Monday, December 14, 2009

Sick of Winter- Some Pics From Summer

I am already sick of looking at snow, so I dug out a few photos I had taken last summer. I am wishing it was spring and winter has barely started! Ugh!


I was very lucky one day when we were all out in the Jeep for a drive and happened to see this doe and her two fawns, and even luckier they stayed still while we turned around and then let me get a few shots!





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hen Sweater

I have quite a flock of free-range chickens on my farm- probably around 75 or so. My main breeds are Delaware, Rhode Island Whites, Cochins, and Buff Brahmas. I also have some Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. One of the problems with having roosters, (other than when the crow right outside the bedroom window) is that the hens they have chosen as their favorites, become bald along their backs. Some even end up with sores and with the upcoming winter, I have been concerned about them getting cold. So after a little research, I found the Little Hen Rescue's site, with patterns for hen sweaters out of fleece and knitting: http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/jumpers.aspx. Personally I prefer crochet, since I can complete projects quickly and I needed to make several sweaters. So I came up with a crochet pattern myself and have already made 4 hen sweaters. The hens get used to wearing clothing surprisingly quickly, and I hope this saves their backs and maybe they can regrow their feathers. I am posting my pattern if anyone has the same problem, just wants to put a sweater on their hen, or wants to make some to donate to the Little Hen Rescue.



Hen Sweater

Yarn: worsted weight
Hook: H/8 or size needed for gauge
Gauge: 14 sts = 4 1/8”. 12 rows = 4”.


Ch 29 loosely, leaving an 18 inch tail.
1) Sc in second chain from hook and in each chain across. Ch 1, turn. (28 sc)
2-4) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
5) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (26 sc)
6-8) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
9) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (24 sc)
10-12) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
13) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (22 sc)
14-16) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
17) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (20 sc)
18-20) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
21) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (18 sc)
22-24) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
25) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (16 sc)
26-28) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
29) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (14 sc)
30-32) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
33) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (12 sc)
34-35) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
36) Sc in each sc across. Ch 4, turn. Ch 4 counts as first treble crochet.
37) Tr in second and third sc. Sl st around post of last tr made. Sl st in next 7 sc. Ch 4, tr in last 2 sc. Ch 4, turn.
38) Tr in second and third tr. Ch 6. Tr in last three tr. Ch 1, turn.
39) Sc in each tr and chain across. Ch 1, turn. (12 sc)
40-41) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
42) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (14 sc)
43-45) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
46) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (16 sc)
47-49) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
50) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (18 sc)
51-53) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
54) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (20 sc)
55-57) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
58) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (22 sc)
59-61) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
62) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (24 sc)
63-65) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
66) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (26 sc)
67-69) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
70) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (28 sc)
71-74) Sc in each sc across. Cut yarn, leaving 18 inch tail.

Finishing: Fold in half, matching sides. Using yarn tails, stitch up the sides at the bottom about 3 inches, leaving the rest of the sides open for the wings. Weave in ends.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Birds! Birds! Birds!


I've taken a few pictures of birds on my recent hiking trips. Most common seem to be the red-winged blackbirds. They were really abundant in the prairies of Whitewater Canyon- that's where I snapped both of these shots.



Of course the robins are always plentiful as well. Though they don't seem to sit still long enough to get a good shot of them. This one sitting in a tree one day in Plum Creek Park cooperated with me:


This hawk was flying around as I was leaving Indian Bluffs. I was still very much in picture-taking mode, even though I had taken around 60 pictures while hiking. I just had to pull over and snap a shot of this one!



This pair of birds was running around the prairie area of Whitewater Canyon. I don't know what they are, so if anyone out there knows, please tell me. They were pretty quick- I had a hard time keeping up to them and trying to take their pictures!


This last one is a cardinal I caught checking out my front yard. I just happened to glance out the window and caught a flash of red. I was so happy that he stayed while I got my camera. Cardinals are one of my favorites!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wildflowers and Wilderness


I've been doing a lot of hiking lately, and have remembered to bring my camera with me. I have mostly been focused on taking pictures of wildflowers, but I've also gotten some good shots of birds, fungi, and trees.



One unfortunate side affect of all the hiking, is all the ticks I have brought home. I have had a total of nine wood ticks on me already this year. I got six of them on one hiking trip to Pictured Rocks alone! I really need to put a scarf around my dreads on these trips in the future! Here's one of the little buggers that I found in my hair while on the trail:

I have taken a boatload of pictures- I've got tons more for future posts. Plus, I entered a photo contest by the Jones County Conservation Board. I sent in four photos for that and the boys had to help me pick because I was having trouble whittling them down.

My husband had to work every day for the last week, so I didn't get out hiking. I can't wait for the boys to get a little older so that they can hike farther. Tate can go a decent ways, but walks really slowly on the way back. Sully's little legs won't take him really far, and a lot of parks don't have trails that will accommodate the stroller.


I'm going to keep a running list of all the parks I hike at this year. So far: Indian Bluffs, Pictured Rocks, Indian Hills, Plum Creek Park, Bailey's Ford, Milo Forest, and Pin Oak. Not a bad list for May!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baby Chicks!


We have some new babies at the farm again! This time it's baby chicks, fresh from the incubator. I now have 15 fuzzy little chicks in my camper, whose sole purpose is brooding chicks and ducklings, and occasionally housing baby goats and mamas.

The kids and I really enjoyed watching the chicks hatch; Sullivan in particular loves baby animals, so this was right up his alley. He was rather impatient though, he wanted me to just open the eggs! He also loves to talk to the chicks in their own language. He's very proficient at animal-speak. :)

I have already refilled the incubator for another hatch in about 3 weeks. I also plan to order some ducklings later this month. I only have 2 ducks left and I think they would like some company. With all the flooding we have been getting (again) around here lately, I think they are the happiest animals on the farm!

video

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my birthday! 31- though Tate keeps saying I'm 21- I like his better! Here's my two greatest accomplishments in the first 31:



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again!


I haven't posted for awhile! I hadn't realized it had been this long! The winter has been long and pretty boring, but the weather is getting nicer, and babies are being born! The trees are getting buds and my rhubarb is starting to peek out. Joe and I have been busy stockpiling wood for next winter and getting things done outside since the weather is cooperating.



It's hard to believe, but we've already had some minor flooding this year. The creek has been out it's banks four times already. It was really strange to have the flood waters freeze when it was really cold. Hopefully that's the worst of it, all the snow has melted, so hopefully last year's events won't repeat themselves.


I walked out to the barn to collect eggs Saturday morning and discovered Hester had had two kids. The doeling is mostly white with a little black and the buckling is mostly black with a little white. They are such little sweethearts and love laying the sunshine and playing outside. The doeling likes to nibble my chin, but the buckling calls for mama the whole time I hold him.



Last night I heard a baby goat crying and thought one of Hester's babies got stuck somewhere or couldn't find their way back to the barn, but when I got there, I found that Helga had also had two babies! I haven't checked the sex yet, but one is mostly silver and the other mostly white. Very cute!


I just checked on them this morning when I collected eggs and everyone is doing great! It's so nice to have baby goats again! I lost a few goats over the winter, so the new life in the barn renews the spirits!

The boys are happy to be able to play outside again, too! Laying around on the couch watching Annie and playing with their Legos and trains is getting old. Well, maybe not the watching Annie part, they can't seem to get enough of that movie!

I've finished tons of crochet projects over the winter to post, so check back later!