28 February 2011

Monday forest photo: February 28, 2011

9:30am -3C freezing rain/ice pellets
Three more weeks til spring but no sign of it today. It was a rather quick walk this morning due to the inclement precipitation, but I'm looking outside now (half an hour later) and it has changed to plain old snow.

21 February 2011

Monday forest photo: February 21, 2011

11:00am -16C clear
After a very brief spring fling last week, winter has seriously returned to the great white north. Ah well, it's hard to complain about such perfectly sunny and bright weather.

15 February 2011

Personal ad

I'm sure your neighbourhood grocery store has one of these boards near the entrance. A place for folks to give away kittens, sell old furniture, offer their babysitting services or rent a room. A few months ago, I saw one of these "Seeks Lady friend" cards and I kicked myself for not taking a picture of it. Well, luckily for me, and maybe not so lucky for the lonely gentleman, he's trying again so I couldn't resist grabbing a shot.

Perhaps there's a lady out there who's looking for a man of a certain age who doesn't waste words. And she's far more likely to be at the grocery store than at a single's bar or online dating site, so our lonely-heart is wily, too. He may even be a romantic, given the proximity to Valentine's Day. I especially like how he optimistically placed two cards on the board - a potential lady friend might just want to take one rather than copy down the number.

I do hope any single ladies who might be interested are in the habit of checking the board. And yes, I did smudge the number on the image, but I could be persuaded to reveal it if someone asked nicely. I wouldn't want to stand in the way of a potential romance.

14 February 2011

Monday forest photo: February 14, 2011

9:00am 2C light rain
It's humid, rainy and just above freezing, but there's a flash freeze warning for this afternoon. I have the feeling that the worst of winter is behind us, but we have to get through a lot of weather yet before spring.

10 February 2011

Monday forest photo: February 9, 2011

1:30pm -5C cloudy
Well, this is very disorderly. I took the Monday forest photo on Wednesday afternoon and posted it on Thursday. All of this chaos is due to a major house painting project that is happening chez moi this week and keeping me out of the woods. Still winter here.

05 February 2011

Coop coup

Anything I've said about how much I enjoy keeping chickens does not apply to the last few weeks. Back in the fall, we watched our feathered friends go through their moult period, one skinny, ragged chicken at a time. They all recovered their feathers in time for winter, though I was watching underinsulated Patty with one eye on the calendar. Edna looked absolutely stunning in her shiny new feathers. She was so fluffy. All the birds adjusted to their indoor lives in the winter coop. The coop is brighter, warmer and better ventilated than the one they lived in last winter so I was feeling good about their living conditions. When I went to the coop on my twice or thrice daily visits, it seemed so quiet and peaceful.

It turns out that I was misinterpreting both fluffy and quiet. Birds aren't supposed to be fluffy. When Edna's feathers came back she looked so much better than when she was half-bald and I assumed the fluffiness was because of the new feathers. Now I don't think it was. Edna was always a loud bird. I assumed her quieter demeanour was a result of her contentedness. It wasn't. Edna got fluffier and quieter until one morning a couple of weeks ago I found her lying dead in the straw. Then all hell broke loose in the coop.

Edna's death left a void in the pecking order that needed to be resolved. The resolving appeared to take the form of Maggie, with her allies Patty and Selma watching,  attacking Lisa at every opportunity. Poor Lisa, with her bloodied comb, was denied access to the food and water and especially to any supplemental food  I brought in. She bolted for the door whenever I opened it, throwing herself out into the snow, which I know she hates. She spent her days on top of the egg box, or on the roost while the others scratched in the straw. My presence seemed to make everyone agitated. I considered isolating Maggie or Lisa until things settled down, but I was worried I'd never be able to house them together again. So I minimised my daylight visits to the coop and stopped bringing them treats. I brought their water out before sunrise and collected eggs and closed the vent after dark. Chickens pretty much go to standby mode in the dark and aren't easily disturbed.

Things seem to have improved over the last few days. Lisa's comb has healed, which no doubt helps curb Maggie's aggressiveness towards her. I've seen both birds at the feeder at the same time with no apparent conflict. Even egg production has resumed to pre-moult levels. I really hope that the 2011 Coop Crisis is over. And I miss Edna.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...