Happy New Year!

This year’s farm focus was the pond filter.  Thank you, mom! (aka Laura Victor van Gorder), for providing the filter for the pond.  The water is amazingly clear now, as you can see  : )

Ups and Downs on the farm: Obviously the pond filter was the biggest highlight. But additionally, Heather grew a tomato bigger than a bocci ball.  I have perfected making “brown butter sage”, we invented a new cider flavor that we’re simply calling “Mulled Cider” (we’ll need to mull that over and come up with a better name).   The wildlife activity was off the chart this year with “foxy” becoming a regular occurrence during the height of “egg laying season”, as she would regularly come by around “ducky bedtime hour” and look for stray eggs. And yes, we give Foxy stray eggs.

In a duck coop there are, at times, eggs that get very cleverly buried or a bit bruised and beat up.  We began putting these eggs out in an offering to our already curious visitors, Miss Foxy Vixen.  Another patron of our ducks eggs was a skunk.  A very cute, very relaxed, and somewhat shy skunk would also show up around the same time of day and year (the end of summer) hoping for extra eggs.   It was amazing just how calm the ducks and geese were when those two came around.  Of course, it begs the question:  In the choices that the fox and skunk make to either eat the eggs, or eat the ducks… what is the primary motivating factor?

a)  Laziness? Making a meal out of raw duck takes a lot of work!  You essentially have to eat through an entire pillow before getting your meal.


b)  Pure Genius? Perhaps Foxy and Skunk are good at math!  Choose either:
One egg a day for many years…
One single duck meal, with a side order of “Goose Bites” – as in Goose bites your ass!  – compliments of the house, of course!

So, in noticing that our fine furry friends were indeed good at math, we decided to all hold hands, paws, wings and claws and have a sing Kumbaya together.

Speaking of singing…

Q:  Why did the fox hate the skunk’s signing?
A:   Because his singing stank! Just like this joke!

So yes, we took to putting a few of the “bad eggs” out for our furry friends on occasion and have been pleased with the the reviews the skunk and fox have both left us;

Dear Moon Acre Farm,  the eggs you leave out for us are the best within these 5 square miles! (my regular hunting ground)
Please thank your goose for being such a fine Gentlegoose – so rare these days.
Me and my fox pups give you 5 out of 5 paws!
 – Your Foxy Vixen


Dearest Moon Beams and Farm Friends,
I love the way you age the eggs a few days before I get them – so smelly and tasty!
I combined one with some old cabbage from your compost pile to make a truly fabulous kimchi!
P.S. Do you need any neighbor’s dogs sprayed or anything?  I’m happy to oblige for more eggs!

Ahh, aren’t those critters the best!

We also had the largest squash harvest EVER!

For Thanksgiving Heather made us all pumpkin soup in these home-grown pumpkin bowls!…

Killer Tomato!
or is it Tomato ?

Pumpkin Bowls
Our nieces fill home-grown pumpkin bowls with our pumpkin soup.

Squashing our Table!


Pumpkin Eating Pumpkin!

And now the “Downs” of 2018…
We believe a large blue hereon made off with one or more of our Koi fish – and we don’t mean they “eloped” and went to Hawaii.
Our most beautiful and largest koi was a sight of solid, shimmering gold.   Now she is…   bird poop and nitrogen, on someone else’s field none-the-less! I think the hereon is the only major visitor to our farm that we have no photos of video of.  So we can’t virally shame or down-vote that hereon.  Too bad.  He was a large jerk.  I wish the crows would keep him away and leave Mr. Owl alone.

We lost 2 large apple tree branches.  Sad…  and yet the trees continue to toss apples at our feet like there is no tomorrow!

Up or Down, we are forever grateful.


Further video notes:

The “moon” video footage (in the beginning), is from the “Super Moon / Blood Moon Eclipse”.
You can see a “divot” in the lower right “corner” of the moon in the still image.   Sadly, it didn’t become all nice and red until the moon was just about setting low on the horizon.

Yes, that snake actually went backwards!  That was not a trick of video editing.  And it freaked me out when it happened! For one brief moment, while looking at the screen on my camera (while taking that footage) I thought;   What button did I just press?!?  The whole world is going in reverse!  But no. Apparently, snakes can go backwards!

Sorry for the delay in getting this out, as there was just TOO much great footage to wade through (pardon the pun), especially the underwater footage.  Also, I apologize for some of the “warping” on some of the skunk video – the video warp is not because the skunk’s thiol or mercaptans melted the video, but because the footage was captured very frantically – and at some distance! – so I had to apply some “stabilization” after the fact so it wasn’t so shaky.   Couldn’t be helped.

You can also glean, from strange editing style, that I grappled with including/excluding the video scenes;  The extra/raw footage at the end, and the insertion of the fish footage in the middle…  I think it all worked out stylistically in the end.  But you be the judge and let me know what you liked, didn’t like, wanted to see more of, etc.   Don’t be shy in giving feed back.

  1. Gary Friedman 5 years ago

    Happy New Year to all at Moon Acre Farm! That was an incredible video considering it’s right where you live! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Author
    Peter 5 years ago

    Responding to: “right where you live”
    I know! There are obviously better “nature videos”. But there’s an added sense of wonder and awe when you “know” the characters – they aren’t just “hired actors” in someone’s nature movie, but they are real live creatures of our own local neighborhood!

    Sometimes I watch these videos and ask: So, if this is all I’ve captured when I had my camera ready – what kind of wild party is going on when we’re not here?!?!?

  3. Gus diZerega 5 years ago

    A wonderful video and even better account of the year. Much as I love my new home in Taos, I still think Sonoma County is one of the best places on earth to live. (If only so many did not agree!)

    I am amazed at the clarity of your pond. Did I miss the water lilies? I was scrolling up and down. And the fox is adorable.

    Solstice love and well wishes to you all- and may the new year be a helluva lot better than the past one (though it seems to have been good in West County so long as no one read the news)..

    I hope to be by your way in early June.


    Gus .

  4. Michele Samuels 5 years ago

    Happy New Year to All!!
    What a brilliant and beautiful way to share your year and your home with us!!
    Can’t wait to do the same and to visit again. I’ll have to consult on some of your farming techniques. I’m hoping to put in planting boxes this year and have been saving seeds.
    Cheers, hugs and love and wishes for a healthy and fulfilling 2019!!

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