Sunday, January 18, 2009

Good Morning Lucy!

(all photos clickable)

I hope the elves have been busy last night
and that if I lift the cover
I will find all the scraps sewn together!

I'm chicken, so I don't look.
I leave everything covered and head outside to face the leaves.

But first I check the nest boxes
and find
3 eggs!
Good girls!

They are starting to lay 3 to 4 eggs a day.
I would like to take the wooden eggs out of the nest boxes
but there are still a couple of hens that have bare spots.
They were laying from 8 to 12 eggs a day.
I really don't know if the wooden eggs
have anything to do with slowing egg production
and increasing feather production,
but it seemed to work.

I give the eggs to my daughter to put in the fridge

(the library is closed because of a holiday and
she is home studying for her Japanese class)

so I don't have to take my boots off to go in the house.
Put them on, take them off,
I avoid all that whenever I can.

Then I pick up the rakes and shovel and head off into the woods.
I thought you might like to see the rakes.
It took me a long time
 to find just the right kind of rakes that work for me.

The silver rake is my rock rake.
The round tines grab the leaves but
slip around and over the rocks quite well.

The green rake is my dirt rake.
The flat tines will hold and move a lot
of leaves and dirt.
But, it will lift way too many rocks off my driveway.

See those bare sticks?
They are the reason I started the whole path business.
That is how poison oak looks in the winter.

My dogs would run through the stuff
and I would have the worst cases of poison oak. Yuk!

So, I had the bright idea of clearing away the paths
that the dogs had made around the property.
This worked!
The dogs ran around the paths.
Well, except for the squirrel herding.
And the chicken herding.
Anyway, I was hooked making paths.

Be careful, if you see bare sticks like those
stay away
because you can still get poison oak from them.

I think you have seen enough photos of me raking paths
so here is just one photo of a finished path.
From one corner of the property to the next.
This is a short side.
Three sides to go, but they are easier
because they are really just narrow paths.

I'm quitting for the day
but Morgan is still on the job.
She is one quarter Australian Shepherd
and three quarters Border Collie.
It is hard wired into her to stay on the other side from me
with the chickens in the middle.
See her? Behind the tree.

I am going to have to do a chicken post
and tell you about what breeds of chickens we have.

Also, I have to do a bear post
because my daughter said that I got my facts
about the bear encounters mixed up.
And I'll tell you about
her hitting the bear
in the head with a metal dog food pan.
"You. Hit. The. Bear?"
"You hit the bear with what?"

This year my husband is helping with the leaves
and is using a leaf blower to move them
off the rocks.

(I have to tell you a secret...
I really like to rake the leaves because I enjoy it
and because it is great exercise.
So, I never asked him to help.
He does the roof and the gutters.)

He has got a bunch of the leaves
over here by the chicken coop.
I can use the leaf shovel to scoop these away.

Morgan would like the chickens in the pen
to come out so she can herd them
with the others.
Well, she tries, but the chickens don't all like to stay together
and split up into groups and go their different ways.
Which makes her a bit upset.

Before I went in the house I checked the coop
and found one more egg.
Pretty brown egg!

Boy, are the girls messy eaters or what?
The boards and metal are laid down outside
against the pen 
to slow down any critter
who would try and dig their way inside.
The only time I really worry is when we all leave
and Morgan is in the house
and the chickens are locked up without her protection.

If a large bear really wanted to get into the coop
he could just rip the door off with no problem.
But, the coop is very close to the house
and we have only been bothered by small young bears.

Farther up in the mountains there are larger coyotes
who work in packs and will take dogs as prey.
So far, we just have the smaller variety.
I hope the big guys stay up there.

I heard  a mountain lion up the road,
but I never saw him
and I haven't heard him in years.

I get back to the house...
I remove the cover and find
that the elves were not at home last night

there are still a lot of bits of fabric
that need to be sewn together.

I don't plan on ever doing this again.
From now on I will cut my scraps into strips and squares
and file them in my new storage drawers.

So far, I have enough fabric sewn for 20 blocks
but I think I will try for 30.
I'll keep sewing.


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