I took updated photos of most of the baby bunnies today. I missed Gretchen's litter and the newest colony babies, but I think I covered everyone else. I'm working on getting updated photos posted to the rabbits page, but didn't get done with it all today. Hopefully I can finish getting everything updated tomorrow. Here's a photo of Cinnabun, just because she's adorable.
Today I was able to re-plant the strawberry bed. Since none of the strawberries actually came up, I decided to plant tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, and an eggplant. These were seedlings that never got transplanted, and weren't going to do anything this year anyway. So if they can make food in the short amount of time left this year, great. And if they don't, at least I tried. Some of the plants really don't look very happy right now, but I'm hoping tomorrow will have them perking back up.
I've noticed lately that Bufflehead keeps coming right up to me, and I feel his head feathers tickle my ankles as he cocks his head back and forth trying to see through his headdress. This morning #3 and I attempted to give him a pony tail so he could see the world. I have to say, we weren't the only ones thinking he looked a little funny. The geese stopped chattering to stare and cock their heads as he strutted by, and even the other chickens stared at him. I wonder what they were thinking. It didn't take long before he managed to shake the loose ponytail out and revert to his normal rock star hair. I really adore this bird. Won't someone please adopt him so he will have better predator protection and a heated coop? He is such a character, and so friendly. I adore Bufflehead.
I'm back home again this evening. It was a fun weekend dog-sitting for my parents.
While I was away I missed our one year move in anniversary! We have now been moved in for one full year. A quick year review...
We added a goose, a few ducks, a handful of chickens and a couple guineas last fall, and now have 70-90 birds of the same varieties. We raised birds from chicks (and ducklings and goslings) for the first time ever. We've added a second pup, three more kitties, and a pet snake to our family. We've added three raised garden beds, potato towers, raspberry plants, a couple fruit trees, two border gardens, two bat houses, two bird houses, several bird feeders, and many water spots that our birds share with the local wildlife. We created a compost pile, found some interesting things with the metal detector, discovered an apple and a nanking cherry tree, and have admired wildlife ranging from bald eagles, Sandhill cranes, and trumpeter swans, to a skunk, butterflies, song birds, and even a lone deer.
My gardening plans didn't go as I had hoped this year, but there's time to plan for next year. I still have to get some of the last perennials in before we get too late in the season.
It's been a busy year, full of projects big and small, and we have so much more planned for the future! More garden space, more perennial plants, more craft projects, more repairs, and eventually re-siding and re-roofing the house. I want to add more bird houses, more feeders, and finish digging a small fire pit for family campfires. We want to add in large flower areas to attract pollinator insects, and of course our annual gardening spaces where we can grow summer foods too. I eventually want to get back into online sales, probably in the winter when I have more time with kids in school. I also want to take up my hobbies again. I've started to get back into crochet. I made bags for four of the kids (still working on the last one for the last child), and am now working on trying my hand at a scarf too. All with great fun since I can't read patterns and have largely figured everything out myself. I'm still learning as I go.
Today the bunny #3 found yesterday passed away. The ten babies we pulled from the burrows are alive and well though. I had meetings scheduled with three people to move five rabbits to new homes on the 18th, but then Tony's schedule got changed. I guess someone is on vacation and he's going to have to work more hours to cover the other guy's shifts. Great for the paycheck, not so good for the scheduling or meetings. I've reached out to all three to reschedule but only gotten one meeting set up so far. I'm hoping it's not a deal breaker for the other two. I know one is coming in from out of town to meet, so it's a bit of a big deal. Either way, I still have a lot more bunnies ready now, or soon, in case anyone out there reading this might be thinking about getting one.
It's good to be home. I'm tired and ready for bed. If weather cooperates, I plan to re-plant the strawberry bed with other food plants. Might be too late for them to produce anything, but it's worth a shot since none of the strawberries came up.
Yesterday on my way to my parents' house I met a very nice couple with Jujube, Ygritte, and the little half-footed baby. Three bunnies into a new home!
The kids and I decided to name the rest of the colony litter that just went into the grow out pen. One of the kids wanted super hero names, but when we came up with Spiderman, Superman, Ironman, and Wonder Woman, it occurred to me that rabbits don't really qualify as men and women... So we named the bunnies after alter-egos. Peter Parker (Spiderman), Bruce Banner (Hulk), Kal-El (Superman), Tony Stark (Ironman), Logan (Wolverine), and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman). On a side note - why is it so hard to find a famous female super hero? There really should be a long list of them.
Today I played games with the kids, we watched a couple movies, we washed dishes, and I worked on the scarf I'm crocheting some more. It's been a good day, but it feels weird not going out to do barn chores. I've got #1, #2, and #5 with me here at my parents' house dog-sitting.
This evening #3 called me to tell me she'd found three baby bunnies in the colony that weren't there yesterday. They're bigger than the ten we pulled from the burrow, and two were dead. The other one was struggling and thin. We have no idea where they came from. I searched the entire building daily up until we got the babies out looking for a nest. She searched it again today... No idea where they came from. She warmed up the one and put it in the nest but said she didn't think it would make it. She has such a big heart and when things like this happen she seems to take it hard. It's never fun to lose baby animals, but that's a reality when you are breeding prey animals. It happens. Sometimes it's a matter of doing what you can and hoping for the best outcome. In this case, I don't think we had any way to prevent it, and therefore we can't change anything in the future to avoid it from happening again.
This morning #3 and I put our arms in the fresh rabbit burrows to seek out the babies. We ended up digging three small test holes just outside of the fenced area before we found the nest. Ten babies were safety extricated along with their nest of fur and grass. I took the time to put in a thin strip of chicken wire over the space they'd dug in to. The six inch strip of ground between the gate and the brick work that I figured they'd leave alone since the rest was fenced. I was wrong. It's fenced now.
Looks like babies are about two days old. They're starting to grow fur, and the burrow was dug several days ago. Two of the colony does are missing fur, so these must be Lady Mo and MoR's babies. Spot may bless us with additions later, or maybe not. It's hard to tell. Anyway, that puts birthday at 7/31 and ready to go date on 9/11. Looks like almost all of them are solid black or broken black, with one tort thrown in for a splash of color.
I'm house sitting at my parents' house this weekend with my boys (#2 and #5), and maybe #1 too. The dogs are pretty easy to watch. Feed them twice a day, let them in and out a million times, and snuggle with them all day. My parents have a much bigger kitchen than we do, so it also gives us the opportunity to do some cooking. So long as we wash everything we use and have it put away by the time we're ready to leave.
Today I hit a big accomplishment. I unpacked the last box. This is the third time we've moved. The first time we lived in an apartment for a few months, and most of what we packed and moved came right back in the same boxes, never having been unpacked. When we moved in to the old house we still had some boxes stuffed away in the basement and in the closet for nearly a decade after we moved in. I promised myself when we moved in here that I wouldn't let that happen again. Today, just shy of our one year move-in anniversary, I unpacked the last box. Odds and ends from the old desk, a couple books, some jewelry, and papers. Nothing hugely important. But this is pretty awesome. I'm so proud of myself! On a side note, the living room feels so much bigger with that last box gone.
Today I ordered four small skeins of variegated yarn for a couple more projects. They were on clearance and I couldn't resist. I finally got the last of the blue yarn untangled and got #2's bag project to a point where I'm not out of yarn yet (but close) and I'm at the end of a row, so I can ask him about length and go from there. I also started a scarf project with a really cool yarn I got as a gift (Christmas or Mother's Day maybe, from Tony). I'm not usually big on scarves, but if I have to be out in the cold doing barn chores, I want a scarf wide and long enough that I can put it over my head and face and around my neck to stay warm. Seems to me it would be easier to make one than to try to find and buy one. Especially since I've learned how to make non-round patterns.
Two bunnies leave to a new home tomorrow. Ygritte and Jujube will be heading out. I hope their new family enjoys them.
I took this great video this morning: SEE HERE. It's the embden geese nibbling the water coming out of the hose while I refilled their pool. They're pretty cute sometimes. This comes after one of them kept tickling my back while I was feeding rabbits.
Today I bought some thread on eBay. I think the kids would have fun making those bracelets where you move the string around the slots. I'm not sure what it's called, but they had them a while ago and seemed to enjoy them. Somewhere online I found out that you don't really need the little foam circles with the slots, you can use a piece of cardboard just as well. Sure, why not? If the kids can't find their foam circles, we'll just make do with what we have.
I've been eyeing the yarn online too, but I really need to focus on finishing the bag for #2. I'm running out of time before school starts. The dog tangled the yarn up so bad I can't seem to get it sorted out. Maybe it would be best to just have Tony buy a whole new skein of yarn and just tie off instead of fighting with the tangle. It was toward the end anyway. I hate to waste yarn... Maybe if I did it that way I could still salvage the tangled yarn for a smaller project later when I had more patience and time to untangle it all.
The crafts are calling to me. So many ideas... not enough time or money to buy resources! Anyone want to send me some yarn, fabric squares, paint and stretched canvas, or other project supplies? I've got a major urge to create, but most of my crafting supplies were in the basement when it flooded last year. I'm starting over and all I have on hand are some basic yarns from the kids' bag projects. I'm slowly working on building back some of my supplies. I don't think it will be quite as extensive as it was, at least not for a good many years.
If anyone does feel like they'd like to donate some crafty goodies, the address is Amanda Halvorson - PO Box 241, Brainerd, MN 56401 - and if you do send me goodies, I promise to post in the blog about what we received and any projects I make with the items donated. I'd be thrilled if someone would send me something. I love surprises.
Amanda's blog about everything, important and trivial.