Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hills ~

There are Hills, in this thar State. Have to go 2 hours away to see them...
But it was really nice.. both DH and I miss Hill Country.

Wish we could of taken some time to see more and explore. 
 However, we needed to 
pick up the baby chicks and get them home.

Baby Chicks, they are sooo fluffy ~

Baby Chicks are fluffed up and looking pretty good.

My Lavenders, are showing nice beards and muff, even with being less than a
day old.

Five of my Lavenders hatched, out of the six I had in the incubator.

I have 12 more eggs under a broody hen, will start checking for hatching chicks tomorrow.

Will bring them in to be raised with this group.

This one is a d'Anver , Millie Fleur color.
Its a Chick-Monk. ;O)

This batch of Lavenders are split for Porcelain.

DH and I went into the VA hills last Sunday to pick up 7 Quail d'Anvers from a well known breeder of quality bantams.
They are the darker ones.

Keep your fingers crossed, I break the Rooster streak I have been having the last two years, 
with the bantams!

Photo of one of my Lavenders, taken yesterday.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Saving the Hummingbird ~

Was a long day yesterday,  with the trip to pick up chicks. Normally I would have DS do the evening chores.

But last night, I felt the need to drag myself out and do them.
Just started walking to the sheds... and I look down, there is a tiny hummer on the ground.

Drop everything and pick it up, was so very cold.  So I ask DS to get some of the simple syrup I make for the chicks, and DH got down the hummingbird feeder, so I could try to get it to eat.
Asked DS to get one of the heat packs, as my hands are rarely warm.
Was uber gentle with him.

It finally got enough food into itself and warmed up enough to get feisty..
Once he was feeling better, he hovered next to me for a bit then flew into the Japanese Maple.

Hope he survives the night. Think the cooler than normal weather is getting to them.

Friday, April 24, 2015

We have chicks !

We Have chicks!    

At this point, wasn't expecting it, but it is a nice surprise. 
23 days until the first started to pip... 

First time using an incubator, instead of a broody hen.

First one about 9pm last night, with two other pipping...
This morning, have 3 chicks, all from my stock.

Two Lavenders and one that is lighter... kind'a threw me off... all healthy so far.  
The 2nd photo is the lighter one.  They haven't fluffed up yet.

Saw two of Aubrey's d'Anver Millies, starting to pip.  

Looks really humid, weird thing is, before the eggs hatched, it wasn't.

Was worried as a mother Hen they won't hatch......
Here's hoping the rest do, today!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Garden and Spring~~

The Birch tree just starting to leaf out.

Front of the house,  bought a bright red geranium so the 
house finches can raise their family, and to let the
Hummingbirds know, the snack bar is open.

Is hard to see the Grape Vines yet, but they seemed to come through this winter
OK,  did cover them in hay to help insulated them from the harsh cold winds.
Put down some hardwood bark mulch, in hopes it will help keep the weeds down.
Planted some creeping thyme and strawberries under and near the Grapevines, to both utilize the space and also help suppress the weeds in time.

Small Strawberry plant, flowering already.

Peony plants all made it too. 

The ones I over wintered, also covered them with hay.
Seems to of done the trick.

First Peony is in the front of the photo.

 Can see where we have not weeded yet.

Farther back, we weeded and put hardwood mulch down.
Also planted some Dahlia's we bought from Coscto.
They are inter-planted with the Peonys, and should be quite pretty later in the season.

Rugosa Rose's I am growing as a hedge row. 
Really hard to see right now, so I drew little red arrows to point the way.

Have more on order to make a hedge row around the kitchen garden.
This will help save the plants from harsh winter winds.

Some point in the future, I plan on putting up a Pretty garden fence to keep the poultry out.
Right now... its a Redneck fence.

DS is doing his part of the morning chores.

The House~

First panoramic shot of the house and some of the buildings.

Figured I would get a photo of the place, while there
was sun this morning..

Has already clouded up and waiting for 
another Thunder storm later this 

This was taken at the far side of the small
Orchard I am setting up.
Plan on getting a photo from the road,
When we have better weather.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Think Spring ~~

Photo of three of the Board and Batten sheds. 

Things are starting to green up, 

so that means bugs.. lots of bugs and ticks.

Just glad my chickens do a great job at keeping the ticks at bay around the house and the two most close pastures they are allowed to run in.

Pear tree flowering...

Kitchen garden doesn't look like much at this point.  DH and I did a lot of weeding.
Putting down Hardwood mulch, to help keep the weeds from getting out of hand.
Knock on wood, seems like the grape vines and Current bush made it through winter.
I "think" the peonys made it, but time will tell.
Lost only one Rugosa Rose.
Going to use these as hedge rows, so they help protect the plants in the kitchen garden.

Bought a horse fly trap, horse flies are really aggressive here, makes it really hard to lead the horses to different pastures, let alone ride.
My Horses are good about it, and will stand still for us to kill the bugs.
 Their bite is super painful.

Hopefully next year, I will be able to afford another one.

Also using Fly Predators, to help with the other types of flies.
Have to do something, do not want to go through Spring/Summer/Fall like last year.

Red House Finch, letting us know, he needs more food... Now!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Indoor Garden ~

DH loves Fuchsias, but here in VA,  it gets both too cold
and too hot for them.

I bought him two harder to get Fuchsias, back last Nov for
his xmas gift, They arrived about Feb and have been 
growing well ever since.

Joy Creek nursery in Scappoose, OR
sells them.

They will be grown in the house, under a sunlamp.

Above, you can see the one, just starting to bud out.

There are two very different types.

Two Baby Roses that managed to survive.
Came in with spider mites from the company I bought them from.
Been fighting the mites ever since.

Way I am going with Roses outside, most likely, raise them in the house too.

They don't seem to do well here in VA.

Only ones to live so far, are the bank of Rugosa rose I planted (plan on using them as a wind break for the kitchen garden) and a very hardy Rose, 

on its own root stock.
It dies back in the winter and regrows, during spring.

Small flower to brighten ones day.

Tangerine tree is doing well, the canopy has doubled in size.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Trying a Selfie `

So I decided to give this selfie thing a try....
Remember I am older, and do not own a phone with a camera..
So I used a normal camera...


Can't believe how light my hair has gotten, still black at the roots...where it hasn't 
turned grey... guess you would call me, a fading black. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Bread and the issues ~

2nd time making Hamburger buns using only 
Bob Red mill Organic flour... 
again a perfect rise.

So all the trouble I was having, was because of the King Arthur Flour. 

Never used that brand before I moved here.

Started using it, because, Bob Red Mill is super spendy in this part of the US and I can't get the Azure Standards wonderful organic flour here.

Think I will have to find a way to use all Bob Reds Mill Organic flour, even if it costs $9.00+ + tax for 5lbs.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hatching eggs ~

Instead of waiting on a hen to become broody, 
I decided buy a small incubator.

6 of the eggs are from the Rooster and Hen below.
 They are an experiment I am working on.

The other 6 eggs, are d'Anver Millie fleur from one of the best breeders of 
Belgian d'Anvers in the US.

Keeping my fingers crossed they all hatch and this year.. 
they are All hens.
Need to break this Rooster streak!