Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I love watching birds

Not much going on with the farm these days. It is cold and wet here, not great weather for working outside. Of course, not as cold and wet as it is in New England, where we grew up. As one brother-in-law from RI put it "I live in an igloo."

The animals are faring well despite the cold and rain. We did have one chicken die, probably from internal injuries sustained from a horse. The horses don't really notice when they step on the chickens.

The chickens we have left are not big enough to eat or lay eggs yet, so we are just feeding, feeding, feeding them. I so enjoy having them around. They are totally free range and we find them in all sorts of places. Amazingly, as far as we can tell, without exception they all pile into the chicken house each night.

One night I blocked them in to help keep the rain and wind from coming through their door (which is just an opening), and in the morning counted them as they poured out like a poultry waterfall. I was reassured, as the number I came up with seems like more chickens than we ought to have, given the number who have died at the hands of various mammals, ourselves included. So they are apparently not running off and eloping or giving themselves over to provide fine dining for the coyotes. Good news for us!

We do have a lot of songbirds coming through in large flocks these days. Just beautiful. I'm sure I'll feel differently once our garden is bearing, but right now it is enchanting to see dozens of bluebirds happily sitting in a tree in our backyard. I had never seen a bluebird until I moved here, and WOW! They are SO blue, with orange bellies. We see birds here that we had not seen before in Texas.

Because we are inside so much these days, we've been making plans to rearrange the house somewhat. This is exciting for me, as we are converting the current office into a school room, which will make managing our bajillion school projects, papers and books much easier.

We've also been enjoying visits from beloved out of town family members, and are soon to celebrate Farmer Boy's eighth birthday. Hard to believe.

Life is busy, and life is good.


Rurality said...

I love bluebirds too. We put up a house for them last year within sight of our kitchen window, and really enjoyed watching the babies grow up.

I usually count the chickens after they go up at night, to make sure we haven't had any more coyote incidents. (We started with 30 chickens and are down to 17 now.) And now since I once closed the coop door too early and left one stranded outside, my husband always asks, "Did you count them twice?" :)

Susan said...

I love the bluebirds also--when we moved here ( I've always been in Arkansas) I was enchanted by these teeny, twittery little birds that were a blue/purple--very deep and inky-blue looking. I had to look them up because I'd never seen them before--they are called Indigo birds and now I look for them when it starts to warm up--0ne of the highlights of springtime for me.
Well, that and the SUN! LOL
I have an order of 25 chicks and 15 ducklings that are supposed to ship Feb 23. this will be my first foray into ducks--anyone with advice, feel FREE to contact me! I needed to update our flock, as the 25 chickens we started out with had dwindled to 6 over the past 6 years--stray dogs took their toll, hawks, owls, and the "mystery feather pile" we discovered outside the coop one morning...