Friday, June 5, 2009

Wonders of the Week

There is something delightful, instructive and amazing happening every day. Here are a few of the things that tickled us this week...
Such as the tall blue alliums planted last fall that are now at their blooming peak.
This is how the two runner ducks and the chicken-that-thinks-he's-a-duck snuggle up every night to sleep. I 'd love to know how that chicken convinced the ducks it was a good idea for him to sleep between them atop their backs.
The runner ducks don't really care for swimming, but they do appreciate the wading pool as a drinking fountain.
While watering the seedlings, Cadence found the first dragonfly of summer - a beautiful coppery tan and blueish-green variety we hadn't seen before.
In other insect news, I found a cranefly by the back door. When I was a kid I loved these insects because they look like gigantic, impressive mosquitos but do not sting.
In the evenings after supper, Reuben and Lariat usually race around the perimeter of the pasture, over hill and dale, under fallen trees, through the chicken tractor obstacle course, at breakneck speed. It's rush hour and it makes us laugh.

Thurday evening we looked up from planting to see sundogs on either side of the sun (only one fit in this photo.) We didn't realize there could be sundogs in summer.
Shortly after that, a hot air balloon floated by, driving the dogs crazy but rekindling fond memories of three summers ago when Rog surprised me with a hot air balloon ride on our anniversary when I was broken. I was hoping the balloon might land in our yard - the chase car was even stopped out front - but I suspect we have too many trees and fences for a safe landing.
The recently-released, totally free-range chickens seem to be adapting well and enjoying their freedom. Freedom comes with risks, however. One chicken has met his demise - stepped on by the cow, we suspect - and two are limping from getting underfoot the cow. The 8-week-old roosters are getting pretty big now, but still a bit small for dinner.
Chicken farmers probably know this already, but it was a delightful discovery to us: When an errant hen strays too far from my laying hen flock, our (undeniably homely) rooster Chagall runs over, stretches out his right wing and sweeps her back into the group, precisely the way I use my outstretched arm to herd the chickens where I want them to go! I'll try to capture this rooster gesture in a photo someday.
The bees are working from morning when the sun first warms the hive until dusk. Watching the traffic logistics at the hive entrance is mesmerizing.
Ordinarily the bees fly smoothly in and out in a split second--pzoom! One morning as I watched many smaller bees were tumbling out of the hive, often landing upside down on the entrance approach, righting themselves and jerkily taking off. New workers taking their maiden flight, perhaps?
The peonies have begun blooming! So beautiful; so fragrant!


nikina said...

Beautiful !!!

mo'ikeha said...

After working seven days a week, your site felt like being on vacation - thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

Loverly post as always. Peonies! I am so jealous that you have them growing on your farm. Must be a delightful treat to see them bloomed in your yard. I love reading about all the animals on your farm.