Archive for the ‘ Animals ’ Category

Hatchling photos. . .

As promised, here are the photos of the French Standard Feather Shanked Black Copper Marans chick pipping it’s way into the world. I finally got to watch the whole process and realized that the chick actually turns itself around inside the shell and breaks off small pieces as it circles the shell, like a can opener. Then it just pops out!

And I am the chickie’s mama! The one that hatched three days before and the new one are sitting in my lap as I type. The first one will be Carloman, or Louise depending on the gender, and the second will be Pippin the Younger, or Bertrada. I had a grandmother named Bertie, and as I child I thought her name was Birdie.

Three more dark chocolate BCMs eggs arrived today and are already in the incubator. These will add to the genetics of my little Marans flock. If I had to narrow it down to three breeds, it would be Welsummers, Australorps and BCMarans, as they are all very sweet birds.

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Remembering Sparky

Someday I am going to turn this into a children’s book. Its hard to imagine that I rescued this baby Robin from the crows, then cared for it until it finally flew away. It was so much fun gardening with Sparky following me around the yard, waiting for worms. I hope he/she finally figured out that digging for worms does not require a shovel! I often wonder if I heard the crows trying to kill a baby robin again, would I plug my ears, but no, I believe I would do it all over again if I had the time. Every Robin that lands in my yard gets called Sparky now, just in case.

Snow White!

Sun and Snow

Chloe does NOT like the tiniest bits of snow.

Mr Henry blinked once or twice.

The Weeping Katsura continued to unfurl.

And the color is completely untouched!

By popular request!

Goat Parade

I did it! I walked the goats to the far end of the street, right to where the two large dogs were laying in the front yard, and I decided not to test if they were behind an invisible fence.


As you can see, they didn’t cooperate for D! Now imagine that they are two years older and twice as fat and very strong.

I had hooked Mooch and Nibbles together with one of leashes that you can walk multiple dogs with and it worked like a charm! Mooch is the alpha goat and Nibbles stayed right with him instead of wandering off. Chloe did not have her collar on so I could not catch her. I let her wander along behind us but she was great about stepping off the street when I told her to. They are very trainable, come when I call, but it will take some consistency to teach them to stop when I say stop!

When I decided to turn around and head for home, OH MY! is was mules headin’ fer the barn! If I had been wearing roller skates, we would have been going about 20 miles an hour! HA! But I kept holding them back, and making them stop, and I actually ran with them a little bit. Mooch was determined to run home but his tongue was hanging out, so for “his sake” I did not let him run.

When we were about two houses from the drive-way I just could not hold them and let go of the reins! They ran and jumped all the way home, turned in the driveway, ran into their yard and into their house! Mooch plopped down exhausted, while Nibbles and Chloe drank lots of water.

I was hoping Mooch didn’t have a heart attack, because it would have been very difficult to butcher him in the dark!

So I got a total boost of energy, which was nice!, but I am feeling the pain in my shoulders slowly move down to my finger tips. Maybe next time we will go a shorter distance.

Now I will go cook the chicken and broccoli, then see if I can paint for thirty minutes before bed.

Here’s to sweet dreams!

A day spent pondering. . .

whether or not chickens “ganter”, as I attempted to describe their awkward mode of transport. Gantered is not a word I see anymore, although there is some reference to the usage in gangsta speak. But I was thinking of how a horse or steer gantered up the hill.

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Perhaps the word does not fit the willy nilly manner in which the raptor runs, legs splayed, wings flapping. I chuckle each time I see one of the ladies decide someone has found an edible, at least one that is better than what she is currently brutalizing. I would insert a photo, but the chicken run is best experienced via moving pictures, or in person. So perhaps a field trip to the “farm” would be in order for the curious, or bored, or technologically isolated. Is there something down there, Buffy?

I don’t know Muffy, but everyone is looking, so there must be.

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On a day when I was feeling particularly brave, radical, and education oriented, I put a couple of chickens into an animal carrier and walked onto the ferry with them. People were politely amused, surprised to see kentucky without the fried peering back at them. Others hurriedly pulled out their N95 face masks and jumped overboard.

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When arriving at school, I by-passed the faculty workroom and slipped straight into the classroom. Get out your sketchbooks, we’ve got live models today! A what?! Will it bite? I have never seen a real chicken before! Class, raise your hand if you have never seen a live chicken before. Over half. Really. Sad.

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How many of you have ever touched a live chicken? Three. 4H. Really. Sad.

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Chicken Twister in Last Year’s Snow

Where did the day go?

Ok, granted I did get a late start, but it seems I have very little to show for the day. I stood in the sun for thirty minutes and watched a Golden Wyandotte pick and clean every worm, slug, bug and seedling out of a five square foot area. I doubt there were any life forms left when she wandered off to depopulate another macro system.

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After I fed the goats, I opened the door and let them wander out along the path. They are getting pretty good at following me, so I called them to come around to the garden beds and they literally kicked up their heels and ran. It was very cute to watch those half-legged pudgkins trying to move fast. And once again, we slowed down traffic and caused neck wrenching double takes as people drove home from work. Nice dogs. . .wait! Those are goats! She is walking goats!

I then turned my attention to the deck. I carried buckets of worm laden compost to top dress the containers, then pulled the containers out of the way so I could wash the deck of soggy leaves and spilled dirt. While I was at it, I hosed down the cedar bench to be ready for Thursday, as rumor has it the painful-to-look-at-golden-thing-in-the-sky will be back. Must find sunglasses.

Tomorrow is trash and recycle day so I did not stop looking for candidates until both large bins were smashed down full. By then it was dark and starting to rain, so I retired to the computer and “chatted” with a new friend on the East Coast. Someday I will have to talk with her via phone to hear that wonderful accent from down under!

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Every nerve ending under my skin is screaming, the by product of work and wearing clothes. Yes, just wearing clothes is uncomfortable, so I now retired to my velvets and microfiber sheets! No photos. ;-}