Thursday, April 30, 2009

the upcycled chickenrun photos are now showing!

hop down a few entries to check her out.

wood pallets rock people
saves big money
and they look nice too

and then there were two

supers that is...

i woke this morning ready for bee inspection. i had practiced in sleep state throughout the night. now i would actually do it. uugh, i hope i get this right i thought. got to treat the hippychick bees well. here we gooooo!

i prepped my garden cart for bee duty
  • i got the smoker smoking
  • i climbed into my cheapo tyvek overalls and my better bee veil
  • i popped on a pair of gloves
  • i set the sugar water and the two additional supers on the cart
  • i set my hive tool and bee brush on the cart
  • i checked all entrances into shoes, sleeves and neck area
all was cool, time to get these babies fed. i worked slowly and carefully as not to upset the bees. a few poofs of smoke at each entrance as i stood to the side of the hive. then i moved the 2 gallons of sugar water to my side for easy access and to clear a space on the cart for the hive top and (oh my!) empty feeder. i guess my instincts were not so far off. that's good. i poofed a bit of smoke under the hive top before removing it, the feeder and the top cover.

wow! look at that action! i lifted out a few frames for inspection. i saw great evidence of new brood, deep golden pollen stores and thick stores of honey! i could not believe it. talk about busy as a bee? they are not kidding. these babies are cranking!

i placed a second eight frame super on top of the first. i placed the feeder on top of the supers. i filled the feeder with just under two gallons of sugar water before placing the top cover and hive cover in place. one complete, one to go.

the second hive inspected as healthy and as active - i'm a lucky hippychick. one thing i did learn is that it's time for me to order more supers! these kiddos need more space or will within a week or two. that's good news.

happy bees, happy hippychick

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

time to feed the bees

i noticed a larger population of bees congregating around the front entrance of the hives as i was making my evening rounds. i thought it a bit odd. i had not seen numbers like that around the entrance since first nesting in the babies. i figure it must be time to fill the top feeder. so in i went to prepare the goods

- a ration of sugar water - 2:1 - sugar:h2o -
- sugar patties which are a mix of powdered sugar and lard -

i sure hope the bees are not thinking of taking off over night. i don't imagine so. it was not crazy numbers by the entrance but enough to get me pondering. being a total novice, i'm hoping my observations are founded. we'll see when we open the hives in the morning.

Monday, April 27, 2009

split reality

so here i am in chicago - a million friends i'd love to visit with yet thesis three to read - no time to put the reading off - so i sit by my hotel window and longingly glance at the dripdrops of rain passing by.

tonight tonight at celebration of friend-x-two event i'll see many a friend long been away from. there is a reward at the end of the day.

oh oh oh
i found such wonderful gifts to share
i cannot wait to give them over
beaming with excitement
yeah friends!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

new chickenchica penthouse in the hippychick universe!

the mission -
to move the not so baby layers to a new home before heading out to chicago this weekend.

translation -
paint the inside of the tin (actually metal) shed, cut out new windows and a chicken run door, frame out and install critter deterrent windows, build a chicken run from the recently collected rockin' wood pallets, cover the run with chicken wire, load in the new laying nests (even though they are not expected to lay for weeks and weeks), load in feeder, waterer, hay bedding and chickenchicas. last but not least, install a shade/rain barrier over half of the run and load in three bags of fall leaves in the run for dusty bathes and interesting scratching goods.

mission accomplished people!
i started in early, the neighbors popped by to give a hand for a few hours, the neighbors went of to their own day, i kept going, the neighbors stopped by again later in the afternoon (blessed folk that they are), we all covered the finished run together. then the mailman (off duty) stopped by to see how things were going and decided to chip in and help us finish up. i felt like a regular tom sawyer!
love your neighbors peeps - good things come...

once the girls were transported to their new digs i got down and dirty in their older digs. really dirty - i cleaned the place up pulling out all the old bedding, swept, washed it down, let it dry, threw down a thin layer of d.e., a new layer of bedding, a waterer and a feeder before loading in my twenty-five wee wee baby baby layers. these kiddos are just a week old but they moved in just fine. they found themselves a cushy bit of bedding and dozed off to sleep almost immediately - that's a good sign. they are so darn cute.

i then took all the old bedding out to the compost piles. i finish off two of the three piles with this latest batch of bedding and a few bags of leaves. they'll be steaming tomorrow i am sure. now my body is tired and my clothes are sloshing clean in the washer.

the upcycling of the wood pallets was a huge success. the new chicken run is quite a looker. every project looks better than the last. maybe by the time i'm finished i'll have things figured out? ha!
so if we are keeping count - the coops now total four in variation.
  • the original crazy coop caper with outdoor run housing alfie, saffron, freckles, maisie, fernie & ella)
  • today's new layer coop with outdoor run housing lilly, frankie, clover, gerdie, fritzy, weemie, dodo & lala - yes this is the first unveiling of their names! lucky you. hey fritzy - she who inspired the name, you're now chicken famous - how cool is that?
  • meatie coop with outdoor run for... the meaties!
  • layer brooder /starter coop housing 24 heritage breed baby layer chicas
life is good for these babes. they all have plenty of space, fresh air and pals to share their days with. now it's time to get things ready for travel to celebrate a friend- it's only a day or two away - piece of cake.

i love my wee farm.

Friday, April 24, 2009

reading day

all day today is reading day
m.f.a. thesis
getting students out out out

bending the artist
bending the mind
bending their efforts to make
their own
their own

let me tell you
they have grown

i love seeds

Thursday, April 23, 2009

voice your vote

click and vote

hey you might learn a few things while you are at it!
be inspired
find cool material to follow up on
find like minded folk
find answers to questions you have pondered
have fun just lookin' at the pretty pictures

just check it out
click me

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

garden growing up up uppppp

it appears that the garden is now at full go
rock on baby!

and outward
and every which way

the green factor has multiplied by i cannot tell you how many

the leaning towering dill-za

onions freshly pulled now curing on the tomato trellis

and there are many more where these came from

the freshly finished front entry bedded
seeds up as if they went in as transplants

beans are flowering
cukes are cuking
basil babies setting true leaves and tiny amaranth making a go of it

and a blessed few lettuces still hanging tight

there it is folks
happiness in a garden plot

worth the waking early

out and about
early morning stroll
low hmmmmmmmmm
faster than a speeding bullet
a slow ponder...

huge beetles this time of year

low hmmmmmmmmm
wow! oh!

turn 'round
sun rising
just right
trio of hummingbirds
bottlebrush tree

a flush of awe washes over
amazing universe this is this is
worth the waking early

worth the waking early
rarely i cut the stems
never so beautiful as they are au' natural

envy the fragrance of this pink beautylady
wild rose
heavenly scent wafting imagination
grandparents recalled
oh lovely wild rose
worth the waking early

Sunday, April 19, 2009

jumper the amazing dark cornish

meet jumper
the wonderkin fearless dark cornish
hen? rooster? don't know yet but either way this one is a keeper

i am having a great time with the dark cornish
they have cheery personalities, lots of energy, a good curious sense about them, they are light on their feet and quite beautiful to boot. this is pure bred group. they are doing quite well and looking super healthy so i have decided to make a go at rearing the next round of cornish here at the hippychick homestead rather than order chicks from an outside hatchery. the mommy dark cornish are said to be attentive mothers and good sitters so why not?

aha! i hear the call of opera kitty - time to switch gears
guess who's not in charge around here?
yup you guessed it, me!
imagine that

Saturday, April 18, 2009

cooolio best green blog - beez touch down at the hippychick universe

hippychick made the editor's choice today!

thank you best green blogs

other good news is that the bees are here
yes houston the bees have touched down in the hippychick universe
and all is well
here is a first look
there are two hives
both located in the outback garden in and amoungst the berry sticks, fruit trees of all sorts, sunflowers, artichokes, herbs and comfrey.

this is hive one about 3o minutes after the bees have been hived. they are coming and going and some are flying all about but a distinct system of comers and goers seems to be in action.

to the left of hive one - blackberries and strawberries
to the right of hive one - a plum tree, a rosemary bush and volunteer squashes
behind the hive - blackberries, raspberries, lavender and sunflowers
this is hive two.
you can see the transport cage in front of the hive. i'll leave it out overnight. most of the bees have exited the transport cage. they may be sopping up every last bit of sugar syryp still present. bees are not wasteful. they will take advantage of every resource they come upon.

to the left of hive two - artichoke, mint and kale
to the right of hive two - an apple tree, a pear tree, a peach tree, comfrey and blueberries
behind hive two - an apricot tree, sunflowers, more comfrey and volunteer squash
here you can see the bees at work
boy i'm excited to see how having these babies around effects the garden
and the honey, oh the honey

that's really something i should save thinking about for later
for now i have got to keep my fingers crossed and hope both hives accept and love their queen.
long live the queen!

interested in seeing the bees in real time?
stop by hippychickenfarmer @ youtube
i have posted a short hippychick bee movie

the folks over at not so urban hennery just put in their bee friends too - check it out.

Friday, April 17, 2009

reset to slow motion

we are blessed with a good bit of rain today. some of it in droves and some softly softly. it's a good thing around here. the gardens were in need of a good natural drenching as were the fruit trees. now all should be happy and smiling for a short while.

i am housed up still ill with cold. this bout has really slowed me down - it's one of those sap your energy reserves bronchial buggers. none the less i remain hopeful that it will pass quickly though the other side of the brain screams - i bloody don't think so! hope - gotta keep it alive.

yesterday and today have been filled with pots of hot tea and naps under a warm blanket to fight off the chills i experience every now and again. i have enjoyed the view out the window and the fresh air streaming in through the screened windows. things are looking mighty green out there. various vivid shades electrify the landscape. today feels cooler for the rain. the humidity actually makes the chest feel heavier so i've closed the porch doors in order to dry the air out a bit.

i've got a single bed of lettuce still good for the eating. the others i've allowed to go to seed so that i might attempt to save the stock for next fall or next year's beds of greens. they were just so darn yummy this year i figured i should try. i've not ever saved lettuce seed before. i have saved the easy stuff - squash, cucumber, melon, coriander and borage. the rest i have not so this proves experimental.

i'm a bit concerned for tomorrow. i am suppose to pick up bees but feeling as i do, i wonder. again... hope. i've not even had the strength to get out and paint the frames, i'm wayyyyyy behind. that's what happens when there is only one of you. i'll figure something out - i always do but for now, it's resting time. i'm so tired just from the coughing.

i don't mean to sound like i'm complaining - not the idea at all - just talking out the present state of the body. come on body, fight! fight! fight! that might be it for now. sorry, the lids are feeling droopy.

take care of your health folk! ain't nothing more important than a healthy body.
a healthy body makes all things possible.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

dare i say - we are experiencing one of the most pleasant springs ever - i dare - i say

it is true

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

once upon a mater time...

this is re-posting of a may 2oo8 post that i never did follow up on. i received a friendly nudge today to get on it. thank you friendly nudger.

we will start with the first part
one more time...

or rather
once upon a time

the tale of the mighty mater matter
queen mater met with king mater and queen mater asked king mater, shall we allow our princes and princesses the freedom to explore the kingdom? king mater thought hard on this question. king mater was a kind king. king mater loved his wee mater princes and princesses. king mater knew his children were eager to explore the world of materland and meet other young fruits of the kingdom.
days passed and queen mater once again asked king mater, shall we allow our princes and princesses the freedom to explore the kingdom. king mater once again gave and inquisitive look and told queen mater that in three days he would decide upon the mater matter. king mater informed queen mater that he had decided to meet with three of his most trusted mater matter council members in the next three days.
king mater gathered his best caterpillar scribes to scribble a number of mater matter requests to his three most trusted mater matter council members. the caterpillar scribes scribbled with ease and produced several copies of each letter at once due to their gifted many scribble savvy legs.
each of the king's mater matter council were quick to reply.
queen bee arrived even before her letter had returned
master toad was heard to arrive in a quick hop skip and a jump
dame lady lady lady bug was said to arrive soon after.
the council met. time passed and nothing was heard for two whole days. queen mater began to wonder weather the mater matter would ever be resolved.
queen mater consulted with her dear friend lord lizard lizard for comfort and lord lizard lizard assured queen mater that soon very soon the mater matter would come to resolution.
for now he advised the queen to enjoy a bit of a seaweed salad and to wash it down with a bit of a fishy fishy late'. and queen mater did.
come back later for more of the tale of the mater matter...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

rainy morning sunshine

there is a warm steady soft raining falling in the hippychick universe this morning.

we are expecting outrageous storms and hail and other such lions, tigers and bears, oh my! but not quite yet. for now we enjoy the kind of rain that calms and soothes and keeps termite kitty stationed at the screen door peeking out.

we enjoy the sound and the sensation equally. opera kitty naps, the chickenchicas are tuned into the sunday opera on the classical station, bunny is holed up in one of his cardboard boxes and wee chicks are safe inside the comfort of the garage barn coop.

uuuup! now it turns - in seconds the rain turns. it's now coming down in buckets, overflowing each and every gutter, running over the top and challenging the strength of the plants to stay upright. in my mind, this is good, good, good.

i was lucky and a little bit smart. i wok early early in order to make my morning creature rounds. i knew the rain was to hit around 7am and it did on the dot just as i was finishing up. there are still eggs to collect but the girls were in no rush this morning considering the overcast sky. why not be rainy day lazy too. i did tack up a bit of extra rain protection for bunny bunny though he is pretty well off either way.

my ailing body wants back to bed but i, the mind, the imagination, the person wants to sit, watch and listen to the rain. i fear once falling asleep, i would sleep so sound as to miss the event. the squirrels are holed up, several peeking out here and there. the birds are chirping, singing, sending signal and song across the bows. the grass glows green and dirt black brown. the white picket fence blatant white.

i think of what's next - sweeping and raking more live oak leaves then hauling them out for compost. or maybe i ought to lay them out for a new bed but where is that new bed don't know yet? back to a soft fall, back from the buckets and the birds flying tree to tree once again. we'll see if it picks up for now i observe brick burning red, green burning green and wet.