Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bird House & Barn

... a Farm Report~

Sure, it's February, but one cannot assume that the month of February falls in winter. February 2015, here at the Bird House, will be recalled as the fairest summer in memory. No rain, so far. No blustery cold, nor excuse to don long underwear. Instead, beach weather, and parasols for shade. I stocked up on cold weather feed for our hens and goats... organic lay crumble with some bits of grain to keep the chicas insulated and content. The goats have a rich supply of alfalfa, a hay better suited for actual winter weather. The one nice thing about this unwinter is that the hens have decided to raise their egg production. I don't think the Marans laid anything in January. Now we are up from one or two eggs a day to four. This is a welcome increase. That's Mako Ameracauna in the goat cottage. She'll leave us a green egg, and later this afternoon, she will follow me into the garden, sit in my lap, ask for a treat. Only Mako and Little Debbie can fly over the fence. They are the wider open spaces free-rangers!

My sweet peas are lush and full {only leaves and stems, for now}, interspersed with the snapdragons that are in full spring bloom. I cannot wait to have sweet pea blossoms throughout the house. The orange trees and lemon are as white as they are green, with fragrant flowers, and fruit, too. The apple trees are blooming, the fig tree is waking up, fresh leaf buds are dotting its bare limbs.

You would think all this great weather would mean more fun in our Viking tent, but, alas, with the warmth came the mosquitos. Horrible bloodsucking wanton ladies of the dusk! They have been the bane of our festivities all our years here. Time for another mission to find out all the puddles and wet places... ironic plague for drought times. Do you want to know something special? You do? As long as we have lived here, we have imagined that our porch should be a covered, and screened porch, like Grandma Nancy's, in Wisconsin. More shade, no bugs, cats in, rain out, more open doors and windows, make space... it's been a favorite daydream and topic of wishful thinking. And now we are days away from commencing this big project... roofing the porch, building low walls, making screens, adding doors, and creating a space to escape hot summers, and rain {should it ever return,} an extension of the home so we can spread out our projects, and activities... we like to make things and we like to share and exchange ideas and events with friends. I am very excited about the prospect of all of this, and for the first time, I can actually muster some interest in the imminence of another hot summer. If we can add some cots {catres} then I will happily relive childhood Sonora summers, complete with chickens raising the sun.


warren said...

While I do not envy your mosquitoes, I dread getting out of bed to snow and below 0 temps. I am so jealous of flowers! I am still getting eggs though so I am pleased about that. Meh, spring will be here soon enough I suppose...

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Sorry... I meant to include: *Apologies to all my friends who are enduring an exceptionally genuine and bitter winter.*

Stay warm, be safe, enjoy those eggs!

Cindy Brick said...

Incredible -- sweet peas ALREADY!?!

Our 21 chickens (Black Australorps and a few bossy Rhode Island Reds) wrestle each other to stand in the food dish while they're eating...yours look much more dignified.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see your pretty little chicas it makes me miss mine. I've been buying eggs from local people, but their hens haven't been producing enough to sell, so I'm patiently waiting for longer days and an increase in the egg production.

Wouldn't it be nice if the areas of the country that get lots of precipitation could share some with the areas experiencing drought? It doesn't seem fair, somehow, that we can't.

I love having a screened porch. The one at our new house isn't quite as nice as the one on Bear Swamp, but still nice. The Bear Swamp one was actually a three-season room with real windows, and an old-fashioned blue and white tile floor. I had actual furniture, including a sofa long enough to sleep on. I would sometimes go out there in the summer and sleep when I couldn't sleep in my bed. It was big enough to have a table and chairs, so it was like having an extra family room off the kitchen in the summertime. Be sure and add a ceiling fan, if you don't already have one. They make ones for outside.

Your snapdragons are gorgeous! I love the violas, too. My mom always called them Johnny-jump-ups. :)