Sunday, October 31, 2021

My spirit animals

Why yes, I have a thing for black critters! But I like all my other-colored critters, too. 😉

October was awful but ended OK, with two dry, mostly sunny days and no additional crises. But I'm not going to turn around; there's probably another one lurking behind me. 😳

I had to come to town to post this and catch up on some internetty things, because Rick changed our set-up at home to make it better and now it doesn't work at all. I can use my iPhone with data, but not my laptop. Sigh. But hey; I get to be by myself for awhile.

Today I went to the garden to pick basil; someone gave us some spaghetti squash so I was going to serve it with fresh pesto. Alas, the basil is done, but I came in with a shirt-front full of tomatillos, peppers, tomatoes, and a small cucumber. There is a boatload of parsley out there for the picking, too; I need to make another batch of tabbouleh. I used the last of my Bob's Red Mill Freekah for the last batch, and oh my, it was the best I've ever made. Must Get More Freekah!

The wind and rain we've gotten this week have brought a lot of leaves down, but my island and house-front Japanese maples are LIT. Here are some photos of them and other spots of beauty around here and in town, from older (and before the wind and rain) at top to newest at the bottom:

After Lottie's demise, the pullet bullets stopped. Then yesterday, I found a rich brown egg of regular size (far right):

I got another one today that is a bit smaller. None of my older hens lay an egg of this color. Now I'm wondering if they are all from Kate, and the chaos in the coop Tuesday put her off laying for a few days. I'll probably never know, and Kate's not sayin'.

The last two photos are from earlier this month but I just had to save them for tonight. I give you creepy fungi and pyscho pup:

Happy Howloween from . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

And then there were three....

Tragedy struck this morning, and apparently it's all my fault, making the heartbreak doubly hard to bear. Poppy and I went down to do chores this morning, but she didn't follow me up to the house or come when I called. Not unusual; often she wants to hunt longer than it takes to do chores. I didn't linger; I needed to get ready to go to Rick's clinic. I told Rick to get Poppy inside first if he left before me; he went looking for her and found her IN the chicken coop, tearing feathers off dear Lottie, my friendly, laying pullet. He secured Poppy and then scooped up Lottie. At first he thought she was dead, but ascertaining differently, he gave her a steroid injection and tried to get a little glucose into her. We put her in a crate so I could take her to the clinic for observation, but she died on the way.

There was no hole dug under the fence, so Poppy must have slipped in unnoticed when I was filling a waterer. What else is a terrier to do when locked in the henhouse/run? I'm sure she checked for mice under the nest boxes first, but then the lure of those fluttering birds she has been soooo interested in (especially the white ones) surely overcame her. All the others are unscathed which is a small miracle; the terrier mix of my early adolescence would have slaughtered as many as possible. But still; Lottie.

Poppy before chores

Poppy 'in the doghouse' at the clinic (not really but she knew I was upset)

No eggs today at . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2021

A little good news....

This hit song from 1983, with words Anne Murray could have written last night, often comes to mind. This weekend has been somewhat awful with lots of sprinkles, so I'm going to focus on the sprinkles.

We got our first pullet bullet yesterday, and another today! Go, Lottie!
L to R: bullet #1, bullet #2, mature hen egg

How do I know Lottie is the bestower of blessings? An educated guess based on her behavior (the squatting), combined with having the largest, reddest comb of the pullets.

Yesterday I witnessed Spot breed Blaise, and this morning he was very interested in Bernadette as well as Blaise. I'm pretty sure I would have had another breeding or two to mark on the calendar if the jingle of Poppy's collar hadn't distracted them. Crossing fingers that that's at least three of the four ewes in the breeding group covered — and settled.

Yesterday we took a walk around town with visiting relatives, blessed with a dry island in the midst of an atmospheric river and the most amazing fall foliage (all photos straight out of my iPhone):

Celebrating a birthday was the reason for the visitors; I made the requested birthday cake. Folks, this is how you do German Chocolate Cake:

Because, after all, isn't that rich Coconut Pecan Frosting the best thing about it? Why NOT spread it over the whole thing?!?

Today has been windy, and very wet at times; I imagine many of the leaves that bedazzled us yesterday are scattered. But my big Japanese maple is just getting fired up:

My husband has gotten fired up today, too, taking care of some of the long-neglected messes around the place that were making me crazy. Yay!

Unfortunately the arena is too sloppy-wet to turn the horses out or ride, which is probably making my mare crazy. And since I am covering for Rick's secretary on the days I'm not working at my usual part-time job this week, she'll likely go crazier. I will, too; our near-daily time together is one of my essential therapies. Hopefully we can sneak in some after-dark rendezvous.

I have more to share, but think those will be in future posts; this is long enough.

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Any day now

On October 12, my friend Kate texted me this:
She's getting pullet bullets (shown with a full-size egg)!

I will admit to a little pique of jealousy; the four pullets she raised for me haven't laid a thing yet. Then again, I do have older hens so am not deprived of farm-fresh eggs, although they've gotten scarce lately.

Maybe my debutantes need more attention. So Sunday I asked them to pose in their finery.
Kate, left, and Splash

Kate, and Splash again


Since I hadn't gotten a very good photo of Lottie on Sunday, I tried again this morning. Much better:
Although this photo makes her look svelte, she is the biggest/heaviest of the pullets, as well as the friendliest. I think she is a White Rock.

Good thing I managed to capture Lottie's portrait before this happened:

Yes, Splash?!? Her forwardness was surprising, since she (and fellow Whiting True Blue, Spangle) are usually quite flighty.

News flash! This morning when I picked up Kate and Lottie in turn, they both squatted for me. I think eggs are imminent!

That's the news from the coop at . . .

Friday, October 15, 2021

Subject: Skyscapes

Since I am apparently incapable of composing a coherent, comprehensive post (credit the chaos in our casa), I will have to content myself with sharing a current collection of sky shots with no commentary. The last two were taken a couple miles from our house at the Willamette River; all the rest were taken from various locations on our hill at various times of the day. I do love autumn skies. 😍

That's it for now from . . .