Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Those Steaks Would Tempt a Bear

We've been busy on the homestead since I last wrote, and I honestly can't tell you what we've been doing. The past week has been a blur of activity. We spent the weekend moving stuff into and organizing our sheds. My garden shed now contains everything pertaining to gardening and caring for chickens, and Bernie's workshop barn shed now contains everything pertaining to... well.... workshop stuff. So now, when I need a hammer, rather than searching under the kitchen sink, the garage, the sea container, or any number of other places, I can go right into Bernie's barn shed and know I'll find a hammer. The truth is, when I need a hammer I typically grab a shoe. But it brings Bernie joy to envision me needing a hammer and going to his barn shed and finding it there - and then actually using the hammer instead of a shoe. So let's just pretend that's exactly what I'll do.

Yesterday was Bernie's birthday. Yay! Happy Birthday, Bernie! We decided to grill a couple of nice steaks to celebrate, and afterwards, being the wonderful wife that I am, I did the dishes all by myself while he relaxed and informed me how I wasn't doing them right.

A side note to the wives out there - Ladies, never relinquish your kitchen to your husband under the delusion that life will be grand with him cooking and doing dishes for you. Not if you ever plan to step foot into your kitchen again. He will take over and you will never be able to live up to his expectations in the kitchen again.

After we ate and relaxed a bit, I went in to brush my teeth around 8PM. In the middle of it, Bernie walked into the bathroom and said "There's a bear at the compost pile." I quickly wiped my face and ran into the living room to look out the window. Sure enough, there was a bear at the compost pile. He was sitting on his rear with his legs in front of him, just staring at the compost. I ran in to get my camera, and when I got back he was standing up sniffing at the compost:


He only stayed there a few seconds, and then started to walk off. Then he stopped and stared at us in the window:


And then he made a beeline for the grill we had left outside to cool off:


We've only left the grill outside overnight one time - and we awoke to the sound of bears knocking it over and getting into it in the middle of the night. We don't leave it outside overnight any more. So when we saw the bear heading towards the grill last night, Bernie decided enough was enough. He walked outside and clapped his hands and yelled something like "Hey Bear! Hey Bear!" and the bear quickly high tailed it right on out of the yard:


Bernie decided the grill was cool enough and promptly locked it inside the shed.

The chicks turned four weeks old last Saturday. I took pictures this afternoon so I can show you how big they are getting. Their feathers are coming in beautifully. Between four and six weeks, I understand that I should be able to identify the roosters. Their combs should be larger and pinker than the hens, among several other things. I put several pictures up on the Back to Basic Living website, and a few of them show the differences between hens and what I believe are my roosters. Even if I'm wrong, the pictures are darn cute, so check them out anyway.

Here's a picture of either a Phoenix or a Silver Leghorn. Although I can see difference in the two now, I still can not tell which is which. They are both good looking birds though!


This here is a picture of a Phoenix/Leghorn on the left, and a Penciled Hamburg on the right:


The Hamburgs are beautiful chicks and the picture does not do their feather colors any justice. While they remain the most skittish, they really are pretty and friendly, if I don't make any sudden movements.

And here's Duke the Big Roo:


That boy is huge. Just get a load of the size of those feet! He's the only one that I make certain I pick up each time I enter the coop. He is obviously a very large rooster and I am determined to establish that I have the upper hand with him. He protested a bit at first, but he's coming around and actually comes running to me when I sit down, even knowing that he will get picked up. You may also notice that his comb is quite large and quite pink. I'm sure I don't have to mention how incredibly good looking that boy is.

Lucy, Amelia, Echo, and the other Black Spanish are doing just fine. I tried to get pictures of them, but they spend most of their time on my shoulders or head, so that complicated matters a bit. I think I did manage to get one or two pictures of them and put them up on the website. I don't want to bog your computer down with many more pictures on this blog entry. Lucy is no longer the runt. She has really grown and is feathering out very nicely. She's still full of spunk and doesn't take anything off anyone. She's always been one tough little bird. I'm sure that's exactly what helped her survive. I often question how many of the other chicks will survive if they tick her off and face her wrath. She has quite a little temper.

We have lots of activity here on the homestead. Vegetables are coming in, chickens are growing, bears are visiting, and stuff is getting accomplished. There's never a dull moment around here. I kind of like it that way.

Bee Free,

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