23 Farm Fotos

Lakeside Fall Color Reflecting in the Water

I hope you enjoy some of the animals that inhabit the Farm at Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure where I spend some of my time. The geese and duck will most likely be gone by the time the weather gets colder, but the deer, elk and zebra are here to greet visitors that come for the holidays. The koi are here also, but by the time the Farm is open to the public, they will be deep in their pond and very inactive.

I like to show you what I feel is so different in respect to what you see at a typical farm and plant nursery.

Occasionally I will feature the nursery stock as they have hundreds of acres dedicated to growing. I cannot possibly show you all the plants grown at this nursery due to the sheer size of the place.

My job is designing and specifying these plants, but I find it a tad boring talking about plant varieties when I do this on a daily basis.

I took you to the plant auction here at the farm because that is something you don’t see everyday. This is a real wholesale nursery and it specializes in trees and shrubs. Not too often will you get to visit a wholesale nursery, or be able to purchase at wholesale pricing.

It is probably not very often you can get so close to deer either. I know many of you battle the deer in your gardens and home landscapes, but here they have both wild deer in the fields, and breeding stock in the deer pens. The farm grows corn at the field perimeter to keep the wild deer from damaging the trees and shrubs. It seems to work out pretty well.

The tame breeding stock have improved genetics to grow a better looking and stronger deer. It is similar to breeding stock in horses, but with horses it is about performance as well. I raised show horses in Pennsylvania and am familiar with why genetics are important.

I show the lake a lot here because it is a little different from one on a residential property. It is very large and was created by the farm owner. It really is a wildlife sanctuary. Remember my post on the Canada Geese nesting? The island in the middle of the lake is a predator free area for the geese to lay their eggs. The fox and coyote do not swim out this far. But at hatching time, it is a danger zone for the young with hawks, eagles and snapping turtles waiting for them to get mobile.


The above images are the duck nesting box that is lakeside. The images also show the interior of the box and how is can be cleaned by the access door.

This is a view of the lake in Spring photographed from a row-boat. This view is looking toward the big island where the geese are nesting.

The Farm also has elk and he is charging me in this image. It is very disconcerting as he trots toward me, raising and lowering his antlers. I am pretty safe though, since two fences are between him and me. This was the first year he ever was so nasty to me, as we were kinda friends. He lost an eye this year in an accident, and I am guessing he is grumpier due to that. He is rutting right now too, so the aggression is natural. He was snorting and vocalizing and that is also a little scary. I went back later after he calmed down and he was fine.

The koi are friendly, coming right up to me, but will be soon living deep in their very large pond.

This duck on the lake was the only one. She was hanging out with the geese.

A resting bull is the best kind. Or is it buck with elk? See he did calm down, but still has his good eye on me.

I really enjoy all the native wildlife and the more exotic creatures too. It is rutting time for the deer also. You can just see a smidge of deer rubbing on the downed tree. Deer are rough on trees at this time of year. I read that very few buck rubs are made by deer removing antler velvet, but instead are made by a few dominant bucks to signal their readiness to breed and to announce to other bucks their control over a given area. I find deer rubbings all over the woods at the farm. The owner taught me how to spot them.

The koi are so relaxing to watch. This is a springtime photo.

The geese are quite pretty, especially in these Fall images.

This deer is hiding in the brush. They are masters of camouflage and it is tough to sneak up on one. You could walk right past this one and never be the wiser to its presence. There are two ways to hide in plain site if you are a wild animal, and if you use color for concealment like the deer –  concealing coloration and disruptive coloration. Concealing coloration is just as it sounds, where the deer uses color to conceal itself by blending into the surroundings of brush, soil and trees, taking on the brownish tones of the landscape.

Did you ever notice that earth-toned deer are more golden/reddish-brown in summer and greyish in late fall and winter? This is observation on my part, but fawns use disruptive coloration along with concealing coloration. Their spots help them fit in under the dappling leaves of summer without detection. Also, fawns are very close to odorless at birth and for the next couple days of life. Nature really provided for the little Bambi’s of the woodlands.

A better example of disruptive coloration is the zebra at the end of the post. Those dizzying stripes are meant to confuse predators when in groups and also, blend in with the waving grasses of the plains if they are solitary.

The geese are gathered for feeding and preparation for the flight south. I took these photos only on Thursday. They should be leaving soon I think as the weather is getting colder.

And this is Marty, who was recently featured on Green Apples. I like this photo of him because the lighting was pretty streaming across his face.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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24 Responses to 23 Farm Fotos

  1. Haha, I still love Marty. You just don’t expect to see a zebra! I’m glad you mentioned the fence, I’d have been a little worried for your safety otherwise, that bull elk looked a little cranky. I wish we had space here to grow corn to distract the deer 😉 Our next farm needs to be bigger, and flatter!

  2. John says:

    Whoa. I was really enjoying the pictures too, then the zebra just comes out of left field. Very nice wildlife pictures, those elk sure are large.

  3. One says:

    Oh! You know how I love the wildlife! Your pictures of them are fantastic including the cranky one. Their captured expressions are priceless. You have composed them well.

  4. What a neat place! That is a creative solution regarding the deer…more places should think of doing that! Love the photos!

  5. James Even says:

    Great set of images, thank you for sharing them… And I agree with John… the zebra was expected – you talked of him earlier in the post – but still came as a surprise…

  6. Jeanette says:

    Dear Donna,
    You have captured your wildlife “friends” with great courage. I especially like the black neck goose. Your article about coloration and camoflage is interesting. Thanks for sharing this cool oasis. Jeanette in Hot Texas (finally cooling here).

  7. b-a-g says:

    Donna – The charging, grumpy, rutting elk looks magnificent in the second photo. What a great place to go to work.

  8. Andrea says:

    Donna, you are so privileged to be working on an area like that, and you can consider it as your own too because you have the option to do anything there! How wonderful maybe it is to go with you to work! I am envious.

  9. elaine says:

    Amazing shots – love the lake and the deer. You are so lucky.

  10. You are so lucky to be able to work in such a wonderful environment – I’m sure there are lots of office tower dwellers who are quite jealous right now.

  11. Donna says:

    What beauty on the farm. The deer in the neighborhood here are beginning to move more. It is the mating season and we see more bucks here and there…rarely in the neighborhood though. The does and fawns are out and about but more at dusk and dawn. I see their prints all around the garden and inside the fence now more and more. I love the change in coloration. They are hard to spot in the brush behind the meadow. They seem to just materialize out of nowhere…lovely post Donna.

  12. Lona says:

    What a beautiful farm. I think I would stay clear of the elk though. LOL! Beautiful shots of the water fowl.

  13. Layanee says:

    What a treat to see all these creatures. The elk has a right to be surly what with only one eye. The defense is a good offense. Great shots.

  14. Hi Donna – what stunning photos and a lovely farm / nursery! I love the duck photos (specially the first one) and all the deer and elk! How fortunate you are to be able to spend time here. Oh, the koi photos are fabulous too.

  15. Masha says:

    Thank you for the tour and the wonderful pictures. The deer and elk ones are amazing! I enjoyed reading about them.

  16. HolleyGarden says:

    What a gorgeous place! So restful and relaxing. Well, except for that snorting elk! This looks like a place I could stay indefinitely and never want to leave.

  17. Oh, oh, oh! A wonderful walk.

    I’m not clear about the corn though – does it create a deer-proof barrier or is it that they eat so much of it they can’t be bothered to go further?

  18. Greg says:

    Nice photos as always. Dona, I’ve been without technology for over two weeks. I suppose it has shed some light on my obsession sometimes with blogging. I thought of a new word for Wednesdays: recovery. What do you think? Crongrates on you photography winners in GGW. I was surprised and humbled by my selection. Good to be back and thankful for all my blogging friends. Greg

  19. Alistair says:

    I do enjoy your posts on lakeside, great shots of the deer and elk, take care though. Off to find out a little more about Marty.

  20. I do love that lake, what a marvellous thing to create. Even with two fences protecting you,eing charged by a rutting elk must have been rather disconcerting.

  21. (I had problems linking to your blog yesterday and couldn’t read this post…Ugh!) I love your adventures at the farm. The shots of all the wildlife are spectacular. I particularly like the shots of the fall foliage reflecting in the lake making it orange/brown color with the geese.

  22. Thanks for the flora;
    thanks for the fauna;
    thanks for the text;
    you’ve outdone yourself, Donna!


  23. dona says:

    Your squirrel is lovely and thanks for the info.

  24. Marguerite says:

    Great photos and tour of the farm. You’ve mentioned it so often it was great to see all the sights myself. Love the angry looking elk, a little disconcerting I’m sure to get the picture but what a great shot.

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