Jake, The Pillow Snake


Whilst hiking pleasantly with Mr. Walker and Charley on a sunny morning, we encountered this rather large black rat snake at Long Branch Farm.


At first much to my dismay…since I mistook the poor thing for a rattle snake and ran of not in my usual calm nature loving kind of mood but screaming my head of pulling Charley along;o)


To my defense, it was rattling its tail and it was a generous 5 feet! Apparently they imitate rattlesnake tails, to scare predators…very effective I’d say!


Fortunately, staff members Lisa and Tom came walking up and were delighted to meet up with this magnificent creature and explain all to me and most importantly how innocent and useful it is. Farmers love them for their good appetite for rats…hence the name.

They were checking up on the nest boxes and had just stated to each other that they had not seen snakes yet this Spring…

Mr. Walker clearly had more common sense and shot these gorgeous photos. It has these milky blue eyes because it’s about to break skin. After that, the eyes will be gleaming black again.

Look it is almost smiling.

Niet schrikken…maar kijk eens wat wij op een zonnige morgen tegen kwamen in Cincy Nature centre tijdens een hike.
Ik stapte bijna op deze 1.5 meter en zo dik als mijn pols black rat snake. Ik schrok me rot en rende ras de andere kant uit met de sirene op vol en Charley op mijn hielen. Deze slang heeft namelijk net als een ratelslang een ratel aan zijn staart.
Er kwamen net twee stafmedewerkers aan gewandeld die nestkastjes controleerden en die waren helemaal blij deze schoonheid te zien. Het is natuurlijk een volkomen onschuldige en erg nuttigde slang die boeren graag in hun stallen zien om ongedierte op te ruimen, vandaar de naam, rattenslang.
Meneer Walker was natuurlijk weer de koelheid zelf en nam een paar fraaie kiekjes.

De ogen zijn overigens nu blauwgrijs omdat het dier op t punt straat te vervellen. Als dat achter de rug is, dan zijn ze weer gitzwart.

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This week…


A week full of Spring surprises..have a cup of tea and I will tell you all about it. First of course, this pair of ears peeped from underneath the deck at the end of a nice Spring day…I wondered who they belonged to.



Ah yes, a little raccoon…hungry awoken from hibernation.


OK..it started raining, I let the little fellow have a good meal.

The garden was full of daffodils..but alas a few violent rain storms made daffodil season very short this year. Blue grape hyacinths proved to be of sturdier material. This little jug is just perfect for a little bunch, it makes me very happy.


The vultures are back and every day there is a group of five ‘floating’ over our neighborhood,in the morning and in the evening. I wish to make a photo that shows all five gliding in circles majestically. They are an acquired taste but I think they are beautiful!

Of a totally different beauty are these tree swallows…Spring has not really begun without them.

Mr & Mrs Squirrel have properly settled down and are very territorial. So they actually prevent more squirrels from coming into the garden which is a good thing for the bird feeders. And I just love the idea that the adorable couple snuggled up cozily in their new home, lined comfortably with dry leaves and lots a hair from a shedding Charley.


Talking about Charley…I was very surprised to find my darling girl nicely snuggled up too. She was very surprised that I did not approve.

Now she is waiting for the company of dear friends who will come and stay for the weekend.


Ha, de lente brengt zoveel nieuw leven en verrassingen: kleine wasbeertjes, grote  gieren en snelle zwaluwen en veel regen ook. (vind ik niet zo erg) De eekhoorns hebben zich helemaal gesetteld en houden andere eekhoorns uit de tuin. In Amerika hebben we erg veel eekhoorn! Charley had zich ook comfortabel gesetteld..maar dat mocht natuurlijk niet ;0) Nu wacht ze op lieve vrienden die hier gezellig een weekend komen door brengen!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This week… and Happy Easter!


Spring, sunshine! Easter is just ahead of us. I made this sweet little bunny for a sweet little girl.

Mr. Walker and I went for hike at Long Branch Farm. The river was running its course again and brings new fossils. There are still icicles in the background but they will disappear soon enough now!

I made this hare for our own Easter decor…it has been too long since I made an ‘artful creature’. The air dry modeling compound used for head, hands and feet is called ‘Delight’ and I love it. It is featherlight but very strong.

We cleaned out the owls nest box..clearly it was used by squirrels during the cold winter. We put in fresh wood shavings to attract the owls…and this young couple squirrel said “Thank you so much and the location is perfect too!” So..I guess I am stuck with nesting squirrels;0) I hope we see lots of the babies when the times comes. I should read up on squirrels…I really do not know much about their family life come to think of it. I do know they ate all the snowdrop bulbs I planted last year…


I did read up on Doll’s Houses. It has been a lifelong wish to have one and that wish was rekindled after seeing a nice documentary on it. Apparently, quite a few artists have a doll house, it kindles the creativity.  Well…now might be the time, why not?

So what is left for me, is to wish you all a marvelous Easter Weekend!

Ha, de lente breekt nu echt aan na de lange koude winter. Nog wat ijspegels in de achtergrond maar die smelten als sneeuw voor de zon;0) Maakte een knuffelkonijntje voor een lief klein meisje en een eigenwijze paashaas voor onszelf. Ben aan t lezen en nadenken over een poppenhuis… t schijnt goed te zijn voor de creativiteit en ik heb er altijd al graag een willen hebben…En Meneer en Mevrouw Eekhoorn hebben intrek genomen in de nestkast die eigenlijk bedoelt is voor uilen…tja, hoe maak je dat nu duidelijk aan eekhoorns ;0)  Vrolijk Pasen!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Happy Times and a Thing of Beauty…


In a photo on the Amaryllislog, I spotted this gorgeous knitting gadget. As a devoted knitter,  I was curious of course but some research did not make me any wiser. So I started obsessing right away…now I had to know what it was. I contacted the lovely Cathe and the wonder woman and kindred spirit did her research right away and led me to the website of Sun Valley Fibers...be still my heart! I selected a maple beauty, I ordered it and could sleep again at night. And promptly three days later…there it arrived. It is WONDERFUL, it keeps the yarn in place and untangled and it makes a lovely soft whirring sound when you pull the yarn, sigh! The only down side: it is burdened with the unpoetic name ‘Yarn Buddy’…we will not mention this again..


And how I look forward to these gloves, knitted from left over silk and merino with extra long cuffs for my extra long arms…it is so soft and warm. OK I confess, I am a devoted yarn snob too.

Here some more important nothings…


Read plenty of good books again. The two cookbooks on the right were a kindhearted gift from a dear friend who knows me well.



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I collect old cookbooks, love the domestic history that comes with it. Two weeks ago, I found this nice copy from 1945. Not only is it a celebration of food, it is an invaluable source of wisdom for the young bride and inexperienced housekeeper, complete with recommended lay out for a proper kitchen.


I baked rice muffins, using this book. They are very good!


Although I do not work at the library anymore, I still wander around the children section to see what is going on. This beautiful and wonderful Christmas book made me very happy.


This reminds me of one special winter night in Canada, when the Youngest Walker Boy and I were so incredible fortunate to experience Northern Light at its most beautiful. There we sat on the deck, with big coats, hats, blankets…just watching in awe, completely in awe!


These lovely cups bought at Ikea made me very happy too. ( I went there for a rug…) Perfect size for hot chocolate, apple ciders and spiced teas.They combine well with the vintage ones.


And of course,as you have learned from all my happy yodeling, walking weather is just perfect and my dear girl Charley and I are very happy in the woods.

Een heerlijke week met nieuw breigereedschap, fijn wandelweer, prachtige boeken en lekkere muffins!

Love and Liefs,


First Frost

Being a true Northern girl, I welcome Fall and Winter.
The colder temperatures exhilarate me.
The beauty of fall colors.
And the incredible beauty of first frost.
I could hike every day, all day.
De herfst gaat verder en de winter begint al om de hoek te kijken. De koude temperaturen, de mooie herfst kleuren en de eerste vorst…ik kan de hele dag, elke dag wel wandelen.
Love and Liefs, Johanna

More Owls

Owl 1

I met brave little Rupert at the Midsummer Night Party. He is a rescue and found severely wounded. After his recovery, he remained blind in one eye and he cannot return to the wild. However, he is so comfortable with human beings that he helps out now with the educational programs of Raptor.Inc. 

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Ik ontmoette dit dappere uiltje Rupert, op t Midzomernacht feest. Omdat hij blind is in 1 oog kan hij niet terug naar de natuur. Gelukkig voelt hij zich volkomen op zijn gemak bij mensen en helpt hij bij educatieve programma’s verzorgt door de roofvogelopvang.

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Midsummer Memories and Owls


Last weekend, we had the most incredible Midsummer Night Party at Long Brach Farm. There was Blue Grass music, special solar telescopes to watch sunspots and solar flares, excellent food and drink, good company of all ages and after dark…millions and millions of magical fireflies. What a perfect way to celebrate Midsummer Night.


Also present the wonderful volunteers of Raptor Inc. and I met my favorite birds up close and personal. These wonderful and mystical creatures were rescued but to insured to ever go back to wild. They are so used to humans now, they help out in the important educational programs.


I was so happy!


Vorige weekend tijdens t Midzomernacht feest op Long Branch Farm, ontmoette ik deze prachtige uilen, ooit gered door de plaatselijke roofvogel opvang. Mijn favoriete vogels!

Have a great weekend!

Love and Liefs, Johanna.