Friday, April 30, 2010

Animal House

A tale of the little green cottage, a wounded sasquatch, butterflies, a broody hen, a leaping stag, and a wild pony.

Life has been a little wild around here lately. The Engineer had his first surgery late last week, all went well and he is beginning to have less pain and hopefully beginning the healing. He's already talking about bowling again, "Sasquatch" is his bowling name and no, he wont be bowling with his injured hand, his bowling arm is just fine. It may still be some time before he's 'pickin' the banjo again though.

This last week the cottage has been taken over by animals. We had some caterpillars, we watched them turn into chrysalids and then watched them turn into painted lady butterflies. What an amazing process to see up close! I highly recommend doing this if you have some small ones at your house. Pony girl loves bugs and she completely loved watching them change and then letting them go. I did too! We ordered our caterpillars online from here.

That sweet girl there is Tweet Tweet, she is the most docile of our ladies and tolerates Pony Girl's shenanigans with great aplomb. This week I noticed some changes in her and it finally became clear that we have a 'broody hen' in our midst. A 'broody hen' is a hen that wants to set on the eggs until they hatch. The hen's body temperature rises and she will stay on the nest constantly. If she has no eggs of her own, she will often set on other hen's eggs. Now, we have no rooster in the hen house so...Tweet Tweet is setting on the ever unhatchable clutch, even when no eggs are present, she will not leave the nesting box poor dear. This can be a dangerous situation, even fatal, for sometimes a hen will not even leave the nest for food or water or to relieve herself. So, out I go 5-6 times a day to get her out of the nest, put her on cool ground to hopefully lower her body temp, make sure she is eating and drinking. This has not yet broken her broody and we may have to resort to moving her to a well ventilated cage away from the nest and her two gal pals.

Ah, the majesty of the leaping stag with the cuteness of a sweet fawn! I thought I would also share this wee dress that started the whole blue and orange business. This little number has been waiting around and chastising me all week for not finishing it. As I was making it up, I fell for the orange and blue combo big time! I'm hoping that the Fraulein and I will be spending some quality stitching time together this weekend and this dress will be leaping into my little shop.

No menagerie would be complete without a wild pony. Spring has her sprung with a herds worth of energy. Her enthusiasm unbridled, she jumps for joy and I can hardly keep up.

May you jump for joy this weekend and go wild!


crzylady said...

wow.. catepillars.. I like them until they turn into butterfies (which freak me out). LOVE The dress and glad to hear bowling will not be effected.

Speaking of brooding hens I read "The Virgianian" for book club earlier this month AND LOVED IT. Recommend highly and has a similar story (unfortunately it ends badly for the poor hen - but I don't think you'd do the same thigns to Tweet Tweet)

A Bun Can Dance said...

Glorious photos!
I love the dress and would very much love to wear it myself if it was adult size :-)
Good news about the engineer's progress!
Love the jumping for joy - I could do with a good jumping session myself, that's for sure!
Happy days,
D x

harmony and rosie said...

Yes, we've done the caterpillars from Insectlore (heartily recommended), also ladybirds too which were even more fun actually since you can breed them. We did just that and actually watched the ladybirds laying their eggs and then saw them hatch which was fascinating. Completely obsessed as I was, I would trawl the streets in search of greenfly to feed to the many bugs but then I went away for a long weekend leaving husband in charge who promptly forgot/couldn't be bothered to feed them! When I got back there were just 2 very fat ones! (They are cannibals - say no more, I still haven't forgiven him).

Anyway, sorry about the rant but so pleased the Engineer is on the mend, poor love, it can't be much fun being unable to play the banjo - at least he can manage the bowling!

Kate x

Floss said...

How wonderful with the catterpillars! When I was at school in Maryland our teacher ordered Monarch catterpillars and we watched them through each stage until finally letting them free to migrate. My dad saw migrating Monarch butterflies from his ship in the Gulf of Mexico and drew us pictures of them, which were put up in the school. We were all sure he'd seen OUR butterflies! So that's a memory that has lasted my lifetime, and I'm sure this one will last for Pony Girl too.

june at noon said...

It's definitely spring, isn't it? Lovely photos. Glad the Engineer is doing better.

Claire said...

Just been catching up a bit on your blog and loved reading about all your news. I love the Earth Day cactus picture too. I have two broodies right now but they are probably on some fertile eggs so I am letting them sit. I have stopped broodiness before by taking a hen on a long drive around the neighborhood. It seems to "distress" them sufficiently to get them off the broody wagon. I pop them in a small carry crate and drive around for about 20 minutes. You never know, it might work.

ecoMILF said...

Happy to hear the Engineer is on the mend. As for poor Tweet Tweet hope she comes around and gets off that nest before you have to take any measures yourself. Love the little dress. I am working on my felted animals right now. xo m.

Bianca said...

My heart goes out to poor tweet tweet. Are a batch of fertilised eggs out of the question? I know here in Australia you can buy them online -especially heritage breeds of chickens. Heres hoping she comes around!

Mom L said...

Would you please ask Stella to send me some of her energy? Maybe she could get Tweet Tweet interested in something else!

Nancy in Iowa

Tania said...

Oh, oh, oh! Poorest Tweet Tweet! if she looks and I type imploringly enough, please won't you consider a man about the (hen) house?

Yes I am a sucker. No we do not have hens and if we did we would have kazillions and they would probably sleep inside.

Excellent Engineer news, banjo or no.

diane said...

glad for the engineer and love your wild pony!