Sunday, May 1, 2011

Today's Pictures...

Today we missed church and a birthday party because Joshua was feeling a bit under the weather. We didn't know if it was a cold or allergies so we decided to play it safe and not expose anyone else. Turns out it was/is a cold as Mama is coming down with it as well.

But, on the bright side, no one is terribly ill and the boys and I had a Lovely day together. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for the first day of May:-)

I had a fun surprise first thing this morning! We have a pair of ravens that calls this area home. I love them and think they are fascinating, and would Love the get their pictures! But, they are also wary of humans and Very smart. I've been relatively close to the juveniles when they start exploring, they are not as skittish as the adults and evidently think humans are rather fascinating themselves. They still don't get very close, although I've had one circle me before, possibly trying to figure out what sort of creature was walking in his woods. Another time I sat and listened to one practicing his various noises in a tree above our chicken coop.

The adults, however do not let me even as close as that. If they are outside they fly off as soon as the front door cracks and don't come back! So, this morning when Joshua mentioned a large bird landing in the compost bin I grabbed my camera without much hope. I shot two quick shots out the window...

And one through the open door!!! First time ever:) I don't know if you can tell here, but he's a big one. (When we visited Momma Bug last July I woke up the first morning hearing ravens outside. I looked the window to see three of them perched on Nate's bike, pecking at the shiny parts. They took off the moment they saw movement at the window though, so no pictures of them either)
I tip-toed outside and crouched in the driveway with my camera ready. Eventually I spotted him again... And of course, he had his eye on me and no intention of getting anywhere near :-)

This little guy was more obliging though. I don't know what he's eating off the antlers. Bugs? Or the antler itself?

Two very handsome fellows

I love the green-gold light through the maple leaves

Wood hyacinths (or bluebells... Are they two names for the same thing?)

I've been slacking on the blog lately so I haven't told you about the additions to my rose garden. Remember my Valentine's day present? A fenced area to plant roses in so the deer can't (hopefully) get at them. Well, for our anniversary my honey went to buy me another rose bush. The store he went to was having a clearance sale on their roses and he brought home 15 bushes for about the price of 1!! How fun is that!!! :-D He sent me a text message on his way home (I still thought he was bringing me ONE rose...or maybe two) "I love you and lavish you with roses) I laughed. Then when I expressed my continued amazement over the never-ending flow of bushes out of the back of the car, my dear said "Don't you think I know the meaning of the word lavish?"

I am still giddy:) And, I've got this lovely clematis (snow queen) keeping my "Don Juan" company in one corner now... I can't wait until she opens all the way:)

(We were getting some ground-cover plants and some seeds at the same time. When Nate went back to grab the clematis for me it took him a bit. I went back to make sure he remembered which one as there were three different white ones. Of course, the boys ratted me out! "Mom was coming to check on you because she thought you wouldn't remember which one was the right one" And he was very smug, because he had remembered the right one, lol!)

Ornamental strawberry! There's a house on one of our regular "walking" streets that has these. I always moon over them but never thought I'd actually have an excuse to get some;-) (They look rather sad just now, recently transplanted and covered in dirt)

Dandelions--sunshine on the ground



Come now ladies, there's plenty of room for all ("Cora" and "Coraline")

We had marvelous success hatching chicken eggs this year. After last year's disastrous attempts I almost didn't try again. But I got the "bug" and went for it. Happily almost all the eggs we set hatched! Unhappily most are roosters:( I was SO looking forward to all those hens and fun different colored eggs...



Silly chicks hiding. They did eventually come outside today (this pile is probably 2/3 roosters)

Papa and his buddy BJ took down the old broken rope and put up a new swing for the boys a couple weeks ago and they've really been enjoying it

Another mohawk rooster. The white one in back we are not sure of yet, but suspicious

"Big Chicken" and his girl "Penny"

"Gimpy" and "Lily" (Gimpy is sadly nicknamed for a permanent limp, he's our favorite roo and he really deserves a better name, but there you have it)

Brannon always takes such good care of any injured or ill chicks. Here he's adding some extra "boyness" to the job. Surely she'll enjoy sitting up in a tree as much as I do!

Big Chicken again, in a huff about something or other... (he's named for his disposition as much as his size by the way:)

Another of many roosters (and two of the chicks that passed away recently were hens *sigh* At least the roosters are pretty:) But, we have to figure out what to do with the excess. The freezer seems the easiest solution to me, but we have a Loudly protesting seven-year-old in the mix. Hmmm. Need wisdom on this one for sure. I love his tender heart, and he has some spectacularly gut-wrenching arguments. But, he still likes meat, intends to keep eating it. Including chicken. As long as it's birds he has never met and doesn't know who killed them)

It was a lovely day (did I say that already?) in spite of some discomfort for Joshua and I. Since we didn't get to go to the potluck/birthday pary today we decided to have a family potluck. I had black bean sweet potato chili in the crockpot already. Joshua made dessert, a chocolate peanut-butter concoction to dip pretzels in. Brannon made a great salad with lettuce, spinach, parsley, brussels sprouts and lime juice. Joshua declared that his brother should be a salad chef at a fancy restaurant (high praise coming from the aspiring chef). Brannon, after tasting his salad agreed with his brother. :P

We spent most of the rest of the day outside playing, reading, drawing and watching chickens. I am really grateful for it all:) Now the boys are in bed and I'm trying to talk myself into bed (No, waiting up til midnight for hubby to get home is Not a good plan!:)

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