Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Amish Farm Fall Tour

Who doesn't enjoy Fall? 
Let's take a tour through Amish farm country as the season and leaves turn.

Horses under brightly colored trees.

 Sunlight breaking through the leaves in heavenly rays.

You can almost smell the apples!

Above: a horse rests while at a hitching rack. 

Above: A young Amish woman heads into Kalona, Iowa. She gave me a friendly wave just before I snapped this pic. It's common for Amish in Iowa to wave to all who are friendly enough to greet them.
Above: Crisp fall air, drying clothes on a line. Amish families often use a pulley system to hang clothes on a line. If you look closely, you can see the pulley on a pole near the windmill. This way the person hanging out the wash can stand in one spot and move the line forward as they hang the laundry.
Above: an Amish woman rides her bike along a crackling crisp field of corn.
The leaves began to fall away as we get closer to Thanksgiving.
Horses stand in what little shade is left. A few weeks from now they'll be standing under the sunshine trying to soak it in.
Children from a plain Mennonite group play on a playground. Light jackets are all they need.

Free eBook on Wednesday 11/27/19

Interested in reading about Thanksgiving on an Amish farm. My story, The Thanksgiving Frolic is the third novella in "Love's Thankful Heart" free as an eBook the day before Thanksgiving!

Click on this link:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Author Thomas Nye on RFD TV

RFD TV will take you inside the barn with Thomas Nye and His Amish Horses.

Joe Mischka of Rural Heritage (Magazine and TV Series) interviews author Thomas Nye about his experience of buying a team of horses from an Amish friend. And how that adventure led him to write The Amish Horses Series.

They begin their conversation at the kitchen table and move outdoors to harness and hitch his team of Percheron draft horses.

Set your DVR and/or mark the date on your calendar.

A 30-minute program on Saturday, Nov. 9th will air nationwide at 2:30 Central Time as Rural Heritage presents Amish Horses in Print.

Rural Heritage airs each Tuesday at 3:30 pm and the show repeats Saturday at 2:30 pm Central Time on channel 239 on Mediacom Cable, Channel 345 on Direct TV, Channel 231 on DISH Network.

This show is a repeat that originally aired in October of 2018

Click here for show schedule: Rural Heritage on RFD TV

Click here to find RFD TV in your area

Click here to see the Thomas Nye author page on Amazon: Author Thomas Nye

The program is also available on Youtube. Click on the link to watch.Amish Horses in Print on Youtube.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunset / Sunrise Tour

 My last few blog posts have been tours... let's keep it going. These sunset and sunrise photos were all taken with my cellphone over the past two months. Believe it or not, I didn't touch the color or use any filters on any of them. Those are my horses, Karla and Karma, grazing as the sun comes up.
Karla heads for greener grass as the skies light up. It just so happens that we've had some incredible clouds at dusk and dawn leading to some photogenic moments.
This Amish phone booth serves the family that lives in the farmstead in the background. They can't just pick up the phone on a whim. You may recognize some of these pictures if you follow my Amish Horses Facebook page.
I snapped this beaut as I headed out to do morning chores. I couldn't believe the colors.
 This picture is of the same Amish farm as the phone booth photo. I travel this road to work every morning, therefore it's often a subject for my phone camera art.
 This photo has an interesting twist... it was taken early in the morning, but we are looking due west! Our bright sunrise lit up the entire sky... even the western view. The Amish buggy horses contrast the sky perfectly.
 Another Amish farm waking up under a glorious sunrise. It may look quiet here, but I guarantee that the family has been up for a while when I drive past at 7:00 am. In fact, chores are almost done and breakfast is on the table.
 A white draft horse highlighted in the morning light. Anyone that drives highway 1 between Kalona and Iowa City should recognize this Amish farm and white Percheron.
Open fields under the heavens.
 Another early-morning walk out to my barn.
Sunset silhouettes fences and horses.
 The sky glowed as orange as a pumpkin this evening. Click on each photo and take a closer look.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Amish Horses Tour (Part 2)

Climb back up on the horse-draw wagon, and we'll take another jaunt through the Amish countryside. This first picture is of a Percheron mare. Her foal is hiding behind her. You will get to see the baby in a picture further down in this series of pics. Don't you just love the white fences, barns, and buildings on Amish farms? If you read any of my books, you know that I often refer to that "Look" as I describe the setting.
Tranquillity: That is a single word that sums up the vistas in Amish country.
Indiana Amish farmers seem to be partial to Belgian draft horses. They are what you see pictured above and below. Belgian horses vary in color from what they call, "Blond" to a dark sorrel that I would call, "Brick red."
You will also see buggy horses in among the draft breeds. Workhorses are rarely used to pull a buggy, they are for the heavy lifting such as pulling a plow. In the picture above, you can see the two styles side-by-side. Draft horses are often taller, have more muscle, and can look almost fat. The tall, thin, dark horses used to pull buggies (or "Carriages" as they are known by Amish folks in Pennslyvania.) Most buggy horses are of the Standardbred breed. Although, you will find Morgans, Dutch Cross, and Friesians, or some mixture of two or more of those listed.
It is quite evident that these horses are well fed and cared for.
Most Amish farms are well maintained and picturesque, although that may not always be the case. Before you jump to conclusions and judge a family when you see an unpainted barn or a skinny horse, take a moment to consider that we live in a real-world and things happen. Have you ever had a headlight or muffler go out on a car you were driving? Sometimes horses get ill, lose a shoe, hurt a leg, or anyone of countless misfortunate things that can happen. If a person loves their horse, they will try to nurse it back to health. Anyone that has spent time on a farm knows that sick or injured animals are inevitable. I've noticed that people are way too quick to judge before they take the time to understand the whole story. This happens more on the internet than anywhere! Please don't be, "That person."
If you enjoy these photos, you need to visit an Amish community. Ask around and find one near you. There are Amish communities in almost every state. I've visited the big three: Lancaster County, Pennslyvania, Holmes County, Ohio, and these pictures were taken in LaGrange and Elkhart Counties in Northern Indiana. I've also driven by Amish farms in Ontario Canada and many of the United States; including Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado, New York State, and of course my home state Iowa. I need to travel more! There is so much more to see.
Above: Here is the picture I promised of the Percheron mare and her foal.
At the end of the day, I don't mind coming home because of these girls in the photo above. My own place has a little of the Amish flare thanks to my own Amish Horses, Karma and Karla.

If you want to look at Amish Horses Tour part 1, all you need to do is scroll to the top of the page and click on "Home." After doing that, you can scroll back down and beyond these pictures to find my last blog.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Amish Horses Tour (1)

 Jump up here on the buggy seat beside me, and I'll take you on an Amish Horses Tour of Northern Indiana. There is nothing quite like looking over the fences on a quiet country road.
 I took these pictures in LaGrange and Elkhart Counties about a month ago. I have so many great photos that I decided to split them into two blog posts. This is your first installment of the tour.
 Touring through Amish communities is one of my favorite things to do in life. Looking at the beautiful horses is the highlight for me. I try to snap a few pictures in hopes that my blog followers can get a taste of what I'm experiencing.

 Some moments are breathtaking and surreal. 
 Other moments are just too sweet for words!
 As you can see, I enjoy driving at sunup and sundown, my two favorite times of the day.
 I like to say, "If you are driving through an Amish community, any direction you go is the right one."
 All of these pictures are of horses in pastures except this bottom one. This little guy found himself on the outside of the fence, and I think he was trying to figure out how to get back to Mama.
Click Follow on my Blog, and you'll get an update whenever I post something new. To "follow" you only need to click on a blue icon next to the third picture from the top of this post. You won't want to miss Amish Horses Tour (2)

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Amish Garden Tour

 The sun rises on an Amish farm and garden near Shipshewana, Indiana.
As an author of Amish fiction, driving down country roads in Amish country is very inspiring! I'm mostly looking for draft horses. However, I've learned to appreciate the gardens I see while looking for Amish horses. I decided my blog followers might enjoy a tour of Amish gardens.
 Hoop buildings are popular on Amish farms. They can be used for livestock and equipment. Notice the grapevines in this photo. The sweet corn made more beautiful with a flower bed.
 This entire field of corn has been lined with flowers. Maybe these flowers ward off bugs? That is one reason Amish line their gardens with certain types of flowers. If you want to know more about what types of flowers work like that, ask an Amish person or google it. I'm sorry but I'm an author and a horse person, not a gardener. I don't know the answer.
 This farm near Kalona, Iowa fits my ideal of a perfect Amish farm. As with most Amish farms, there are multiple gardens, fruit trees, and grapevines.
 This Amish farm has a church wagon in the drive. Since Amish church is moved from farm to farm they use wagons carry benches, songbooks, and tableware from farm to farm.
As with many Amish gardens, good luck finding a weed. I passed by this farm near Arthur, Illinois twice. The first time there was a teenage girl sitting between the rows working. I didn't feel like I should take her pic. She finished her work and headed inside before I came back by.
This is one of my favorites garden pics. A very common sight in Amish country... families working in the garden together. This picture was taken near my home in Iowa. I didn't mind the pic of people because they are facing the other way and hard to identify.
 Another classic Amish farm scene. Wagonload of hay in front of the silo. Grapevines on the side.
We have flower sales in the Kalona area. I love seeing horse-drawn wagon-loads of flowers heading into the auction barn. (Is this France?)
 Another garden lined with pink flowers.

And the finished product: Strawberry pie.

I have more garden photos on my Amish Horses Facebook page.
If you are a Facebook person, click on this link.
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