Monday 21 August 2023

Not-So-Happy House-iversary

Lately Hugslut and I have been doing a thing we call "Tea at Ten" where we actually put down our screens and just have a tea and chat before bed. It's really helped our sleep but I tell you, new patterns/routines are HARD so we're going to have to actively work on this for a while before it becomes the new normal. I've also been taking time in to carve out a lil me-morning routine. It's been great, because otherwise little things like journaling or practicing french get swept under the rug of the day-to-day bustle.

Yesterday Hugslut and I went out to a local restaurant called The Salt Banker to celebrate our "house-iversary" which was technically on the 16th. We had a lovely meal and then sat on the dock for a bit to watch the birds and waves as we talked. I was a really nice way to celebrate our first year here.

When we came home, Henrietta(our brown hen) was looking sorry for herself. She was moving around, but she was walking slowly and wasn't joining in the lawn scratching with the rest. I gave her a look-over and she didn't have any obvious injuries/swelling or anything in her crop and her vent didn't look too bad with just a bit of poop on the feathers, but she was lethargic and seemed a bit warm so I made sure there was plenty of food and clean water nearby and tried to get her to drink a bit before setting her down to rest in the shade. I figured if she hadn't perked up be bedtime I'd bring her inside for more direct care.

I went inside for just two hours, and since we were going grocery shopping, I decided to check on Henrietta again, only to find her stone cold dead. I took her away from the others to bury her right away... And after a brief cry and thorough hand washing, we went to the grocery store. The rest of the flock still seem bright and healthy today so it's unlikely it was a catching disease, and more likely a long term issue from her previous illness that she hid from us, or flat out old age. We really have no way of knowing how old she was. The hens all laid eggs today as well so the rest of them aren't stressed/upset by her death. I wish I had known something was wrong sooner, but that's birds for you.

Today the gravel guy came to do the pad for the new greenhouse and patch up the driveway, so that's ready for later. I want to get excited for the greenhouse but I don't think I'm done being sad about Henrietta and it's kinda weighing down everything else.

Sorry this update is such a bummer, but that's farm life for you.

Friday 4 August 2023

Slow & Steady

There hasn't been much going on lately. Just keeping on keeping on. I've been working on the garden but I have to face reality, that sunflower/squash bed just isn't going to get planted because it's already too late, and the wild birds(mostly doves and maybe robins) keep eating the lettuce. I'll be surprised and grateful for whatever comes of this year's harvest but I doubt it will be much. Hopefully I'll be better prepared for next year. 

I have learned quite a bit about our property and the climate/ecosystem we live in this year. 

  1. There are deer around but they are well fed and easy to deter.(unlike ontario deer).
  2. There are rabbits but they are well fed which means they're less likely to fall for a trap, but also less likely to raid the garden. 
  3. There are few if any hawks/eagles in this area and most (if not all) soaring birds are vultures or ravens.
  4. There are no ground predators on the island. No coyotes, racoons, skunks, foxes, weasels, etc to hunt the chickens. Their biggest threat is traffic, and we're not getting much of that down here.
  5. This dry spring was unusual, but the temperatures were not unusual, so I can be fairly safe planting much earlier than I did . 
  6. The sandy soil of our lot doesn't hold water at all which is great during heavy rains, but does mean watering is required if doesn't rain for a week or more. I'm hoping to help retention without compromising drainage by using compost over the next few years.
  7. Our yard is a great diversity of plants, but if the grass isn't cut when it starts to get tall at the end of May, it quickly grows waist high and thick enough to shade out the rest so it becomes the only thing growing in that area.
  8. Areas where the grass is kept at a reasonable height, are flourishing with clover and thyme and many other plants.
It's hard to find the energy to do much with the stress of the job hunt messing with our sleep, but I've been working on some indoor stuff like my coding project(for chicken records), trying out some personal knowledge database tools like Notion and LogSeq(for storing and finding info), and a little bit of baking.

banana bread with chocolate chips