Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Teal'c the clown; a funny clip

Teal'c is such a clown. We managed to get this short clip of him 'showering' with the help of my daughter. He is enjoying the sun and the water running through his feathers. I hope you find it as funny as we did.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Happy Mabon to all

It is time for Mabon; the Autumn equinox. At this time of year we celebrate the second harvest; the making of preserves and dried foods. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet up for this Sabbat this year but we celebrated at home with a special meal and the lighting and extinguishing of a symbolic candle.
At this time of year the masculine forces of nature (sunlight, flowering, heat, etc) have faded noticeably and the feminine forces (fertility, darkness, cold) begin to take over. We symbolise this by sending our Lord to the underworld; covering the Lord's mask with a black veil and extinguishing a candle. We give thanks for the riches the year has bought us and hope for more to come.

Salmon Faverolles update

The Salmon Faverolles are all grown up; they are passing the scrappy, teenaged stage and becoming full grown chooks. I think I will see some eggs this spring, maybe we will set some under a clucky chook and have more adorable babies. I have found them to be very quiet, docile chooks with lovely natures.

Here are some photos to refresh your memory;

Newly hatched Salmon Faverolles

At a few weeks old

At that awkward teenage stage
One of the little pullets, all grown up.
Another pullet with one of the minorca pullets behind her

I love watching my babies grow up.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Update on Teal'c the black faced cuckoo shrike

Teal'c has been growing and developing rapidly from the fluffy little eating machine that first arrived at our house several months ago. He is now almost fully feathered and is getting the characteristic black, Lone Ranger-ish mask of his species. He has been outside in his aviary both day and night for a week or so now (as opposed to just in the day time) and today we decided to upgrade him to the flight pen for short flights. The 'flight pen' is actually just a closed off section of the chook pen with perches added for the purpose. It won't be long before he is outside, free during the day and sleeping in the aviary at night.

He looks Lone Ranger-ish doesn't he.

Roadie the butcher bird (at the top of the photo) isn't too pleased to see a competitor for food. He will be a problem once Teal'c is out for the day, but with some training he will hopefully come to tolerate the company.

Teal'c enjoying the sun.
On the ground you can see newspapers and cardboard boxes; we throw all our paper into the chook pens and they turn it into valuable compost for us. This pen is in the process of composting.

This is Teal'c three weeks ago in his aviary, begging for food.

He has grown up a lot in the last few weeks.

What is happening with your animals at the moment?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Stag; the Wiltshire horn ram- welcome to the family

We have a new member of the family; Stag. He is a Wiltshire horn ram. The original  idea was to have sheep as lawn mowers to keep the fire breaks clear and to provide some meat for the freezer in the form of lambs each year. So far I have avoided breeding my girls because I didn't want to face the idea of eating their babies, but the time has come to let them fulfill their maternal drive. I think I will try to sell as many babies as I can.

I found Stag on Gumtree, on a conveniently situated property only two hours drive away. After a visit to check him out in person, we decided to buy him. He came home with us today and is now happily eating with the girls. We will have babies to look forward to in early August.

Our first meeting; Stag loves white sapote leaves.

As you can see in the video, he arrived a little stiff and sore, with a limp from lying on his leg for an hour or so, but within a few hours he was feeding well and walking around with the girls.
Interestingly, Stag's breeders regularly fed him handfuls of white sapote leaf (his favorite food), a little research has revealed that these leaves have a sedative and blood pressure lowering effect on mammals. I hope this doesn't mean that his quiet nature is due to being mildly sedated most of his life.

The guinea fowl were very worried to discover a new sheep in the home paddock and told everyone about it for a few minutes.

The girls were nervous about having a boy in the paddock at first.

But it didn't take them long to figure out the possibilities.

We put new bedding in the shelter and added a hay net and a mineral lick, now all we need are some rose petals and the romantic scene is all set.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A cute colour knitting pattern to share. a guitar

I have been posting a lot of craft related things lately, simply because that is what I am doing at the moment. So I thought I would post just one more (that's what I tell myself about chocolates too).

I created this knitting pattern for one of my phone cosy designs but you could use it on any knitted item.

It's not very clear but the guitar is in white on blue on this phone cosy.
Guitar colour/stranded knitting pattern.

Name: Guitar
Note: For stranded knitting or knit,  purl patterns

row1: [k] 32
row2: [p] 32
row3: [k] 4,[p] 3,[k] 25
row4: [p] 20,[k] 2,[p] 2,[k] 5,[p] 3
row5: [k] 2,[p] 11,[k] 10,[p] 2,[k] 7
row6: [p] 6,[k] 25,[p] 1
row7: [k] 1,[p] 7,[k] 2,[p] 16,[k] 6
row8: [p] 6,[k] 25,[p] 1
row9: [k] 2,[p] 11,[k] 10,[p] 2,[k] 7
row10: [p] 20,[k] 2,[p] 2,[k] 5,[p] 3
row11: [k] 4,[p] 3,[k] 25
row12: [p] 32
row13: [k] 32
row14: [p] 32
row15: [k] 32
row16: [p] 32
row17: [k] 32
row18: [p] 32
row19: [k] 32
row20: [p] 32
row21: [k] 32
row22: [p] 32
row23: [k] 32
row24: [p] 32
row25: [k] 32
row26: [p] 32
row27: [k] 32
row28: [p] 32
row29: [k] 32
row30: [p] 32
row31: [k] 32
row32: [p] 32

Enjoy knitting this little pattern.