Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicken Confusion

My (not-so-small-anymore-) baby chickens have found a new favorite game.

Up to no good in the blueberries

Firmly perched.
They are still young enough that they are light and are able to fly. Which is great in terms of survival for baby chicks, but damn annoying for me when I'm trying to pick the first of the first flush of blueberries - and much better than last year's - off the 15ft tall bushes.

And they managed to perch in far enough so I couldn't reach them, and just high enough that dousing them with water also doused me.

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's Starting!!

Woohoo! It looks like the ample rainfall earlier this spring is helping to ensure my bumper crop of berries this year - I just hope it doesn't drought on me now that they are starting to ripen. This year's berries are turning out to be SUPER delicious!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Any Guesses?

OK. SO no one figured out what the last picture I posted was (I said I'd post more pics, but it honestly looks the same, just bigger. Answer at the bottom of the post), so I thought I'd try again. This one might be a tad easier. I hope I hope.

Any guesses?

UPDATE: So I've gotten quite a few emailed guesses - it seems that many people think this is a type of bean (which technically they are... but not the beans that you think). You guessed the 'ean' part - it is a peanut plant. Woot! Carolina black, to be specific. You know. Me and my heirlooms. It's not in prime position (as most of my garden this year...), but I have 3 of these guys and with the heat setting in, they are flowering.

Which leads me to my random trivia of the day - in Japan these varietals are call 'rakkasei'. Rakkasei basically means the same as the Latin name "Arachis hypogaea". "Rakkasei" literally translates to "fallen flower fruit (or plant)", and "hypogaea" means "under the earth". To sum up the coolness of the peanut plant, the flower blooms, gets pollinated, and then the stalk grows until the flower 'falls' to the ground where the ovary begins forming a fruit underground. So it is a legume, but you still get the fun treasure hunting quality of digging for them. Super cool, methinks.

In some places peanuts are also called monkey nuts. That just cracks me up.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads, step Dads, sometime-Dads, wanna-be Dads, and Dad-for-a-day-Dads. Much love to you all.

And to the best two Dads I know. Mine, and my Redneck. A very special Father's Day to you both.

Friday, June 08, 2012


My life seems to be so full of engagements these days - things I mostly don't want to do or feel obligated to do or whathaveyou... doctor's appointments, work, errands... even mundane or fun things get that 'ugh. Do I HAVE to?' treatment a lot these days. Of all things, shoe shopping (I need a pair of running shoes for work) is becoming the bane of my existence.

However. There is one engagement that does not feel obligatory or weighty or anything other than exciting - the Redneck finally caved and we're getting hitched! There's a while before any fun nuptual-esque activity takes place, but since it's taking me (literally) months to buy new work shoes, this is probably a good thing. And I am honestly so excited about marrying my man that I like having the time to relish this giddiness. Yay!

Yes. He will kill me when he sees this post. In a month or two :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Bit of Space

It seems that I may have needed a wee bit of space. Everything in the past (almost entire!) month has been a bit much, and I could not keep blogging up on top of everything else. And while this week doesn't seem particularly better, it is time for me to get going again.

I must say that having my mother here with us has been amazing. She did the lion's share* of the work, and now my garden is weedwacked, cleared of almost all of the shrubbery I wanted to get gone, my two new beds are filled in (and deer netted!), necessities have been purchased, surfaces have been cleaned, new routines have been established regarding the Acorn** and his bedtime... all good things.

And my sister came to visit for the first time. I always loved showing people around when they came to visit us in Japan. I think it can be so cool to see your mundane existence through other's eyes as they see it for the first time... and Stoneyhaw is definitely different! She was only here for about 2 days, but we did manage to pack a bunch in there and I was very glad to see her before the insanity of her home ownership and impending induction into motherhood swept her away for a bit.

I also managed to get my garden in (mostly) and while the strides seem hobbled and not nearly as big as I would like them to be, we ARE making them.

Or at least that's what my mom told me!

My mom and sissypants.
It's important to partake in southern food immediately upon deplaning.
The Battalion eye their first greens suspiciously.
This Wyandotte has completely changed in the 2 weeks since I took this picture.
The Battalion has also learned how to roost.
Feeding was getting a wee bit frenzied at the end of their confinement there. Glad that's over!
They took to free ranging like champs and go back to the coop fairly late. For chickens. We have stopped feeding them all but a few handfuls of scratch grain here and kitchen scraps there. They keep their crops bulging all on their own. So proud!
They got a bit confused the first downpour they were in - and some took to huddling under a scrawny bush. Please note they were 20 ft from their coop, 15 from the Brigade's and about 10 from 2 barns and a camper - all with ample shelter... and under the big barn and the camper is where they hang out often, so not so foreign...
Some of them have taken to being toted on the Acorn's head
So. Many. Berries. Can't. Wait.
And I found some!
My dad's least favorite vegetable. Fortunately for me, I LOVE chard!
Mr. Toad.
Daylilies from my Godmother. Hi Roxanne!
Have you ever seen a potato flower?
I love them!
How about an onion flower?
Leftover metal panels from the construction of the Chicken Palace will be guiding my beans this year.
Baby beans!
Garden visitor. We like these guys.

*please note that at this time 'lion's share' translates as 'all'.

**aka 'the Spawn'. Trying to change what I call him. But he's still kind of 'The Spawn'-y to me.