Yesterday was the perfect weather to be outside. Notice how happy my mom is to finally be out there building the coop!
This coop needs to get built, because the chicks are being mailed from My Pet Chicken the week of June 28th. I already have a couple of ‘play dates’ lined up, because everyone wants to come and cuddle the babies!
We decided upon 11 chickens, 9 of which are all different breeds. Besides the Cuckoo Maran and the Easter Egger I’d previously blogged about, we are getting THREE bantam silkies, two white ones and a buff. They may not lay as many eggs as the other breeds, but they make up for it with sheer gorgeousness.
My Pet Chicken has this to say about Silkies:
Of all the ornamental chicken breeds, the Silkie Bantam is one of the most popular and beloved, and certainly one of the most entertaining to watch. Can’t you tell why? They’re the lap kitty of the chicken world, complete with hair-like plumage and an incredibly sweet temperament. We have heard it said that Silkies are like a “flock” of kittens… but unlike your other pets, your chickens can actually provide your breakfast! Silkies originated in the Far East, where they are still kept (and eaten) today. They have black skin and bones and 5 toes instead of the normal 4. In addition, Silkie hens make wonderful brooders and mothers, and are even known to adopt baby ducks if given the chance!
Here’s a video, so you can appreciate just how gorgeous they are:
I think they look like gryphons!
I’ve always wanted a bantam chicken just for the eggs. I like miniature things! Here’s a comparison, standard to bantam:
Abney Park is finally having another show in Seattle. And according to Nathaniel’s twitter, they JUST MIGHT be premiering a brand new song, just written. And according to Robert’s twitter, it’s the saddest song ever. So far “Victoria” has the Abney Park crown as the “saddest song ever”, and it’s one of my personal favorites. Yay for sad AP songs!
This year, most of the crew is coming – yes, I’ve managed to convert/infect a goodly portion of my friends with not only Abney Park, but also Steampunk. One has just bought his first pair of goggles (Mike, I’m so proud!), one is sewing something steampunk from her first-ever costume pattern, and we’re going shopping at Value Village for the rest. We’re such a large group we’ve had to rent a van to transport us all, and that’s not counting the few who are driving themselves.
If you’re reading this and you’ve not seen an Abney Park show, you’re missing out on something fabulous. Besides the pure awesomeness of the band, they also bring in fire-dancers, aerialists – it is truly spectacular. Details on purchasing tickets can be found here.
Cool thing number two:
I discovered this blog by accident. It’s a year-long experiment by a self-described “painfully shy girl”. She decided to go on a quest to do 250 completely uncharacteristic things before August 23, 2010. She’s a terrific writer, and her posts are heart-felt and fascinating. My favorite is this one, where, after quitting smoking she decides to take regular “bubble breaks” and manages to create a little wonder and magic in her neighborhood. Go read it. I think it will touch you as it touched me.
And lastly, apparently I should be blogging more about “mythological creatures”, because everyday, without fail, I get a ton of hits for that search – pretty funny, considering I’ve only written about that subject once!
After a massive amount of indecision over wire (who knew it came in so many different types!) we bought wire and materials for the foundation.
Trenches, where the soon-to-be-buried wire will keep rats and other critters from digging into the coop.
Nearly everyone I mention the future chickens to has one thing to say: “I want to buy your eggs!” Seriously, it’s becoming pretty well known how horrible store-bought eggs are (even so called “free-range” or “organic” eggs. Usually all that means is that instead of the laying hens being penned in wire cages the size of a sheet of paper, they’re given “free-range” in a barn. Packed together so tightly that they can hardly move, much less find any grass or bugs to eat. Cannibalism and deaths are rampant. Today’s “frankenstein chicken” is genetically bred so that it grows up from chick to hen so quickly that its bones can’t keep up. These chickens often can’t stand without the serious risk of snapping their bones. It’s wrong, and really sad. No wonder there’s no taste comparison between those eggs and eggs raised the right way.
Contrast that to this (and these are actually chickens rescued from a factory):
Here’s another of the breeds we are getting: the Easter Egger.
Here’s a chick (the Easter Egger is the one hamming it up for the camera!)
And, given their name, you might not be surprised to learn the color of their eggs. Yes, these hens do lay blue or green eggs!
I just barely have room for two more roses in my garden; heirloom roses of course, because I have very little use for modern roses. They aren’t cold hardy, they get diseases, they too often sacrifice “perfect” shape for scent. I’d rather have a true old-fashioned rose shape, and a scent that can fill a garden, than a rose version of an anorexic blond supermodel. 🙂
So this year I scoured the internet (and I mean scoured – no one seems to sell this rose!) until I found a nursery that sells “Leda”. She’s a damask rose, originating in England around 1827, and here’s what my rose book says:
“At first the buds are a deep black-red, but they open to full white flowers whose individual petals are delicately caressed with a filigree of fire red, giving the blooms a hand-painted look.” (Taken from ‘100 Old Roses for the American Garden’, by Clair G. Martin)
My second rose is one called “Mme Zoetman’s”. I needed more white roses in my garden (I’ve only got one “Wild Spice”), so I was on the lookout for an old-fashioned white. The internet says:
“A Damask rose from 1830. Scented like sandalwood, this rose inspires like the loveliest, most desirable layered-up, creamy, silk organza (hue of the flower is described above) with buds that appear modeled at the tips of young, tightly held petals in antique aubergine covered mostly in cream. The newest, just opening, buds are almost lime green.”
Library patrons can be interesting people. A lady checking out her books started a totally random conversation with me by asking if I knew why Rome fell. Before I could answer, she told me. Apparently the rich people all started drinking too much wine and eating lots of cheese (she was very obsessed with their eating of cheese!). They were so busy eating cheese that they didn’t have any time to run the country, so the poor people had to do it. “And that left no one in charge with any brains!”
Me (still considering cheese’s unexpected role in Rome’s downfall): “Um….”
Her (walking away and suddenly realizing what she’d said): “Not that I mean poor people aren’t smart! They are…they’re….” At a loss for words, she quick-walks out the door, clutching her books.