Month: May 2005

Northern Mockingbird Nest

I was out in the backyard doing stuff for the hens, and I paused by one of the trees to look at something, and heard some peeps. I looked up, and in our young maple there was a nest, just above. I could hear the peep, peep, peep, peep, more like a “wuueeep”, and could see some little head or heads bobbing around. I moved to the other side of the tree and there I could see two of them directly, the nest edge was a bit lower there and they were positioned right by that side. Big beaks and sweet little heads, newishly hatched I’m guessing.

There has been a Northern Mockingbird in our backyard more often than I have ever noticed in the past. Particularly the last two days I’ve noticed it coming into the yard by our old garden, sitting on something there, picking up something from the ground there, also alighting in the Weeping Willow tree, which is several feet behind the Maple where the nest is, but in close proximatey relatively speaking.

So today while I was looking at the nest and showing Russell, I saw the Mockingbird arrive close-by. I went in, Frank was on the phone for me. Then after that phone call I went back out, I showed Victoria where the nest was at that point, and then told the children to all move away from that tree, the parent of those babies wanted to go to them, but wouldn’t with the children there. I thought the babies were Northern Mockingbirds, and the mature birds arrival demonstrated the validity of such thinking. I went over in the yard to move the Leghorn pen, looked back and there was Victoria, still under the tree. The Mockingbird was flying here and there, waiting patiently, but maybe not, for Victoria to leave. So I yelled to her to get away. She did.

As I was done with the Leghorn pen I looked around and the Mockingbird was in the tree nearer to the house, and so I took a wide sweep around to the other side of the yard to get back to the door to the inside, bypassing the nesting tree and the path between the mockingbird and the nest. So as I ducked under the tree by the dog pen, which is right by the house, I looked over and there was the Mockingbird coming out of the Maple. So she went to the babies with what she had in her mouth while she had been waiting, and quickly gave it to them, or whatever she did, and check on them.

I do suppose she was a bit anxious at our attention to her new nest. I don’t know exactly how she escaped nest building notice. But she did. I just happened to be in the exact right spot this morning to hear and see the new babies there. It was very satisfying. πŸ™‚

My Bluebirds aren’t in my scope this year. We took the box down after House Sparrows claimed it. I took great delight in smashing the two eggs they had laid, though sad too that the Bluebirds didn’t have the box to use. Last year was a grand year for their nesting attempts, but something destroyed all three … and I have to guess, since I couldn’t know it at the time, but I do now think it was House Sparrows last year. I didn’t see any House Sparrows around ever then, but their dominance in the nest box this year tells me a lot. Each clutch last year met a different sort of death. All very House Sparrow-like behaviours.

3 + 1 + x = 7 The “x” is the unknowable 2004 killer, but I am fairly sure it’s the House Sparrows, because of their nesting in same box this Spring. Yes, assumption, but not one that will hurt anyone. πŸ™‚

Mr. Bluebird has come to our deck just in the last week, inspecting the little bird house that Russell put together from a kit last year. It sits on the deck, more a decoration that isn’t painted, than a useful box. In any case, it was nice to see him close-up for a bit. We don’t know where they are nesting, but they are around. Just not as prolifically.

I’m very glad to have baby Mockingbirds in our Maple. It’s the smallest Maple in the backyard, but superior for some reason to the Mockingbirds. I know some Mockingbirds nested in our October Glory in the front yard, the same Spring we planted that tree. That was neat. I used to hate Mockingbirds, from nightmare times I had with them in Florida when I lived there, them singing in the middle of the night right outside my room in the Orange tree. No A/C and it was hot and close, muggy, moon shining often during those times. It was a nightmare summer that one year, that turned me to hate Mockingbirds in general.

Years went by, I moved away from there and here in Georgia the Northern Mockingbird has won my respect again. They sing when they do, but it’s not a hot, muggy, Florida in your face sort of thing. πŸ™‚

They are fiesty pretty birds. They duplicate any old sound. They also sing beautifully. I do like them now. πŸ™‚

If I Could Be …

I found this on Lucy’s Livejournal …

Here’s a game…

How to play:I have to pick 5 occupations out of the list below and post my answers. Then I tag 3 other people to post their answers on their blog. If I tag you, and you don’t want to be a part of this, then that is okay. Just let me know and I’ll tag someone else.

The Questions: If I could be a scientist…If I could be a farmer…If I could be a musician…If I could be a doctor…If I could be a painter…If I could be a gardener…If I could be a missionary…If I could be a chef…If I could be an architect…If I could be a linguist…If I could be a psychologist…If I could be a librarian…If I could be an athlete…If I could be a lawyer…If I could be an inn-keeper…If I could be a professor…If I could be a writer…If I could be a llama-rider…If I could be a bonnie pirate…If I could be an astronaut…If I could be a world famous blogger…If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

Lucy didn’t “tag” anyone. I won’t either. But you can join in and let me know in a comment or trackback that you are hitting the ‘tag’ button yourself. Let me know!

Me:

I’ll be particular towards the things I like in the list, some I piddle at, non-professionally of course.

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1. If I could be a farmer … I’d have 20 acres of pasture, fenced and cross-fenced, with hedgerows in-side to further crossfencing, and a creek running through, a pond somewhere on the acreage, 20 or so acres of forested land surrounding the pasture, managed nicely by me, a river close by, maybe bordering the back side of the property in some fashion. More acreage for my diversified veggy garden, a couple of acres only, and a few small herb gardens closer to the large old-fashioned farm house. The pasture would be accessible near the house. There would be a few Jersey and Guernsey milk cows, grass-fed and milked every 18 hours, on the grass year round. Laying hens would be free-ranged with a movable structure with roosting and laying nest areas. It’d get moved every other day with the golf cart I’d have to rove around the property. The house itself would sit back way off the road, a winding loose pebble road would come through an acre or more of trees and perennial flowers of every season to meet the house.

Also on the pasture would be a small flock of sheep, for wool and milk.

I’d make cow and sheep cheeses. Butter. Sell that, and milk and cream and not for an arm and leg as Dairy Mofia Price Structures are followed today on most farms. Things wouldn’t be cheap, they’d cost what they SHOULD cost.

It’s silly, I can buy butter for cheeper than I can buy raw cream. I mean that the prices don’t make sense out there. I’d make sense on my farm. πŸ™‚

I do have farming of a small scale now though. 15 hens in the backyard, a pathetic herb garden, and a more pathetic veggy garden most growing seasons. We do hope to get some acreage and implement some sort of version of the above.

My Visionary Farm would also have caretakers that live in a cottage there and help out with all the work.

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2. If I could be a musician… I can sing, and have sung in educational settings and church settings, and concert settings, and outdoor festival settings, and at home, and in the vehicle, and still do the vehicle and home versions. Our dream is also for me to do more with my singing, and this is it:

I would, if I could, record many old songs, redo them, I’m an ‘arranger’.

I want to write, and given the right setting I know I could write lyrics and maybe music as well. I just haven’t set down to do it. I know I could, so I just leave it at that. Dumb.

I want to have a band, and sing and play music and lyrics written by friends. I have friends IRL and online that have said they can and will and are working on that.

Style? Current, really edgy, punkyish, deep brooding, but positive and upbeat as well.

I want my music to be who I am, I am in Christ, and that is where my message flows from. I really like many kinds of music, but particularly see a need in this “alternative” side of it for my take on music, with my crazy outlook πŸ˜‰

I don’t want to “make it big” per se, I want to have my own label and recording studio someday.

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3. If I could be a chef… I’d open a Natural Real Organic restaraunt and sell really good food. I’d create specialty dishes and make comfort farmy foods as well. I’d get my goods from regional farms, beef, lamb, cheese, dairy, eggs, veggies, herbs … ah.

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4. If I could be an inn-keeper… I’d have a Bed and Breakfast, on a small farm, and serve Quiche and other nice breakfast items, freshly made from my farm produce, and the house would be a Late Victorian or Arts & Crafts style. I’d furnish it as Country taking cues from the Arts & Crafts movement. Simple elegance, country charm. Shabby chic maybe though as well.

There would be things for guest to do, croquet, badmitton, nature walks, animals to help feed, and stuff, maybe horses to ride. Dogs to play with. Cats to play with.

OR:

I’d go to England and buy a big house or inn on the moors of Yorkshire and open for business, with copies of Daphne du Maurier books available in each room, and a bar with good spirits and great local and regional and foreign brews. The dining room would have good hefty meals available. Imagine a dark brooding inn.

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5. If I could be a bonnie pirate… I’d be a boy with long dark curly hair and dress foppishly elegant as a Bonnie Pirate would. I’d be dashing and handsome and have a lady in every port. But then I wouldn’t be a nice Christian either, so … I’d just be a bad boy for awhile if God made me that, then I’d convert and become a great man of God and do the same things, just not be a bonnie pirate but a Bonnie Christian Pirate and be a nice guy and marry a nice lady and not pirate people, but learn to ship goods and trade and maybe just settle down on some tropical island with my lady and have a brood of children and hunting dogs.

But I’m a girl and happy to be me.

I can be four of the above choices, not #5. I pray that God will bring the opportunities our way to farm and sing and such. πŸ™‚

I have to have a 6th choice too though.

6. If I could be a scientist… I’d be mad one too, just like Lucy! πŸ™‚ heheheheee

2005 Sandal Journey

We’ve been looking in stores for sandals for me to wear. I had an idea in my mind, actually a picture, of course, seeing as I’m “Visual-Spatial” πŸ˜‰ and of course, weary me, weary us, no store had anything remotely like I wanted.

I have a pair of red Janzen flip flops we got on Tybee Island the other week, but there they had nothing remotely like I wanted either.

We were at the mall last week, one last try, trying the big retail mall. We went into all the shoe shops, departments stores, and any retailer that had sandals.

The sandal style out there for 2005 seems to be really flip-floppy and ugly, with big thick soles. Man-made materials 100% or made out of cotton upper thong stuff, and man-made-bottoms.

I had in my mind the style I last purchased. Long ago, in like 1988. They serviced me well. Actually I think I got a different pair after that, but they fell apart and the older pair didn’t. So it’s like this: My 1988/89 sandals were my favorite by far, and the pedestal on which to measure everything else up to.

I saw something in Amercian Eagle though. It was the closest to my vision at that point in our 2005 Sandal Journey. We kept looking elsewhere though. That store I had never “really” been in. I realized finally, after several more futile looking at myriads of shoes, we had to go back to American Eagle.

The sandals there were displayed in the back on the wall, and nearer to the front on a turning rack. What was I looking for:

Leather, white, thong or strap between toe, strap in back. Leather upper and lower, wood heel, but very flat so not much heel.

The AE sandal was white and leather. It had silver stuff on it and no back strap. But looking at it again, it was made how I wanted, just not decorated how I was hoping to find. But, they didn’t have my size (6). They checked in the back. None. They did have the same sort of style in a different look, but not in white. So we were able to order it through the store and have it shipped to us for no extra charge that way.

The sandals came via USPS today finally (it seems such a long wait! Over a full week.) So I have them on now, “breaking them in”. They are comfy, just the left one needs to give a bit, and will with time worn.

[insert photo of new sandals here — later]

I like them alot. They can’t measure up to my ideal though. My beloved sandals were different, and decor was thick metal stuff. They were just scrumptious. I might actually have them somewhere in a pile, I know they encountered trouble in the last few years and something could have been fixed, but wasn’t and so I don’t know anymore what the trouble was. In any case, something new was in order.

I have some new skirts and for summer I really needed white sandals to go with them. So now I’m good to go. πŸ™‚

Here’s a link to the sandals on the American Eagle site.

I did like some of the stuff they had in the store too. A few cute skirts.

That’s the thing about everywhere though, I’ve been looking for dresses and skirts in main stream shops and WOW the styles are finally here! Prarie and just great flouncy skirts and dresses and it’s rather nice for a change. Great Spring, Summer, Autumn styles for feminine comfort and charm. It’s only here for this 2005 season, and will be out of style by next year, but who cares. I don’t. I’ll wear it in 2006, 2007, 2008, etc. It’s been dry as a bone otherwise. Frank tells me “We’ll go out and get a dress for you”. Wearysome words. I rarely find anything good, and nothing to bring home but rayon stuff that I really don’t like that much. $ is an issue, so I can’t just go find stuff just anywhere. I wish I could sew stuff, but I just don’t have the motivation to get back into that anymore.

So for now, it’s a fun time. Actually nice feminine modest stuff out there, mixed in with the mini scrunchy tiny things of course. πŸ˜‰

Exciting day

Today our hens laid! As far as we know, three today. It’s raining quite heavily now, frequent lightening, so we haven’t checked the hens in awhile. πŸ™‚

Hawklady, one the Leghorns, then one of the Wyandottes laid. So we have a green, white, and brown each. My favorite combination! I didn’t see who laid the brown egg. Frank did. It was a Wyandotte, but he knows not which one. (He can’t tell the difference between them, for some reason πŸ˜‰ I can, Trinity has a tri-topped comb, and Pointsettia has a pointy curved topped comb, distinctive, both of them, and their feather patterns are a bit different as well.)

Earlier this afternoon Frank went to the store to get a few things, as well as get some mousetraps. We found a dead baby mouse on the front walk earlier this week. So that signifies other mice around no doubt. Foster, our outside cat, might have gotten that mouse, or another cat prowling around might have. In any case, the ants ate it, not a cat.

So Frank was at the store, and there’s Scarlet in the kitchen holding a mouse in her mouth. Russell saw it first and drew my attention to it. It was a regular sized big mouse. Well I couldn’t do anything, just keep my eye on her and the mouse in her mouth. It was alive. She held onto it, growling at the other cats gathering around her, following her … she’d put the mouse down now and then, it’d sit then try to run, then Scarlet would just pounce again and grab it up in her mouth to hold it.

Frank finally got home. He picked Scarlet up and put her in the garage, with the door down. We checked her a bit later and she still was holding that poor mouse. Another time Frank went in the garage to do something and Scarlet got in the house, holding the mouse still. I got her back out. It wasn’t fun, not wanting the mouse to fall on me, or for me to really touch it. So then she was in the garage again. Later I looked and didn’t see her. She must have been hiding. But on the step there was some white thing and gooky blood-like stuff around it. Not a lot, just a small thing, um, mouse-size innerds of some sort I guess. Sometime after that Frank looked in the garage and Scarlet came out of hiding and back into the house. She was all cutesy rubbing our legs and proud of herself. :rolleyes: Doing what God intended for her to do.

We have mousetraps now then. I hate using them. I really like mice. We had pet mice when I was growing up. Wild mice are different, I know. I still think they are cute though. That poor mouse that Scarlet had in the house, it was squeeking a few times, right after she’d put it down then pick it up again. Sigh. Poor little thing.

We live out in the country but not totally, but it’s country around and our yard is big. We have gotten mice in the house a couple of times in the past. I haven’t seen any in the house, just know they might be in the garage. So Scarlet’s mouse from today shows that they can get in the house. She got one, afterall, and is an indoor (totally) cat.

So it was a big day here, three eggs! And a live cat and mouse game.

Hennies Update

I haven’t updated anything here with the hens lately, they aren’t laying at all again. It’s a frustrating process. We have dedicated ourselves to water them more frequently, has that been the problem in the past? Maybe, maybe not. They don’t look too bad, look good actually and their combs are red, not all of them super bright red, but not dull either, and they don’t appear to have any problems with poo or anything. They’re just doing the same thing since late Fall, lay a bit, no lay, no lay, no lay, lay a bit, lay more, lay less, no lay, no lay, lay a bit, lay more, no lay, no lay, etc.

Hot days are here though. It’s much hotter this past week and forecasts are for mostly in the mid-80’s for highs, or higher, and nights in the 60’s. We are getting closer to the longest day of the year, it’s still over a month away, but the daylight we have now should be sufficient to have the hens laying alright.

So it’s precise to say that all our hens are not young. The Australorps are the youngest, and really this shouldn’t be a non-laying time for them, it’s only the first full year of laying for them, they hatched last Spring and didn’t start laying until late summer 2004. So this would be their first full fledged laying season. :rolleyes: whatever it is, it’s just a female thing I guess, on the same dumb cycle … The white hens are old ladies, and got up to 60 or more percent of them laying when they did lay a few weeks ago. That’s good. The Wyandottes and Australorps were that good or worse. So they are all, regardless of age, doing the same thing nearly. On and off, up and down. πŸ™

So we’ve no eggs, and the last update on the egg report pages was the last eggs we got. πŸ™

Deep Pink Peony

This is one of two peony flowers to open up already. It’s early. The other peonies are still growing. This plant is producing dark pink flowers. My other peonies produce light pink flowers. This seems to be the first-time for this plant to blossom. There is at least one other that should be a first-time blossomer this year as well.

Blogging back up again

I finally have this weblog on. It’s on my new host. I have my hyperthinking site on that host too. I’ll have some stuff on my “old” domain, the one this blog used to reside on. It had three domains that mirrored, but were supposed to resolve to .com, but didn’t, so some think it was a .net address, when it was really that the blog was a .com address install. So that messed up things, and it wasn’t set up right on the server there either, so my blog stuff was referring stuff wrong often enough.

Anyhow, I have the majority of this blog fixed now. Still things to decide though. I won’t host all my photos here. I think I’ll put them up elsewhere and just link to them for the most part. So older posts here won’t have the right look, photos missing, etc. until I figure out how to work it.

This is going to continue to be my “everything blog” as it was, and I’ll be doing my “thinking” blogging at hyperthinking, but that may be where I put some stuff that I used to put here. As I said above, still working out the details.

I’m glad to have both my main weblogs up and running again though! I have to decide on what to do with the other blog setups I had for education, photos, hens, etc. πŸ™

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