Friday, November 25, 2011

Busy Solitude Barn -- 2012 Calendar

The 2012 Busy Solitude Farm calendar -- "Busy Solitude Barn" -- has gone to print!

Last year a number of people asked if they could buy a copy of my calendar, so this year I have ordered a limited number of extras, now available for $20 (which includes postage).

The cover is a bit misleading as it's the only black and white photo in the calendar!  Here are a few samples of the inside.

January includes my famous snow path to the barn.  I'd like to think that this was a once-in-a-lifetime shot, but I rather expect that I'll be looking down that path again, and soon!

 July's clouds juxtaposed against the mowing grid on the grass.

A late afternoon in September features the dried grasses near my back door.

Each month has a different view of the Busy Solitude Barn.  In deference to my aging eyes, I made the dates super large this year -- you can look up from your desk and actually see what the date is without squinting!

If you enjoy the rural life, I think you would enjoy having one of these calendars on your wall.

If you would like one, you can use the button to order via PayPal (you can use a PayPal account OR a credit card) or e-mail me at and I'll send you the details.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Faith at two weeks

 Super Mama is very protective of Faith.  It's been a bit tricky to get photos!

But you can see she's got lots of feathers now.  They're really more black than brown -- it's the effect of the flash.  Her beak is also mostly black.  It appears that Eartha Chick might be her bio-mom!

Eartha has the softest black feathers ever!  She's a Black Australorp.  Don't they look similar?

I am really hoping that since the appearance genetics seem to be coming from the mother (the only roosters right now are white) perhaps her sex will, too!

Have Faith!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oh ye of little faith

This hen began setting a nest in mid-October.  The other hens all went into their moult, so there was only one egg under her.  Doubting anything could come of it with temperatures rapidly cooling down, I let her follow her hormones.

You've already guessed the end of the story!

Just this morning I was thinking "I should check my photos and see how long she's been setting."  Turns out there was no need for that.  This afternoon I brought the chickens all the goop from the squash I was baking.  When I peeked in at Super Mama I heard some faint peeping.  Honestly!

So I hurriedly got the isolation pen enclosed (I'd taken some of the wire down so that all the birds had free range through that space.  I really did not expect a chick!).  Brought water and a separate feeder.  Added fresh straw to the box.

And then caused the hen one final injustice, when I reached under her and grabbed out her baby.  Oh the uproar!  The violation!  The alarm!  As soon as I could get a word in, I said "for goodness sake, you're going too!" and I grabbed the hen and raced her and her baby into their new suite.

Her first response was to poop and enormous, broody hen poop (they only leave the nest every couple of days, so it gets stored up).

Then in true motherly fashion, she exclaimed "well, we can dress this up in a minute and it will be a fine home.  This way, baby!"

And they settled right in.

If this chick breaks my bad luck chain and turns out to be a girl, I think I'll call her Faith!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Orion Over the Barn

Just before 7 this morning, Orion in all his glory over the barn.  See the three little stars lined up?  That's his belt.  The bright star below the belt is one corner of his, uh, skirt.  The bright star above the belt is one of his shoulders.  Here's a map:

You can't see all the stars that make up Orion.  The camera didn't capture them all, though the sky was so clear and crisp this morning that I could see them!

I hope this means that the stars are aligned for us!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nekkid girl!

It's been drawn to my attention that there's been a rather big change here at Busy Solitude Farm and I failed to explain it.  So here goes.

My princess, Ulani, had to be boarded for two nights a few weeks ago when I went to a conference out of town.  I decided to have them groom her and give her a bath.  Such luxury!  Since Ulani is 8 years old and has never been professionally groomed, I told the groomer that it was not necessary for anyone to get stressed, and if it was easier, she could cut Ulani's coat.  But I specifically asked her NOT to cut her "fall" (aka "bangs").  Specifically.

This was Ulani a week before boarding:

And this was the evening she came home:

Look how long her legs are!  But she's "butt nekkid", as they say.  And in case you can't see it here...

...they cut her bangs straight across her nose.  Aargh!

I don't despair.
I've not a care. 
It's just hair.