Natural History Notes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

eggs ... and more eggs...

I e-mailed pretty much all my close friends and family, but I guess I forgot to post it here.

On Tuesday 3 January 2012 about 4pm I found AN EGG in the wicker chair in the hay under the chicken roost. A beautiful pale brown, 1.7 ounce egg. There was another on Thursday, and every day till Sunday. Monday she took off.

Then on Tuesday 10 January, there were TWO eggs, as younger chicken joined in. Now I am getting two on most days, with occasionally a single.

I have tried to get them to lay in the nice dark sheltered box. I have put hay in there, and a fake egg, and even a real egg. No. They want to lay in the hay under the roost, and that's all there is to it. It's OK, as long as I remember to go up every afternoon and check, so that no eggs are there lying in the nest under the roost overnight.

Amy was here last week and got some nice pictures of the girls in the morning sun. She also got to watch big chicken lay an egg.
Of course, she couldn't see through the hen, but she could tell what must be happening, and gave me a play by play. Tail going up and down. Hen pulling around pieces of hay. And sure enough, when big chicken got up, where there had been one egg, there were two.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

hello, 2012

Sunday 1 January 2012

Last week CoServ came rolling across the garden and into the back yard with an ENORMOUS truck, and cut down my dead oak tree. BEFORE it fell on the electric drop from the transformer.

I'm happy about that. But the black vultures won't be. They will have to find somewhere else from which to survey the countryside.

There was a pretty good freeze last night -- the surface of the bird bath was pretty well iced, though Alabaster seemed to be able to drink from it around 8am. Cold tongue, brrrr! Agate declined to go out till after 10, when it had warmed up into tho 40°s.

There is unlikely to be another freeze for at least a week, and also little chance of precipitation. I will try to get both Eddie and Steve organized to cover up the playhouse roof next Saturday. Listening to Michael Pollan read his A Place of My Own audiobook has motivated me to try and save my “hut in the woods,” though I am unsure of its future. [update -- I spoke to Eddie about noon today as I post this, that is, Jan 8, and he got the tarp on]

Yestorday Eddie did a real nice job of replacing the short fence segment that CoServ rolled over (buried in briers as it was) at the sw corner of the garden. He made a wire-gate wide enough for a vehicle, if needed. There is a lightweight white plastic post in the center of the opening part that both makes the gate-span visible, and can be easily removed to allow a pickup through for access to the back of the house.

This shows the new section of fence, as well as my volunteer mustard greens in the garden. They came up after it started to rain this fall, and I have been nibbling away on them, picking 4-6 leaves at a time. The chickens like them, too ;-)

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