Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Our roses are just getting started blooming after I was really late in cutting them back after the first of the year, our 'Peace' rose was, fittingly, the first and only one with a flower this morning:

But the cherry tree is blooming nicely...it has yet to produce a single cherry, mind you, but is a pretty tree just the same.

Meanwhile, N.'s pet bunny, Ace, volunteered to pose as the Easter Bunny this morning.

Bear just eyed the basket skeptically, she's seen this 'colored eggs' nonsense before.

Some of the other hens had better, more interested reactions, and Bear hung around:

The Easter Bunny apparently had fun hiding the eggs, and seems to have a devilish streak when it comes to camoflage:

OK, you saw the red one on the crotch of the tree in the background...but did you see the purple-pink one?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Two For One Sale On Chicken Emergencies, Aisle 3!

So yesterday afternoon, we had not one, but TWO hens appear on the back step with dire health issues...one was Houdini, a small gray and white bantam hen, who had managed to rip off one toenail and was bleeding pretty good. She had the sense to come and stand and bleed on the back porch so I'd see her, and let me pick her up and bring her in to clean it up and apply Kwik-Stop, a birdie coagulant. We get her fixed up and close her up in the bathroom for a bit until the she is OK to go outside again without reopening the wound, and return out back again to finish feeding the animals and putting them away.

Then I see Chicken Sister, the surviving VERY elderly buff cochin bantam hen twin, standing in one place, facing the garage door. I do the 'Food' call, and she doesn't move.


Go over to look at her and see her do the trademark 'eggbound hen' strain. DAAAAMMMNNNN!!! At age 8 or 10 years (we got her and her twin sister as adults in 2001), she's way too old for this egg-laying nonsense. I can see the egg crowning when she pushes, but it ain't comin' out any time soon.

Grab her and truck HER into the house, for nasty egg binding treatment, which involves me oiling up a finger and getting personally acquainted with her most holy of holies, something which dignified old ladies like her do NOT approve of. The egg is stubborn, so she gets to spend the night on the kitchen floor on a heating pad in hopes of her laying the egg herself. Meanwhile, Houdini has ceased bleeding and is allowed to return to the flock.

This morning, Chicken Sister still has not produced the egg and is straining harder with a pained squeak, and no amount of oiling/coaxing by pressing with my fingers is moving that egg, so off to the vet we go.

Pop! He gets that egg out in under two seconds.

Everyone at the vets' office loves to see the chickens, though, I guess it's a break from dogs and cats all day long. Tonight Chicken Sister is again in the house so we can keep and eye on her and she can rest, tomorrow she should be able to return to the flock.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weird Nesting Site #213

Today it was Millie, taking advantage of some stuff earmarked for garage storage one day while we were cleaning it out...

She's actually tiny enough to fit into the Christmas tree stand, so I'm sure I'll find an egg in here later.

Poking around to make sure it's good enough for her egg...

Whoops, watch the footing--!

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!! OK, be cool...

Hmmm... that foot must have something wrong with it, I never lose my balance...

Meanwhile, Stoney, a little banty hen, took the more mundane approach of actually using a nest box, although she DID have to growl and warn off Boots, who was looking to oust her.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Sis!

A very happy birthday to my sister K., hope you had a GREAT day and stood the town on it's ear!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Darling Buds Of...March!

Spring has sprung, here at our house. Geraldine the tortoise is fully awake and chases you down to see if you are doing Something Interesting, the chickens are in full cackling crazed-egg-laying mode, and the flowers are doing their thing...

Ha, it's like a game of 'Which Does Not Belong?' The hens sometimes produce these tiny eggs in the Spring when their egg laying apparatus is gearing up.

The crocus plants by the front door

The white nectarine tree is just beginning to bloom, fruit in July!

And criminy, it's time to harvest the blood oranges! The tree is threatening to just keel over. I was a bad gardener and failed to thin the thing out the second time around, so we have a ton of oranges to pick tomorrow. It's beginning to make flowers, so now is the time. Ace the bunny has been standing up on her hind legs to nibble away the leaves she can reach.

Here's what they look like when cut, hence the name Blood Orange. They taste marvelous, like a cross between an orange and a raspberry. We picked three of them tonight to taste test them, from different areas on the tree--they're ready! We'll be gifting everyone who stands still long enough with blood oranges and eggs...

You Can Laugh AND Cry!

N.'s elementary school is holding their annual father-child breakfast. Here's what the invitation looks like:

I don't know who proofread the thing, but I plan on taking it into the school Monday and giving the principal some good natured teasing about it...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Time To Play Catch-Up...

...so I'm going to be posting some things that are backdated a bit over the last two months that I never posted. Sorry for any confusion, I'm not trying to Gaslight anyone, you're right, they weren't there before.

Also, bonus link to a cool Owlcam, the nest of a pair of Great Horned owls high in a tower! Squee! Owlettes soon!


The are using an infrared camera under low-light conditions so as not to disturb her. In addition to the live camera feed, they have various still shots taken night & day. It's the female sitting, her eggs are due to hatch around March 13th. The male appears near dawn and dusk with tasty mousies which she gulps down, sometimes the camera catches him.

Don't miss the links on the left to other bird nest cams--Eagles, falcons, ospreys and kestrels! They aren't occupied yet, but will be soon.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Oh Boy, Mom's Got Grassy Shoes!

Yesterday we gave the front lawn it's first mowing since reseeding and fertilizing it a month ago. Turns out we actually timed the seed and food right, for a change, and got it down just before tons of rain scattered off and on, perfect to make the thing grow like mad.

I went out back last evening to relax and get in a little quality chicken time before dark. As I sat in a chair, I suddenly had a huge group of chickens clustered around my feet, all eager to clean the bits of cut grass off my shoes. Sadly, I'd cleaned my shoes very well before walking though the house, so there wasn't much.

Cue unhappy chicken noises from a bunch of SPOILED birds.

So; dorky, easily-controlled-human me goes out front again to walk aimlessly around on the front lawn, doing my best to collect lots of yummy grass bits on my shoes again. I only got one strange look from one of the neighbors, so I count it as a success.

Out back again, this time I grabbed the camera on the way through the house. The gentle pecking from all those beaks was a weird feeling...

Yum, Mom's got Grassy Shoes, my favorite!