Saturday, September 19, 2009

Harvest time, and chickens rule the world...

Right, my knitting blog friend Monika wanted pics of me covered in chickens and although we tried, the girls weren't especially cooperative this evening. Still, we took a few shots and hopefully that'll keep you all going for now!

I call this one "Eastern Ontario Gothic." I still can't tell most of the chickens apart, so only two have names assigned to them so far. We're planning on banding their legs, at which point the naming will be done. I already have eight names supplied by our friends' four kids: Duck, Goose (our friends' son is very funny!), Chicky, Cupcake, Charlotte, Yolky, Ellie and Buttercup. I named another one "Buffy," and still another "Anastasia" after my Irish grandmother (who had a great sense of humour and would know I am remembering her with love!) We have three other names to come up with.

I don't know which chicken this was, but she liked the turban squash very much!

"I will do all that my chicken mistress commands me. Yessss, mistress! Yessssssss! I will bring you mealworms and yogurt for your bedtime treat!"

Meanwhile, in the coop, the fascination with the turban squash continues. I expect the thing to be a mere shell by morning.

Gordon was a good chicken-daddy and added more wood shavings to their coop. We are using the "deep litter method" and have to build up around 8 - 10" of the stuff!

It looks like I'm telling them a bedtime story, which is not beyond the realm of possibility. "Once upon a time, there was a bad, bad man named Chef Nick. Chef Nick loved charmoula sauce, but most of all, he loved charmoula sauce on roast chicken!" Hmmm... bedtime stories like that might give the girls nightmares. My bad.

Meanwhile, a poultrilicious (I made that word up. Can you tell?) beauty steps out of the coop next to a freshly-picked rouge vif d'étampes pumpkin a truly beautiful thing grown from French heirloom seeds.Well, this was the least beautiful one, as it had some rot on the side and thus is now a chicken coop ornament!

There's a risk of frost here tonight (insert sound of me screaming uncontrollably), so we harvested the pumpkins and squash. Anything else will just have to suffer. I cannot contemplate 2 degrees Celsius while I am still wearing sandals and shorts!

Gordon cradles in his arms the only babies he will likely ever have. No diapers to change, and they'll never ask to borrow the car. That said, neither will they care for us in our old age!

A boy and his dog in the autumn sunlight. It may still technically be summer, but it was bloody cold today and the leaves are starting to fall off the trees (insert sound of more of my uncontrollable screaming.) After a summer of pitiful wet weather, and the death by late blight of almost 40 tomato plants, I am so NOT ready for winter.

Gordon doing his manly-man job, hauling one of three wagon loads of pumpkins and squash up to the garage.

Me and Sophie, who loves me, but probably loves chicken poop more. I was all worried that she and Tristan might bother the chickens (they did live with chickens before we adopted them and were allegedly fine, but you never know.) I needn't have been concerned. They don't chase the chickens. They follow them around sedately, eating their poop. EEEEYUW! Cats are so much classier than dogs.

Pumpkins and squash. As I recall, the white pumpkins are called "Lumina."

Our 2002 Protege 5 looking like it belongs in a car ad. It's smashing for off-roading, which in our case only means driving down the lawn behind the barn, with bags o' chicken shavings and a couple of dogs in the hatchback.

And this photo makes Tristan look fat, which he is not!!

And here's the pumpkin patch. I am always finding garter snakes in it. I used black landscape fabric over the weeds and it really retains the heat, which the snakes no doubt find appealing. A very large garter snake startled me today. See if you can find it in this photo!

Here, I outlined it to make it easier!

He'll be even more startled than me if we get snow on Hallowe'en like last frigging year.

And our Vizsladorable (Lab-Vizsla cross), Tristan, being his ever-handsome and noble self. And a good day was had by all!


  1. We've seen more snakes in our yard this summer than ever before. Snakes I can handle. Mice, I cannot.

  2. What a delightful set of photos. I'd never seen turban squashes before. Your dogs are such handsome fellows!

  3. I love these pictures and seeing your dream come true! Tristan is so handsome in his portrait!

  4. Oh thank you for this lovely post! You are so pretty amongst your chickies and lovely doggies! I love all your photos today, they make me smile (which is much needed) I did NOT see the snake without your help!

  5. I flew over your pleace on my way to Japan. Did you see me wave. The sky looked very sunny, and it was just beautiful. I also flew over Peg's neck of the woods in Alaska; but, alas, too much cloud over to see much but the tops of snow covered mountains.

  6. OOoh, freshisle, we have RATS running around the farm and it's something we must deal with. They have drop holes all over the garden and you know if you see a few rats, a few hundred more are hiding. EEEE! Mice are a pain in the butt but whenever one is foolish enough to venture into our house, one of the three cats usually annihilates it. Well, it's usually Julius. The other two cats just play mouse-hockey.

  7. Jams, this is the first year I've grown turban squashes. They are edible, not just decorative, and I think they're hilarious.

    Sharon, Tristan deigns to thank you for the compliment. Really, he's a loveable dork.

    Monika, glad you enjoyed and I still plan to get you a shot of me covered in chickens.

    Genny, I didn't see you waving but I'm jealous of your trip! Hope you are having a great one.

  8. This is fascinating...Far from Toronto life!!!

  9. Your chicken are just the greatest thing to start the day (and I don't mean eating them, Chef Nick) ...and you seem such a happy mama amongst all the girls!

  10. Claudia, I was just born in the wrong place. I spent more than half my life in T.O., but I'm not a city girl. When I was three, I told my Dad I was going to live in the country.

    Elisabeth, I am besotted with my chickens. And Chef Nick will never be allowed to sauté them. Le chef, il est méchant!!

  11. I think I met one of the world's few people who have both a turban squash and a red chicken. In fact, I was just taking pictures of the turban squash, which I bought without knowing what it was because it is pretty. What a beautiful life your photos show.

  12. Sage Rose, I'm glad you stopped by! And red chickens and turban squash go well together, don't you think? :)


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!