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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....;-)



  1. We must have been separated at birth. I love snakes and chickens and frogs and nature and outside and flowers, and on and on and on! We really need to get together. I had a Buff Orpington named Princess. I miss having chickens and fresh eggs and watching them do their chicken things.

  2. Buttercup is so pretty! Please tell her I said she sure doesn't look her age. And I REALLY don't blame her for scooting off that nest when the snake came by for a snack! I love snakes - but I don't want them ON me! Can you believe how they can detach their jaws and get their mouths around such large eggs? That's a pretty snake though. Around here chicken/rat snakes are mostly black with a white belly. I like his ribbons. Very decorative. I bet that honey is going to be awesome! I love gardenias - will you strain out the petals? I love all the different color rose petals in the other jar too - so very Victorian and pretty. I laughed at the little frog popping his head out the garden hose! And he was smart to choose YOUR garden hose - most people don't look before hooking up that water. Fun post Julie! I feel like I've spent a day walking around the yard and kitchen with you! (((hugs)))

  3. Denise! From what I hear about you we really must have been separated! Totally two peas in a pod! LOL And I am terrified of crickets and grasshoppers, just about the only thing I don't like, oh, and roaches!
    Call me sometime and we'll get together, Tammy has my number! I wasn't sure if this was you or not so I called her. LOL
    Great to hear from you!

    Penny, Buttercup thanks you so much for the compliment!
    I've seen chicken/rat snakes with white bellies around here too, I think they are older ones and their bright yellow seems to fade somewhat.
    On the honey I'm going to leave the pedals in since they are edible and would take to much honey with them if I strain them.
    LOL It flipped me out when that little frog popped it's head out of the hose! It posed so good for the camera....;-)
    Thank you for dropping by and leaving yet another sweet comment Penny, I always look forward to your visits ;-)
    Love ya!

  4. Oh, I love gardenias! I wish I had some to flavor jelly or honey with! And the snake - I would faint dead away. Revive me when it's gone.

  5. I wish I had a way to get some to you Angie, my bushes are still loaded! I made potpourri and gardenia water with some too!
    LOL on the snake, I let him go across the dirt road in the woods, hopefully he'll find better things to eat over there.