Sunday, July 15, 2012

News from the hill

The lantana (Lantana montevidensis) and  
Gomphrena globosa 'Fireworks' make lovely companions.
Day flowers have put on blooms again after rain.
We've had welcome rain on the hill this week. Over the past seven days, 4.2 inches of rain have fallen. More is falling right now!

The county commissioners instituted a burn ban on July 5 (after all the fireworks!), and the rains started three days later. Good job, commissioners!

This rain fell just in time to give plants a boost through to cooler weather. It was pretty durn hot and dry leading up to this week.

Petunia the hen leads her little flock to safety. See how ruffled up she is?
She does not like me so close. These chicks are a couple of weeks old.




In other news, we have three batches of chicks in the coop - the most we've ever had at one time. I can't explain this outburst of fecundity, but we are enjoying all the chicks.

The latest batch are miracle chicks. Petunia the hen had trouble this time around. She broke all of her first batch, then moved to a new nest. After a week or so there, she moved again, leaving eggs behind. My husband gathered the eggs and relocated them to the new nest. After five weeks, four chicks hatched successfully.

The second batch is shepherded by Gracie. Gracie was a perfectly mild-mannered hen (though while sitting she growled like a pteradactyl) who has turned ferocious after the hatch. She attacks anyone who gets too close to her five chicks. Now the family has figured out how to escape the outer sanctum, and they spend their days in the woods. One chick has disappeared so far. It's a jungle out there.

The oldest batch are still staying close their mother hen, Cream Cheese.
The oldest chicks, which are about three months old, have really interesting colors. Unfortunately, two of them appear to be roosters.

That's all the news from the hill this week. And that's the way it is.

13 comments:

  1. This rain has been great. We had almost two inches last night, in 45 minutes!
    That's a bit TOO hard.
    Love those chicks.

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    1. Oh my, I'm sorry to have missed that (away from home last night!).

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  2. So glad you caught some of that rain, we have yet to see a drop since mid June. It is going all around us, but we are stuck in the "donut hole of dryness" as I call it.

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    1. It's so odd how that works, isn't it? Sorry you are missing out!

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  3. (dDAng that mother hen gracie is FEROCIOUS!!!!!!! one time i was in the chicken pen, and one of her itttttttty bitttttttty babies came running straight towards me, so i picked it up, and turned around and then all of a sudden there was a flying, scratching, pecking fluffball on me!!!!!!!!!!AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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  4. I keep telling Denny we need chickens. He says the foxes, raccoons and hawks would get as much as we would.

    Two roosters...so you'll be having coq au vin in a few months?

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  5. I'm thankful that at long last rain stars to pour. We've been in drought for the past months. Its nice to have a cool weather.

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    1. I think we are still considered in a drought, though the rains are a nice relief! Hopefully you will get rain soon!

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  6. You might just write a Craigslist ad with lots of discussion about the romance of the early morning rooster crow.

    I adore the names you've given the hens!

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    1. I'm not sure about the romance of the early morning rooster crow. It's fine with the windows closed and the a.c. running. Luckily our coop is quite aways from the house. My daughter is in charge of chicken monikers, though she lets us name one occasionally.

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  7. I so love your hen's names. Petunia and Gracie. Its so adorable. And its nice that you take good care of them. Even animals need tender love and care.

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    1. We have fun with naming chickens. Some names in the Hall of Fame include Stinky Pete and Pecos Bill (roosters). Our current rooster's name is Bandy Bojangles. We also have a Cher, who is dressed in slinky black feathers - I think my husband named her.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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