Monday, June 15, 2009

Enter Summer

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer I find I am spending most of my time in my backyard - which really leaves little time for writing (blogging) about the backyard. The chicks arrived and spent the first two weeks in a brooder indoors. Although they were in the downstairs mudroom, I really couldn't tolerate the mess and moved them into their coop. Since it's still quite cool at night I wasn't sure if they would survive so I decided to run a power cord to the coop and use a heat lamp at night. They are definitely thriving. I plan to use a solar panel to run a light bulb and the electric netting, but haven't gotten the materials to do that yet.

The garden is in - such as it is. I started very small this year because I didn't want a huge project that would overwhem me my first time out there. So, I've got peas, peppers, squash, cucumber, tomato, beans, spinach, lettuce and radishes. I also put in some herbs - parsley, basil, chamomile, mint, chives, thyme and lemon balm. I am trying to create a space that will produce enough produce to supliment our diet and also provide an outdoor "room" that is pleasing to spend time in. In other words, it isn't just rows of planted vegetables. There's a touch of whimsy too. For instance, the birdhouses that my children made and painted. I didn't get them put where I wanted them - they're just sitting on the wall of the compost bin, but the blue birds don't care - they moved in anyway! I love watching them. I didn't know that they were an irridescent blue. Right now there are five newly hatched chicks in the house. I hope other birds don't kick them out - I've heard that can happen to blue birds sometimes.

I spend lots of time mowing grass -- can't wait to get goats! The apple trees are doing well. I keep a close eye on the new ones I planted and the grafts on the old trees that my dad put there. I will have to do some serious pruning this winter.

All in all, life in the backyard is good - the pool is open, we hosted our first "big" party of the season (graduation party for Family School Students), and there's plenty of flora and fauna to remind me who's really running things!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring is quickly turning into summer - only 5 more weeks of school left for John, Rachael & Michael. Remember anticipating summer vacation? And how long the summer was when all you had to do was play on the swings, swim in the creek and ride your bike? I remember eagerly we anticipated the fire works on July 4th. Now, the 4th of July falls on the first weekend of summer. So maybe it isn't my imagination - summer really IS shorter than it used to be!

The chicks have arrived! I ordered 25 mixed breeds (Rainbow layers) from McMurray So far, we lost one to natural causes and two to an accident wtih a sword (don't ask!). I find myself mesmerized by their movements and sounds and can sit and watch them for long periods of time. The dogs reactions have been interesting too - Copper tries to move them from one side of the brooder to the other, and Pippin whines and tries to get my attention - he doesn't like it when I look at them.

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