May 31, 2011
Today was a scorcher! The temps lingered around 98 and I even saw it rise up to 100. The heat index was about 110 or more and believe me it sure felt like it. Ruby panted at high speed and the cats barely moved a muscle. I kept the fluids going and indulged in a little siesta in the afternoon.
It was too hot to do much outside so I worked on the mud room. With family coming soon to visit it has to be made back into a guest room. I got the bed frame put up and tried to put everything else together like puzzle pieces to make it all fit. You would think that with all the stuff we got rid of before we moved here there would be plenty of room.
Working today required lots of rest periods between jobs. In heat like this everything you do must be done in slow motion and what doesn’t get done will be there tomorrow, which should be more than 10 degrees cooler.
The heat didn’t seem to bother the chickens or the guineas. Tonight when I drove the Kubota back to check on the frat boys they put up a road block at the garage where all the feed is kept. The chickens and guineas formed a procession line in front of the Kubota. If they could have I think they would have carried signs that said “We want scratch and we want it now!” I do believe that was what they were chanting as I tried to break the line with the nose of the Kubota, but they were too strong and I had to stop and throw out some scratch before all mayhem broke loose. With them finally appeased I was able to get on with my business.
The heat is finally starting to abate a little and Ruby has stopped panting. Annie still has not moved off of the couch but thats ok… I’m about to join her.
May 30, 2011
Sonny's new grill.
Sonny liked his new birthday grill so much that he wouldn’t let me put the cover on it. He had to sit on the porch swing and admire it a while. I think it even has a compass in the stock ( you know what I mean if you have seen “The Christmas Story” about the Red Rider BB gun with a compass on the stock and a thingy that tells time). At least he won’t shoot his eye out with this, but he might have to watch out for some flying hamburgers. Looking forward to some good BBQ next weekend.
May 26, 2011
Our little Phoebe has a full nest again. She has returned to the same nest located on the down spout right outside the bathroom window for about three years now. These babies are her first brood this year and she will have another one after these are grown and fly away. From the looks of them it won’t be long. Mama Phoebe is there on the right tending her young. There is no room now for her to actually get into the nest. It is always a joy to watch her little family hatch and grow up.
A full nest.
May 25, 2011
I usually go shopping on Mondays, but I ended up going into town today instead. Lowes was one of the stops on my list and I couldn’t resist passing through the plant department. There were tall racks filled with flowers in so many hues that they reminded me of a box of Crayola Crayons. Which ones to choose? There isn’t much room in the budget for flowers but I had to have some. I found some nice ones for .99 cents a six pack, so I loaded my cart with yellow French Marigolds, red Salvia and Variegated Vinca. They should fit nicely in the porch planters.
There are enough flowers left over after filling the planters for another container. I have a couple in mind but there are only so many hours in a day and they will have to wait until tomorrow. There was also a hanging basket filled with pretty little flowers, like wild flowers that are my favorite.
More to plant.
Don’t worry Sissy. There is still the flower bed around the stump to do when you come out. So start thinking about what to put out there. Maybe we’ll even fill some more containers to put around PHF.
May 24, 2011
I have noticed that my pigs are not early risers. I don’t believe they get up before 10:00 a.m. even when their breakfast is delivered. As fast as they grow you would think they would be hungry all the time and be especially anxious for their morning feed.
My black rubber wellies made a squish slurp sound as I trudged through the mud at about 7:30 this morning, a galvanized bucket of pig feed swinging in my right hand. The pasture is still so wet and muddy that I can’t drive the RTV back to the pig palace. As I approached the fence I could see a mound of pink skinned piggies piled on a hay mattress in the left corner of the pig shelter. It looked like a frat house after a long night of partying.
No one moved or appeared to be alive as I poured their morning cereal into the feed bowl. I hollered out “It’s time to get up!” The only response I received was an aggravated twitch coming from the back of a pig facing away from me. Another one slowly lifted its head, blinked a few times and then yawned. What did they expect breakfast in bed? This is a farm not the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
I hollered again and beat on the bucket trying to get some reaction from them. Again no one moved except for the aggravated twitch of a back. My motto is usually that if I’m awake then everybody should be awake but today I left them to their sleepy stupor. I don’t know whats going on out there at night, but I suspect the wild turkeys are bringing in some moonshine for boys.
As usual the chickens were wide awake. The rooster was crowing “Let us out” as I walked past the coop and I yelled back, “Lay your eggs!” If I let them out too early then I find eggs in other places, so I usually let them out at about 9:00 or 10:00. I have one hen in particular that likes to lay her eggs anywhere but in the coop. Today there were four eggs in the nesting basket of the coop when I let everyone out and later on when I rechecked there was one more. So today she was a good girl and laid her egg in the right place.
The little hens are growing up fast. They now get up on the roost at night instead of hiding behind the nesting basket or feed bin. The four of them mill around the farm together like a little clique. They don’t follow the others and still like to stay in the vicinity of the coop, but as soon as they are old enough I’m sure Roo Roo will have them rounded up with the rest of his harem. I just hope that wild turkey with the moonshine doesn’t corrupt my chickens like it did those frat house pigs.
Young hen looking for bugs in the grass.
I don't want my picture taken.
May 22, 2011
A warm sun shone us today as we carefully removed twelve brown speckled eggs from their cozy nest. I was surprised that Mama Guinea didn’t throw a fit and start hollering for her mate to come and thwart the evil farmers stealing her babies. I slowly approached the nest talking to her in soothing tones as I carefully stuck my hand beneath her to take an egg. She tolerated the removal of about three eggs then huffed off the nest making soft squeaking sounds that were almost inaudible. I’m not sure I want to know what she was saying. She stood just a arms length away and kept a weary eye on me as I gingerly picked up each precious egg and placed it into an egg carton.
I actually thought better about the egg carton after the fact, thinking that a towel lined basket would have been a better choice. That way the eggs would be in the same position they were in the nest. I don’t know maybe it doesn’t make a difference. I only selected a dozen, leaving her with ten eggs to tend to. When I moved away from the nest she immediately inspected her off spring then squatted down on them as if nothing had happened.
To keep the eggs warm I filled a hot water bottle, placed it on top of the carton and wrapped a towel around whole package. I had to wait a little while before heading over to Two Lynne’s Farm so I hope the tiny eggs fared ok and stayed warm enough. Again I am no expert at this kind of thing.
I don't know what I was thinking putting them in an egg carton.
When I arrived at Two Lynne’s Farm we took the eggs to their new surrogate mama. Her name is Turkey Lady and she is a beautiful bird. Turkey Lady desperately wants to hatch out a family and has been sitting on two eggs of her own. Unfortunately there is no male turkey on the farm so they are unfertilized. Lynne and Sandy have let her set on them to ease her broodiness.
Turkey Lady is a sweetie and she was very patient as I placed the twelve eggs beneath her warm feathered body. I stroked her back and talked softly to her to keep her calm. She just turned her pretty head and eyed me as she willingly excepted each little brown egg. I have no doubt in my mind that she will take good care of the little guineas.
Turkey Lady setting on the guinea eggs.
In payment for the services of Turkey Lady, I gave Lynne and Sandy a goody box containing my home canned tomatoes, pear sauce, pumpkin and squash conserve. We also agreed that they could keep half of however many chicks hatch.
We will see how well our little guinea mama will do in hatching whats left of her brood. Hopefully we will be able to catch them when they finally hatch. We wanted to at least let her try to hatch a few on her own. All we can do is hope for the best and let each bird have the satisfaction of being a mom.
May 21, 2011
It was the usual Saturday morning, up at five and out of the door by six. The flea market was loaded with vendors. I believe everyone who had cleaned out their homes of extra stuff came to sell it at the flea market today. It helped that we had sunshine and warm weather to pull all those rain sodden recluses out of the mud and back into the life giving light. Its amazing how a little sunshine can change a person from a scowling umbrella carrying zombie into a light hearted smiling human being.
There were a lot of the usual vendors there, but there were also some fresh new faces with tables full of wares that had been pulled out from overstuffed garages, closets, and kitchen cabinets. There were all kinds of neat gadgets to catch a pack rats eye, fortunately I am not a pack rat and have a small home with little storage. Whenever Sonny and I walk down the rows of overflowing tables that spill out onto tarps on the ground, we ask ourselves if we really need anything. His eye is out searching for useful tools and I look for old rustic objects that would look nice as yard ornaments. I look for things that would work well as flower pots like old buckets or watering cans. I found a pretty flowered wreath to hang on the root cellar door. Even a root cellar door can look festive.
Carol likes things that can dress up the outside as well and we often grab for the same item. Today there was a rusted metal rooster that we both liked. Of course Carol being the nice person she is asked if I wanted it, but even if I did I would not take it from her. First come, first served. I would have to tease her a little about it first, but we were in luck today. Apparently there were a pair of roosters and the lady who was selling them brought out the second one and said we could have them both for five dollars. So we split the cost and we both went home with a homely looking rusted rooster with paint splashes for color. He will look just divine in our flowerbeds.
Rusty and handsome.
After the flea market and our traditional breakfast we went to Tractor Supply, Lowes and the feed store. I picked up six more strawberry plants and I got them into the ground as soon as I got home. We stopped by Two Lynne’s Farm for a short visit and of course I came home with three Coleus plants that Sandy didn’t have room for. I seem to always leave there with something fuzzy or potted.
Our guinea girl is still sitting on her eggs. Lynne and Sandy offered to let their turkey hen sit on some of the eggs until they hatch. Apparently she has been successful surrogate before. I think we just might take a dozen over for her to hatch. Sandy said they tried letting their guineas hatch their own, but once the eggs hatched the parents ended up leaving them to fend for themselves. I had read about that, but Lynne and Sandy have years of experience under their belts when dealing with chickens, guineas, ducks, geese and turkeys. So maybe we will have a few baby guineas after all.
I would like to give a shout out to cousin Arlena who I hear is a new blog follower. Welcome. You know how those Aunties gossip.