Thursday, February 02, 2012

This is Winter!

Happy Groundhog day!
Feliz Día de Land Beaver!
Merry Whistle-Pig Day!
Good Imbolc, to you and all of your kin.

Last night, Groundhog Eve, if you will, we had an unexpected and welcome encounter with nature, when there was a neighborhood power outage.

Sudden darkness. What a thrill! We scrambled around, opening our smart phones, which was not very natural, but it was seriously very dark and we needed a bit of help to find matches and candles. Once we had enough candle power going, the fun began in earnest. We wanted it to last all night. We wanted it to be widespread. We wanted school to be canceled! What we got was a little less than an hour of being in the same room, enjoying the same amusements, and time to reflect on our anti-zombie fortifications.

So, it seems we are in for six more weeks of winter. Well. Not much to complain about, here. Goodness. We've hardly had any winter to speak of. It's been all blue skies, and cool nights, breezes, beach side burritos, and flowers blooming. Personally, I would welcome the break from yard maintenance provided by a nice deep snowfall, but the most we can hope for is rainfall. Rain would be nice.

Not for Zleda, though. She looks frightful in the rain, when all her fluff gets muddy, and droops. But, rain or shine, she loves to be afield.

Here comes Puff, with her daughter, Kamen, a step behind. All the chicas are out, and loving our barely winter weather.

Photographing chickens? Not really very easy. They are on the move. So even though this is a bit out of focus, I love the poultry in motion, of She-Bot, the mini bot, dashing across the green.

Well, Chango. What do you think? Spring won't be here for quite some time. And you will have to endure these days as best you can. Nights, well... those will pass with you sleeping between my feet, curled 'round yourself, snoring.

And you, Benjamin Franklin Thunder Cat, Cowboy and Explorer? How much more of this can one kitty take?

No more bobcat attacks, thank goodness. Hopefully, this is the result of our new security measures, and the effects will be lasting. Bobcats and coyotes are more nature than I want at the Bird House Farm.

The chicas are happy, and calmer, too, now that Son of Zoltar has been relocated. I was very sad to let go of our last little rooster. He was nice enough to us people, but he was getting really abusive with Betty. She was becoming a battered and fretful hen.

These days, our most exciting chica events are about finding their eggs. They do lay in their box, but they also find new crannies and spaces where they like to nest. So, some days we get to enjoy an egg hunt. Even the youngest chicas are laying, now. The three baby hens are called Penny, and Little Debbie, and Little Debbie. The Debbies look just exactly alike. The sweeties-pies.

Little Debbie, is that your tiny, brown egg?

Today we will bake something in honor of the long winter ahead.
Does anyone, please, have a chocolate-beet cake recipe?
Or zucchini-chocolate cake, please?

This sweetie pie is Penny, as shiny, coppery, and small as a lucky penny. She is the chic-petite daughter of Zoltar and Zelda.

Still filling in her feathers, but her limp is almost imperceptible. I need to find the picture Maria drew of Kamen battling the bobcat, and all the other chicas cheering for their fearless sister.

Puff, with stuff in her fluff. She seems to kind of take after me, and is never quite as tidy as her sister hens.

Weazie Ratty-Rat doesn't mind winter, as long as her house can stay in the garage, where she is warmer. In summer she will enjoy cooler nights sleeping on the porch. Sanka's new bunny loft is still the best in luxury lodging. She is as happy as ever.

Many of our trees are blooming, and we planted a guacamole tree. I don't know how long it will be before we are picking avocados, but I know it will be worth the wait. My copy of Free-Range Chicken Gardens arrived, and I have been enjoying it, very much. I'll share my thoughts soon. And hey, you still have time to enter the Timber Press contest, and win a book, seeds, and chicas of your own.

What have you done lately, today, to enjoy nature, to relish your own climate, season, and local weather? After school today, we will enjoy some more of this Groundhog Day, and our delight in making something of nothing. I hope you find reasons to celebrate, too.


Alison said...

You have a catalog-worthy crew of cluckers, there. I have not before today fully appreciated the soft downiness of your puffy chicas. And your lawn looks fabulous. Even the little buttercups and clover flowers simply add to the picturesque-ness.

I will not see Miss Chef before the weekend, but will try to remember to ask if she can conceive of a chocolate-zucchini or -beet recipe. (Though I don't really like beets, that does sound like a promising combination to me...)

judy in ky said...

That's a handsome group of chicas you have there. I'm happy to see Kamen looking so well. You do seem to have perfect weather there, with everything blooming and growing even in winter. Our winter is being incredibly nice to us so far, and we are simply enjoying it by going outside with a light jacket or sweater, and no need for snow boots or fur-lined trooper hats. Happy Groundhog Day! If winter stays like this, I won't mind another six weeks.

Janece said...

I haven't tried it yet - but have heard from friends that this is a recipe well worth trying:

Your chickens are such delights and your handsome kitties! Oh my! Such riches you boast... these only being the tip of the iceberg! :)

Donna said...

Right now, I'm just wishing I had chickens! Those pictures made me so happy it's crazy!

Miriam said...

I would like a t-shirt with Kamen's photo and an inspiring slogan about sisters sticking up for each other, not depending on a rooster but doing it for themselves. Hey....wasn't that a song? Anyway, Kamen is my hero, and I am thrilled that she is recovering from her injuries.

aka Jules said...

As I sit down to write this... the snow is falling outside. We have had quite the warm weather last month... 60 degrees and sunshine... (let's not talk about the wind... I"m trying to forget the 90mph gusts). and this afternoon when the sun came out from behind the clouds it was 40 and beautiful.. but this afternoon at the grocery store, bare veggie shelves, the meat counter bustling... a harbinger of what's to come. A winter storm warning with 18 inches expected means that the little snow that I see outside now is nothing... and it's coming down... wet, heavy snow. Winter is back. Meanwhile, I see blooms in your chicken yard. I will make a snow angel for you tomorrow! :)

"poultry in motion"... so witty! and it's true, taking photos of chickens isn't easy!


Alison said...

I'm back. I stayed up too late last night, until Miss Chef got home, and remembered to mention the veggie-chocolate cakes. She didn't seem to share my enthusiasm at beet/chocolate, but brightened and said she actually has a recipe for zucchini chocolate cake! It's at school, and she won't be back there 'til Monday, but I'm sure the hens will keep on a'layin 'til then.

warren said...

I should not be able to walk outside sans jacket but I have been doing just that all week!!!

Auburnchick said...

Hi Chickenblogger, I stumbled across your blog and had to drop in and say hello. I'm a fellow chicken lady and I can sympathize with the bobcat attack. I lost a handful of hens a couple summers ago to Mr. (or Miss?) Bobcat and it was both incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking. Those cats are SMART.

I recently ran across a lovely looking beet-chocolate cake recipe over at Joy the Baker blog: