Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Official end-of-summer updates

Elise inside the chicken tractor with our young chickens

Our chickens are now over five weeks old. About a week ago, I'd had enough of them inside in the brooder box, so I moved all 10 of our healthy chicks outside to their chicken tractor, a portable chicken coop I made entirely from recycled materials.

Watching young chickens discover grass, weeds and bugs for the first time was, without a doubt, one of the more entertaining and hilarious things I've seen all summer. They fought over insects, squabbled over specs floating through the air, and scratched at the earth with fervor.

I never knew I could love chickens so much. Some are wild and flighty, like Sophie's Polish Crested. But most of our flock are very tame. Especially tame is my favorite, Owl the chicken, who is a beautiful Ameraucana.

A five-week old Owl, an Ameraucana hen, loves nothing more than to sleep perched on my shoulder

Chickens can be such affectionate, gentle creatures. I love our little flock so much.

It had been marked on the calendar all summer: the long awaited county fair. For the first time in my life, I was excited to go through the chicken barn!

There is nothing like the county fair. The sights.

The smells.

The quiet, pensive beauty.

This beautiful Tobiano Paint horse looks either very thoughtful or very tired in his stall after a long day in the ring

I think I should wear a sign like this sometimes!

It was a very hot summer here on the Ranch, and I am certainly happy to see it go. But we made many awesome memories this summer. We moved from a house in the semi-suburbs with central air to a hot, no-frills farmhouse on seven-acres in the sticks with hard, stinky well-water. But despite the intense heat, I'd never go back to that house in the burbs with central air and soft water.

Nope. We are home.

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