You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2012.

August 5 – The geese continue to be a joy.  They’re very photogenic.  And very large.  Sometimes when they run like this, they get a little air now and rise about 6 inches off the ground.  They don’t seem interested in flying, just in flapping about.

 

August 6 – the day Tucker joined us.  As you can tell by my absence, he has impacted our lives.  Mostly in good ways.  He’s really a very good pup.  I am completely smitten.

 

August 7 – Someone brought this caterpillar into the office just because they knew I would be interested.  I am indeed!  It’s a cecropia moth caterpillar, sometimes called a Robin moth.  Here is a most amazing website showing the life cycle of the moth.  I brought the caterpillar home to see if I can raise it to moth state.  I had never seen such an amazing looking creature in the flesh.

 

August 8 – Geese in the morning light.  Henry is in the back, then Anne and Katherine.  Henry’s neck is thicker.  Katherine’s is longest and her head is thinner.  She’s also the most opposed to the puppy, hence the open mouth, which is hissing.

 

August 9 – Tucker went for his first vet visit.  On the way home he climbed up on my shoulder and rode back there, interested in the world around him.  I didn’t know he was yawning when I took the picture.

 

August 10 – The turkeys are growing!  I didn’t realize quite how much so their heads would touch the top of the pen and the biggest of them were hunched.  Fortunately David built Tucker a very nice pen, which he promptly escaped from.  Since he was home alone with the girls and they didn’t eat him, we decided he could just stay out and the very nice pen would become a turkey pen.

 

Now they have lots and lots of room.  By the time they outgrow this space, they’ll be big enough to be in the yard.

 

The new digs even have a little coop area.  I put up a roost and they are some happy turkeys.  That’s one of the Narragansetts.

 

August 11 – Tucker loves to play with just about anything and, so far, any one.

 

My furry kids.

 

 

This is Tucker.  He’s a 9-week old Heeler/Lab mix.  He’s a very smart, very lively pup.  The girls don’t know what to think.  Initial reactions involved fleeing, growling, barking, hissing (from cat and geese) and general consternation.  Things are mellowing out slowly but surely.  I’m even getting sleep.  The first two nights, not so much.

 

He’s a climber, this pup.  Right now he’s throwing himself on the hammock and my blankets and tossing a potholder around.  He loves toys of all sorts – balls, ropes, chews, squeaky things, stuffed things and crinkly cat toys seem to really catch his attention.  So far he has shown no real interest in the chickens and geese, though they have certainly noticed him.

 

Today he had his first outing and charmed everyone he met.  David built a very nice puppy pen in the garage.  Tucker spent one day in it.  The next day he escaped by climbing out and spent the day with the girls in the house.  That time alone seems to have helped them bond a bit with him.  That nice puppy pen is now going to be a turkey pen, and just in time as the poults are about to outgrow the brooder box.  I was happy that there were no messes and nothing destroyed when I got home.  He had carried both my farm boots into the house, though, and it looked as though he was lying on them.  They’re the shoes I wear the most and thus probably smell most like me.  I was so relieved he hadn’t chewed them.  My last puppies were horrible shoe chewers.  Most of my nice shoes have been relocated above ground level, however, just in case.

Bonus video footage! mostly of geese.  Now I understand why some folks say they are afraid of geese.

July 29 – We drove down south a bit (an hour or so) to visit a friend of David’s.  I baked this lovely loaf of bread using a no-knead recipe I found in Mother Earth News.  Since then I’ve made another 3 loaves.  David loves it!  We also took a couple of the meaties we had processed last week, some homemade barbecue sauce and some zucchini from the garden.  His friend did the cooking and it was amazingly tasty.  We seriously need to get a grill!

Ted has bird feeders set up, so I was in heaven.  His home overlooks a lake and we brought our kayaks, though they never got taken off Hank.  Instead, we went out on Ted’s pontoon boat (link to picture added for folks, like me, who had never heard of a pontoon boat).  The lake is shaped, he says, like a puzzle piece, and we went into each nook and cranny.  We seriously need a pontoon boat!

We saw this guy out on the lake, along with many turtles.  The interesting thing to me was getting to watch the turtles swim down, as we were up higher on the water.  When we’re in kayaks, they just disappear.  It was a very nice day.

I also had taken along a Barred Rock hen to swap with Ted.  He has around 100 chickens (an ordering glitch by his brother – 15-20 each turned into 50 each of Rhode Island Reds and Black Sex-Links).  He also ended up with a single black-and-white barred chicken – possibly a Rock, but  possibly not.  Now, the thing about chickens is that they can be surprisingly clique-ish.  The red chickens hang out with the red chickens, the buffs with the buffs.  So this poor single black-and-white chicken (Speckles, by name) was consistently getting pecked and beat up to the point where it wouldn’t leave the coop.  One versus 100 is horrible odds.  So we took along an adult Barred Rock hen and I traded for one of the Black Sex-Links.  We waited til dusk to put the hen in, and when we did many of the youngsters (all his chickens were 12 weeks old, mine was 1 1/2 years or so) came running up to check her out.  She ignored them until someone grabbed her tail, then she whirled around, hackles raised.  Then she went back to eating and was left in peace.  I just hope she and Speckles get along and can form a little band of two.

Here’s a picture of the chicken I got, now named Jess.

July 30 – I took this picture of Hobie because I had to take Phoebe to the vet.  Our vet only sees Hobie in February, during his annual exam, vaccine booster.  Every year, he tells me Hobie needs to lose weight.  Every year, I assure him Hobie does, during the summer.  By February he has been Cabin Fever Cat for 3-4 months, with no good exercise outlet.  So, I wanted photographic proof that my cat does indeed slim down during the summer.  Dr. Harrison was convinced.

Phoebe had to go in because she had a small round wound on her back leg that wasn’t healing and had become swollen.  It’s called a Lick Granuloma, quite common.  She’s now on antibiotics for three weeks (ACK!) and has to wear a bandage around her foot to keep her from continuing to lick at it.  A couple times now she’s gotten rid of the bandage and all the healing that had taken place got licked off.  We’re keeping a close eye on her now.

This is the only way I can successfully get a pill into Phoebe.  While she smacks the peanut butter, she usually swallows the pill.  Usually.  Sometimes she still manages to spit it out, necessitating more peanut butter or brute force of sticking it at the back of her tongue and making her swallow.  She HATES pills.

We also have orange bandages.  They cool because they’re stretchy and self-sticking.  And come in many colors.

July 31 – Got this awesome full-wing goose shot just by sitting with them for awhile.  I was also getting them to chase me so I got some other pictures.

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This one is rather dreamy.   Completely out of focus because I forgot to push the button half-way first, but I love the light and the colors.

August 1 (already???) – Someone brought this lovely Barn Spider to work for us to identify.  Charlotte, in Charlotte’s Web, was a Barn Spider.  I brought her home and released her – the people who brought her in had no interest in returning her to her home.  She’s an orb-weaver spider.  Evidently she was building a very large web.  I haven’t seen her since releasing her.  I was hoping to see a very large web.

August 2 – Trouble is spelled G-O-O-S-E at our house lately.  They go after the dogs.

They started chasing the cat.  Poor Hobie is not happy.

August 3 – Ox-Eye Daisies.  I love having wildflowers at my house.

August 4 – During heat of the day (which has been very hot lately), the geese will hang out under the trees with the chickens.  All the big birds are happy with the new truck, as they like sitting under it as well since it is higher up than Hank.