Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The birds (chickens) and the bees

Lena laid her first egg, giving us our first day with 4 eggs in the nest at one time!  It is tiny compared to the others, as you can see, but perfect and beautiful.  Despite my hopes, it is a pale brown egg, not blue or green.  The Barred Rock in her won out over the Ameraucana.   Expresso, the young rooster, still lives with us.  For now he has found a place in our hearts (although this will change quickly if he gets rooster mean).  Poor boy, he has reached the point where he really, really, really wants to . . . well . . . be a rooster.  The hens, however, see it differently.  He has, as a result, developed his own technique; we call it "ambush."  Very, very funny around the backyard these days.

The bees are out working hard on the new fall flowering weeds.  This one is on a late rosemary blossom.  This was a very lucky shot, and I love it.  Notice that her wings are ragged?  This must be an older bee, working hard to the end.  The yard also is full of butterflies, and the one in the photo was particularly pretty.  The underside of the wings is chocolate brown with large white spots!  

Finally, the pitiful gardens.  As you know, my first fall planting died from lack of water.  My second planting was lost to wandering chickens in the vegetable beds earlier this week.  I have just made a third planting of kale, arugula, beets, carrots, and onion seeds.  However, I must be away for almost two weeks, so the chance that they will get enough water to survive is slim.  I will be quite put out if I have no fall garden, but it looks like that may be a possibility.  It will not be too late to put in lettuce when I get back, and I may even be able to find some leftover transplants somewhere for one last, late try.  I do have the 4 brocolli and 4 collard transplants that have survived, so that is a little something.

I love this new, cooler weather, even if we only have it for a week.  The change of seasons into fall has always been my favorite time of year.