Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Farm Report: Summer sliding into Fall

The past two nights there has been a slight autumn nip in the air. The alder trees are starting to drop some of their leaves, but haven't really started changing color or dropping lots of leaves yet. Seasons here seem to slowly overlap and slide into eachother.

We've had a cooler summer than usual, and some of the flowers have bloomed a bit later as a result. Here is a photo of South African crocosmia lilies from last year:

Here is the same patch this year:

It's much thinner this year, because earlier this spring I dug most of the plants out and spread out through out the farm. These are the few that got left behind. They should multiply now that they have more space. The transplants have been doing pretty well:

I wasn't sure if they were going to bloom this year because of the transplanting and the cool weather, but they have.

I expect they will be larger next year, when their roots have become more established.

Here is one of the clumps I planted near the edge of the forest:

The three small birds in the foreground are the last of the baby chickens that hatched out this year.

Speaking of chickens, my favorite one, Turenditto, the Cochen-Bantum hybrid, died last night. It was sad because she was the most tame chicken I had. She was the first one to hatch this year, and I had to raise her because her mother abandoned her. Here she is at 3 weeks old:

She turned out to be really interesting, and I had hoped to breed her. But she had some trouble integrating with the other chickens. Somehow, she got an injury on her wing joint. The injury was hidden, I didn't notice it until she started acting droopy and listless. I think she got an infection. I put her in a cage and moved her inside to keep her warm. We put neosporin on the injury. She was eating and drinking yesterday, so I had high hopes she would recover, but this morning she was dead.

I don't have a photo of her all grown up, but she turned out beautiful. Her feathers grew in two-toned. I wasn't expecting her to die so soon, I thought I had plenty of time for photos. This video clip from a few months ago is the only footage I have of her at her oldest:

Farm Report: two chicks in a screen test

Well that's life on a farm. Things are born, and things die. I'm glad I had her while I did, it was a real treat. I'm going to bury her this afternoon, under a clump of crocosmia lilies.

End of Farm Report.

For more farm photos (better ones, actually), see Pat's recent post:

Garden report - our first naked lady of the year


Walker said...

AWWW. I just have a hard time being farmer-like about life and death of animals. Sorry to hear Turenditto died. She looked kind of like an eagle or hawk chick as a baby.

Chas said...

Yes, she had a kind of eagle and hawk like attitude towards other critters too, which may have gotten her in trouble.

She liked to rush up suddenly to other birds and animals, as if she was going to attack them. I don't know if she thought of it as a game, or if she was just trying to scare them because she was scared of them.

She seemed a bit neurotic; which is why I prefer to to let chickens raise their own babies. She got very attached to me, but I could not be the ideal "mother" for her; I find that a real chicken mother helps her young integrate into the flock easier.

I don't know how she got injured, but the thing about birds is, that when they are sick or injured, they try to hide it, lest they appear weak and vulnerable to a predator. So by the time it's actually obvious that something is wrong, it's often too late to help them.

I had noticed earlier that some of her wing feathers were not quite right, but they are moulting now and I hadn't thought much of it; they all get a bit scruffy looking when they moult.

I keep thinking that if I had only found out a bit sooner about her wing joint injury, it might have made a difference. But there is no way to know for sure. Now I just have to let it go.