Sunday, April 19, 2009

Woodpeckers at our Suet Feeder

Look who's visiting my suet feeder!

We have three types of woodpeckers living near our house and two different types visit our feeder.

This one is a Red Headed Woodpecker. I this he is the prettiest.

Look at the color of his head!

Behind him you can see the "pain in the rear" sparrow. They have invaded my chicken house, eating lots of feed and have taken over the bluebird houses.

This is the second type of woodpecker that visits us. Not a very good picture but I think it is a Downey Woodpecker. Another one visits that looks just like this one but it has red on it's head. Maybe male/female... not sure.

Here is a not very big chart of woodpeckers. I was hoping the pictures would get bigger if you clicked on them but it's not working.

Legend: 1. Red-cockaded 2. Hairy 3. Downy 4. Pileated 5. Red-bellied 6. Red-headed 7. Sapsucker 8. Flicker 9. Ivorybill (extinct)

I wanted a good picture of a Pileated Woodpecker because it is the third type of woodpecker that we have at our farm but I could not get a picture of it myself even if I tried. It's nest (hole in the pole) too far away and way to high up for my camera.
These pictures are not that good but you get the idea. We have a nesting pair that lives in the high tension power pole near the front of our house. They live really, really high up in the pole and raise babies every year.

Here is Mr. Bluebird, waiting for a chance at the bluebird house near the feeder that the sparrow has taken over. Mr. Bluebird and the sparrows have had many fights over this house with the sparrows always winning.

Here is Mrs. Bluebird, waiting too.

Kevin has removed the sparrow nest at least two or three times. Finally she tries to move in.

They worked at it for awhile but we haven't seen them for a couple days. Not sure if they found another spot for their nest or what.

Kitchen remodel Update:

This weekend we installed the new window in the kitchen, a continuation of the kitchen remodel.

Hope it's over soon. I can't wait to get all the tools, wood, air compressor and construction supplies out of my living space so calmness and cleanliness can reappear.

Til next time,


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Really Good Video, A Really Funny Video

If you've ever watched any of the talent shows on TV and you'd like to see a really amazing singer then click on this link and watch, you won't be sorry! These two videos are from the show "Britain's Got Talent".

Now, if you'd like to see a really funny one then click on this link. Hopefully you've seen Michael Flatly (The Irish Dancer) from the "Lord of the Dance" show. It may not be as funny if you're not familiar with him.

I would have embeded them so you could watch it right here but it's disabled.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Goose Nest

This is the nest that Buddie "built" when she first started laying eggs. I put the word built in quotes because she only had a few pieces of mulch and a few sticks that she was able to break off of the butterfly bush.

It made for very muddy eggs that she would roll around and around trying to hide them. Plus her nest was right next to the steps which would cause a mad dash, trying to get by her and up the steps without being attacked. Geese don't want you anywhere near their nests.

We moved this dog house next to the steps hoping she would move into it and lay her eggs there and feel safer, instead she moved over on the other side of the butterfly bush, again making a muddy nest.

I finally got a few bales of hay so I offered a couple of flakes to her and in about fifteen minutes she had this nest built. It's a beautiful thing. If you were walking near any pond and there were nests there you would never see them. Every time she leaves she covers her eggs completely. Perfectly camouflaged.

See what's in there.

I'm not letting her hatch any though. Two squawking, hissing geese are enough for me. Flipper is the worst. He won't bite me but most any one else is fair game. If you act scared and turn away he will chase you and try to pinch the back of your leg.

Most of the time he will only get your pant leg or boot but if he gets a hold of you he will leave a quarter sized bruise. If you act like you're not afraid he more or less will leave you alone. Kinda.

This is our tom turkey, a beauty huh? He is a little like Flipper too. He would like nothing better than to peck the hell outta you. Mostly me though. He follows me constantly, watching, waiting to get that one chance to get me. He and I go at it most every day.

I gave him the smack down last week. Grabbed him by the head and wrestled with him til I got a hold of him and picked him up. They say that if you "embarrass" a tom turkey they will stay away from you. Didn't work, he came right back for me.

The other day I was bent over trying to get eggs out of a dog house like the one in this picture. We have two of these. The other one is in the chicken paddock.

It's much bigger and we figured that the turkeys would lay their eggs in it rather that on the ground. Well, it worked but they always lay them clear in the back of the thing.

See...all the way in the back.
Consequently, I have to put one knee on the ground and crawl inside of the thing to retrieve them. Yuck, you can imaging what I have to kneel in.

Plus, it puts me at a real disadvantage when my adversary is constantly on guard, watching, waiting for his chance to teach me a lesson.

After I took the pictures of these eggs, gathered them up and maneuvered my way back out of the thing (I actually had to crawl into it) this is what I saw right behind me.

If you are familiar with turkey behavior this look means that "I am going to attack"! The down side of this was that I was on one knee at his level. Much worse knowing that he could spur my face rather than my ankles. That was scary. After that close call I got all smart and figured that I can reach the eggs if I just tilt the house up and reach down.
(But you noticed that I did take my chances and pause long enough to take a picture)

(Check out the cute little hen eying me right next to the vicious tom. A story about her follows.)

Please meet my newest favorite chicken. This is Mrs. Two Toes.

We got her last fall when my friend brought over his old hens to butcher (broke my heart) and I promptly rescued her and traded him a meat bird for her. I'm so lucky I picked her (actually she kinda is). She has more personality than any other chicken I've had before.

As you can see from the next photo she has only two toes on her foot. Her foot had been damaged in the ride over here from my friends house and her toe was broken... bent up at an odd angle and after a month, much to my surprise (horror), it fell off all together.

(Kinda gross, sorry.)

When I first got her she would just run up to me and try to peck me, no fear at all. It took about a month of picking her up and petting her to get her to stop.

She is very brave and smart, she follows me everywhere and stands at my feet constantly, wanting to be picked up but I have to watch though because if I'm not paying attention she will still peck me. I guess it's a love/hate thing.

Why do I always end up at the barn with my one pair of good shoes on?
I had to go to a meeting at the elementary school for one of the kids that morning so I spent 15 minutes at the sink trying to scrub the stains and clumps of dried yuck off of my shoes from the last time I impulsively went to the barn with them on.
I had just gotten home from the meeting, grabbed my camera and decided to run out and check for eggs. Then I remembered my shoes, crap! Did I go back in and change them ? Heck no! I just tried to tiptoe around and not step in any squishy spots.

Plus, I got to try out my brand new boot cleaner. It works great!

I just had to add a few pictures of my beautiful narris in the barn laying eggs. Look how good she blends in, she's hoping I can't see her.

I will start hatching eggs soon...almost ready!

(I guess saying "hatching" is like counting your eggs before they hatch, the proper term would of been "incubating", the hatching will hopefully follow.)

Til next time,