Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chicken Tongue

I think I see a chicken tongue, 
something I have never seen before, 
even feeding him water out of a dropper.
Look closely at the bottom part of the beak,
it's pink and scooping up the mash.

If you look here, there is no pink.
Do you like the Connecting Threads "carpet?"
It is the new feeding tub sitting on top of 
my catalogue.  It makes it look really nice
without the mess!

He's on my foot rest in his new tub
so I can keep redirecting him (her) to the mash.
He seems to be thriving but still very nervous,
constantly cheeping as he eats.
It's a nice cheep, at least I think it is.
He's probably saying something like
"Where have you been?"
"I'm hungry, you know."
"Do you think we could change up the flavor once in awhile?"

I'll choose to think he's just cheeping a happy tune.

 Poor cross beaked, one eyed, blind chick.

Linking to 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Girl and Her Chick

She's a chicken whisperer most certainly.
 Our little hatchling nestled down for a quiet snooze,
eyes struggling to remain open as Taylor gently petted her/him.

We think it may be a rooster since it 
is the largest and has a more prominent beak/comb.
But it's also the most gentle, perhaps a cross 
between the older rooster which is an araucana 
and one of our buff hens.
It really has the most beautiful eyes, 
large and heavily lined.

I think it has been watching tv while we are out,
Chicken Run to be exact.
It keeps looking at the rim of the brooder tub
which is a water trough we keep in the back
hall by the mud room.  One day I'm going to 
look down that hall and find a chicken walking out
to meet me!  Then it will be time for the coop.

I hope you all are having a wonder Memorial Day weekend.
It rained, hard.  Again.
So much for finishing up the garden!
There's always next weekend.

Friday, May 24, 2013


 It's time to start the Spring cleaning!
Normally we would have everything tidied up by this time
but with all the storms, well ... it just didn't happen.
The court yard gets covered with leaves, twigs and 
those long seeds that look like someone crocheted them.
Then we'll have to repaint BBQs and do a little fountain
work.  The liner finally wore through so it will be a 
good chance to really clean it out.

It looks like the fire pit will need some  paint as well.
It's great to have a place to throw leaves and other debris
   then light it and warm up for a few minutes.
I think we'll be here tonight, sitting with our goat raising
friends and finding out how everything is going.
It's supposed to be pretty cool tonight so the fire will feel good.

Shrubs are blooming now, attracting bees and 
early moths and butterflies.

The peony's looked pretty good until the storm
on Wednesday.  Now they are doing what peonys 
normally do when they get tossed about.
   Laying down!  Last year I staked them and it helped a lot.

 I love the bee balm.  We have two types:
one is a short version and the other must be wild
because it's very tall.  It always attracts lots of insects.
I've never tried making tea with it, I'll have to read up.

  Now that I'm fairly confident we aren't having any
immediate threats of hail, I added the topper to the
bird bath.  It always looks nice with the iris
but the cats would prefer it left on our porch,
better to balance and drink from that way.

I just love the mama bird feeding her baby.

This used to be our camper.
Now the roof failed and my husband says it not worth saving.
I wish I could convert it into some type of  potting shed
(or a house for the cats!!)    
  I'm not very talented in construction and the husband says 
No, he won't do it, it's too far gone.

The trees that line the driveway have some
strange growths on them.  I don't think it's good.

I've seen the larva on this plant.
Not sure what to do but pick them off.

Our hostas have really loved all the rain, 
so has the ground covering that trails over the stones.

This is one of the yucky culprits.
More on this later but I've seen three types of 
caterpillars this year and they are out of control!
I guess a good, wet spring will do that for you,
last season we went from winter to a summer drought
so  the only pests we had were squash bugs.
This year I think I'm in for it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Babies in a Tree Hollow

 Is there anything cuter than baby birds 
in the hollow of tree?

I'd been watching a mama bird for awhile now, 
flitting in and our of this hollow,
not too far off the ground.

Today I decided to take a peek
and look what I found! 
  So cute.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Watering System

We needed a plan to get water up to the garden
after fighting the drought last year.  It is about
a 150 ft run between garden and house, winding through the wooded
area so stringing out hoses didn't work well.   
 We lost pressure.

My husband attached a dual valve manifold to our existing faucet.
The knobs allow you to turn on or off each hose, or have
both of them running water at the same time.

He used Schedule 40 PVC 1/2 pipe with a threaded
end so we can screw on a short length of hose.

  It runs parallel to the garage behind the plantings
and then drops into a 5 inch deep, narrow ditch, created
by using one tooth on a box blade.  It cut a channel
into the gravel driveway directing the ditch towards the garden.
This is not frost proof so you need to make sure you can drain the pipes.

   On the other side of the drive it  again
comes above ground, running along the ground
on a slightly downward slope with connections
leading to the garden- through the wooded section.
There is a cuppler at the low point between garden
and drive which is used to drain the water in fall.
We installed another one at the low point at the 
garden for the same reason.  Last season that one split
 from freezing water.

The cupppler is the  bulge in the  line you can see
 just to the right of the T-post. 
Then it makes a turn and follows the T-post
up to the faucet.  It is attached with zip ties.
There is a quick connect on the hose and faucet
which allows us to move the hose if necessary.

 We also have another T-post equipped with an impulse sprinkler
which allows us to have a directional or continuous spray in a circle.
  The entire system cost us about $50 to do ourselves.
By using the rigid pipe we get more pressure to the garden.
It is nice to have  dual faucets so we can turn it off
at the garden to reposition the sprinkler or 
attach a rotating sprinkler for specific areas.
We can also quickly turn the entire system off at the house 
rather than walk to the garden. 

These photos were taken at the beginning our "Spring,"
assuming we ever see  Spring,  so there are still plenty
of weeds and not as much plantings.  I've been busy up there
and after this next set of severe weather outbreaks, 
I'll feel comfortable finishing the job.

 I have two artichokes growing this year- something new to us!  
Then there are the peppers,  cukes, some squash, pumpkin volunteers,
watermelon, herbs and hopefully more tomatillos.
Our little side garden has the salad fixings.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cross Beaked One Eyed Chick Update

It's a special needs chick-  
one eyed and cross billed but holding it's own,
with a little help maybe.

You can see how wet it is due to the slurry I make
out of it's crumbles so it can scoop them up in 
his crossed beak.  I also believe it can't see
well, if at all.  It constantly misses it's bowl 
so I have to aim at where it pecks unless I
can get it to sit still rather than twirl around in circles.

I don't know why its chest has a large lump.
Is this normal for a cornish cross?
Is it just more noticeable since he is wet?

He heard me play the video and started cheeping with it!
You can see how he eats- this has been the best attempt.

He  bends, pecks/scoops and then lifts his head to swallow.
Again, this was a first, I normally have to follow his
head and figure out where he is going to  peck.

Often it is this, pecking down but at nothing.

I wanted to sneak him into work so I can feed it during the day
but now that I have moved departments, I have a cubicle  
which would be very disruptive to those around me.

He made it ok today.
Maybe he has me fooled into  babying him! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cross Beaked - Chick 5 Comes Home

 It has a crossed beak and missing one eye .
It didn't stand a chance of getting sold
or surviving with all the other chicks
competing for food and drink.
I had to take it, even it if only has a couple of weeks left.

 I was getting my fishing license at Orscheln
when I heard a chicken crying, loudly as if
something were wrong, and it was.
I saw this little crossed beaked chick and
noticed it was missing an eye.
When I told my husband I was getting it, 
both he and a friend who happened to be there too
made fun  of me.
You wouldn't make a very good farmer .
You come home with deformed chicks and
non bearing fruit trees!
It's true.  I'm a sucker for the animals no one wants.

 The clerk, a young girl, told me she would give it to me.
She has been trying to give it attention, helping
it eat and drink but she isn't at work all the time.
Another shopper lady and the clerk sided with me.
Give it a chance.
It's a cornish cross so it won't have many weeks anyway.
Unless, due to the deformity, it stays leaner.
Maybe it could at least have a good life for awhile.

I  bought an eye dropper to give it some water immediately  
but reading up on the cross beaks, they can eat and 
drink if the crossing isn't too extreme.
I crumbled some crumbles up even smaller and  
dropped some in it's beak, then sort of pinched the beak
a little more straight so it would swallow.
Then after it had eaten and drank, I held on to it
while it nestled down for a nap.

Chick #4, the one I rescued from the hardened egg membrane,
and who I believe may be a bit less intelligent than the rest,
  checked out the new guy.  And promptly  pecked him on the beak.
Come on- you were the new guy yourself once!

The others were a bit afraid (chicken chickens) but then
    decided it wasn't too dangerous.

I have to clean out the brooder so don't look too close!

If you have any advice, please leave a comment.
I hear that it may be helpful to moisten the food 
and feed this one separately.  Additionally, having only
one working eye it's a bit more difficult for him/her
to see where it's going.  I'm not so sure how well
the other eye sees either.  The entire skull seem a little off.

Linking    The Chicken Chick 
Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Monday, May 13, 2013

Rocks are Scary!

OH NO!  It's soooooooooo scary!

What has them all scrunched up?
You couldn't get a group of chicks any closer.
A Rock.
A typical garden rock.
I thought it might give them something to do.
So far it hasn't tried to bite anyone, 
if fact, it hasn't moved at all.

But it's awfully scary !!! 

Oh look!
It's not so scary after all, is it?
In fact, little chick # 4, our runt, found out 
it can be quite comfy, 
especially when nice and toasty from the warming light.
A chicken spa!
I'll have to raise their rent!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday In the Flower Garden

What Season is This?
These Up and Down temperatures are challenging at best.
I quickly snapped a shot of my bird bath upon hearing the forecast
of low 30s for Saturday night.  With temperatures in the city a few degrees warmer, 
I wasn't sure they would make it.
Great news- they are still thriving!

 Maybe I had a little help.
 I have Stella D'oro lilies in front of the iris. 
Some babies are cropping up too.

 I had left out the bird bath topper during the storms
last week since they predicted hail.
There was snow to our west and south west.

The chives in the old wash tub came up pretty well again 
 since we've had so much rain.

The little frogs are back and planning their families.

The  dark purple iris are from the bed I had in the old place 
about 13 years ago.  A neighbor's light purple ones had
  made their way under the fence and  joined mine
so a few of them made the move too.

These are bee balm blooms getting ready to burst open.

This grows wild everywhere, even under my roses.

The wild columbine is one of the earlier flowers, 
very striking.

And a little rose peeks out, the first bloom.

I seriously trimmed back the viburnum
but it's as thick as ever!  It makes a nice
screen between the sitting area and subdivision road.
You can barely see it in the third photo
to the extreme right.

We attended church this morning and then headed 
to Applebee's for lunch.  I love their club house grill
but they have changed it AGAIN!
I passed on my favorite sandwich and opted for
the crunchy butterfly shrimp which is delicious.  The other
half will be dinner tonight so I guess it's like going out twice!! 

We stopped to get some tomatillo plants since I didn't get 
the seeds started in time but so far we struck out!  
They had lots and lots of them a couple of weeks ago 
but now, none!!!.  I'll keep checking around.

I also have some flowers to plant in pots still and a couple
of peppers left over from the garden planting.  We also spent some 
time fixing the watering system  but I'll post on that later.

So, today (Sunday) I gardened in a sweat shirt and Tuesday it's going to be 90.
  Again- What Season is this??????

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Chance Encounter with the Mad Housewife

 Be it divine intervention, fate, good mojo, kismet, 
or whatever you might make of it, there she was right in front of me
all mad and hawking her wares in my local Schnucks grocery.

The Mad Housewife.
In the flesh.

  It was Derby Day and I needed a dessert for the party.
I might add that we had just come from church, 
driving our granddaughter to confession
the day before her First Communion.
That's how I know it must be a sign from above.
Kathy- this wine's for you!
And it was.

I've seen this brand here and there but
never tried it.  Then I nearly collided with the kiosk
smack dab in the middle of the produce department.
Grapes = Wine.  Makes sense, right? 

It's Autographed wine nonetheless.
See the heart?  She loves me-or maybe she just loves wine.
It probably makes her less mad,
I know it has made me pretty happy a time or two.

There is a Bonus-
I got an emery board and matches!
When it the last time someone gave out matches?

  I will say I have not had the wine yet
(remember, I was there getting a dessert)  
but I will be trying it.
I just had to brag - I've met the Mad Housewife!!
How awesome is that!

Mad Housewife Sweet Red   (click on link)A rich, sweet red blend crafted in an easy-drinking style with a luscious mouth feel and natural residual grape sweetness that delivers a velvety smooth finish. Voluptuous and smooth, this is the kind of everyday wine that goes well with just about everything. Blends: Zinfandel, Rubired, Petite Verdot & other red blenders.