Monday, May 22, 2017

A fine time

The last time we had Buff Orpington hens, we sold them because they went broody. Their problem was that they weren't very good moms and didn't always sit on the same eggs, making it hard for us to remember which eggs we could sell or eat.

Not long after we sold them, a friend gave us 2 more Buff Orpington hens. 13 months passed and no egg-sitting, so I thought maybe these girls just weren't the mommy type.

So we bought 12 new chicks at the end of March figuring none were going to be hatched here. Now, just as those chicks are big enough to graduate from the garage to an outside pen, the remaining Buff goes broody. (We lost the second one to an illness.)

As of yesterday, Buffy Hen is sitting on 8 eggs. Since we kinda don't need 8 more chickens at this point, I can only hope they don't all hatch. Last year there were about that many and only 2 hatched, both roosters, so I don't think the survival rate is very good, but only time will tell. 21 days to hatch a chick. I think we are about a week into this.

These 3 photos of the grown up chicks are from Saturday when we moved them from their crowded box in the garage to an outside pen. They were still checking out their new surroundings when I took these pics. In the large photo: the 2 girls up front are the blue eggers. Mixed breed, so never sure what they will look like. The one on the right looks like one of our older blue eggers, the one on the left looks like a mix of the other 2 breeds that we bought. The black and white ones are Barred Rocks, the others are Golden Laced Wyandottes. This little redhead has the pattern of the Barred Rocks, and the coloring of the golden girls.

Keeping an eye on the BR behind the water bottle in the top photo. Bigger than the rest and already has the chin wattles. Hope you're not a rooster! We welcome all chickens here at Lester's Flat, but we already have 2 roosters, and only the well behaved ones get to stay forever.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Number 3 born today

Hard to get a good photo with an iPhone when walking a dog on a leash along the highway, but here is the third foal born at the Quartier Horse Farm this year.

Lightning Bolt from yesterday was right up at the fence nosing with Cyrus, but didn't have the phone with me for that cuteness...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New foal season

White one was born May 3 (or thereabouts). Little brown one just today. I guess the horses wait until the apple blossoms finally open to bring their kids into the world.

Apple blossom photos to follow as soon as we get some sun to show them off. I think this is going to be a good apple year, as opposed to last year where I think we had a total of 2 apples from our many trees...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Willie and Monkey

The cat boys never get top billing, so in a quick post late at night, here are the 2 boys in the closet. Nothing like a pile of laundry to catch their interest... Willie left, MonkeyCat right. Their second best choice is when I am changing the sheets on the bed. Maybe pics will follow.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chasing rainbows

Coming back from New Jersey last night I was chasing rainbows coming down Route 88. The temperature in Palmyra was 72° when I left in the afternoon, and 46° when I got back up here. Clear skies most of the way until just before Oneonta when I could see the black clouds ahead and bright sun behind me. Just one little chunk of rainbow in there would disappear and then reappear as a bigger chunk. It took over the whole sky as a double rainbow right before my exit. We get a lot of them up here, but they are always awesome.

At the old homestead I finished all my gardening, dead-tree-removal, lawn-mowing, room-painting, and ex-neighbor- and ex-mailman-hugging in just those few short days. Fingers are crossed for a good Open House on Sunday. If we don't sell this house soon I might just lose my mind...

Kept Charlie and PeeWee entertained for a night or 2. My boys were all thrilled that I came back to entertain them. At least that's what they told me. 2 of the big guys are insisting that I walk them RIGHT NOW even though it's cold and raining and I don't feel like it...
Charlie (back) PeeWee (front) hogging the bed
while I am trying to change the sheets
and get out of Dodge

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cats are sleeping. Kids are big. Pit is fixed.

Monkey and Willie, yin and yang, but backward.
4 goat kids with airplane ears are almost as big as the 2 mamas in the background.
Firepit all finished by the amazing Mr. Grady. It wasn't cheap, but it is well done.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring is trying

I just looked at my post from last April and saw we had snow that first week last year as well.

Oh well.

The Husband took some great goat and goatie pics yesterday when the weather was trying to be nice. It hit about 65° yesterday, and is supposed to get to 79° today. Warm enough to try for a dog run and some beers up at Don's house.

We put the NJ house back on the market at the end of February. Reviews so far are lukewarm at best. It seems the realtors like it better than the home buyers, which is better than what I could say about the realtors the last time around.

We are in the process of getting the deck and firepit repaired enough so that the house will look a bit more sellable. I just finished composing a review on Angie's List of Elite Landscaping who did a not-so-great job of building both. That, and they gave me a ridiculous price of $1800 to repair the bluestone firepit that was pretty poorly built in the first place or it would not have fallen apart after 15 years. Yeah, I know, 15 years, but shouldn't stone last forever?

Finally, we have a whole dozen new babies here at Lester's Flat: 5 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 5 Barred Rocks, and 2 Easter Egger chicks. They just graduated from the bathtub (in the video) to their new digs in the garage yesterday. With the heat lamp and the warmer weather I think they will do just fine.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cabin fever: bad dog part 2

This is what happens when the boys are penned up in the house after a snowstorm. Only place they can walk is down the driveway, across the road and past the horse farm, the mechanic's shop and the eagle's nest. All very interesting for me to look at, not so much for them. And we couldn't even make it down the driveway for 2 days during the storm.

The last post was about the WoodMan running off down to the creek when I couldn't chase him through the snow. That was last Monday. Last Thursday, he did it again, only this time it had gotten really cold the day before, and there was a nice icy crust on top of the partially melted snow. Still about 2 feet deep, but even more difficult to walk through.

At first he was just messing around. He made it all the way down to the Town Garage, about 1/4 mile. I followed him in the car, but when he saw me, he turned around and came back toward home. Now he is getting tired, he is on the far side of the creek, and it is starting to get dark.

I sent out the troops—The Husband, 2 neighbors on foot, their son on a snowmobile—no sign of Woody. At least we knew he wasn't on that side of the property anymore. So I called Don on the Hill who could see him all the way on the other side of the property. Don and The Husband tried to drive into the field to get him but the snow was still too deep.

So back I go through the crusty snow to the creek to call him back. I am thankful he made it back across the creek before I had to cross it to get him. I think he was trying to come home but was too exhausted and too afraid of going back into the rushing cold water. I had seen footprints where he had either fallen through the ice on the far side, or jumped in not knowing how bad it was.

You could say he learned his lesson. I say probably not. Leash walks only until all the snow goes away.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bad dog!

The WoodMan found the sun earlier (see post below) and now the well rested boy has found his way back to the creek. After a week of trying, my big bad hound finally was able to plow his way through the snow and go back to his favorite spot by the creek. I made it about a third of the way there when I realized that there was no way for me to catch up to him. I came back home and watched the show with Cyrus.

The big red arrow is pointing to WoodMan's butt, running away, not home. And, if you look really close, in the photo where I am up to my knees in wet snow, you can see that it is warm enough that there is a living little bug in the snow.

Bad dog!

The bench and the WoodMan have found the sun!

Just a week has passed since our biggest snow ever, and the sun is back, snow is beginning to melt. We used to get these big Nor'Easter snows back in NJ, but since we have been up here even the lake effect storms don't bring this much snow all at once.

I think our final total was 34". You could not see the top of that bench, much less the top of the largest pot and the birdbath. (There are still 2 big pots under the snow.) Add some really cold air and plenty of wind—well let's just say that the WoodMan was not sitting out on the porch sunning himself last week. As of this morning, he's back in his chair.

My old body is still recovering from digging paths through the snow for dogs and chickens. It is problematic when the only place that any animal can move about is in the cleared driveway. Let's just say that not all of our animals do well together in enclosed spaces...even more difficulty when one of us is trying to drive in the driveway with dogs and/or chickens...or when one of the local stray cats struts his stuff down the path...

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.