Monday, April 28, 2014

Chili And Trees!

I got my last two Arbor Day Foundation trees today, yay!  I get to dig more holes, yay--wait...

One is a Downey Serviceberry destined for the back yard near the house, the other is a red maple and will go in the BACK back yard near the feed shed.  Both are much bigger than the 6 inch twigs that we got before, double yay!  I'm looking forward to actual visible landscaping from these two their first year.  A few of the other Arbor Day twigs are starting to bud & leaf out a bit already.

We went to a small local chili cook-off & craft fair here in town yesterday, we got to taste a bunch of different samples, most of which were pretty damned good.  We all love chili verde so we tended towards the green chili.  I only tasted two that were disappointing--one brown chili that was boring, the other a sample of what was clearly simply jalapeno-style Ranch Beans that had been dumped out of a can and heated.

But it was a lovely day, if a bit windy.  They had a whiteboard with the schedule for the day.  Clearly lettered by someone who was not a child of the 50's or 60's considering they had no idea how to spell Hula Hoop.  With the Shoot & Holler contest the challenge was to eat a chili, take a shot of tequila and then yell your loudest.  Unfortunately we left before it took place, but I can only imagine what that was like.

The barrow 'o booze was entertaining.
They were touting the fact that along with the booze you'd also win the straw and the wheelbarrow, which I'll admit I perked up my ears at.

They even wheeled it around the grounds selling raffle tickets.

Some of the chili booths had fun displays.  Most used these little campstoves to keep the chili hot.

I'm surprised this plate slipped through the censors at the DMV.  Nevada clearly has a more relaxed sense of humor than California does.

One of the craft booths was a hit with the kid because PUPPIES.

A whole box of squirming black lab pups, one of which chewed on her hair and thoroughy covered her in puppy spit.

The pinata for the little kids was, of course, in the shape of a chili pepper.  What else?

After that it was time to head home.  All in all a lovely day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Baby Chick Update!

So here are updated pictures of all the chicks for 2014!

Oldest chicks first...the first two, Pumpkin and Alice, are from the feed store, the rest are all eggs that we hatched from our flock.

Pumpkin, the 6 week old Danish brown Leghorn.  Very sweet, calm and friendly, and VERY curious.  Determined to explore the house at all hours.

Trying to figure out how legs work...

Alice the 5 week old Barred Rock.  She was being an uncooperative little butthead during picture time.

BadMrFrosty, 4 weeks old.  I suspect a rooboy here, and he's getting some really interesting feathering.  Linc, our Barred Rock hen, might be his mama.

Cattywampus, 4 weeks old.  Getting some pretty spectacular foot feathering.  I suspect a light Brahma mama because of Wampus' long shanks.

NotASandwich, 4 weeks old.  Still a meatball on two toothpicks, quite the chunk.  Suspect a that mama is one of last year's white light Brahma mix hens.

Jellybean, 3 weeks old.  Or:  Eenie Meenie Jellybeanie, Screamin' Mimi or Jellybean the Drama Queen, as she is also known.  Screams like her little wings are being torn off whenever she is picked up for pets.

Jerk, another 3 week old.  Timid, refused to stand up and acted like we beat her with a rubber hose during picture time.

Patches, 3 weeks old.

Pie, also 3 weeks.  Very similar to Patches except more red and has a nifty design in her head feathers.

Now for the chicks that hatched two days ago!  All 4 had either Rose or Bug for mama--Rose is a full Americaunas, Bug is an Americaunas/Barred Rock/New Hampshire mix.

First is Cowbell.

'Needs more Cowbell!'

Ribbit.  Gray with a tiny snippit of red on top of her head.

Ratchet, practicing her 'so cute I can strike you down at 50 yards' look.

And finally, Buzzard.  Buzzard was trapped in her shell and had only pipped--then was unable to turn and unzip.  I had to unzip her shell for her a bit, then returned her to the incubator so she could finish draw down.  Once that was done I took the rest of the shell off of her and popped her out like a little biscuit.  She is just fine, she was just malposed in her shell and never would have hatched on her own.

So there we have our Baker's Dozen!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hatch D Is On!

Hatch D, our final hatch for 2014, has begun!  As usual, it's early...

For now the cam is still on the chicks in the brooder box until one of the eggs starts unzipping, probably in about 4-6 hours.

Hatch D has 11 eggs:  3 bantam Cochin eggs from the local high school, 4 dark green Bear eggs and 4 blue Americaunas eggs (either Bug or Rose for a mama).  Right now #11, a blue egg, has pipped--you can see it in the photo below, the egg behind the shot glass.  The pip is on the top left kinda towards the back.

We MAY have a broody mama for this batch if she is broody ENOUGH.  Wiggles, our blue mottled Belgian d'Uccle hen, is terrorizing the other chickens and stomping about all flared up and grumpy, but isn't setting yet.  If she starts setting and we don't get more than 4-5 chicks, we'll try her as mama.

Either way, we'll be partitioning off part of the brooder box for Hatch D since they will be so young--we don't want the older chicks trampling them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Latest Origami!

Lately I've been folding some flowers, snails, fish, butterflies, pigeons, bunnies and these, spirals.

I made large spirals from 3 inch paper and smaller ones from 2 inch paper.  Some of them have accents of colored wire wrapped around them along with different types of glass, metal or wood beads and embroidery cord for hanging.  This group is made from vintage wrapping paper, manga and a Susan Branch cookbook.

These three are made from an atlas, a comic book and a vintage science book that had all kinds of cool illustrations.

A collection of blue spirals made from wrapping paper.

Others made from books, atlas pages and the cookbook again.

Comic books, a dictionary, a kinda creepy kid's book with anthromorphic animals and the cool science book again.

And finally some Springtime-y ones made from more wrapping paper.

I'm hoping to scour some yard sales & thrift stores for more cool paper, it's a shame that usually some of my favorite paper turns out to be scraps from 30 years ago and needless to say is not to be found any more!


The latest in the weird eggs department...a lot of people call these 'Wind Eggs', other people cut right to the chase and call them 'Fart Eggs'.  I refer to them as 'Hiccups'.

When I first found it in the coop I wondered who in Hell had given the chickens a peanut.

As usual with these, when broken open it was comprised of thick albumen and not much else.

Looks kinda painful, though.  I've found tiny eggs before but never one quite this shape.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh Good, Another Project

Because we don't have enough to do, today we started attacking the front yard, which is a Dandelion Wonderland but also a huge eyesore.

Partly thanks to half-dead Treething, which we've been trying to vain to get to do something.  Grow.  Die.  Anything.  Instead it's been hovering in some zombie tree netherworld somewhere in between ever since we moved in.

Time's up, it's right outside the front windows so we see it every single time we look out and I'm sick of it--it had it's chance and has to go.  As near as I can figure it is--or was--some kind of acacia.  It would spit out a few half-hearted leaves and never flowered or did anything else remotely attractive.  It will be replaced by one of my little Arbor Day Foundation tree sticks, a River Birch.  Which--eventually--should be a very pretty multi-trunked tree.

The current square planter, made of ohsoattractive rotting wood, I hope to eventually replace with a knee-high rock planter capped with some flat-topped cement wall cap material, the wide kind you can sit on.  Put some of the ten million rocks on the property to good use.  I have some miniature daffodils that my mom gave me that will go around the river birch once it's in.

The lawn--or lack of it--is yet another project for another day.  We're thinking a good rototilling and reseeding will take care if it and the back 'lawn' (ahaha) as well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Meanwhile, In Nevada...

My husband's video gaming was attended to by Pumpkin today.
'No, not the SPAS-12!  Go for the rocket launcher!'

Proper chicken supervision was maintained at all times.  Pumpkin does love her some TV.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hatch B Is Here!

We got 4 chicks out of Hatch B, all of the other eggs upon breakout were infertile, so it was a 100% hatch of fertile eggs!

First is Jellybean:



and finally, Pie:

We also brought Bug, who is broody, into the house so she could briefly see the chicks.  Bug grumped and growled and flared at Pumpkin who was the only one brave enough to approach her and immediately assumed the proper broody hen shape--spherical.

After a day or so to get strong enough, the new chicks were incorporated in with the older chicks and all are now getting along great.

Hatch C should be this Sunday the 13th...but as with the others, may well be early!  We may recruit Bug to be a mama for Hatch C & D, we'll see how it works out.  If we do, we'll have to partition off part of the brooder box since Bug would peck away the older chicks and we don't want anyone hurt.