Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunrise Farm in Killam, Alberta

(can you see why it is called "Sunrise Farm"?)

There is so much to tell about our trip and I don't know where to begin.

This past weekend Jeff and I spent some quality time with our good friends Don and Marie Ruzicka (and their son Paddy, too!) on their amazing organic farm in Killam, Alberta. It is a place maybe you haven't heard of (yet), but it is a very special place for us.

We got there late on Thursday night and after a cup of tea we followed Don out to the place we stayed last time we stayed with them in November 2006....a New England Dovetail Timber cabin that Don built himself (with a little help). When we got out there (near midnight on Thursday) we opened the doors of the car to this deafening sound of birds.....all kinds of birds (Canada Geese, Snow Geese, several types of ducks, and Swans) who had chosen the pond in front of the cabin to bed down for the night. It was absolutely incredible....and we couldn't even see them yet.

Jeff and I both sunk into that bed like we hadn't slept in days (this wasn't all that far from the truth for me - since I think I managed to get a total of 20 minutes of sleep last Tuesday night just before this trip).

We missed the sunrise all together to sleep in for the first time since we got Skagit last fall. Skag was at the kennel and there was no one to get us up - it felt so good to keep turning back over to go back to sleep in the cozy cabin.

Much of the weekend was spent catching up with Don and Marie since we had last seen them a year and a half ago. Marie and I took a couple of 5 mile walks together over the weekend and worked on a brochure featuring the farm.

Jeff went around with Don to pick up some necessary items for farm and this huge (I'm talking monsterous) bag of organic feed for the new chicks (which are due to arrive at the farm tomorrow morning bright and early, by the way!). He also assisted Don in cleaning out bird houses located around the farm, and getting rid of gophers.

(Don gave me a few of the nests that they cleaned out. Top left: wren nest, top right: bluebird nest, bottom left: sparrow nest and the rest are either sparrow or swallow nests. I have some ideas of what I'm going to do with will have to wait and see.)

If they are not cleaned out each year bluebirds or other birds will not come back to nest in the birdhouse, so it was a very important job to get done. They got atleast half of the over 200 birdhouses on the farm cleaned out on Saturday.

Don and Marie's son Paddy was at the farm for two nights during our short visit and showed us a slideshow of a recent trip to Hawaii and shared in his father's wittiness. We even got a game of Five Crowns in on Saturday night with lots of laughter around the kitchen table.

We discussed the 'next' time we come up which will be when the farm is in full swing (sometime between May-July). We figured that we can just put the babe in a backpack and get to work on the farm! Plus the little one will undoubtably love watching all the activity - including Don, Marie, the pigs, chickens, turkeys, pheasants, cows, birds, cats, and of course, the farm dog - Amber. Baby Moore will come to know what is so special about these people as time goes on...

Here are some pics of the cabin we stayed in and where it is in respect to the very popular pond filled with birds every night this time of year...

Oh - and Marie made a quilt for Baby Moore, too!!!! Don't ya just love the little bugs?!

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