Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I bought a bale of straw from my cousin first thing this morning. I felt it was time to line the nest boxes in the chicken coop to get the girls used to it before they start laying. I have placed some golf balls in the nests to plant the idea of where the eggs should go. As soon as the chooks saw the straw they got nervous. They had never seen straw before and judging by their reactions, they thought it was going to eat them! They got over it after a while though, and now they are more intrigued by it than anything.

Apparently blood is not thicker than water, at least not in this family. My cousin charged me $5 for that bale of wheat straw. See if that cheap jerk gets any free eggs from me! Harumph!

We haven't seen Rocky in a few days. He is becoming more independent and doesn't seem interested in visiting us anymore. He has been very busy building a nest in one of the blue spruces next to the shop. In the morning, he can be seen scurrying about, gathering grasses and pine needles and hauling them up the tree where he packs the material into his huge nest. It just amazes me how this orphaned squirrel knows how to be a squirrel without ever being taught! Rocky doesn't come back at night to sleep in his cage anymore; he sleeps in his nest. He also weathered three powerful thunderstorms in his nest and seemed to come out unscathed. We wish he would come home for a good meal but he refuses, so we leave peanuts and sunflower seeds on the wood pile for him. Each evening we find the chewed-open peanut shells and halved sunflower hulls on the ground. He doesn't leave a thank you note.

Jim fished this afternoon and caught lots of blue gill and two large mouth bass. Then he caught something that really surprised and thrilled me--a yellow perch! It was one of a batch of 30 that got stocked last fall. It was so good and reassuring to see that little fish. Now I have visual confirmation that they did indeed survive. Jim let the little perch go and the rest of the fish are now in the freezer with the last batch he caught. Wonderful!

The fire flies are out in numbers now. I can look across the field at night and see a scene that reminds me of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I can just imagine fairies and pixies flying around in the woods with fire flies in their lanterns to light the way. It is a magical scene, right out of a dream! The bull frogs add to the effect with their baritone chorus. Crickets are chirping (at least the ones that haven't been caught by the chooks) and I can hear an occasional screech owl. Green frogs fill the percussion section with their twanging song which sounds like a loose banjo string being plucked. I don't know what pleases my senses more--day or night.


  1. I really love your stories and pictures of Rocky...he looks like he has such personality. I'll bet you guys are missing him now that he's Mr. Independent!

  2. We do miss him, very much. He is a nice, plump handful to squeeze and he is busting at the seams with personality.

  3. The way you describe your chooks and the straw cracks me up, because I can totally see ours doing the same. They thought it was going to eat them! hahaha. Yep. Such chickens.

    Now I am disturbed by your cousin charging you for that straw. What??

    LOVE the fish story! That must make you so happy! Man, I wish our little pond could have fish in it. Only a fine crop of mosquitoes I'm afraid.

    And I love your description of summer there at the end, isn't it great when it comes to us? The fireflies are fantastic, I always wish I could photograph them. Such majic.

  4. Amy, you and Jim and the boys obviously did a great job rehabilitating Rocky. He's doing what a squirrel should do and living his life as he should.

    We've been watching the fireflies, too. I just wish the chooks could be outside to play tag with them!

  5. Love hearing about all the nature & animal activities that surround your place!

  6. Hey, Amy. I hate doing any kind of transaction with family... better to simply give without an expectation of return, if possible. Unfortunately, ours doesn't work that way either. I still remember buying the outboard motor from my FIL... after we loaded it up, he casually mentioned that I could "give" him $800 for it - I happened to know that he had bought it for $700, before putting a lot of wear and tear on it. Why do family and friends plunder their relationships? Argh. I just try to avoid those situations when I can, and dread them when I can't. Anyway, wanted to say that you are not alone. :)

    I love evening in the summer. Our daughter caught a firefly last night when we were out by the pig pen. I hope things start going better for ya'll... I guess that's one good thing about having so much go bad - that pattern just can't hold on forever. :)


  7. Hi Amy,
    I love reading your blog every day...When you get a chance, come on over and visit my blog. You've been nominated for an award!:)

  8. I love the way you describe the fireflies. I've thought much the same thing many times. Our frogs at the pond are making racket night and day also. I love the deep bass note from the bullfrogs now and then as a counterpoint to the treble chatter from the other frogs.

  9. Amy, sitting in your yard watching fireflies sounds heavenly to me. I can almost hear the peep frogs singing to the night! You're last paragraph is perfect!

  10. That is great to have some fish in the freezer, we need to stock up.
    I just noticed the fireflies are out here too, the kids want to stay up late a night and catch some.

  11. I fondly remember the fireflies when we lived in South Carolina. So magical to sit in my swing and watch them 'glittering' through the warm night air.
    Alas, no fireflies live here in New Mexico...

    I lov love that photo of Rocky. He's such a character! And you took an awesome photo capturing that.

    Funny story about the straw. We started off with straw, too. But we have too much wind here and, between the chickens scratching it out and the wind the straw was being wasted.
    So we switched to using scraps of carpet in the nextboxes instead. The chickens find it quite cozy. It's easy to clean up or replace. Nothing is wasted...and most importantly none of our eggs get broken anymore.


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