Category Archives: Life: lived

New things! New things! – Greenhouse Rearrangement

 I got some more work done in the greenhouse.  Specifically, I untied all the strings crossing the top third, that suspend tomatoes in the summer. 

You can just see the strings in this pic.  So I’m taking them down and crochet looping them  up to decommission them until next year.  The guineas will be able to fly around in the upper third of the GH again.

This festooning makes sense to me.

Then the irrigation came out, and the pool went in, and coops were shifted – oh my!  When HW was yanking out the irrigation tape, he exposed a nestful of a family of shrews or voles that ran scurrying, and the chickens leapt into the air and screamed like little girls!  Which made the whole room erupt, and they talked about it for quite a while.

The Silkies noticed immediately that their dust bath was refilled:)  by immediately I mean seconds.  About ten.

Yep, that’s four Silkies going to town in there.

Cleopatra wants in there SO bad.  So bad that I was able to catch her, the notorious escape artist, and take her jacket off- she’s all regrown.

Ketchup’s elbowing in there

Everyone wants into that dust bath.  So much so that there was an invasion from outside:

Ahhhh, finally got that coat off!

A half dozen chickens that don’t belong hopped into Silkieland to use their fridge-drawer baths (how rude), all the while ignoring that they have a new grand bath of their own:

It’s garnering mild interest
Nosey, of course.

There was so much upheaval – wood chips and hay and coop movement and the addition of baths and overturning of turf, that the roosters were bleating about “New things! New things!” for about 20 minutes straight.  Other than that it was very, very quiet.  All must be investigated.

I’m gonna stand on that.

This little adventure chicken got in on the action when I went to hang some long poles for perches at the opposite end of the GH from where the guineas now roost.  First, I rested it on the coop.

Whitey got aboard.  More impressively, stayed on and rode the pole as I tied up the opposite end at 6’ish, then came to the coop, raised that end and tied that up. 

Whoa – whoa!   (It swings)

  What are you gonna do now, little bird? 

That should keep them entertained for a couple days.

cheeks and the baked goods

Cheeks having some lap time, and a foot bath.
She likes having her neck stroked
zzzzzz…

All very peaceful, until a croissant comes out.  First it was pie crust, similarly discovered by accident – I was eating it within her reach, and she stabbed out her beak- I’ll have some of that!

Multigrain croissant has proven to be such a huge and lasting hit, that I’m like Ok, eat some more of your grains, and then you can have croissant.  She’s like I’ll wait.  I can carry a box of them through the room, and her little head periscopes out of her banana box, following me. 

She gets a wicked glint in her eye when the croissant comes out, and she attacks! I used to break up beak sized pieces for her, but she prefers to rip her own bits off of the source, getting her whole body involved.

Why does she like it so much?

Attack!

We don’t know, but at least she’s got an appetite.

magical christmassy snow

There was an unexpected veil of snow settled on everything yesterday (I wasn’t expecting it).

It was warm, too, and that kind of snow that falls in huge, feathery flakes gets heavy.  Awful to drive in.  It’s very hard on my bird protection

Surprise, no birds are outside!  I have to untether the netting when it snows like this and drop it down inside the fence.  I’ve learned to tie quick release knots, so it’s not much slower than walking around the garden.  Then I hoist it back up when it melts.

A very small rabbit has been passing the deck. Recently; the snow is already filling its tracks.   That’s nice.  There’s one large rabbit around, but it’s nice to know there’s a new generation.

The blue jays have resorted to the suet.  I can tell they don’t like it that it spins around when they get on.  The birds have a bit of a harder time in the “deep” (deep for them) snow.  The grosbeaks are still here in huge numbers, in the morning. 

Oh great, it’s time to move blog platforms again

I’ve been blogging here at WordPress for nine and half years, and I was perfectly delighted with it for eight and a half.  I’ve never had so many problems as I did this year.  Coincidentally, this year is also the first time I’ve paid for the top tier account, for extra storage (nine years of images, yo), and to keep my blog free of annoying ads. 

To hell with that.  It’s usually easier to just stick with what you know than do time consuming research and transition, but I’m not thrilled about paying for the suck.  I switched from Blogger in the oughts, it’s time to move again, although there’s some time before my subscription renews.  WordPress fail.  Research ahead. 

In the meantime, chickens.

Puffling is storking.  The Pufflings are laying eggs – green ones!  They are blue egg layers crossed with brown egg layers, and their eggs are almost olive.  I inadvertently created bearded olive eggers.

The Brahmas are giant bird pillows.  So laid back.

Ave MARIAAAAA!

Until they’re not.  JK.  She’s yawning.


Guinea falling asleep.
Am not!

Lap chicken

It’s nice to have a house chicken to hold.  It’s like a cat.  I love cats and their hot water bottle properties, and I can’t have one, but a chicken will have to do.  You think they’re all sharp beak and talons, but chickens are pretty nice to hold.  They’re soft, plush, and very warm.  They burn hot, like a cat.

Cheeks can sit on me for a solid hour, and she doesn’t even peck my keyboard.  She hasn’t pooped on me either.  Apples was not so polite. I haven’t reached her lap limit, as so far I’ve had to put her back in her box and move on, before she grows restless.  She probably thinks I’m warm too.It started with holding her for a bit after the uncomfortable dropping-pills-in-her-gullet procedure that we go through twice a day.  I wanted to give her a little social contact.  Everything needs touch.  Then I thought, hmm, can I work while we’re sitting here?  I can.  She snoozes.  Pops her eyes open at pings or unusual sounds.  Sometimes worries at my sleeve or a button.Chickens are funny- what they can adapt to.  They complain at first about newness, but the next thing you know, they’re totally at home in a box and unblinking at all the slamming, banging, clanging, beeping human sounds.

Look out, chickens are the new purse pets.

Accidental lanterns

I was having fun with the partially frozen linings of 5-gallon buckets.  They made lanterns!  The ice cylinders looked so cool I had to put candles in them.  I got four came out of the bucket intact.Cheeks is doing well, although all she wants to eat are sunflower seeds.  The guineas have stayed inside, and none succumbed to exposure.  There were more than 70 grosbeaks here this morning – that’s as far as I got before they went airborne – they’re very touchy.

Everyone out!

Everyone found the chicken doors yesterday. I finished tying down the mesh around the fence, so it should be guinea tight.It’s kind of dead and slim pickin’s, but it’s outdoors.   They also noticed right away that it’s quite cold outside, so most of them had a look around, and then went back in to warm up.  Spoiled bunch.They seem to much prefer being in the corn stalk strip. In the open they act nervous, exposed.  Heard some of the most pathetic, unsure, low-volume crowing out of the roosters, too.  Hilarious!  They were so un-confident in the new situation, they were crowing at mumble volume, for a rooster.  I’m a rooster….but don’t take that too seriously, I don’t want to disturb anyone.   Velvet and her friends, the Pufflings.

Hen yard

Another afternoon spent in service of chicken comfort.

I created the chicken yard, finally. The fence was already there, keeping chickens out of my garden all summer, but now they are to be kept in, and I strung up the bird netting to keep the pro-flying guineas in and raptors out.

I imagined that the chickens would come out and enjoy it this sunny afternoon, but instead it was a tedious, cold, frustrating task that I clued up right around the usual guinea grass hour before dusk, when most chickens are on their way to bed, so most of them have no idea about it yet. Inside I cut two upside down T slits in the wall of the greenhouse.  Chicken flaps, like a cat door.  I figure once they get used to them, they’ll have no problem using them.  Surprise, Velvet was the first to stick her beak out. More investigation.The guineas like moral support for investigating.No one went out!  The guineas were miffed at me for not letting them out the door (It’s that time!), and although long necking through the slit, wouldn’t use it.

Then I taped back the corners of the flaps, and that did the trick. Of course, the usual baby barred rock, Nosey, and two other chicks came out too. Tomorrow morning could be exciting, before the rains come again.

 

#LocktheClock, please!

I HATE time changes!!  I don’t really care for regular time or savings time, for God’s sake let’s pick one and stick to it!  More people agree time changes are garbage than any other issue, so let’s dispense with “War Time”.

Each time change means a week of having half the clocks on the “old time”, to remember when the animals get fed, and doing math, like it or not, all times of day.  Now I feel like going to sleep at 6pm, when there should be three solid hours of work left in the day, and of course I feel like waking up at 3 in the morning, so I can lie there and think about all I have to do, once it gets light!  Hates it!    The sunrise and sunset matter, not the numbers.  Until you have to interact with the world.

Rant over.  Adjustment, not yet.

A porcupine has been at work on this tree.  Like an aerial beaver.It’s very sculptural.