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Friday, June 11, 2010

Just Minding Our Own Business

Meet Buttercup....she's a Buff Orpington. She is five years old and just now has decided that she wants to be a mother! That's okay by me she's an absolute sweetheart and has spent many days sitting in my lap listening to me babble on about one thing or another.
When her and her sister was about a year old I came home from work one day and found one of them hanging upside down on their pen (the fence). I didn't see her when I first went into the pen but there was an odd, uneasy feeling in the air...all of the other hens seemed out of sorts......anyway, I looked over and my heart sank. She had her leg caught in the fence and couldn't get free. She was almost dead and I didn't think she would make it. I got her down and her leg had already stiffened, she was dehydrated and in awful shape. I brought her in and held her for a bit trying to work her leg and got fluids back into was touch and go for days and I gave her physical therapy for a good week before she could get up and go on her own again.Here she is just sitting on her clutch of eggs minding her own business when something peeked over the top of her head and slithered down into the box with her...or.... I don't know she may have squawked bloody murder and flew out of there before it got in there with her.
I would have!
Forgive the blurriness I was a bit nervous, what with all the commotion going on and all.....
A lot of people have asked me what I do with my hens when they slow down on laying.....I let them live out their life as usual and die of natural causes. I don't put my girls in the freezer and would only do so if we were starving to death. My hens are part of my family...they feed us well and don't ask for anything in return, except to be let out of their pen to free range. Now roos on the other hand is a different story, they go into the freezer IF we can't give them away.
This is a harmless snake, around here it has various names....garter snake, ribbon snake, rat snake, chicken snake......I usually call them ribbon snakes because of the stripes down the back. This one is very young, my husband said (judging by me holing it up) it was about four feet long. I believe it's mother was the one living under the nest boxes last summer...I blogged about it but can't remember what post it was now.
My hens lay very large eggs and it was having an awful time trying to get it's mouth over this one.
I'm thinking Buttercup got into a fight with "Reds" sister (the one that likes to fight over a nesting box that another hen is in), because there is a broken shell by that snake.
Anyway, I saw I had the opportunity to pick the snake up while it had it's mouth full, I usually just pull them out with a snake hook I made and send them on their way.
Here it is, it was hard taking this picture while holing this snake, I had to keep a grip on it's head and not freak out while it was trying to wrap around me.....I'm starting to think I'm spending too much time alone here in my own little world of nature...minding my own business......;-)
I went to change out hoses this morning and saw what looked like a dirt daubers nest inside of the hose, then out popped this little creature.....a baby toad, isn't it cute? I told it, it's a good thing I looked in there before screwing it to the faucet...poor thing would've been all washed up! ;-)
Just minding it's own business......
I do other things around here besides Honeybees, snakes and frogs ;-)
I put up some infused honey last week.....Rose infused and Gardenia infused honey.
Rose honey, I did this honey the same as the gardenia honey only I used a small jelly jar for the rose because I didn't have but a few roses.
With each one I made a cold salt bath to wash off any little insects that might be lurking in between the pedals....
Then I carefully and tenderly (pedals bruise really easy) pulled the pedals off..."he loves me.....he loves me not"...."he loves me....he loves me not".....hey! He loves me!!! ;-)
Then I let them dry, but only enough to dry the water off not dry out the pedals.
I used a pint jar for the gardenia then poured the honey in, mixed it gently with a butter knife to just pull the pedals from the sides and let the air off. Add more honey to top it off.
For the next week or so I will turn the jars over a few times during the day. Can't wait to taste smells SO good!
Now, I'm off to pickle some squash and cucumbers.
uwww, I hear thunder......such a delightful sound, now I really don't feel bad for staying inside and minding my own business....;-)