The sweetest thing just happened on my urban farm. I have a pair of snowflake bobwhite quail, and although they have tried for three years to hatch out some babies, their eggs are apparently infertile. They sit and sit – the male sitting patiently right beside his hen – but nothing hatches.
Until now. I bought some coturnix quail eggs to put under her. I was afraid she’d reject them – either because I messed with her nest to replace the eggs, or because bobwhite eggs are pure white, and coturnix eggs are usually spotted. Could she tell the difference?
Either the answer was no, or else she didn’t care. They sat on the eggs together, and out of the eight I gave her, three hatched. And they are so so so sweet! I went out to check on them periodically the day of the hatch, and I knew something was up when I approached their pen and male began to pace in front of his hen, holding out his wings to look big and fierce, and warning me away. He was a father!
I’m not sure there is anything so bitty and fluffy as baby quail. Since I had more eggs than would fit under the hen, I put the extras in my incubator, and managed to hatch out five more. I’m really interested to see what the adult colors are going to be; the chicks range in color from pure golden yellow, to yellow/black/brown spotted, to dark brown.
Since I was out there with my camera, I did a few photoshoots around the poultry run.
The Muscovy ducks:
The boys are always bold and out in front. The females are more shy.
I also discovered that, unlike the camera-shy larger chickens, the bantams are little divas. They are happy to pose.
I also simply sat and watched everyone (as I do every day) with Ellie on my lap.
(She wants to make sure you know she is currently molting, and not quite the gorgeous girl she normally is. Kindly disregard the fact that she only has two tailfeathers at the moment. These things are vastly embarrassing to a hen. Good feathers are important.)
The grapes are starting to fill out.
And the tomatoes are already ripe.
We’re had a fantastic summer here in the PNW. Warm, but not too warm. And quite a few rainy days. I adore summer rain!
Yesterday I defrosted and cleaned out the freezer, which means I was inspired to fill it again. First I sliced and bagged 14 quarts of raw mushrooms.
This is the best method for keeping mushrooms. They are just like fresh, whenever you need them in your recipes.
Then mom and I harvested apples from our mystery apple tree. The apples are ugly, but they make the best pies in the world.
And then I made three pies. One for now, two to freeze.
I love making pies. And I can’t believe it took most of my life to try putting lattice crusts on them! It is so easy to do, and besides looking beautiful, they taste better, as the spaces allow more gooey goodness to bubble up unto the crust!
Mushrooms freeze that easily?! I would expect them to turn to mush. I do not even can them unless they get pickled in the process. I do not get many anyway, so it is not much of a concern.