Monday, February 11, 2013

Bird House & Barn

... a Farm Report

This log has been in our yard since our first year at the Bird House. One tree in the front yard was growing too close to the house, and because the roots were raising the foundation, we had to take it out. It gave us room to plant our orchard of fruit trees, fire wood for three years, and this marvelous log.

Maaa-arvelous! Says Ada Lovelace Goat.

It's been a piece to contemplate. A piece to admire, to stand on, jump off, roll around, sit on, and observe. Goats love it. Chickens love it. People love it.

The bark fell off, and the chickens raided it for beetles and crawly snacks. And most recently, Alex decided to make something of it. Alex and Max have been taking turns, casually going at it with a hatchet, with chisels and mallet. And, they've been getting a lot of "help."

First, the chickens came around and caught the last of the crawly snacks that were shaken and bounced out of the log. They were eager to investigate and mill around, too, which definitely slowed the pace down. It also made for some awkward moments. Picture hens running to a wood block, as a hatchet is swinging. Most hens would know to run the other direction!

Maria has been a helper, too. Fortunately, she takes direction well, and knows how to use tools. She knows that the plan is to make this log into a bench, with a shallow back support, and a cup holder on one end.

But by far the most enthused helpers have been the goats. They run in, with gusto, and no sense of boundaries, safety, or common sense whatsoever. Not much has changed, since they were wee goats, and more than eager to be in the middle of projects... especially when tools are involved! Actually, one key difference: Now they are much bigger!

Bigger, and pushier, and more insistent.

Nothing makes Tasha and Ada happier than being in the family mix. And whatever we are doing, they are eager to emulate, as best they can. Obviously Tasha could see that this is a job that requires persistent force.

Both goats nibble on the wood chips. Goats will eat bark, but the wood chips are like chewing gum. They pick up piece after piece, chew, smack, chew some more than pfttt! They never tire of this. And there a lot of wood chips!

But, like I said they are eager to do what we do, and so they don't give up trying to figure out what our purpose is. They look for any way to participate. No matter how awkward the task, they willingly make a go of it.

Chisel? Allow me.
When we closed the toolbox, Tasha tried taking the tools from Alex, then Maria. After Alex scraped up several curls of wood, I suggested he see if Tasha would remove them.

She understood, and gingerly pulled up each curl of chiseled wood. Tug-tug-chew-chew-spit, and repeat!

Stubborn as a goat is a quality that can be useful, in the right circumstances. Thank you Tasha.

Next she hoofed the wood, as though she were giving it a nice polish! Thank you Tasha. I cannot be the only who thinks this is rather adorable.

What we would really like is a log long enough to carve out a canoe... a really cool canoe. I think it would be marvelous, even if we couldn't use it. I imagine sitting in it, watching Moonrise Kingdom.

This is our land!
Yes, it is!

These are our goats! Yes, they are!

Ada is not as handy with a chisel as Tasha, but she would like to help with the mallet.

Hello, Betty! The chickens are well. They are probably about as adjusted to living in a garden bed converted to a rabbit hutch, then adapted for chickens as they will ever be. Their best days are when we are home, outdoors and they can free range the Bird House yard.

In May, Betty will be five years old.
And yes, there will be a party.

We heard you, says Tasha. Goats love a party, too.

Good afternoon, Shebot. Her father was a Polish Duke, and her mother was a white Silky Princess.

She is pretty, and fast, and smart, just like the mini-bots she was named for.

And here is our miracle bird. Two full years recovered from the nearly fatal bobcat attack. I still cannot believe what we went through to save her. Never underestimate what a chicken can survive! Of course, it would still be nice if they would stay clear of swinging hatchets.


warren said...

Yes on the canoe! That would be awesome! Cool on Maria for learning about tools too! Girls who know tools are so cool!

Terry said...

Wait a sec... the goats are loose in the yard? Do you not have rosebushes? Blueberries? Apple trees? They love apple trees. Mine only get out on leashes, and even then they have perfected the sneaky creep so that when I'm not paying attention, there we are! Next to the (fast disappearing) rose bushes. Yours obviously have a lot to learn :)

judy in ky said...

I love your little farm. The animals are adorable. It looks like so much fun.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Right? Trouble is trees, around here, are hard to come by.
Tools are cool!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

The rosebushes are hard pruned, at the moment. The beetles ate our blueberry bushes! Our orchard is in the front yard... mostly safe from hungry goats. Our guava bushes... they are, unfortunately, getting too much goat attention! Loose goats are a gamble, and we do see a share of damages, and chaos, but most things growing in our backyard are local/xeriscape or too hearty to be destroyed by their occasional forays. Our next garden chore is to transplant the roses to the front yard. I love roses, and hope they like their new home, because keeping the roses safe from the goats is a losing battle!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Fun and folly! But I must love it, too... or why else would I be so amused!?

ArtyZen said...

Such gorgeous photos! Love them! Axxx