The Small House in its Autumn Glory-Photo Diary

I apologize for being so out of touch lately. Fall is such a busy time of year for us at The Small House that the outdoor work just takes over our lives. Hopefully I can make up for fewer blog posts of late with some interesting and lively photographs sharing the beauty of our homestead in the autumn.

We’ve had a hard frost already here in SW Michigan. Hard enough that it froze my remaining potted annuals and tender hydrangeas but once again the weather has turned warm. In these parts we call these warm days, our Indian Summer. I am enjoying the warm sunshine as are our animals who love to lay in the warm dirt and dust or nap.

Small House under bog tree USE

Our small house under the big SW Michigan sky. 

The surrounding woods are taking on new shades of reds, yellow and amber thanks to the cooler nights. There is a vivid beauty about the countryside now that stirs my soul.

HORZ turn around coop in rear USE

This bed, with its ornamental grasses and mum’s really shines in the Autumn.

As those of you who homestead know; this time of is year we call “The Crunch Time” or “The Fall Rush.” I imagine that you are working as hard as we are to gather the last of the vegetable harvest, to close down the gardens and get the animals and their pens ready for winter. These seasonal chores plus my plantar fasciitis, physical therapy and various doctor’s appointments have kept me on the run.

While I honestly prefer a more home-center, slower-paced way of life, I know I must take care of my health right now and that means many appointments in town and twice-weekly working out.

Mums foreground trellis grasses USE VERT

The billowing and blowing grasses are among my favorite native perennials.

The fruits of our labor can be enjoyed in our perennial gardens right now. Native perennial plant, stones hauled home from farmers fields and roadside ditches, mingle with my carefully chosen plantings and projects all lovingly built and maintained, that shine during the Michigan fall. I enjoy every season here but if I had to choose my favorite, I think it would be autumn.

Fencegate raspberries USE

The fenced-in black raspberry patch is one of our chicken’s favorite runs.

Here is a peek at the Small House Homestead this week in all of our lovely fall glory.

Bird grden shrub and birdfeeder USE

Shrubs and feeders provide food and shelter for our beloved songbirds.

Fence and pool shack USE

Our non-working in-the-ground pool resides nestles up against the forest edge.

Gene cart Rhodies on straw USE

Bales of hay will block the winter winds to the chicken run and coop areas. Then next spring these bales will be broken down for mulch in the garden.

Pole barn under sky USEThe chicken condo complex is nestled under our majestic White Oak trees.

Meadow nice USE

The pool shack, meadow grasses and the wood lot in late October.  

North west side of house with hydragneas geen

Our 1950’s era ranch-style home. Yes, that is an old-fashioned TV antenna not a UFO!

Pool shack fall USE

The pool shack storage shed with our home in the distance.

Fence and pool shack USE

The pool complex, storage shack and garden.

I hope you enjoyed you enjoyed a taste of fall on our homestead.

Small House homesteader, Donna

A Late Summer Night Stroll with the Rhodies

We’ve started a new homestead tradition this summer and that is letting the chickens out of their run every night for a bit of an evening stroll. It’s been so hot this past week that they pretty much lay under the raspberries during the heat of the day as even walking around in the shade take too much energy. But by early evening when the temperatures cool off a bit they come alive again. I want them to have some exercise and this evening walkabout strategy has seemed to interest them greatly.

Prcking foot cute                           Chicken pecking on Gene’s shoes. Such funny birds!

I chose to not let them truly free-range, fulltime on our property for several reasons but they have been enjoying a little free time stroll around the vegetable garden and yard each evening.

3 Rhodies outside the fence USE

The Rhodies find an area of moss and enjoy munching it.

Our Cochin’s who have lived within their fence in pastures for the past year are not comfortable coming out with us yet and run right back into their run area for an apparent feeling of security. To bad girls!

Snowballoutide gate USE    Snowball the Cochin won’t come further out of her pen than the gate.  

But the adventuresome four-month-old Rhodies seem to adore their nightly stroll with us. It is really fun to watch them walk around, explore, looking for and finding bugs and running to catch up with one another.

Sometimes I sit on the grass and they come up to me and peck at my clothing and shoes. This gives me the perfect opportunity to observe their legs and feet looking for mites, to peek at their bottom to make sure we have no pasty butt issues going on. They won’t let me hold them to do a thorough check over but as long as I can “observe” their health every day, I am comfortable.

Chickens outside of run with white roof USE The Rhodies like to walk along the fence row of their run looking for bugs.

Two chickens at barn

Two Rhodies boldly venture over towards the pole barn.

I hope you enjoy today’s photo diary!

Small House homesteader and chicken keeper, Donna