Our Weekend in Photography

Eggs in blue bowl USE

Brown Cochin eggs from our four chickens.

On Saturday Gene worked on the raspberry bed fence project and put up a second gate.

Stapling the fencing USE

Gene stapling the chicken fencing to the bottom of the post.

I experimented with photographing some of our brown Cochin eggs in an antique bowl. I used a piece of fabric I bought at the thrift store when I thought might make a nice seat cover. I feel like I am a bit rusty with my “product photography” and it felt good to practice it again.

Two  Gates

Double fencing on the south end of garden allows for two entry points; one in the vegetable garden and one in the raspberry patch. 

Then our adult daughter Lisa arrived from North Carolina in the afternoon. She is a special education teacher and works in the high school near Charlotte, NC. It is her spring break so she took advantage of that time off of work to come back home to Michigan. We spent our day watching the chickens scratch and peck and chatting and catching up.

On Sunday we did our usual every two weeks trip to the recycle station and then ran Sassy at the SW Michigan’s land Conservancy’s Wau-kee-nau north. We keep a small recycle bin set up in our pole barn and take our recyclable papers, cans, glass to the townships recycle station about every two to three weeks.

Sassy overlooking lake

Sassy overlooks gray and ice filled Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan is still partially frozen and dark gray in color. We did see a large flock of Goldeneye ducks in the water  – these birds are very hardy and on their migration south for breeding. This is always a thrill for my husband the waterfowl hunter.

Three Birches USE

The three sisters, birch trees in a meadow.

It’s still pretty cold here in SW Michigan, some nights have been 10 some 30 degrees and day around 40 degrees. During the day we let the chickens out to free range in the almost completed raspberry bed. We are still supervising them as one end remains to be completed.


A wooden bench for resting overlooking the Lake Michigan.

I’ve also been working on and off on stick picking up and lawn raking. I’ve already raked up much of the pine cones from our pine trees. I am just getting a tiny head start on our massive spring clean-up work on the days the weather cooperates.

I’ve been reading a fun new book this week, Chickens in the Garden. I am really enjoying this book not only for its chicken information and its amazing photographs. I know how hard it is to get high quality photographs of moving objects.

Chickens 3 panel no text jpeg

Small House Homesteader and chicken keeper, Donna

Evil in Eden (A Homesteader Needs to Get Away)

One thing about homesteading that might surprise you is how much deep rest and time off an aging homesteaders needs. To get that I’ve found I have to leave paradise!

Gene relaxed smile USE JPEG

Gene and our trained bird dog, Sassy, pose at the Wilderness park sign.

Some folks feel that life on the homestead is all about sleeping in, setting your own schedule, taking time off when you want to because you are no longer punching a clock from 9 to 5. In some ways that is true as we are our own bosses and decide when we work and when we quit…but I personally have never worked harder, or longer hours, in my life!

Boulder and bay USE

This Sturgeon Bay scene shows the typical shrubby ecosystem found in Michigan’s up north geography. This is our favorite place to run our dog.

I’ve discovered there is a flip side to “Eden” and that there is always work waiting to be done and rest is a commodity that it’s hard to find time for on the homestead. (There is a bit of evil in Eden after all! Lol)

Lickens on bolder close USE JPEG

I am fascinated with the beautiful patterns in this amazing boulder full of lichen.

When there are animals to feed and gardens to dig, the spring rush followed by the harvest time is always short and precious. And now that winter is just around the bed there is so much to be done there is no sleeping in or beach sitting for me. How about you?

Gene fishing w Sassy in camo waders

Gene did a bit of fishing in Lake Michigan, but saw no fish.

Our days are long here on the Small House Homestead, especially if we want to keep up our property (and we do) and we want to keep adding new projects each season (ditto.)

Zigzag shorelineJPEG

My kayak nestled in the grasses and reeds of lake Michigan We were blessed with three calm days.

So this fall we took five days off and took a short camping trip for some much-needed rest. We drove the five hours to Wilderness State Park (near Mackinaw City, Michigan) for some rustic camping, reading and wave watching. I found that I was so exhausted once there that all I had the energy for was sitting in my bag chair, reading and listening to the waves. I only kayaked once.

Cabin nestled in greenery USE

This “our” cabin. This is the 8th year we have stayed there and we have begun to think of it as ours.

Sunrise penninsula NICE

A spectacular sunrise….what a way to greet the day!

Best wishes from Donna from the Small House Homestead