Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Warms Up A Little Bit: A Catch Up Of What's Happening

Spring is in the air. 

 Oh, its still cold outside and the maple trees tease us by producing small amounts of sap and we've begun boiling a little bit for maple syrup.  But the robins and red-winged blackbirds have returned and the air doesn't seem to have the bite its been holding.    

The chickens haven't had their wings trimmed, so they've flown out of their yard (you can see the garden shed/chicken coop in the background) and are roaming close to the house.  They discovered the bird feeders and have started to clean up all the seeds that the wild birds didn't want.  Foghorn Leghorn, our white leghorn rooster almost looks like a statue of a rooster.  Click on the photo to get a blown up version.  Isn't he gorgeous?   

The turkey jake feels amorous and fluffs and strut around his four hens.  It doesn't take much to get him excited.  We cough, he gobbles.  We do our tortured version of a turkey gobble, he gobbles.  If we keep doing it he starts to puff up.   

When he has his wings drooping down (like in the first and second pictures) he actually vibrates them and it makes a loud humming noise.  It almost sounds like a bee buzzing!  And when he's all puffed up and gobbles, his gobble makes a drum-like noise.  Notice how blue his head gets?  

Tigger, our Idaho Pastured Pig boar, has grown up!  He's still sweet, but I'm cautious around him because of his size.  Yesterday, he kept poking me with his nose and Fitz, my hubby, said, "you better reprimand him," but Tigger just wanted his head scratched.  He closed his eyes and blissfully stretched out his back and back legs as soon as I started rubbing behind his ears.  

His tail isn't a perfect curl.  

Flower, our Idaho Pastured Pig gilt, is hopefully pregnant.  I'm not an expert on piggy pregnancy, but Flower and Tigger were pretty lovey dovey in January.  She's not really showing any signs of it yet, so I guess time will tell.   

I still have some pumpkins and winter squash in storage in my basement (I can't believe they've lasted so well!) and I've been using them to supplement the pigs' feed.   These winter squash are rock hard when I throw them in for the pigs and they bite right through them.  Its kind of scary!

Clarence, the Muscovy duck and his girls have led a winter of leisure.  They love when its warm enough for us to fill their little water dish and then it doesn't freeze immediately!  

They try to swim in the little dish!  I hope to put in a little pond for them this summer.  

The bees haven't done much.  It's still too cold for them.  I fed them pollen patties the other day when it was a little bit warmer outside.  I pop the top lid and inner cover, throw in the patty, and a handful of bees fly up at me to sting the crap out of me (yes I wear my bee suit!), and I quickly close the top.  

But look at that gorgeous blue sky!

The chickens have begun to explore their yard now that there's not a foot of snow on it!  They pick at the few blades of green grass.  Eggs will start getting better and better!

The high tunnel is still buttoned up.  You can see the piles of snow that slid off it over the winter.  I've been working inside to clean it up for spring planting.  I put a little cafe table and chair in there and went out to read my book.  It was 80-degrees inside!

Lady, my horse, and her horse friends have been moved across the road to their spring pasture.  It's been a looooong and much too cold winter and I look forward to getting some riding time in!  

There are pictures of a coyote killed deer following.  So if you don't want to see them.  Stop here!  

Predators are always a risk in the country.  Close to our house we've had to deal with coyotes, bears, skunks, and opossums.  In the pasture next to our mini farm, I found the leftover carcass of a deer that had been killed and eaten by coyotes.  The vultures have been flying over to scan the area (scaring the pants off the chickens!) then group up around the carcass.    

And there you have a quick wrap up of spring.  I hope to get some pictures with real green grass soon!

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