Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Teddy Walks Again!

We found Teddybird paralyzed and dehydrated in the hen house on a hot summer day. Her belly was bright red and swollen. We quickly moved her into the house and fed her electrolyte solution through an eye dropper.

Although this revived her somewhat it was clear she couldn't move her legs. I cooled her belly every day by immersing her in cool water and then towelling her off. She refused to eat chicken pellets and rapidly lost weight. I decided to start scrambling and feeding her eggs and fresh garden greens, which she loved.

Once she regained the weight I started putting her on her back on a towel twice a day and working her legs as if she was walking. She enjoyed this, and would make a purring sound. Now, every time she sees me she makes this sound and I make it back to her. It's sort of an "I love you".

My vet says that when a chicken gets sick, it usually dies the next day. She hasn't laid an egg since, so perhaps she was egg bound and then got dehydrated. Or maybe she had a stroke? No one knows. Not many people would want a chicken taking up residence in their guest bath. Most people would have given up on her sooner. But I could see she wasn't giving up, so how could I?

First, I could see signs of her trying to balance, and when one leg was weaker I worked it a little more. She started being able to grip my fingers again with her toes and push back when I applied resistance. I'm hoping she will make a full recovery and walk normally again.

Last week was the big moment...I took her outside with some food and she waddled to me! We were amazed and are happy to be part of her healing journey. The lesson: don't ever give up!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Someone Loves My Blog!

Well, I am quite honored to see my blog friend Dana over at The Cabin Chronicles has sent me the I Love Your Blog badge to post. Dana has a lovely little cabin up in the Ozarks of Arkansas and we have discovered our living rooms look almost identical. But that's not too surprising considering our similar interests in almost everything. If she hadn't already received this award, I would have sent it to her. Be sure to check out her other blog, too, Calico Cat Press.

She is so inspirational to me: her love of the natural world, inquisitive mind, choice of simple living, the way she moves seamlessly between artistic media, her willingness to share ideas and techniques, and positive outlook. I am one of her biggest fans!

I am going to pass this on to my dear friend The Crazy Sheep Lady over at Punkin's Patch who I've known for twelve years. We actually met backpacking alone in the wilderness with our beloved dogs and corresponded for years through letters (remember those?) until I could convince her computers were pretty cool. The next thing I know she's designing web pages and maintaining an online business dedicated to everything Sheep.

She delights us with her (often comical) tales of running Equinox Farm and the joys of wool. She's a spinner, weaver, and knitter who creates the most wonderful felted sheep you've ever laid eyes on. Check out her gift selection in time for holiday giving! I admire her adventurous spirit, earth stewardship, kindness to animals, and artisan talents, and appreciate her friendship!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Today's photo is of the galls found on the underside of our live oak leaves. At this time of year they are blushed with pink and look a lot like berries. They will grow into large woody structures and rain down on us eventually.

I've been told they are created by wasps stinging a cell in the leaf and laying eggs which develop into some form that eventually bores its way out of the woody gall. Often I've thought they would make good beads, being round, lightweight, and already having a hole in one end from the creature's escape.

I have no idea what the fuzzy one is all about.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Once I Was an Acorn

Here's some tree huggers (us!) hugging in front of our resident Big Tree. Wishing everyone a nice weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2008

You Made My Day!

Four years ago I saw my first Zebra Longwing floating over the garden and was inspired to use it as the subject in a Japanese woodcut printing class I attended. Through the gruelling removal of wood with hand chisels to make the printing plates, I developed a sore wrist, an awesome appreciation of woodcut artists, and an obsession for this butterfly.

It doesn't seem to flap as much as other butterflies, but uses its long wingspan to glide around. Often when you see it, the thing is overhead and you are looking at the underside with the light coming through.

According to official lists it's not supposed to be seen in my county. I've come across one in my garden each year but as soon as I run for the camera it has disappeared. Except today! This one was so busy feeding on the Frostweed that I was able to get many good images. It made my day!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Spot Watching

Today I went out looking for something new to photograph, as I'm tired of thinking about the economic collapse of America, and needed a break from my work. As you may have noticed, lately I have been enjoying finding the abstract in nature with my camera.

Our ponds are so small and shallow compared to our neighbor's that they mostly attract butterflies who need shallow water to drink safely, birds for bathing, and some frogs. But today I spotted this lovely dragonfly, common to North America, but not seen at our pond before. It is a male 12 Spotted Skimmer, Libellula pulchella. Females do not have the white spots. I know in botanical terms pulchella means pretty. There's almost a mauve glow to his body.

Our English peas, Yellow Indian Woman and mothe beans are up in the garden. Now that the wildflowers have finished blooming, the sheep are grazing the short grass prairie. This makes them very happy. Phoebe becomes much easier to handle as if the prairie is a sedative, and Finley just boings around until he takes on the shape of a blimp and they are led back to their pen. The cusp between summer and autumn is just so beautiful. The 12 Spotted Skimmer perches on a twig, exhibiting calmness and fearlessness as I snap away. His ups and downs are far removed from those on Wall Street.
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