Friday, November 26, 2010

Record cold

You know those brisk fall days when you enjoy raking leaves and readying the yard for winter? We didn't have any this year.
Roses one week ago.

During the snow.

Today after the snow melted.
Monday's snow fell on top of icy roads and one day this week set a record for cold this time of year. Tuesday and Wednesday the dogs got only minimal walks because the snow was so dry that it squeaked under my feet, sending shivers up my back and teaching me that cold-shivers are preferable to sound-shivers.
Green leaves fell on the snow; I've never seen that before.

I saw interesting footprints around the house, some that I can't identify.

A bird hopped onto the back stairs.

The neighbor's cat walked in front of the garage.

And something really big crossed at the entrance to the driveway.
Because snow was falling, I ran inside and grabbed the first thing I could find to show the size--a five-inch rawhide chew stick.
By comparison, this is an Airedale footprint.

And here's the monster foot. What could it be? Does this neighborhood have a very weird newspaper carrier?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What chickens think of snow

I'm heading inside to the day quarters.

Isn't it gone yet?

Muffin (r) and Bran(l) waiting for the coast to clear.

Snow is for eating off the side of the chicken barn.
Yesterday at the first sign of snow, the chickens headed into their daytime hutch. (That's a muddy tarp in front.) They're spending today inside their snow-covered chicken barn. Normally they'd spend some time outside but 26 degrees F is too cold for us all. Snow in November simply isn't supposed to happen around here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ticklish feet

I tried to teach Miro foot-handling the same way I taught The So-Perfect Darwin. From the time I brought him home at eight weeks, I'd run my hand all over him down to the feet. Randomly I'd pick up a foot and let go before he jerked his leg away. That was the routine: pick up foot, play with toes, release, treat.

He never got used to it.

When the first nail-trimming time came, I tried to introduce him to the Dremel. Most dogs prefer it to a clipper. Whoa! he went, squirming all over the way you would hearing fingernails screeching on a blackboard (what can we say now that we use whiteboards and markers?). So I switched to a clipper. Alanis insists on a Dremel and sometimes leans her whole weight, which is only 45 lbs, on me like a horse when I'm holding her foot.

the instruments of torture
When I trimmed around Miro's feet with a scissors and clipped the fur between his toes with a #40 blade on the electric clipper, his foot would jerk at a touch even when the rest of him was standing still and relaxed on the table. Slowly I realized there's more here than a dog not wanting his feet held. His feet are ticklish.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
The well-trimmed foot that grew out in about five minutes. Note the remodeled corner of the bed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My first Airedale

More than 20 years (!) ago my late husband snapped this photo of me having a philosophical discussion with a very ungroomed Emma. Like many people, we didn't know what we were getting into when we brought her home. Both of us had grown up with dogs but not Airedales; and for us both, Airedales became the finest animal on the planet..

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reptile report

Hens aren't the only critters molting around here. Chilibelina the leopard gecko has shed all but a hat and sock.

She also looks as if she doesn't quite know what to do about it. Not surprising, considering a reptile's brain power.

Saturday Blog Hop

Monday, November 1, 2010

Polish Chickens and Stephen King

Go to the link, paste in your latest blog post and find out which famous writer your deathless prose resembles. Report back. I wish I knew how the site came up with Stephen King for my story about chickens.

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!