Monday, May 16, 2011

New Chicks Have Hatched!

Great joy and commotion!  The two determined banty hens successfully nested and hatched TEN baby chicks - six hatched for one mama and the other mama hatched four.  Such hysterical clucking and excitement!

At this point the babies are almost a week old and are shooting around the pens, driving their harried mama hens to distraction.  They cheep constantly.  Healthy, happy babies!

Right before and during hatching, the hens flatten out protectively - you can tell there are little ones moving underneath.

Here is one of the first chicks checking out the new surroundings - staying very close to mama!

Sometimes it feels safer to rest under mama's protective wing and just peek out at the world.

And then, suddenly, there are SIX and they are everywhere!  Mama hen scrambles to keep track of them all.....

Notice the interesting assortment of colors and patterns?  This is going to be a very amusing flock of.... whatevers......  can't help but laugh.  Hope most are hens.....

Poolside Raised Beds

As part of my continuing effort to make our gardening as ruthlessly efficient as possible, making large allowances for our declining interest in sweating "in the field" for hours all summer, I've been moving some of our raised beds into the pool gardens - - previously the only slightly formal gardens we kept.  So far I'm quite pleased with the results!

As you can see, I left a few of the Rainbow Chard just for color accents amid the Romaine lettuce and Pak Choi.  Because this bed is well protected from sun, it was wonderful for salad greens but I shall have to find something very shade tolerant for the summer.  Some herbs, like Tarragon, are already thriving in the sunny corners.

I love having my garden chair right there in the shade!

We also made a super sunny bed next to the porch for tomatoes and peppers, our summertime favorites.  Fun to see them growing up towards the porch all summer, flanked by the Strawberry Verte Fig and the Basjoo Bananas.  Fig brings on huge fruit crops... no such love from the bananas, but they lend such a great tropical air that I can't resist them.

My sister supplies me with the wacky, colorful Talaveres pottery frogs.  I love them!

Nice to finally be getting around to the gardens..... we've had BEAUTIFUL weather for it most of the month.  Yep, my allergies are murder - but even that can't deter my enthusiasm at this point.  I may sound froggier than my frog planters, but that's just the price!  :D