Category Archives: Life: lived

Full perching potential

Well the chicks are all out.   I figured it was today.  The hens let me know when it’s time.  They become dissatisfied with the playpen and start doing this.  Can you let me out?  Then usually a chick leaks out (all of them can jump out the top anytime and sometimes do), and instead of helping it back in, I let all the rest out.  Ursa Minor came out first, and launched into a scratching demo the likes of which have never been seen.  She was scratching and scratching, like crazy, like she meant to dig a hole.  Very excited.  Fierce!  Don’t get near her.  She can be a bit of a Major Ursa, in fact.

Start of day:

The overseer

After Ursa Minor was out, I propped a stick under the other chickery, and the chicks figured it out pretty quick.Philippe seems to like chicks.

There’s a tiny chicken at my feet

The hen had more trouble finding her way out.

I’m helping.
there ya go, Mom!

Then, minutes later:I swear my chickens are more connected to their bird source all the time.I have to zoom out here to show you how many chickens  there are in the pine tree.  There’s three dark ones in upper right.Including Pepper.  So many chickens in the tree.   I pruned the lower branches of this tree last year hoping to make it more useful to the birds, and scythed under it, because there are thorny raspberry vines, and mulched it to kill the vines, because chickens can’t resist mulch, they’ll scratch it all up and kill everything.

Um, it worked.  I never expected this kind of response.   Best half hour I ever spent.   I’ll have to do the same to a couple more pine trees.

Habitat tree

The teen roos, hanging out in the abandoned chickeries.

We used to live here.


Definitely a dirt bath day

It’s a dirt bath lineup.  They’re lovin’ it.  They get really satisfying results from their pint sized scratching practice in the fine mulch of the greenhouse.  The dirt flies!She’s  panting  because she’s hot, so within a few minutes, they were back out on grass. The heat wave wasted no time arriving.

We got the rain overnight, and early, and then the sun came out again, and wow, it’s already hot, and muggy, and the bugs are terrible!!  The mosquitoes are awful, lying in wait in big clouds, and the noseeums are eating me alive, right now.   The night isn’t cool enough to tone them down; they’ll be lurking at the door at 6am.  I think it’s the end of the cool, bugless mornings, at least for a bit.

I just might resort to wearing my beekeeping suit as leisure/work wear.  Check back shortly.  I always think it’s so cool and comfortable, when I’m in it.  I’ll need another one.  One for the bees, one for work coveralls.  Oh no, I’m not working with the bees today;  I just live in this.

Waiting for rain

The guinea got into the greenhouse adjunct garden and while I was helping him find his way out, I came across this little fellow burrowed in.  Almost, but not quite, completely hidden.  I hope he’s not responsible for eating my lettuce heads.  There’s 20 missing.

We have rain on the way, followed by a heat wave.

I’m finished the course of antibiotics for Lyme disease.  On the whole I feel better than I did before I got bit, except for the sudden powerful episodes of fatigue that put me to sleep in the middle of otherwise productive days, force me to pull over because I’m getting the head nods, and I wake up on the floor or with my computer running on my lap, or parked, and don’t remember falling asleep.  Other than the weird narcolepsy, I’m good!

I’ve got a few garlic scapes.

All the chicken families are doing well:Perchick, etc, almost, but not quite, ready for bed. Apples and cohort, very active. The orphans.   They’re settling down.They like to sit on and run over those covered wagons like rolling hills.  It’s a raised vantage point. The hens inside are near due.  At night they crawl under the loose canvas on the left, and I let them into that left kennel with the resigned hen.

Circus chickens

What’s happening here?  I know it might be hard to tell.  That would be the notoriously mom-surfing chick, the yellow one, sitting on her mom.  Not only that, mom is perching on the swing.  With other chickens.  The swing is swingy.  I rarely see them use it at all.Obviously, she is far too large for mom-sitting at the best of times, but like one of those huge dogs that still thinks it’s a lap sized puppy, she doesn’t realize she’s outgrown it.  And while perching on a swing might not be the best of times.  Mom put up with it for awhile, too, but dumped her off when she’d had enough.  Next, it will be chicken pyramids.

Almost bedtime.  The mama hens got a box today, so that I can move them around soon.  They got very excited.  Did you know your mom was hatched in a box?  They like boxes. 

June frost

The frost looks like lavender.According to my “research” (and I forget my source), in the last eight years it’s only frosted once in June, and that was the 1st.  Here we are in the first week, and we got a doozy.  It’s going to throw off all my planning numbers (this year I planned for a May 20 last frost).

I got to try out the Almanzo Wilder splash the plant with water before the sun hits it thing.  The potatoes were just poking up, and a few of the squashes were frozen in spite of covering, so I ran around with a bucket and freezing hands in the morning.  Everything will live.

Most things are fine, because I covered them.  I’m good and sick of covering everything by now.  Some of the squashes, the ones I put buckets over, took some damage, but the plants will live.  The ones with boxes over were untouched.  The walnut trees took a lot of damage, to the new branch-tip leaves.In the GH, in the chickery, the new chicks are whizzing around.  Two Brownies and two Oreos, one mysteriously tiny – I suspect a Silkie cross.Mom is fierce!  She attacks my hand sometimes when I dare reach in to feed them.  Then all the chicks run and jam their heads under something, and she savages my arm, thumping it with her feet.  She’s climbed it to the elbow.  Take that!  And don’t come back.

I’m back

Blog is sorted out.  I’m working on “optimizations” to make it load faster – I know it’s so image-heavy.

And now I have a donate button.  I’ve already had a donation!  If any of you are moved to contribute to the feeding of the beaks around here (many of them are past-egg-laying freeloaders), and keeping the blog lights on, said beaks and me will much appreciate it!

I’m not really myself right now.  Either the antibiotics, or the Lyme, or the war they are waging between my cells, are making me a little off.  I don’t have much energy, and I’m not too hungry, and yogourt, which I am supposed to be gorging on, tastes like it is definitely not food.

But no matter.  I am making strides in the online world, working and tying up loose ends in the world behind a screen, and my “day job”.

Lovely. I have Lyme disease.

I’ve missed a couple posts, but I’ve got excuses.   And Lyme disease.

It’s been an epic week, getting pigs, and bees, cut off from posting images, and exposed to poison ivy, plus some community group stuff I’m involved in.

Saturday a bite by my knee that had been unusually itchy and inflamed since I was bitten a week earlier hinted at forming a “sun dog” in the morning, and by afternoon was the unmistakable bull’s eye rash.

I’m lucky; it’s a 50-50 chance that Lyme manifests in the unambiguous target rash.  It was really a matter of time; with the degree of exposure to ticks I have around here, Lyme was statistically practically an inevitability.  But all’s well – I’ve started the antibiotics and had  a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (Chocolate Therapy).  I feel normal.  It’s all about catching it early, before the headaches, and fever, …. and nervous system destruction, set in.

This tick, if it even was a tick (I suspect a spider), was definitely not on me for 24 hours, like “they say”.  It wasn’t on me for eight.  I woke up with the bite in the morning, and if it wasn’t a spider – the usual bite-in-the-night culprits – then I scratched the tick off in my sleep and never saw it again.


In other news, I’m down to one guinea.  I was hoping that the disappearance of the second last (a hen), meant she had gone to sit on eggs.  But I found her body tonight:(  One left standing.  And I had them down to four peaceful, quiet guineas. Why are they dropping like flies?

The pigs are still with us, and after sleeping almost the entirety of their first day here, prefer to root over eating their food, and loooove the hay.  They bury themselves in it in all kinds of ways.

The old chicks are all feathered in, the size and approximate capability of sparrows, and have liberated themselves from the chickery.  Then their mom was getting too much abuse from the loose roosters, so I put the family into the controlled environment of Silkieland, and they mostly stay in there but come and go under the fence too.

The new chicks are peppy and cute, two Ameracaunas and two little Oreos again.  Little tuxedos.  I hope they are Cleopatra’s (Oreo hen as an adult), but one is much smaller than the others, and I suspect it’s a Silkie cross.  I can’t imagine Cleopatra letting that happen (?!), but I’ve never seen a chicken runt either.  We shall see.

Stand by

The chicks are bouncy, and still mom-sitters.  Both of them.  But the yellow one more than the other.

Cream Puff has relaxed into her broodiness and is now a feather pancake with a beak and a baleful stare.

And the piglets are coming today.

But I can’t post pictures!

I’ve hit a technological barrier.  My blog has hit its media capacity of 13G of images.  That’s what 9 years of blogging will do!

In spite of deleting dozens and compressing new photos, I can’t add more than one picture today.  While I figure out how to overcome that (laborious deleting?  purchasing the unlimited package?), there is a pause on my posts.  Hopefully only for today!  Because those piglets will be cute!