Hopalong Hollow....

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

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 hope that if you are near any of these locations, you will attend.  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 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
set up on 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!  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. I've heard rave reviews from other artists for years concerning this event. 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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Naming our pets

I've always  named all my animals, big and small.  It's important for everyone to have an identity, right? So, this year, when our duck population grew and grew because of an abundance of hens with  motherly urges tugging at their little tail feathers, I became a bit overwhelmed; SO many families, SO many identical twins and triplets, SO many pure white Pekins!  I became lean on creativity and  to keep up with everyone, resorted to using easy to remember, yet somewhat ghastly names such as:  Frick and Frack, Easy come and Easy Go, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.. Eeeny, Meeny, Miney and  MO. These names were  quite a shift from my other duck folk who were christened with great deliberation and according to personality. THEY have names like: Winston Churchill, Jangles, Mia Rose, Pitty-Pat, Trudy Webbytoes , Miss Merryweather, Penelope Anna Marie,  and General Patton..
Good Heavens, we have 3 duck families!
      In order to remember all the names of my chicken folk, I simply use the same names over and over again. I've had Conan the 1st, 2nd and 3rd and  Prudi the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. All the other characters from the old British TV series, "Poldark" have been used more than once, I assure you:  Demelza, Poldark, Verity, and Connie. Romeo, Mavis and Abe have been used countless times.

It's all becoming very confusing, but if I didn't give everyone a name,  I would feel so guilty! Is that silly? I am quite sure that when I see 5 pure white identical Pekin duckies hanging out together, I would not be able to tell Dominicus Pike from Sherlock... but No matter... it's better to call out a name than shouting out "HEY YOU, with the big orange feet, come over here!"

                    So why DO we name our animals? It's easy to see why we name intelligent animals such as dogs and cats and those larger members of the farm family.  It's pretty obvious that dogs recognize their own names, cats too.   But does a duck really come when you call it's name?  Well, maybe not,  but they certainly come a runn'in when I call "QUEEEEE! QUEEEEE! QUEEEEE! ( That means "corn" in duck-speak)  And when I call "GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRRRELS!, ALL my sheep, donkeys and goats come a runn'in. (translates: "corn, pears, carrots, watermelon,etc, etc, etc, to the four-legged barn -folk).   So WHY DO we names all our pets? I guess it just boils down to what I said in the beginning... everyone has a unique identity, even if they just waddle around on orange webby toes.
(The real Trudy Webbytoes, created in watercolor and gouache)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Off my head puh-leese!

Oye! Do you ever get the feeling that a bird is sitting on your head?
That used to happen to me all the time...with Esther.
 I'm glad she wasn't as large as Minerva...
Poor little garden maiden! It's a good thing her noggin is as hard as a rock.
See Minerva's wee babe in the corner? Both of our peahens hatched 3 eggs this year. This is one of the younger babies. The 3 month old pea chicks are nearly ready to be adopted. I wish I could keep them all, but I can't. First however, I must ascertain the males from the females,  and that is very difficult to do in the peafowl world at this young age because they have not yet developed their colors. Hmmm, maybe I can keep them just a bit longer.....
Fondly from the Hollow, Jeri

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What IS it???

  Walking thru the meadow in a drizzly rain, I happened upon an unusual site.
 Past the "Travelers Joy", a marvelous wild Clematis that has made a natural hedge all along the goat fence,


 and through the last of the Queen Annes Lace,

 and the wild morning Glories upon the ground..

Where Wild Black Eyed Susan have self seeded  in abundance,

                         Beneath the towering Joe Pye Weed                    
 I stumbled upon this interesting object:

 It is almost perfectly shaped like a BEE SKEP with a symmetrical round body, a flat bottom and a pointed top, around 15 inches tall.
There were little buzzing bodies circling round and round. I could not identify them as either bees or wasps but I kept my distance. I wish I could have taken a more crisp picture. The "BEES OR WASPS" OR HORNETS" ? have thick black bodies with yellow stripes. The nest's material looks similar to those paper nests you see hanging from trees made by wasps, but those are generally misshapen blobs, while this is nearly perfect. I could see the round entry way down along the bottom of the "SKEP" with dozens of tiny creatures going to and fro.
Have you ever seen such an object as this? It is the body of this nest that makes it truly wonderful. If you nature lovers can identify this nest and it's inhabitants, please let me know.
  I hope they will vacate the premises in the winter so that I can have this for my "collection" of old used houses.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Garden joy! And.... a garden renovation video

A few years ago I needed to write a bit of garden verse for the center of an art piece I was working on..  But  the verse just went on and on and on and I could only fit a few lines into the art work. 
 So; in honor of this years gardens and gardeners and the month of August, I present the verse in it's entirety. All photos are from my gardens this year.

With loving hands a garden is made;
 diligent labor with sickle and spade.

From rich black earth, their comes rebirth;
 as Spring doth come to call.
 Jonquil and Violet sweeten the air; 
the copse and grove no longer bare,

 but covered in greens beyond compare...
and throngs of Daffodil. 

 Then march the Buttercups over the hill
Roses and Lavender, Thyme and Dill
 "Alas, the Earth will not be still!" the little robins sing.

And in the sultry summer's heat
 The happy daisy faces greet
us...... with a smile
a symphony of bloom.
  Bees do hum, cicadas strum,
the tune of the woodpecker beats like a drum. And Queen Anne's face
 all dressed in lace,
bids everyone to come!

Come to the garden, come one come all!
Morning glory meandering over the wall,
 Until in lushness it doth fall
 in heaps upon the ground.


On a Periwinkle carpet our feet do tread
 Old Joe Pye towering over our head,
Above and beneath us,
wondrously spread,
 The impeccable joy of the garden!
Jeri Landers

  I hope you've had a glorious gardening season, it seems sad we are nearing the end of it in many parts of North America, too soon. But for those of you in other  locales who have just begun to dig in the soil, Cheers!

  Here is the Garden Renovation  video I made while re-creating the poor garden destroyed by the fallen Walnut Tree.