Sunday, June 28, 2015


It's 101 outside. Fleadgh. I darted out to put water on a bean patch that looked a little sad and feed the birds, then dragged my poor wilted self back inside. Ugh.

Spent an hour and a half shelling peas. I love peas. Going to sit still now and read a bit. More peas later.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Moths and baby birds

C. found some wool moths in her studio, so she's been spreading fleeces in the sun to kill the bugs. And Jazzbert found some nice fuzz all spread out in the garden…

Jazzy likes sheep.
Jazzy rolls in sheep.

Jazzy disappears.

I let Autre and the chicks out to roam, and eat bugs. I think they're fighting over a grub. 
While guineas are industrious and generally find their own food, chickens tend to 
wait for somebody else to find something, then steal it. 

The keets are getting tall.

Mom and Le Boyfriend take them all around the field. The four little guys hustle right alongside.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Another Blessed Event

It must be spring. C. was outside today, and up came two of our guineas (Tiny Wattles and one of the guys) with four tiny little striped babies. This is where I'd insert an ├╝ber-cute photo, but Annie the dachshund walked by and unplugged the computer just as I was downloading my probably brilliant shots. So here is a generic pic to stand in. Our little keets look just like this, only smarter. Like quail chicks, really.

We didn't notice T.W. missing for the 28 days it took to hatch her eggs. Pathetic, I know. These are her first babies, and she's huddled with them on the hill down to the pump house. She looked a little vulnerable so I put a nesting box (cat crate) nearby. I hope she moves in there where she can keep the keets warm and contained, and be able to defend herself if the neighbor's cat comes by. (Last year I had to take eggs out from under a guinea hen, and it was daunting! She puffed herself up to fill the entire doorway, squapped viciously, and pecked the crap out of my hand. Daily. No cat could stand up to that.)

If T.W. moves into the crate we could easily scoop it up and relocate the whole family if it seems prudent. Guineas are wilder and more independent than chickens, but they can be really dumb about raising offspring. C. had guineas years ago, and let them take care of themselves. I worry that ours are dumber.

Anyway, four more mouths to feed! Woohoo!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Autre opens a can of whup-ass

Autre is really protective of her little ones. Guapo came over and bobbed his clown head aggressively, and fixed her with a beady eye. Autre was having none of that. She drew herself up to her full height – maybe 18 inches – puffed her neck feathers all up and talked some shit.

Then she leapt up into the air, puffy and resplendent, and made that tongue-out Polynesian-dance ugly face. Whoa.

Meantime, the little guys enjoy pecking and peeping, as well as pooping in the water dish.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New digs for mom and chicks

Autre, not the brightest candle on the cake, was trying to teach the chicks to scratch inside the cat kennel where they live, sending straw all over, dumping the food and water dishes and making a huge mess. So we made a little chicken yard just for them, with lots of grass and dirt and bugs, and moved the kennel in there. She's not sure she likes it. I think she'll come around.

Looking from Autre's yard into the big chicken/guinea yard. The shrubbery – not too big,
not too expensive – is a Siberian pea.

There's the little grey guy, waiting for ma to show her what to eat.

She's part araucana - note the big fat mutton chop sideburns. It think the other one
will grow up to be a striped-ass bird,

The tiny black-and-tan chick didn't make it. The other two are getting leggy and strong.

Monday, June 8, 2015

94 degrees. Ugh.

We're in the middle of a hot spell. Too hot to garden. Too hot to do anything, except sip beverages and read under the ceiling fan.

I picked a little at the quack grass this morning in the shady spot at the bottom of the garden. The shade was gone by 10 so I retired inside, you guessed it, to sip and read. We got the line of food dryers all set up on the counter in front of the dining room window, and stuffed them with oregano. C. has already been drying greens for the bunny winter. She has an old five-gallon lard tin (the perfect container for many things) three-quarters full of crispy leaves, and will fill many, many tins before summer is over.

We hung a mosquito net (the kind you put over your bed in the tropics, or see layered with lace and crap in Victoria magazine) in Nadine's room. I'll make a rack out of wood or PVC to fit under the net and we'll hang bunches of herbs there to dry.

The three chicks continue to be utterly charming. I brought them lunch (smushed-up hard-boiled egg, wheat berries, rolled grains, and sunflower seeds) and clean water and caught the piebald one dancing and pooping in the water dish. She ran under mama, embarrassed. I held the little black-and-tan one for a few minutes yesterday. So soft!

Couldn't get the tiller to start, dammit. Too hot to till, anyway. Too hot to do anything but sip and read.

Work tomorrow, lo. And garden tour after.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Good job, Autre! (Not Otra – I've been spelling it wrong. I think it's French for "the other one.") There is an unhatched egg in the nest - we'll leave it for a while.

The little pie-faced one.

The pretty black-and-tan one. She's tiny.

And the little grey one, all sleepy-eyed. Em says she has feathery pantaloons,
which means she is probably part silkie. If so, she'll grow a silly headdress.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Deer Park book sale!

The Friends of the Deer Park Library are awesome people. They unpacked thousands of books and set them out on tables, sorted by genre, and held the first official book sale of the year this weekend. The prices: whatever you want to pay. We love those guys. I bet they've cut the winter suicide rate around here by half, at least.

We hauled five or six boxes of books we've finished to the auto freight and RV storage place where they hold the sales, and spent a couple of hours browsing and chatting and filling boxes with new stuff. I couldn't find the fiction section at first – it was on the other side of a big RV.

Then home and a little reading until it cooled off outside, and some gardening. I'm working on raking and picking the quack grass out of what will be an extension of Tomato Lane. C. planted six tomatoes and two kinds of Russian patty pan squash, dug quack grass, and picked lettuce, radishes and greens for a giant summer salad. She'll have salad for dinner all summer long. I'll have a little. It's just so dang healthy (and makes such a huge crunchy noise in my head). Meh.

We're hoping for a blessed event in the chicken house this weekend. Otra's four eggs are due to hatch any time. We'll have to get food and a waterer ready for them.

Monday, June 1, 2015

First of June

Raked. Stabilized the north side of the snaggletooth fence, reinforced the gate. A and Q came up with another load of duck bedding for mulch.