Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alex at rest

Alex, our tripod kitty, is very fond of our couch. A little too fond, which is why we are planning a sofa purchase in the near future. As you can see, he likes to balance himself perfectly on the back and soak up some rays...

"What? You're disturbing my beauty rest!"

His girlfriend Naomi prefers a dog bed!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Who you callin' chicken

Because I know you can't get enough of my chickens...

Lord Gaga and his ladies Buttercup and Georgiana!

He takes good care of the little woman! So chivalrous.

Beaker and Tina Turner. Not only does she eat snakes, but she can knock Beaker to the ground when he gets his groove on!


"Make sure..."

 "...you get my best side!"

Georgiana likes to play the field. Errol Flynn is her big boy.

Ellie, probably still a virgin given how many times I've seen her beat the crap out of a rooster! She especially likes to pull out Lord Gaga's tail feathers.

Beaker shaking his magnificent... mane? Locks? Ruff?

The lovely but fierce Penelope.

"You touch my eggs, you die."

I think Penelope is really Errol's favourite wife....

...but Georgiana, who is more of a concubine, will do in a pinch!

And now, Julius has demanded some air time....

...but I had to help him with the camera!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Today is National Day of the Honeybee!

Click here to learn more. Save our bees!

Honeybee and bumblebee on allium in my garden.

I should just call it "Chickens' World"...

...cuz it's all about the chickens. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of chicken photos! This is just the start.

Beaker, 100% MAN!

Sophie is great with the chickens and likes to herd them, but she doesn't want them to steal her ball.

"One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong!"

Sophie, chicken poo connoisseur!

The beautiful (and fierce!) Penelope Pigeonator. All the other hens let us take eggs out from under them if they're in the nest box. Penelope gives a warning peck, then draws blood!

Mr. Handsome, and he knows it. Part Silkie, all beast.

Errol Flynn turns on the charm for Henrietta, who is just finishing up a moult. A couple of weeks ago, she had a completely naked butt. It didn't seem to affect her sex appeal.

Poor saddled Chicky and that brute of a rooster, Errol.  Chicky has several issues. She was the runt of the litter. She is at the bottom of the pecking order. She has feathers worn down from the over-exuberant romancing of the roosters. She is moulting. She picks the feathers out of her neck. Despite all this, she lays eggs and seems happy enough, although often find her off by herself, trying to stay under the radar of the other chickens. It sucks to be low chicken on the totem pole! Remember when she had her spa treatment? 

Errol Flynn is the biggest of the chickens, and is definitely in charge. It used to be Lord Gaga but things have changed as they've matured.

Poetry in motion. Or maybe Chicken Haiku:

Dare you touch my eggs?
I feel your hand under me.
Blood must be drawn. NOW!

Lord Gaga is so freaking cute!

Chicky, off by herself again.

Chicky fleeing the attentions of Errol and Beaker. She managed to escape. We are getting more hens this summer to help improve the rooster-to-chicken ratio.

Such a manly man.

If he could beat his chest, he would.

Lord Gaga and his lady love, Georgiana. "Let me enfold you in my wings of passion, my little poulet d'amour!"

Buttercup says "Peek-a-boo!"

Lord Gaga has no trouble attracting the ladies.

More feathered fun to come!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Love song of a rooster, in the key of Beaker...

While taking over 570 chicken photos last Monday, I caught the following startling scene on ... well, not film. On digital card, I guess. Which sounds less romantic.

Infinitely less romantic, in fact, than the Love Song of a Rooster, in the key of Beaker.

Our story unfolds thusly...

Across the grass, Beaker spies the alluring Henrietta. Keen to exercise his conjugal, if polygamous, privileges, Beaker approaches his prey, I mean, woman, while doing a little rooster dance.

Henrietta looks suitably alarmed. 

"WTF!!? AGAIN?!"

Not exactly the master of subtlety, Beaker rushes in like the mad feathered bull that he is. Henrietta squawks and flaps but is unable to achieve lift-off, and so chooses to run. Poor Henrietta is never receptive to the charms of Beaker!

"You men! Don't you ever get enough?!"
"Henrietta, that's a rhetorical question, right?"

There is nothing graceful about a running chicken. I'm sure I could turn that into some kind of life metaphor were I not about to tuck into our Friday night pizza and beer... 

"Henrietta, where are you going? No matter how far you run, no matter where you hide, I WILL find you and mount you when you least expect it. I know you'll slap me to the ground and beat me afterwards, but it will be worth it because I. am. ROOSTER!!!!!!"

It's hard to imagine how the hens can resist such a luscious specimen of chickenhood! But sometimes, they do.

And now for something completely different. Today was Gordon's last day as a civil servant. Now he's starting a new chapter in his life, as a lawyer in private practice. I made him his favourite pizza-from-scratch as a reward. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Little cuties!

Look what I found in our cedar hedge yesterday:


Baby robins! And those little guys are almost ready to fledge. 

Spring has sprung. Now if only the rainy, crappy weather would improve!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dogs on the farm

Today we have a refreshing change from chickens, but tomorrow it's back to poultry. We've been having a lot of rainy, crappy weather this spring. The farmers are having trouble planting their fields and it is getting too late to plant corn. Our fields aren't planted yet either (we rent out 50 acres to a local farmer.) They are still too soggy to drive a tractor across.

This past Victoria Day weekend, we had a few hours of warmth and sun, but not much! The dogs took advantage of every second. Here's Tristan relaxing...







Sweet Sophie. She is 8-1/2 now and starting to show her age in fur, but she has not slowed down one iota! Tristan is the same age and I am noticing more changes in him, but he is a bigger dog and the bigger they are, the faster they age.

Sophie LOVES balls. This ratty old soccer ball has been hanging around the farm for several years now! It has survived numerous winters and is half deflated, but Sophie doesn't care.

This blue ball is one of her favourites.

She is excellent with the chickens, as is Tristan, but she didn't want them stealing her ball!

Sophie by the wood shed.

I love my girl. Quelle belle chienne!

Not a dog, but still pretty. This is the flowering plum tree we planted in memory of my friend Carol, who died in 2007 at the far-too-young age of 42. I wrote about her for the Globe and Mail's Lives Lived column, which you can read here. This tree is near my kitchen window, and every time I look at it, I think of Carol. It is so pretty when it blooms!

Stay tuned for a festival of chickens, coming soon...