Friday, January 29, 2010

My Sister and the Chickens (cont.)

The last e-mail:

Earth date 8-15-09.... Capt. Lisa reporting

All went unusually well today. Chickens were acting like freaking out around me today. Was there something in the water yesterday? Hmmmmmm..... All eggs were in pristine pecks and no crushes. (And hardly any poo to clean off as well.) I think the birds must be planning a revolt. Did I hear talking behind the coop today? Is it going to be 'chicken run' again? I knew I shouldn't have let them watch that movie!!!!! Will the chickens have the last laugh? (Or cackle?) Or do they realize that the crazy lady will officially be off chicken duty tomorrow?! (insert evil laugh here)

Capt. Lisa signing off.

See, I think, somewhere really deep down, she likes the chickens! I'll be sure to take longer vacations in the future so that she can spend more time with them...

My Sister and the Chickens (cont...)

The second in a series of e-mails from my sister:

Earthdate 8-14-09... Capt. Lisa reporting.

Day three of chicken duty.....went much better today. Chickens were all outside but acting skittish. I think momma bird warned the others off of me...or were predators lurking?! Noticed rubber shingle next to gate drooping...hmmmmm. Plenty of eggs today with no momma to harm my delicate hands. One egg pecked and one egg crushed under the coop. Checked the water situation... it's looking a little bleak. Must find container to get more water. Plastic water thingie empty...metal water thingie at critical level! Go to leave gated area to pursue water and look back at coop, but wait! What's this I see way beneath the coop? One egg...must not leave one soldier behind! Look around coop and find lots of big sticks (guess my trek wouldn't have been far yesterday...but I digress). Find a longish stick with a forked end. Perfect! Now to find a patch of unpooped on ground to kneel on to ferret out the unreachable egg. I manage to get down on the ground as the chickens close in on me! Will I get the egg before one pecks me, or worse yet...roosts on my back? Yikes!!! After three or so attempts, the elusive egg finally gives and rolls my way! Yesss! This egg too, is mine! Now if I can find a bucket for the dreaded water run. No chicken shall thirst under my watch! (insert evil laugh here.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Sister and the Chickens

God blessed me with a sister. We are 15 months apart in age. (She's older but swears that everyone thinks she's younger...whatever!) Anyway, I love her to death. I get her. She gets me. She's always got my back. One of her favorite sayings is "Nobody can beat up my sister but me!" That about sums it up.

Anyway, when me and my family are lucky enough to get a vacation, my sister is good enough to come and take care of things for us while we're gone. Including the chickens. Did I mention she hates chickens? Well, she says she hates chickens, but I'm not really buying it. I'm going to share with you three e-mails that she sent to me last summer while she was on chicken duty. I'll post one a day:

Chicken log day 2 (there is no day 1)

"Earth date" 8-13-09.....Capt. Lisa reporting....

Day two of taking care of the dreaded chickens.... not many eggs to collect yesterday or today. nasty chickens have, smashed, at least two to three eggs a day to date. Today momma chicken was sitting sideways in her box. Went to move momma bird when she pecked me! (Evil bird!) Tried to move her a second time but was denied by the evil pecking again. I will not be thwarted. I will get those eggs, it is my mission. I think to myself, must get a stick to move momma bird, but no, too far to travel for a prodder stick. What to do??? One egg is visible but not close enough to snatch,...but, what's this? I have a bag for the eggs in my hand. I must blindfold the chicken, YESSS! Placed bag in front of momma bird, taking candy from a baby. Alas! I know not how many eggs are there for momma bird will not budge (evil bird). Decide to tip up nesting box and give a gentle shake,...yes!...this produces another egg. I tell momma bird that's fine, she can sit there. I blind her again to take egg then proceed to give the nesting box another tip and gentle shake, alas,...there are no more eggs. I have won the battle for this day. Take that momma bird. Victory is mine!!! (insert evil laugh here.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jack Frost was here!

We've had a couple of days with some lovely Soft Rime Frost.
I actually managed to be in a position to take some pictures today as it was just setting on.
It was much more splendid later...after I left the house and didn't have my camera with me.

Still, I absolutely love this type of frost. We don't get it in this neck of the wood too often.

The dead plants look much prettier with a little "flocking."

Even the dead leaves on the apple tree look better.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birds...and sunflowers!

When did winter get here? It seems like it's been cold and snowy forever. I can't remember a single green blade of grass. I can't remember leaves on trees. Since when does it snow almost daily in north eastern Kansas? Well, not in a long time...that I can remember, anyway. I guess there are a few good things about winter, like.........ummmmm......well.......birds!

I get to watch lots of birds. One of my favorite activities. And as long as I have someone who is willing to tromp through the snow and the subzero temperatures to keep the feeders full,
I'm content. (Thanks, Ted!)

Winter really brings out the beauty of the male Cardinal.

Who doesn't think this bird is gorgeous?

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker visits my feeder to sample the local offerings.
And you would have to guess, since we grow black-oil sunflowers, that that is exactly what we are feeding them. (I have a pretty good guy that keeps my well supplied.) ;)
Lots of birds wait their turn in the tree.
There is even a Goldfinch flying in for a landing on the left.
He's kind of hard to spot so look closely.
If you click on the above picture to enlarge it, you can actually count an even dozen birds.
(If your eyes are better than need to click.)
A Junco is crashing the Goldfinch's party!

Junco's are plentiful. my mom called these "snowbirds" when I was little,
I guess because they were just as plentiful then, too.
How did he get back in a shot? At least he has a Junco to keep him company.

The birds don't seem to mind the thorns on this Washington Hawthorn that the hubby keeps threatening to cut down. I won't let that happen!
I don't care how many lawnmower tires he has to patch. (Easy for me to say.)

The Blue Jays rival the Cardinals in looks, but they are somewhat of a bully.

When the Blue Jays hit the feeders, all of the other birds seem to scatter.
This one likes to pluck the sunflower seeds right from the dried up heads that we saved.

A Tufted Titmouse!
There! I said it!

I put in this shot, because believe it or not, it was the only "Sparrow" shot that I got. (That's the second bird under the female Cardinal.) We are seeing less and less Sparrows.
Any ideas what this is? This back shot is not too helpful.

How about now?

It's the Kansas state bird! A Meadowlark! It's fun to see them all "puffy" this time of year.
It's also nice to see them up close. In the summer, they really have no reason to ever get this close to the house. Speaking of summer...I miss it! Are we there yet? Huh? Huh?