Guinea Fowls & Red Squirrels on the Farm

March 8, 2013

The sun is shining today, and it’s actually warming up.  I’m looking forward to spring!

Of course, we’ve still got a ways to go.  It’s been cold, and we seem to alternate between rain showers and snow flurries.  When it rains for long periods of time, most of the critters take shelter.  However, the guinea fowls don’t always do that, and then they look kind of pitiful out there.

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Friday’s Farm Fotos for May 27

May 27, 2011

Another week on the farm, and another week with tornadoes skipping around us.  Fortunately, these were baby-sized compared to the mega monsters that went through this area a month ago.  Aside from losing more shingles off the roof, and a few smaller limbs down, we didn’t have any damage.

Except, I really do wonder about our roof after the last couple of storms.  Yesterday I picked up a shingle out of the front yard.  This morning I found one down by the pond.  Makes me wonder what shape our roof is in.  Kind of hate to find out though…. a good friend who had a lot more tornado damage got an estimate to replace their roof… and wow!  Around $15,000!!!

I believe I’ll think about non-storm-damage stuff instead.  Like the fact our Rosebay Rhododendron is blooming.

picture of rosebay rhododendron

Rhododendron maximum

It isn’t growing very quickly, but every year it has more blooms than the year before, so I guess that’s progress!

Of course, a whole lot of other things are blooming now also, including the rose bushes.  The rambler blooms have come and gone, and the climbing roses about the same.  However, the tea roses still have blooms, like this one:

picture of Country Lady Rose blooms

Country Lady Rose

The Farmer has put up chicken wire fencing around his garden to keep out chickens, guineas and hopefully rabbits!

picture of fence around garden

Fencing out the critters!

How do you like our bright blue gate?  That bit of improvisation was my idea.  It’s the ‘skirting table’ I used to use when cleaning fleeces before selling them.  I painted it bright blue because that happened to be the color paint we had on hand that would waterproof the wood.

Of course, The Farmer left one end of the dug up garden dirt for a chicken spa.

picture of chickens dust bathing

A little dust bathing at Kings Keep Chicken Spa

They were all fluffing their feathers in the dirt until they saw me and decided to move on.  Maybe they are embarrassed to be caught bathing? 

The guineas do their share of dust bathing also, but they can also be found scrounging around under the bird feeder. 

picture of squirrel and two guinea fowl birds

Guess who's coming to dinner?

The squirrels also like to look around in the grass and see if they can find any sunflower seeds.  This one is watching for his (her?) chance to jump down and check things out.

picture of squirrel on tree stump

Ready, set... okay, just a minute!

Other entertainment this week included watching a bonfire down the road at the neighbors farm.  They cultivate a lot of fields, and grow a lot of sweet potatoes.  They store them in big wooden pallet boxes, and evidently some of the boxes were past their prime and they decided to burn them up.

picture of bonfire burning at night

One huge fire. . .

.

.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a good perspective on just how big this fire really was since there’s nothing nearby to compare it to.  When The Cave Geek got home from work, he came in to ask if we knew something big was on fire.  We went out and looked, and it looked like someone’s house was burning.  It was a relief to see it was just a bunch of old wooden boxes!

And that’s the news from around the farm this week!

Baby it’s cold outside!

December 6, 2010

It’s winter and I know it’s supposed to be cold.  And I also know it’s not near as cold here as it is in other parts of the world.  But I’m still thinkin’ … Baby, it’s cold outside!  It’s a sharp contrast to the balmy weather we were enjoying in Florida over the Thanksgiving holidays!

The animals have their own ways of keeping warm.  During the day, the guineas like to nestle down in some leaves in the yard – of which there are plenty due to the huge oak and walnut and other trees around the house!

pictue of guinea birds

Two guineas nestled in fallen leaves.

Some of the chickens like to shelter under a big viburnum bush in the front yard, even though it’s in the shade.

photo of chicken under bush

Buff Orpington Chicken hen under viburnum bush.

I suppose it provides some shelter from the wind, and they apparently want that more than heat from any sunshine there might be.

picture of chickens under shrub

Chickens 'parked' under shrub.

Meanwhile, the squirrels are still scampering around the yard gathering up nuts.

picture of squirrel with nut

Squirrel on fencepost.

Once the nut is buried, off the squirrel goes to find another!

picture of squirrel on fencepost

"I think there's one that-a-way!"

A little cold weather doesn’t slow down our mighty hunter, Spot the cat.  He was playing with his food again, and chasing this rodent around.

picture of rodent

Food to go.

He’d catch the thing, then let it go … then catch it again.  I don’t know if he ever ate it or just played with it.

While all this was going on, the goat, llama, sheep and Maremma sheepdog just took it easy and rested in what sunshine they could find.

picture of goat, llama and sheep

Resting in dry grass for warmth.

They like to nestle down where there is some dry grass to provide a little insulation.

And me, once I’ve made sure everyone outside has food and water, I’m headed back to the house to get WARM again!

Squirrel Nest, Take Two

September 10, 2010

Once again, there is a squirrel building a nest in a tree a few feet from the dining room window.  I have no idea if this is the same squirrel that was doing it before, or a new one decided to move in.

At any rate, there is one hard at work, but it managed to stay hidden most of the time.  And they move FAST!  So I just got an occasional glimpse of the squirrel, but saw a whole lot of leaves fluttering around in the squirrel nest.

squirrel with twig in mouth

Building materials

The squirrel would run out to the end of a branch and bite off a twig near the end, then carry it back to the nest.

new squirrel nest

Making a new squirrel nest.

I’d have to give the squirrel an “A” for industry, because it sure is working hard carrying twigs and jumping around from place to place in that tree.

squirrel in tree

This is the way we build our nest, build our nest...

It will be interesting to see if it actually sticks around this time and uses the nest.

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