Tag Archives: birds

Angels We Have Heard

19 Dec

There are quite a few scripture passages about people being afraid when they see angels.  And the angels are not described, so we assume

they look human-like. Winged messengers from God.  But what if:

There are giant chicken angels over the one small nativity we have out so far this year.

One of the visiting chickens, a Red Comet, accidentally stayed outside Thursday night when there were high winds.  Jay found her Friday morning wandering by the side of the house and returned her to the coop. We think she spent the night in the giant rhododendron. Chickens are not meant to spend the night out-of-doors in the cold winds. There were small spots of blood on the snow where she walked.  Her back end was icy.

Yet she seemed OK until Saturday  late in the day when Jay noticed she was not eating and was hanging apart from the other hens.  She was very light.  He moved her into a pen in the basement, warmer, dry.  Jay coaxed her to start drinking; she was interested but kept falling asleep–or was very hypothermic.  Eventually she started drinking, then drinking with gusto, then eating again; wheat, corn meal, apple.  I put her out with the others this morning.

Feather Ornaments

23 Oct

Start with dead ring-necked pheasants.  Have your husband skin them instead of plucking!  Thanks to Jay I had two adult males and a hen.

Add some cardboard circles cut from a cereal box, scissors, a glue gun.

Cut and paste.  I  tend to use 6 or 8 feathers per round.  Three rounds, each smaller than the last.  Contrast, contrast, contrast!

Running out of feathers is not the problem.  The toxic fumes from the glue gun drove me outdoors from the shop, and then the breeze sprang up.

For the middle: a small antique button, usually one with a metal loop back which is hammered flat.  To finish,  glue heavy black upholstery fabric slightly larger than the circle and sandwich black cord between the board and fabric for a hanger.

Sunday Breakfast Tale

2 Oct

Daren called this morning.  It rained off and on all night and into the morning.  Again.  But he was determined to go out turkey hunting so when he got up he glassed the alfalfa field across the road and saw a small flock of jakes grazing in the rain.

He got dressed and looked out the window just as he left to go downstairs.  The birds had crossed the road and were heading for the house.

He ran downstairs and got the gun ready, but before he got out the door, there they were, coming around the corner of the basement.  He fought with a door he does not usually use, eventually getting it open in time to shoot the last jak.

The turkeys had walked right in front of him, across the lawn, up the bank, and were entering the woods behind and beside the house.

We had buttermilk pancakes for breakfast.  I recommend them.   Honey cinnamon butter and hot maple syrup go well with them.  Nuke butter until soft but not melted, add honey and cinnamon until it tasted nice.  Put the syrup in a microwave-safe container before nuking.  Much easier than heating over the stove.

That is steam rising from them.  Hot off the griddle.

Buttermilk Pancakes

from my old Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, with changes, of course.  Pancake recipes make a batter that is too darn stiff and thick.  Adding more liquid results in nicer pancakes that cook better.  See above.

3/4 cup  each whole wheat and white flours

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 T. sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg

1 cup buttermilk

2 T. oil

extra water or milk–1/3+ cup

Mix dry ingredients together.  I use a whisk.  Add the wet ingredients and mix until blended.  Add extra moisture until the batter is moderately thick but will run.  Bake on a hot griddle.  Makes enough for three or four.  Doubles easily.

 

It is now almost 9PM.  It is raining.  Again.  It rained this afternoon, also.

Turkey and Quilts

1 Oct

Happy October First!  The Morning Glories were glorious indeed this morning.  There were more than 45 blooms.  Perhaps they sense their time is just about up?

Jay went turkey hunting this first morning of the season and returned with a nice hen he met on the edge of the cornfield.

Hawthorne was very excited by the arrival of the bird.

 

Ellie and I went to the perennial county quilt show.  There were about 10 Civil War era quilts on display there from the county history museum which were made in this county.  Here are two:

This was made by a member of the Treman family of Trumansburg.  Lots pf striped fabrics. 

Incredibly beautiful.  And below, a silk quilt, perhaps made by Quakers since it is backed with the same drab brown cotton they used to line their silk dresses.

The docent from the museum who shared a bit about these quilts said that the silk in this quilt came from Paris and was of higher quality than Victorian era silks and thus had not shattered.  I asked what the difference in the silks was.

It seems that silk from China was sold on a weight per pound basis and to make the fabric weigh more the element lead was added during processing.  It also gave the silk the nice weight and rustle when used in dresses. The lead, though, also caused the premature decay (shatter) of the silk itself.

French silk, on the other hand, contains no lead.  It also does not rustle.  It shsh’s.

Tell and Show

26 Jul

This morning Hawthorne and I jumped deer in two widely separate areas.  We saw neither but heard their snorts and the noise their flight made.

We also heard loud sounds which were a cross between a quack and a honk.  Turns out it was a pair of blue herons flying low over the corn field calling to one another

The girl and her borrowed calf moved to the 4-H fairgrounds this afternoon for four days.  Jay will stay there at night in a tent. She plans to sleep in the pole barn next to her calf.  She packed so much nail polish I wondered (aloud) if she knew it was a barn and not a hotel.

 

 

Blues

7 Jul

The hydrangeas are coming into bloom.  This is exciting!  Neither have bloomed since the years they were planted.  For one that is over a decade; I had been ready to pull it out if no blooms this year. Here is the first bloom off the newer one with a yellow rose.

A couple years ago the girl bought wool and silk at the guild’s rock day to make felt.  Yesterday a few of us met to divvy up books, yarn, and tools which dear departed Celia had bought and her Henry has since found. The get together inspired her to break out the fiber and get to work.

She made a wool and silk scarf.

The finished product is very beautiful!

And last but by no means least: both the girl and I have spied an Indigo Bunting.  She a few days ago and me this morning on the walk.  It flew from the ground up into a tree thick with leaves. Then it gave its annoyance cry.  (my interpretation).  Which is exactly what is recorded at the end of the “typical voice” sounds on the site.  Perhaps it is nesting?  Perhaps it is the one which made a meal of my flying friends?

 

Big Bird Battles

4 Jun

Hawthorne and I walked in reverse this morning, going west along the edge of the grass sea and corn field, waded through goldenrod and mayflowers, turning north onto a path in the west woods.  Well, I did.  He was off running elsewhere.

From ahead near the corner where the cornfield and main north woods meet came the loud calls of a pileated woodpecker.   On and on it called.  Then a crow took up calling, loud and raucous.  Were they screaming at each other?

Then another pileated woodpecker joined in.  At this point I stopped walking because the noise was coming from only 60 or so feet away up in the high treetops.  I hoped to see those woodpeckers and maybe figure out what was going on.

There were two tall dead trees. With holes up high.  Possible pileated nest sights.  One woodpecker flew from a treetop to the top of one of those dead trees. Now it was two pileateds and two crows yelling all out. How long could birds go on in this fashion?  Piercing, repeated, angry, fearful, defiant.

Then:  “hoo-Hoo”; and a large brown bird with a wingspan as broad as my outstretched arms flew from that vicinity west into other treetops.  A Great Horned Owl!  I moved slowly up the path trying for a better view; it flew off further west.

It all came clear in that instant.  A few moments later another great horned flew east from a tree north of the one the woodpeckers were guarding.  The owls were harassing or hunting the nestlings of the woodpeckers.  Crows, which hate owls, had located the owls and had helped the woodpeckers drive them off.

Hawthorne ran up, panting, just after the excitement was over.  “Did I miss much”?

The large rhododendron and the azalea which it is overtaking are both open.  That poor orange beauty always has small worms that come and denude it of leaves, and this year the flowers, too.  The worms change color depending on what they have been chomping on: green leaves or orange flowers.

 

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