Monday, May 22, 2017


Found this in my front yard today...it's a double-headed blanket flower! 

I figure I'll save seeds from it and plant them next year...save seeds again...plant again...lather, rinse, repeat.  Then in a few years I'll have my very own mutant flower ARMY and will take over the world! *insert evil laugh here*

You can do that with flowers, right...?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lilacs! I Have Lilacs!

Well shoot.  Might not be a big deal to anybody but me...

But *I'm* excited, because the lilacs that are blooming and growing were tiny starts that I bulldogged out of my mom's yard last year, transported home in 100 degree heat and planted as wilted, shriveled twigs in my yard last summer.  They did NOT take kindly to being transplanted and I really didn't think they'd survive our extra-long and harsh winter this year...

But dang, not only did they make it, they are thriving and one of them is blooming!

Extra impressive because the entire plant is only about a foot high!

I've got this one planted outside my bedroom window, when I looked out the window and noticed the flowers I actually squealed, "I'VE GOT LILACS!"

My husband just kinda looked at me, like, 'You know that's treatable, right?'

Oh well.  Heck, I'm excited.  There is one more plant out in the part of the property that will someday house my raised-bed vegetable/flower garden (hopefully it'll attract pollinators to the garden) but no blooms on it so far.  I'm just happy it lived!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Updated Chick Pics And Some New Faces!

Um...well...we did go to the feed store.  BUT...but just to get *ONE* chick, a Red Star.  Zip, who sadly passed last year, was a Red Star and we loved her, she was so comical and friendly.

But then when we got there they had a 'Buy 1 Get 1 Free' thing going, and...well...weather you call it 'Morehens Disease' or 'Chicken Math', the end result is always the same.  Go in for 1, come out with 4.

So here are the four new kids!  The two oldest first, they are about a week older than the chicks we hatched. First is Olivia, a very calm and sweet Australorp (a breed that's been on my Want List for years). InstaPet right out of the gate, she loves to sit on laps and be snuggled.

Next is Dottie, a Silver Laced Wyandotte. But since she loves to peck at fingers in the neverending hope they contain food, has been relabled as a Silver Laced WhydYaBiteMe.

The two younger chicks are about the same age as ours, maybe 2-3 days younger.  Here is Star, the Red Star breed I *originally* went in for.

Then there is Bodie, a Golden Sex Link chick.

As long as we were taking pictures, updates on the 5 we hatched! Going from first to hatch to last, Popcorn is first. Popcorn, as expected, is shaping up to resemble her mom, a Belgian d'Uccle. The vulture hocks on her legs are coming in nicely. Still the tiniest chick in the box.

TaterTot, who hatched out black with a brown head, seems to be molting out with tons of white coming in, with some brown. And vulture hocks! Pretty sure Milton, our tortoiseshell d'Uccle mix roo, is her daddy. Mama is likely Chicken Pox or Sprinkles.

Don't know yet what color(s) she'll eventually be, and from her facial expression neither does she!

Banjo the fluffy foot feathered fuzzball is next.  I strongly suspect Banjo of being a fella, going by the little red comb coming in and the 'calling for food' sound I keep hearing from the chick box. He just plain gets fluffier every day. Banjo may have Pie for a mom.

No slouch in the feather department either, but with the meatball body to match, is Strychnine!  That's a lotta chicken right there, she's a very heavy bird who likely has Crack for a mom and Cam for dad.
And yeah, I *do* get a juvenile giggle out of calling her a Crack baby.

Last is Groot!
Who was *very* excited and instantly did the Boneless Chicken thing and sat down when it was picture time.

Groot is definitely totally chill and goes with the flow of whatever is happening, when she isn't busy cluelessly stepping on her sister's heads.

All 9 chicks get along great, although they STILL refuse to try any new foods that aren't corn on the cob or live mealworms.  But hey, they are chickens.  They will eventually!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Highway 395 In The Spring

Tossed the kid in the car and took her south for Spring Break for a few days to visit her relatives.  The ridiculous amounts of snow we've had in the Sierras was evident at the Crestview rest stop near Mammoth, which up until now was resoundingly closed due to a 20 foot high wall of snow blocking the entrance and entombing the place.

This time they'd finally managed to get a snowplow in there and clean the place out, at least enough to unearth the buildings and for vehicles to get into the parking lot.

Lots of snow still surrounded the place, tho!
Note the shed on the left for scale...

Also had the kid pose next to the local glacier for scale.

The thing just went as far as the eye could see in a huge horseshoe encircling the rest area.  Looking at the layers and seeing each storm's snowfall was fun.

A little further south things had warmed up a bit. We stopped off at Tom's Place to admire the trees and rocks..and the trees *in* rocks.

Gotta love cool and weird rock formations...

Tom's Place.  Hasn't changed a whit (except for paint color) since it was built in 1919. Very cute spot and well worth a stop.

Right next to this parking lot is Rock Creek. It was flowing well although pretty much tea-colored due to Spring snowmelt.  The little bridge in the background was calling me, but it seemed to be on private property so we didn't explore.
We tried to drive up the road to Rock Creek Lake, but the gate at the trailhead was still closed and locked.  Next time!

We did get to suddenly come across a herd of deer smack in the road.  They just looked at us so I slowly went around them, yelling at a doe as I did, "Hey, get outta the road!"

Her response was to throw her head up and start out after the car like she was gonna teach me a lesson and either kick my butt or throw herself through my windshield.  Possibly both.  No thank you, we hurried up the road.

We made Bishop and stopped for lunch, taking it to our favorite park to feed the ducks.
Yeah.  Right.  Ducks.

Seagulls as far as the eye could see.  The ducks were around, but mostly made themselves scarce.  Unlike this guy, who seemed to be a professional-grade beggar.

...and he was very vocal and LOUD about it. When I called my husband to check in, it was hard to hear over the incessant pitiful seagull cries for more food. You had to time your conversation for when the little dude was inhaling for his next round of "EEE EEE EEEEEEE!"

Even when he was walking around he was yelling about how he was starving, criminy.
Yeah, poor guy is skin and bones.

After getting badly suckered by con-artist birds, we continued south...and drove through the little town of Lone Pine...where either they're soured on tourists or are planning on being Ground Zero of the coming zombie apocalypse.

It was like a set piece for a Roger Corman film.

Oh well, at least the bees are happy with highway 395's amazing Spring bloom!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chick Pics So Far...

This afternoon we moved Popcorn and Tater Tot to the brooder box, where they are happily snuggled with their surrogate ocotomom and nibbling away at food.

'Popcorn' cute face...

Grumpy Popcorn...

And 'Tater Tot Hotdish'

Another egg, #25, pipped a few hours ago and is progressing nicely!

And today, the 14th, here she is! Meet 'Banjo'!

Banjo's foot feathers are truly epic.

'Strychnine' has been moved to the brooder box to join her siblings.

Group shots of the four we have so far...top to bottom, counterclockwise: Banjo, Popcorn, Strychnine and Tater Tot.

They luv snuggling their octomom!  And each other...

Lastly, one Dark Cornish egg hatched, #5.  This is 'Groot'!

Groot has lovely, interesting markings on her back...

No more eggs have pipped, and none of them are rocking or peeping...so we may be done at 5 chicks.  The rest of the eggs will be left in the incubator for several days to make sure.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Look, Fresh Chickens!

The hatch has begun, #15 popped out at at 4PM!  A tiny little black and white Belgian d'Uccle mix.  Cute and slimely all at the same time!

Head over here to watch the hatch, so far just one other egg has pipped, #17.


And Here We Go!

So I went out the the incubator & brooder box, getting final touches ready...

Little things, like making sure Club Flamingo is set, along with a cuddle buddy for the chicks that the kid donated...

And I did the final turn of the Lot B eggs, placing them down on the floor of the incubator to join the Lot A eggs, plus adding more water to bring up the humidity to 65%.

And damned if I didn't see our first pip, on #15!  It's hard to see, but it's on the upper right on the shell and looks like a little half circle.  The egg is rocking back and forth and being quite active.  No other pips as yet, but several other eggs have been moving!

#15 will probably hatch in about 6-8 hours...maybe a bit more, but those banties are quick little stinkers!  When any egg is close to hatch, we'll start the cam!