Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Sharona Shines

I cannot in all fairness say I have any new stories about the teeny tiny farm. 

We took a teeny tiny vacation last week on the west side of the state along Lake Michigan, not a teeny tiny lake in the least.

Over in the vicinity of Ludington.
Our time spent sitting on the beach listening to and watching the waves (and seagulls) was wonderful.  Plus lighthouses galore.  And good food.

However, this weekend I was finally able to capture a semi-decent photo of Sharona in her technicolor glory.

Yes, you may ooh and aah at this point in the story.

So, the peculiar thing with the little girls is they fly out of the coop in the mornings with the big girls, but during free- range time they tend to stay in the run.  A little chicken door is always open during this block of time for anyone who feels the need to find a nesting box so the three girls could leave at any time.  But they don't.

I know the next question on your mind is, did the three donks miss you.
Well, of course.  Or at least that's my story.

* * * * * * Vegan Delights * * * * * * 

This was a lovely recipe for incorporating  home grown cherry tomatoes and basil.  First time making it last evening.

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Using a non dairy parm makes it vegan all the way. And I bet no one eating it will ever complain it's not "real" parm.
Next time I make it I'll cook the sauce a bit longer to help the garlic and basil flavors burst through.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Spice Displays Hidden Talents

 Before we delve into the world of hidden talents, allow me to give you an update on the  new little girls.

Progress is being made but it's oh so very slow.  Storm seems to be the most adventurous, zipping out into the pasture while Clara and Sharona appear to depend on her for leadership.  All three can be easily bamboozled by the big girls, but I did see Clara and Sharona at the feeder at the same time a couple of big girls were there.  Now that IS progress. 

I had to pick up one of the girls the other day and oh lordy, you'd think she was headed for the chopping block.  Clearly none of them were handled as chicks.  
In the evening when it's time to lock up, I sweet talk the three as they perch above me for the night. 

I'll try my darnedest to get some decent photos of the three for the next post.  Sharona's colors are coming in and they're quite striking.

Last week I stopped in to Tractor Supply for some shavings -- I usually prefer to get supplies at my local feed store, but I do like TSC's shavings.  As I walked into the cart area some chicken-themed wind chimes were seductively luring me.  Yes, I am a sucker for wind chimes.  Big ones, little ones, cheap ones, expensive ones.  And these particular beauties were on sale.  I was doomed.

Here Spice demonstrates her abilities to ring those chimes with just a flick of an ear.  Boy, what talent!

 I'll hear them ring a ding when there's no hay in the manger and when there's no breeze.  Yes, I have to wonder if the donks are musically inclined.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Thank Goodness For Generators

 If you are a reader who does not live in the vicinity, the big news was the storms.  Two biggies in two days causing flooding, downed trees, and of course power outages.  We were lucky; no damage.  Three days without power - thank goodness for the portable generator, although it's constant drone in the background became irritating.

 I am not complaining.  Clearly other parts of the country have gotten hit much worse.

I was more than amazed Lake Luigi did not appear --

Enough rainfall to feed the bowls twice.

Power was restored yesterday afternoon, thank goodness.

Prior to this we finally repainted the side of the barn that showed many many many donkey nibbles.

I've been wanting a sign for the side of the barn for quite some time, but don't know who to go to for lettering.  Any ideas?

While the painting project was in full swing, chickens were free range, including the newbies.  They hated being outside of the run.  I left them like this for about forty-five minutes, then said enough, and opened the door.

And then there's the donks.

Gabby feels compelled to come up behind me in the hay aisle to remind me there's Equine Senior at my fingertips.

Thank you Gabs

And finally I want to show you the flower combo out by the donkey gate.

Morning glory, salvia, and mandevilla.  All new to this year.  The morning glory is not in top form here but she's a beauty.  I'm hoping she comes back next year.  And I'm smitten with the mandevilla.  She'll spend the winter in the house, if I can untwine her hold on the fence.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Tree Trimmers Need Not Apply

 We have been lucky in Michigan this summer -- moderate temps and plenty of rain.  Perhaps too much at times.  My hay guy was having trouble baling second cutting because of the precipitation every other day.

When we've had more than our fill of the wet stuff, you'll see two things at the teeny tiny farm.
Lake Luigi and tall red boots.


  The donkeys have multiple responsibilities around the farm.  Spice volunteered recently to take the tree trimming class.  Here she works on her homework assignment.  I'm confident she'll pass.

By the way, tomorrow is the BIG day -- chicken integration.  We'll open all doors at the mark of free range time so the little girls can escape any aggressive pecking.  But when everyone is gathered back up, they'll have to stand up to the bullies.

Cross your fingers!!

* * * * * * Vegan Delights * * * * * * 

I hit the jackpot at Better Health during my most recent trip.

I'm smitten with the "lunch meat" - I've tried a a few and this brand (Unreal Deli) gets top marks.  Sadly in my neck of the woods, I've only found one store that carries it. 
The pepper garlic spread is a little too yummy -- I need a big crock of the stuff. 
And I'll report on the enchiladas later after they've hit my belly  :)

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Cranes, Little Chicken Girls, and Spice Ears

 I tried my darnedest to update the blog on Monday but my PC thwarted me.  Looks like it's fighting against me again so I may not be able to include all the videos I originally had in mind.  Guess the name of the game is roll with it.

We have a few sand hill crane friends in the "neighborhood".  Yesterday the family I see most often effectively held me hostage for a few minutes on our road.

Today, they were "hopping mad" that I disturbed them again.

My uneducated guess is they were cheesed that I inched the car forward bit by bit.
Anyone else have insight into crane behavior? 

The new little chicken girls are still segregated but that is going to change early next week.  They want to roam (I've had a couple of escapees) and the big girls want the coop back.  The tricky part will be herding them back in at the end of free range time; neither Rick nor I are looking forward to it.

Either Henrietta or Marigold (on the far right) was investigating 

We've had plenty of visiting on both sides of the screened divide inside the coop.  It's always a "cross your fingers" few days when new and old girls are integrated.   And there is always some aggression - one can only hope it's minimal.  The term "pecking order" is accurate.  I will peck you to put you in your place.

The new girls are starting to fill out but they're still skittish around me.  It's such a slow process.  I'm so used to the big girls being fearless with me -- under my feet, stepping on my feet -- that it surprises me (irrationally) when the little girls don't want to be in the same room with me.

We can't conclude today's brief post without a donkey photo, now can we.

Spice and her windmill ears, or perhaps more like the Flying Nun

Monday, July 24, 2023

Look Who's Joined the Family

 Three days ago three little girls arrived to join my bevy of beauties.

Clara (from one of my favorite author's book series), Sharona (ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-my Sharona), and Storm (family name).

The lovelies are three months old and so very skittish (which means not very many photos).  So they're being kept separated from the big girls, who are not happy in the least with the disruption in routine.

Today was the first day i saw them exploring the covered porch area.  Each day they grow a bit more calm, but they're far from comfortable.  Last fall when we got Gigi and Stevie we introduced them to the older girls at night when everyone was drowsy, calm and going to bed.  Worked like a charm.  I made the mistake of trying it Saturday evening but it did not go well.  At all.  An important piece of the puzzle that had escaped my memory was that these girls are half the age of last fall's bunch.

You can see from the video above that JoannieLou demanded a nesting box in the little girl area and I thought since she does not tend to be aggressive it would be OK.  Well, apparently after she had laid her egg, she went into the run and was squawking up a storm because everyone else was free range.  Scared the pants off the little girls and they were all a twitter.  I've already seen how Henrietta is going to be the bully.  Yes, she got a scolding right off the bat.

Apparently the breeds are Leghorn, Black Cooper Maran, and Olive Egger.  At this stage in the game I can't tell the difference between the two black pullets.  To be honest I didn't care what breed we got.  And, in fact, this post was going to be all about how I was beating my head against the wall trying to find 2-3 girls to add to the flock.  That weren't priced at $20 per bird -- absolutely and totally ridiculous.

During the next week I'll be trying to get my photos of the cuties.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Summer = Sleek and Sexy

 Gabs shows off her summer sexy look.

I mean, come on, isn't that one lovely donkey.

Sugar and Spice have been a bit slower to shed out their winter locks.  As I've mentioned, the donks shed so much later in the season than their horse cousins.  When I first got the donkeys, it threw me for a loop.  April vs July.

Sugar still has wispy winter hair - disclaimer: these photos were taken about 10 days ago and she's much sleeker now.  She wanted you to know that.


In the video, you'll first see sleek Gabby, then Spice of the not-so-fetching bangs and finally Sugs.

And yes, the flies got bad about a week ago.

* * * * * * Vegan Delights * * * * * *

I don't make the trip to Trader Joe very frequently; it's a bit too far for convenience.  But today I took the plunge and boy oh boy I feel like I hit the jackpot.

And this doesn't even cover the frozen items -- vegan pizza, spring rolls (one of my musts at TJ), etc.  To be honest I was anxious to get my treasures in the freezer before I realized I should have taken a photo.
Maybe next week.