Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Last Week's Photos from Shirley's World

Early last week we spent a day at the barn with the horses.  Michele took this of me unwrapping a candy for Preacher.  I have his full attention!!

The chicken's garden

Putting netting on my vegetable garden to try to deter the deer!

I little added dust bathing "room" for my chicks who are 4 weeks old and growing fast!
Their names are "officially", Muffy, Violet, Suzie, Blanche, Rose and Coco.

My forest of ferns.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Some Weeds Are Really Wild Flowers.

Yes, this is the first one we think of.
The beautiful dandelion.
One of the first flowers of the spring and the scourge of some people that want those perfect lawns.
A lot of money is spent trying to kill these beauties with poison weed killers.
I've developed a whole new love of dandelions since I've let my back property go wild and I have chickens that love to eat them.  The greens are eatable and can be used in salads.
Look at all those seeds waiting for a breeze to plant themselves and give me more beautiful flowers!

Here are some other "wild things" I found just walking around my yard.
These are the flowers of the creeping ground ivy.  Or as my father used to call it "creeping Joe".
Yes, it spreads like crazy but you have to admit it looks very pretty in the spring.

I found some wild strawberry too.

And the beautiful little wild violets.

So take a walk and look carefully.  There's beautiful flowers everywhere.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Life with Baby Chicks

I'm sorry I haven't gotten menus on the last couple Mondays
I fell and injured my knee and wasn't doing much or anything till the past couple days.
See the whole story on my other blog.
The link is there on the right or you can just click here:

Anyway, my baby chicks came just 3 days after my accident but I managed to have someone drive me to the post office and I picked them up.
Here they were when they first arrived:
Just little puff balls.
Sorry about the red (that's the heat light) and it's blurry because they don't hold still for pictures!

They are already growing so fast and are 2 wks. old today.
Here's their photo-shoots!

Muffy, the easter egger, was the first to flutter to the top of the water container!

Out of the brooder for a little exercise.

This is Suzie (a light brahma)

a barred rock (no name yet)

Brought some grass and weeds in for them to peck through.

Three little fluffy butts

There's Muffy again.  Getting her wing feathers the fastest.

They'll be almost too big for the brooder box by next week so I've ordered a Puppy play pen!!
It's supposed to come tomorrow.
I saw that a few chicken people have used it and loved to so we'll see. 
I'm not sure were it will fit because it's 45 inches in diameter!!
I'll show it to you when it comes.
I have picked names for 3 of them so far, (Suzie, Violet and Muffy),  but I need 3 more names.
So if you have any ideas let me know in the comments!

Everyone should have chickens!
They are so much fun (with benefits!!)


(I will attempt to get my menus together and posted by next Monday.
I've been a lame chicken mama and just eating helter-skelter!  : ))

Monday, April 18, 2016

Menu Monday April 18th - April 24th

April 18th - April 24th

Breakfast:  Navel orange, overnight oats
Lunch:  Cottage cheese and peaches
Supper:  Turkey burger and canned yams, salad

B:  Pancakes and eggs
L:  Boost (working outside)
S:  Pizza, applesauce

B:  Navel orange, overnight oats
L:  Scrambled eggs and hash-browns
D:  Homemade chicken soup (from freezer), yams

B:  Cold cereal and banana
L:  Tomato soup and toast
D:  Spaghetti with sauce

B:  Overnight oats and fruit
L:  Chicken soup
D:  Frozen fish, sweet potato fries and snap peas

B:  French toast
L:  Tomato soup
D:  Left over Pizza and applesauce

B:  Waffles and eggs
L:  Left-overs
D:  Left-overs  (Clean out the fridge day)

Added note:
My baby chicks are coming next Monday, the 25th!!!
Watch for the posts about them with lots of photos!!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Hummingbird

This is a re-post from April of last year.  Since April is the time when the hummingbirds return here, I thought it was appropriate to take another look.

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

These are the amazing tiny birds that migrate up to the eastern part of the US to breed every season.
They weigh well under an ounce.
They can fly as fast as 60 mph and can maneuver forwards, backwards, up and down and can hover in one place by making their wings flutter in a figure eight movement.
They winter in Mexico and Central America!!
Imagine something so tiny traveling that far!!!
And they usually come back to the same exact breeding ground and most of the time the same feeders!
The sound made by their rapidly moving wings gives them their name.
Some people are concerned for this creature because of their small size but hummingbirds are actually quite hardy.  
They are feisty and fearless and will definitely defend their territories.  They are solitary creatures and are not often seen in large groups.  At feeders and around their nests they can be extremely aggressive and will chase other birds.

The adult male has the red throat and slightly forked tail.
The red is actually not a pigmented color but depends on the light and can sometimes appear black.  Both sexes have the iridescent green back.
The hummingbirds usually appear in Ohio from mid to late April.  I always try to have my feeders out by April 15th.
Hummingbird feeders are increasingly popular with Ohio residents and many people believe they have the same birds coming back every year.  Banding experiments prove this can be correct but many new ones also come.
Peak activity periods at feeders are early morning and late evening.  Many see increased activity before and after thunderstorms also.

Reproduction and Nesting

The ruby-throated hummingbirds are polygamous and the male and female only associate during mating.  The females build the nests, incubate the tiny, usually two, eggs till they are hatched and fledge.  (What a gal!!)
The young hatch in 14-16 days and will fledge about 21 days after hatching.
The hummingbirds nest is amazing.
It is so tiny, about the size of a ping-pong ball.
The inside is made of soft cotton and plant down and then plant parts are woven and intertwined with spiderweb silk to hold it all together.  Plant lichen is stuck to the sticky silk on the outside to camouflage it making it almost impossible to find.

I hope you will be so lucky as to attract some hummingbirds to your house.  
Put those feeders out there along with some flowers that they collect nectar from.

Favorite Plants For Attracting Hummingbirds

FuchsiaBee BalmCoral HoneysuckleButterfly Bush
ImpatientsCannaCypress VineFlowering Quince
JacobianaCardinal FlowerMorning GloryLantana
JewelweedCoral BellsScarlet RunnerManzanita
PetuniaFour O'ClocksTrumpet CreeperMimosa
SalviaFoxgloveCanary creeperRed Buckey
Shrimp PlantHostaCarolina jasmineTree Tobacco
SnapdragonLupineGlory vineTurks Cap
NicotianaColumbineCypress vineWeigela

Good Luck.
They are the most amazing little birds.


Added note:  Here's a YouTube video of a Nature Documentary on the World of the Hummingbird that is just fantastic.
Hope you take the time to watch it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Past Vegetable Gardens

When we first moved out to this house and I got my gardens underway, I had some great big vegetable gardens and worked on establishing perennial gardens all around.
These are some of my vegetable gardens probably in mid-summer.
They were a lot of work and I was really the sole gardener.  
My husband never had that gene!
Of course I was younger then!!
My 4 X 8 raised garden beds now, pale in comparison!

This was June 17th, 2009

Just some of the weekly produce from that garden!!

Here's another spring planting.
The date on this was April 30th, 2000

Same garden June 26th, 2000

Gardening is like a miracle happening before your very eyes.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Menu Monday April 11th - April 17th

April 11th - April 17th

MONDAY:  4/11
Breakfast:  Navel orange, overnight oats
Lunch:  Potato pancakes with peaches
Supper:  Roasted chicken, potato and veg.

TUESDAY:  4/12
B:  Potato pancakes and egg
L:  Pizza
S:  Turkey burger and broccoli 

B:  Overnight oats and fruit
L:  Chicken soup
D:  Roasted chicken with gravy and veg.

B:  French toast (spelt bread)
L:  Chicken soup
D:  BLT salad

FRIDAY:  4/15
B:  Navel orange and overnight oats
L:  Vegetable omelet
D:  Fish, broccoli and sweet pot. fries

B:  Gluten free pancakes and egg
L:  Eat at barn
D:  Mac & cheese and green salad

SUNDAY:  4/17
B:  Overnight oats with fruit
L:  left overs
D:  left overs, clean out fridge

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