Thursday, May 19, 2011

Greenhouse Visitor, Bandit Chickens, etc.

Lots to write about today.  I've been sitting in front of this computer way too much that I'd like recently, working on wrapping up all my reports and papers and projects and stuff so cool things that have happened just didn't make it to the blog.

Story #1:  We had a greenhouse visitor.  A couple days ago, I checked inside our little greenhouse to see how my plants were doing.  Out of the corner of my eye, I say something brown and fuzzy.  I thought it was a mouse, but turns out it was a little dark-eyed junco.

She was just sitting there.  I was worried she was trapped in there for a long time so I got her some water and bird seed.

Instead she went to sleep.  So I took out the tray she was sitting on and put it in the sun hoping that it would perk her up.

She was really cute and fluffy just like our chickie babies.  I think I got a little too close at one point because she tried to fly and landed on me.  I tried to pick her up off of me and that made her fly over to our fence, where her man was apparently waiting for her because he came out of nowhere.  She eventually flew off with her husband in hot pursuit.  I hope she's ok.  We filled the bird feeder to make sure there was food to eat nearby.  There were several poops in the greehouse, but not so many to make me think she was in there for too long.  Now I just have to check the darn thing everyday to make sure no one else gets trapped inside.

Story #2:  The older chickens are not my friends right now.  My awesome chicken proof fence around my garden is still awesome, but totally not chicken proof anymore.  They figured out how to fly over it and have done some serious damage to my stuff.

*  Onions - 1/2 of them gone, the other half, trampled
*  Peas - half totally trampled and buried
*  Green beans - seeds ripped out of the ground
*  Kale - one row trampled/eaten

What the hell.  I'm so mad.  Now I can never let them free roam again unless under someone's direct supervision, or get (meaning buy, most likely,) a taller fence.  The part that we made out of sticks is working well, it's the other real fence that they're able to jump over.  I just don't think we have enough sticks to replace it.  I guess to Home Depot we must go.

Story #3:  Did you know the sun has been coming out lately?  I guess you'd have to live in cave to not notice that.  To me, sun means happiness, warmth, flowers blossoming, and being able to dry my clothes outside!  YES.  I love knowing that I'm using a completely renewable and free source of energy to dry my clothes. 
Being able to do this makes me very happy.
The key is to plan ahead though, to make sure you have enough sunlight left in the day to dry your clothes.  This batch didn't get quite dry enough so they got a small treatment of the dryer.   Here are a few more tips for drying your clothes in your backyard:

*  Turn your darker clothes inside out.  I'm always a little afraid that the sun will bleach them, so turning them inside out helps prevent that a little.
*  Make sure your underwear is hidden in between large things like towels and t-shirts.  (We have a grumpy neighbor who might complain if she had to see our unmentionables.)
*  If you don't want your towels to be super stiff, take them down just before they get completely dry and give them 5 minutes in the dryer.

Lastly, a picture of a magnolia flower.  It blossomed so late this year I forgot I even had a magnolia tree in my backyard.

Look at all those stamens!
P.S.  The babies are getting bigger and are super active.  They're one week old yesterday and I think they're twice the size they were when we got them.  And they've got some serious feathers coming in.  Pictures and another short video to come.

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