From My Front Porch

This is often the view from our front porch.  You can see our mare Stormy in her pasture (click pic to enlarge) with the neighbor's cattle right next to her on their side of the fence.  Stormy loves to hang out with her cow friends.  The babies really admire her.  Sometimes there are 5 or 6 calves staring at her through the fence.  I imagine they are thinking how beautiful she is, and they are hoping they will grow up to be as pretty as her.  :-)

We've been doing a lot of work on the house over the past year and a half.  This spring I've devoted time and energy to making our front porch more inviting.  I built a bed against the front foundation and planted some compact soft holly (no prickers!) and petunias.  I've planted three deck pots with a mixture of perennials and annuals: meadow sage, pink pincushion flower, curly parsley, dill, asparagus fern, lantana, trailing verbena, zinnia.  Many of these flowers are butterfly friendly, and I've already noticed quite a few winged beauties zipping around the front porch.

Soft Touch Compact Holly


Pink Mist Pincushion Flower

I bought two 8 ft roll-up blinds at Lowe's a few weeks ago.  We're hoping to get them installed on the front of the porch this weekend.  Since the porch faces west, we get blistering evening rays from the sun, and really can't even sit out there it's so hot!  We just got the glider at a very economical cost a few weeks ago. On the far side behind the wooden bench, hubby had a good idea ~ install some lattice and plant clematis.  I'm all for that... sounds like it would eventually be really pretty, and it would help shade the porch and protect from the north winds.  Last but certainly not least (just costs the most), new front doors.  And a few hummingbird feeders.  :-)

Next year we may paint the trim an even darker color....  we picked a darker color than the house, but once it was on the windows and door trim and beams, you can barely see the difference between shades.

Here's a pic of the porch last year, before we even painted the house.... 
If you click to enlarge, you can see how far it's come.... the foundation wasn't painted then, the paint on the front beams was peeling and we've also replaced that lovely bulb fixture by the door.  (I know what you're thinking ~ why would I want to get rid of such a special and lovely fixture when it's so apparent that lots of effort went into its selection?!  Lovely for the trash can, I say... you can see the new fixture in previous photos.)

I love our view, so much better than my previous city view~  it's so relaxing to sit a spell, and see who comes to visit...

barn swallows dive and swoop, performing their aerial acrobatics, butterflies flit around and stop to taste the flowers' nectar, mourning doves peck nearby and coo their lullabies while upland sandpipers land on fenceposts or swoop overhead with their distinctive cries.

pheasants are plentiful this spring... all day long and well into evening we hear the male's plaintive turkey-like cry and wing fluttering (which sounds like a small drum beating) as he tries to attract a female mate.

the mockingbird is always lurking somewhere nearby, and sometimes lands on a fencepost right in front of the porch, singing his copycat bird song.

meadowlarks are never in short supply.  An occasional scissor-tailed flycatcher will zip by.  The canada goose is always flying overhead, honking while they find their way from our neighbor's pond to our pond.  Sometimes we see a great blue heron fly away from our pond.

and the frog's chorus is abundant and very loud this year, not just at night but also during the day.

Several weeks ago I saw a a black-crowned night heron fly away from our pond; the week after that, I heard their distinctive cry and got close enough to the pond with a pair of binoculars to see a juvenile black-crowned night heron in a tree.

Then we have these fantastic prairie skies which add so much to the beauty of our resident wildlife!

Click to enlarge... that's a crescent moon at the top of this evening photo.

I'll be working a toll booth this weekend, except for Saturday.  AAA predicts traffic will be higher this holiday weekend than it was last year.  I'm believing that, because yesterday we had much heavier traffic than usual.  My schedule is 3-11 today, and I'll just bet it will be a fast-paced and crazy day!

So, what do YOU have planned for your long weekend??~


  1. What a beautiful place. I'm jealeous of the view for sure.

  2. Great work on the porch. It is very inviting.

  3. Hi Susan! What a wonderful view you have...trees are nice but sometimes they get in the way of the view like at our farm. I like the idea of hanging those bamboo shades up to keep the sun out in the evening...I can imagine how hot it gets on there facing west. Sounds like we're doing what you did last year...painting. It sure makes a difference doesn't it...your place looks really nice with it's new paint job. I like your plantings too..that should help make it feel cooler too. Sounds like you have a lot of wildlife around there...maybe we could see more if we didn't have so many trees around the house LOL! Oh well the trees keep us cool so I better not complain. Nice Job! We'll be staying home this weekend except tonight we're heading into Wichita and will be having supper there...then back to the farm. That's where I'd rather be anyway. Have a wonderful weekend....Maura :)

  4. Beautiful view you have, oh, the last shot is gorgeous!!! Breathtakingly so!
    Love your choice of flowers, Lantana, I used to have some a few years back, need to get some more. The pincushions are very pretty too, again I used to have some of them. I have cut back on the flowers of late, too many other things to take care of. (sigh)

  5. The porch and house look great and you know I love your view. One of these days I will have a view of my pasture and animals too. I really enjoyed the tour.

  6. I'm so jealous of your peace and quiet, especially since we used to have it and miss it so much! You've done a wonderful job with the facelift, and I know you'll spend many comfortable hours on that porch, especially when you get shade in place. You'll have to put a mix of white clematis for night viewing and a colored one for daytime pop!

  7. Oh, Susan. Your pictures are always so lovely. You are blessed with a beautiful view from that gorgeous porch of yours. I could look at those pictures all day.

    I know you don't have goats, but I feel compelled to mention that Lantana is extremely poisonous to them. A good friend lost her baby goat after it ingested a bunch one evening :( Such a beautiful plant - but keep goats away from it for sure.

    What a difference in your porch from last year to this! It certainly does look inviting. In fact, it looks so danged inviting, I'm inviting myself to sit on it. :)I just poured a glass of wine, I'm going to sip it while I picture myself on that beautiful porch, enjoying that gorgeous Kansas scenery and big, awesome Kansas sky. Please put out the "do not disturb" sign for me. *sigh*

  8. Your front porch looks great. You have gotten a lot done. Did you two paint the whole house yourselves?

  9. Wow - what a delightful porch with glorious views! And that sunset photo is stunning, just stunning. Happy weekend!

  10. Big smile about the baby cows thinking they wanna grow up looking as gorgeous as your horse, hehe.

    Love the colour of your house now. So soft and light and still warm. The front porch looks very inviting indeed.

    Had to laugh too, because I've posted photos of our garden and lots of people want to live here now, but I'd love to have a view like yours. And so much land for the horses *sigh*. Perhaps we can organize a global house-exchange-scheme for bloggers ;-)

  11. your porch and house remind me of my grandfather's when we were little people, (LOL!!) we would all gather on the porch for bluegrass music, soooo much fun and peaceful in the mornings too. Excellent choices of annuals,
    perennials and yeah the clematis would be reallly pretty.

    Have fun with the tolls this holiday weekend but dont forget to stop and enjoy the Kansas sky.

  12. Susan, I do like what you have done with the porch and plantings. I would love to have a porch but most like will have settle for a covered deck in the backyard. That’s on the list but not for this year. Other things are taking the top spot this year. I really must get busy this year and get some of my projects completed. Right now the top priority is planting containers for the Poor Man’s Living patio. I have built a trellis for the entrance of the patio and want to plant fast growing plants that will fine up over the trellis in one summer. My thought at this point is morning glory. I hope that I can contain the nearly obnoxious weed plant that it is and I will put it in containers away from the lawn. I do not want it to escape. I have enough to deal with. Wild strawberry ground cover and wild African violets are trying to make a hostile take over of the yard. I really don’t like harsh chemical sprays but it’s really the only way to keep them under some sort of control. I have a problem spot by the garden beds that try to invade the lush well composted soil in the beds. I’m ready to spray them with vinegar as I’ve heard that it will kill plant life just as good as roundup. The next method is to roast them with a plumbers torch. If that don’t work then cover them with several inches of mulch so they can’t see the light of day. Eee ha ha ha ha (evil laugh)

    Old Nebraska Dave

  13. Your photos are always outstanding! Living in the country is the only way to live, in my opinion. We're gonna have to meet up some time, I've got a feeling we'd have a blast together.

  14. the problem would be getting me off the porch :)

  15. Hi Oz Girl~ thanks for stopping by my blog! Your porch is coming along nicely I'd say -- I like the lattice/clematis idea, that will look great. And I agree, your view is beautiful and very relaxing. I'll be back to visit soon.

  16. I think the consensus is we ALL love what you've done with the house and agree your home is a little piece of heaven on earth. I'd love to get out of suburbia - we're looking to move a little further out and find a small house on a few acres but I dread the thought of finishing the fix-up on this house and trying to move once again. We're not that young anymore and it gets harder and harder each time we try something like this! LOL You be careful in that toll booth girlfriend! Hugs!

  17. Very nice. You've made great improvements. The before & afters are so fun to look at.

  18. Love your view! How far are you from the nearest town?Your porch is looking quite fabulous by the way.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  19. Nothing says home like flowers and an inviting place to sit and enjoy them. The neighbors that visit you daily in the country are sure to make your day a happy one, especially the birds.

  20. Oh, I love your front porch. And the photos of the sky. Isn't it wonderful living in the country? (Well, except for those times when the snakes come to visit. :)

  21. I like what you've done with the house. It looks cozy and inviting. But best of all is the view. I love country living.