A Good Rain


When it rains, the giant puppy sprawls on the porch. She’s good when she’s asleep. Shhhhh!!! Do not disturb. I love this giant puppy.

Chickens hide in the henhouse. Chickens don’t like wet feathers. I love these chickens.

They could keep busy, oh, say, filling these nesting boxes with little presents for my farmhouse table, but no. My chickens are a little more than three months old now. I’ve filled the boxes with straw, and I wait and I hope and I look every day.

When it rains, the goats stay beneath their shelter in their night pen. “I will come out,” Clover said, “but only for the right amount of cookies. And I don’t believe you have that many.”

I think she’s turning into a primadonna. I love my goats.

Hummingbirds don’t care if it’s wet as long as there’s sugar water to be had.

They invited all their finch friends to come visit and now we have hordes of finches, too. I love all these wild birds.

When it rains, the weeds in the garden rejoice in their intoxication. Weeds love me. I kinda like weeds myself. We have something in common–I wasn’t planted here, either, but I am determined to thrive, and so I will not hoe them down. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Ducks love rain. And wet feathers and wet beaks and all things wet. Ducks live for wet. I live for ducks.

Behold, the duck pond! Two springs feed into this pond and it was about two-thirds filled when it started raining. A good rain hurries up the process.

I’m not ready to turn the ducks out onto their pond yet, though. First, a duck house needs to be built near the pond–a small pen with a shelter to keep them safe at night.

There is much work to be done on the farm. A goat house, a duck house, and more. These stumps wait to be hauled into the goat enclosure to serve as more goat playground equipment. Goats love to clamber about on things. Logs make great goat jungle gym equipment. They climb on top, play king of the mountain, then fly off, knees tucked as if they are springboarding into a swimming pool. The goats will love these logs.

The summer is more than half gone. In another month, this view off my front porch will start to change. I’m already looking forward to the fiery, glorious color. I love autumn.

But today, it is still summer, and we’ve had a good rain. And when it rains, the farm takes a break….and breathes. And dreams of what is next.

It could be almost anything, but I have been thinking about some guineas. They eat ticks!


  1. Sue says:

    Beautiful Suzanne!

  2. liz in NY says:

    Summer rain makes all things shiny and wonderful. Love reading all about the “news” on your farm. Thank You for sharing it!!How big is your duck pond?

  3. happyathome says:

    Great pictures! I love the rain because I do not have to water the garden! Hauling out the hose, spot watering every plant, hauling it back to the house….it is a production! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kathryn says:

    You used one of my favorite words. I adore “clamber”, and have since I heard my father say it when he was reading me “Merchant of Venice” when I was little, maybe four. It was my parents’ idea that, although I might not then understand Shakespeare or other great works, the beauty of the language would stick with me. Thank you for the present!

    I lovelovelove guineas! Such personalities, and whopping vocabularies in Fowlese.

    Our grandgirlies are due here this afternoon for their annual visit w/o their parents. We have many days of outrageous food choices, sewing binges, woods exploring, pool swimming, and (boy do I hope) occasional napping so that a Nana can keep up with ladies aged seven and six.

  5. Karen H says:

    I love the pictures. My chickens were hatched May of last year on 5/20 and I found their first egg on 9/18. My girls have been busy — the 14 of them have laid 3,733 eggs so far (and it hasn’t even been a year yet!) :clap: . Keep an egg journal if you can. It’s interesting to see how many eggs the girls have laid.

  6. jane says:

    Rain!!! Where oh were is the Rain!!!! In texas we are at 105 without a drop of real rain. the othere evening we heard it rain on the roof – last maybe 5 min. I am so jealous – rain – our lawns are parched, we are dying down here – so send some of that rain. love the pictures. again write that childrens book.

  7. Kim A. says:

    Forget the guineas, when are you getting the horses or ponies? 🙂

    -Kim A.

  8. Missy says:

    I love reading your blog when I’m traveling…makes me feel not so far from home!

  9. Blaze says:

    Coco makes me sleepy this morning..I want to streach out on a porch and sleep away the afternoon too!

  10. Sandy says:

    Guineas ??? I still say rabbits would be a grand addition. Their droppings make great fertilizer !!!

  11. Employee No. 3699 says:

    Can’t wait to see the ‘goat gym’! Just curious, what are the finches eating?

  12. Donna Mc says:

    My grandma had guineas….they were great ‘watch dogs’. Make a huge racket whenever any came into the yard.

    Enjoy your peaceful rainy day. I’d love to live way out in the boonies, too.

  13. Sharon Elkins says:

    I can’t believe how many hummingbirds you get. We only saw one this year, so my husband finally took the feeder down.

  14. wkf says:

    Well done! Guinea’s are loud! all the time. they make for a good door bell. :flying:

  15. Kelly says:

    Guinneas are really good watch dogs, too. They will raise a ruckus at something that is not supposed to be there. They do keep the bugs down,too. We love ours.

  16. Suzette says:

    Have you ever heard the term “noisy as sunrise on a guinea farm?” Maybe because you won’t have a true guinea FARM, the racket won’t be enough to offset the anti-tick benefits.

  17. Crystal B. says:

    Wonderful post. Love your photos.

  18. Dru says:

    I can imagine the rain coming down on the farm. I bet it looked so peaceful.

    Thanks for letting us see what farm life is all about.

  19. Suzanne McMinn says:

    I’m not sure what the measurements are on the duck pond. It’s not a huge pond. We don’t have room for a huge pond. Princess calls it a big mud puddle, LOL. It’s big enough for a handful or so of ducks, plus they can always wander down the drive and get in the creek or even take a walk to the river.

    Re the finches–they’re eating thistle seed!

  20. Gail says:

    We had guineas before. They are great watch animals and will alert you when someone comes up your driveway. They are quite animated, more so than chickens in my opinion. Anything that gets rid of ticks gets my vote! Try a few of those logs in the chicken run. Our chickens love their outdoor “furniture” and can be seen in the afternoons lounging and discussing the crazy lady that comes several times a day peeking in the hatch door at the nest boxes.
    They wonder…”whatever is she looking for?” My chickens were hatched April 27, so the first egg should be soon! It’s great to see how your farm has grown into the beautiful
    and peaceful sanctuary it is. You are an ” A # 1″ farmer,
    and have the muddy boots to prove it!

  21. Jill S. says:

    Guineas, as in pigs? LOVED the pics in this post.

  22. margie says:

    get the guineas! i hate ticks and there’s plenty in wv. i used to spray the back yard for ticks. dh called me mrs orkin. tomato dust works for ticks too. i used to dust the dogs, the ground etc. get the guineas!

  23. J says:

    :purr: We had a good soaking rain last night. It whooshed in with a boom and a flash then settled in leaving every thing sweet smelling and glistening in this morning’s sunlight.
    Luv that hummingbird feeder!

  24. Beckynsc says:

    Great rundown of the critters on the farm. They all look as happy as you are!

  25. Remudamom says:

    We had a rain last night too, you can hear the horses rejoicing out in the pastures.

    We’re moving our chickens from the ranch farmhouse to our house soon. And I’m searching for some guineas too. I’ve had them before, this time I’m looking for some older ones. The babies are so hard to keep alive, for me anyway.

  26. Amy Addison says:

    I’ve missed the farm reports while I’m away! So glad to be back.

    How old do the chickens have to be before they start laying eggs?

    Coco is funny.

  27. Maureen says:

    I like a good soaking rain too even though we don’t have all the wonderful animals you do, only kittens and I don’t think they appeciate the rain.

  28. jeanne.macbean says:

    Sigh, great visual images of your farm, thanks for sharing.

  29. Donna says:

    Wow! That pizza looks YUMMMMY, Suzanne!!!!
    Oh, I loved all your little farm animal stories above!! LOVE that big fluffy pup!!! The duckers are so cute! They had a little parade of ducks here, well, Shreveport at a nursery – they would come out each am and parade over a little foot bridge to a small pond, for show. So, we went one am, to watch and SADLY, the coyotes ate most of them or all of them, the owner said, the night before – so be sure they have good protection!!!!! If not coyotes, it was something – a fox or something.

    I used to love to watch this goat at the base gate, when we lived in Germany – he would stand up on logs like those – he was like the base mascot for Ramstein or something. My friend/neighbor could not say his r’s, so he would always say “there’s the wammy!”.

    Oh, the peace and quiet and fun, of a farm…no wonder I used to love to visit my uncle/aunt’s ranch in Texas so much! :mrgreen: I am READY for Autumn here too – so sick of no rain and 100 plus heat indexes! Maybe today Eduardo will bring us some rain!

  30. Kathy R says:

    We put a bale of hay in the chicken yard so they could climb on it and peck at it. The lighter chickens promptly perched on the bale and used it as a springboard to “fly the coop”. Fortunately for them the fox that got their cousin last month wasn’t around while they were out. We clipped their wing feathers and now they can’t balance enough to fly. Sorry — you can’t fly, you can’t be eaten by marauding beasts. I’d love to let them roam wherever they want, but I’m too tender-hearted to hear their cries when they get caught.

  31. Robin G. says:

    This farm is wonderful. I’m so happy for you… and so jealous!

  32. JenniferB says:

    My chickens didn’t start really laying eggs well until the were about 6 months old. We have old girls now, and most don’t lay anymore (they only seem to do really well for about 2 years) so we’ll be betting more in a few weeks. I still get 3 or 4 eggs a day, which is really enough for us. Love the photos!

  33. Claudia W. says:

    I saw a piece of property for sale somewhere in WV the other day. You do not know how tempted I was to buy it. I’d have to win the lottery first though. Do you think 60 acres is enough for horses, cows, German Shepherds, goats, chickens, ducks, and a few cats? I want to move there so much, but then someone told me it is very humid in the summer and I’m not so much one for the snow. See what you do for people? I have lived in Ca. all my life and you tempt me to pull up stakes and move there!

  34. Kim W says:

    LOVE the hummingbirds and finches (and every other ceature on your farm). Do the old folks down your way call Gold Finches “Wild Canaries” down there? That’s what my older relatives who are transplanted from KY call them, and that’s what I grew up calling them.

    Because I have parents and relatives who grew up in (VERY) rural KY and (VERY) rural southern Ohio, there are a few words I never knew we were pronouncing wrong until I was either in my teens or a young adult:

    1) Wild Canaries = Gold Finches
    2) Bibbed Over Hauls = Bibbed over-alls
    3) Thee-ater = theater
    4) My mom’s maiden name was Hard = Howard
    5) My gr-parents used to go sit in the FUR room (I also thought that b/c they had to hunt for much of their food they hung the furs in there [childhood imagination]). Fur room = FAR room…the room at the end of the house!

    There are others…but I thought those were funny.

    Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<

  35. Lisa L says:

    I really might have to come up there one day and steal Coco! I guess I shouldn’t be admitting to my guilt before the crime even takes place! LOL! That dog is way too adorable. Lisa L.

  36. maryann says:

    Does your pond have a ramp? I had an ex coworker that had ducks and built a pond for them, the adults could get in and out easily, but the babies all drowned as they couldn’t. Until they are big enough they need a ramp to get in and out. They can’t hop that high with their little wings. We have a really small memorial pond here (50 gals)and there are two spots that the wild ducklings can climb out if we ever get any. They prefer the county ditch down the road right now.

  37. Debbie in Memphis says:

    It’s beautiful – your first summer on your farm. It really makes me miss those East TN rainy days of summer. Memphis doesn’t have hardly any rainy days at least not until fall and winter.

    It’ll be exciting to share your first autumn and winter, too. Thank you for letting us.

  38. Shimmy Mom says:

    I love a good rain, and I think you deserved a day off.

  39. Bertie says:

    More than enough rain in New Hampshire this summer. Everything is still lush and green, but there’s some flooding up in the Northern part of the state. I love the view from your front porch, and I love hearing about your little piece of heaven in WV!

  40. Katharina says:

    Aaahhh, so beautiful, so peaceful, so pastoral. You are building a beautiful farm, Suzanne. Congratulations on a job well done. I can’t wait until you get sheepies.

  41. Susan says:

    Have I told you recently how much I love your blog? You are a breath of fresh air! :thumbsup:

  42. Carole says:

    I love your life! I enjoy reading about it but I would like for mine to be more like yours.

    I am sure I only see the wonderful side but it sure looks enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.

  43. sunnid755 says:

    I think you’d love guineas. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Martha Frost says:

    Found your sight by accident–I was looking for a blog that would convince me not to move to Spencer…
    You are fantastic.. A little Tasha Tudor, Lorelai Gilmore, Samuel Clemens, Jack Cranfield, Laura Rebecca and a pinch or Irene Parlby…. But certainly all YOU…..
    Thanks for sharing bits and pieces of your life with us.
    I am your biggest Chickens in the Road fan..

  45. Shari C says:

    Enjoyed the photos and glad you love all your animals no matter what

  46. Estella says:

    Great pics, Suzanne!
    Guinesa are very noisy and are good watchdogs.

  47. Christine says:

    Guineas are great but they can be very, very loud and in turn very, very annoying. 😆

  48. Brandy says:

    Aww, Coco looks comfy. *G* You’re more than welcome to send some rain down here. *g* Guines make that loudest racket, but have their uses. Good luck with them!

  49. wammy says:

    Your famr is really shapinng up. I live my dreams thru you. I can hardly wait to see the fall and winter should be interesting.

  50. catslady says:

    You have to be the happiest person I know :purr: and one of my cats sleeps just like CoCo – I always want to rub his tummy but he doesn’t allow it unlike your CoCo.

  51. Bonny says:

    Oh, look at all the green tomatoes! I love fried green tomatoes.

  52. Kara S says:

    Guineas?!?!? Their noise far outweighs whatever benefit you’ll see from eating ticks. At times it’s hard to carry on a conversation outside because the guineas can be so noisy. Don’t expect the tick population to decrease dramatically either. In fact, since we’ve had guineas on the farm, we have more ticks. Personally, if I owned the guineas on our farm (a family farm), I’d happily transport them the 25 miles to Spencer for you!!!! =)

  53. Jodie says:

    Love the animal photos! Cute giant puppy, cute chickens & ducks and adorable goats.
    PS. Send some rain over to us in Texas. It’s been SO HOT here that it seems like a dry sauna outside. I’ve been staying inside and making the dog go on paper! It’s too hot to walk to the mailbox!

  54. SuzieQ says:

    My son lives on 80 acres in Missouri and made us a video of his kingdom..Has chickens and guineas and a couple of dogs..no other animals..The guineas made such a fuss when he neared their pen, but I just loved them..He has deer that come to eat and sends pics of the babies. Don’t think I would ever leave NC but you never know..If I had that much property (only have 2 acres) I might have to have a goat or two to justify having a Pyr for “guarding” purposes..read “loving on” purposes..

  55. mmHoney says:

    Enjoy your pictures.

  56. Kelly says:

    For all of you who do not personally know , All of West Virginia is Almost Heaven !!!Thanks for reminding me why I like to write .
    A W.V. ex-pat. in Tx.

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