Another week in the books

Another attempt at the 24 seconds from my front door. The colors are changing, leaves dropping and nights cooler. The egg production is slowing, but still getting plenty of eggs from the hens.

Earlier this week when I released them and checked on food and water, I realized they had only a tiny bit of water. They followed me to the yard hydrant as I filled the bucket and jostled to all fit around the perimeter to get a sip. Once all had gotten a bit, I filled the tub in the run and refilled the bucket for the coop.

Our walks this week took us to a section of the Rails to Trails Huckleberry that we had not previously walked and back to the Pond, always a favorite, and up to the Conservancy which is probably my favorite hike. The pond was full of life this week.

An Egret looking for fish, ducks, and geese, so many, many geese.

This afternoon, I will dress in my re-enactment clothing, go to the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, and portray the spirit of Mary Draper Ingalls for the Spirit Trail wagon ride through the history of the region. This is a fun event and I understand that all of the slots for rides are booked. Hot cider, cookies, and crafts for the kids waiting with their parents for their turn on the ride are available. This will be the 3rd or 4th year I have been a spirit. If you were fortunate enough to get a seat, you will see me on the side porch with the village developer and shopkeeper, Henry Hance as he tries to sell his wares and calm my fears over the “indians” seen down the road. If you don’t know her story, Google it and read the Wiki article, it will give you an idea of why she was fearful. If the “indians” follow the wagon up on the last run, one is a blond, blue eyed child and I will call out to see if he is my “son.”

Sunday Morning

A blogger friend challenged to begin Sunday morning with a 25 second video from the front porch/door to show the changing season from Autumn to Winter. Here is this morning, a mostly clear, sunny, but chilly 43 f (4.1 c), quite the change from the past few weeks. We aren’t getting the pretty fall colors this year, most of the trees are yellowing or browning and the leaves dropping already. Some are already bare or nearly so. I don’t seem to be able to link it as a video, this is just the opening shot. The video can be viewed on my Instagram if you follow me there at spn_knt.

The last time I mowed, I had hoped it would be for the last time this year. The mower needs an oil change and the blades sharpened or replaced. I picked up a chunk of erosion fence in the blade last time and it was quite the challenge to get to free from the blade it wrapped around. Day before yesterday in late afternoon, I brought the mower and line trimmer out again and though I didn’t do all the acreage I usually mow, I got around the house and coop and trimmed around the flower garden in the back. The chickens love when I mow and run into the area I have just passed, gorging on newly clipped grass and the insects it disturbs. I am always amused when the Perdue chicken commercial comes on TV and the actor tells the family what chickens from other breeders are fed and to go down to the Perdue booth, that Perdue chickens are given only clean grain feed. If you have ever watched chickens, they are Velociraptors, they will eat snakes, mice, frogs, bugs, grass, seeds, and just about anything, they are definitely not vegetarian and chickens fed that way are not healthy.

We have two aging pups, the younger of the two has never been a healthy dog and for the past three mornings, I have had major accidents to clean up while they are outdoors and before I can feed them. That is not the way I prefer to start my day and though I really dislike scented candles, I have had to use a wax warmer with a sliver of eucalyptus scented wax with a chunk of beeswax to clear the air.

Our daily schedule generally involves a walk after lunch, today we are headed out this morning, so hubby can watch a football game and I can prepare Sunday dinner for Daughter and her kiddos. I think this will be the first walk of the season where I don my jacket that hubby gave me for my birthday a few years ago, maybe a knit hat as well. At least it is sunny and not wet and windy.

Another Autumn Day

It is hot again, not mid summer hot, but warmer than I prefer when out walking or working in the yard. It is delightfully cool at night though and sleep with a window open above the bed is routine. Often in the late night, we hear coyotes (coywolves, coydogs) or whatever roams the woods and fields at night. About a week ago, I was awakened by one calling to distant ones, but it was right under our window, It must have been close up to the house, which was a bit unnerving. This morning, after it had dawned and the sky was already lit with morning sun, we heard them again, closer to the house than the woods beyond our fields.

With 13 hens in a coop designed for about 9, even with being free range hens all day from morning til dusk, they foul the straw so quickly. We purchased 2 new bales a few days ago and after a convenience center (trash) run and our daily brisk walk, I donned the “go to do dirty work, jeans” and rolled the wheelbarrow over to the coop. The dirty straw that will make hot compost was forked out and spread on one of the beds that were weeded last weekend. It will break down over the winter, the hot fertilizer will feed the soil, the straw will add compost and help keep the weeds from coming back up before frost. Since the coop is requiring more frequent mucking out, there will be plenty more to add to the other beds. The hens are so nosy. As soon as I begin doing anything over there, they all gather to see what is going on.

I noticed that the comfrey plant that is outside the fence has again gone under the fence. It will have to be dug out again. The leaves dried for salve and soap making. The bed in the top right corner of the photo is the fall greens bed and there are 3 rows of seedlings up. The Spinach Mustard has not come up there or in the hydroponic garden. So much for free seed samples.

Last night I finished the second pair of mitts that I was test knitting. I used my handspun yarn and went down a needle size, knit an extra inch on the cuff on this pair.

And as the month is closing on the September spindle challenges, I did a Breed Blanket assessment. I have spun 20 different breeds of wool and knit 37 squares for the blanket. Though not all of them are attached. The next 3 months will be dedicated to darker wools to provide some balance to the whites and light grays that have accumulated and layed out around the already joined squares to get a pleasing appearance.

Tomorrow, I will assess what was spun and knit for the month for the 15 minutes a day challenge. I have fulfilled that one so far with today and tomorrow to go.

October will be here and some knitting must be done if there is going to be any stock for fall and winter markets. I really want to get my loom warped and weave a scarf from yarn spun the past couple of months.