Friday, October 21, 2011

Ripley and the 3 yellow birches

I added a link up above so that you can take Ripley for a virtual walk. Pedigree dog food will donate money to shelters in the UK for every walk he takes. I suppose Ripley himself is not really in need of a good home, but so many dogs in shelters everywhere are being put to sleep for no reason other than that no one loves them. This reminds me to give a shout out to the Burlington County Animal Alliance in NJ, the people who rescued Sophie from the streets of Pemberton. She was a skinny wreck when we adopted her, but in her photo to the left you can see how some good lovin' has turned her around (literally!).

The 3 little birch trees in the photo show the best color we've had this fall. The photo also shows the cloudy skies that have been the norm for most of September and October. Last year the sugar maples and red maples put on a great show, but this year the birches are as good as it gets. We planted them a couple of years ago to delineate our property where it meets Charlie's. Now that Charlie has passed and his property is for sale, we are hoping that the buyer is as good to us as he was, as this part of his land comes almost right up to the side of our house.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back in the pack

The 2 adversaries (or is that lovebirds?) seem to have resolved their differences for the moment. In the photos, Red Sweetie is the one with the white tail feathers, standing with Red Meanie at the back door to the coop. Roo, up on the roost, is saying "What...? What did I do?"

Sweetie insisted yesterday that she did not want to be separated anymore, even though she is still a bit gimpy. So she is out and about now with the girls and Roo, with both feet on the floor (yay!). I have some concerns that he will injure her again, but so far she seems happy to be free.

The interesting thing to me is that the other girls seem to be protecting her. After her first full day of post-injury freedom, she was able to make it back up to the roost at night, but I could barely see her as she was packed in underneath the other hens all the way in the corner, and very far from Roo. Last night I had to bring the flashlight out to make sure she was in there...she was.

Poor Roo is still literally henpecked by all of them, and now Sweetie has a renewed vengeance in her reasons for abusing him. We will keep him as long as he doesn't do any further harm. I really don't think he means to hurt any of them, but he truly is just a big, young, hormonal klutz.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sad Sweetie and more pretty pics

My favorite hen, Red Sweetie, seems down in the dumps today. She let me hold her and pet her for a good 15 minutes, but she didn't manage to reveal her problem. I couldn't find any wounds, but her feathers are out of position, and staying there, on one wing, and on her back end. I am thinking Mr. Roo may have been a bit too rough for my sweet girl (if ya know what I mean) so I separated her by putting her in a crate in the garage. I will probably allow her to rejoin the troops tonight, because I feel bad leaving her by herself in the garage...

These are the latest pretty creek photos. With all the rain this summer, it seems the water will never go back to its normal slow, babbling-brook speed. This is the one spot that appears in many of my photos, and since the hurricane, there are at least 3 little waterfalls that have appeared. Makes a pretty spot even prettier, but I'm wondering if this is the new normal.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

The Husband and I took a nice walk today to see some of the fall color, and to visit with two other New Jersey transplants that The Hub had met in the Post Office. They invited us to stop by anytime, so we did. We had a nice long chat with Steve and Elaine, and then made our way back to Lester's Flat.

I am not sure why, but the fall colors are disappointing this year. In previous years the large percentage of maples put on a great show, but this year they lost their leaves too soon. The large photo is from the beginning of our walk. I guess the girls thought they were coming along to see the colors and meet the neighbors. The second photo is from further up on Taylor Road, where Steve and Elaine have a great view of Canadarago Lake. The last photo is Lester's Flat taken from the road. You can even see the Pig Shed, the little red building on the left.

The piggies were out there enjoying the day as well—rolling in the mud hole that they created by knocking over their water bucket. Chickens were hanging out in Charlie's barn, which is where they usually go as soon as we let them loose. Let's hope they don't sell that barn to anyone who doesn't love chickens as much as we do. The girls (and Roo) simply won't understand if we tell them they can't play there anymore.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Seeing the light, fleeing the coop

Still waiting for those fall colors—brown and gold seem to be the only obvious changes. It is supposed to be a glorious Columbus Day weekend, so maybe that will brighten up our landscape.

Sophie saw the light down by the creek today. I tried to get Lester down there to his own personal Fountain of Youth, but a swim in the creek is just not as much fun as stealing tomatoes. He poked his nose in the water just to appease me, then headed straight back to the vegetable garden.

After the dogs were safely back home, I went out front to lock up the girls and Roo in their pen, but they weren't having any of it. Instead, they insisted on following me back to the house to make their own tomato raid in the garden. After their first 2 freezing nights in the unheated Chicken Shack, I suspect they were planning on staying out in the sun for as long as possible today. Can't really blame them, can we?

An apple for Steve

I have always been in "the cult of Mac". So sad to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The architect(s) and the egg count

Susan, our architect, and her husband, also an architect, joined us for dinner and a tour of Lester's Flat on Saturday night. Both she and her husband seemed to be as pleased as we are with the execution of her plans for our dream house. (They thought the piggies were pretty cute too!)

I promised them some of our fall harvest, but then forgot to deliver the goods. The Husband's big garden produced an overabundance of corn, squash, and tomatoes. Neither of us can take the credit, but we also had a bumper crop of apples this year—more than we could ever possibly use even though we are only picking them from the few trees closest to the house. The temperatures are really starting to drop at night so we've got to pick as much as we can. It is truly fall, no more summer here.

And, just as I was complaining about the lower numbers of eggs, the girls upped their production. For almost a week now, we have been getting 6 eggs a day! So, get ready Susan and Ralph, the goodies are coming your way later this afternoon.