Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spring babes finally get names!

Today being the beautiful sunny Sunday that it was, Nik and I decided it was well time to trim our feathered flocks' wings. Of course, I'm sure our awesome neighbors would have preferred we do this weeks ago, as a few Freedom Rangers have decided they prefer Chuck and Chris' and Barenhart and Lee's sprawling back 40 to ours. The spring clutch is about 12 weeks old now and had up until today, remained nameless. This not only seemed just a little too neglegent, it made identifying and trimming harder then it needed to be. And so here I'd love to take a moment of your time and introduce you to our Spring Flock.
We've got two black Austrolops, one of which you can see in the photo to the left. Joshua has ceremoniously named this little lady Manarhd. Taken, I believe, from a character in the Wheel of Time series that Joshua so loves. Our surviving turk has yet to be named; we just couldn't think of anything suitable. After having to name a multitude of chickens, ducks, quail, cats, dogs, gerbils and whatnot, my creative naming bone is broken! Any suggestions in this matter would be greatly appreciated!
This lovely lady to the left is our Sussex named Mordith, again a name stolen from the stories of The Wheel of Time.

And this stunning gray gal, Brahman, is a Brahma chicken. Yeah, like I said, my creative name circuit up and quit on me.
Raiku here is a silver-laced Wyandotte. She's harder then spit to catch. I don't think we spent as much quality time with her as we probably should have during her formative weeks because she's the most distant of our spring flock this year.
This stunning pair are the Ferdinand's; Franz and Isabella. Franz was sexed as a poult, but he didn't like that distinction and being the rebel that he is, decided to be a male. Franz and Isabella Ferdinand are bossy and bitchy and only really enjoy the company of each other. Awwww, young love. Been there!
Although we'd decided to never adopt another Rhode Island Red again, because of their overall jerky-ness, somehow we ended up with two more. The larger Red on the right is named Phiele and the smaller one on the left is named Almondreada. I'm seriously never letting Josh name another creature in either his life or mine.
Last although surely not least is Amy Ray, a black Austrolorp. The choice in names has nothing to do with any similarity between our hen and the famous feminist singer, I was just darn tired of all the weird names. Maybe next spring I'll get another poult and name her Emily. Awww, I'd have my own set of mini Indigo Girls!
In addition to catching, naming and trimming the wings of the Habitat Flock (what we've named the backyard family), we decided it was time to move Auntie Mame and Pearl into the larger flock and relocate Nineve and her 6 babes into the garden tractor. So far they love it! As it's pretty difficult to discern chick from chick, we've only named one little Deleware so far. Stella was the Grand Namer this day and she's decided the littlest chick to be Hot Tuna. No clue why, but I actually appreciate the name!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Seduction of Nissa

As you may or may not know by now, I love animals. I believe it's as instinctual as breathing, finding your partner within fur or feathers. Whilst cruising Craigslist the other day, I happened upon one such creature, destined to be my partner. Her name is Nissa and she's a wonderful old lady. Nissa came to live with us just last night and I'm already in love! She first journeyed to our home because her previous Guardians had to move into a residence that doesn't allow large love bugs like our Nissa here. She at first refused to meet my eyes as I'm sure that I stood for the loss of her beautiful family. No matter how hard I tried, she resisted my advances. Until this morning that is. Every morning I make Wyatt a breakfast of buffalo (or lamb or chicken, depending on what I find at the market), eggs and brown rice, dusted with a powdered vitamin supplement. This morning I made a double dose and attempted to seduce Ms. Nissa. Seduction success! She ate her morning grub even faster then Wyatt, which in and of itself is a feat and for the first time she met my gaze. I could tell you that I heard a choir of angels in that moment and I wouldn't be fibbin. Though a little closer to reality would be to say that I felt complete.
Nissa is a wonderful being and we're so darn glad that the fates have decided that she could spend her golden years with us. Welcome Nissa!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Garden of Weedin'

Despite the July heat, the gardens' have just these last few weeks begun to flourish. Growing as things grow, within a week both the Spiral and Three Sister's gardens were overcome with weeds. Grasses and prickly things and spindly guys that try to pass themselves' off as vegetables. Four days labor and I'm really questioning why we've opted out of the Home Depot style of gardening and their indulgences on pesticides and weed killing chemicals.

Then while munching on some fresh kale, I look over at my beautiful partner, weeding the row next to mine and am reminded of just how blessed we are. Through the ache of straining knees and sun burned shoulders, I'm overjoyed. No matter how many gardens I've helped Mother Nature cultivate, each and every year I'm counted among the lucky few that find their peace playing in the dirt.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Strawberry jammin' season done!!!

Finally finished with the Strawberry Jam!!! Yay! The end tally was 6 flats of berries; 3 wide mouth quarts, 9 regular mouth pints, 3 wide mouth pints, 34 regular mouth 1/2 pints and 52 wide mouth 1/2 pint jars of finished jam; 13 steam burns, 5 consumed days (spread out over two weeks) and 4 1/2 hours spent at the sink, washing jars. I've already given away 9 jars to friends, neighbors and folks that just happened to make me happy. I think this will keep us in jam until the next Hood's harvest, in a year!