Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back to the Chickens.....

At the moment, there's really not much going on in the garden.
A few chestnuts starting to fall.
A few pears starting to ripen.
Last lanky basil holding on and a few peppers hastening to ripen.
Not much excitement.

So.... I figured I'd share chicken entertainment from the little coop.

The little coop looks pretty quiet.  Three of the finest girls have gone to their new home with Ms. Rene (Weebug) and we do miss them.  But, who could resist a coop run strung with giant holiday lights?
Ms. Rene and LackenFlacken (now "Sadie"?)
at here new home!
The baby chicks are now full chicklets, almost full-grown hens.  They took to the rafters immediately when they moved into the coop.  This is a shot of them with their brood mama (fluffy butt to the right).

Although the Mama Hen, Freckles, sat the eggs and hatched and raised them, the baby girls (all girls! What a happy hatching!) each took after her birth mom.  At a glance, I could tell whose egg had created each chick.

Alas, thanks to a hard hunting Red-Tailed Hawk, who defeated my best defenses, we lost Freckles (the mom), IddyBiddy (the little one right next to her) and Raven, there on the far end. I appreciate that everything has to eat, to survive, to provide for their own young..... but it's a heartbreaker nonetheless.


Friday, October 12, 2012

The Impact of No Impact

Colin Beavan has wrecked havoc in my life.  After reading No Impact Man, I can hardly manage my days in what feels like a quagmire of waste.  In my attempts to be environmentally responsible, I'm driving my spouse and myself to distraction as I desperately try to stem the tide of seemingly insurmountable waste that is the normal stream of an American household.

Take paper.  Regular paper, in all of its forms: paper, newsprint, tissue, magazines..... Something as seemingly innocuous as paper drives me crazy. Paper towels, newspapers (now delivered daily in a plastic bag, oh, thanks), standard product packaging, junk mail, magazines and more, more, more. It seems to come into our life from all sides.
When we ran out of paper napkins (no need to waste what we already had, right?), I changed over to cloth napkins. I love them anyway. I set the table with different, colorful napkins every day and I have my grandmother's silver napkin ring on mine. Despite all that Martha Stewart effort, much of the time hubby Rob wanders over on his way to the table and pulls off a paper towel to use.

Although we're getting better about using cloth kitchen towels and wipes, we both still grab paper towels when the dog hurls on the rug or we need a quick swipe of something. We'll continue to use paper tissues and toilet paper, I just can't see that changing any time soon.

Yes, we recycle the newspapers and junk mail in our curbside containers. Our magazines have dwindled as I allowed subscriptions to lapse. (Really, were we reading those magazines piling up on the coffee table??) Those magazines we've read go to the public library for sharing with others.  I use any paper shopping bags that arrive to hold our recycling until it goes to the Big Blue Bin.

So I'd say our current score is maybe about 40% improvement?  Whoa. That doesn't seem like much for the insane amount of nagging it's taken to make it happen.  And every time I open the mailbox, open a packing box, open a new container of toilet paper or paper towels, I feel like I'm just barely holding my finger in the dike, like I've barely made a ripple in the waste stream. Here comes more paper clogging our household.....

Yes, I'm trying to live in harmony with my personal beliefs.... but sometimes it's hard to believe that what I'm doing is making enough of a difference to be worth the hassle.  I just don't seem to have any choice.  I am compelled to do what bits I can.

Just don't get me started on styrofoam...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Freckles and Her Little Chicklets

Managed to catch a short video of Freckles and her little chicks!
You can enjoy it on YouTube @  Freckles leading the babies out to forage

This is a real coup, you know, because I truly, truly
am the world's worst camera-person.
In this still shot, you can see Freckles shaking her head
 as she "brrrrs" to let her chicks know
that she has something tasty at her feet. 

In the video, you can hear the melodic chirping of the chicks 
as they talk back and forth, keeping close tabs on each other.  
Very, very darling! 

Enjoy the video!