Friday, November 22, 2013

To Run Amok!

One of my favorite phases is 'running amok'. My definition of running amok is when you throw off all resistant, shackles and go a bit crazy..really fun..But you must know where the throttle is--- well you don't have to use the throttle, but then Look Out!
[disclaimer- I'm not responsible for others who try full throttle running amok]
As you all know 2 years ago, I moved off my hobby farm. "you can take the boy out of the country' but you can't take the country out of the boy"  I  live on the edge of Fergus Falls..few close neighbors. I  found the perfect nice home for me and it came with a small barn!!  I have had a few false starts to what critters to keep. I have stuck to my Lionhead rabbits.
The last 10 days has been a mild (using the throttle) running amok. I purchased two young Lionhead rabbits, Betty handles all her bunnies from birth so they are tame, can be picked up, held, and they cuddle in like a tame kitten.
Tuesday Spee Dee delivered my new pair. Casanova is a tri-color buck - think calico- and Fancy is a Harlequin doe with very good markings.. I am thrilled



Casanova and Fancy  join my other pair Baby (doe) and Louie (buck)

Same day!  I received my pair of Old Fashioned Frills - "Satinettes"
Small, calm, tame and quiet, sense a theme?
Intoducing Tina (left) and Ike (right) They both have a diverse color genetic background, so they will produce several different colored wing shields/tails.
 Tina and Ike (Turner)
Every really good running amok needs a throw back to what started my critter love, Chickens!!
My first chickens I was 6 years old, ah... I will be 59 in January
When I moved to town, a dear friend has kept my Ameraucana flock going. They lay large sky blue eggs in any weather, perfect Minnesota layer. Not only do they lay blue eggs, and selected to be great winter layers, the majority of them have blue/gold, blue/red,, blue plumage!! My goal was achieved blue hens that lays a blue eggs!  So honoring that long tradition of keeping chcikens I am getting 13 chicks next Wednesday....I am permitted to keep four hens, so later I will pick out 4 favories.....amok! amok!
I have adapted my little barn into multi - levels  So I have room for all under one roof....
all well kept and the floor is swept every day,,,,,,visitors need not worry about their shoes!
Its easier to cuddle and play with everyone while inside out of the winter wind!
Debate if you must, but a good running amok is good for the soul
Till later

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This year's Shrubs

Its mid October. I have had several inches of rain this month, 10 inches! our average for a year is 20, so far 31 inches......and we have a few months of "snow melt" to add to it!
I am an avid waterer of my plants. They arrive from the ursery beautiful large tops and small root systems, so I water to make sure they get well established. In my two Springs here I have planted 85 shrubs and 3 perennial flower beds...More next year! Well enough talk, here are the pictures of a few of my shrubs,
I like the long flowering season of Hydrangeas  My Limelight

My Hardy shrub Centennial Rose 

Red Weigala bush

Pink Weigala bush, forgot its name its 9 years old, I moved it from the farm, finally is looking somewhat like it should.  I think it should a thick lush shrub like my red weigala,but it does pack on the flowers

Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangea, one of the real stars of my yard, flowers start out white, turn pink an finally to a red keeps sending out new blooms so it has all three colors at the same time!

 My second Strawberry Vanilla, most of its blooms are the final color stage.....absolutely stunning

My Incrediball, Annabelle, Endless Summer Hydrangeas by the bunny barn

Outstanding shrub, Summer Wine Ninebark, gorgeous thick spread, loaded wtih quarter size flowers in June, when not in bloom, its burgundy leaves make quite a statement
I planted two Summer Glow Tamarisk shrubs. They are just small whips, but here is the 6 year old on the farm.......I think its one of the neatest shrubs one can have in the yard. Mid summer it blooms with spikes of deep pink.
The only tree in my yard when I moved here in November, all the leaves off I didn't pay any attention to it....thought just a tree. What a surprise the next Spring!...A beautiful Flowering Crab Apple. I always wanted one and this one is Gorgeous and 25 ft tall and well shaped!...I added the white fence from the farm.

Pictures to keep in my mind as we enter 6 months old snow, wind and cold. Spring is special in any part of the country.....But here even more so, as we come out of short dark days to everything green and lush!
Till Later

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Flower Gardens

My rabbit cages have wire bottoms. I put sawdust on the floor of the bunny shed. I get a wonderful mixture of sawdust, rabbit droppings and waste hay. I apply it to my flower beds all summer as mulch, it does not burn the plants.  All winter I apply the mulch to my beds.
Fall is here, no frost yet, but most of the flowers are done. Faithful watering, heavy rabit mulch-- so very few weeds........I planted my flower bed so it blooms in I have flowers all summer. In order of appearance  Iris, Fox Glove, Asian Lilies, Giant Trumpet Lilies, Day Lilies, Hollyhocks, Phlox.


This summer I moved short plants out from in back to a new bed. In their space I planted 20 new Oriental Lily bulbs and 2 more giant Trumpter Lilies. I can't wait to see it!

Till later

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lionhead Rabbits

You can put a country boy in town, but you can't take the country out of the boy
I decided to start  blogging again.
A year ago I converted my garden shed into a rabbity. I purchased 3 double maned Lionhead rabbits, a buck and 2 does. Lionheads are a dwarf breed wiegh 2.5-3 pounds, have a mane of longer fur like a lion, a skirt of fur along their flanks and most important very tame.....come up to receive their petting. When I am feeding them, if I haven't petted one, it will nudge my hand, as if to say hey come on, pet me! My does are full sisters, Baby and Cuddles gave me wonderful kits. nothing beat a box full of bunnies! Cute, tame and respond well to being cuddled. The slick furred young bunny soon becomes furry as a lion. I found homes for the extras and go into winter with my two does Baby and Cuddles. Cuddle's son Butter and Baby's son Louie (Granddaughter's favorite and she named him) and Louie's sister Babette.  My bunnies carried dilute genes- lilac, chocolate, blue, fawn. So any color bunny is possible in the nest box, keeps it interesting and fun.
Here are the pictures




Month old Butter(see his blue shade)

                                                             Box of bunnies!




Till later

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New critter pics

Well winter has come to Minnesota. Not my favorite season, but being retired, if its bad weathr I just stay home! I have just a few breeding groups........just to enjoy the hens and rabbit.

My new bantam cochin hens arrived.  Lemon blue and Brown Reds. They are gorgeous. Tame and gentle.....they are fun to watch.

This week they will be joined by a Blue mottled pullet

Buddy is enjoying the cool weather, he recently got his wool cut......

I reduced the number of chicks to 5.......hopefully all pullets......I guess time will tell

I take a 2 mile walk every day, TLC my pets, with new powerful glasses (and eye drops) I can read large print I always have a book in progress. My quiet life suits me, I am not alone---I live with me!

Till later

Monday, November 12, 2012

They over stayed their welcome

I had a brooder box set up in my main floor laundry for my 16 cochin bantam chicks. A clear plastic 32 gallon tote,its lid cut to have half of it a screen. brooder light with 40 watt bulb attached to it-- on a card table.  The tote bottom had a bit of give to it.......At 10 days they started running marathons during the night. What a rucus...thump, thump, thump with a few chicks cheering them on with loud chirps. So I made a pen on a shelf in my hen house. At 2 weeks old I moved them out to their new pen.  Its larger, they are happy and I am gettin more sleep!

"They" say that the pullet chicks develop their wing and tail feathers before the rooster chicks do. If that holds true then this one is a pullet "Golda" she will jump up and stand on my hand, she's not afraid [disclaimer she is bolder than a pullet should be- time will tell the gender]
Here's the gang in their new pen..the chick at the wire is "Golda" a Golden Laced

Golda will look like this as a 6 month old pullet
Till later


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I haven't posted in quite some time. My back yard was a blank slate, no plantings save for a beautiful large flowering crab.
I moved my white fence from the farm to encompass my back yard.
 I planted several shrubs and started a perennial flower bed.

I am starting a list for next Spring.  Tiger Eye Sumac, Tamarisk shrub, Hollyhocks,
more rose bushes......possibilities are endless.

My hen house is empty. I decided not to chase after high egg production. Instead I ordered 18 straight run bantam cochin chicks in Six varities...... to arrive on Friday. (hoping to get one nice pullet per variety)  Pets - strictly to have, hold, tame down, pet and give treats. I can't keep Shetland sheep in town, but I got a chicken permit to have some small cuddly colorful bantams,
Golden Laced

Silver Laced

So as I post, you can follow along on the baby chick project.

Alot of friends and acquaintnaces say in astonishment "you moved to town?" Moving to town is like starting a new chapter. I left behind some opportunities, here I am open to new ones. I can walk downtown for groceries,to my bank and to the Library. I volunteer at the Hospital's information desk twice a week. I am meeting alot of new people. Every one is so friendly. I live in a quiet well kept area, great neighboors. My family is closeby. I have my small rambler house with laundry on the main floor.....easy house is charming, clean. When my divorce started a cousin told me " I think you will be just fine." She was right.  My new committee of one..........shoot any new idea I propose, gets approved and passed. Life can't get much better than that!

Till we talk later