Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Otter Visit~ & Critter Invasions!

Sunday we had a very special visitor in our pond. 
We named him William. 
Monday morning he was gone, moved on to his next adventure I suppose...
The girls filmed him and took lots of photos...
We could walk to the edge of the pond and he just floated there and watched us.
He ate our trout, but since he only stayed a day we did not mind.


 Japonica Japanese azaela bush blooming by the pond. LOVE the color... Coral! yum.


Western Tanager. Male's head turns during mating season. 

Adventures never cease here. Peculiar Ambitions is an appropriate name!
Last two days have brought some frightening bald eagle attacks on our hens! Yesterday it got away with one of the Ameracauna babies, but today it tried for Maureen (my chubby old hen I named after myself), but I screamed like an insane person and Xena barked and we scared it off. shudder.
That thing is HUGE! The eagle stood at about 3-4 feet tall. Wing span of 6-7 feet.
Hopefully it does not try again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Content~


The sun has finally come out here in the pnw, and it is so beautiful!

Nature is waking up, and so is my brain~ phew! 

One of our hives sent out a swarm yesterday and we caught it!
So exciting... we will be putting more about it in our bee blog... (stay tuned).
As you can see below, we had a chance to video it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Garden over our heads~

We chose where our garden was going to be a few months ago. It's in the lower field south of the workshop/barn and below the pond bank.

So Paul started tilling and plowing and tilling and tilling and tilling again...

It's HUGE.
We are in so far over our heads... haha.
See the pink arrow? That is Paul, shown for scale.

 Plated so far are 20 blueberry bushes, some raspberry and some marionberry.
Also three rows of potatoes.
This week the asparagus crowns will go in (YUM).

Wanna come weed?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cow Visitation

The property next door is a beautiful ranch, called Basket Flat Ranch (link) ... they sell some pretty awesome free range, grass fed beef.
Since we have pasture that needs mowed, we offered to graze some cow critters instead.
They arrived a few days ago and are so fun to watch! A week or so will do the trick and they will come back for another visit in late spring.

Welcome, cow energy.


Oh- and our mountain is getting green and fuzzy... yay spring!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peep Progression~

The Rhode Island Red chicks (from this post) are now about 10 weeks old and have been living in the coop with the 'big' chickens for over a week.

They are spoiled rotten. Ann is our chicken whisperer... she took this video.

They come running when we are around and peep with happiness.
Come fall they will make us a lot of yummy eggs, well, except for the two that are roosters, they are named Guavo and Popeye.

The Ameracauna peeps are still in the brooder box. They are 4 weeks old and get to play outside  in a small fenced area when the sun shines. They will give us pretty blue/green eggs this fall. Not sure if any are roosters, it's hard to sex this breed. Time will tell...

A Tree in Gram's Memory~

My grandmother passed away in April, just a few days past her 94th birthday.
A week later my dad and brother came from PA for a visit.
A perfect time to plant a tree in gram's memory!
I chose a Kwanzan flowering cherry tree, which will bloom fluffy pink blossoms each year right around her birthday! Gram LOVED pink.
We put it here... (like my drawing?)
It's on the far side of the pond.

Me giving a speech...

We miss you gram!

Polar Bear Swim

My crazy family.
They decided it was time to take a dip in the pond. The pond is creek fed, from a mountain spring. This water will never, ever get warm.
But nevertheless, it had to be done.

Eve went first...

Then Paul... 

Then Jack (my brother)...

 Then Ann...

Crazy people.

Welcome Salatin~

Here he is! The MAN.
We needed a rooster to keep our ladies protected.
A few craigslist inquiries and we found this handsome fellow.
Named Salatin after Paul's hero, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.

Here he is on the coop, crowing to remind us all (and the hawks) that he is in CHARGE. 

Such a pretty guy.

Here Come the Chickens!

Once we ordered our peeps, we set about designing hte coop. We had some time, or so we thought, until they were big enough to move from the brooder box to the coop.
Then our friend Monique planned a trip to France, and asked us to adopt her 7 hens.
SURE! They are already laying almost daily, our peeps will not lay eggs until fall.
Then our friend Lisa asked if we would take two of her hens... she was getting bombarded with more eggs than they could consume.
So 9 hens were scheduled to arrive. The coop was pushed to the top of the to-do list.

First to arrive were Bambi and Roho.
Roho's name was changed to Ro, after our realtor, Rowena.

 The next day Monique's flock arrived. Here they all are together inside the coop.

We set about clipping everyone's wings, which keeps them from flying over the fence. Clipping does NOT hurt them... really you just turn them upside down (which makes them sort of hypnotized) and cut the tips of the wing feathers off,  NOT their actual wings.

We introduced Stella to the flock, so she would learn that they are not fun toys to chase around.

So now the chickens are part of her "pack" and they both (her and Xena) guard them.

Every now than then I find Stella inside the fenced area... she thinks she is a chicken! 

Each day we get about 5 eggs... beautiful, perfect eggs.

The difference between store-bought eggs and pastured eggs is profound! 
Not just in looks and texture, but nutritionally too.

Our egg is on the left. The yolks are orange!
PLUS the store bought egg shown here is an 'organic, cage-free' commercial egg.
So... buy farm fresh eggs whenever you can.

Next post... Welcome Salatin!