Fall migration & flock integration.

When we lived in town we attracted a nice variety of birds with our various feeders, small pond, bird baths, and garden.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA East Ave pondEast Ave Garden

Once in a while during the fall migration a hawk would visit the feeders.  I remember looking out the kitchen window in awe of that beautiful bird and feeling badly for the prey . . . Mother Nature at work.

My appreciation of hawks has changed a bit with this year’s migration.  We lost our little Blue Wyandotte to one. 🙁  This was particularly sad since she’s the little hen that hatched a small clutch of eggs a couple of months ago for Susan, owner of Cluck the Chicken Store in Paoli.Blue's babes 2

Hawk migration wasn’t our only issue this fall.  We noticed something big fly by the window and imagine our surprise to see a Blue Heron perched on the bantam’s coop.  I manged to get a picture from inside the solarium before it took off.blue heron  Within a few minutes it returned to our pond, we then realized it had eaten the fish.  It’s too bad we lost the gold fish, but it sure was cool to see such a big and beautiful bird just outside the window.

With our move to the country we are attracting a much larger variety of birds than we would ever have seen in town.  So even with the losses it’s great being in the country!

Remember these little cuties?Fun on the jungle gym roost.

BA pulletWell their big girls now. . .

opps and one boy!

Lil' Red Roo

Lil’ Red Roo

This is only the second time we’ve integrated young chickens into our main flock, and as with last year’s spring hatch, it went incredibly well.

Lil' Red watching over his flock

Lil’ Red watching over his flock

Although, we definitely had a segregation issue when the Delawares realized the hardware cloth that divided the coop was gone.  They made it clear that the front roost was theirs!

Now when we do the evening head count before closing their run they are all intermingled into one big happy flock.roostingWell it can still be a little raucous at bed time, but that’s what it’s like in the chicken world. 😉

Good Friends and Fall Fishing.

After an incredibly busy spring and summer, it was time for our annual fishing trip.  Having missed our spring getaway we decided to leave a few days early and visit friends that now live in Michigan.  To save on some of the driving we took the car ferry across Lake Michigan.SS Badger

When we boarded the ferry it was quite foggy and the choppy water made for an unpleasant voyage for Rod.foggy departure1

It was about 7:30 once we got into port and they’d unloaded the truck from the ferry.arival in MI  After a couple more hours on the road we arrived at our friends house in the woods.  It had been a long day of travel, so it was nice to unwind with a cold beer and good company.  The next morning Don lead Rod and I on a leisurely walk in their woods while Michael made us a delicious breakfast.

We started the afternoon with a stop at the Grocer’s Daughter chocolate shop http://www.grocersdaughter.com/ where we purchased more chocolates adding to the collection we started at a popular old candy shop in Manitowoc.  After all who can resist really good chocolate?? 😉 Our next stop was Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore http://www.sleepingbeardunes.com/

An older gentleman offered to take a picture of the four of us.140911020

Pictures just can’t show how truly awesome these views are.140911015140911013

From the park we travelled north to Leland where we stopped at a coffee roaster.  Not only did we get a good cup of coffee, we purchased a pound of Jamaica Blue Mountain beans . . . oh so smooth, a real treat!!

In Leland we checked out Fishtown.  One of the only working commercial fishing villages in Michigan.  http://www.lelandmi.com/fishtown/

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140911029One of the old shanties housed an artisan tile maker.  Among the many beautiful tiles we found one for behind the stove.kitchen tile We will use fill in tiles from Habitat Re-Store to complete our hanging.  This should prove to be a fun winter project.

The next day we were shown a unique preservation of an old asylum http://www.thevillagetc.com/  It is quite an impressive undertaking.  On the grounds is a brick oven bakery, and Left Foot Charley Winery http://www.leftfootcharley.com/ along with many other little shops and businesses.  We end the day with some local pub fare and say our good-byes as we continue north getting a few more hours drive out of the way before crossing Mackinac Bridge the next morning.

Another full day of driving and we are at our cabin on Thousand Island Lake, one of 15 lakes on the Cisco Lake Chain which is located on the Wisconsin/Michigan border.  The resort we stay at is on the Upper Peninsula (UP) side.  Fishing this year was slow, but we did manage to catch enough to freeze a package.

We did a lot of driving this fall fishing trip, but it was worth seeing our good friends.  As we tap into our jug of Cinnamon Girl cider from Left Foot Charley’s – we think back on our short but fun visit with Don & Michael.

fire and cider 2

Here’s to good times with good friends!