ever heard of such a thing??! A DUST BATH! We WEEDER Geese know that the ONLY way to take a bath is in the creek... or the pond. or occasionally in a mud puddle. And once in a while,  the tiny frog pond...er, never mind... I didn't mean that... and I know nothing about the missing frogs!
(Nor do my charges)

 Ah, My favorite side of the house... the Pergola.
On this side of the house the flowers DO grow taller than my head... it makes for a nice shady spot to nap. These are Cardinal flowers... they grow along a DRY CREEK. My charges and I prefer it when it becomes a WET CREEK, and that happens every time it rains.
  When it rains and rains and rains, the plants grow taller and taller.... (yes, much taller than the top of my head); Sages, Chaste Bush, Butterfly bush, Wisteria, Penstemon and Phlox, Sedum, Beauty-Berry, Black-eyed Susan, Daisy and Coneflowers.
As official garden guide, I know ALL the names of the flowers.
 Not the scientific names, mind you, the Mistress thinks the common names are much more charming and has no use for hoity-toity names like "Paracyathus sternsii"( besides, neither of us can pronounce that).

   This unusual Coneflower has babies that grow up and out of the center! The Mistress had to order this from a plant catalog and always makes a big fuss whenever she sees it. It doesn't take much to make HER happy.

 Well, it doesn't take much to make my little charges happy either, and right about now they are all clamoring and quacking for a nice wet bath.... in the creek.... not the tiny fish pond... I SWEAR!
I'm afraid my little charges are not very patient when it comes to garden tours.
Thank you for joining me on this Garden tour, Next time, I will leave my charges with Mathilda and Alice.
 The Mistress sends you her best wishes..
signing off for now,
 Yours Truly, 
 Fionna Goosefeathers