Day In, Day Out…

Every so often my routine begins to blur together and days become months and months become years. I usually try to stay positive and cheerful most of the time, but I am deathly allergic to routine. I don’t think that we as a species are hardwired for this type of life. We long for ways to escape its stagnant grasp in any form we can.

I recently installed a few motion cameras in the backyard just in case that racoon shows up again to dine upon my precious flock of hens. Better to be safe than sorry and these little cameras are relatively cheap and simple to install. No predators yet, but I’m watching.

What I didn’t expect them to capture was my sad sorry self heading off to work every morning. When I began to look at the images all together, it made me a little depressed. Maybe after a month or so I can make a nice little flip-book of the mundane. Something to enjoy after retirement.

I do enjoy my job, don’t get me wrong. Handling art and antiquities is a particularly amazing honor and I do it with great reverence and pride. There have been more than a few times when I’ve held in my hand a painting or sculpture that I wrote a paper on in college. The trust that my, and other, institutions place upon my shoulders to be a caretaker for these objects does not go unnoticed by this gentle writer.

But.

I feel like I need some sort of It’s a Wonderful Life type lesson to refresh my outlook on work in general. Perhaps a visit from three ghosts? Or a near death experience to get a new perspective.  I used to consider myself to be always in high spirits but lately these doldrums have been slowly scratching away at me.

That said, can someone facilitate a near death experience on my behalf without my knowledge? Perhaps an angry grizzly released into my backyard? I guess it’s all about perspective.

What do you do to break up the routine? I’m open to suggestions! My usual distraction is gardening of course but this years continued drought and the recent long lasting heatwave have stifled that. On top of that, my hard work of doing a winter cover crop has failed miserably with the discovery of root nematodes in my veggie garden!!

I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but I haven’t posted much on my veggie garden this season. On account of not really having one. It’s truly a sad and anticlimactic end to a long, hot and dry growing season.

I’ve ordered some predatory nematodes to have an epic hidden battle beneath my brown and wilted vegetables. There can be only one in the end but I fear it’s too late for this season for me to reap any rewards.


But all is not lost. And I refuse to leave this post on a sad note, so here are some highlights of the past week.

I spent all weekend in a 100°+ garage working away at Piper’s new mini coop. I’m almost finished and will keep you posted on those efforts in due time. Here it is as of this morning…

Piper's New Coop Pt II_Nearing CompletionI know she’s gonna love it! And she’ll finally get some peace and regrow all her fluffy feathers.

There was also an amazing change in the status quo regarding the chemical warfare against the bees!! A federal court overturned the EPA’s approval of sulfoxaflor, a pesticide linked to the mass die-off of honeybees that pollinate a third of the world’s food supply. Do I sense a change in the tide? Read more on that here!

Maybe things are looking up! Stay positive y’all and break up that routine!

A Bird in the Hand…

Well I’m just about at my wits end with the chicken bullying going on. Most likely, I’m not as fed up as poor Piper is though. I’ve tried making her armor which really helped her body from getting pecked at, but did little for her poor head and neck. She is now less fluffy and cute as a result. This is how she should look…

Piper the Silkie

Quite the difference isn’t it? Well, I’ve decided to do what I should have done months ago. I’m going to get her away from the big brutes so she can regrow her feathers and get some much needed rest. This will of course mean I need to get another silkie hen to keep her company. In the meantime, I need to design and build a second chicken coop. This one will be much smaller than the first one I built. Here’s how far I’ve gotten with the sketch today…

Pipers New House

The ladder will hinge up to close off that section and there’s a door I removed so you can see the inside. I’m still working out how best to allow her access to the bottom floor which will be in the grass so she can scratch and peck during the day. When I’m home I’ll let her have the run of the entire backyard as she doesn’t do much damage at all.

I’ll post more as I build it so you can see the final product. It’ll be small, but she’ll love the peace and quiet for sure!!

UPDATE:

Here’s as far as I got last night. Everything appears to be functioning well in my 3D program, so tonight I will begin construction!

Pipers Brand New House


In other news, my passion fruit vine is in full swing these days. I originally planted it for a privacy fence but now I just can’t get enough of the fruit it puts out! Here’s what I gathered over a few days. Just about 1/10th of this years harvest so far.

Passion Fruit Harvest

And there’s plenty more ripening on the vine as I write! Very excited to be reaping this harvest!


And also as a follow up on the willow water post from the other day I’ve decided to begin a little experiment to determine exactly how effective this home made witches brew is as a rooting hormone. I have two pathos cuttings from the same host with the same nodes as well as size and health. One has the willow water mixture and the other is just tap water.

Willow Water Experiment

I will be monitoring their progress and taking weekly photos to compare the root growth. More to come on this experiment.


Well, that’s it for now. I hope you all had a great labor day weekend! I’ll keep you posted on the Piper drama as it unfolds!

Designing and Building my own Chicken Coop

Why should you raise chickens?

Once upon a time, humans thought it a jolly good idea to chase all manners of herbivores all over the face of the earth as they migrated this way and that. They didn’t do it because they were bored or thought that gazelle had nice butts, although they did. They did this because of the reoccurring gurgling sound and all around hollow feeling you get when you’re hungry.

Then one day, someone got a bright idea. “What if we simply catch some of these animals and trap them in a largish boxish thing so they can’t run away. Let’s call it a… paddock, yes a paddock! Then, when our bellies make the awful gurgling hollow sound and our heads go all dizzy, we can milk or eat one of them!” Lets call our hero Ugh. When Ugh suggested this with his series of guttural grunts and clicks, all the others in his nomadic tribe were dumbfounded. They feared him a demon of some sorts and instantly beat him to death with a large rock. So it goes for Ugh.

Continue reading “Designing and Building my own Chicken Coop”