Sunday, August 12, 2012

Animal House

Well, I've got a ton of pictures for ya'll today since I have not shown any kind of update or progress on the chickens or garden in some time.  The original batch of hens are doing fine.  Scooter finally broke out of her broody mood and is back in the swing of things.  Sheila is either getting tired of motherhood or got booted out by Prissy because she has been running with the old hens more and leaving Prissy alone with the 6 mutt chicks.  That seems to suit Prissy fine.  Here they are enjoying a half of cantaloupe from the garden.  I ate most of it first and then gave them the rest.  Ramona, the red with the black tail in front, just about jumped up and snatched it away from me.  These chickens are spoiled rotten.  They think any time you come out of the house that you should have some treat for them.

Here is one of my little sweetie pie Speckled Sussex.  They are just the sweetest little things.  They climb all over me when I go see them.  Of course, they think you have treats for them too, but they love to be petted.
I've learned to be careful though because they'll snatch my earrings out given the chance!

Here's a good many of the others.  It is extremely hard to get a good picture of these birds because they are always moving so fast most of them end up blurred.  The reddish ones are the New Hampshires (like Ramona).  The gawky, bloomer-legged one on the far right and the one directly in front are the Partridge Rocks and the one on the right with the long black tail pointed down is one of the Brown Leghorns.  Those things remind me of Allen's pheasants. 

The little mutt chicks are not so little anymore and are all doing fine.  I guess Ms. Prissy and Sheila are pretty good mamas after all.  They've all survived so far and are very active.  I think I have 4 hens and 2 roos with these but I'm not totally sure.

The garden is on it's second wind apparently.  We have had very good harvests of everything this year.  I thought after the black-eyed peas made their crop they would die back but they just rested for a while and are flushing with blooms all over again!  The green beans are all still going strong.  I grew Jade this year, instead of the Blue Lake bush that I normally grow and I will probably stick with these Jade beans.  The package said they were prolific and they were not kidding!

These are my canning tomatoes.  They are finally getting cranked up.  I was a little late getting these in so it's my fault not theirs.  I went through the garden this morning and pruned, weeded and just generally tidied up the whole place.  My cukes have bit the dust and my other tomatoes were looking pretty rough so I pulled all that and a few beans and peas to make it easier to get around between plants.  I also pruned back these tomatoes where they were starting to run across the ground.  They just get too leggy and don't put much effort into fruit if I let them go so they got a good trim.  This should put more energy back into producing fruit and a sturdier base plant.  I have pruned my tomatoes the past couple of years and they will flush back out again to produce more.

The strawberry plants have really grown and become robust so hopefully I will have a good harvest next year.  These plants seem much better suited for this climate than the ones I had before.  On the right of the path is my pepper patch.  They have gotten so big they have fallen over even with staking.  I need to fix that!
The tomatoes you see on the ground are from the plants I pulled.  We picked through those and keep some and will give the rest to the chickens.  The raspberries are starting their second crop this year too!  I believe it will be better than the first one at the beginning of summer.

Jack has been working on a number of things but since finishing the wood drying shed he has been tidying up along the creek next to the driveway.  It looks SO much better now.  It is very nice to sit down here and listen to the creek.  I have planted a few things and hope to have some real nice areas with the native ferns and things grouped in places.

Chigger loves it when we work down by the creek because it gives her an excuse to play in the water!  She has gotten better about getting in the deep areas.  For a long time she would not wade deep enough to get even her belly wet but now she flops in all the deep spots.

Now here's a frugal idea for ya'll.  Chigger loves to "camp out" on the deck in pretty weather but we did not have a bed for her there.  Well, she commandeered my drop cloth, from when I've been painting on the house, so we decided to find her something.  Jack just happened to go by some yard sales this past weekend and found this thickly quilted pillow sham for $1, so he bought it as a bed for her.  It's just the right size for her and with the slit in the back (for the pillow) it was easy for me to stuff an old folded sheet inside for a little more padding.  Works great and she seems to like it!

And this is just a gratuitous picture of Grendal.  We have had absolutely fabulous weather today and she enjoyed napping on the deck for some time.  It has turned so mild here that I just couldn't stay inside much either.  In fact, I'm going to go out and watch the meteors in a minute and it is so cool here I may have to wear a jacket!  In August!! 


Pablo said...

I spend Friday night at my cabin. It was in the 50s when I woke on Saturday. Just a week ago the daytime temps were TWICE that.

Aunty Belle said...

Whoa!! Wait.....youse gittin' MARRIED????

Annie!! Yippeeeee! Thas' wunnerful news--jes' so pleased fer y'all two. Congrats, Jack, thas some sweet lady
youse gonna waltz down the path.

An' in October? Delightful!

HermitJim said...

I'm happy that your garden is perking up again! Nice to have some fresh stuff right up to the cold weather!

Sounds like you are doing something right!

I just love the chick on your shoulder!

edifice rex said...

Hey Pablo! yeah, I know! the weather has been crazy although I have been grateful for the cooler temps.

Hey Aunty! thank you!!! yeah, I think (hope)October will be a nice time for it.

Hey Jim! thanks! I love my little chicks too! they are sweet. Yes, I was happy that the garden didn't just completely crap out.

Bone said...

My sister got my nephew some baby chicks a long while back. Now they are no longer chicks and they have eggs coming out their ears. (My sister and her husband, not the chicks.)

I don't suppose you fried any of those green tomatoes? That's one of my favorites.

edifice rex said...

Hey Bone! yeah, it's amazing how fast eggs accumulate from even a few hens!
I have not fried any green tomatoes yet but plan to do that soon!