Friday, February 18, 2011

Farm Friend Friday: Creatures are stirring

 Bruno Bratanter on the gate
With the daytime temperatures back up into the 70's all life was stirring again. I felt like I was coming out of hibernation this week, slowly resuming life as we know it. The chickens were glad to be back outside scratching in the creek.

Bruno is our only rooster that can fly to the tops of trees (and has on occasion required me standing on the top of a tall ladder to retrieve him at nightfall). His beak is in need of a trim. I love his black 'beard' and mullet like 'do. The Brabanters come from Belgium and are very personable. The hens fly to my shoulder when I enter the coop, and would happily ride around there like a pirate's parrot all day if I would let them!

This week I noticed one of the neighbor's Mallard ducks sitting in the hedgerow not far from our front door.

Farmer Rick was certain it was just a bag that had blown down there. On closer inspection, we were both correct: It was a tan plastic bag neatly camouflaging a female mallard presumably sitting on eggs.

You can't see me! (Click to biggify!)

Last year one of the ducks hatched 19 ducklings in a flowerbed closer to our driveway. This nest is just a few feet from our door!

I also noticed the bluebird nest box in the Short Grass Prairie has a bluebird nest in it. They are unmistakable, made of soft green moss lined with feathers. I've seen her going in and out, so hopefully I will be able to photograph the babies soon. It's been a couple years since we had bluebirds; last year the box was home to Tufted Titmice.

Tiger Girl

The beautifully marked wild cat Tiger Girl showed up to accompany me on my walk. She's a good mouser and I hope she will make this her home. We see her once or twice a week, and have not found anyone who claims her.

Moon over the prairie

Interestingly, the honeybees have been making a beeline to the 5 gallon buckets filled with coffee grounds I pick up at coffee shops in town. They must be getting some sustenance out of it. Or a buzz! Will our honey be caffeinated?


Patches, our resident armadillo has been out and about snooting through the grasses and digging for grubs. I was able to follow him at a close distance in this video taken a couple days ago. You'll see early on he detects me by smell, but continues about his business. It is only at the end I crunch something underfoot that he goes bounding away.

I felt like an armadillo paparazza! This week I've also potted up hundreds of Salvias, Mulleins, Jewels of Opar, and Coneflowers and moved them from the propagation room into the greenhouse. There are so many more still to do! Here's a photo of the greenhouse at night, glowing like a beacon.

For more views of farm life, visit Farm Friend Friday!


Verde Farm said...

What a great post. Timing is so interesting to me. I had a couple visit us yesterday and tell us they were going to raise a certain type of chicken I had never heard of. It sounded like a great breed and they were very excited. Today I read your post and your rooster is the breed they were telling me about. He is gorgeous! So unique looking. I love your greenhouse-I want one so badly. Amazing that you have a resident armadillo-so cool. I just love baby ducklings--can’t wait to see how many the neighbors have :)
Thank you for linking with Farm Friend Friday-enjoyed it!
Amy :)

Anonymous said...

Your photographs are gorgeous. I've never heard or seen such a rooster. His feathers are brilliant.

Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I truly appreciate it.

Have a wonderful Sunday. :)

NitWit1 said...

WOW I see the busy" time of year is approaching for you. We have armadillos in Arkansas but they are considered pests in town when they tear up our flower beds. A little degrubing and they either die or move somewhere else. I had a chance to see some baby armadillos on summer evening after a rainshower. They are cute little devils.

The ducklings should be cute. We have a few bluebirds here, too, even though we lost most of our trees to a giant ice storm 2 years ago.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful Pictures... Love the rooster, pretty colors.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

hi there i just found you from farm friend friday. love that chicken! he is very unique but i don't know much about chickens as my husband refuses to have any. your little tiger girl is gorgeous. i have a boy that looks like her twin who decided to claim us and came to our back porch at 2 am! i hope you will feed her and keep her. she will stay if she has food. my barn kitties keep all the mice away and when they want to hunt they go into the field a grab one. come by and visit when you find the time. so glad i found your blog!

Heritage Farm Village said...

hi there, found you from fff. love your armadillos. so cute! looking forward in following you~

Jill said...

Beautiful rooster! Wow that cat is also a beauty. The armadillo video is very interesting. They are such unusual creatures.

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