Cheeps at the door

I hear them coming around, the cheeps.  They never stop chatting at this age.

I’m glad that the moms are starting to gravitate to the house and beehives –  the safe zones instead of the adventure safaris.  This is where you’ll spend your time when you grow up, kids.  Mooching.

The two of them are too adorable to me.  Inseparable, yin and yang chickens, not very alike other than that they (were) both loners.    The chicks float in one crowd with loose ties to their own mama except for bedtime and warming time.  Ghost, since she has two, has started perching at night with a chick perching on either side, poking out from a wing.  They seem smug about it.  Velvet ,with three, has to stay on the floor to hug them at night.

The chicks are at that miniature stage where they have all their feathers and all the chicken moves, but they are still just tiny little handfuls.  They have frowns all the time.  Dinosaur growth spurt dead ahead.  All the chicks seem to be baby Cheeks, although that was not planned this time.   There’s a Ghost sighting out the front window!

Velvet must be very nearby.  There she is!

Done with the dentist

I think my summer of dental hell is finally over.  Root canal part 2 yesterday (hallelujah, dental staff was at work with the power on Monday!), and the sudden end of “mild” dental “discomfort” in my mouth was like the lights coming on, or discovering you’ve been wearing sunglasses without noticing – energy re-surged into my life!  I think the mouth stuff has been contributing to why I’ve been sick so much, and headaches, lately the past weeks.  It just saps you, enduring it.  Hello future!  Moral of the story – don’t “tough out” a toothache.

On the ceiling tv at the dentist I got to watch B-roll of a Canadian army guy (army comes to the rescue in cleanup effort) getting his saw pinched in a tree on his first cut, catastrophic footage of what’s happened to the Bahamas, and this of a crane coming down in Halifax.  If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s incredible.  I can’t watch it too often.  That’s a steady filming hand, Fatima Ali.

No one was hurt, unlike the Bahamas.  In Nova Scotia, trees and freezer food have been lost as 100K some are still out of power, but this is inconvenience compared to the Bahamas, where they have terrible need.

Here, it’s another lovely temperate day and it’s glorious to have the mosquitoes reduced or maybe finished.  Fall is the best.  Comfortable T-shirt work weather, reduced risk of heat exhaustion.  The best time of year:)

Pincushion chickens

Hurricane’s over.  The three are back to trying to sleep in the tree.  SO stubborn.

It’s cooling off at nights, so it’s good time for the hens to grow their feathers back.  It’s such a relief when they start to refeather, because they go naked for what seems like terribly long, and it looks so uncomfortable I worry, and then one day, they come out in little spikes all over that unroll into feathers.

There was a Silkie, I forget her name- she was a ragged half naked mess from the time she got here.  She never had her feathers sorted out.   Over a year.   She raised two sets of babies and I thought that’s just who she was, that she was going to look like a worn-out dish rag forever.  Then one day, poof, feathers inbound!  And now I can’t pick her out of the lineup.  She looks completely normal.

There’s a Brahma re-feathering, Velvet is no longer naked, phew!, and this is Sidewinder.  She hasn’t been the cringy slinker that she was in the winter- her behaviour has been more confident.  Maybe it was the friendship.  She’s a Grandma now – the Sidekick grew up to be Ghost.  She’s so old and has been defeathered since last summer!  I always find reasons to imagine they won’t ever grow back, then they look renewed out of nowhere.Perchick remains looking painfully cold and naked.  It’s almost sweater weather if she doesn’t pincushion out soon.

All over

Dorian has passed.  The chickens are all fine, the pig house did not flip over, one beehive had an outer lid blown off, no cars or structures were damaged.

Casualties:  clothesline, woodshed roof has another rip, the big hazelnut tree outside my window is tipped over:(  It may live, but it’s at 45° with the roots torn and heaved up.  I don’t know how well nut trees adapt.

Seeing as it didn’t feel any worse than many house-rattling rain and wind storms we’ve had, there were an astonishing number of trees down this morning.  Mostly big poplars, so no big whoop – I’ve got no business keeping mature poplars around.  All of them are heaved out of the ground, not broken off.  This seems to be happening more – when the ground is soaked the roots pull right out.  I can’t believe no hives tipped.

I started the day with the saw, cutting out the driveway and paths, meeting the neighbour coming the other way, checking his fences for trees down on them.  375 000 homes in NS were out of power this morning (how many homes can there be with a population of 940 000?) and I hear roads are badly damaged by washouts.

It’s nice today is sunny.  The chickens were soggy yesterday despite shelters, and I’ve never before seen the guineas looking like they went for a swim.  Everyone went to bed early, and there was no one trying to sleep in the tree, or perch on the coop roof for the night.

I let V and G and the chicks go to bed in the greenhouse after their best day ever!, until I had the galvanizing thought “What about weasels?!” So I had to go and collect them, stuffing one family at a time into my coat and transferring them to their lock box, moms clucking at the weather.  They are so cute.  They were snuggled down for bed side by side in the tomatoes; they do everything together now and the five chicks will be friends forever, I’m sure.

Dorian

What’s left of Dorian is about to hit us here.  I don’t think the forecast is very catastrophic at all, but everything is cancelled and dire warnings abound. Quite a lot of rain for one day, but we’ve had it before.  I definitely expect that power will be knocked out everywhere; that happens with any stiff breeze.   Perhaps the internet will go.

from spot.wx.com

Velvet and Ghost and the chicks are all in the greenhouse, where I’m sure they’ll have the time of their lives today eating the first foot of tomatoes and pruning the pepper plants.  I put them in for the last rain too, to save their moms from having to be living rain shelters.

Last time was a godawful rodeo when one of the chicks escaped capture and it was too  loud with the pounding rain for them to hear each other, and that one chick was an unbelievable escape artist sprite.  Today I caught the moms and stuck them inside, where they clucked and clucked,  then herded the cheeping panicked chicks in the right direction until they made contact and the chicks all just popped through the snow fence door.  All is well in there.

The retirees have a tarp tent, as do the Silkies, and the general hens and guineas will all be crowded into the pig house.  They rack up on the laundry rack, as it’s driest on the top tiers near the peak.  As long as the wind doesn’t get strong enough to flip over the house.  That happened once, with the pigs inside (pigs scrammed into woods stat).

We shall see.  I’m not too worried.

I’ve always wondered where all the helium balloons go

What goes up must come down.

Turns out they do come down in the woods.  I found this shredded remnant of a balloon hanging in a tree, randomly.  Still tied with the gift ribbon.  Actually, I’ve been told (by a marine biologist who’s seen them) that they much more often come down in the ocean.  They rise, catch an air current, and are carried out over the ocean before the helium degrades and they come down.  There’s not much on the surface of the sea that can pop a balloon, so they drift, for a long time.  Another source of ocean pollution, yay.

Velvet and Ghost

The co-mamas.

These are the first hens to successfully hatch babies in the large coop.  Right through the heat wave, they sat on eggs, and I brought them water.  They would even switch eggs, so it makes sense that they’re one family now.  They only spent two days in the chickeries, maybe three, before release and integration.  Nosey visitorThey still had unhatched eggs, one each (they did not hatch late, they gave up on them), so the hatched chicks had a nice slow transition).Ghost scooted her egg out of the box to belly up to the food.  When they’re ready to get up off the nest, they’re ready though, and Velvet tore her whole chickery apart, every inch of the ground scratched up, letting me know she was ready.Velvet has three and Ghost two, but all five look like Cheeks’ bio-offspring, an accident since I gave them a mix of eggs.  Five of nine total hatched.   I can’t tell the five apart, but the hens can- look out!  They all roll together most of the time, though, so the chicks intermingle constantly.

It’s a really cute thing they’ve got.  Mom friends- Our kids are the same age!  They’re black and white, and they were both total loners prior to brooding.  I feared for Velvet’s life because she would just leave.    The little orange feet!  I can see where you are!They started visiting the house!  That was cool.  A noisy cheeping procession.  I heard them coming.  This is where we scrounge for snacks, and under the house it’s dusty and cool… There they are, traveling on together.  They like the bee area.   Perching practice on the jungle gym (laundry rack).  It doesn’t sway like a branch.  They’re up to the second rail now.

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