Sunday, July 27, 2008

Baby Turkeys, Meat Birds and Flowers

I was able to catch the moms with the babies in the short grass and got to film them for a couple minutes until the entourage of miscellaneous farm yard birds followed me and scared them off into the high grass. I go back and peek at them almost every half hour. They look exactly the same every time I look but now the moms think I'm a stalker and walk away when they see me coming.

It's Sunday morning and I am doing laundry and blogging. I feel guilty if I don't blog but I don't feel guilty if I don't do laundry. What's up with that?

Last night when I went into the laundry room to start, I flipped on the light and no light. I asked Kevin to put in a new bulb because he can reach it and I have to go and get a chair and yada yada. When he reached up to unscrew it it came on, only loose bulb, problem solved. Anyhoo, this morning when I flip it on, as mentioned before, no light so I wiggled it and it came on. Not loose bulb, bad fixture, another can of worms altogether.

So I would wiggle, light comes on, two seconds later, light off, and on and on til I gave up and did laundry in the almost pitch dark. Go get a lamp you say? I am trying to get this blog done and don't have time to go get a lamp especially when I am obsessed with all the birds outside and check on them constantly. So I blindly put clothes in the washer. White stuff with dark stuff, colors with whatever. Not important, it's laundry, I don't care. Right now I'm not really sure what's in there, I think it's the kids beach towels and some jeans.

I don't have any fancy clothes at all, I had to go out for dinner Friday night and had not even a nicer T-shirt to wear, looked everywhere too. It was either wear the T-shirt that has the Piggly Wiggly logo on it or one of the kids' Halo 3 shirts. I opted for one of my = sleeveless T's that wasn't too wrinkled form off my shelf.

So, back to the blog, I need to focus. If I could type faster this would be 10,000 words longer.
Yesterday I walked around and took some random photos as I typically do when my camera is working and here are a few shots of what's doing at my house.

I have planted a passion flower at the base of the trellis, can't wait for it to grow, hope it gets big enough to bloom this year.

Here is the ever watchful Dominick and his girls.

One of my young Narragansett turkeys. They are the most beautiful birds. If all goes as planned we will have Narri poults for sale next spring.

Behind him is my Palm tom. Someone pulled out all his tail feathers so he looks funny strutting. Actually, he has not stopped strutting since he started last spring. The Bronze tom does not strut at all now, just follows this one around all day.

My Palm hen sitting on a clutch. She thinks I can't see her if she hides her head.

My broody Orpington hens. Don't even try to get an egg out from under these two. One of them bruised my hand one day. It's Kevin's job to collect eggs from this spot. We have marked 10 eggs and left them under them. We just take any new ones.

A pretty reflection on the pond.

I'm not sure if I put in a picture of my swing before or not. This is where I found the two clovers.

The meat birds. They are always very hungry! It's actually kinda scary.

My favorite Rhode Island Red hen. Her name is Red, not very original but for some reason it fits her.

I carry her around the like this whenever I am out by the chicken house. We both love it. If I pet her, especially under her wing, she goes to sleep.

The flowers by the pond.
(I just heard distress peeping coming from the front room and had to go check and there was a newly hatched poult. This is the fifth one to hatch from this group. I can't wait until they're done. We only have a few more to go.)
The bigger picture.
My Snow in Summer, one of my all time favorite perennials.

Daylilies, I love these colors.

An old favorite.
Some sort of weed but looks pretty.
Another sort of weed, the noxious type!
My poor pampas grass, not doing so good.
Really happy Black Eyed Susans.

Now it's time to go fumble around in the dark again and then I think I will have to go out and check on the baby turkeys!
See y'all,

Monday, July 21, 2008

Of Four Leaf Clovers and Luck

On the fourth of July we were at Kevin's Dad house and one of the kids ran up and showed me a four leaf clover that their cousin had found. Of course I had to inspect it and it was indeed, a real life, four leaf clover. Their cousin, who is in their upper teens, walked up behind them and casually said "Oh, I find them all the time".

I have, all my life since I was a kid, looked for four leafed clovers and have NEVER found one! I grew up in the country and have always played outside and spent many hours sitting in the grass and looked and looked for them. I have always envied the kids who have found them, knowing I was missing out on a lot of good luck.

Well, Friday I was sitting on my new swing all by myself, over by the pond watching Flipper and Buddy swimming. Kevin was running an errand or something, I don't remember. I was looking at the clover at my feet and wishing I could find a four leafed one and all of a sudden I said "Wait a minute...", reached down and picked a suspicious looking clover and there it was!!


I ran in to get my cell phoneto take a picture, because my camera has been broken for MONTHS and I happily snapped away, thoroughly enjoying what would be my next post, explaining how lucky I was and how the tide had turned, good luck for me from now on!

Then, I looked down and low and behold...THERE WAS ANOTHER ONE!!! Oh my gosh, it doesn't get any better that this I thought! I grabbed my phone and snapped away again, carefully choosing how to get both clovers in the shot. Holding them up in the air, with the sky as the background, then holding them lower, with the pond as the backdrop, hoping you could see each leaf really well.

Then I continued taking pictures, a few of the pond and our new bubbler in action (more on that later) and some of our really beautiful yellow day lilies blooming by the beach. I could not wait to go in and upload these awesome photos. I took the clovers into the house and put them in one of my favorite books to press them so I could save them.

I got my camera and went to my computer and this is when my luck ran out. No pictures anywhere in my camera. None in the "phone memory area and none in the "memory card" area. The memory card had been acting funny, I should have known. Earlier in the week I wanted to download some pictures. At the time I had over 180 on the memory card. All of a sudden, poof they were gone. There were still a few but most were gone. I had already copied them to my computer so it was no big deal. It was kind of good because it was really tedious to delete pictures from my phone cause I had to do it one by one (that was why I had 180 on there, never wanted to sit and go through 20 steps to delete each one).

The pictures were gone because the camera was not set to save them. It had somehow been set to save the pictures to an "external memory". What the heck was that! I could not find them anywhere. I finally figured out how to reset it to save the pictures to the phone memory but they will not transfer to the memory card and so I have no way to download them to my computer. I guess I need a USB cord for that. I looked in Walmart the other day and they had nothing. CRAP!

Anyway, back to my "good luck"clovers. I had already squished them in my book and I had no way to recreate those shots even if i could save them and download them. I even thought about faking it (seriously, I did) and using three leafed ones, holding them far away so you couldn't tell but I couldn't do it. I was starting to think that the second clover had cancelled out the first. I was back in the "no luck" category.

We had finished most of the house painting and the baby turkeys had hatched out in the pasture, we had gotten sand for the beach and our new bubbler and no way to take pictures. I have been whining to Kevin about a new camera for a month now and he is not picking up on it. I will have to wait for Christmas or my birthday or something I guess. I do not like to post without pictures because I think it is kinda boring so my blogging days would be over with no way to upload pictures. I am seriously having withdrawal and panic attacks. I love to take pictures. Always have. My sister in Cleveland checks everyday to see if there is a new blog with pictures of what has happened next at our house. She even makes requests.

I have been using my Canon for years and loved it but it has gone bad again. I sent it to them to have them fix it a year ago but it has done the same thing again. Some electronic problem. They fixed it before, no charge but what a hassle. Emailing them back and forth, mailing it in, waiting for it to get back and on and on. I have no patience for all that.

So, in desperation I got out my camera just to check if maybe it would work and HAPPY DAYS, it was working. I didn't dare turn it off, I just hurried up, put on a jacket cause it had just stopped raining and ran out to try to get some pictures of all the new stuff. No way to recreate the clover shot so I had to take one of them squished in my book. Check it out!

Can you find the new turkey babies in the grass? There are seven of them. These are the moms, they shared sitting on the eggs for a month.

Look closer......
And closer.....

And closer.....
And really first did you see all three?
Above is a crop of the previous picture. Look how adorable! I am so worried about them. They are soooo tiny. Kevin had to tell me to leave them alone. I wanted to take a chair out there and keep an eye on them. I think I would even pitch a tent out there and bring them in the tent with me for the night if they would come. (I just snuck out there and peeked at them without Kevin knowing, they are hiding in the back of the pasture, probably from me.)

Here is our new bubbler in the next picture. It took a while for Kevin to decide on how he wanted to manage the ponds aeration. He had considered a windmill but the price was high and our wind is iffy. He even bought the turbine blades. This seems the best route. It works really well and when he first turned it on you could smell all the rotten water being moved up from the bottom. Now it smells fine. The kids love to swim through the bubbles.

Here is a close-up of the water moving. This is probably boring if you don't see it in person. The bubbles are really strong though.
Before and after of our house again only this time the bottom is painted and the porch is almost done.

We still have to attach the hand rail, add ballasters or whatever you call them, paint the door, put up the new screen door and make a cover for the awful looking air conditioner. We are going to make some kind of arbor or something and get something to grow up it.

Here is our new sand pile. The kids love it. I talked Kevin into leaving it in a pile so the kids can play in it. He really wanted to smooth it out so it would look better.

And the birdhouse I belatedly got Kevin for his birthday. We are hoping the Purple Martins like it as much as we do.
Closer up.

So, that is what has been happening here. Oh... as far as my luck getting better, the batteries in my camera died before I could take all the pictures that I wanted to.

Here's hoping the camera fairy makes a stop at my house soon. I'm not putting all my money on the clovers.



Thursday, July 10, 2008

We Found the Missing Eggs!

Our Bronze turkeys abruptly stopped laying so we thought they were done for the year. Usually turkeys stop laying, I thought, around June so it was no surprise. But then one day we noticed the hens staying back in the long grass so we checked it out and we found this!

There are two separate piles so each hen is sitting on her own bunch. I think they should hatch (if they do) around the end of July. That would be indescribably awesome!

We put all the young turkeys and chickens out in the chicken house because I was tired of cleaning up after them. Here they are, very happy. The only problem is 50 meat birds arrived in the mail Monday and they are now in my living room. Yuck...we have to build a brooder out in the barn, quick! I also got 10 Cuckoo Marans (they are dark egg laying chickens, also called chocolate eggers), and they will stay in the house a little while longer.

Kevin took last week off and painted the house. Here it is before and below is after.

It looks much better in person than it does in the picture. We need to tidy up the deck and put some better rails. We have come up with a different way to finish the block at the bottom, I will take some pictures when we finish it this weekend.

As you can see, the block is not very pretty. We would like to put stone around it but the price is too much for us right now. I have never seen anyone finish their block the way we are going to do it so it will either be pretty cool or not, we'll see.

There is so much to do but most nights we take Flipper and Buddy and go and sit by the pond and watch them swim. Flipper loves to swim with the kids. He swims underwater at full speed right at them and then pops up right in front of them. It freaks them out a little so it's pretty fun to watch. I will take a movie and post it soon.

This weekend it will be all painting and work. Next weekend we are going to a big swap meet at Mt. Hope Auction in the Amish area. They have all kind of cool stuff there. Even baby foxes and all kinds of chickens, goats, eggs and whatever for sale. I'm hoping to stop and pick up some cheese and spices at one of the bulk food stores there. I really want to go to Lehman's Hardware too. I love that place!

See ya everyone,

(Hi Mike! I loved hearing you tell stories at the bonfire on the 4th)