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.

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