Sunday, March 31, 2013

My little Easter eggers!

We went to a bird auction in Alfred yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. I was determined to get some blue-egg laying hens, and I succeeded. but I am still not entirely sure what they all are. 

Well, I do believe these three are true Araucanas, as advertised...

Yes, that's a rooster in the middle. We don't NEED another rooster, but they came as a breeding trio and  I suppose I could have them make Araucana babies. One of the girls laid a blue egg in her crate on the drive home. No names yet!

Really pretty birds!

Now these two were labelled "Araucana" BUT  the auctioneer said they were Ameraucana, and I tend to agree with that. Any of you chicken people have an opinion? 

One of these girls also laid a blue egg in her crate on the trip home!


This girl is so striking and a really lovely-looking chicken.

I am easing this guy into the pecking order. He's very handsome too.

Just a blur of chicken!

Beauty queen!

So glad to have some of these blue-eggers at last. I would like some Maran hens now, to lay dark brown eggs.

And here's my Partridge Chantecler Zydeco. He is a nice rooster, but huge...

...and EXTREMELY amorous. He's like a big raping dustmop in the chicken coop! But not very high in the rooster pecking order. 

Unlike this guy...

I think Watson may be boss, or at least second to the throne. 

But my Chantecler rooster McGuinty... a sweet bird who sits at the bottom of the rooster heap and rarely gets his girls. He likes to hang out with his rooster buddy Lord Gaga, and they sleep next to each other on a perch every night.

I figured I hadn't put up any chicken photos for a while. Enjoy. Next up: ducks!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Easter... chicken!

My international chicken superstar, Charlotte, met the Easter bunny last weekend!

"Oh hello. Who the heck are you?"

Our local animal shelter, the Stormont Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA, was holding a fundraiser, "Easter Pet Pics." They specifically requested I bring Charlotte down. As you may recall, Charlotte has now had her photo taken with Santa twice at similar fundraisers!

"Daisies... if they were real, I could snack on them!"

Sophie, who works at the shelter, took lots of great photos of Charlotte and emailed them to me.

"Hmmm. They LOOK really. And I AM hungry!"

"Make sure you get my  best side!"

Poor Charlotte always seems to be looking raggy when I take her for photos.  She's moulting and has a naked head to boot.

She wore her little denim "chicken saddle" down for the pics.

Most of the ducks and chickens are looking a little threadbare after a long winter, but they should be getting nice new feathers soon!

"I did not lay these freaks. Must have been one of those Easter-egger hens."

Charlotte had a great time and was totally relaxed. She really seems to enjoy these outings. She perched on one lady's arm for a good ten minutes. She also made a toddler very happy. The little girl came to have her photo taken, but was afraid of the bunny and started crying. So I took Charlotte out of her cage, and voilà! The little girl broke out in smiles.She had photos taken with Charlotte next to her in the basket, instead of with the big scary bunny. It was adorable.

And Charlotte thought the big bunny was just fine!

Spring has sprung here. The snow is steadily melting, and today my bees were flying all over the place. At one point, Gordon cracked open his office window and three honey bees flew right in. I think they were attracted to the potted daffodil on his windowsill. I shooed them out again and we shut the window. I will be glad when the dandelions come out and there's something for my bee girls to eat out there.

Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The cat approves

Our new duvet cover set arrived today, to replace the one wrecked by our cats worn out after six years. I am really happy with it. 

It was on the bed for 30 seconds before Alex came to check it out. He has to haul himself up the side of our high boxspring and mattress set, because he can't jump that high with his three legs (unlike Emily, who jumped up on our tall chest of drawers last night, over four feet straight up!)  He's not unlike an Everest climber using crampons on an ice sheet. Charming.

"Oooh, hello, what's THIS?"

"Smells new! Should I pee on it?"

"Nah, I'll have a bath instead."

"Oh look, Emily just came in the room."

"All right then. I give it my kitty paw of approval!"

We'll see how long it lasts...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A very sad day

I was saddened today to hear that my dear bloggy friend Shaun Downey, aka Jams O'Donnell, died suddenly on Friday evening. Although I never met Shaun in person, I truly enjoyed chatting with him online (via Facebook and our blogs; his was The Poor Mouth) and he was a fine man. I regret not having had the chance to meet him in person.

Not only was he thoughtful and thought-provoking blogger, he was a wonderful, creative photographer. We often talked about his photography. He had just recently launched a new photography website, although you can see lots more of his wonderful photos scattered throughout his blog.

He was also a lover of cats and had a fine selection of adored kitties, including his newest addition, a young kitty named Jack.

On top of that, Shaun was quite the poet. He was the winner of my Hen Haiku contest and and also a winner in my Duck Limerick Contest. He has an excellent and refined sense of humour, and a real way with words. Truly he was a fellow artist: intelligent, thoughtful and creative.

We were more or less the same age and his passing was completely unexpected, and a devastating blow to his wife Shirley, his parents, sister, and friends and other loved ones left behind. I know my bloggy friends Claude and Andrew and Sean will also be missing Shaun very much.

It's amazing how someone you've never met in person can have such an effect on your life. Shaun lived in England, but I know he touched many people around the world. A light has gone out for us.

Our friend Andrew posted Shaun's pic on his blog today, and I am doing the same...

Shaun, thank you for the good online chats, and for all the laughs you gave us with your poetry, and the beauty you added to the world with your photography and your writing.

Life is short, sometimes far too short. Please hug your loved ones, and don't put off doing the important things in life. I am glad Shaun was able to spend so much time working on his photography recently, because I believe it was something that gave him much joy.

And I will end this with a smile, and Shaun's fabulous Hen Haiku that made us all laugh so hard when we read it...

Hens are in revolt
We sisters need roosters like
fish need bicycles

 We are shedding more than a few tears for you this weekend.
 I will miss you, Shaun.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Getting there!

Almost a year later, we are getting towards the end of the renos in the house.

One of the bigger jobs was the staircase... 

Ugly carpet. So much to change!

And Tristan didn't help...

...he decided to gnaw on the poorly-installed drywall!

First the carpet came off.

Then the floors were all stripped and refinished.

Walls were painted and we got a new shelving unit built.

Then the pièce de  résistance. Our friend Tammy stripped and refinished the bannister...

She will killing me for posting her picture, but she looks great and so does the staircase. Sophie loves Auntie Tammy.

Then the walls and stairs were painted...

And the wainscoting put in and painted. So happy with all the results!

Now the kitchen is being done.

Goodbye, wallpaper! After this, the only wallpaper left will be in my office, and it's going too.

The wallpaper is being painted over, because it's a can of worms under there. Panelling on some walls, unfinished drywall on others, 105-year-old plaster on others!

And we had French doors and a wall put over the piano room entrance so we can get a pull-out couch and use it as an extra guest room.

It's been a long haul but we're getting there. Still want to get all the downstairs floors refinished. Old houses!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ah, spring....

First day of spring!

We got slammed with a big snowstorm yesterday. I swear there's almost a foot of new snow. Huge drifts all over the place.

We've had our laneway plowed out twice in the past 24 hours.

But it IS very pretty!

Beautiful sunrise over the snow this morning.

Meanwhile, in Squirrelville...

This little guy has odd white patches of fur all over him. Or maybe he lost his top coat of red fur in those spots? Anyway, I see him regularly.

He managed to find himself some birdseed!

Emily contemplates breakfast.

"Please break the window for me? Please??!"

Happy spring!