Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It ain't all chickens around here..

Just in case you think it's all chickens, chicken, chickens around here, I have some bug photos...

A black swallowtail butterfly on some orange flowers, the name of which has gone off and died in one of my many middle-aged brain cells.

I'm sure this one of my girls, an Italian honeybee, hard at work. (Speaking of which, I have a honey post coming as soon as I get my sh*t together!)

Bumblebee on sedum.

Monarch butterfly and leaf on lawn!

Fall is in the air, although it's now a stinking hot 32C with a humidex of 38C. More stinking heat on the way! The heat needs to go away so I can dig up my potatoes without succumbing to heat exhaustion.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Ready for more?

I call it "Late Summer Afternoon with Adidas and Hen"

Henrietta getting down and dirty.

The dirt bath: natural parasite control!

Henrietta and Cupcake enjoying a dirtbath while they destroy our lawn. Oh well, grass is over-rated anyway! (Actually, there was a groundhog hole here, so the destruction had already begun.)

Cupcake resplendent.

Is she not a fine example of chickenly gorgeousness?

Henrietta, queen of the flock.

"Where are my mealworms?"

I like the "waving comb" action on this one!

Oh look! It's the Gordfeeder.


This is what we do for fun on a Sunday afternoon in these here parts.

Yolkie and Gordon, sharing a moment.


Zombie chickens ate his brain!

See how relaxing chickens can be?

Iridescent feathers!

I think you can see why it kills me to think of hens living in battery cages on factory farms, and why I am so happy that we have our own hens so we know where our eggs come from. I fully support backyard chickens. If you look after them properly, they do NOT stink, do not attract vermin, and are no trouble. Without a rooster, the noise they make is minimal and in fact adorable. I love listening to the girls "talk" amongst themselves.

I can sit in our coop for an hour and not be bothered by any smell. Sure, it is chicken-scented, but there's no acrid ammonia stench. We use the deep-litter method and it works very well. The whole coop is screened with hardware cloth and we don't have a rodent problem, unless you count the chipmunk who ran in through the open door!

Backyard Chickens is a great source for info on keeping your own chickens.

If you can't have your own chickens (clearly not everyone can!), try to source out eggs from hens that are kept humanely. I am lucky to live in a rural area where lots of people keep free-range chickens, but even in a city, you can find good eggs if you look around enough. They may not be cheap, but cheap eggs cost us all in the long run.

Right, lecture over. Henrietta and the girls thank you. Have a chickenly day!

Chickens, chickens, chickens, all day, every day!

No joke, I think I took 250 chicken photos this afternoon. The joy of digital cameras! I won't inflict them all on you at once, but this will get you started.

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon!

Treat time!

I think this is Cupcake. Unless it's Ellie. Or Claudia!

This is what we do for fun on a hot Sunday afternoon around here!

Mucho fluffy-ass!

A boy and his birds. That's Chicky grabbing treats from Gordon's hand. Poor Chicky is at the absolute bottom of the pecking order, and she has the ratty feathers to prove it. The other girls peck at her, but at least they aren't drawing blood.

Zombie chickens ate our brains, but we died happy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Latest hen of the week

As you may or may not remember, I make "Hen of the Week" cards to stick on the cartons of eggs that we sell. I have not made any new ones for a while, so I am trying to get my act together, since I've got three neglected hens complaining that they haven't had their day in the sun yet. This week's Hen of the Week is Nadia:

That just leaves Claudia and Ellie to do cards for. The new chickens won't get cards until they start laying. Collect 'em all!

And if you like Art Trading Cards, check out the marvellous ATC Quarterly. Well worth every penny of the subscription price. The Fall 2010 issue has a story about me and my ATC "fine feathered friends."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Movie Poster Chickens

Gordon recently bought himself an original Dr. Strangelove movie poster, from our friend Dave at the fantabulous Posteropolis. Now, when Gordon and I started our love affair some 21 years ago, one of the first things he did was lend me his copy of Dr. Strangelove, telling me it was his favourite movie ever. Having never heard a thing about Dr. Strangelove, and having forgotten how A Clockwork Orange (a favourite of my humourless ex) made me want to run screaming from the theatre, I dutifully watched the flick from start to finish. All I remember is some grande finale involving a cowboy riding a nuclear bomb, all very phallic.

Let's just say that Gordon and I agree on many things, but the fabulosity of Dr. Strangelove is not among them. Consider it a miracle that after I gave Gordon back his videotape and made some polite remarks about how interesting the movie was, my love for him only grew.

The only good thing I can say about Dr. Strangelove is that it was made the same year I was.

But I digress, because really this post is about my latest Art Trading Cards. I haven't been to a meet for months because we've had a company-filled summer, but this Saturday I am damn well going to be in Dunvegan for the trading festivities. And so, with thanks to Dave for the inspiration of the Posteropolis website, I have created these Exploitation Flick Chick ATCS:

It's nice to know I can still make myself laugh until I pee!


PS If you're looking for great vintage movie posters and memorabilia, check out Posteropolis!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beauty near home!

I am designing a brochure for the Cornwall Outdoor Recreation Area, an under-appreciated little gem in my area. Unfortunately, too many scum-sucking knobules use it as a place to dump their garbage. Here's a nice story about the annual clean-up at CORA.

I drove over there this morning to take photos for the brochure. It was my first visit and I was very impressed!

There used to be an Ontario Hydro quarry on the site back in the 1950s. Now the quarry is stocked with trainbow and speckled trout and is a nice place to go fishing! What a lovely, peaceful little body of water.

The CORA is home to many creatures, like Brown bats and Northern Leopard frogs, and this very cool dragonfly:

Look! It has hearts down its back.


...some idiot's underpants were floating in the water. Next time I go, I'll take a trash bag and rubber gloves.

A road to somewhere pretty!


Feel free to identify these blue berries (though not blueberries) for me.

Bulrushes and trees.

Well hello!

A Monarch butterfly caterpillar on some swamp milkweed. Monarch caterpillars adore various types of milkweed. If you're not from these parts, you might not know that our Monarchs migrate to Mexico to overwinter, which is NOT a short journey. Amazing creatures!

Underpants aside, the water is quite clear and clean.

Mr. Caterpillar, yet again.



I like this photo. Remnants of the quarry structures, the water, and my hands in shadow.

I look forward to going back! I think some autumn photos would be beautiful.

There are various hiking trails at the site. plus streams and wetlands and woodlands. You can fish,watch birds, hike, bike, kayak or canoe (no motorized boats and no ATVs on marked trails, although ATVs are allowed elsewhere in the CORA). In winter, there's cross-country skiing! It would be nice to see more people enjoying the site and fewer people dumping their crap there.


The Cornwall Outdoor Recreation Area is just off Cornwall Centre Road, at the northwest corner of Power Dam Drive in Cornwall, Ontario. It was a little difficult to find the entrance; look for the sign for AB Cartage and head up towards their site. Go past it and a little further down the road, you'll see the entrance to C.O.R.A.