Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flora & Fauna of Spring

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to share some of the beautiful flowers that are coming up for spring.  Since we're on our 4th straight day of rain, with another 4 in the forecast, I needed to do something to cheer myself up.  All this dreary weather can be a real drag.  So, just in case you're needing some too, here's a little cheer for us all.
These have cropped up around our yard in a few spots, not sure what they are, but they are sweet!

Lovely white lilacs, which grace the chicken coop and have poison ivy growing all around it's base.

Apple blossoms bringing the promise of fall harvest.

The grass is funny to me in the picture because you can see where I could reach with mower further out and then when it gets closer to the tree, it's long as can be.  Mowing two whole acres is a lot of work!  I'm rethinking those sheep...
Peach blossoms, though the picture focus is very challenging on a little digital screen, so it's a bit blurry.  Just in case you've never seen peach blossoms (as I hadn't) thought I'd put this on anyway.

Not sure what there are, any suggestions?

I'm a huge fan of the textures and patterns of nature, here our hostas are on full display.

And a few lovely tulips are gracing us in some fun places.  That's the beauty of living in a house for the first spring, when the flowers pop up and surprise you!

And these purple beauties are adorning our walkway and lots of other spots in our lawn. I believe they are some sort of violet, so charming!
Wishing you some beautiful flowers in your rainy day, ~Peacemom

Saturday, May 14, 2011

There's No Place Like Home!

Okay, so, you'll have to forgive me obsessing about my chicks.  I do promise, the thrill will wear off eventually.  But also revealing that I've wanted my own chicks for 31 years may help you understand the obsession...I just can't help myself.

In any case, after a very L-O-N-G morning at the baseball field (8:30-12:00) watching my two hooligans play ball and get their team photos taken, we came home.  Music Man worked on the coop all afternoon and into the evening and the chicklets are now enjoying their first night in their new digs.

This coop is truly a work of art.  I will be putting a coat or two of barn red paint and white trim on it after the 7 days of rain we are expecting to grace us for the next week, so we all have those pictures to look forward to.  In any case, the coop was my Mother's Day gift from Music Man, and he put so many hours into the Taj MaCoop.  But, I think you'll all agree, it's a fitting home for the "Lil' Nuggets" as I like to call them.
He did a really amazing job fitting a scavenged window into place...

...and creating a chicken door that the girls will be using to go in and out of their exercise yard.  He even rigged it so that we can just pull the rope from the outside of the coop to let them in and out.
And this is how it looks basically finished, I just need to add paint!

And here are the Lil'Nuggets in for the first time...don't they look happy!

Thanks to my dear, sweet, handy husband.  You never cease to amaze me. 

Wishing you new straw smell in your coops, too, ~Peacemom

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chick Update

Okay, the first order of business as the update to the chicks is this...Rose, pictured above started making some pretty funny noises about a week ago.  Around 10pm, some strange sounds were emanating from the brooder box.  I went to check on them, and well, she stopped the noises.  Everything seemed okay, so I went back to bed.

I have started to put them out during the day in the baby gate we saved (I knew it would come in handy again someday!  This used to keep the boys away from the woodstove when they were babies).  They are very much enjoying the fresh air, new space and perches I set up in there.  Well, Rose has been sparring with one of the other hens quite often, so I'm watching with caution to make sure they're not hurting each other. So far, they are just posturing.  Chickens figure out a pecking order (hence the term) and so it's normal for some of that to go on.  Well...then yesterday...I witnessed her hopping on the back of one of the other chicks...uh oh.  That's not girl behavior, that's randy teenage boy behavior. Now, I'm on full alert.

This morning while the boys were eating breakfast, we heard what is unequivocally a beginning practice crow.  And yes, it was emanating from Rose...Rose, the Rooster.  As this is Little Red's chicken, and he loves it and named it himself, it looks like we're gonna have to be the proud owners of a rooster.  No, I didn't want any roosters, but there's not a lot we can do about it.  As long as he doesn't become aggressive to anyone, he can stay.  Hopefully he'll be good protection for the girls. I'm just praying the one he spars with, Betty, is not also a rooster because I definitely don't want two roosters for 4 girls!

And by the way, Little Red has decided to rename Rose,  Pete Rose.  We've got to leave the boy with his dignity.

Wishing you hilarious practice crowing of your own, ~Peacemom

Coop In The Making

This is where the coop started.  A whole bunch of reclaimed wood which we scrounged from others and some we had around.  Music Man had saved a bunch of particle board from becoming dumpster fodder a couple years ago and along with these boards and others like them...a new chicken Taj MaCoop is being born.
After much measuring, the cutting begins....

And here, he's placing the side to be soon screwed together...notice the orange square on the ground?  Gotta make it all true and in line.  Music Man does not do things halfway, when he sets to a project, it's going to come out nice, it's a given.

After he got it this far assembled, we placed it where the chicks will be living their happy little lives.  We carried it part of the way and dragged it the rest.  It's incredibly heavy!  Such a nice forsythia in the back, isn't it?  We figured it would be a nice wind block for them as it's located on the northwest side of the coop.  They are also located under a great shade tree to keep them cool in the summer and protected somewhat from the hawks we have everywhere here.

And now the roof goes on...

And this is where we're at today.  Music Man is juggling a new job (YAH!) with two other interviews and finishing finals at school along with being a dad and husband and now a homebuilder!  Okay, so it's practice for the chicken home, but it's looking great, don't you think?  He's going to be back at it this weekend and hopes to finish it, which we desperately need as the chicks are now officially pullets and WAY too big for the brooder box they are still in.

More on Music Man's new job in a future post...

Wishing you beloved coop builders of your own, ~Peacemom