Monday, April 19, 2010

Chickens Go To Kindergarten

The kindergarten class that I was substitute teaching had a tragic end to their incubated eggs. Fortunately, I just so happened to have some chicks at home for them to see! David brought in a buff and a few silkies, and all the kids loved petting them and marveling at their different features. (Chickens are NOT always yellow!)

Kendra sat with a buff and taught the little ones how to make pets out of poultry. They loved her and the hens!

The Water Garden

Our waterfall garden is finally finished! We used a pump and liner that Mom had, hauled rocks from the local creek, and topped it off with a few shrubs transplanted from the old house. The sound of the water is so soothing, and it adds a bit of mystery to know that somewhere beneath the rocks are 4 goldfish waiting to dart out and surprise you.

David fixed up some lights so we would have a nighttime feature too. It's so beautiful!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Has Officially Arrived!

I just wanted to put it on record that Spring has officially arrived. Sunny days, gentle showers, borning babies, and dated calendars don't mean a thing until the flowers come up!
Here are a few of my tulips - the first at our new home! When I planted them last fall, I wasn't sure if they would survive the hungry creatures that share the dirt, but they came up beautifully. More are ready to bloom any day, along with the jonquils, weeping cherry, flowering crabapple, and almond bushes around the house.
NOW, it's Spring!

"Deep In The Garden, Something Is Moving"

Inspired by the gorgeous Spring weather, I decided to put in a garden this year. David built some raised beds and filled them with dirt, but before we could plant a single seed, we had to evict the current tenants.

"The earth shivered and shook itself. SOMETHING was moving under there. An ancient creature working its way to the surface? A hideous monster seeking its next meal? No, it was much worse than any imagination could conjure."

Drew promptly named the mole "Bottles", placing it in his wheelbarrow and watching it bury itself again and again.

After a near miss with the strolling cat, we released our new friend in the field, where he wasted no time in disappearing, leaving us all to wonder, "Who was that blind mole?"

Kitten Update

At three weeks old, our litter of six kittens has hit their ultimate cute phase. Their eyes are open, their ears are perky, and they wobble about on uncertain legs, exploring their new world.

Kendra keeps them entertained with homemade toys. They haven't quite decided what that is all about just yet...

A few love to be held and cuddled.

Others, not so much.

Baby Boom

Well, the chicks have flown the laundry room and headed out to the coop. Our finished coop is adorable and roomy. David added some extra details and trim, and I painted the whole thing to match the house...gray with red accents. You can see the nesting box area on the left, the enclosed section is the henhouse with roosting poles (and 2 tiny windows!), and a ramp leads down to the ground for some quality scratching time during the day.
The chicks are still too small to negotiate the ramp themselves, so we help them out every morning, and tuck them in again at night.

The chicks loved the new coop right away, and it wasn't long before we had to add more feeders and waterers to accommodate their fast-growing appetites.

Ahhh, the unavoidable ugly phase. The buffs look the worst, with their scruffy feathers coming in at all angles. The silkies still manage to look cute no matter what they do!

These little darling Silkies look like they're wearing bloomers! I love it!

The kids are thrilled with all the activity, and love to go out and check on the chickens. (Just wait 'till the day they find a freshly-laid egg!) Of course, Kendra has a way with every animal...even pushy little pullets!