...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


chickens and ducks in the winter

We had to rub our eyes this morning to make sure we were seeing straight...
Splish splash SPLASH!!!

OMG.  What are those schmucks, I mean ducks... up to now?
Mind you:  it's 32 degrees.   The ponds have a thin layer of ice on them.  
We got some snow and sleet last night.

But the ducks don't care.  As long as the pond isn't totally frozen, 
as long as there's some point of entry... 
They go for it.

If there's water, they're in it.  
It's as simple as that.

I'm beginning to think that the term 'foul' weather 
maybe used to be 'fowl' weather, and for this reason.
There is no weather that sways them. 

The chickens, of course, won't set foot in the snow.
But the ducks... they're impervious and immune.
As soon as the sun rises, they're outta the coop and into whatever the day brings.

Meanwhile, the hens, shaking their heads at the ducks wacky ways...
they stay cozy in their coop, hanging out by the heaters.

Egads... 3 out of our 5 hens are molting right now. 
I hope they molt quickly and get some good feathers fast, 
because they're going to need them in this weather.  
At least they have their little warm coop to help them through. 

Meanwhile, those schmucks are out there schmucking about
playing, preening, and
plopping into the water.

 Just being ducky.

I don't know about you all, but I plan to make like a chicken and stay where it's warm!


Remembering Bella

Remembering Bella
 1996 - Nov 20, 2013

 Bella was the Queen of our pack.
She made sure everyone knew it, too.

It's amazing how long she's been around...
Since Julian was a boy!

 She was her Mama Boo's dog, through and through.
While Tucker and I could lounge and snuggle til the cows came home,
Boo and Bella would run laps around us, and then run some more...

In her hey day, she was a real wild thing.
Most days you couldn't even catch her 
because she was too busy guarding and patrolling the property.
 If you were lucky, you'd see the tail end of her headed off on a mission somewhere.
Even into her ripe old age.

Bella was quite a lady. 
And she took being Queen of the Realm very seriously.
Bella didn't lolligag or mess about.
She kept on the lookout for any trouble.  

No time for fun when there's a job to be done!

 Of course, sometimes, Bella was the trouble.

Before I joined the family, Bella had a reputation for some extremely naughty behavior.
She once ate the entire backseat out of a brand new car.

And she must have been afraid that the delivery people were bringing something dangerous, 
because for awhile she had to shake or chew open every package 
until she was sure there were no bombs or other bad things.   
She was such a great guardian that she even slept with her eyes open.
That girl just didn't want to miss a thing.

She worked from sun up to sun down making sure things were just right in her world.
She took a few breaks for snuggles and kisses.
After all, every queen has to keep her constituents happy by making appearances.

Luckily, she tolerated our over-protective attempts to keep her safe
from her dare-devilish adventurous ways. 

(She used to walk across the pond when it was only partially frozen, 
hence the life jacket on a few occasions!)

 When Clara joined our family last May, Bella wouldn't let her pass through the mud room
 until she had proven herself worthy to enter the rest of the house.

Once Bella decided she was acceptable,
she sat down and told her all the rules of the household.

Nothing ruffled Bella (except her one nemesis - loud noises!) 
She had supreme confidence in herself,
and her ability to guard and protect,
 and to keep things in line.
And she did her job very well.  

After a hard day's work, one of Bella's pleasures was allowing her faithful beau, Calvin,
to groom her face and eyes. It was a sweet nightly ritual they had together.

 She wasn't the kind of girl to seek out attention or affection,
but when she got it, she would melt.

She could only take so much closeness, though, 
before she would get up and move along.

We love you, Belly Girl.

Tender, tough, and brave.
We'll miss your sweet heart.

We will always remember 
the Light that you brought.

 Shine on, sweet girl.
  Shine on.


acorn cap candles

If you've collected any acorns this fall, 
by now your caps have probably separated...

They're so beautiful in their own right, aren't they?

You could do so many things with them.
Thimbles for your thumbs.
 Hats for little Waldorf dolls.  
Bowls for a doll house
 (or a fairy cottage...!) 

I know if there were giant acorns from giant trees
 I'd eat out of an acorn cap bowl every day!

One day I was looking to see what other ideas people have come up with for their acorn caps.
And here this mother and her daughter collect acorn caps in their woods 
and use beeswax from their beehives to make these precious little teensy candles.
They're sweet little floaters, in a bowl of water.

Or you could probably nestle them in a dish or tray of sand... 
as long a they're stabilized since they're kind of wobbly.
They burn for about half an hour.
A new meaning to the word night cap! 
I love watching them float around, 
with the flame flickering.

Since we have beeswax, wick, and acorn caps to spare,
maybe next year I'll try to make some of my own...!