Thursday, July 30, 2009

Earthworms, anyone?

Can you stand more chicken photos? (Happy Wombat Boy, Chef Nick, I do NOT wanna hear it.)

Took the girls out for a spin in the flower garden this morning. Every so often, one would catch an earthworm and run around like a... like a... like a chicken with her head cut off, ahem, peeping at the top of her lungs, with the other girls in hot pursuit. Finally the worm would be consumed, if no other chick managed to steal it. These chicks go nuts for moths, worms, mealworms, you name the insect. They are also fanatical about plain yogurt. But mostly they are still eating chick feed.

The two in front were checking out each other's beaks. Or kissing.

All aglow in the sunshine.

A vision in fluff. I have been calling this poor thing "Runty", because she's the smallest and still hasn't got her full set o' tail feathers. No, Chef Nick, you may not flambé her. No charmoula sauce either.

"I see you, Chef Nick. I see you, Happy Wombat Boy. I will come to you in your dreams and PECK OUT YOUR EYEBALLS!"

Check out chicky on the far right. She's got a lot of brown in her face, unlike the rest of her black sistahs.


When these two are all grown up, they will be reddish brown all over.

"Hello, Dahl-link!"


Three weeks old and already so grown up. Wah.

Flower break:

Beautiful crocosimas.

Portrait #489: Chicken with kitten and birdbath.

Chick butt with marigold.

They are so cute! NO! YOU CANNOT EAT THEM!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Off to the fair

Last week, my friends and their four kids visited from Maryland for a few days, and we had a great time. We did many things, including visiting the Chesterville Fair, which we all enjoyed. I have a thing for goats, want some for our farm, and fell in love with this young Nubian in the goat barn:

And of course, I was all over the petting zoo:

Llama. That's her cria's (baby llama) butt to the right.

Hungry kid!

"Feeeeeeeed me! Feeeeeeeeeeeed me!!"

Big goat, little goat.

Alpaca. My friend Phyllis considers them to be MUTANTS.

There was also a display of some beautifully-restored gas-powered farm machinery:

Gordon chats with the gent who beautified and owns these babies.

Grain grinder!

Sadly, the tractor pull was cancelled due to inclement weather, but we had lots of fun anyway.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicks' first outing

Ah, the kids are growing up! Today the chicks had their first outing. They are almost three weeks old now and are getting pretty adventurous. They moved into the garage last week (still in their big box) because we had guests for a few days. This week they will finally move into the chicken coop.

We've starting giving them insect treats. They go absolutely nuts over moths, not to mention mealworms. You want a frenzy in a box full of chicks, chuck in a few bugs!

We took their entire box out to the driveway. It took them a while to summon up the courage to move away from the box. They didn't stray far, but they did relax and have fun.

Stepping out! "I'm too sexy for my beak, too sexy for my beak..."

The adorable fluff-factor remains high on those chick butts.

The proud chick-daddy watches over his flock, guarding them from predators like hawks, weasels, Chef Nick and Happy Wombat Boy.

"Hi little chicky. I come in peace."

Yes, the chickens make me deliriously happy. No, I am not going to EAT THEM.

Pooped after a hard hour's scratching and pecking in the exercise yard. Back to the slammer with you, Buttercup!

Our friends' four kids got to name eight of the chicks (not that we can tell the chicks apart yet.) So far we've got Buttercup and Charlotte (courtesy of the 9 year-old girl), Duck and Goose (courtesy of the ironic ten-year-old boy), Yolkie and Ellie (thank you, 12-year-old girl!) and Chicky and Cupcake (compliments of the 5 year-old girl.) That leaves five to be named. Gordon is working on his choices. I'm going with Amy Elizabeth in honour of a chicken-lovin' e-friend. We'll see what else we end up with. No, Chef Nick and Happy Wombat Boy. We will not end up with Grilled, Scrambled, Roasted, Fried, and Teriyaki. NO.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moving out

The chicks are now two weeks old and last night they moved out to the garage. Gordon is still predator-proofing the coop. (It's hard to find wire mesh strong enough to keep out hungry male bloggers!) To transport them, I put them in a small box...

...and whisked them off to the garage!

"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore!"

I swear they are growing by the hour.

Happily ensconced in their big box in the garage!

You can see how much they've grown. The little box with holes is the one they arrived in two weeks ago. The other box is the one they lived in for the first week.

And this giant table saw box is the one they are living in now:

Usually it's better to have an enclosure with round corners for chicks (like a large piece of flexible cardboard bulldog-clipped together to form a circle. This is because chicks can panic, pile into corners, and smother each other. But the circle thing isn't practical for us until we get them into the coop, so we bank up the shavings in the corners which has worked fine. Also, we only have thirteen chicks so there is less of a risk of the smothering scenario! As they grow, it becomes less of an issue.

Peep! Peep! Peep!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

In no particular order...

I'm getting a backlog of photos...

Berries, berries, berries! (Ronna, are these black raspberries, wild blackberries...??? They are all over the farm. Tasty!)

Dogs in pond. One day we'll get a windmill to aerate it so it's not full of pond scum. But the frogs love it.

Sophie and Tristan drying in the sun.

Sumac blooms.

A very young sumac just starting to blossom. The local stewardship council planted a lot of trees and bushes on our farm this year, along the municipal drain and down near the river.

The granary and barn, on a rare (for this summer) sunny afternoon!

But the storm approacheth. Again.

You can tell it has been a cold wet summer because my peas are still in blossom! In fact, I just had my first sugar snap peapod yesterday, and even that one was just a wee young thing.

Potato flowers.

Potato jungle.

Pumpkins and... broccoli? Damn, I think it was something else. Broccoli rabe? Need to check my list.

I grew three kinds of runner beans this year. I especially like this one with the two-tone flowers.

The vegetable jungle.

Rose campion and friend. (Sorry, I don't know what that bush with the pale pink flowers is. Anyone??) I do love rose campion.

A beautiful ruffled poppy. These self-seed every year.

Beautiful sunset but not the best shot. I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes and was having camera issues. Trust me, it was beautiful.

The house at sunset.

I need to take a machete to the garden. I can't believe the way things are growing this year!!