Category Archives: Life: lived

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.

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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!

Bloom

The quince is a blaze of hot pink.I have one little tiny magnolia bloom starting to open.  Cute.  I’m pleased that it survived the winter.  It’s covered with little green buds.Outside, the chickens are doing very well at large.    Even the wretched roosters are acting less like weirdos, finally.  The Colonel keeps them at bay from the hens, but they are part of the general flock now, and have even been observed food clucking (which the hens totally ignore).  I got something good!  I really do!  Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?

Actually, there’s been a surprising usurpation! One of the new crew of roosters has unseated the Deputy.  It’s the one that immediately left the others when they first arrived, started lurking around my fenced off Silkie flock, and wouldn’t sleep in the coop, making me think he was different.  I’m not with them.  I’m meant for something better. I referred to him as the one with a brain, and let him sleep where he wanted to in the greenhouse (next to the big coop where all the ladies lived).

He has become number two (with hard work and struggle no doubt), and the Colonel tolerates him up in the middle of the hens with him.   He looks very, very pleased with himself.  The (former) deputy has switched to trying to boss layers around.

The hens perch up in the pine tree, which is adorable.  A few will get up in the branches when the flock is all hanging out under there.

 

Siiiick…

I’ve had an unusually horrible cold(/flu?) since my birthday.  I feel like death warmed over. I can’t even read, because my eyes ache.  So no blog post today.  I’m out of pictures to post.  Just one happy chicken, demonstrating the use of the chipped paths we were working on in better times.

It’s warm and rainy and time for gardening, but…I’m useless.  The chickens get to enjoy some more time sheltering in the greenhouse from the rainy weather though.

No blog post today

What!?  No blog post?

There’s another nor’easter in Nova Scotia that caught me away from home.  Driving conditions are ´orrible!

HW is tending the chickens and Apples is entertaining him by jumping out of her box.  She has been known to sometimes make one great flap and perch on the edge of her box or parachute out into the middle of the floor.  I would say “never a dull moment”, except, it’s almost all dull moments.  99% of the time she hangs out in her box like the most low-maintenance pet (or box troll), and only very rarely does she make a big move (which for her, is still a pretty small move).

First tick!

Good god, a tick already?!!

A deer tick, first week of March! (On HW.   He was pruning fruit trees).  What is the world coming to?

Hello creepy crawly feelings of ticks walking on me, whether or not they’re really there.  For the next seven months.

I should have taken a picture before cutting the tick in half.  I figure no picture is better, now.