Monday, 6 November 2017

The invisible chicken & a recipe that came home to roost.

Pepper has 5 progeny and she keeps well to "her" side of our border. She thinks I don't know she's there. But her clucking is very different to Brown hen and her 13 rowdy nuggets (bigger than pom poms now).

Here she is hiding from me and playing statues in the undergrowth.

And completely off the chicken topic, this morning a university friend sent me a photo of her recipe book with my mum's recipe for Golden Crunchie biscuits in it. My mum gave it to her about 30 years ago, and somehow had omitted to give it to me. My friend sent a message with the photo "am about to make these again for the millionth time". Well she has 4 children, and I think the quantity isn't so far off... so today, I made them too and am delighted with the result.

In between baking and chasing chickens, I have been unpacking boxes with items from the UK. I feel that finally all of my history is safely tucked up with me in the mountains, and the feeling is very good.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Paddock Diary

The foxgloves are sprouting everywhere, and the plum trees have some very delicious new leaves right at the very top. One of our local Kereru just chomped its way through some as a "side dish" with me underneath the tree telling him off!

The boys heard me giving the pigeon a telling off and came to join me. Mango got a bit stuck in the "V" of the plum tree branches, so decided the fence post was a better option - just; he is rather large!

Both boys are now patrolling the rest of the garden, checking for pheasants, chickens, rabbits, mice and rats. Her ladyship is resting in a box from the supermarket - clever girl.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Battle for the Post Box, year 4

For the last two years we have succeeded in preventing starlings grabbing our Post Box for their nest. Year one was a disaster, three months of dirt, twigs and dead progeny, not to mention a very smelly box afterwards. They nest in our trees, our eves, our verandah, but I draw the line at the Post Box.

This year, we may have cracked it, due to the innovation of our next door neighbours. Their eldest boy made a scarecrow and parked it next to their letter box. We are hoping its effect will carry over to ours.

Later in the afternoon, number two scarecrow arrived.

Sadly, it won't deter Egna the Hen who has now decided to take her progeny on a tour of our garden, which includes the newly dug over veggie patch!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Learning to perch and something to perch food atop

The pom poms are growing bigger and louder. Today they were practicing roosting on some of the old flax stems. They tried it out tentatively, one at a time, like kids hopping on stepping stones in a stream.

They happily slithered off when mother hen called them.

And in other news - home made digestive biscuits. Although quite why I decided to bake when we are already baking in 24 degrees in the shade inside the house, I'm not sure.

So tomorrow, friends for lunch and lots of toppings for the biscuits (of which there are several dozen!)

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Pom poms at large

It's not that I don't trust our cats. Two out of three are capable of taking out rats, mice, rabbits and possibly chickens, it's just that the mother chuck KNOWS there are cats on this side of the hedges, but she still insists on teaching them to peck and forage here. I guess that's where the expression "Chicken run" comes from!

They look as if they all take after Reginald from a distance (i.e. they are white) but when you get close to their peeping cheeping, you realise it is baby fluff and they are changing to browns and blacks. 12 out of the original 13. I hope it stays a dozen, or I will be looking at guilty whiskers VERY closely.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Momma and the pom poms

Our neighbours chickens have hatched 13 very active pom poms. We saw them being taught how to scratch in our borders. Momma Chuck appears to have a second sense about my camera. The minute I lifted it to take a photo she shooed them off into the undergrowth.

Now to keep them away from les chats....

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The owl with the winceyette feathers

A work in progress.

But a rather nice thought, a wise owl to keep warm with winceyette feathers!