You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2012.

March 18 – The very last of the snow.  The dogs park themselves on it whenever they’re outside, often lying with their bellies right against the snow.  I know they will miss it when it’s gone.

March 19 – Mr. Romeo trotting through the woods.  His feathers have grown back in so well.  He’s a handsome little rooster.

March 20 – The crocus came up quickly and faded quickly as well.  It seems like I had less than a week of color because they all bloomed together. It’s been sunny and warm and we’re already greening up here.  That usually doesn’t happen until May!

March 21 – The daffodils are coming up all around the property.  I planted another 100 or so in October.  The only ones blooming are the first ones I planted when I moved here, out across the field from the Art Chalet.  They are well settled in their place and have multiplied.  They also get the most sun. I prefer it when I get a long blooming, though, so I don’t mind in the least.  I’m also eager to see what the new daffs look like since I planted a mix.  I have given up on tulips because the deer ALWAYS get them first.

March 22 – The sun hit this peacock feather just so and I had to get the camera.  I have a bunch of feathers gathered in the living room, given to David by a lady we bought chicken food from once.  I sometimes think I’d like a peacock, for the feathers, except that I have lived next to peacocks and they are LOUD.  So, no peacocks for me.  Or guineas, as they are also loud.  I’ll stick with chickens and turkeys.

March 23 – Went for a walkabout because it was nice out.  Cold, but nice.  I knew the cold was coming back.  While out, I discovered some trees that had broken in the big snow.  We lost a few trees and a number of large limbs from our white pines.  Hobie often accompanies the dogs and I on our walkabouts.

March 24 – The past few days the baby chicken has been being integrated.  The first time I tried, she escaped the chicken yard and spent time in the woods.  I have spent too much time growing this chicken to want her fed to a forest creature.  So now she spends her days in the small covered pen we have, so she can be among the other chickens but safe from the pecking order.  At night I put her in the small coop with Mr. JLB.  The first couple nights she cowered, hiding under the nest boxes and away from Mr. JLB.  The morning before this picture, she was sitting out with him when I opened the coop.  That night she went to the coop on her own.  There’s enough of a hole in top of the small pen for her to jump out of, and she did, putting herself to bed.

Mr. JLB, on the other hand, isn’t having a good time.  He and Jack had been coexisting well, but I think the spring-like days got to them and they got into quite the nasty fight.  It appears Mr. JLB may have lost an eye.  Now Romeo is rushing him on his blindside and pecking him to establish his own place in the pecking order.  I feed Mr. JLB separately, and he is keeping his distance from the others as much as possible.  In the next couple weeks I plan to set up some breeding pens, so he’ll be much better off then as all roosters will be separated.

March 11 – Took the baby chick outside for a bit.  She’s nearly fully feathered and looking like a tiny chicken.  You can just see the retreating snow in the background.  The temps have been WARM – in the 70s and glorious.

March 12 – a rainy day – and chickens in the mist!  The rain makes the snow turn to mist and fog, but even at its worst it’s nothing like central California fog.    And you know that saying about being mad as a wet hen?

She doesn’t look so mad…That’s Buffy.  My original Buffy was killed in the dog attack.  Then I remembered Buffy died a couple times in the series, so I figure I can reuse the name.  This Buffy is quite friendly and talks to me a lot.  I know it’s her by the white on her earlobes.

March 13 – I decided to try my hand at maple sugaring  (note from the future – it didn’t work due to my late start and the unseasonable weather).  However, it was very exciting that the sap ran in my tap as soon as I set it.  Next year I will get out there earlier.  I was counting on the neighbors down the way to show me when it was time, as they had sugared every winter since I got here almost seven years ago.  Not this year, though.  So I missed out on the prime time.

March 14 – The sun was settling into the Magic Hour and Mr. Cardinal appeared and he was just aglow in the light.  He’s been back lately, singing and attacking his reflection in our car mirrors (and leaving little droppings on the sides of our cars).  It’s spring here.

March 15 – I found a new puppet for Phoebe to play with.  Her other one is a raccoon that is in poor shape from 6 years of being tugged at.  She likes the bunny.  She likes any stuffed animals and believes any stuffie brought into the house is by default hers.  If I expect them to be mine, they have to be where Phoebe can’t reach them.

March 16 – My future garden.  I have purchased a number of seeds from Seed Savers Exchange.  I have been fighting the urge to begin planting in the glorious weather.  I know anything I do will be killed by the hard frost we are sure to have.  So I am waiting.

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March 17 – Yesterday we bought a wood chipper.  We have many trees that shed many sticks and leaves.  We also have a growing garden and need mulch.  So now we shall make our own, as well as bedding for chickens.  The first batch of chips I took out to the garden and dumped where I wanted them.  I left them in a big pile and walked away.  The next time I was outside I checked, and the chickens had been hard at work spreading my wood chips between the raised beds.  Good chickens!

Mar 4 – Snowy, but warmer, so it’s melting from the roof and resulting in icicles.  I had pulled some off the eaves and had them in the snowbank looking like a crystal castle.  David knocked it over, not liking a bunch of pokey bits pointing up where someone (prolly me) could conceivably fall on them.  His remark was “I removed your Fortress of Solitude.”

March 5 – While a bit warmer, it’s still the sticky sort of snow that is out there.  Many trees are still coated with it.  Power is still out further north.

March 6 – Phoebe with one of her sheep toys.  You can tell she’s been in the snow because her ruff is ruffled.  🙂

March 7 – In places where David ran the snowblower, the snow has melted.  So the chickens have some dirt to scratch around in.  This is one of the blue peeps I got on December 28.  I’m pretty sure they’re both male.  I’m going to keep one of them (probably this one) and breed him to my Easter Eggers.  He’s considered an Olive Egger – a Blue Maran rooster (Marans lay dark brown eggs) bred to an Easter Egger hen who laid green eggs.  The hope is that the resulting hens will lay dark green eggs.  Well, both my Olive Eggers are boys, so I shall breed them to the Easter Eggers (another name for Ameraucanas), especially Gracie, who lays green eggs.  I should get a couple pullets out of the hatch, so I can see if I can get Olive Eggers yet.  I have such plans for spring breedings!

March 8 – Three of the Buff Brahmas.  I just liked how they lined up.  Of the six of them, four are male (the two in back here).  And I don’t know if it’s just mine or what, but they are some ornery cockerels!  They are grabby – I will reach for the food bowl to refill it and they grab me.  I’ve had many little pinch bruises on my hands.  I don’t like it.  David says I should just wear gloves in anticipation, but honestly, I don’t usually think that far ahead.  I may have to start, I guess.

March 9 – Jack and Precious, enjoying the sun.  Precious is part of my spring chick planning, but Jack is not.  In order to do my breeding, I will have to lock Jack away for a couple weeks.  I’m pretty sure he’s going to be pretty upset about that.  Precious and Mr. JLB will be together so I will have blue and splash orpington chicks.  If I put Jack and Precious together I will get blues and blacks.  I want the splashes because then I can breed Jack to them and get all blues.  My third breeding will be Romeo, the silkie, with a Buff Orpington and Jack’s kid, who is a Black Orpington/Wyandotte cross.  These chicks should be puffy like Orpingtons but with topknots and fuzzy feet.  My plan is to put them together in their little pens mid-April and collect eggs for a setting day of May 1.

March 10 – I gave Baby Chicken a stick to roost on and it made a lot of difference in her life.  She was fussy every evening and now she just settles in and roosts.  This is a good thing.

 

 

Feb 26 – Sadie in the snow.  I like how she buried her feet.  She is actually worse than Phoebe for avoiding eye contact with the camera.

Feb 27 – During my egg delivery run into town, I saw this fellow in the parking lot.  He tucked his paws into his chest to keep them warm.  After posing, he continued across the parking lot, looking for snacks.

Feb 28 – Hobie has discovered that the hammock is a comfy place to be.  He will jump up during the night and sleep on me for quite some time because in the hammock, I don’t move a lot.  I am comfortable and don’t need to.  Hobie appreciates it when it bed doesn’t move.

Feb 29 – Got her to look!  She’s such a pretty dog.

March 1 – This is the feathering of my Dark Brahma.  I’m pretty sure she’s a pullet, though a rather fierce looking one.  I like striped chickens.

March 2 – For my muffin- and bread-making friends, a public service announcement:  Get a bread whisk!  This thing is amazing at mixing bread and muffin doughs.  It’s a heavier wire than the basic whisk so it can get down in the heavy doughs, yet it pulls together muffin batter without over-mixing it.  I saw one in use on a cooking show and put it on my mental list of things to keep an eye out for.  Found a new one at the Goodwill (of course) and love it.  (also, cool towel, eh?)

March 3 – We woke up to this.  Thankfully, we were warned, so I had been to the store.  Also grateful for the fact that Sadie woke up ill Thursday night so we could get her to the vet yesterday (never had a dog with a UTI before).  We got about 20 inches of wet heavy snow.  The power went out at one point.  David got home around 9 p.m. last night, when there was just 3-4 inches of new snow, but it was enough for his truck to get stuck and we were up til midnight getting it out of the road and into the driveway, where it sat.  He went out late afternoon to rescue it with the snowblower.

It was while taking pictures and wandering down the driveway to tell David lunch was ready that I stepped on a slushy bit of wet snow and slid off the edge of a paving stone in our front walkway.  I stood in the snow with my ears ringing from the pain for awhile, but David wasn’t finished and so wasn’t coming up for lunch just yet.  I finally got myself inside and propped my foot up.  David came in not too long after and iced it for me and brought me my lunch.

I had also set up the chickens with extra food and water, just in case I couldn’t get out to the barn – which I couldn’t.  It wasn’t until the next day that it got  the snow cleared from in front.  The chickens, they were not amused.

Feb 20 – I think I am missing a photo from the 19th.  Here, Hobie is trying to help me spread out the table cloth.  I was not helped.

So, my absence.  No sooner do I recover from my malaise than I am whacked, unexpectedly, by the chemical stick.  I don’t talk about it much any more because it’s not much of an issue (I have coping mechanisms and such), but I am extremely sensitive to chemicals.  The last thing I was expecting when I went grocery shopping was to be unexpectedly poisoned.  I avoid places that are going to make me feel ill, and generally I consider the grocery store safe (except for the soap aisle!)  I went in and was wandering about doing my shopping when I noticed I was beginning to feel a little on the groggy side.  I began noticing a smell as I turned a corner to discover that the store (which has been remodeling for weeks now) had guys in there laying linoleum tiles…with the stinky off-gassing adhesive.  Bleah.  So, that took me out for a week or so.  A week where I am trapped inside my head unable to do much of anything but sit and watch tv or have someone read to me on my iPod.  Not fun.  I did get some pictures, but blogging was just not going to happen.  No sooner do I recover from that (for the most part) then I sprained my ankle most horribly during the aftermath of our biggest snowstorm of the season.  I’m still playing it safe there, wearing a very good brace and taking it easy.  Zumba is being done, but at a lower output level and with no spins or high impact bouncing.   And then there’s the spring fever.  We are in the midst of a most unseasonable spread of weather.  Where we normally have temps in the 40s or so, we’re having a stretch of 80 degree days!  I want to garden So Much.  But I know if I put stuff in the ground now we’ll have another massive snow storm and it will all die.  maybe.  I am starting my seeds and doing planning and clean-up.  We got a wood chipper and I’m laying down wood chips as mulch where I don’t want grass and weeds to grow.  I just put down a big pile and leave it to the chickens to spread about.  They do a very fine job.

Pictures!

Feb 21 – My mom got David this little boat for Christmas and I leave it out where it can be an inspiration.  It actually opens up and has a tiny anchor in it.

Feb 22 – Soulful Phoebe picture.  Sometimes she looks right at me and gives me these amazing pictures.  Other times she avoids looking at the camera or closes her eyes.  I love when I get these shots.

Feb 23 – Baby Chicken, as she is known, is growing.  She likes to sit on me.  She also still likes to jump on my head, though she is getting too big for that.  She is my Calico Orpington.  I may end up calling her Cally.

Feb 24 – In which it remains good to be the cat.  Cashmere pillow and homemade quilt bed.  That’s David’s quilt, still patiently awaiting my finishing touches.  I’m a little frustrated with it not lining up like it should.  I should just sit down and finish it so I can not have that frustration hanging over my head.  I’m almost there.

Feb 25 – Mr. JLB is a handsome fella.  He runs out to greet me in the mornings.  Sometimes he tries to peck my leg, but he never goes into full out attack mode like other roosters have.  He and I get along well enough.  He and Jack, not so much.