Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Chickens

These light filled evenings and warm temperatures have led to the start of yard work. Things are turning green!
The flower bed and pond in the front of the house needs some attention.
Good thing I have deployed my 8 chicken helpers, ready to scratch and peck.
We have started to let them out to free range around the property a couple hours nearly every day when we are at home, usually in the evenings. We have some problem neighbor dogs that I don't trust around our chickens, so the chickens are on limited, supervised runs for the time being. They don't like it, but tough, I like them safe.

They love moving dead debris from the new plant shoots.

I hope their techniques weren't too aggressive for my daffodils and tulips.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Fire

My friend Kate and I recently spent an afternoon at The Fire. It is a pottery, mosaic, and glass fusing art studio in downtown Appleton. I wish I had discovered this place earlier because this place is pretty great. When we got there, it was packed with people working on projects and we had to wait for a work space, but which was good, as we took the whole time just trying to decide what to make. We decided to make mosaic pieces.
I made a tea candle holder. I figured it can double regular candle stand too.
Kate made an airplane themed welcome sign. After we were done gluing our glass tiles down, the studio sent us home with baggies of grout mix to grout our pieces after the glue sets. After I grout mine, I'll put up a picture of the final product. I think our next visit we'll try a pottery project. Queequeg needs a food dish. :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Half Hen/Half Rooster

One morning last week while I was driving to work, I heard a fascinating story on NPR about Half-Hen/Half-Rooster chickens. You can read the story here. These oddities of nature are called
Gynandromorphs. And it doesn't stop there, this occurrence also happens in other species like butterflies, finches, and crabs. They are literally two faced, one side has the markings and characteristics of a male and the other side has the markings and characteristics of a female. The study of gynandromorphs in chickens is opening up the realm of how sex is determined in early stages of life. The story on the NPR website also has a few pictures of other examples of gynandromorphs in nature.
Interesting, huh?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunset Stroll

The days are growing longer and warmer, giving Zachary and I more opportunity to take Maggie on walks through the woods. There is still plenty of snowy tracks and trails to explore.
She loves exploring the woods.
So many tracks to sniff.
Happy dog.
Happy dog seeing a squirrel.