Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Phoenix Shed

Christmas day 2008 my chicken shelter collapsed. A day or two later the hay shed in the background also collapsed. The bones of these two sheds remained in place until early this month, when a friend came over to strip and dismantle them. What would I do without friends?

To our surprise there were enough parts between the two wrecks to assemble a new, slightly smaller shelter over the chicken kennel. Rising from the rubble it stands full of hope and promise.

And finally we covered it with the ubiquitous blue and silver tarp, and found a solid piece of original shelter skin to go around the kennel. Used green fiberglass covers the kennel for added warmth and protection from tarp leaks. My chickens should be cozy and safe again this winter.

Now I need to get a new hay shelter erected, and I'm back in business.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Free Tree

From the other road. I'm also intrigued by the box on the left, with the yellow curtains. Shadow box? Punch and Judy stage? It's pretty broken down, but only appeared recently. There's activity in the barn. Hopefully someone has moved in with a plan to save these wonderful buildings.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All Things Change

This is a picture I took last year of my favorite barn and silos - the grain silo and the tree silo. I pass this farm every day, and it always makes me smile. Nature will out, no matter what we do.

This year things have changed. The tree silo has crumbled, I think the front was intentionally removed. It's still interesting, and I'm sure the tree is happier now, but it doesn't make me smile quite the same way it used to.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Joys

I do love summer. It is light so long at night I can stop and pick berries after my Pilates class - somewhere around 9:00 PM. And the berries! Just cutting back the Himalayan berry vines when they reach into the lane, and cutting as much of the plant as I can reach, has given the native berries the chance they need to get established. Salmon and thimble berries, tiny ground blackberries that have flavor beyond their size, and the occasional blueberry bush are thriving. Yum.

This is the time of bright sunshine and the ground is littered with the long gems that are molted peacock feathers reflecting it. One of my favorite pastimes is collecting these beauties. Tiny fluff-ball bantam chicks dart back and forth around fierce little hens. The geese diligently protect the dog crate from anyone passing by, although they do allow Jesse to lay outside - further protection from the hungry ravens. A peahen spent half an hour strutting up and down the neighbor's roof, telling the world that she's a PEAHEN and she has a NEST and she has EGGS! I have not been able to find her nest, so the display isn't as foolish as it sounds.

We are having someone else's summer. It's been warm to hot most of the time since late May. Warm and sunny Junes are something the NW never sees. This summer is perhaps the reward for last winter, which was, actually, someone else's winter. It is, perhaps, a reasonable trade.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Olympia Murals

There are a truly amazing number of murals on the buildings of Olympia. Here are a few I passed on a very warm and sunny day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Misty Morning

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hen and Chicks

Yet another family of Seabright crosses. This little hen just took on a peacock who was a bit too interested in the running tasty morsels. And won.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Cat-Bird Standoff

You're a clever cat, and you've just caught and killed a field mouse. You settle in to enjoy your catch. And then, coming in with a swish, a peacock enters the scene.

Who does he think he is? Did he chase down and catch the mouse? He is, however, big.

And he's very interested in that mouse. It's just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. Does he even notice the indignant cat?

Friday, July 03, 2009


Right after I posted this, I stepped outside to see Groucho and Charlie. I grabbed the camera and snapped off a few pics - caught Groucho looking at me as if to say, "What? Me? Camera shy?"

Charlie likes to come inside once in a while for some quiet time. Puss immediately appears and snuggles up.

My three dogs who are usually inside are not cat buddies. The cats have a dog-proof room to hang out in with their own window entrance. The moment Charlie or Jesse come in, Puss is there. She also hangs out with them outside, but the dogs don't stay still as well outside.

It's hard to get pictures. I think Charlie is a bit embarrassed by the cat attention, and perhaps the cats thing they aren't meant to snuggle with dogs. Groucho also likes to hang with the dogs, but she disappears the moment a camera comes in sight. This is one of those cultural things I just don't completely understand.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Mysteries of Clover

Four years ago before I moved in here I spread clover seed over all exposed ground. I thought it would be a good starter ground cover, and help enrich the soil. Almost none of it sprouted. Each year there would be some clover, but not a lot. Until this year.

This year there is clover EVERYWHERE. Places I didn't plant it. Places I did. Why this year? I'm not complaining - the bees and I think it's great. I'm keeping the sheep off of most of it so I'll continue to have clover.

I discovered that it's very difficult to get pictures of bumblebees. They land on the underside of flowers and sneak up. And they don't pose well, flying off just as I move in for a shot. Add to that the fact I haven't yet figured out the manual focus on my camera, and my bee shots are, well, inadequate.

The other thing about the clover - I planted white clover. Look at this lovely pink one.

And these bi-color flowers. Next year I'll have to plant red clover and see how it does. Hopefully it won't take four years to germinate.