Thursday, June 17, 2010

There is a fungus among us.

I am still here! I haven't floated away! It has been raining, and raining, oh yeah, and raining here for an eternity. My garden is water-logged and looking a little bedraggled. The weeds, on the other hand, are looking magnificent.  Another big winner in this moisture bonanza are the mushrooms. I have an odd conglomeration of interesting fungi that are growing very nicely in my lawn-too bad I can't eat them.
I like to call this one "Sombrero."
Since it has been too wet to work in the garden, I spent some time trying to get the sheep barn organised and noticed lots of disgusting bits and pieces of bird parts littering the floor as I barn cats are ruthless. I wasn't able to identify some of the remains and I hoped that my little Barn Swallow friends were not amongst the casualties. Usually the Barn Swallows are safe because when they leave the nest they are capable of full flight, whereas sparrows...not so much. I decided to check anyway. The two nests that are accessible each had five tiny speckled eggs nestled safe and sound in cozy beds lined with wool, chicken feathers and horse hair.
I went back a few hours later to try to get a better picture of the eggs (it's kind of hard to hold a camera, balance on a ladder and take a GOOD picture of a nest that is crammed against the rafters). In my quest for better egg photos, I got a much more interesting surprise. I caught the babies in mid-hatch!

Welcome to the farm!
Also, on a totally unrelated subject, I can't say for sure, but last weekend there may have been an accidental acquisition of some chicks. If this alleged incident did in fact happen, it clearly wasn't my fault.  Who could pass up Black Copper Marans? They lay the darkest eggs of all the dark egg layers, and it is the only kind of egg that James Bond character will eat ( I don't care about that, but my husband is a huge Bond fan so it makes it easier to justify to him.)

If that were to happen, this is what the hypothetical chicks would have looked like. I better go, I have chicken math to study....I think I skipped a chapter.."subtraction?"


Laura said...

I had never heard of Copper Marans before. We had some Cuchoo Marans and they laid fairly dark eggs, I look up Copper Marans online and they lay very, very dark eggs (like chocolate)! The chicks are cute too...

Teresa said...

What awesome pictures of the baby birds hatching. I know my cats almost hang upside down trying to get to the barn swallows, but I don't think they have much luck. It's always fun to watch them dive bombing the cats. I'm going to have to tackle my garden with a lawn mower if this rain keeps up.

tbsomeday said...

i've never heard of copper marans either
from sand hill?
very cool--can't wait to see eggs

awesome you caught some baby birds mid-hatch!
lucky girl

let me know what you find in that subtraction chapter
we are letting broody hens sit and are up 26 chicks and 11 more being sat on
ugh...what do i do?

Shula said...

What great looking chicks, so cute. The pictures of the baby swallows hatching was great too. Our grass has little mushrooms growing in it too with all the rain. Bring on some nice sunshine.

Nancy K. said...


Subtraction, inDEED!

That second picture of the chicks hatching looks like "ET"!

Are your Marans LF or bantam? If LF, I might just have to trade you a couple BLRW for a couple someday...

Have a wonderful weekend and STAY DRY!
We had fierce storms go thru last night and more predicted tonight. Are you down-river from me? Maybe I'll stop by and visit one of these days...


Mom L said...

Baby birdies mid-hatch - awesome! Great job. And the new - accidental - chicks are gorgeous. Until I started following some farm blogs I didn't know that eggs came in any color but white or brown!!!

Nancy in Iowa

Crosswinds Farm said...

Laura, that is why I HAD to get some, I love the dark brown eggs : ).

Teresa, I have been waiting for the garden to dry out enough to get the tiller in...we have gone way beyond weeding by hand at this point!

Oh, Tabitha, you are well on your way to becoming a chicken hoarder too : ).

Shula, we got a few hours of sunshine today and then got completely dumped on again, we got over an inch of rain in 15 minutes...AAarrrggghhhhh!

Nancy, paddle on down the river and come see me : ). The Marans are Standard French Marans, I don't do any bantams...I can't afford to keep any chickens that don't lay eggs big enough to sell. I only got 4 of them, so I will see what I have as far as pullets and cockerels, but I would love to hatch some out if they do well. Can't wait to see you in September : ).

Nancy in Iowa, I don't have ANY that lay white eggs...the weirder the better as far as I am concerned....makes it interesting when I gather eggs.

Michelle said...

You are TOO funny! That second mushroom photo is magnificent, BTW.

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