Care to see the card? I used the ladybugs2love from The Stamps of Life set to create this card. The "path" of the ladybug was created using twine. I used a small glue pen to tack the twine down in a couple of spots.
Stamps: ladybugs2love by The Stamps of Life
Paper: Neenah, Bazzil, October Afternoon, Stampin' Up!
Dies: Words & Tags and Majestic Labels, by Sizzix
Ink: Licorice, Guava, Strawberry, and Bubblegum by Stephanie Barnard ColorBox
Other: bakers twine, twine, tracing wheel
The sentiment on the card is from one of my Whipper Snapper cling mount sets called Friendly Expressions.
Find all the details of this week's challenge on the High Hopes blog.
Stamp: "Gardening Gertie" by High Hopes Rubber Stamps, "Friendly Expressions" cling set by Whipper Snapper Designs
Ink: Memento Black
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft, Bo Bunny, Paper Accents
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: YR132, YR133, YR25, YR32, YR21, BR97, BR107, BR102, BR92, Y36, WG5, GY175, Y42, WG3, PB144, PB185, B182, R136, B68, R3, R2, B64, B66, Y34, Y36, YR33, CG1, CG3, CG5
Other: Prima flowers, SEI brad, Tracing Wheel, Spellbinders label die, MFT label die, May Arts ribbon
Hope you're having a great day!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter, Eggs2Hunt, and Pattern2Love by The Stamps of Life
Dies: Eggs by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Sand Memento, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, B143, PB144
Paper: Neenah, October Afternoon, Bazzil, Bo Bunny
Other: button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
It's official.... the first chicks of the year have arrived. I stopped in at the farm supply store yesterday for a few things, and would you just look who followed me home! In this photo are 6 chicks: four bantam cochin, and 2 Golden Comets (Golden Sexlink) pullets. I brought the bantam babies home because, well, I just cannot resist a bantam cochin baby. They may well be my favorite breed, which makes it near impossible for me when I see their wee little feathered feet! That little one on the right is quite the eater, wouldn't you say!? And the Golden Comets came home with me because they are GREAT egg layers, and very sweet hens. You really can't go wrong with a Golden Comet.
So while there are only 6 babies in the photo, I actually brought home 7 chicks. The 7th chick was just outside the frame of the photo. I noticed while I was at the store that there was a little red chick that wasn't doing so well. She never got up to eat, had no fight in her when I picked her up, and didn't move away from the others if they walked over the top of her. So I brought her home too, knowing that she wouldn't survive the day if left at the store. In fact, I didn't even think she'd survive the day even at the farm. But at least if she did pass away I could enjoy knowing that she lived a portion of her life on a farm, and didn't die unloved and have her lifeless body tossed into a dumpster. She actually did end up passing about two hours after I got home. But she died a farm chick, and I'm good with that!
The little cheep cheep cheep of baby chicks is hard not to love. Spring has sprung!
A quick and cheerful spring card to share with you today! I made this card using the little fuzzy chick image from The Stamps of Life Eggs4Easter stamp set. The chick in the middle is the "true" shape of the stamp. Because the belly of the chick stamp is open (the stamp's clear polymer doesn't completely fill the center of the stamp), the stamp can be shaped a bit, allowing for the chick to become taller, shorter, thinner, fatter! To create this grouping, I stamped the original chick once, put a post-it note mask over it, reshaped the chick stamp, and stamped the chick a couple more times. Such a fun and easy way to create a group!
It was so fun being able to give a bit of shape to these chicks! Once I had them stamped, I colored them with Touch Twin markers and added a bit of grass around their feet with a Prismacolor colored pencil. The little fatty in the front was stamped on a separate piece of paper, then cut out and adhered to the card using foam adhesive. This makes him pop out a bit from the others, and really say hello!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Antique Linen Distress Ink by Ranger, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, R3, R2, GY175, 0, CG.5
Paper: Neenah, Bo Bunny
Other: Prismacolor Pencil (Kelp Green), button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
It is not an uncommon occurrence for us to have a temporary house chicken. Thankfully they're small and don't take up much room. They are cheerful and most grateful for the attention. Most of them get to rejoin the flock after a day or two of housebound TLC.
But this little gal might need a bit more care. She doesn't get around too well on her own in big places. She gets the shakes and has a tendency to get herself in places she can't easily get out of.
She was having a real hard time of it while I was in Oregon so Alan moved her into a small pet carrier and set her up in my office with a safe place to rest. She enjoyed warmth from a lamp and safety in her smaller "home".
She enjoys being held, is curious about things on my desk, and seems quite content in her new environment. Since she doesn't have to go far for food, water, and safety, she is doing much better about keeping calm and relaxed.
I think she is pretty cute.... and best of all, she is actually the baby of the late Tiny Tim and Cricket, who was a long time house chick until she was big enough to join her flock outside.
Now we probably need to settle on a name...
Cricket has been sitting on eggs hoping to hatch them. And hatch them she did! This little one was the last to hatch and with all the other babies to attend to, Cricket left the nest, leaving this one still in her egg, and getting chilled.
So this morning I brought the egg in the house and set it up on my desk in a small box lined with tissues and set it under a lamp. And what do ya know, midway through my day, this little one appeared! (Photos taken with my iPhone)
Tonight after Cricket and her babies settle in, I will tuck this little one under Cricket's wing. And come morning, she will be happy as can be with her family.
A little TLC was all it took. Happy day!
I'm finding it difficult to move into Valentine and spring themed projects for some reason, wanting to hold onto snowmen and snowflakes and cocoa and woolies. I don't want spring to come just yet, even though I think it is the best season in Texas. We haven't had enough winter, and we desperately need more rain before the onset of summer 2012. Lately the weather has been very spring-like, minus all the lovely wildflowers that bloom in Texas. Hopefully the weather gets a bit colder, and we get some of the rain that the weather-people say is coming our way tomorrow.
If I MUST think about spring, let it be of baby chickens. That I can handle.
Several years ago at a local auction house, I bought several photo albums (5 to be exact), each one of them FULL of vintage postcards - someone's collection. One of the folders is all Easter cards, and soooo many of them feature chickens or chicks. The above image is from one of the postcards I bought that day. Maybe flipping through those old cute postcards will put me into the mood to work on spring projects...?
I'll sip hot cocoa while I do. *grin*
First of all, thank you for all your support to those who purchased the On the Farm 2011 calendar last year. We had a great response to last year's calendar, and have decided to offer On the farm 2012.
A small portion of all purchases comes back to the farm, and all proceeds recieved go towards the care and feeding of the animals here on the farm. The calendars make fantastic gifts, and are ideal for personal use. The calendar is available in 3 sizes. All of the photos in the calendar were taken by me; I hope you choose to spend 2012 enjoying photos from our farm.
Order your own copy of On the farm 2012 today! Some of your favorite farm critters are featured in the pages of our calendar! Even Baaaaad Boxcar Betty makes an appearance!
HOT SALE! Today through November 20th, cards are 50% off, and calendars are 20% off when you use coupon code CARDSCAL2011 at order checkout. In addition to the 2012 calendar, you will also find all kind of lovely cards in my Zazzle shop as well!
Zazzle Coupon Details:
Enter code: CARDSCAL2011 at checkout in the "Zazzle Coupons/Gift Certificates" box 50% of the greeting card, invitation, photo card and postcard net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased. 20% of the calendar net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying calendars are purchased. The coupon code CARDSCAL2011 must be applied at checkout to apply these discount offers. Offer is valid until November 20, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
Not everyone can have a house chicken, so how about I share mine?
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, check it out here on my YouTube channel.
Remember our little chicklet, whom I rescued from her overly aggressive mother? She's living in the house until she's big and strong enough to go out to the hen house. Well, here she is in all her cuteness! She hangs out with me all day in my office while I work. We've decided to call her Cricket, because she cheeps, sings, and coos to herself all day long -- she really is quite the chatterbox. I rigged up a perch for her out of a small tree branch, and she just thinks it's the coolest thing! To give you a size comparison, the branch she's sitting on is about the same diameter as my thumb. She's a bitty little thing, and is such a pleasant little house guest.
Don't you wish you had a house chicken, too? *grin*
Yesterday morning chick #1 hatched. Unfortunately it was injured to the point of me not being able to nurse it back to health. Poor baby.
Last night while I was locking up the chickens I made a point of checking to see if her other two eggs were close to hatching. I picked Peanut up off of her nest and found a freshly hatched chick (chick #2)! Surprise! Within seconds, Peanut saw the chick and attacked it. Not good.....
Poor little thing... so, in the house with me it went. I checked the remaining egg (#3) with a flashlight and found that it had stopped developing early on, so it got tossed into the pasture for the ants before it turned into a stinky mess.
I decided I would take some video clips last night while I was locking up the chickens. Join me in the fun!
If you're having trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can check it out here on YouTube.
Sweet little Ginger has been sitting on some eggs, and what do ya know, but we've got some babies!
If you have trouble viewing this video here on the blog, you can check it out here on YouTube! Enjoy!
We finally got some much needed rain last night. Oooooh it smells so GOOD! So, since I didn't have to water the garden this morning, I took the camera around to see what some of the critters were up to.
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can check it out here on YouTube!
Oh, and I've added a link to my YouTube channel on the right in the Sassy & Sweet Stuff list. All of the farm videos are there for your enjoyment. *grin*
Today's forecast is promising a high of 99*. Tomorrow's forecast is promising a high of 99*, too. Jeepers... Time to get the frozen water bottles in the chicken waterers. I'd best gather eggs early in the day, too! Don't want those chickens brewing up any deviled eggs when I'm not lookin'!
We've got a wild mama cat who has 5 kittens under our shed. They stay out of the heat, and lay in the shade. Oddly enough, the girl kittens are the friendliest of the bunch. Usually the boys are. When they're old enough they'll go to the vet for a little snippity snip! Alan thinks he might be able to catch the wild mama next week now that the kittens are old enough to eat kitty food and spend the night away from their mama while she's at the vet's office for snipping! This little gal is a cutie, isn't she! I think I'll tell Alan her name is Tangerine. Unless you want to ADOPT her, and then you can name her anything you'd like! *grin*
The rattlesnake pole beans have almost all sprouted around the tee-pee trellis, and I can't wait to see them start vining up the poles! I took this photo two days ago, and already the plants look noticably different, now that they're starting to get more leaves. It's amazing how quickly things change.
Remember our little house chick, Dolly? Well, seems that Dolly thinks SHE is a HE, and is practicing crowing. Yes, yes it's true. Just little squeaks, but that's CROW enough for me! Dolly lives outside now, in a fancy new brooder with two chick-sized friends. Happy as can BE, wild frizzled feathers, and all!
So, speaking of summer ... did you see this image predicting how summer weather is going to progress? UNCLE!!!
I think that calls for daily dips in the pool. Bottom's Up!
Whipper Snapper Designs: Poolside Chicken - #CT954
I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day celebrations today! We had Alan's parents and nephew over for lunch, and then spent the rest of the day tinkering around the farm. It was an enjoyable day, though a bit too warm and windy! June is almost upon us, but summertime weather has been with us already for some time. Alan and I were discussing today just how much it feels (and LOOKS) like August outside. Dreadful to say the least. Is it too much to ask for a rainy summer!? I'm asking, I'm ASKING!
She spent a lot of time today just milling around the barnyard, not eating much of her hay. She also spent some time looking longingly at the rest of the herd in the pasture, who were enjoying themselves in the sunshine. We pulled Lucy out of the pasture a couple days early because she kept having horn wars with Pixie Dust. Their scuffling about would get the rest of the herd all excited, and they would start chasing after Lucy. She's never been very high up on the herd chain of command, and we didn't need them running her when she's so close to delivery! So into the barnyard she went. So come on, Lucy! Let's meet that baby of yours, already!
Baaaaad Boxcar Betty was bored by the daily activities, and chose to spend her day in the shade, munching on grass, and occasionally petting herself with the fence. "Ooooooooh, that feels so goooooood!"
I checked in on Olive Oyle and her chicks, and look what I found! One of her little one's enjoying a bit of mamma time! So cute!! I was only able to get this one photo taken before the chick hopped off of her back. Olive Oyle is a Turken (naked neck), and she is supposed to have the naked neck. Three of her chicks are naked neck's too, even tho their papa (Admiral) isn't a Turken. I think they are just about the cutest chicks, with their little fuzzy heads, and little fuzzy "bow tie" (what I call the clump of feathers on the front of their lower neck).
And this is the third Turken chick, with coloring similar to Olive Oyle's. Sooooo cute!! Olive Oyle has three other chicks as well (an Easter Egger, and two mille fleurs) but they weren't interested in posing for the camera. Maybe another time.
To all the mothers out there, and especially to mine, have a beautiful Mother's Day!
In the morning I plan to do a few odds and ends around the farm, and then we're headed to the city to have lunch with Alan's parents. Then, back to the farm to finish up a few more odds and ends. Supposed to be HOT, near 95. *ugh!* I'd better get some water on the garden in the morning!
I've got a cute little video to share with you. Brown Manetta (one of the Turken hens) hatched some chicks earlier this week. One of them got injured and didn't make it. Then, a couple days later, another chick hatched! But since it was days younger than the others and quite a bit smaller, it had a hard time keeping up with the activities. It ended up getting injured by another hen ... so I brought it in the house for a little extra TLC. Until it gets big and strong, we have a house chick. And just in time for Mother's Day! *grin*
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can check it out here on YouTube.
Happy Mother's Day!!
I've received several requests for an update on the garden, so I took some time this evening to snap some photos.
I said in a post on Friday that I was going to spend some time working in the garden over the weekend, and guess what! I did!
So, here ya go! A garden update for you!
Here's the big picture. You can see all of the new beds we built, and the 2x2 stakes that Alan added to the corner of every raised bed. LOVE THEM! They make it possible to wrap the beds with deer netting to deter the chickens, cats, dogs, armadillo, and whatever else wanders through the yard OUT of the beds. The beds are wrapped with the netting now, and you can hardly see it in the photos! Like the blue and silver tarp on the chicken yard? Yeah, we do too. But it kept the rain from blowing in under the roof all winter and not once did it get muddy in the covered yard, so we put up with it's beauty. Soon, I'll remove the tarp and replace it with a sun shade. That way the breeze can get through, but the harsh afternoon sunlight gets blocked.
The aluminum tub I grew lavender in last year will be the herb garden this year. (Which reminds me, I need to update the 2011 garden map!) The lavender didn't make it through the winter, so I pulled out the dead twigs and planted basil, dill, chives, and some spearmint. Then the roosters promptly jumped in and kicked about the top 2" of dirt out -- and I'm guessing most of the seeds, too. So I put what dirt I could back into the tub and added a wire cucumber trellis from last year to the top of the dirt to keep the roosters out. Little buggers! The wooden produce basket has what's left of my mint plant from last year. It was growing on the other side of the garden in a similar basket, and it was growing GREAT! ...until the roosters decided they needed to scratch around in the basket for bugs, kick all the dirt off of the mint plant, and destroy the basket. I saved what I could of the plant and replanted it in this basket, and surrounded it with a little wire fence. And it got a healthy drink of duck pond tea! How's that for a summertime beverage!?
Things are moving along at the front of the coop. Both of the large raised beds will be tomato plant beds. I was going to plant sweet peppers in the front bed, but decided to plant the peppers on the other side of the garden, to make room for more tomato plants! I think what I might do, before I plant anything in the front bed, is add another row of 2x6 boards (and more SOIL) to increase the depth of the bed. Right now it's the shallowest of all the new beds at only 6" deep, and I'd like a few more inches of dirt if I'm going to put tomatoes there. You can see what tomatoes I do have planted in the second bed. You can also see the flower bed along the front of the chicken house -- I've got lots of flowers coming up in that bed! There's a hummingbird feeder hanging there that has at least 1 hummer feeding from it. There's a narrow bed along the chicken yard where I've got gourds and sunflowers and a few cucumbers seeded. They will grow up nicely on the fence and provide OODLES of shade during the hot summer afternoons. At the corner of the chicken yard is where I've got a few more sunflowers and more chives, and where another humming bird feeder hangs (when it's not being washed).
This is a portion of the LONG bed that runs the full length of the 30' chicken yard. I dug it deep this year and added lots of compost from the farm. I edged the entire bed with a 2' wire fence to keep the roosters out of this bed. There are a few cucumber plants stuck in this bed, along with more gourds (several variety), sunflowers, strawflowers, zinnia, and California poppies. There might be other things too, but that's what I can remember. Oh! And at the VERY end of the chicken yard, I planted three raspberry canes, where they have room to make lots of new canes!
I'm amazed at how big the tomato plants are already! The larger plants were planted last week, and the smaller two (which you can't really see at the bottom of the photo) I planted this evening right before dinner. Soon we'll be adding some trellising to support the plants as they grow.
I planted the sweet pepper plants over the weekend. I picked these plants up at the store, not trusting the seeds I saved from last year's garden. They weren't heirloom, and I just didn't want to be left with no peppers this year if the plants I grow from them don't produce any peppers! So I bought 2 Big Berthas, 2 Orange Bell, 2 Sweet Red Bell, and 1 Yellow Bell. Next to the Yellow Bell, I planted the ONLY Chocolate Pepper plant that sprouted from the seeds I bought last fall.
FINALLY, the seeds I planted in the other raised beds sprouted! I think these are the black zucchini. Or maybe the 8-Ball zucchini... I can't remember off hand which bed this photo is of! Ha! At least I know what's planted in each bed, and when they start producing fruit, it will really be obvious! I can't wait for these to get a little bigger so I can add some good farm mulch around them! And it looks like I might even need to thin them out a little! In other beds, the beans are coming up, cucumbers, more squash, patty pan, and even more zucchini! The strawberry bed isn't showing ANY activity at all... but I've got another 15 or so plants to add to finish out the bed. Hopefully we get at least a few of them to grow!
Finally, not really a GARDEN update, but an update just the same. Remember the gorgeous little chick Alan brought me last month -- the one that had really heavy "eye liner"? She's growing up so big! Still no idea what breed she really is -- I haven't taken time to research it. Maybe an easter egger... dunno. She doesn't really have the right comb for an easter egger... Anyway, as always, I'm hoping she's a SHE! She doesn't display any rooster behaviors, and really just wants to either be held, or sit on my shoulder. My money's on her being a SHE ... but then again, I'm not really a betting girl.
Alan had to run some errands in town yesterday afternoon. When he came home I was out in the chicken yard saying hello hello HELLO to the ladies. He said I had a package... that I should go to the house and check it out. Oh REALLY!? I like packages!
After each Whipper Snapper release, I order a few wood mounted stamps of some of my favorite images from the release. My order arrived yesterday, and I thought I'd share a photo! I absolutely LOVE getting the stamps in the mail. Sure, I draw the image and color the images for the labels, but actually having the product in my hands is most excellent. Whipper Snapper does such a wonderful job making the stamps; it is an honor to be able to work with them.
If you're not familiar, I am an artist for Whipper Snapper Designs, a rubber stamp company. They turn my illustrations into rubber stamps, like those above, for crafters. They are sold worldwide, and the complete collection can be found on their website. The stamps are available from Whipper Snapper as wood mount, cling mount, and as bare rubber, depending on the preference of the stamper. When I order my own stamps, I always order wood mounted; I love having the colored label and having the wood mounted stamps on display is something I truly enjoy.
On another topic, I've been asked about our "mystery chick". Here is a photo I took just a few minutes ago. This photo really shows the progress of feather growth. I still don't know what breed this little one is... and I'm REALLY hoping it's not a little roo!!
I'm sooooo glad it's Friday... how about a baby mosh pit!? I took this photo earlier this week. Not much has changed, except their wing feathers are a bit longer, and their tail feathers are a wee bit longer. Other than that, they're still cute fluff balls. Cheep cheep!!
Meet Lola! She's one of my recently released Whipper Snapper stamps.
I noticed the other day that people in town have daffodils blooming in their yards. And I noticed that we don't have ANY early spring blooming flowers here on the farm. I must remedy this, don't you agree? I have a stack of plant and seed catalogs on the end table in the living room, and they are getting corners folded down, notes penciled in, and ideas are brewing for the summer garden.
Today is Alan's mother's birthday -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUE! We're having her and John (Alan's Dad), and Alan's nephew over for dinner Sunday night. Should be a nice evening. I even made cupcakes! YUM!
Hope you're enjoying the weekend... I sure am!
Alan had to make a trip to town yesterday to pick up some feed, and some other odds and ends. When he got home, he walked into the house and surprised me with six BABY CHICKENS! Six little babies for me to call my very own! *grin* It's been a long while since we've had babies on the farm, and their little peep peep peeps are music to my ears! He brought home four Golden Comet chicks, two of which are shown in the above photo series. We love Golden Comets for their incredible egg laying abilities, and for their sweet dispositions. And we love that Golden Comets are easily gender identifiable as chicks. The light golden chicks w/ subtle stripes on their backs are girls. Easy pickin's!
He brought home THIS little cutie, who is as tiny as can be, and I am guessing is a white Dutch bantam. (Though I reserve the right to change that opinion later! Haa!) This is the chick that prompted the purchase. Alan said that this TINY little thing was in the same area as the store's order of meat birds! There is NO WAY this little pip is a meat bird. Poor little thing was being trompled by the bigger babies; Alan to the rescue! This is also the chick that prompted the Stickles bottle photos. I was trying to show just how tiny this chick is.
And he brought home THIS darling little one, who has the prettiest coloring! This chick isn't as large as the Golden Comets, but isn't nearly as little as the little white chick. I haven't had time to research a breed... expect an update later!
Welcome HOME, babies! Cheep, cheep, CHEEP!
And THANK YOU, Alan... I have a feeling these little delights were just what I needed! *Smooches*
Before I left for my trip to Washington and Montana to see Mom and Dad, Nugget was insisting on sitting on eggs. So, I popped 6 eggs under her and let her sit. On Sunday, she hatched out two babies, and yesterday, three others. The 6th egg never started to develop, so it ended up getting tossed out. Meet Nuggets little crumb snatchers!
This was the last chick to hatch. The others are racing circles around it, as it still has it's newly hatched wobble. But by the end of today, it will have figured out how to race circles as well as the others.
Isn't it cute how they all look different! A surprise in every shell!
How about a look at how things are today? Remember those little chicks that Edwina hatched out? Here they are... well, most of them. Some of these are from another little hen that hatched out chicks at about the same time. I ended up selling Edwina and four of her chicks, as well as another one of my young laying hens, to a gal that works at our vet's office. She had an "incident" at her place, and was looking to replace her flock. She was quite happy with her new ladies and babies. The biggest brown chick in the middle of the bunch is actually one of the chicks that was hatched down at the barn by John's Chicken -- she's the one as a newly hatched chick that spent the night in the house for a little TLC before she rejoined John's Chicken and her siblings. Something slowly picked off John's Chicken and BBC's chicks while they ran around the farm with their parents (sad), and now there are only 5 left. Four little roosters, and this little brown pullet. I didn't want the pullet to disappear, so I nabbed her one night from their roost and introduced her to the little flock of chicks in the chicken coop. She fit right in. Her four little rooster brothers still free range 100% of the time with Buddy Boy, Admiral, John's Chicken, and BBC.
You can see that some of the chicks are frizzles -- I LOVE LOVE LOVE their crazy feathers!!! I have 10 chicks in the coop that are much younger than these birds, and they're ALL frizzled! Every single one!! Very exciting! *grin*
This is Rowdy, another one of the chicks. I think his mother is Cottonelle, though she didn't hatch him (another hen incubated a nest of eggs from several hens), and his father seems to have been Uncle Sam. He has wild markings on his feathers like Uncle Sam has.
Normally I take photos around the farm in the evening, but today I took photos just after 8:00am. This bed of beans, cucumbers, gourds, butternut squash and a couple of mammoth sunflowers is really filling in! Some of the bean plants have started to put on little purple blooms, the butternut squash plant has several squash already about 3" long, and I even have a couple of gourds on a vine! All very exciting! The tomato plants there on the right have just about had it ... not too much longer and I will be pulling them from their containers and finding something else to plant in their place.
The squash pit has completely overgrown the raised bed they're planted in. That stake you see above is one of the corners on the bed... you can see just how much they've taken to leaning out of the bed.
There is a container that one of the cantaloupe plants is planted in where I am watering at the corner of the raised bed. The shade provided by the other squash plants really seems to suite the cantaloupe just fine. It's looking healthier than ever, and there are several melons forming on each vine.
This morning while I was watering, I found THIS! This is an exciting little find -- this is one of the plants that Alan wanted me to grow. The squash of this plant look a bit like a UFO, and he thought that would be a fun addition to the garden, and our dinner plate. I agree! You can see a second one a bit farther back in the photo, too! These are going to be dee-lish!
I have a pickling cucumber plant NEAR the chicken yard. It sent out a long branch, grabbed onto a sunflower, then reached even farther and reached through the chicken yard fence (too high for the chickens to reach it). It is flowering, and even producing pickles -- all inside the chicken yard! Crazy plant ... I have redirected the end of the branch back through the fence so it continues to grow on the "right" side of the chicken yard. I can just see those silly hens, stacking themselves up one on top of the other, just to get high enough to reach the delicious pickle. Too late, ladies ... I picked it this morning, and it will be a jar of pickles before day's end.
The corn (behind the squash pit) has grown so much in the past week. It's well above the corner posts on the raised beds, and many of the stalks are putting tassels up. We'll see if we actually get any ears of corn, or if I'm just growing perfect Autumn/Halloween decor for the front of the house! Hopefully, both!
The grasshoppers are out of control this year... I've never seen so many! They're doing a fair amount of damage to the plants, so I hand pick them off of the plants when I can. It's kind of creepy grabbing them bare handed, so I wear a glove and then it doesn't bother me at all. This guy got away from me though.... better luck next time. He'll make a fine snack for one lucky hen!
The potted zinnia is looking a little better. I thought it was just going to up and die on me. Seemed no matter where I put it, or how much care I gave it, in the evenings it was just a wilted up mess. Now it's putting on new blooms, and looks like it might actually keep blooming for a while. The lavender plant is filling in nicely, too.
It is July, right? I'm looking at the 10-day forecast, and am so EXCITED!! Not a 100 degree day to be SEEN! And look at the chance of precipitation numbers! This Pacific Northwest girl thinks it's time to do the dance of joy! But I won't get too excited... I don't want to jinx things. That's just my luck. *grin*
We didn't get rain the entire day, just sprinkles now and then, but the cooler temps were nice. At about 6:30pm I was out doing chores. A bit of sun peeked through the clouds just before the big storm for the night moved into the area. I took some time to snap some random photos just to document the day.
The ducks LOVE the rain. It's QUACK QUACK QUACK all day long, while they splash around in the puddles, and chomp at the rain drops. The chickens don't really like getting wet, but I think they're enjoying the much cooler temperatures we're having. They don't tolerate heat well, and neither do I!
I sure get a lot of attention when I bring the camera into the chicken yard. I'm pretty sure they all think it's a container full of treats for them to snack on. Keeping the duck bills away from my lens is sometimes a challenge. Keeping the duck bills away from my pants and pockets ... impossible.
Dandy (our only male duck, thankfully!) doesn't have time for baby chickens. He is growing into such a handsome fella. And I noticed he's finally getting his little drake tail curl (no photos yet). He's off to find a puddle.
Teaspoon and I have an almost-nightly routine. While Nugget scratches around for bugs just before sundown, Teaspoon takes a rest on my lap. Last night, I snapped some photos. (Like my pants? hahaha!! Good thing no one comes to visit us!)
It is my opinion that frizzled chicks are the CUTEST chicks in the coop! Sure, all chicks are cute, but frizzles just have a little something EXTRA to their level of cuteness. A frizzled chicken's feathers curl forward instead of laying flat against the chicken's body. I snapped these photos this afternoon, and am so glad I did!
This little guy (guessing it's a roo, but maybe not!) has more muted colors, but still the blue and gold show through. I think he'll be very pretty as an adult with slightly darker neck coloring, and more penciling pattern on his feathers.
Both of these boys are from the 13 chicks that Edwina hatched out in May. There's a third frizzle chick too, but he wasn't too hip on having a photo session today. Maybe he'll cooperate next time. He's very similar in appearance to the first chick, above.
By the way, I'm interested in selling these little fellas, so if you're in the area and want to add some ultra cuteness to your coop, drop me a note and I can let you know the prices. I'd wager that we will always have frizzles on the farm. I just think they are the CUTEST things!
I've been asked for an update on John's Chicken and BBC, so here you go!
BBC (Brown Barn Chicken) and her six chicks are doing well. Their feathers are coming in and those cute little fluffy babies are starting to look like chickens!
They search for bugs and seeds all day, and are as happy as can be. John's Chicken won't let BBC into the goat pen, so BBC is keeping her chicks in the barn at night. We'd rather her stay in the goat pen at night, but John's chicken seems to be the boss of that area for the time being. Even the goats are cautious around her!
John's Chicken has managed to keep track of all 11 of her chicks -- no easy task for one hen and a barnyard full of tall grass!
The little chick we took into the house for a couple days for some TLC is doing wonderful! Here she is in the evening sun. She's easy to spot in the crowd of babies. She's the only one with green legs, and is still the smallest.
There ya go - one chicken update... *grin*
Hope you're all enjoying the holiday weekend. Yesterday, I managed to sleep in. After getting up with the dogs at 6am, I decided to crawl back into bed and snoooooooze away. Delightful! Alan and I spent the rest of the day doing farm chores, and trying to keep cool - at one point yesterday, the temp hit 96. That was not delightful. In fact, it was downright rude. I took a look at the 10 day forecast.
They're "suggesting" it will be 942 degrees for the next 10 days.
Today promises more of the same, followed by a nice BBQ dinner with Alan's parents. I'll be cooking up some BBQ'd ribs, homemade potato salad, baked beans, spinach salad, and roasted corn on the cob. I also made some fresh limeade last night that has been chilling all night long. I can't wait for that refreshing first sip!
Oh! And for those of you who were concerned about the little grey colored chick in Edwina's Baker's Dozen, worry no more! That chick is doing just fine! Still a bit smaller than the others, but her papa is a little tiny pip squeak, so she won't get too big herself.
Be safe this holiday weekend!
Cheers to you!
Chainsaw was the first chick I hatched in the incubator last spring. She's part Silkie, and part bantam Cochin, and is one of *the* favorite critters here on the farm. (It's OK that I choose favorites ... really, it is!) She is particularly fond of Dancing with the Stars, and last season rooted for cowboy Ty Murray.
Most every evening while I'm doing the evening chores around the hen house, Chainsaw keeps busy by scratching around in the wood chips in front of the coop. She is a VERY busy chicken and does an excellent job of rearranging the chips.
But last night was different. She wanted grass seeds! Alan and I haven't been mowing all of the grass around the chicken coop to allow the grass to seed itself. This makes for very happy chickens, too! (See Wiley in the background, happily scratching around in the wood chips...)
= how many baby chicks we have on the farm as of today! That's right... six more joined the menagerie of critters entertaining us, and now you. I've never been good at math, but I can tell you that 1+11+13+6 = babies galore!
BBC (Brown Barn Chicken) disappeared not quite a month ago, leaving John's Chicken as the only hen at the barn, along with Admiral and Buddy Boy who is the last remaining rooster from last summer's batch of chicks. (All the other hens/roosters are in coops at different places on the farm.) But it would seem that BBC wasn't "gone" from the farm, just "missing".
Apparently she was sitting in a location completely out of sight on her own little (20+) nest of eggs! She managed to hatch 6 babies, and brought them out to hunt for bugs this morning. Alan came into the house to wake me after he obtained a count of the chicks. Barely conscious I slipped on my clogs, grabbed the camera, and went out to meet the new little flock.
BBC is an Easter Egger hen, and lays pretty green eggs. The pullets (pullets=girls) in this batch of chicks should lay green eggs too, since both Admiral and Buddy Boy are Easter Egger fellas and *should* carry the green egg laying gene, and pass it along to their offspring.
Their wing feathers are just barely starting to show, which leads me to believe that these babies hatched late yesterday. Their wing feathers will grow quickly and soon they will lose their unbearably cute fluffy fuzz and be a mix of new incoming feathers and thin fuzz as they outgrow their fluff.
Happy Saturday morning! I've got a baker's dozen to share with you this morning... enjoy!Edwina hatched out 13 little itty bitty bantams, and I'm pretty sure they couldn't be any cuter!
As I was downloading these photos, all I could think of was how nicely camouflaged the babies are in their environment.
John's Chicken hatched 11 of the 12 eggs she was nesting on! Go, John's Chicken, Go!! Here they are getting a lesson on bug hunting.
There are only 9 chicks in this photo. The two other chicks got taken in the house prior to the photo opp for a day or so while the last-to-hatch gets some strength. I don't think she was quite ready to take on the world when John's Chicken decided it was time to leave the nest and search for grub. Still a little damp, the smallest of them all, and super wobbly, she needs a bit of TLC before she joins her flock mates. The other chick we brought in the house is just fine, and was only brought in because it's good for babies to have a friend. They are very social creatures, and do so much better when they have a friend.
So there you have it... ELEVEN!
Alan found John's Chicken sitting on a nest of eggs in the goat house, back in the corner where we can't reach her. Apparently, she decided that was the best place to take up residency. How many chicks do you count?
Yesterday morning we knew she'd hatched at least one chick... Alan saw it, but I only heard it.
Now how many chicks do you count? I'll give you a hint... ____ is enough. But is it really? I don't think so... I think there are at least 9 chicks, since there's a little pale yellow one with a little black spot on the top of it's head that is visible in the third photo, but doesn't seem to be visible in this last photo.
Alan knows she was sitting on 12 eggs. We should be able to get a final count on the chicks tomorrow or Tuesday. She'll have the chicks out and about when either all of the eggs hatch and the babies get their newly hatched wobbles under control, OR she's sure that the other eggs aren't going to hatch. What a good mama John's Chicken turned out to be!
And before you even ask, YES, yes it's true... we have Christmas lights on the goat pen next to the barn. They need holiday decor, too!
Alan and I zipped up to the city today to pick up a few electronic items. I've been having issues with internet connectivity in my office (oh, the horrors!), and Alan thought a new switch would solve the troubles. Turns out he was right!
While we were in the city, we swung by Home Depot where I picked up some Dahlia bulbs. I'll have to wait for the winter storm warnings to pass before putting them in the ground. When I was out locking up the chickens earlier tonight, it was snowing. Crazy weather.
Also while we were in town, we swung by the farm supply store. Since it was the farm supply store in a larger city than we usually shop at, Alan didn't think they would have babies...and that it might be SAFE to take me to. WRONG!
Not only did they have baby chickens (boring white "meat" chickens), but they also had BABY DUCKS! Ohhhh, they were cute. At first it was easy to say "awww, they're so cute" and keep on walking. And then we noticed that not all of them were white Pekin ducks!
Ducks and chickens get along well, and since I haven't had ducks since I was a wee little girl, we brought two home. I am 99% certain that they are Buff Orpington ducklings, though I am not sure if they are male or female. Now I need to come up with names for these little cuties. When I was a kid, I had two ducks named Soup and Quackers...
Ok, ok..... I need to fess up... Earlier this week Alan and I had to make a run to town (south of us) so I could get a bag of chicken feed, and a few odds and ends at the grocery store. They had baby chicks at the farm supply store... mostly just Production Reds and Golden Comets.
By the way, not only is today the first day of spring, but March 20 is also my Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary. Happy 39th Anniversary, Mom and Dad! May you have many, many more happy years together!
My parents are getting ready for a short camp trip, and oh how I envy them! Sure, life on the farm is all glitz and glam, but imagine... me, Alan, and the chickens, dipping our toes in a cool mountain lake. We could be enjoying the sweet song of crickets and frogs, instead of the deafening whistle and whine of the Texas cicadas (though, I actually like the cicadas...) How sweet it would be! So, rather than wishing they (my parents) were here, I wish we were there!
I made this card using images from my recently released Whipper Snapper sets. The chicken and sentiment are from Beach Bum, the island is from Hooked on Fishing, and the trailer is from Great Outdoors. And of course, what's not to love about the Mr. Campy Cosmo Cricket paper... *swoon*
I was recently asked if I would show photos of project details now and then. You bet, Pam! Here you go! On this card, I chose to double-layer the chicken's body, for added detail. I lightly colored the chicken in the background, and then colored the top-layer chicken darker with more detail. I also sketched in some grass sprigs and made little dots to quickly and easily add ground.
Note to self: ORDER GLUE DOTS!
The younger chicks need to get their legs under them before I'll put them in with Ginger (the mama) and her slightly older chicks. I brought in a couple of the chicks that are a few day old to keep the new chicks company, and to encourage the new chicks to eat. They'll learn faster if they can mimic the older chicks.
After a day or two when they've got the hang of their legs and of eating, I'll put them all out with their mama and the other babies. Ginger will never notice... 11, 12, ...14... who's counting. Not Ginger! The newly hatched chicks are still in the "need sleep" stage, and Ginger is too busy showing the older chicks food to worry about snuggling down with day old chicks. They'll do better with her and the older babies in a day or two.
This is the little gal that hatched today...a bit too early, thanks to the egg she was in getting broken about a day before she was ready to hatch. I'm lucky I found her in the nest when I did. It could have been disastrous for her... She spent most of the day in the incubator, until she thought it was time to kick the last of her egg shell off and join her friends.
Earlier this week I mentioned that we had some of Lefty's babies here on the farm. Here are three of them I found resting on one of the old straw bales we have near the garage. The little black and white cockerel in front should grow up to look a lot like Lefty. These are the same three chicks that are in the cute photos of Crazy Dark Brown Hen with her chicks, posted this day. They change so much as they grow! And so quickly, too!
The light brown and gray speckled chick on the left is a little pullet. She's very sweet! The red/brown chick in the back/middle I *think* is a cockerel...but I'm not sure (also, I think Edward might be the father of that one, not Lefty). It's comb is MUCH smaller than the guy in the front, but it also has a different kind of comb, which is always smaller than the single comb on the guy in the front. So, time will tell.
There are more of Crazy Dark Brown Hen and Lefty's chicks in the chicken coop, too. An entire rainbow of colors! There's a charcoal gray pullet, a black pullet, a black & gold pullet, a red/brown pullet (like the one in the back of this photo), a little white speckled pullet, and a beautiful red and blue (which is actually gray) cockerel. They are the chicks we hatched from Crazy Dark Brown Hen's eggs after she abandoned the nest. They're growing up to be sweet little chicks. The little red and blue rooster loves to be held. I think more than anything it's because it makes him "taller" than all the other chickens in the coop. He's spoiled... but he's not the only spoiled one. *grin*
Sweet, sweet babies...