Monday, December 19, 2016

Sierra Mist

So, check this out.  I took this photo of a wild turkey bunch this past summer after a rainy afternoon.  They had come fluffing through the back yard. Super fun to watch.  And yes that's a very white hen in the middle of em all.

Look who's come to visit!

I laughed the other day...because each morning...when I walk out into the of the first things I do is look out the kitchen window.  Why? Because you never know what you might see around the bird feeder.

This was a visit from some of the same wild turkey flock!  Imagine how fun it was to see these HUGE birds pecking and scratching about the base of the bird feeder.  It didn't appear that the local winter songbird population was too thrilled by the invasion (I imagine in the land of itty bitty songbirds...wild turkeys are HUGE...and they kept their safe distance watching from the nearby tree branches).

But I mention all this mainly because there's something of note here.  Sierra Mist!!!

Notice in the below photo the grayish hen just to the left of the far right birdhouse post with white wings.  Enter Sierra Mist. Yes, I've deemed her with this name as a sort of spin off from Snow White...combined with the military phonetic alphabet version of Sierra Wiskey...which then has morphed into Sierra Mist.  Seems like a fitting name somehow.

I watched her for a while and noticed that she appeared to be the matriarch of this bunch.  Maybe the "mother" of some of these hens?

Regardless, these guys are super fun to watch. No idea how their feet aren't freezing from marching about in the snow, but doesn't seem to bother them at all.

I went outside shortly after this photo was taken and dumped a bunch more bird seed on the ground around the feeder.  Who knew the feeder could become it's own nature watching "cable channel"?

Until next time....keep your eyes peeled...ya never know what might come visit.

Friday, December 9, 2016


I found this article I wrote in November 2011 and I'm amazed at how pertinent it is today...still!

Black-Capped Chickadee
Moving often weaves a certain knowledge.  There’s a certain excitement that comes from learning a new place, meeting new people, learning new skills, leaving behind the security blanket of “the known”.  An attachment to these things then grows and many times we learn to identify with them as who we are.  Creating this feeling of without them…we lack, we lose.

I’ve found that most people seem to think that relocating is a very brave thing to do.  Maybe this is true. Maybe this stems from fear of losing oneself in reaching out for what is new…the re-identifying factor.

Speaking from a place of gypsy-ness, from that of adventure-seeker: When you stay in one place (typically referred to as settling down) your world evolves from dynamic to static.  One in which everything is defined and mapped out (by you).  This mapping takes time.  It takes time to get to know people, to have experiences with them at work and at play.  Birthday gatherings, cookouts, conflict and resolution, etc.  Then of course there’s that of learning your favorite new places.

Part of the adventure in moving is exploring those things all over again.  Defining a new map if you will.  But where it gets difficult for me is letting go of those previous favorites.  Letting go of my attachment to places, people, experiences, work environment, swimming holes, eateries, all of it.  

Do we leave people, places or experiences behind? Or do we take a part of them with us and leave a part of ourselves behind?

Some days I have to institute some serious mental discipline to not linger in the memories of those people and places from the past.  For in doing so, I sense that I’m blocking from entering my door even greater experiences, people and places.

Let it flow.  Just like the wild bird carries nothing with them on their flight from tree to tree, I too must let it be, leave it be and not attempt to fill my backpack with things that are better left where they are.  Because to drag them along with me inhibits us both.  So embrace the mere memory of these things.  Embrace all that it is where you found it. If you pick it up be sure to put it back where you found it.  Someone else may come along behind you and receive the same blessing from it.  And it will be much lighter if I don’t carrying this along with me and when the next great thing comes along I have the space to allow it to float through. 

This is my story.  Let it be.


It's the Holiday Season...with the whoop-de-do...

and all those other fun Christmas lyrics.

Two of my personal favs...

...don we now our GAY apparel, fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yule-tide GAY.

Gotta love that Christmas cheer ya know...makes me smile EVERY time I hear these songs play on the radio.  The season where gays are actually included in the celebrating!  Yay gay!

In the meantime...Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

can still help....

Still much to do with clean up efforts and assistance for those who lost everything in the wildfires that ripped through Gatlinburg on Monday, November 28th, 2016.

Want to help...easy peezy. 

For only $15.00 you can help AND receive one of these super cool tshirts.

Click here to purchase your Smokies Strong tshirt and help!

This is a collaborative effort on behalf of WBIR TV in Knoxville.  Having already raised $200,000 for the Red Cross they are now splitting the proceeds from the sale of this shirt between the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund and Friends of the Smokies.

Click here to purchase your Smokies Strong tshirt and help!

Stay strong Smoky Mountain Friends!! 

Don't know anything about it...and want to learn more about what happened?


or click here to read the latest


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Said to be the worst wildfire to blanket the Smoky Mountains in over hundred years much has unfolded since Monday night primarily in the Gatlinburg area.

For those who don't know Gatlinburg, Wears Valley and Pigeon Forge was picked apart by wildfires that ravaged down from the Chimney Tops (in the Smoky Mtn National Park) in a matter of hours Monday night.  This due primarily to the unprecedented 80 mile an hour winds that churned up hot embers like a blow torch.

To read accounts, see photos and watch videos of the before, during and current coverage visit the following:  (ABC channel 6) (Knoxville News Sentinel) (NBC channel 10)

Ironically, if you haven't heard of the aweful events unfolding throughout East Tennessee among other areas of the south ravaged by draught and subsequent wildfires take a look at this interesting read:

The South Is On Fire And National Media Couldn’t Care Less


Now I'm starting to read of criticism of how the local leadership handled the evacuation of the city of Gatlinburg (of which I'm sure will likely unfold in many other ways too)

What city (besides those who have previously experienced wildfires ripping through their city limits) has the experience and plans and policies in place for such a life-changing event?

Hind sight is always 20/20.  But let's be realistic about this...these fires came crashing into the city of Gatlinburg in a matter of hours.  There wasn't time to send out patrols to find the safest evacuation routes and then direct folks in an orderly fashion out of the city.  And let's just say that the cell phone alert system did work...who knows if this would have helped or hindered evacuations?

Ironically, the people did it!!  Those who were there...upon receiving word in some form or fashion got out...and helped others to get out too.  Horrifically, some lost their lives in the process.  (currently the death toll is at 13). Pets scattered and were separated from the ones who loved them the most.  (some of which perished also).  And spite of the losses there was also much...escape....survival...and rescue.

This is community as I know it.  When circumstances suddenly become a fight-for-our-lives...the people join together and help each other survive.  It's what people do.  Contrary to what the media seems to think (that we can't do anything on our own accord...through our own efforts...without local authorities taking us by the hand).  Don't get me fighters and police worked tirelessly through the whole ordeal and still are putting forth unbelievable effort.  But let's also commend the community itself for its own survival!

The events that unfolded since Monday night in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (and the immediate surrounding areas) are a testament to human fortitude. Let us never forget...the people are what makes this nation great!

Want to a t-shirt!  Proceeds benefit the Red Cross to help those in East Tennessee.
This is a collaboration between local NBC channel 10 in Knoxville and the Red Cross.
click here

Monday, November 28, 2016

my heart is wrenching....

for all my dear friends in the Smoky Mountains.

just learned of the tragic news of forest fires surrounding Gatlinburg.

I am praying for rain.  Much rain.

Peace and love to you  my friends.

Sad sad news this night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

and the eye's have it...

Here's my latest installment of songbird paintings.  This is a "Mourning Warbler" and what inspired me to create this particular piece was the potential wow factor of the eyes.  Um, yeah.

Songbirds are so much fun to paint...but the challenge is to get the eye's right.  Because if you jack up the jack the entire painting.  (Of course you have to get the beak and body right too...but the essence in my opinion is in the eyes.)

Yet another fun painting complete!

This "Mourning Warbler" painting is made with acrylic on gesso board and measures 11"x14".

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

the math

Well, it's done.  Or technically almost.  All votes counted aren't final just yet...but...the winner has been declared.

It was anyone's guess who would win the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. I don't think I'm alone in saying I truly expected Hillary Clinton to become the next U.S. President.

I am most amused by the fact that the media's take on it seems to be...."how did we get it wrong?"  Pfft. The media doesn't seem to understand it's not about them.'s stunning to me to see how truly close this race was. The image above lists a total count of the popular votes cast for Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green) and of course Donald Trump (Republican) and Hillary Clinton (Democrat). Again these are the popular vote totals as of 1:30pm EST 11/9/16.  And per Electoral vote totals, Donald Trump has been declared the winner.

But look at the margins.  Yet's obvious our country is CLEARLY DIVIDED as to who should be our leader or whatever the criteria was that individuals chose to cast their votes for one over another.

This also means that 64,849,871 American's are feeling pretty crappy right now.  Nearly SIXTY FIVE MILLION people didn't vote for Donald.  And yet....the 59,389,590 that did....I imagine have a much happier feeling....maybe?  Can't truly really speak for anyone else.

However...realistically, NONE of us know what's to come.  I think that's just it.  The unknowns are a bit unnerving.  Let's face it...whenever there is a "regime change" we never really know what to expect.

One thing IS for certain...there WILL be changes.

Here we go for yet another wild ride.  And here comes a FLOOD of actions or non-action regarding promises given during the campaign process.  (Actions DO speak louder than BRING on the ACTION!)

In the mean time...I'm glad the dog-and-pony-show has finally ended!!!  Can we move on and talk about something else for a while?

Maybe I should be giving t-shirts away that say "I survived another presidential election!"

Monday, October 24, 2016


Purina Feed Company has been handing out these cool tin signs with purchase of their chicken layer feed, Purina Layena.  (A fav of our flock)

I picked this (there are 3 to choose from) sign speaks for itself.  Thank you Purina!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The windy city!

Adventure....BIG CITY style!  Taxis horns blaring on every corner, smells that can knock you over, lights, flashes, crowds, wind, panhandlers, smiles, EVERYTHING expensive......That's what I can say about downtown Chicago.

Just so happened that the weekend we explored (mostly on foot, holy smokes the walking we did!) the downtown area of also happened to be the weekend of the Chicago Marathon, President Obama was in town to visit some "private donors" (gotta stroke the donors) and Monday finished it all off with the Columbus Day parade....none of which we new was happening before we arrived.

Apart from navigating throngs of people we had a fabulous time...visiting such places as the House of Blues, the Navy Pier (where we were in the above photo) and the Field Museum to name a few.  Other highlights included eating original Chicago deep dish pizza at the Pizzeria Uno (YUM!) and exploring the darker parts of the city via a haunted bus tour of various locales full of local flair. 

Who knew Harpo Studios had been torn down? And that was also the same site used as a staging area for family members to identify the victims of a horrible boat accident in 1915 now called the Eastland disaster....also described as "tragedy that defies description".... 845 people died.  When Harpo Studios was still there it was said that you could sometimes here sloshy footsteps and sounds of children laughing and playing in the building.  To read more about this disaster click here.

All-in-all was quite an experience....but oh my was I glad to return back to quiet, calm, country living again.

Needless to say...the city of Chicago has LOADS of history and certainly is worth many visits.  We hardly touched the tip of the iceberg during our stay.  Maybe that means we will have to visit again?

Before this visit, I knew nothing of the Chicago river...but another really cool thing we got to do was take a boat taxi from one end of this river to the other through the city. Was a COOL way to explore the high-rises of the windy city...and I had to laugh when we came round the bend in the river and staring us in the face was Trump Tower.  Only high rise I saw that had "TRUMP" in HUGE letters at basically eye level compared to the names on other high rises.  Nice branding there Mr. Trump.

Well, here we go onto more adventuring...who knows where we will end up next!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Meet Nellie...or Nell's as she is affectionately called around our house.  She is currently our mascot guinea pig...full of personality!

Before yesterday...she didn't have a bed of any I made her this one out of a small box...fastened it to the side of her cage and walked away...just to sneak back around and see if she liked it and I was able to snap this photo of her chillaxin in her new crib!  YEAH!

I laugh because now...she sits in her little box...sticks her head out the door hole and can reach her food bowl without ever leaving the box.  I have noticed that she is much quieter now...she seems more comfortable...which makes me happy.

She LOVES celery...and usually doesn't miss a chance to squeal at any passerby in an attempt to influence said passerby to give her a few celery snacks.

Not sure why...but seems like our house is a magnet for pets full of personality.
No...please don't drop your's off...we have plenty.

When things go awry in nature...who do you call?

Enter....Nature's Nursery, Whitehouse, Ohio.

Their hotline: 419-877-0060

It was totally a fluke how I first learned of this local non-profit.  It was Spring of 2014 and I had just raked the previous years dead garden foliage into a pile and lit it on fire...only to my UTTER dismay....there were about 5 baby rabbits hidden underneath.

Needless to say...I felt horrible.  I managed to rescue 3 of them...enter....Nature's Nursery.  We called them up...they said bring em over...and that was that.  Three baby bunnies...nursed back to health...grew up a bit and were released back into the wild.

This is a typical story that comes from what Nature's Nursery is all about.

Chris and I were able to attend an open house they hosted this past Sunday.  My how educational it was indeed. As a demonstration to what Nature's Nursery is all about, they released a red-tailed hawk back into the wild on Sunday after his long recovery from being shot.  Pretty cool to witness...although I think I heard every small to medium sized rodent within a 2 mile radius scream in fear for its life...but...I digress.

Above is one of Nature's Nursery many volunteers talking about the barn owl that she is holding. He among a few other various animals are permanent residence at nature's nursery due to the extent of their injuries and not being able to make it in the these animals have become educators.

While the photos I've posted here are all of owls....they also assist with possum, skunk, raccoon, turtles...if it's in the wild and it's injured or orphaned...usually they can help.

To learn more visit the Nature's Nursery website.

It's only natural to want to help when we find wild animals that are injured...well finally there is someone we can call.

Birdhouse do-over.

Sometimes the things I create don't quite get something is off with it...needs to be tweaked.  Well, that can be said for this birdhouse above.  The "duplex" birdhouse sat in the yard untouched by any of the nesting songbirds this you don't have to tell me twice...the local birds said, "fail!"  Time for a do-over.

I'd been reading on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website about various important traits of homemade detail of which has to do with the hole size.  If the hole size is too big then predator birds can get in and kill the littler ones. (I did witness a starling this year trying to wreak havoc on a bluebird pair that claimed one of my houses as their nesting site.)  If it's too small...well obviously there will be no takers.

The other interesting detail I was reading about was to do with not installing perches.  Perches simply create a ledge for predator birds to sit on while poking and jabbing through the hole at the baby birds.

I was also interesting is learning about tree clinging birds that are native to this area...the tree clingers and the bit about no perches then gave me the idea of using a natural bark like an effort to attract these types of birds to nest.

So here's the do-over version.

There have been some clingers come round and check it out...but I imagine that since it's long past nest season...maybe we will have some takers on this one next year.

Time will tell.  And the backyard birding/nestbox experiments continue.

Stay tuned...

Look who stopped by for a bit...

Not sure why...but I really haven't seen many wild turkeys around this year. (besides the male that came around in the Spring)  So what a DELIGHT it was to spot this group of girls hanging out in our yard the other day!

It's hard to tell from this photo...but there are two different juvenile groups in amongst the adult hens here.  A few really little ones and then some that were about twice the size. They were really fun to they stuck around for about 2 hours or so before skadaddling off into the corn field.  And I have no idea what's up with the whitish one?  Can't say I've seen that before in a wild hen.

One never knows what will come meandering through out yard next.  I'm kind of hoping for maybe a little bantam rooster that needs a home.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Drawing elephants...

Not sure why, but I've found myself suddenly interested in elephants.  This may have some to do with my recent discovery of the Elephant Listening Project (click on this link to learn what the ELP is all about).

And then drawing elephants caught my attention.  So while looking for images of elephants to inspire some new drawings...I came across a most fascinating story of an elephant named Motala and the world's first elephant hospital.

I was inspired to make a little sketch of Motala.  Might even one day create a painting or two or a larger drawing (as this ones just a few inches wide).

Click here to watch the Documentary "The Eyes of Thailand"
(62 minute film - "The Eyes of Thailand" is the inspirational and powerful story of one woman’s quest to help two elephant landmine survivors—Motala and Baby Mosha—walk on their own four legs.)

In brief, Motala, an elephant landmine survivor, stepped on a landmine near the Burmese border in 1999.  But thanks to the efforts of Soraida Salwala and her work creating the world's first elephant hospital, Motala now wears a prosthetic and is doing well some 17 years later.

click here to read Motala's story

click here to learn more about the world's first elephant hospital

click here for images and info about Motala from ABCnews

click here to donate to "Friends of the Asian Elephant" and support their efforts 

click here to learn more about Soraida Salwala and why she is helping the elephants

It's stories like these that inspire me to reach for things that have substance/meaning, to engage in our surroundings, to pay attention to those who are making a difference...(even if it may seem trivial to some to help elephants).  These things serve as a reminder that trivial crap like social media, television programming, and countless other time wasters are just that...time wasters.  We all can make a difference if we will just pay attention.

Thank you Soraida Salwala for your passion and caring for injured elephants and to your whole hospital team!

Palomini? Yes please!

I was wandering through the merchant area during the 2016 Delta chicken festival a few weeks ago...and this caught my eye!!!

The Palomini Travel Trailer by Palamino!!

Oh my...what a beauty.  Not too big, not too small.  Perfect for the many future adventuring ideas I have in mind.

This particular Palomoni is owned by the Toledo Blade newspaper and their marketing folks use it when they travel around to various fairs and festivals to peddle subscriptions to the newspaper. This sounds fun and all...but if I had one of these gems...I'd surely take it on a US wide travel tour.

So this being said...if you have one of these beauties parked and lonely somewhere...and you're looking to donate it to a good cause?  Uh, pick me!

Well...this is a first.

Who knew that there are salamanders in Northwest Ohio? Yeah, me either.  Until just the other day...after some pretty heavy rains, I went outside to refresh the ice supply in our "chicken eggs for sale" cooler.

Since water from the ice collects inside the bottom of the cooler, I dump it out...and have found some pretty interesting things hiding under the cooler when I pick it up to dump it.  Toads and frogs mostly...until this little dude showed up.

The photo above is what was hanging out under the cooler.  A salamander, just chillin. (pun intended)
After some seems to match the description of a "blue-spotted salamander."

According to the blue-spotted salamander is listed as endangered by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. However, according to wikipedia the blue-spotted salamander is listed as "least concern."  Maybe this means that as far as the state of Ohio goes...the blue-spot is endangered but not in other states?'s fun to say...hey, I saw an endangered salamander in my yard the other day!  COOL!

I've seen a lot of pretty cool wildlife in this here region of Ohio...but this one's a first for me.  A blue-spotted salamander.  Who knew?

Well, I'm off to find more adventures...until next time...always more to come!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Railroad humor

While standing near Ashland Rail Yard in Chicago, IL this train was rolling by and the humor of what was spray painted on the center (red K LINEs)  railcar made me laugh out loud.

Look closely at the yellow part under the red containers.

Trail buddies.

I don't hike alone much these days because I almost always have my trail buddies along with.

It's so difficult for me to stay indoors during the summer...and the dogs feel the same way mostly.
Here we are enjoying a local trail. Reese is the one in the lead here...Dodi close behind. 

Things I can say about Ohio trails is never a poisonous snake, never a black bear...maybe the occasional squirrel or ground hog....but no less number of ticks than in Tennessee. (I keep meaning to get the dogs t-shirts that say "tick-magnets" on them.)

Oh and this is a section of the Wabash-Cannonball Rail-to-trail North Fork.

Happy Summer trails!!

Fulton County humor

While driving home one day....Chris noticed this sign in someone's yard.  She told me about it and sometime shortly thereafter we took this photo.

Gotta love some Fulton County Ohio!

bucket list...

Bowling?  Yep. 

We're making every effort to do things this summer that are fun, not real pricey, fairly easy to do and close by.

This was actually Isaac's it's so hard for me to stay indoors when the weather is fab fabness outside.  But we went anyway.

Isaac (Chris' 13 yr old) grabbed a friend and off we went one day last week to give-a-go at bowling.  Me, Chris, Isaac and Juan.

After we gathered up all the necessary bowling accouterments (ie, bowling shoes and bowling ball) and after receiving a tutorial on how to set the scoring machine (very uncomplicated in a complicated way), the emotions of trying to roll a heavy ball down a slick, waxed, wooden alley with aluminum gutters on both sides (which I think have magnets in them that suck in bowling balls) while attempting to knock down ten no where NEAR as easy as it looks.

It took us all some finagling...a little bit of trial-and-error...some luck...and some good ole crap shoot...before we got the hang of it.

I made an audible explosion sound complete with hand-motions nearly every time Chris bowled because her pins seemed to go careening like they just got hit by a truck.  Made me smile.

Technique is everything in bowling.  And no doubt...100% mental.

Needless to say, we all had a lot of fun.  And will likely try it again sometime soon.

Group activities...definitely something to write home about.

What wanders into the anybody's guess

Having grown up in an old farm house with huge was easy to be drawn to look outside when passing by...mainly because it was anybody's guess as to what you might see.

This farm house I live in now...while not such the large still amazes me what you can just never know what you're going to see.

This particular day...two of the cutest baby coonies wandered through.  Yes, yes...I know. I'm fully aware that baby raccoons grow up to be big raccoons and often wreak havoc on a chicken flock...but somehow this was different.  These two looked dehydrated and a little lost.  One was much smaller than the other...and it took some doing to manage to get some food in his belly.

The term "cooned-up" comes to mind...when I approached them both with a can of open tuna...the littlest guys' first response was most likely what mom had taught him...coon up (he turned sideways and arched his back like a cat and poofed his tail) and climb!  Although not so fast...he did manage to climb up into the nearby crab-apple tree.  His climbing skills were amazing...paws like velcro to the tree bark.  I was concerned that he might stuggle to get down...pfffft, silly me. He came down like a champ, just like he went up.  Well taught by mom!!

Anyhow, he did finally manage to sniff his way to the tuna can I left on the ground nearby. I didn't want to try and touch or pick up either of these my intent was simply to hydrate them a bit, give them some energy with no worries that they'd stick around.  (They seemed very intent upon moving they were looking for something.  Probably mom. She was no where to be found so I'm guessing she had been killed on the road or some such.

The larger of the two climbed a nearby tree and watched while chattering to his little brother.  I left them both in the backyard...hoping that they would simply move on...which it seems they did.  I never saw them again.

For as often as I've had to shoot adult raccoons messing around in the chicken barn, somehow this little act of kindness made me feel just a tad bit better.  As if the universe sent these two across my path so I could "pay-it-forward" in some way.  No idea if it did any good at all...but at least the little guy got a belly full.

Yet another way that nature shows is truly one moment at a time...if we choose to pay attention.  Never know what might wander through your yard.

And let the wild things remain wild. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Vacation....Tennessee style!

Finally!  After nearly 2 years...we made it back to our favorite stomping grounds....Chattanooga, TN.  This trip was specifically engineered around attending the 2016, 4 Bridges Art a personal favorite of mine...not to mention was my birthday week.

We usually take our two toy fox terriers (which is always a hoot) to romp around in the woods with us (they make great tick magnets).  Chris and Pieces are sporting a smile in the photo below.  This time we purposely chose places to hike that would be least likely to have ticks crawling around. (That worked out real well...only one tick this trip.)

We also visited some of our other mutual-favorite places in the "nooga" such as McKay's Used Books, The North Chatt Cat (which is now the Pub), various shops and galleries on Frazier Ave and a few new one's on Main Street.

Thrilled to have AMAZING weather...we stomped around North Chickamauga creek which is an amazing outdoor extravaganza of mountain stream meets mountain trails.  Dodi...pictured here with me above...especially loves swimming but he didn't seem too crazy with the numbing cold temps of the fresh mountain water here. 

Seems like we were both especially drawn to water this trip. Most of what we spent our time doing involved the Tennessee River one way or another.  Here's the TN river above in front of the TVA Raccoon Mountain complex. Both dogs did play around in the water here some...and we just soaked in the beauty of the moment at a time.

No vacation experience is complete without some wings and beer so naturally we visited Buffalo Wild Wings in Downtown Chattanooga.  We enjoyed sitting on the patio while watching the Grackles and Sparrows sweep in and grab the bits of fries on the ground.  Probably could have fed them by hand if we wanted to.

And then there was the actual birth date!  Here I am above enjoying a birthday morning the still of the morning.  Doesn't get much better than that!

Stay tuned...always more adventures to come!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring turkey aerobics..

Well, it's that time of year again...where any available wild turkey tom comes to visit.  Who then visits over a period of days...and challenges our tom through the fence in an effort to court our female turkey.  It's quite entertaining to watch.

This year's wild tom visitor we have already named "TJ" for "Tom Junior" as he's been hanging around for about a week now.  My GOODNESS look how BIG he is!  (TJ is the one on the right in the photo above and our Tom is on the left.) Sugar Pea (our female) doesn't seem to be all that interested in TJ.  Time will tell I suppose.

Guess we shall see what happens.  In the mean time, we don't dare open the fence for the males to get a chance to fight one another. We're betting that our tom would likely be injured at best and possibly even fatally at worst.  So they can just do the turkey tom aerobics through the fence...until one of them decides enough is enough.

So goes the adventures of random wildlife showing up in our backyard.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

Well, Sugar pea disappeared with I assume to be the wild male tom for about a week. She has since returned and we no longer get visits from the male tom. So...time did tell.  We are glad sugar pea returned. We like her here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chicken celebrities!!!

It's happened!!!  Our chickens are totally legit now!

I opened up the May/June issue of Chicken Magazine today to find our photo published!!

Hokey Toe is a STAR!! (she's the brown hen on the right and the only hen still living from when this photo was taken. The three barred rocks at the top we gave away because they were mean bullies, the black hen in the center disappeared one day [we so miss her...the only hen we've had that hatched multiple groups of chicks], hokey toe is on the right...note she has short toes because just after we got her from a neighboring farm she had frostbite on her toes and Amelia is in the front...who unfortunately also disappeared one day)

THANK YOU Chicken Magazine!

Although the image of our girls wasn't selected as the winner to receive one of those super COOL nite-guard devices...still fabulous to see our birds published nonetheless!

I probably should write the nite-guard company and explain to them that only one of the six birds shown in this photo is still living...therefore...we NEED your device.

Anyhow, what FUN to enter and be one of this months' 7 finalists!

Next enter the "rooster of the year" and "hen of the year" photo contest!

Free rent! Tenants wanted.



I've been inspired by the season.  The SONGBIRDS are back!!!

Red-Winged black birds, Robins (of course), blue birds, blue jays (these guys stuck around all winter) and the vultures to name a few.  Haven't seen the little wrens yet....but we're ready for their arrival!

So....I decided to make preparations for their baby hatching needs...and build birdhouses.  And what FUN it is to build birdhouses.

First I started with tweaking the birdhouses we already had that were in various forms of dis-array.  And now I'm started to design and build my own from scratch.

I absolutely love designing new things with re-purposed and various found objects.  Currently my rainproof roofing material comes from re-purposing colorful beer and energy drink and tea cans. 

Have many many more ideas in the works.  Eventually these birdhouses will be for sale...but for now...they are being put through my outdoor birdhouse lab tests for user friendliness and functionality and such.

Unfortunately, I don't have any tenants at present.  Excited to see just who might come to roost!

Stay tuned as I'll be posting updates as to if any of these houses prove to assist any bird birthings.

Monday, March 7, 2016

free rent

I've recently been bitten by the bug to build my own little bird houses.  I've traced out a ton of ideas...and have lots of old barn wood to work with. 

But I started first with re-working some old bird houses we already had laying around in need of repair or a face-lift.  Who knew how fun it is to build bird houses!!  Definitely have many many more in my future to far I've completed four. Free rent for any songbird seeking a place to raise their young!

The photo of this bird house here shows my attempt at a graffiti type look...not really sure if birds will mind sharing the same space like this...but time will tell.

And....furthermore....I NOW have an excellent reason to buy some of those bright crazy-colored spray paints that Lowe's offers.  I think bird houses are supposed to be brightly jury is still out on that.