Friday, July 12, 2024

The Long, Hot Summer

I bet there's a lot of people who won't get that title reference, but some will. 

It's still hot, unseasonably so, but we are coming into the hottest time for Kansas summers. The next three days are supposed to be brutal, but... we can be so thankful that we have not had out of control fires or a hurricane hit us.  I'll take the heat. 

Red Winged Blackbird

I am sitting here at the kitchen table and looking out the window right now at a red-winged blackbird eating on the yard platform feeder.  I just filled the finch feeders before starting this story. 

This finch was waiting for the oriole to move its fanny so the finch could get at the oranges and jelly. 

If you make that picture big, it looks like the finch is pretty perturbed... and... now that I look closely, that is probably a female Baltimore Oriole. 

The peanuts I get by the big bag at Menards are pretty popular here. 

Yep, the cardinals are still here, too. 

I am so happy with the Columbian Wyandottes.  They are the most vigorous chicks every, and run all around the yard all day long.  They know how to put themselves to bed, finally, too.  The big hens bully them... they have to wait for those hens to go to roost to be able to go in the door. 

Big Bird, eating a treat.  Gosh, I'm happy with the Indios, too.  There are two cockerels and four pullets.  Big Bird is a pullet. 

On Wednesday morning, Isaiah, my yard helper, had returned from vacation and came over to weed eat.  He helped me (okay, he did most of the work, pounding the poles in....) and I tie-wrapped the thing to the poles.  I had some poly chicken wire in the barn, and I tie wrapped IT to the inside of the panels to keep the birds from going through.  The doorway (at the other end) is made with an exercise pen.  
I opened the big door of the brooder house, and it was hours before one bird ventured out.  By yesterday morning, they could not WAIT to get out on the grass, they had only ever been in that enclosed pen connected to the building.  

The temperature in this building has been going to 100 or 102 on hot days, and the birds stayed outside all day with water and food.  Yesterday, it never got above 80 in there.  My nephew came and looked at it, because a roofing company told me yesterday that they could not put a roof turbine on a metal building, it won't seal... a metal roofed building... but my nephew told me to buy a vent exhaust fan, and he will mount it to the side of the building to blow hot air out in bad weather.  After yesterday, I may not need to do that... just the big door being open all day seemed to work.   I did have two fans running. 
Tomorrow will be the test, we are going to close in on 100 for two days. 

These LaFleche cockerels are inside the building. 

The barn cats know how to stay cool, too.  That's Cleo. 

Jurassic Park is being scooped out this afternoon when I finish this post.  Then the tree eaters are coming to give me an estimate on removing a huge dead limb in the maple tree. 

The stains on that wall are 20 years old, from starlings getting in there during winter.  

Mr. Floofy Ears has been inside a lot lately, because it's so hot out.  
We walk down the road in the evening, after the sun has begun to go down.  
We will try it if it does not get too hot out during the day, but I have carried him in twice. 
He doesn't act it, but he IS over 9 years old. 

A sunflower that volunteered on the deck in one of the planters! 

The maple tree behind it has the huge dead branch, and I am praying I don't lose the tree.  The same tree service looked at it three years ago and thought it had some time left. 

Wednesday night, I got together with about 20 of my high school (and five grade school!) classmates at a local eating establishment.  
Not everyone is pictured here. 
It was so good to see everyone, I had worked hard outside all day, showered, drove 25 miles to the place and was greeted by three of my cousins when I got there, so I had a good visit with them. 

I was only able to stay about 90 minutes... I had to get the birds in... but oh gosh, what a wonderful time seeing all my old friends and catching up.  We try to do it a few times a year... it has been 57 years since we graduated. 

To save you from calculating that in your head... class of 1968. 

My great grandson, Wyatt, on the Fourth. 

I was here, cowering from the explosions that went on until midnight.  I will have to say, though, that they were not too close, and the cats and dog did not seem that bothered. 

Archie, whom I have become very attached to... is going to be going to a farm sanctuary in the next county on Sunday afternoon.  Doodle, his friend on the left, will go back to her sheep herd. 
I have come to the realization that I cannot do it all anymore at my age, and I am afraid carrying all that water in the winter is already going to get me.  The Brooder house is far from the pumps, and don't think I have not considered selling the Putihs and the LaFleche, and then putting the Bielefelders and one cochin girl in one of the other houses... cleaning it out, and closing it up.  

I will really miss Archie, he is the gentlest of billy goats, and I have enjoyed having him here.  My time has passed, I think. 

My beautiful boy for a short time. 

I am the little pink blob sitting at the left rear :-)

If you are in the Houston area... I pray your lights are back on soon. 

Everyone else, take care out in the hot summer weather. 

Let me just go start raking that hen house. 


Monday, June 17, 2024

June 16 - HOT

Somehow, before it's officially summer... we have descended into the heat of. 

We are still getting a respite at night, but the temps are only falling to the low seventies instead of the fifties of a few weeks ago.  It's enough to give the animals time to recover from the heat of the day.  I also run fans in all the hen houses. 

These guys are going home today for a few weeks to give the pasture time to recover. 
(She is rubbing herself under the little red hen house, the only one not in use). 

In a way I'll be glad, because I have made myself crazy making sure there is water for everyone to drink here this last week.  With two goats only, that load will lighten. 
I'll miss them very much, though. 

These naughty, naughty Wyandotte girls. 
They are the very last to go in at night, because the oldest Cochin hen drives them out.  I was completely out of patience with everyone last night, it was hot and I was REALLY tired, and I finally went out there and was ready to lock the hen up in a brooder pen, and they were all in but one.  She soon went in, and everyone went up to roost.  Whew. 

Doug is a captive now, with the Lavender Orps and the Cuckoo Marans.  I did lift him out the other day, and his spur accidentally caught my hand, and the darn sore is swollen.  I am on penicillin from a sheep hoof scrape, so I am hoping it does the trick for the second.  I am diabetic... the sheep scrape is 17 days old today and still not healed. 

He is doing a really good job teaching this little group... and... in another week, like next Monday... I'll take the Ex pen down, and they will be free to go out in the yard with the others.  They have only one hop into their house, not like the steps of the big hen house. 

That ex pen is going to move out into the yard to be a shaded pen for Chico, his big pen is in the sun most of the day. 

The dog pen to which the ex pen abuts is going to be moved over, too. 

About half of the lavenders are frizzled, which I love.  The cockerel is. 

These are group four birds in their attached pen... Putih Ayam Cemanis, and LaFleche. 

There are three LaFleche cockerels and only two pullets, darn it. 

One of the two pullets.  I swear they look like little ravens! 

Cleo waited for me in the barn door as I brought her canned food out last night. 
The others in there don't eat canned. 

Mama is one of them.  
She was the mother of the four kittens (spayed after they were adopted). I looked back through old pictures yesterday and those kittens are two years old this month. 

What would a post be without my beautiful boy? 

Doodle, the goat belonging to my sheep boarder friends, is going to stay when they go home today to keep Archie company. 

I call this Indio girl Big Foot.  She is the tallest of all the birds, even the Indio cockerel. 
She will come up to me and look at me while I talk to her, as if she is listening to everything. 

There is the cockerel on the right, and one of the other pullets. 

Most of the milkweed has gone by, but this, in the fence, is still blooming.  It smells so wonderful 

The June candles from last week have also almost gone by... other wildflowers are about to bloom. 

There is still some on the east side of the road. 

And the glorious "ditch" lilies are blooming now, too. 

This is the comm tower I can see from my bedroom windows.  

It is in the undeveloped 26 acres across from me, where Chico went the day he disappeared.  That land is for sale, but supposedly does not have enough water to support more than a house on it. 
At some point it will go for development... I hope I am not here to see it, I like it wild. 

Try to stay safe and cool, everyone. 

Post Script, added at 6:07.  I was working on this entry this morning and was overcome by nausea and fatigue.  I knew I was dehydrated, but did not realize how badly.  I was okay after drinking a lot of water and a short nap.  It was a reminder that we all need to hydrate regularly, all day long in this heat.  

The sheep did, indeed, get picked up, and Doodle stayed behind to be Archie's companion.  She is NOT happy. 
We will see what happens.  

If she does not settle down, her owners will come get her and I'll get a young wether to keep him company.  She had been with the sheep since a tiny doeling. 


Sunday, June 9, 2024

A Beautiful Sunday

We have had a wonderful day here in NE Kansas, after two nights of rainstorms. 

It was good to get a couple more inches of rain. 

I am hoping haying can start, because I need to buy some hay for Archie.... who now has a companion who will be staying when her sheep friends go home... Doodle, who was here last year. 

Her owners have agreed to leave her when the sheep get rotated out in another week, to give the pasture time to recover. 

I made the mistake of talking to Archie as I came through from the yard into the chicken pen, so I could take some pictures.  The entire flock came running to see what was up.  That white sheep there is Fluffy, who lived here with me four years ago, and had Nugget, who is also still with this flock. 

I couldn't get a good picture of Archie because he stepped into the shade. 
He is looking so much better than a month ago.  He will also touch noses with me now. I still can't handle him, the guys who are going to do shots and hooves will have to catch him, but I will have him in the barn (after the sheep go home).  I can touch him, just not hold him. He does NOT threaten me with his horns. 

Remember I thought I was buying six Buff Orpington pullets... and I actually got five Rhode Island Reds and a buff.  Here is the pretty buff.  They are from Batch one, the oldest chicks. 

I went inside to take pictures, because the sheep scared everyone.  Those are the Indios... 

Another Indio... they are so tall and they have HUGE feet!

Of course, I did not get ONE foot picture, but my neighbor came over the other night and went "whoa!" when he saw them. 

I have not heard an Indio crow, and they are the oldest chicks, nearly five months. 

This guy is crowing!  So are two others in the brooder house. 
There are seven lavender Orpingtons, and they are moving tonight, they don't know it.  I think the three Cuckoo Marans are going, too, because they will be fairly big chickens
Doug the silkie rooster and the two older hens in the little henhouse are going to get the surprise of their lives when they wake up tomorrow. 

I put an exercise pen extension on the front of the dog pen I bought from a neighbor, and tonight after Doug and his two hens go in, I'll start moving the lavenders.  Dusk is the best time.  They will only have to stay in this pen for about two weeks, and then can be free, and I'll take the ex pen portion down. 

I have a small rug I am going to put over the doorway opening so Doug can get in and out safely. 

Or... something. 

It took my beautiful Columbian Wyandottes about two weeks of being carried up and down the steps of the big hen house to figure everything out.  I do wait every single night for them all to go in.. I think the big hens are bothering them... but they do eventually go in. 

The mature chickens were really interested in what I was doing today. 
When I finish here, I'll go out and do all the waters. 

There are only ten mature birds, and one has waterbelly... a heart condition... and this is my second.  They both came from a flock being dispersed by someone and neither was laying. 

I have two birds who ARE laying. 

Flopsy, this hen here in front of Buddy, is still laying. 
A word about Buddy... I had Ferdinand, the big rooster who was Buddy's dad and Buddy looks just like him.  Singleton, the white rooster, was also Ferdy's son, and dominant over both.  I lost both Ferdie and Singie last year. 
I honestly don't expect Buddy to make it through the year, he is seven... but he has done a wonderful job of taking care of his ever-changing harem for me over the years.  He has spent his whole life here. 

Here is one of the two Bielefelder pullets.  They are such pretty girls. 

Out of the four Putih Ayam Cemanis, I got two pullets and two cockerels. 
He is crowing. 

So is one of the LaFleche chicks... I just cannot get a good picture of him! 

This umbilliferous daisy has grown wild in my fence line for two years.  Seeds don't break off, a whole umbel does, so all you see here disperse in little umbrellas across the grass. They are beautiful. 

This wildflower is in front of the little hen house but I could not cut it down.  It cheers me up every day. 

The "June candles" ... yucca... are blooming here now. 

It grows along this end of the road. 

198th "street"... still unpaved. 

Here comes Bullseye across the deck. 

And there's Bob. 

These two have been fighting... a lot... Bob also has a very, very annoying habit of walking UNDER my feet as I walk across the yard, or running up behind me and running under me.  I can't tell you how many times I have nearly gone over, and that could be bad for me.  I haven't decided what to do yet. 
Bullseye came here as a young feral kitten... Bob appeared out of nowhere as a neutered adult.  I have vetted both. 

I am thinking about what to do, it would make my life easier not to have to worry, but... I also recognize there are not enough homes for animals. 

(Bullseye would be staying) 

My red-eyed Chico has been under the weather today... I am hoping it's just the heat. 

I have got to get a photo utility! 

Everyone have a good week!