Monday, July 28, 2008

Meg's Journal

"When we went to the flower walk, we saw the cowboys chasing the cows to the mountains."

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fall Creek Fishing

We went fishing on Fall Creek, but didn't catch much. We had fun swimming instead.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Big birds!

Yesterday I picked up two birds and took them to Buck. First I handed him the little brown Buckeye hen that Megan calls Star. He hefted her and said "less than a pound." That was my guess too, she's timid and delicate, you can easily hold her in one hand. Then I handed him "Chirpy" the rooster above - Joe named him when the chicks were still fuzzy - he had a lot of black in his down. Buck said "Whoa! He's ready!"
I don't know if he's really ready or not, but he is getting amazingly big. Not just Chirpy, all the broiler males are close to five pounds, by the "heft" test. I wasn't planning to start killing until 12 weeks, but we're passing six and the boys are getting pretty big, and a little spunky. Regular cornish cross broilers are bred to be processed at 8 weeks, and these are supposed to be slower, but I don't know if I'll let the roosters go that long. I did learn something, though. I read some things by some chicken behavior guy from University of NM, and he said that you could become "alpha" to your roosters just like you do your dog. In "dog" you have to put the animal on it's back, and/or shake it's scruff, etc. In "rooster" you corner it and pin it's head to the ground, pulling on it's comb or wattles, and poke it's back with your fingers like another rooster was standing on it's back. So I tried that with Chirpy, who is getting pretty fluffed up and flappy lately. It was pretty amazing. He fought for a few seconds, then just gave up and laid there, and when I took my hands away, he just stayed - with his head down on the ground, blinking. I thought I'd injured him somehow, because he was frozen in place, so I lifted his body and set him up on his feet, where he stood for a minute with his head real low... "could I have injured his spine somehow?" I was wondering.... but then he carefully and slowly stepped away, holding his head down until he got back inside his pen. Wow. Wonder how long that lasts? He was mild mannered this morning too. Hmm.......
This guy said some people keep their roosters sub-dominant by carrying them around sometimes while they do chores - the rooster has to let you be boss, reinforcing your alpha-ness. He also said, though, that there is value to a strong, bold rooster... that he'll fight to defend his hens from predators. Maybe so, but the freezer looks like a good place for them to me. Chirpy was standing up tall and fluffing his hackles out to Hannah yesterday. Good luck with that, bird. I don't think she'll demonstrate her dominance in chicken language.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New Rock Garden

Under construction.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It came. (Cristy's post)

It really did! That blindly beautiful time of year that makes this place so magical. My friend Ann calls them the "thank you God for letting me live here" days. I uploaded a lot of pictures in different sizes, and I can't tell what's going to end up where when I publish the post, so forgive me if the words and photos are a jumble. I wanted to post some of my perennials that I'm excited about -
My siberian iris looked like it was going to die last year, but this year I think it might bloom!
Some variety of sedum that came from Trail Creek a few years ago - one of my favorites, although it's kind of unusual. It must makes such a tidy, nice little ball of a plant, then late July early August it gets big, flat pink flowers on it that last way late into the frost, after most everything else is dead. I'd like to get some more of these.
The honeysuckle is gorgeous this year - that long, miserable cold spring that had everybody so frustrated (snow on father's day??? Come on now.) held the blossoms back onn the lilac, chokecherry, these honeysuckle, and the crab apples (I don't have one of those YET!!) and they bloomed late and didn't get frosted. That's my theory anyway - for what ever reason, they sure are beautiful this year. Flowers on EVERYTHING.
Peony!!!! Blooming it's first year!! (the fence is because it got really tall and flopped over. It has a bunch of buds - wonder what color it is... I can't remember what I bought! I hope it's white. Or pink. Or any other color.
Columbines are becoming almost weedy. From seed, all. They're everywhere.
Think the birds will get these??
I tried painting from this spot - I'm afraid the photo is prettier. Brad and Sandy's pasture.
This ordinary oriental poppy is from seed, so I think it's kind of cool. Took three years for it to finally bloom!

This ordinary oriental poppy is even more cool. It's the only plant that came up from the seeds I snatched from Great Grandpa Johnson's poppy patch, that his dad brought from Sweden. I don't think it will bloom this year, but next it will, if I don't kill it! I'm being really careful.
Planters I put together for a friend as a wedding gift. Herbs and violas in the first, flowers in the other. I love alyssum and lobelia together. (Hmm....spell check doesn't like either of those spellings, but it can't find the right one. Guess I'll go with it.)
Joe's planter. Got anything you want to say, Joe?
I let them choose their own plants at the nursery. I think Joe's turned out really pretty.
Meg's planter. Megan?
"I like the colors of my plants because they're really pretty. The snap dragons are fun to snap. You should try it! "