Bird’s Eye View

May 12, 2009

Sometimes things get pretty fowl around here.

For instance, you can’t be here very long before you’d notice there is always some kind of fowl racket.  There are chickens clucking, bird song, peafowl screeching, and always, always, always, guineas making noise of some sort.

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A New Metal Roof On The Peafowl Pen

March 10, 2009

For a long time I wished for a better roof over the peafowl pen.  Every time it rained, the water poured through the boards and turned the pen into a muddy morass.  The peafowl’s food got wet, and then they wouldn’t eat it so it had to be thrown out.

Saturday The Farmer fixed the roof.  (Or at least we hope he did!)

The Farmer fixing the roof on the peafowl's pen.

He had some sheet metal panels to put over the old boards.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the washered roofing nails he usually uses for these kinds of projects, so had to use a different sort of nail.  Hopefully, there won’t be any leaks around the nails.

The Farmer climbing down off the roof of the peafowl pen.

He’s really doing great with those new knees to be able to go up and down ladders and crawl around over roof tops!

At any rate, the new roof should be a vast improvement.  Even if it still has a few leaks, it won’t be anything like what was pouring through the warped boards now underneath the sheet metal!

New roof on peafowl pen.

The metal wasn’t long enough to cover the entire roof, but it’s over their two perching sites and the food bowl, so that’s the main thing.

I guess the next time it rains, we’ll find out just how big an improvement it is!

It’s Courting Season in this part of the World!

February 9, 2009

I hear the raucous calls at night, and the rattle of maracas during the days. What’s going on?

Peacock showing off.

It’s breeding season for the peafowl! Yes, the cool dude is strutting his stuff and showing off for the ladies.  He didn’t wait for Valentine’s Day, but decided last Friday was a good day to start looking for love.

Besides the occasional blood-curdling screech, he also prances and dances and rattles his tailfeathers in his romantic efforts.

What's he got behind those feathers?

In a manner reminiscent of women wondering what’s under a kilt, the peahens are getting a peek at what that dude is hiding behind all those fancy feathers!

So just what IS back there?

Peacock's backside!

Well, there’s those tail feathers that he rattles while he dances, the upright ones right behind the pretty feathers.

Fluffy Peacock Feathers.

He also has some pretty fluffy feathers back there too.

All in all, he’s just a handsome dude no matter which angle you’re viewing.  Now if he can just convince the ladies of that.

And that’s the way it is in my part of the world!

Friday’s Farm Fotos

September 26, 2008

It’s been another busy week, and I’ve had to concentrate on work stuff almost 24/7 (except for a few hours sleep here and there). Because of that, I haven’t had much time to post on most of my more “personal” blogs.

So to catch up, here’s a few pictures from the past week. This first one is from last Saturday, when The Farmer was busy working on the peafowl pen. The chicken wire on top was getting old, and something tore big holes in it. I think that “something” was probably raccoons. They like to eat the dog food. In fact, I pretty much know to start looking for holes when I go to check the peafowl’s bowl of dogfood and every morning it’s totally empty. They don’t eat that much on their own!

You can see some of the big holes.  Obviously, The Farmer is standing in one. 🙂  He decided instead of putting more wire there, he’d make a wood roof.  That will give the peafowl a little more shelter in that area, then they have the aviary to go into for lots of sunlight and fresh air.

Some of the peafowl like to search for even more sunshine, and run through the grass with nothing but their feathers on.  Then they tantalize their mother by standing just outside the aviary.

This, of course, puts the mother peahen in a fowl temper, since she can’t reach them to peck them into good behavior.  She clucks at them, and paces up and down on the other side, and they just continue to merrily run all around on the outside.  Some day they will get a rude shock when they can no longer fit through those 4-inch holes in the bottom wire panels of the aviary.

Toby and I continue to take a morning walk in the bottom pasture. Most of the time it’s a fairly short time, just walking once around all the trails. But there’s usually something interesting to see.

I’m not sure what kind of bug this is, but it was enjoying getting a drink from the dew on the weed.

Yesterday morning while walking in the pasture, I was thinking about writing on this blog and that I’d mention all the hummingbirds seem to have left, when I almost ran smack dab into one!  The little hummer was enjoying some nectar from jewel weeds (Impatiens capensis).  I don’t know which one of us was more surprised, but it didn’t stick around long enough for me to take a picture. (They rarely do!)

Then this morning when I was coming up on the front porch, there was another hummer checking out some of the wire bugs I have hanging along the top edge.  That one didn’t stay around long enough for a picture either.  I don’t think these are the regulars, but hummers on their way to points further south.

We’ve been enjoying some excellent weather this week with cool nights (down in the 50’s), and warmer days (up in the 80’s).  I love this kind of weather!  In the mornings, the llamas and Neffie (our Maremma LGD) like to stretch out in sun on the shorter grass in the main pasture. The Farmer keeps it mowed down so I don’t have to wade through wet weeds to get to the well house in the mornings (Thank You Farmer!). 

Keira was stretched out too, but every time I’d try to get close enough to take a picture, she’d sit up. I guess it must feel good to soak up the sunshine on a cool morning. 

While they’re soaking up the sunshine, the guineas are foraging for seeds and bugs. I think as they get older they get stupider. I say this because as you can see here….

… the half-grown keets still have enough sense to just fly up and go over a fence. The adults, however, run up and down the fence looking for a way through. It’s only about 4-foot tall, mind you, and these birds can fly to the tops of some very tall trees around here! They just seem to forget what phenomenal fliers they are when confronted with fences.

The chickens seem to use their brains a little more, and they like to do things with a little more flair. We still have one chicken sitting on eggs in her bright purple bucket. We knew there was also one of the hens sitting on a nest under The Farmer’s work shed.  She came out this week with four little chicks.

She’s taking them out to forage around today, so it won’t be long until they’re running around all over the place too!

I’ve always got a bunch of pictures and it’s hard to choose just a few, but I reckon that’s pretty much the highlights for this week.

Like I said, it’s been another busy week on the farm!

Friday’s Farm Fotos

September 12, 2008

Here we are, another week come and gone.  And since, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said,  “Art is long, and time is fleeting,” I guess it’s time to display some pictures (as close as I can come to art) from this past week of time down on the farm! 

Actually, it’s rather fowl around here these days.  There are two groups of guineas running around with keets.  The older group that started out with a couple dozen are now down to 9 half-grown keets.

The second group fared even worse.  They started out with 18 keets and now have 4.  Of course, the first group has 7 adults watching over their 9 keets, whereas the second group only has 2 adults looking after their 4 little ones.

Our Mama Peahen seems to be doing okay with her little peachicks.  Although I believe they think their mission in life is to give their mother a nervous breakdown.  (Hmmmm, sounds a lot like human kids, huh?)  They’re small enough to get through the fencing at the bottom of the aviary, and run around outside in the grass while the mother paces back and forth inside calling to them.  They ignore her until they’re good and ready to hop back over the bottom board and follow Mom around.  Like I said. reminds me of human kids!

Notice the cardinal in there with them?  I throw sunflower seeds on the ground for the peafowl, and the cardinals often come and help themselves.  We do seem to have a tendency to feed the wildlife around here, intentional or not!

We have the 4 surviving peachicks from the 10 that hatched in the incubators outside in their own pen for now.  I think one of them is going to be a peacock, which is good.  I only have one male peafowl right now, and he’s getting old.

This youngster fans those feathers and displays every time I give them fresh food and water.  He also has a propensity for pecking at me.  I hope that goes away!

Not all the hummingbirds have departed for points further south yet.  There’s at least 3 of them out there still fussing at each other.  They’re so territorial!

I like this picture because you can see her little tongue sticking out!  Ummm, that was good stuff!

The butterflies are enjoying the last days of summer also.  We still have several flitting around the butterfly bushes, enjoying the nectar.

It’s hard to get pictures of them sometimes, because like the hummingbirds, they don’t stay still very long!

Before you know it, they’re in flight again, and it’s hard to focus in and get a good shot!

Close by one of the butterfly bushes there’s another garden spider on the hunt.  This one has had HUGE success, having caught a cicada in her web.

Wow!  If you take into account her long legs, her prey is actually bigger than she is!  That ought to keep her pantry full for some time!

Thanks for visiting, and hope you enjoyed this weeks photos!