Friday, May 31, 2013

Last Day of May

Can you believe it will be June tomorrow? I can't! Here are some pictures to catch you up.

Dandelions are out in full force!

 We went foraging for wild foods and made a fireweed stirfry. It was delicious!
 I thought this was cool: A hide being tanned on someones back porch.
 My chickens have hit adolescence. You can tell this because they started putting up posters of sexy roosters in their coop. Oh boy, teenage girls!
 Here are those teenagers! Eggatha and Edwina (Eggwina?).

 The dwarf fruit trees that we ordered last November finally showed up!  In the foreground is my dwarf Meyer Lemon tree and behind it to the left is the dwarf orange. It will be a few years before they bear any fruit, but when they do, they will be full sized fruit (not mini).
 And we also got two dwarf banana trees. It should be a fun experiment!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dandelion Recipe Time

Remember my goals for this year? So far, I've been achieving all of them! Yay! Goal #4 was to try more dandelion recipes, and goal #3 was to make more jam. I killed two birds with one stone with my latest project. After buying the Boreal Herbal book, I decided to try out some of those recipes inside. I chose the Dandelion Petal Jelly and the Dandelion Petal Syrup.

 After picking your dandelion flowers, you have to pluck all the petals out. Each recipe required 4 cups of petals- this took awhile! But when you taste the final product, it is worth it.

 My Winter larder is expanding. New jellies and jams are being added!
 Mango chutney, dandelion wine, dandelion petal jelly, dandelion petal syrup, and rosehip jelly. I like that most of those preserves came from foraged foods. You've gotta love free food that cost you no effort to grow.
 The dandelion syrup is an ingredient that is added in many other great dandelion recipes. Now that I have the syrup made, I plan on making dandelion cake, cornbread, and muffins too. I have to make the most of this great flower while it is in bloom! And there are plans to make another batch of dandelion wine.
 Hmmm, I also want to make a pretty cake with pansies to garnish it...

And I can hardly wait until the fireweed is in bloom!

Mount Pope

Yesterday was my first trip up Mount Pope in a long time! We went with my husband's coworkers and it made for a fun hike! This time, we brought our baby up and he got to see the summit for the first time. Although, it was pretty cold and wet at the top, so we didn't stay long. Along the way I enjoyed the beautiful sights, smells, and sounds of the forest. It really is like a fairy land in there.

 Lots of fairyslippers!
 My boy giving me a goofy smile!
 View from the top. I must have been cold, because I only took one picture of the view.
 My boy's first summit!
 A fairy chair to rest on.
The hike was fun, but we did get pounded by hail and rain a few times. But we survived!

And in other news, the chick in my egg died :( It pipped into the air cell yesterday, but the membrane was too dry and it died today. I opened it up to find not a chick, but a DUCKLING! So that is why it took so long to hatch! Poor guy. It was really cute :( What a mixup. Oh well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Group Shots

The chicks seem to be doing great and the egg is still wiggling away in the incubator. I hope it will hatch in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, enjoy these group shots!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Power Outage Mayhem!

Ack! So the power went out sometime around 6am. I had 4 chicks hatched and two eggs that weren't pipped yet. Talk about bad timing! My little chicks were still wet. We have no back-up heat source. This was a big disaster. I scooped up the chicks and placed them on a hot water bottle and snuggled them up with towels. I filled the hot water bottle with what hot water remained in the hot water tank. But this is only a temporary solution, as I would eventually run out of water. Plus, it wasn't getting them warm enough. Then my husband suggested putting them in a pot and using a candle for heat. Besides the fact that it looks like I am cooking them, it worked perfectly! It kept them at a steady 90-95F, exactly where they should be at! They snuggled down in towels and were soon dry, warm, and sleeping. We lost one egg, but the other egg is still alive and is back in the incubator. An eggtopsy revealed that the egg we lost was not yet fully developed and ready to hatch, so I think the remaining egg may need a few more days, especially after the cooler temps it weathered today. Cross your fingers! The power came back on 3 hours earlier than anticipated, so we got the chicks into their brooder and the egg back in the incubator after our 6 hour power outage. Whew!

Here is our electricity-free solution:
Look how cozy they were!
Here is Crow, the second chick to hatch. He looks very much like an Australorp chick. So handsome!

This one is really dark! Look at that jet black beak.
The third dark chick. Lighter than the other two.
And here is the first to hatch. I call him Rod Stewart, because he had a sweet mullet when he was born. 
He has completely different markings from the other three. So funny how their genetics mix to come up with different looking chicks.

And so, we'll give that other egg a few more days. I hope it pulls through! What a crazy hatch it has been!

Monday, May 20, 2013

We Love Our Animals!

 Kesten and Boos are best friends. At least, Kesten thinks Boos is his best friend. Not sure how Boos feels about it.
 Our first chick hatched today. I'm calling him Rod Stewart because he looks like he has a sweet mullet.
 He's got a pea comb, which comes from the Ameraucana in him. The rest is Australorp. Three more eggs have pipped and nothing from the other two yet. We'll have to see tomorrow!
 Rock on, Rod. Rock on.

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