Hopalong Hollow....

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Batch of buns and back to the drawing board....

Greeting friends!
I hope you are enjoying your June
Usually, by this time in the summer, we have dozens of wee babes waddling round the Hollow.
 BUT... this has been a bad year for babies. Not a single gosling egg hatched out of 21 eggs, poor Alice and Mathila...they tried so hard. No ducklings have hatched despite 3 sitting ducks. My peahen, although she sat on 3 eggs for over 30 days, only hatched one baby pea-chick which died the next day.
To top it all off, My favorite gander, whom I have had for 8 years, died of unknown causes.
 GEEEZ!
Okay, enough gloomy stuff, we get enough of THAT in this world.
Thank goodness for blogs, they are a wonderful escape. Now, I will keep it light.
Despite all the losses, our animal family is growing, as you can see below....

ALL NEW, but none are finished!
 
We did, however, finish the Dovecote, just need a bit more thatch roofing.
The top is for the doves, the bee-skeps open up to store seed and sunflowers,
which is put in the open bird feeder.
Doves are seed eaters, not bug eaters, else I would not have designed in this manner.
The 3rd shelf holds a bar bee hive for honey bees and beneath that is a feeder full of corn 
for my ducks and geese.
The bug haven stands at the end of the structure.

 The gardens are all weeded.
 I even had enough success with my Lavender to actually spare a bundle of it
without trimming it off all of the plants. I am very stingy about plucking flowers. I like to leave them in the garden for all to see. How about you?


I planted 24 Lavenders this year and all are producing blooms, although still youngsters.

 It is time to get back to illustration. There is a new book in the works which I actually started late last year. Thus far, 7 drawing are complete.

I am happy to get out the pencils once again. I miss my pencils when I am away from them for too long, for I love to draw!
So do tell, how are you spending your summer?

37 comments:

  1. Wow! All the weeding is done? That's got to be a real job with so many beds to tend to in addition to all the building and fixing up of the dovecote. It's nice to get all the hard outside work pretty much done by this time of the summer when it really starts heating up. Inside drawing is just the thing until it cools down a bit in the fall.

    I don't bring in flowers from the beds either. One of my cats fancies herself an expert flower arranger and it doesn't go down too well with me. Best just to leave them outside where they of course last a great deal longer and can be enjoyed by others as well as myself.

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    1. Well, you know how the weeds are...gone today, here tomorrow! Weeding is a constant for all of us garden lovers, but quite often, the flowers fill in where weeds fear to tread!

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  2. I am still trying to soak up on the magnificent-ness of your fuzzy little critters...and your drawings too...love them all! And, the gardens...well, not shabby at all!

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    1. Thank you so much! My gardens DO get shabby around the end of August, by then, I am too hot to care about it

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  3. You are so talented with such wonderful vision. I so enjoy reading your blog. Do you autograph your books ? Thank you. Pam T., Dexter, MI

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    1. Thanks Pamela! Yes, I always sign my books, write a little message and draw a tiny character.

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  4. Oh my gosh, your weeding is done!!! Not mine! I did do some weeding this morning before the heat and humidity drove me back inside.

    I'm so sorry you've no little babies waddling around your place this summer.

    Love your buns and other creatures and look forward to seeing them dressed up in their finery.

    Oh my, a new book! Way to go Jeri.

    You inspire me in many ways my dear friend ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Lorraine,I really miss the patter of baby duck feet! We usually have at least a dozen babies by now.

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  5. Jeri, I always smile when I visit you! Your Hollow is just beautiful! The lavender is my favorite--you have so much for it to be so young! So sorry about the lack of babies around your happy place. Wonder what that's all about? I do so love all the felted beauties you have made and I look forward to seeing them dressed as only you can do! ♥

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    1. Well,none of the goose eggs were fertilized, come to find out. The duck eggs kept getting stolen from right beneath the ducks...some critter.like a rat maybe.At least all of the wild birds had oodles of wee babes,

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  6. Well Jeri, you finally did it. My head exploded, or my mind did. A thatched roof on the dovecot is the icing on the cake. Just the cutest ever. Have any arrived to live there yet? Maybe some baby doves will hatch and find their way to the Hollow. Weeding (my least favorite thing, or is it folding clothes), sewing/felting and a book in the works, plus upcoming show. My hat is off to you.

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    1. Donna, LOL,poor head! No doves as yet, they are conspicuous by their absence.Normally I would see doves several times a week. I am hoping to attract them with the seed and corn.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about all the disappointments and about your gander dying. Eight years is a long time and I'm sure you were very attached to him. I love seeing more of your garden. I'm like you in not wanting to pick my flowers. I often let my lavender stay in the garden too long and it is not fit to dry and hang because it's lost all its color.

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    1. Cathy, I really loved that gander. I am often in a quandary about plucking that lavender so I do it frugally. Just enough to have a bundle for hanging in the bathroom, then, before it turns gray, I take the heads and add them to the potpourri jar.

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  8. I love your beautiful farm! I have the peacock feathers you gave me in my sewing room and they remind me of the afternoon I spent visiting you last summer. Such a wonderful memory!

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    1. Sharon, Yes, that was so nice, I hope you will come back sometime!

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  9. JERI LANDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OK, what in thee Sam Hill happened to the birds this year? AND WHO DIED? Oh dear, not who I think it is..tell me, is it Hamish? I am so sorry to hear of this! Yesterday as I was opening the back door to come in with a load of groceries, TWO wrens flew at me (they have a nest in our birdhouse...could they have been defending it from me?) and during this tussle, it appeared to me that they went into the house, but I ignored that....so I go in and I hear a TWEET! Sure enough, there was a bird in the house. Got him out, proceeded with bringing in the groceries and I hear another TWEET! Two of the little darlin's had come in. What the heck?

    OK, your lavender, MY DREAM! We simply can't plant it here as a perennial, but I enjoyed having a dried bunch in a basket in my home. Every time I go by where its at, I get a joyful, summer whiff of France.

    AND THE BUNSTERS are looking AWESOME! Maybe by Christmas I can order one!

    We just got back last Friday from a DREAM vacation in Carmel California. Oh Jeri, if you love the ocean, this is the place to witness one of the most magical beaches. The homes are all FAIRYTALE cottages too! We bought four oil paintings for there are many galleries there that feature the California plein aire artists. What a joy it was.

    I am loving my time off, reading poetry, writing it, working on my photography.

    Enjoy your weekend my friend! Anita

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    1. Anita, not Hamish. It was my dear Ivan, a wonderful noble goose guy. But he was part of the trio of Hamish, Ivan and Attilla and the boys really seem lost without him. As for the Lavender, I have always had a terrible time growing it here in the humidity until I started planted in little individual hills. I am familiar with those cottages in Carmel, they were built by an artist community in the 20's and 30's I believe. I am glad you had a Dream vacation, we need one of those.

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    2. Oh Jeri! I am so sorry to hear that the terrific trio of Hamish, Attilla and Ivan has been broken AND that the guys are at a loss. How interesting animals are, for they form bonds that are a deep mystery. OHHHHH I am so sorry.

      YES! The artist community in Carmel was quite innovative and visionary, and these homes on the ocean are lovely. And as for your lavender, I hope you get good results from planting them in smaller rows! With the weather changes, maybe you won't get as much humidity? GOOD LUCK and happy Sunday my friend! Anita

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  10. Good morning Jeri! Well, it feels like summer has finally started around Bee Haven Acres. The whole past year was dedicated to a huge garden wedding...which as of last Saturday is now a fond memory! In preparation for that, however, the entire farm glistens...not a weed in sight. So the rest of the summer will be for making magic....wonderful jams, garden suppers, picnics, walks beneath the starry sky....it's time to just enjoy life for a while. I hope to see you in Sept. in Ohio for the CLF.....
    I always enjoy my visits to Hopalong Hollow....you have inspired me over the years... I think we must be kindred spirits...however, you got all of the talent!!!
    I feel for your loss....we have no babies here this year as well.....but there are always years to come, right?
    Have a wonderful summer. I will patiently wait for your next book.....treasures to share with my grandchildren!!
    Fondly.....
    bev

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    1. Beverly, So the wedding is behind you now but the place is looking great and now it is just maintenance. GOOD!I have one last hope for babies; one of my ducks is sitting on 5 eggs. She is just outside my little shop safely tucked in a garden. Crossing fingers! Can't wait to meet you in Ohio!

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  11. i am sorry to hear about your eggs
    your stuffed friends are ENTIRELY charming
    and garden so lovely
    my lavenders are stuck at two inches tall, what am i doing wrong? do they like special soil?
    summer, i am enjoying.... and camping, art and photography, friends and so on. sweet summer days to you!
    oh, and a new book!

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    1. meaning how fun, you are making a new book!

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  12. Tammie, YES, Lavenders are very picky about their soil. They hate wet feet, so they need a mixture of Sand, peat, perlite and soil. You can find all sorts of soil recipes online. Plant them in a 6 inch mound or on a slope so that they can drain easily and put them in FULL Sun. I've been experimenting with Lavenders for years and this is the only thing that has worked for me. This year a have a couple of 2 year plants that are gorgeous and fully rounded,about 2 ft in circumference. I am sure it's because I planted them in mounds..

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    1. THANK YOU so much Jeri, I will note this and give it a try. I am surprised my plants from last year even survived.

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  13. Your gardens look beautiful... sorry to hear about the animals though;( If it helps we have a new bunny family in our back yard and they seem to be flourishing, despite our little miniature Schnauzers attempts to capture them. My husband doesn't even want to mow the back lawn which gives them lots of clover to munch on. Happy Sunday ;)

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    1. That is very sweet of your husband to save clover for the youngsters!

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  14. Jeri, I am so sorry that hatching season in your hollow hasn't resulted in any fluffy chicks. Maybe next time. Nature seems a very unpredictable force...I say this from my not-so-natural urban vantage point.

    What I can also say is how beautiful your garden looks, and that dove cote looks fit for the most choosy doves. Please do keep us updated with news any arrivals.

    Your felted bunnies are amazing. Fun to see the photographs of the "almost finished" group.

    When I return to my pencils and sketchpad (as I did last week,) I always wonder why it's been so long since we last met up.

    xo

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    1. Frances, We have one last hope for ducklings with a sitting hen in a garden, crossing fingers. So far, no doves... I may resort to ordering white doves if the mourning doves don't appear. As for pencil-work, isn't is just the most comforting of mediums?

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  15. Ohhh-just swooning again over your buns, the beautiful gardens and the drawings....

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    1. Debra, swoon away! I will be finishing those buns up this week in time for a show. They are so darn charming when dressed in their best>

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  16. Well you could knock me over with a feather! Ah Jeri, your family of buns is growing and growing.. They are too sweet for words...Front row, right hand side.. The little yellow one with the Derby..What would his name be... He just makes me smile... They are all so darn cute!

    My heart feels for you.. So sorry about your favorite gander, and no new babies ..

    Lavender... I cannot get lavender to grow here... It should do fine... I have only planted them once, and every single one bit the dust... Maybe next year I will give it another try... Your garden looks so beautiful... Because I pretty much just have my roses, I do indulge myself and cut them for the house... But there are still enough on the bush to enjoy. Your thatched Dovecote and Bee haven is just amazing... I love the thatched roof! Makes me want to be a dove so I could inhabit the hotel..

    Your sketches are the beginning of another magical story, this I am sure of...
    fondly,
    Penny



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    1. Penny, that funny little yellow, flopsy bear has not been named yet, I like him too. I was just shocked to find my Ivan, it broke my heart. He was head gander and the nicest goose I ever had. It seemed that all the other geese respected him and when he died, they seemed a bit lost. Birds really do have amazing family groups and distinct personalities. They are adjusting, and a new leader will emerge.
      Lavender is so tricky, but in California it should do well with your climate, so don't give up! I have been killing them for years, so to finally get a few nice healthy plants is a joyful experience.

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  17. I dearly love your new bunnies. And the bug haven is my very most favorite thing you've made. What lucky critters you have living with you.

    I'm spending my summer trying to cope with the really dry, really hot weather. Tomatoes are pretty sad, but the daylilies are mighty happy. I love lavender and I'm hesitant to pick much of it, preferring to enjoy just walking through it smelling the heavenly scent. I do occasionally pick enough to make a few lavender bottles for my drawers and some friends. I keep a stash of deep purple ribbon for the weaving. They last a very long time.

    Diane in North Carolina

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    1. Diane, I checked the bug hotel yesterday and was amazed to see how many tubes have already been "rented"! That dove cote was this years "Project".. we try to add a new structure every year.
      We just had a brief respite from the heat, but my tomato plants had already suffered from the heat. I love lavender bottles, a great way to preserve the beauty and scent of the stems. I am not very good at making them though.

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  18. Oh Jeri, I almost forgot to say how very sorry I am to hear that you lost dear Ivan. I hope that his two friends will lean on each other, and on you, for comfort. And no babies, either. I hope that before you know it, there'll be more little ones around.

    Diane in North Carolina

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  19. JERI LANDERS! Hey woman, how are ya?

    Thank you for coming to visit my sea dreams. Good glory, I think I am a fish. I need to be near the water. As I type, I am sitting in my covered deck listening to the flowing fountain in our garden, I need that sound so badly! Rhythm of life, rhythm of water.....Aren't those frames gorgeous with the seascapes? Thanks for visiting! HUGS, Anita

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