Chickens

Little Green Eggs

Eggs from Red Sex Links and Americana Chickens

The new chickens are finally laying! Hubby found the first green egg – it was smaller and rounder than the ones in the picture and more of an army green color than the pretty teal ones I found today. The eggs grow in number and size every day and, unlike the brown eggs, the color permeates through to the inside of the shell. We are certainly going to have plenty of scrambled eggs for a while!

Another difference we’re seeing with the Ameraucana chickens is their ability to fly. Cocky, our rooster, can fly vertically from the ground to the roof of the chicken run where he struts his stuff and calls out to the world.

I was awake very early one morning and could hear him crowing before the sun was up. It’s a good thing that we no longer live in a neighborhood. The vote is still out on whether to keep him or not as he is aggressive toward the hens at times and is starting to bow up at me when I come close — and at the dogs, the golf cart – pretty much anything that invades his territory. He does, however, back down from the mature hens who very much put him in his place. For now I’m assuming this is a case of teenage hormones.

The Ameraucana hens also like to roost in the rafters of the chicken run. That may be in part because the old hens didn’t want to share the coop at first, but the hens are going in there to use the nesting boxes so maybe that will resolve itself soon. Of course, it’s still incredibly hot so they may just be more comfortable sleeping outside. Some nights I think I would be!

So life continues to be busy and very, very good here on the farm. I’m not sure how we’re going to get everything done when I return to work, but we’ll keep muddling through until retirement!

Lazer Creek Apiary

Beach Vacation!

Savannah Sunset

Well, this isn’t a beach photograph, but it is from our first stop of our journey – Savannah, Georgia. At the end of the school year, we realized that we hadn’t taken a vacation since we bought our land almost six years ago. We spent three years driving between South Carolina and Georgia every chance we got and then three years trying to get the land and the apiary where we want it to be. But we’ve had a lot of rain this year — good for both honey production and plant growth, bad for keeping the grass and weeds under control. So we decided to just escape the farm for a few days.

Of course, it wasn’t that simple. We bought a nice dog kennel and then found out it wouldn’t be delivered until after Hubby went back to work. We ended up hiring someone to bring it here and then added a chain link enclosure for the dogs to roam around it. Of course, the big dog (the escape artist) managed to break through the chain link gate within the first hour. We reinforced the gate: she broke through a corner of the fence. We reinforced that: she went to another corner. Then they both tried to tunnel their way out. We put some hardware cloth down around the perimeter of the fence and they dug that up. I ended up buying some paving slabs to block the digging at the gate and we left the next day. Our wonderful neighbor ended up reinforcing the gate with some of the hardware cloth and then blocking the gap under the kennel. Only the small dog managed to wriggle her way through that exit, but still….. They have been doing better with going in the run when we leave the farm for short periods now that they know we’ll return.

Still, we spent a wonderful afternoon and evening in Savannah and even took the riverboat cruise that I’d been wanting to take for years. We were so relaxed and didn’t feel tired for the first time in years!

The next day, we drove to Tybee Island to see The Savannah Bee Company and then up the beautiful Highway 17 toward Myrtle Beach. We spent two wonderful days with our long-time friends, walked on the beach, and went to Brookgreen Gardens twice. Our friends, of course, introduced us to the latest picks in restaurants and we enjoyed a nice variety of food.

From the beach, we headed back to our old hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Hubby drove past our old house and we still don’t miss it at all. I still don’t understand why they cut down the blue spruce Christmas tree, but it’s not our house anymore. In fact, the whole yard now looks like boring builder grade plantings, but I guess that’s a lot easier to maintain.

The best part of our visit to Columbia was seeing the beautiful house our daughter and future son-in-law bought. I think it would have been my dream house when I was their age – and before we started thinking in terms of downsizing. They have a nice sized yard that is very private and beautifully landscaped. While it has already been hard work, they are both enjoying making the house their own.

We finished up our trip with breakfast with our son-in-law’s parents. We could have sat there all day and chatted with them had we not all had other things we needed to do! We did a little city shopping before heading back to our little slice of heaven. We do so love it here, but we have realized that we sometimes need to see something different!

For our final hurrah of the summer, we went to Calloway Gardens for a second short trip away from farm life. The spa there is luxurious and we got great massages and then just relaxed and day dreamed. There’s a restaurant in Pine Mountain we’ve said we’ve wanted to try for a couple of years, and we finally made it there too. All round, it was a good break for Hubby between teacher in-service and students.

Me — well I have another week or so before I go back to work, so I’m spring cleaning, bee keeping, and gardening. I also went to yoga yesterday and realized I should have been going all summer! That reminds me – I promised myself that I would take time away from digital devices to stretch every day, so that’s what I’m going to do!

So, while life is good on the farm, remember that all of us need a change of scenery once in a while. Whether you take 5 minutes or 5 days for yourself, just make sure you take a little time every day.