September 2, 2013

REWIND- Part Deux

In my last post, I detailed notable events that had occurred from my last post in June to the end of December 2012.  Now to 2013.


January


Jan. 3:  Today we experienced our first tragedy with the chickens. Frick our rooster was killed by a hawk. While the electric netting fence is fantastic in deterring animals like raccoon, possums, coyotes, and dogs, it does not unfortunately deter airborne attacks. Frick being a large rooster put up a valiant fight in defending his girls as all of them had retreated to the safety of the coop, while Frick did battle with their attacker. With the exception of some lost feathers, Frick was basically unscathed with the only notable injuries being some puncture wounds on his neck.


Frick and his girls.
  

We were saddened by the loss of Frick but these things happen on a farm and you cope with them the best way you can. To deter further attacks we placed aluminum pie pans on the corners of the pen and purchased a fake Owl which we placed on top of the coop. We had read somewhere that this would deter hawks, but the guy at Tractor Supply said it wouldn't,  but I bought it anyway since I had driven 30 miles to get it. 

Jan. 12th:  We traveled to Georgia to pick up another rooster I found on Craigslist. He was listed as a birchen maran.  Frick was a black copper maran I had purchased a couple of years ago from a breeder in Newnan, Georgia along with three copper maran hens.  While we have had no further attacks, we felt like we needed another rooster as an additional deterrent to the hawks.  Thus, " Agador Spartacus" came home to Southern Oaks.  The guy we bought him from thought he was a buying a hen, but turned out to be a rooster.  We named him after a character in one of our favorite movies "The Birdcage".
 
Jan. 17th: Our first snow at Southern Oaks.

Jan. 27-29th: Installed my first fence gate. In order to gain access to the pasture behind the barn I had to install a gate. Alabama Power was scheduled to come on the 29th to install a power pole behind the barn and had to have access in order to place the pole and wires. Thank God for Youtube instructional videos!




February


Feb. 1: Another sad day. Duncan our miniature dachshund of 19 years had to be put down today. We knew his time was nearing, but you never want to face the reality. He had severe arthritis, was practically blind, and could not hear thunder, but still did not miss a meal. We had said that when he did quit eating we would know it was time.  He went peacefully, and we laid him to rest in a little corner by the fence that we have made into a small pet cemetery for our pets. Hopefully, it will be many years before it has any new residents.

Feb. 15th: Attended Home and Garden Show at the BJCC. Saw a woman imitating a water fountain statue. Both interesting and disturbing at the same time. 

Next we attended a lecture by home and garden designer Chris Olsen on his book "Five Seasons" on how to create beautiful decor inside and out, for the four seasons and the fifth season, where all holidays reside. Excellent speaker with loads of great ideas. Check out his book, I think you will really enjoy it.


Feb. 24th: Started construction on bottle wall for side yard.  Fortunately, we have a lot of Presbyterian friends that are known to partake of wine on occasions, so we have a steady supply of empty bottles coming our way. Our son Drew, works for International Wines and provides us with another source of bottles when needed.  Our hope it that it will look like a stained glass window when finished. We estimate that it will take approximately 200 bottles to finish the project. 




March


Mar. 8th:  Planted small kitchen garden that included broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, arugula, and lettuce. 









March 10-16th: Went skiing in Breckinridge Colorado.


March 25th: Constructed hoop houses for kitchen garden.


What's blooming in the garden.






April


April 13th:  Attended Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival in Moulton, Al. 









April 15th:  Tax day and the start of mowing season. 
Cynthia and Dusty on the John Deere


Kitchen garden coming along nicely.


April 18th: Busted ground for new vegetable garden. Puts in paths using newpapers and cardboard boxes and covered with decomposed tree bark from a local tree removal service. It was free, I just had to load it myself!



 

April 20th:  Attended "Antiques in the Garden" at Petals from the Past in Jemison, Al.  I purchased my bottle tree at this event last year.  Great venue with lots of great items and plants. They have one of the best selections of antique roses and heirloom shrubs in the state as well as the foremost Pomologist in the Southeast, Dr. Arlie Powell.





April 25th: We got our new baby chicks today. We purchased 12 Buff Orpingtons and 12 Barred Rocks with one rooster of each variety. 



Our homemade brooder.


Two of our cats: Dusty and Maggie


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