Saturday, May 20, 2006

I just had to show you these. Strawberry plants in bloom are not only pretty, but are a vision of yummy strawberries to come.

Taken from the raspberry patch, this is my lilac bush with Spreading Juniper in the forground and the neighbors Weeping Willow behind. Much of the Spreading Juniper is looking pretty dead so will likely have to be cut out of there when I have all the other things on my list done.

A close-up of the raspberry patch. Really nice to have a camera that can zoom in like this.

The grass is very long so much was picked to feed to the chooks, some just trampled down. I will be putting wood chip mulch in this area soon.

Standing on the tire wall I took this pic of my raspberry patch. At this point there is 1 1/2 rows, the next day I finished the planting so now there are 3 rows.

May 16th & 17th

It is really hot here just now, so I decided to start getting up early to do gardening before the heat of the day, but it's hot very early. With sweat running freely and mosquitos acting like I'm their walking Deli, I managed to get a lot of work done in this 2 day period. Some of this included picking grass for the chooks as well as digging up sod to plant raspberries: yellow, black and red. I also planted 1 black currant and 2 red currants in tires.

No fancy rose combs on these girls.

Everyone gets along regardless of difference in breeds.

This one flew up onto the plywood barrier that I keep inside the door to the chicken run. She let me pet her, then stepped onto my hand. In this pic she's got one foot on my hand, on on the plywood. Most of these hens are pretty friendly.

Big Brown Layers and little black Bantams.

May 11th

Went to the auction this morning to sell the 12 bags of Damson Plum trees I told you about before. What I didn't tell you is that I also bought more chickens. The boxes they were in were labled "Brown Layers" so it's anyones guess what breed these girls are. There were supposed to be 4 hens per box and at $12.50 per box 1 got 2. I also got a big metal chicken feeder for $7.50 (plus of course 10% buyers fee and taxes) but I don't like it. It leaves too much grain that the chickens can't get to but the mice can. So I still use what I was using before and this sits empty... a waste of about $10.

Anyway, back to the hens. When I got home and went to turn them loose in the chicken run, I opened the first box and sure enough, 4 hens. Then the second box... 5 hens. Bonus! Also, there was 1 egg in each of the boxes.

Apparantly there are several types of Sedum and these 5 pictures show at least some of them.

Brides and Grooms



May 10th

I went to a nearby town for our weekly spinning/weaving gathering. Louise was hosting this week. While I was there she gave me a hide-a-bed couch and 3 plants: 2 Red Currants and 1 Basil (or at least I think that's what she said it is).

Then before coming home I went to my friend Lynda's home and she gave me several plants she had dug from her garden for me. These include: Ajuga, a few kids of Seedum, Wall Flower, Columbine, Forget-Me-Not, Bride and Groom. I know there's at least one more whos name I can't think of just now. All are going to be beautiful as they grow and spread out in my garden along the driveway.

I am so blessed to have good friends that give me plants and other things.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Here you can see why I want a Privacy Fence, and you can see the 2 posts and Virginia Creeper vines starting to wend their way up... eventually to be a Live Privacy Fence.

I couldn't wait, just had to take some wood chips out of the trailer on Saturday and put them down to see what it will look like when I get it all done. This is just a drop in the bucket, but I have to get all the planting done before I can do the mulching.

12 bags of Damson Plum trees. I put more dirt in these and watered them. On Thursday May 11th I took them to the auction and sold them... got $4 each for 5 bags, $2 each for 6 bags, and $1 for the 12th bag. Not too bad especially considering the way they're growing wild in my yard.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And here it is an the ground, a good sized heap.

Here's the load of wood chips. I almost forgot to take a picture of it so had taken some out before I went for my camera to take this pic. I'd love to know how many pounds it weighed as I don't know if that was a legal load or not.

Sunday, May 7th

After church today I picked up Ron and brought him out to do more yard work. I dug up a bunch of small damson plum trees (any fruit not picked drops on the ground and grows new trees... see earlier pics) and put them into bags (1 or more trees to a bag) so I had 12 bags to take to the auction to sell. This also cleared up an area for the wood chips to go.

While I dug up trees, Ron went and got my old, ratty tarp for me and we laid it down on the ground. Then I hooked up the trailer and moved it into place. We unloaded all those wood chips onto the tarp. Then I moved the trailer up top and we loaded all the garbage (mostly rotting old wood and weeds) we'd gathered and stacked when he was here before (April 22nd)... then I returned the trailer to its spot in the orchard and unhooked it (to be taken to the dump another day).

Then we went up by the herb garden and Ron planted a post for me. I then strung some wire between it and another post, and pulled up some Virginia Creeper vines that were hanging on my tire (tyre in NZ, lol) retaining wall. This in time will be a Living Privacy Wall between me and the neighbor to the south-west of me.

After all that I fed Ron a nice home cooked meal and drove him home.

Friday, May 5th

I hitched up my utility trailer behind my truck and went to the local plywood plant where I shovelled, and shovelled, and shovelled. I was going to fill the trailer with wood chips, but then remembered Dan's comments on my tendency to over load the trailer, and decided to stop at about 3/4 full.

After unhooking the trailer in my yard I went to the nursery/store across the lake from where I live, and started spending :o) For my birthday, Mom gave me a $50 gift certificate for this place, thinking I'd buy groceries with it, but I saved it to buy plants. (Buy $50 worth of groceries, eat for a week. Buy plants to grow food, eat year after year.)

I bought:
2 Blueberry plants (was told you have to have 2 of different varieties for best production)
1 pkg. of 2 Fall Gold Raspberry plants (they'll go nice with my red and black raspberries)
2 Musk Mellon seedlings (basically the same as Cantalope)
2 herb plants: Stevia and Golden Balm
Then I broke down and bought some "eye candy":
5 Pansy plants
2 Merrygold plants
You have to have acidic soil for Blueberries, and acidic soil is best for the Hydrangias I bought, so I also picked up some sulfur to work into the soil (the guy at the nursery said the soil in this area is all alkaline, so no point in testing it, just get the sulfur).
Out of the $50 I still have $8.95 left to spend on something else when they get new stuff in (and when I get everything planted that I have accumulted already).

Non-yard related: I just have to "crow". I also made my first batch of homemade yogurt with recipe and instructions from PTF... and it is GREAT! I don't like storebought plain yogurt, but this homemade stuff is really good, and I can also add fruit or whatever to it (can you say chocolate yogurt?)

Check out the leg... the foot is only hanging on by a bit of skin.

Poor wee chick, not looking good here.

One very dehydrated chick, in critical condition.


On May 6 I went out to feed the chickens and heard a very distressed peeping, tracked it down and found Dot's chick. It had a very badly broken leg, was in shock and dehydrated. I knew it didn't have much of a chance, but brought it in the house to try to save it's life. A closer look at the leg showed there was no way it could be fixed, so I had to amputate the foot. I was relieved that there was no bleeding when I did that, though there was some later on, but not very much. This would have added to the dehydration problem. Also a good sign was when the chick drank water I held to it's beak in a jar lid. I named this baby Stump.

That day I had to go out to a friend's "last ride". He had always ridden motorcycles and loved to stop for pie, so 18 bikes and several cars took Gil on a last ride, his ashes on the lead bike, to his final resting place where he loved to go when alive, a view point over looking Otter Lake. Afterwards everyone went to O'Keefe Historical Ranch, another place Gil liked, and ate pie.

I felt I had to get fluids into Stump as much and as often as possible, s/he was willing to drink but only took tiny bits at a time. Soooo... I took Stump along on that last ride. It was a cold and windy day, but I kept Stump warm and gave frequent drinks of whey (the liquid off yogurt) I was told that whey has lots of nutrition, so figured it was a good fluid to use in this case.

I kept Stump in the house under a light bulb to keep him/her warm ever since, until yesterday, May 16. I decided that it would be better for Stump to be with Dot if at all possible. I will keep a close eye on them and make sure the other chickens aren't picking on the disabled chick. Even after 10 days apart, Dot was happy to accept Stump back. She is still sitting on the nest of what can only be rotten, non-fertile eggs, hoping to hatch out more babies.

I will upload pictures of Stump taken May 6, and hope the upload works properly today.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another look at the face feathers... anyone ever see these on a chook before?
I looked it up on the internet and guess what... I found: Muffs: A cluster of feathers projecting from the face below and around the sides of the eyes and extending from the beard to, and covering, the ear lobes. (

I think out of the 6 I got 5 roosters and only 1 hen... drat! I want Ameraucana or Araucana hens as they lay blue-green eggs.

Another shot of those feathers.

They are rather pretty looking birds. It appears that 5 of them have these face feathers and one doesn't... must be the rooster's version of a beard or sideburns, lol.

Check out the funny feathers on the face.

Mmmmm... nice fresh picked grass to eat

This is Chicklette. One day 2 or 3 years ago now, one of my hens disappeared leaving behind 3 wee chicks, only days old. I brought them into the house and raised them in a cage with a lightbulb to keep them warm. When they were big enough I put them out with the other chickens (or chooks as they say in New Zealand... I like the sound of that... chooks). In no time, 2 of them disappeared, but Chicklette is still here. She is one of my favorites, and likes to be near me, sometimes to be held and petted.

6 Americana cross chicks, hatched March 10, 2006... picture taken May 2.

Enjoying a bite of grass on a sunny spring day.

The original hens were brown, now most of them are black, some with bits of brown or white on them. These two have Rose Combs.

This is Young'n, son of Boss Hogg, grandson of Rooster Cogburn. All of these roosters are Bantams (or Banties) with Rose Combs which I love the look of. Looks more like a crown on his head than a comb doesn't it.

Here's Young'n with 3 of his ladies. The 2 in the shade are hard to see.

Here's a black hen with brown around her neckline and a regular comb.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Time to take time to catch up...

It's been awhile since to took time to update my blogs as I've been so busy working at fixing up my home, inside and out. I am also now a member of the Board of Trusties for the Okanagan Centre for Positive Living, and taking over the position of Treasurure, so have been very busy with this too. So now I'm going to play a game of Catch Up here before I forget what all has been accomplished in my yard.

On Pathway to Freedom E-Neighborhood I was asked about my chickens. They are very much a part of my life, my home, and my yard, so I have decided to share some pictures of them here.

My first chicken was Rooster Cogburn. I was at the auction one day when they couldn't get any bids on this beautiful Bantam rooster, and the auctioneer said "A buck. Won't anyone take it for a buck?" So for one dollar he came home with me. At that time I was raising Netherland Dwarf show rabbits so had a shed where they lived, that was where Rooster Cogburn moved into. He was such a pet it was incredible, following me around the yard and when I was working with the rabbits he would do his best to get between me and the one I was working with, or sometimes sit on my shoulder while I worked. One day at the auction again, I bought him a present... 2 Bantam hens, one with a chick that also turned out to be female. After that he wanted nothing to do with me (tipical man, give him what he wants and that's the From them I have had many chickens. One day Rooster Cogburn went missing, I was free ranging them at the time and I think a neighbor dog got him. There were 3 young roosters here at the time, that year's baby boys, so I decided to keep one of them. The one that got biggest and most dominant got to stay. He was the boss and wouldn't share his hens, so his name was Boss Hogg.

Boss Hogg was here for a few years, then last year out of all the eggs the hens sat on (and Bantam hens sit on eggs at the drop of a feather, lol) only 3 chicks were hatched. I decided that Boss Hogg must be getting too old to do the job, must be "shooting blanks", so I kept the one boy of that 3. This spring I took Boss Hogg and 5 of his hens to the auction. The hens were ones that kept flying over the fence and wandering to the neighbors that gets very upset and aggressive when my chickens step foot on his property.

So my current rooster is Young'n. I am sad to say that Young'n also is shooting more blanks that he should be, or there's some other problem, because the eggs are not fertile. There have been 6 or 7 hens sitting on eggs this spring and only 2 chicks have been hatched. Chicklette hatched out one that has since disappeared :o( and Dot hatched one. More about that one wee chick later... for now we have pictures for you to look at. Pictures not only of the Bantams but also of the 6 chicks I bought at the auction the same day I sold Boss Hogg and the girls. On the box they were in it said: 6 Americana X Sex Link Layers - Unsexed - Hatched March 10 (I've looked on the internet for info on Sex Link Layers and have found not even a hint that this is even a breed)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

#81 These are Pumpkins (Small Sweet) and Squash (Buttercup) that I started in the house some weeks back. They got so big that I wanted them out of the little pots, but it's too early to plant them in the ground. Yesterday I transplanted them into these large pots and put them beside the house with plastic over them to protect them from potential frost. This morning I took this picture and watered the plants, now this afternoon they are standing up and looking much better than the wilted things in this picture. When I am sure it's safe to plant them out I plan to give some away (I don't need this many) and plant the rest in the orchard at the base of some trees they can grow up. Posted by Picasa

#80 Another shot of the retaining wall... you can see a wee bit of where the staircase goes in on the far (right) side. Dan thinks these tires and the ones in my herb garden are "an eye sore", has said this many times... and I'm grateful for them as I know what it was like before and how many thousand of dollars it would have cost to do this any other way. I picked up the Virginia Creeper vines and hung them back up as best I can... they will take over soon and will eventually cover this wall, hiding all the tires. With all the "other stuff" down there (trees, wild roses) I don't think you really see much of the wall anyway, lol. Posted by Picasa

#79 I'm standing in the orchard looking back at the tire retaining wall. The sun in not in the right place for taking this picture, but I did it anyway, haha. The steps are behind the trees on the right side of this picture.
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#78 From the bottom (orchard) looking up, this is my stairway to date. I know Dan will have it finished before long. I walked on it today for the first time :o) Thank you Dan!!!
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#77 There's still a step to be put on when Dan has another day where he has time to come here and work at it... this is what I have until then. The top steps couple steps are a killer, the rest are great... and it is way better than it used to be :o) (See #69 for how it was before any steps) Posted by Picasa

#76 "Oh Oh... now what" I think it was a lot steeper than he realized so he rean out of room to build. Not wanting the staircase to end in the middle of the carport, something had to change. Posted by Picasa

#75 This is Dan putting in my stairs for me. He parked in the orchard where I couldn't see his van and went to work while I was still asleep. When I asked why he didn't let me know he was there, he said he didn't want me telling him what to do... hahaha. He likes to do things his way and never mind what I want done on my own place. I tend to let him do it as in most cases I am just grateful to have it done, and grateful for all the things he does do for me around here. (#69)Posted by Picasa