Saturday, May 31, 2014

Warring thoughts

It's been raining this morning, not a lot, but enough to wet things down nicely. And it's so very badly needed. The problem is that I could have done some more planting last night after work but I didn't. So, I'm annoyed with myself for that and feeling sorry for myself because I had to dash to the bathroom in the middle of the night being sick. Then the soothing thought comes through that at least I scattered the wildflower seeds in the chicken pen the other evening.

Funny side note: when getting chicken feed out of the garage I saw something go under my car (which is parked outside). When I came back up and walked around the car to see if I could spot it a massive toad hopped back under. That was my chuckle for the morning; toads I can handle.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Too hot for me

And my lettuce is looking wilty, which is how I feel when outside. I was hoeing the small garden this morning at 6:00 a.m. and hilling up the potatoes. As you can see, I need to mow the grass, but that will have to wait until this weekend when the temps should dip back down to the 70s.

Snake! Yay!

The chickens are enjoying the expanded pen. It goes to the north edge of my property now...less to mow! The bare spot will be fenced off and seeded with wildflowers. I don't know how well they will grow under the black walnut trees, but it can't hurt to try.

Two of the four little chicks died in the last week. I suspect a cocci outbreak from the store-bought chicks, so I'm treating the entire flock to be safe. It was hard enough to lose two babies; I would be devastated to lose all of them. The 23 teenagers have settled in nicely and have developed some beautiful coloring patterns. It is fun to have a mixed breed flock.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spring, trials and growth

I try to get a picture of the flowering crab apple tree every spring. I have a tendency to think spring is running late, but when I look back 3 out of the 4 years I remembered were blooming within a day or two and one year was three weeks earlier.

Gorgeous, isn't it?

I know nothing about mushrooms (and hate eating them) but still think they are fascinating to see growing in the yard.

Here is Watson the surrogate mum; all four babies alive and well.

The garage chicks have settled in nicely with the adult chickens. While still a bit skittish, they are doing better.

Life has been a bit stressful lately away from the chickens. Last week the furnace died for the final time and this week my car needed serious work. It's been repaired now so I get to return the loaner. Funnily enough, I'd rather have my ratty old car than a 2014 model.

I had a conversation with a man recently that seemed innocuous enough at the time, but left me feeling anxious and bad about everybody. I wonder if he thinks being Christian (which he mentioned) makes up for the fact that he is like poison.

On a brighter note; Robert Glenister, my favorite British actor, was in the final episode of Vera! Great series.

I mowed the lawn tonight and feel covered in dust and grit. We really need rain. The garden is picking up the pace though. Now showing: potatoes, onions, lettuce, peas, carrots, leeks and cabbages. Still more to plant this weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Frost and babies

It's a strange sight to see the birdbath with a layer of ice in mid-May but that's what was waiting this morning. Brrr. As an added bonus my 20 year old furnace has given up on life. I suppose that looking on the bright side I wouldn't have known the furnace was dead if we hadn't had this cold snap and would be making the unpleasant discovery next winter.

On happier news: I tried hatching out some eggs I got on ebay for fun. Not a great success with only one chick out of 15 eggs, but it's a cutie. I felt so sorry for it sitting all by itself in the brooder that I sent my son to pick up some companions at the store.

The hatchling

The companions are 3 day old Americana pullets and are VERY laid back. In contrast, Doc (named for Doc Brown from Back to the Future) practically crackles with nervous energy and excitement.

They didn't stay inside for long. Last night I bundled them up and shoved them under Watson who has been broody. I peeked this morning and all are still cozy and safe under their surrogate mum. Success!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

3 week chicks and gardening!

This morning I moved the chicks out of the living room into the garage. It's still too cold for them to go out to the coop but they needed more space and I needed fresh air. :)

I propped up a board for them to roost on and they've graduated to the larger waterers. At first they were freaked out by the change and huddled together, but now they've spread out and are enjoying themselves.

Saturday was one of those most precious of things: a beautiful day on a weekend. My neighbor kindly got my gardens tilled Friday so I was able to get busy on planting. Peas, carrots, lettuce, cabbage and lots of onions went in the ground. It feels so good to get started. I hope to get the rest of the cool weather veggies in later this week.

Of course, we couldn't have two nice days in a row. Today was cold and windy, but I'm feeling worn out anyway, so it might be just as well.