Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A dozen little goobers!

 The setting guinea has done very well and hatched 12 little guys. And Johnny-and-Edgar has done well also, because three of them are pied, and he's got to be their papa. They are cute as bugs and just as quick.

We've penned them in the chicken yard. Mom is pissed, but it's the only way they'll survive to become adults. I think the neighbor's cat got the last batch.

This little guy is tired of following his mum around, and is catching a few winks on his feet.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Making pickles

It's a cloudy Saturday. Rained a little. This big old building really amplifies the noise, so we could hear the rainstorm woosh up the hill. Pretty cool.

C. is making the first batch of pickles of the year.

She puts dill and spices in each jar, then crams in as many cucumbers as possible (green Parisian pickling cucs, top, and miniature whites, bottom), then ladles pucker juice in and puts them in the canner for 15 minutes of boiling.

As you can see below, it looks like a cucumber year. Look at all those blooms!

Mama guinea No. 2, Tinier Wattles, is still sitting (or is it setting?) on her dozen+ eggs. I worry about her, especially after Tiny Wattles lost her four keets to predators. So I figured I'd move the nest and eggs into a crate, give her a few days to acclimate, then shift the family, crate and all, into the chicken house. Then the little guys would be safe and they'd sleep sheltered, rather than down past the garden where she built the nest.

So I went down to the nest, crate in hand. There she was.

All I had to do was sneak the eggs out from under her and into the crate.

She wondered where I got this damn-fool idea, and hissed at me. That means, "Back off, child-thief! I will wear your entrails around my neck like a pink feather boa!"

I kept coming. She sounded the hideous CHI-CHI-CHI! alarm, and the other birds joined in from the chicken house, and flew down to help her kill me. (If death would stop that noise, it would be welcome.) Then she flew up in the air and smacked me in the head with her claws. That means, "I will wet my wattles in that gelatinous stuff inside your eyeballs."

I was sure this was a great idea, though, and shooed her off, taking a few scratches to my hands. I made a very nice nest of straw in the crate, and transferred those little warm eggs into it with my left hand, waving her off with my right. Forgot to count them, dammit. I poked the crate into the old nest spot, then backed off. The whole polka-dotted group stood there looking at me.

She was puzzled. She went in the crate, and out, and around the back. Huh. In, out, around again. Then she wandered off and pecked at grass seeds. I could feel the eggs cooling. I scratched around under the crate and brought out some soft grass and downy feathers from the old nest, and draped them across the eggs.

She liked that better, and settled on the nest. As I left, she was making the happy-setting-guinea sound, like crazy drunken laughter. My poor neighbors.

But later I saw her rolling an egg out of the crate, and around the back. I gave up, restored the eggs and bedding to the original nest and slunk off with the crate.

Where do I get these damn-fool ideas?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pretty good day so far

It's in the mid 80s with a light breeze. Pleasant. We've been over in the bunny room, plucking Rue and Bob. C. is working on getting their angora fuzz listed in her Etsy shop, Ovinia. She is a perfectionist, though, so first we have to have great photos of each rabbit, and great shots of fuzz. And they all need plucking right now, so we're doing one or two a day all weekend.

You can see the plucked part there on Rue's back and right butt cheek. And you can see how peevish she is by the set of her ears. She is the least tame of all the rabbits, and will readily bite or claw. Not this time, though.
That's a dirty look I'm getting here.

We're beyond broke this month, so I resurrected my squidglass Etsy shop and relisted a bunch of pendants for $10, instead of the usual $16. I had a thriving shop until 2008, when people lost their jobs and quit buying silly jewelry. I've made a few half-hearted attempts to resurrect the shop since, but now I think I might be back in the groove. We'll see.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cooling trend

It's 70 degrees out! The hot spell has finally let up, and it's been drizzling all day. Glorious.

And guess who I found running around unsupervised outside the chicken yard? The little gray girl. So I scooped her up and played with her.

And I know you're wondering… what's with her hairdo? 

Definitely not normal chick headgear. Are we a greaser – that would make this a DA, no? Or are we a B52? A Sex Pistol? Maybe a member of Flock of Seagulls? Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Early July

It's still freakin' hot. There's suppose to be a thunderstorm this afternoon, which would be a nice break from hot, hot, hot.

The mama guinea and her babies have disappeared. We're bummed. Coyotes? Dogs? Lo.

That leaves us with one hen and seven roosters. She's got a nest with 14 eggs in it, hidden down below the garden. I'm plotting penning her in until the eggs are hatched and keets half-grown, at least.

C. is feeling crummy and is crabby. We're all crabby in this heat.

I've been tinkering with the garden watering "system," which has turned out to be a pain in the ass. The only good thing about it is that I get sprayed with cool water every time the glue fails or a line springs a leak. Which is quite often.