Saturday, June 13, 2009

This Week's Wildlife & Plant News

A few days ago we saw a moose had walked right under our bedroom window. We didn't see it... again. We consistantly see moose and deer tracks on the property, but very rarely see them.

Today we saw a grizzly bear in one of the neighbour's fields. It's a little disconcerting as we are used to having black bears around here, but to see a grizzly is unusual. We have told the children to be very careful and keep on the look out when they are outside.

The chicks are doing well and have lots of feathers already. The are beginning to do little low flights in the brooder box and they are beginning to scuffle for dominance. Obviously we have a few roosters in the crowd (Americana chicken that could not be sexed).

The weather continues to be hot; up to 28c. We have now had 3 weeks of glorious weather and no rain. It has rained a few evenings in town, be we didn't get any here, other than the occasion drop. The plants are doing well though - the mountain ash tree is full of flowers and the snowball bush which Kaiser chewed up in the fall has sprung back and is about to flower. The gladiola are up about 15cm (6inches). The North Star Cherries have dried up - we have given the tree lots of water during this hot spell, but I think the stress of moving the tree is the main culprit.

I just realized... this is our 100th post!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Greenhouse and Garden - A Slow Process

The road restrictions are still on so we can't bring in any soil and compost material into the garden yet. Hopefully the restrictions will be removed next week. Here is Husband tilling up the clay to get the garden area ready.

The small greenhouse is full of tomato, pepper, cucumbers and watermelon plants. Last night Husband and Son finished covering the large greenhouse with plastic. Now we have lots of room for plants!

Oh My! We still have so much to do.

The chicks are a week old and have developed their wing feathers and are trying them out. I'll have to cover the box with wire soon so they don't fly out.

Ducklings are still scheduled to arrive the end of June. "Barry the duck man" as he introduces himself on the phone called to confirm that he has our order. He also wants to know if we want any geese. I do, but will have to wait until next year.

The weather has been glorious with most days at 25c+. It appears to want to storm this afternoon - some rain will be good.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mosquitos, Chicken and Ducks - Oh My

The mosquitos have come out in full force as of Sunday. They don't nomally bother us too much but, the constant buzzing around ones ears does become tedious after a while. The bugs follow us into the house and the dog is constantly snapping at them. We thought that will so many frogs in the lagoon this year the mosquito numbers would be down, but it didn't happen. Hopefully in two weeks most of them will have disappeared.

My birthday was in May and Husband surprised me with trees! Isn't that what every girl wants? I now own:

2 - Battleford Apples - Tasty, crisp apples that are excellent for eating fresh or for cooking. Flowers on this hardy tree bloom in the early spring and are white with a pinkish tinge. The apples mature in late August.

1 - Goodland Apple - A very hardy 2.5-3" green apple with a reddish blush, high quality, great for cooking and eating fresh, stores well, late season harvest;apples, need a second pollinator, needs well-drained soil and full sun

1 - North Star Cherry - A medium sized bright red to mahogany skinned cherry, with yellow, juicy tender flesh. This attractive small tree, naturally, only grows 8 to 10 feet. The North Star is a highly productive sour cherry that is extremely cold hardy and disease resistant. North Star has a prolonged ripening period from late June to late July.

Our chicks arrived last night! We were fortunate that we didn't lose any during the shipping, nor overnight. I forgot how cute they are!

The dark chicks are the Black Sex Link (which I finally found out are also called Black Rock -this made Husband very happy as that is the breed/strain he wanted - I think 'Black Rock' is perhaps what the British call them as I couldn't find this name in North America poultry circles). The lighter chicks are the Americauna.

Next on the agenda.... DUCKS! We ordered 6 Khaki Campbell ducks which will be arriving sometime at the end of this month. Hopefully once older (next year) they will help keep down the mosquito population. Apparently the Khaki Campbell are prolific layers... we'll see if they outlay the chicken.