Monday, June 8, 2009

By Request

Stokes' Aster.

Hello you. We are home again after spending the weekend here, getting rained on, learning new tunes from old friends, two stepping on some muddy hill next to a crew of cajun musicians (I flipping love cajun music anyway, but after 48 hours of non-stop old time tunes it was like a brain massage), getting my ass flayed by C tunes, and in general just hardly believing that all these people and all these instruments show up places and make music that will break your heart with both the beauty and the wild. B and I sang the whole way home; after 32 years of fully believing that I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket it turns out not to be entirely true. I mean, my bucket it wobbly and new, but good lord there is nothing like harmony in a tiny car to make the time fly. My husband sure can sing.

Anyway. By request: the chickens. Are amazing. They love their new enormous yard, with its new variety of spots - damp and leafy? Sunny and dry? Overgrown with multiflora rose? Beds of pine needles for naps? Why yes, we have all of that, and they roam and range with great gusto. We continue to have a few chickens with small bare spots, and at this point I can't tell if it's continued picking (either self inflicted or otherwise) or if those feathers just won't grow back until they molt. I decided a while ago not to worry about this unless there were other symptoms, but just a few weeks ago their egg production dropped off dramatically. This was just after we had found quite a stash of eggs that they had laid in a nest they made in some underbrush, so for a while we wondered if they were hiding their eggs in a new location. But man, we looked and looked and even enlisted a very proficient seeker from the junior age and size (hey Meg!) with no luck. Then, after a few slightly odd shaped eggs (banded), all was back to normal with 5-7 eggs a day. I really don't have any idea what happened for sure, just a few half baked theories. Once we enlarged their run, they started eating significantly less feed, presumably because they are now eating far more bugs and greens. So perhaps the somewhat abrupt alteration to their diet was part of it. But also at this time our neighbors got some three month old chickens locally, and several of them have been struggling with something that is presenting a little like coccidiosis but could be a few other things as well. I don't think that coccidiosis can be transmitted between separated coops, but a few of the other things that it could be might travel that way. Anyway, I fretted and read a lot of scary information about diseases and then all was back to normal. I am still watchful, but the girls are perky with bright combs and no weird symptoms so I think we are ok. Livestock can sure put you through the ringer.

And lastly, also by request, here is the table set our neighbors gave to us. I was hesitant to take it when they offered because I knew we didn't have room for it inside, but as soon as we stuck it in the back yard and ate our first meal back there by the girls I was sold.

And really for last, here is the raised bed at the end of May. It is packing rhubarb, borage, dahlias, marigold, bee balm, false indigo, bachelor's buttons, love-in-a-mists, euphorbia, hen and chick, yarrow, coreopsis, flax, chard, kale, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, thyme, sage, and some other random flowers that I can't remember. We are pre bloom on a lot of these, but it's about to pop any day now. It makes me goofy happy to grow such things.

Hope everyone is well out there.


machinelf said...

Yay chickens! Thanks for the update. :-)

That table/chair set is the bomb, too, wow!

Curious: do you guys ever record your music-making?

queenbeehoney said...

Oh my, how great to see actual grass inside the chicken run! I can't believe I missed seeing the bigger and better yard by just one day. Sounds like a great weekend, did you end up using your "music tent"?

And you are right about harmony. My absolute favorite thing is singing Happy Birthday to people over the tele with my fabulous harmony-crazed husband, who can make the whole thing sound like a frickin chorus is here with us. All I've gotta do is carry the melody, which is of course all I'm capable of!

Kelly (The Sorry Gardener) said...

Guess I go to bed tonight craving fresh eggs. And if I hang out on your blog much longer I'm going to have to grow some damned leafy veggies.

Sarah N. said...

Your junior-sized helper says hi back and was thrilled to be mentioned. Keep us informed about the chickens. We hope they are all as healthy as they seem :)

judith said...

what a wonderful post!

and oh my dearie yes you can sing. i remember a moment at the farm as you were crossing over from one impression of yourself to another...

love that you sang all the way home. just so happy for you.

& it's apples & oranges - the songs we sing alone, the songs we sing in harmony. . .