Friday, March 25, 2016

Let There Be Light - Coop Windows

The hens finally got real, gen-u-ine windows in the coop.

Husband Rick was able to whip up these beauties in nothin' flat. One on the east side and one on the west.

The Point?  Lots of beautiful non-artifical light when the coop is closed up; the girls can now enjoy the natural light rhythms of the day.
And, some much-needed cross-ventilation on those sultry summer days.
He had installed vents on both sides of the coop when it was initially constructed but they were not useful for lighting and didn't really help a lot with airflow.

Hard to discern from here, but when it's warm enough to prop them open, the hens will be protected by the hardware cloth Rick put over the window openings. Any varmints who might think a hen would make a tasty treat will be thwarted. 

Added bonus:  the girls offered up 4 eggs today.  That hasn't happened over the winter months.  This wonderful natural light will be helping production.
Thank you girls.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dudley's Moment to Shine

It dawned on me recently that I've only briefly introduced you to the two dogs, Dudley and Gunner. That is about to change!

I'm going to put Dudley in the spotlight today.  Yes, he's my favored boy as my good friends know.  It always strikes me as odd that guests to the house invariably cuddle up to Gunner, yet, it's so obvious Dudley is the smarter more classically handsome dog.

Gunner on the left, Dudley on the right

Let me explain how Dudley came to our home.

The year 2006 was probably the worst year of my life.  My mom died in January and my dad followed in March.  Other deaths continued.  The mom of a friend of my son's (whom I had grown close to), my horse barn owner (the same age as my mom), our remaining dog Barney, my parents' dog, Gracie, whom we had adopted.  

Finally in November (my birthday month) I said to my husband it was imperative to bring something into my life and we needed to go to one of the shelters and rescue a dog.  This was the first time in our marriage that we were dogless.

Our intent was to find an adult dog who might be languishing in a shelter.  But it was not to be.

We arrived at the Michigan Animal Rescue League and my husband was instantly drawn to a golden retriever, but who had just been spoken for that day.  We continued looking and I walked down the aisleway of kennels.  Lots of barking dogs.  I came upon "Clyde" and thought it was a sign as my dad's name is Clyde.  But I kept walking, right on to the last kennel.  Instead of a barking dog, I saw a black youngster lying on the floor looking forlorn.  His name was Hewlett and we asked to see him.

His story was this.  He had come to that same shelter in April of 2006 with the rest of his littermates.  The shelter was full but the staff had an odd feeling about the woman who brought the pups.  So they agreed to take them.  Hewlett got adopted but was "returned" at the beginning of November at nine months of age.  The story goes that his adoptive mom was pregnant and felt the dog was getting too big -- a bologna story if I ever heard one. 

So Hewlett came home with us and he was christened Dudley (aka Dudes, Duds.

The Duds is 10 this year and showing his years with the gray creeping into his formerly jet black coat.  However, I still think he is beautiful, while Gunner is cute.

He's a black lab mix and is quite tall and long and weighs in at about 80-85 lbs.  Gunner keeps him busy running after squirrels and digging holes.

And now you know why that handsome Dude is so special to me and is indeed, and always will be, my favored boy.