It is so fickle

The weather this time of year is so unpredictable. Mid week it was spring like, just a light sweater needed, then it snowed on Friday, but it is gone already. It rained off and on overnight Friday, most of Saturday, and is still raining, hard at times. It was supposed to reach 58 yesterday and drop only to 52 last night. It didn’t get there, but I think the current temperature is supposed to hold overnight and reach near 70 today. But we have rain in the forecast for days and they still haven’t opened our culvert at the top of the driveway, since my report in December, my call in January, and another report this month. I may have to try to dig it out with the tractor bucket which never produces good results, even if I get the opening in the right place, the pipe itself will be at least partially blocked and I lack the strength to hand dig it out.

The 5th chick, the one I didn’t think was healthy, did not survive, however the remaining 14 are hale and hearty, active, eating, drinking, and trying to see if they can jump over the sides of the brooder. I suspect that I will have to put a lid on the box sooner than I expected. Two of the little replacements look like little penguins, dark on top, white on the bottom.

Two are uniformly charcoal gray. The adults are going to be so different from the current flock. Speaking of them, egg production is finally up a bit with the lengthening days. Yesterday, I got 5 eggs, two olive, three brown, so more of the hens are laying again. That is the most I have gotten since before the molt last fall.

I finished another square for the blanket and have it wet blocked, and another nearly done. One more and I will have used all the yarn spun for it in January and February and will have 9 blocks knit, blocked, and labelled. Tomorrow starts a new month and new breeds to spin. Since the March challenge requires a silk content, it can’t be part of the blanket and is beautiful blues and purples, so I think I will spin white breeds for the blanket challenge. There won’t be a third challenge this month, it was just too complicated to keep up with and I felt like I was not fully participating to skip over all the conversation in the thread and they were a very chatty bunch. If I can’t engage fully, I will just stand away. The Jenkins group I have come to “know” and enjoy the chatter a couple times a day. There will be more time to spin, knowing that soon the garden is going to demand more of my time and spinning will become an evening or passenger in the car activity only with less time indoors to commit to it. Enough will get done to create a square or two for the blanket, but not enough to get the entire blanket done by the end of the year.

Rough Night, New Day

We got home with the dozen new chicks yesterday after lunch, put them in the brooder, and I could tell we would lose a couple. By late afternoon, the reaction to my vaccine was kicking in, but I was still functional and got dinner made, eaten, and cleaned up and a final walk to the basement to check on the chicks. Two had died. Not totally unexpected with any new batch of little birds, but still disheartening.

Last night was not a comfortable night. The vaccine had produced the expected sore shoulder, but also a royal headache and body aches. I slept fitfully, getting up every few hours to dose on the alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen, and the last dose allowing me to sleep in until about 8 a.m. By the time I was up, it was mostly just a headache, one that with meds I could deal with. And the trip to the basement showed that two more chicks had died overnight. That brought my dozen down to 8 and half of my Buff Orpingtons were victims.

The weather app, indicated that we were going to get snow, again, beginning around 2 p.m., eventually overnight, turning to rain. We were low on some grocery store supplies and decided to go back to Rural King to see about replacing the chicks. It turned out to be the same guy was in that area and he stated he was replacing the 4 free, however, there were no more Buff Orpingtons. I asked him what the typical attrition rate was and he said that usually it was very low, but he had lost about 1/3 of the ones that came in yesterday. They had hatched and shipped on Monday and didn’t arrive until Thursday morning. I agreed to taking other breeds for the 4 and add a couple more in case I lost anymore, I would still have a dozen. The coop is going to produce an Easter basket of egg colors. The Buffs and New Hampshire Reds lay light brown eggs and the Americaunas lay blue eggs. I came home with another Americauna as that was one that died, 2 Olive eggers, 2 Easter eggers, and 2 Marans, so dark chocolate eggs, Olive green eggs, and the possibility of pink, green, or blue from the Easter eggers. When I put them in the brooder, I could see that one of them was wobbly and tonight it looks like she won’t last the night, but there will be 14 young hens come mid summer producing a variety of egg colors.

About the time they were settled in, my energy faded and a long nap followed while it did indeed snow.

The driveway has stayed clear, so I expect the roadways have also and when I went out just before dinner to check for eggs, food and water for the locked up hens, there was sleet mixed in with the snow.

The February spinning challenges are winding down, so much of what was spun has been plyed, January and February’s yarns reknit into 6 blanket squares with another on the needles and yarn for two more spun and plied. And some spinning of other fibers begun.

The nap rejuvenated me enough to put dinner on and work on granddaughter’s garden plan some. I hope to get the plan and some seed to her in time to do the early spring planting in a couple of weeks. As I couldn’t remember what I had done with the copies of what I gave her last year, daughter, who was apparently more organized was able to come up with it and send me a scan back. Granddaughter is going to be given a notebook with the reference pages and the plans from last year and this year so she can keep her garden history. DD and GD are planning to double their garden in size this year and add a few vegetables they didn’t grow last year. I am making a duplicate copy of her plan as the reference pages, I also use and I will have the information I shared with her.

I think this is going to be an early night, I still have no energy and a bit of a headache. Tomorrow I should be fine, except for the sore shoulder.

It’s Done

First thing this morning, the second vaccine dose was administered. Now I wait to see if I will react and how, but any reaction is better than COVID.

Since the vaccine site is two towns over, we did a side loop over to Rural King afterward to get chicks. Half a dozen Buff Orpington baby pullets, 3 New Hampshire Reds, and 3 Americaunas. One of the little Americaunas isn’t looking great, but that is why I buy a dozen chicks. I will keep the two Oliver eggers to add back into the flock when these little ones are big enough to fend for themselves. I will have light brown, dark brown, blue, green, and 1 pink egg layers.

The one that didn’t look good was cold, so I removed one heat table that they were ignoring and added the heat lamp and put the little one under it to warm up. It is no longer cold, but doesn’t have the energy of the others. We will see how she does.

I finished another square of the blanket last night, washed it and blocked it. I finished plying more of the Targhee for another square while I stood in the ski lift like line for my turn at the vaccine center this morning. On our way home, we picked up some quick soups in case I’m not up to meal prep tomorrow.

Socially distanced spinning on the go.