Friday, December 30, 2011

We knew that

Today I was reading BBC’s 100 things we learned in 2011. According to one of the articles it has been proven that chickens feel empathy. They did the test on moms and chicks by stressing out the chicks with air puffs to see if it stressed out the mom. The whole thing stressed me out just thinking about it. Anyone who has backyard chickens and has hatched knows the bond of mom and chick. Percy is 15 weeks old now and still sleeps between her two “moms”.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

We have bread!

I am so excited! I made bread! It’s the simplest no knead white bread and the recipe’s here. But everyone needs to start somewhere. It’s a beginning to achieving one of my goals for the new year. To master yeast breads. Little steps. It came out crusty on the outside and dense and surprisingly flavorful on the inside.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wandering Wednesday – Bonaire

As promised, this week I am going to start with warm places to keep us thinking warm thoughts through the cold winter. Today we visit the lovely Caribbean island of Bonaire. Bonaire is a lovely place with very friendly people. A large quantity of it is preserve and they say the flamingos outnumber the people.


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I hope you’ve enjoyed Bonaire and found some relief from the cold gray winter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wandering Wednesday – Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard

Hello Everyone! Welcome back for another Wandering Wednesday. Today we don’t go far and stick near home for the holidays. Edgartown downtown is made up mostly of stately captains homes and it likes to really dress up and goes a little color crazy for the season. They have an event the second weekend in December call “Christmas in Edgartown” that includes a parade, a big chowder contest, craft shows and bazaars, crafts for kids, inn tours, special events, and concerts. It’s a fun time that brings people out and gets them in the mood for the holidays.
Let’s start at town hall….
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Captain Daniel Fisher House
Edgartown Lighthouse
The Whaling Church and Town Clock. This used to be a single light to represent the North Star that guided the wise men to the baby Jesus. The colored lights are a new development. I haven’t decided what my opinion is yet. Some things just shouldn’t be glitzed up. You know what I mean?
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I hope you’ve enjoyed our stroll through Edgartown today. Happy Solstice! Now all of us chicken keepers can rejoice at the lengthening of daylight hours each day. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Winter Visitors

I happened to be driving by the park the other day and it was full of geese. And not just Canada Geese, but the Brants are here too. Brants tend to flock and blend in with the Canadians and it’s usually not until a second look that you recognize something’s a little different. Brants summer and breed in the northern tundra of Canada and winter along the New England Coast and down as far south as Washington DC.


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Brants with the Canada Geese (Oh and some straggler seagulls).


Staying with the goose visitor theme of this thread, I found this guy hanging with the mallards in the pond in West Tisbury yesterday.   

P1020957 I think he’s a domestic Chinese goose from what I could find on the internet. I’ve never seen him around before. He wasn’t in my wild bird book and  has the prettiest feathering. I guess having chickens has given me an appreciation for other birds’ plumage. All the mallards are following him around the pond like he’s the pied piper. Honkin along asking for treats from anyone that passes by. He’s very persistent. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Knitting Confession

I am a yarn snob. Yep. It’s true. I’ll only knit with natural fibers. Acrylic is squeaky when you knit with it and I really just can’t stand it. This presents an issue when knitting Christmas gifts and the sister can’t stand wool on her skin. Any wool. Even cashmere. Nope. Makes her itchy. She’s hard to buy for, but she loves a good scarf.
Soooo…. I just HAD to splurge and get the soft and luxurious Lorna’s Laces Bamboo Silk called Pearl. 
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And knit her a lovely scarf. It’s called “Old Shale Scarf” by Tiennie on Ravelry. My sister doesn’t really know about this blog so I can show it to you. Even if she did, she would act surprised anyway. Don’t tell her though :)P1020964
It’s not a complicated pattern. Easy and knits up quick, but looks hard. This yarn is shiny, soft, and the knitted fabric drapes beautifully. It has great stitch definition too. I hate when you take the time to knit something detailed and it just gets fuzzy the detail disappears.
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In addition to the scarf, I have knit a hat for Husband. It was his one request. When he asks for something handmade, I jump to it. He doesn’t ask often.  I used a lovely soft merino blend from the stash. It lost it’s label long ago so I have no idea where it came from. I made up the pattern. Just a 100 stitches in a 3 X 2 rib. Long enough to cover the ears and try not to make a pointy reduction.
He’s seen the finished product and he loves it. He wouldn’t let me take his picture in it though. 

An update on yesterday’s snow post. We didn’t even get a dusting. Tilly’s Nest over on the Cape got a good dusting and blogged about it today. I love snow. Maybe next time.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feels like snow

The air has the feeling of snow today. It’s the first time this season. It’s been so warm. The weather people say we may have some coastal effect snow tonight. I love snow, but I don’t think it will be much or stick around. If it does though, I’ll let you know.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wandering Wednesday – Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard

OK it’s belated and local today. I have been trying for a week now to get decent pictures of our local lights. Tonight was balmy and I had a little success. Next week we will hopefully do Edgartown.

Ocean Park




The summer information booth. Not many visitors nowadays. But she dresses up nice.

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The lonely Dockside Jewelers. Surrounded by closed summer shops, steadfast.


View of the trees along the harbor.


Thanks for visiting :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wandering Wednesday – Barcelona

A short Wandering Wednesday today. We will explore Barcelona in more depth on another day. Today a holiday scene from the Cathedral of Barcelona.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Visitors

Living on a summer resort island you would think we wouldn’t have many winter visitors. However we do. They just aren’t human they are birds. Today, after my hectic day yesterday, I took a walk in the woods with my big basket and gathered evergreens for my window boxes. But, I was not alone. There were many birds chatting away in the woods enjoying the beautiful day. My favorites are the winter ducks in the salt water ponds that dive under and eat the greenery and such off the bottom. The Buffleheads were too fast for me today, but the Hooded Mergansers were a little slower. I love both of them with their showy punk rock mohawk looks. The Mergansers have brown bodies and long bills. The buffleheads look very similar but they have short bills and are all black and white.

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We have lots of other avian visitors such as the Eider ducks and the Brant geese that like to hang out and blend in with Canada geese. If I can get good pics, I will share them.

In other news we had a different visitor in the back yard this afternoon. Husband and I were standing on the back patio watching the chickens ruining my latest attempt at raking, when they all stopped cold. Betty started the hawk growl. It sounds like a loud cat purr. “purr purr purr”. Doris squatted as low to the ground as her big body would let her. If she didn’t do it out of fear, it would have been funny to see this incredibly large bright white bird try to make herself invisible by flattening herself to the dark brown leaf strewn ground. Both Betty and Doris have survived a hawk attack at their first home. Betty has the scars to prove it. I love her “street smarts”. The other girls just stood still and looked at Betty for guidance. She was looking at the back corner of the yard. I also stopped mid-sentence and looked in the direction she was.

Husband asked what was going on and I told him there was something in the bushes. He asked how I could tell. So I let him in on the clues. Neither one of us could see anything. It seemed like a long time. Then a Merlin swooped down across the back of the yard. He wasn’t even close to the girls but, I think if we weren’t there it may have gone down differently. Merlins are small falcon like birds. He may have been able to get Percy. Betty and Doris really could have taken him. Maybe that’s why Betty didn’t make a run for it. We quickly herded them into there pen to safety. I will keep an eye out for our new friend. I’m sure Betty will too.

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