Finally, my peacable kingdom is back!

valentine turkeysAfter two days of working hard to separate Dimsworth and Hawthorne, and making sure each had access to non-goat-raided food and water, I decided I was doing way too much extra work. I let both turkeys out into the main yard, and told them to settle it, fight club style. Then I walked away as the feathers started flying. It only took a few minutes, and now they are back to being the best of buds. They even sleep next to each other again! I know this because last night it started raining about eleven o’clock at night so I went outside to herd them into the shed to stay dry. They’re so big now I have to shepherd them in one at a time by bending over and lightly touching each wing and guiding them forward, all while holding a flashlight to illuminate their path. I call it the Turkey Trundle, and it takes about 30 minutes.

ducksThe ducks are causing me similar extra work; the mamas are all about to go broody, so they take great delight in hiding their nests from me. Since I’m now selling my duck eggs in town, this means I have to sheepishly show up with only one dozen a week to sell. I keep promising that come summer, they’ll have more eggs than they have shelf space in the refrigerator! But for now, I have to go out several times a day and stalk them, hoping to pounce on a freshly laid egg. If I have any doubt as to how long it’s been there, I can’t sell it, so I go on my easter egg hunt every few hours. There are nests with ten or so eggs scattered all over the yard, so I’m hoping for a lot of peeping ducklings!

I decided that since the turkeys are choosing mates, and the drakes have all taken photo (4)girlfriends, I might as well let Cinnabun get in on some loving too. She and Harvey have been cuddling and cavorting non stop for the last few days, and couldn’t be happier. I also have four new quails hopping happily in the brooding box. They are joined by their older brother, who for some reason wasn’t thriving when I put him down in the main Sanctuary with the older quails. He’s a great big brother, he lets all the tiny ones crawl all over him and nap underneath him.

raphaelRaphael, on the other hand, is not such a respectful sibling. I let him out the other day into the guest bedroom (usually referred to as Raphael’s playroom), which I do several times a day. This time, though, I decided to open the window since it was nice out. After about thirty minutes, I heard a general kerfluffle from the deck, and stepped out to see agitated chickens shaking off the remains of their deck-side dusts baths. (I can’t keep potted plants on the deck anymore, since all the pots of dirt been taken over for bathing purposes). I had to laugh as I saw Raphael gleefully clinging to the screen, then hopping down and springing forward again and again.

In garden news, I really REALLY need it to be spring. I have at least five tiny pumpkinsphoto (9) started, and one tomato plant is so large I have to start pruning it. Watering everything is a nightmare because every time I turn around my butt knocks a pot off its perch. I’m quite happy to announce I have a little baby Willard! I found him while I was watering my pomegranate bush and accidentally sprayed him with the hose. He’s about the size of my thumbnail, although it’s difficult to tell that from the picture. Thompson is shy, so I couldn’t get a face shot, as hard as I tried.

Having a packed greenhouse of course means I’ve been potting and re-potting tons of plants, potting benchusually using the tailgate of the pickup as a potting station. Apparently Gene got tired of the mess I was making, so he built me a custom potting bench! It’s just over waist high, and is customized with both a cup holder and gravity-fed soil dispenser, since it’s hard for me to scoop soil up. I couldn’t be happier, particularly with the cup holding feature.

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