First off, HAPPY CANADA DAY to my fellow Canadians!
Last weekend, our friends Steve (of Grumpy Penguin fame) and Sarah dropped by for a visit. They let me steal a few photos!
Here's Gordon in the new aviary, I mean, covered duck/chicken run, with our new firehose. Yes, Gordon has a very large hose! ;) The firehose is great for filling up the duck kiddy pools in record time, but you can't leave it unattended for fear of completely draining the barn well!
Mama Emma and her chick were running all over. Steve snapped this just as baby was jumping up on Mum for a ride!
It is SO cute when they do this. Excuse the poop-stained wall. It's right next to a corner perch. I cleaned it yesterday!
Mama helpfully points out some sunflower seeds to her youngster.
A nice pic of me and Steve!
And here's Sarah with Karène, whose babies should hatch in about two weeks. She is sitting on 13 eggs but I'm pretty sure a few of them are duds, as they were really old when she finally started to sit.
And now tto his weekend. Yesterday I finished cleaning out the chicken coop! I did it a bit last week in the early mornings, but the bulk of the work was yesterday. Many, many trips with the wheelbarrow, but I got all those shavings out. We use the deep-litter method in our coop. You keep adding wood shavings over the course of a year, then shovel the whole shebang out annually. I only went 10 months this time and I am going to switch to doing this twice a year so it's less work at one time.
Mama and chick came in to check out my handiwork!
That's not icing sugar. It's food-grade diatomaceous earth!
About as clean as it will ever get.
Yes, I cleaned the windows. I do that a few times a year. I want my birds to have a good view!
I use an old snow shovel and a wheelbarrow for this job. At the end, I cleaned hay out of the nest
boxes. Beaker decided he'd have a nap in the used hay!
What the hell?!
Black walnuts! I had opened this bag of shavings a few days earlier. Meanwhile, a damn red squirrel hid approximately 25 black walnuts in there. We have six black walnut trees. It's squirrel paradise. Our barn must have 100,000 walnuts stashed away in every nook and cranny!
I put down a few bags of shavings and...
...everyone ran in to check things out!
The chick gets around!
Then Georgiana and Lavinia joined Beaker in the wheelbarrow.
I am so glad to have the coop all clean and fresh-smelling again!
Meanwhile, Gordon was busy with other things...
No, an aircraft did not crash-land in our garden. There was no tornado.
I bought that birdhouse approximately three years ago. After three years of my nagging, Gordon finally had our carpenter put it up on a sturdy pole. Three days later, the *&!(*&!@#$%!+&**!!! squirrels had gnawed EVERY SINGLE HOLE in the nest box. I am going to buy metal plates to put over the holes. We were already planning on getting a squirrel baffle for the pole, but figured we had some time. Apparently not.
So my dear thoughtful husband attempted to construct a temporary baffle out of some metal roofing. While his attempt was extremely creative, it remains to be seen whether or not the squirrels will be baffled. I can't walk past the thing without breaking into laughter. I do love that man!