IMG_3015.jpgGot back late last night, after taking an unscheduled detour due to an accident on the hwy east of Tucson, that added a bit of time to my already long drive. Isn’t it weird how, when you stop driving, your body still holds on to that driving sensation. Last night, when I closed my eyes, I saw a road stretching out in front of me… I think I drove all night. Oh well, at least I arrived safely into the (somewhat) cooler weather of Hereford. I was only gone a week, but so many things changed while I was gone. I suppose that’s normal. Just always surprises me.

IMG_3017What I noticed first was all the little Banty chicks that have hatched out. As of today, there are six. I’m calling them the penguin chicks, because they are all black and white and look like miniature baby penguins. Mama chicken is pretty proud of her little brood and still has four more eggs that could possibly hatch. I couldn’t get a good photo of all the babes, but here is a prime example of the cuteness. They are doing quite well in the large dog crate on the porch… there are other babies in the regular brooder, and the Sister is still ensconced in the original chicken tractor that Dad made me. We just have chickens everywhere right now!

IMG_3024Next I saw how much the vegetables and the Gabion garden had filled in while I was gone. We have lots of herbs, chives, and leeks in the beds topping the Gabion walls, and at the base, we have lavender, rosemary, cucumber, egg plant, tomatoes, and yams. They grew exponentially while I was gone and I even picked our first cucumber this afternoon.  It’s a climbing cucumber but it seems to be spreading more than climbing. However, the yams are doing an amazing job of climbing – I didn’t realize that they would do that. If they were in the garden area, they would have taken over! At least this way I can, kinda, keep them under control.

IMG_3027Next stop on the “growing like crazy” train: Goose, ducks and chicks. Oh my goodness. The grew up while I was gone. That Octave (goose) is so big – he’s like a baby Huey as he walks around all the others. Almost a Godzilla, but much cuter. The ducks are feathering out quite nicely – they are going to be very pretty adult birds. I didn’t get the chicks in the photo, I guess because I couldn’t believe the side of these guys. They like hanging around the watering hole and keeping cool in the shade of the oak tree. The chicks are still mostly hanging out in the chicken tractor. Maybe they like feeling protected, maybe it offers more shade for them, maybe it’s closer to the food! Who knows, but everyone comes out in the evening breezes.

IMG_3026Speaking of Chicken Tractors. Does this look familiar? Sue’s almost finished with the next tractor.  This one is 6’x6′ and will, first, be used for the other rangers, once they are big enough to be outdoors. She is putting a nesting box area in there, in case we want to use it for hens later. We may also use it for broody hens, since we’re running out of places to put them!  This one is almost complete, just need to finish the wire and the roofing.

IMG_3029While Sue worked on that today, I delivered eggs to Tom, the baker, and to Ecoasis. That seems to be working out well for us. When I got back home I worked on up-potting the trees that were in the cold frame. I think, even though Sue had been keeping them well watered, that is was time to remove them – they were just getting way to warm in there.  They are now all in nice big pots of their own and safely settled into the nursery area. We are getting quite the collection of trees now, and I need to start plotting out their placement. I also found some smaller pots, that will continue to fit in our windowsill, and moved the avocado trees from water to soil IMG_3034today. I’m hoping they will continue to do well and be ready to put outside, maybe next spring.  We’ll really have to watch them once they’re outside because they freeze so easily and burn from the sun and wind. This is a complete experiment, but – nothing ventured, nothing gained. Just need to find the right micro climate for them.  They may stay in pots for several years to come, keeping the Meyer Lemon tree company!

OK, that’s today in a nutshell! Next week we’ll be back to the regular schedule. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

Today’s Weather: Cooler than Ramona! At least that’s what I hear from my folks. It was 106° in the shade there, when I talked to my mom at 10:00 a.m. We were 97°. Amazing! We have patchy clouds and I did see some rain over on the other side of the road, but nothing has reached us yet. Looks like we’re going to be partly cloudy for a number of days now, maybe some light rain on Monday.

Egg Report: Friday- zero goose, 2 duck, 29 chicken. Saturday – zero goose, zero duck (Sue believes that they’ve stashed them somewhere, 32 chicken eggs.