Nature verses the local grocery...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snow Trails: Christmas Blizzard

Mother Nature gave us a Christmas gift that whitened up our outdoor wonderland, will probably test a few snow-shoveling hearts today and slow down travel to an as-needed basis for a day or two.

Received an e-mail from a Southeast Colorado neighbor/writer/friend in Lamar this morning about his snow coverage.  Oris George always tells a good story, and this one is no less descriptive or real than those in his new book, Along the Back Roads of Yesterday. This e-mail is a must-share!  As is his book - a great gift for your last-minute buying.

 “Mother Nature zapped us a good one! …about 12 inches of new snow last night, drifts 3 to 5 feet…  In places the cows are eating corn stalks, etc. that are on completely bare ground.  Snow drifted onto the back porch, three feet deep!

I opened the kitchen door at 4:30 this morning…  Much to my sleep-eyed surprise, our border collie who was supposed to be in her doghouse, came bounding into the kitchen, acting all smart! Her pen had drifted full and she had walked out over a 6 foot drift. With this knee just recovering from a replacement, I could hardly walk in the drifts.  (In my advanced age I am becoming a sissy.)

I have not a clue how I am going to clean the snow out of that dog pen. I wrapped myself in a heavy coat, put on heavy rubber boots and ventured out to feed the chickens. Trying to walk through those snow drifts with boots on and the snow deep, I found I needed to go back to the house and wait for spring!”

I suspect poor Lily (the smart dog)...may spend a few days visiting Oris's chicken yard!

Enjoy the beauty, wonder and awesome power of Nature-at-work this Christmas Southeast Colorado.

Particularly today, as the snow plows roar by...Nature prevails!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Science Trails: Lunar Eclipse

In the early moments of humankind’s scientific awakenings, an eclipse – solar or lunar, might have created serious fear.  Here in the sky, something big and different, above their heads, may have sent early humans into hiding.  Maybe not.

But today, we understand eclipses – at least mostly, and look forward to their occurrences as an expected and exciting phenomenon that surely does not threaten our existence.  Rather, it heightens our knowledge, awareness and emotions.  And most likely creates just a few photo shoots of varying results. Tomorrow, December 10th will host a total Lunar Eclipse for parts of the western hemisphere.

According to the site, “Ancient Chinese recorded 2,000 lunar eclipses, including 400 total eclipses. Outside China the earliest records of solar eclipses were found in the ruins of ancient Babylon, and the earliest solar eclipse among the six records took place in 911 BC.  Yet in China the earliest record of solar eclipse, found in the inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells unearthed at the Yin ruins, was in 1200 BC, nearly 300 years earlier than the ancient Babylon record and more than 600 years earlier than the first record of solar eclipse in Europe. The Spring and Autumn Annals compiled by Confucius recorded 37 solar eclipses in 244 years, and 32 of them have been proved reliable.”

S. J. Johnson in the journal Observatory, 1888, stated that a Lunar Eclipse was recorded in Annales Cambriae in AD 690.

Tomorrow, being a Saturday may prevent some late risers from joining the observant multitudes who will usher in this incredible astronomical event.  But for the rest of us, lets get to bed early tonight and set our alarm clocks in time to observe yet another of Nature’s fantastic performances. The eclipse begins about 4:45 AM PST; we'll be out there about 4:30 AM...just in case.

Nature Prevails!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Trails: The Pupalotte Kids

Hasty Acres introduces the 5 day old, Pupalotte kids - all 25 of them! Nature, in its tiny, fluffy stage.

-The Pupalottes are little bundles of energy with growing wing feathers, some just a little, a few - over half already!
-The Pupalottes already flap their little wings fervently as they jump/fly short distances.
-The Pupalotte personalities are developing; l'tle Ms. Pupalotte, pale yellow with teeny black spots, is my fav; she sits quietly on my arm and seems to enjoy her head and chin rubs.
-Most of the black Pupalottes, the cockerels, are more flighty, less touchable.
-A few of these black Pupalottes quickly peck at my finger if its close to them, while the others are more approachable.

More Pupalottes on the way; Hasty Acres awaits...

Nature prevails.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chicken Trails: Welcome, Little Peeps...

Had someone told me years ago that I would entertain the fascination I do for little critters of the feathered flavor, it would have been my best joke of the day.  But Yesterday when our little balls of fluff arrived, it truly brightened my spirit, my day, my month! as it always does. DH and I fussed and doted for about 2 hours till completely convinced that the heat lamps were perfectly placed; that the water had just a touch of sugar for the first few hours; that they seemed settled in and happy; that they were all cuddled several times; that every detail of their amazing little bodies was discussed and absorbed! 

My order stated 8 Easter Egger pullets and 2 Cockerels.  For warmth reasons (to my surprise) the hatchery added 15 Cockerels of unknown type.  I'm guessing they are some sort of sex-linked or possibly Maran variety judging from the spotted heads and dark greyish black feathering. They will make many meals ahead.  If they are Marans, I'll keep 1 or 2; it is my understanding so far in my research that adding the dark chocolate variety to the Easter Egger gene pool will produce olive eggs - a nice addition to the color palette in the egg cartons!

Easter Egg birds (who come from Ameraucana crossings) have beautiful, varied colored feathering, never quite the same with each new addition.  Laying mostly egg color variations of blue, greenish or pink, these adorable creatures are an interesting endeavor.

This group came from Ideal Poultry in Texas; these are by far, the calmest yet liveliest birds we've owned; easily handled, not jumpy.   Did I mention they are almost as cute as newborn kitties?!

Meyer Hatchery is sending 15 more next week. Visit here for updates as the flock grows.

“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?”  S. Parkes Cadman

As always...Nature prevails, in my chicken coop tonight.