At church this morning, our pastor apologized because he could not leave the altar as usual, since his lapel mike was broken. Instead, he was stationary at the altar, speaking at the podium that the lector normally uses. He aplogized for the inconvenience, and in the course of the sermon, talked about someone who had to use "email" instead of Twitter or Facebook to communicate something rapidly. Hasn't our world changed? I remember when there was no such thing on your desk as a "PC"... and not dreamed of by the normal person. Dating me, I guess, but there's still life in the old girl yet, and this proves it:
Here I am trying to get out the pophole of the little henhouse this afternoon. Keith was laughing and took the picture... and no, I don't ALWAYS wear that blue blouse for chores. I'm pretty dirty, as you can see.
I had to go roust these three:
I am telling you, silkie and silkie crosses are the broodiest hens on earth!
Before gathering the eggs, I had been working on this:
Part of that is a straw bale left out to decompose, and part of it is from here:
This was taken before I started to excavate with the pitchfork. The llamas use the barn during the summer during rainfall, otherwise they are outside. I filled the larger of our two yardcarts, and then pulled it across the yard to the new garden bed. I also worked in the current garden bed, and cut down spent monarda flowers... they smelled so good as I chopped. I am going to dig the monarda up as soon as I have prepared the new bed. It got WAYYY too big for it's place in the current bed.
While I was doing that, Keith was doing this:
Yes, as you can see, the walls are going up. We were up very late after his daughter's wedding reception last night, (for us) and I don't know where we found the strength... oh, wait a sec... while waiting for pictures to load in this post, I FELL ASLEEP IN THE OFFICE CHAIR. I'll be working on that garden bed all week!
After I worked for a while (and then sat and talked to Keith for a while as he worked), I went over to the chicken yards to do chores.
Here is what we have decided about the chicken houses.
The little henhouse on stilts is needing modification. It does not have an easy way to get eggs... and as you saw from picture one, I have to crawl in there when I can't roust the hens out with the every-handy mop. We want to open the sides and make nest boxes that can be added to it, and checked from the outside, thereby freeing me from having to crawl in unless there is an emergency. Today I got "stuck" in there and it is NOT pleasant. I had to call Keith on my cell from my pocket to come and rescue me. It is also hard to heat in winter, we have to run a line from the big henhouse to it, and prop it up to keep a heat lamp going. Last winter we did not have a base waterer for the water fountain, because I got shocked the year before and I admit it, I'm scared.
So.... what we will do is this:
The flock from the little henhouse will move to the new henhouse INCLUDING the roosters, when it is ready. For the time being, it will be a regular henhouse with hens and roosters, instead of the laying house I envisioned. That will come.
Second step: fix the big henhouse. We adapted that building from a living quarters/babysitting nursery for the pickers who used to work on the strawberry farm. The eaves have rotted and we are invaded every winter by starlings, who poop over everything, not to mention bringing disease into the henhouse. It needs re-wiring and a thorough cleaning. The current flock will stay in there for the winter, or move to the little henhouse while we work on it, we aren't sure yet. Anyway, we envision (and Keith admitted this) that we are going to have three henhouses in action. The little henhouse will either end up a breeding yard, or be the rooster yard, we aren't sure yet. I am going to be busy in my retirement.
I had fun finally, just sitting for a while and watching the birds. The ninety degree heat turned to windy with clouds, and a few sprinkles, so it was nice to sit relax. I realized I was way too tired to go back to the garden. In fact, I still need to go out and get the loppers.
Here is one of the two golden cochin pullets... isn't she pretty?
Boots and Baldy, the little Mille Fleur pullet who was attacked by the three Brahma roosters in the spring. Her feathers have grown back in spottily on her head.
This is the lesser of the two Partridge Cochin roos that I ended up with in the spring hatch that I bought. The sturdier of the pair is in the other henyard. He's still a very beautiful boy, and Rambo does not beat up on these little roosters, so I am content to leave them be.
While Keith was working, I came in to take a breather at one point. As I looked out the door, I saw hummingbirds on the re-blooming butterfly bushes. I moved the hummingbird feeder out to the garden after re-filling it. I don't think they like this feeder, however, as I have never seen them use it this year. I am going back to the old ones. Along with the hummers, I saw many beautiful large butterflies. Here is one that wandered over to the large henyard.
I am not sure what it is, but it's GORGEOUS.
And last but not least, here is Teeny, with her babies who are getting huge!
And that, my friends, is a heckuva post for the beginning of a four day week for me.