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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wild Raspberries Ripe in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Blog 345)

Elaine and I took off in the pick-up early this morning to our Potts Mountain land on the Virginia/West Virginia line. Our main mission was to gather wild black raspberries, which we did with a satisfying tally of seven quarts.

But just as enriching was our time in the mountains together, talking about life, grandchildren, interesting songbirds, and, of course, raspberries. We're having raspberry pie on Sunday, the rest we froze for the winter. Earlier this week, two quarts of raspberries were made into jam. It was a very good day together and a very good week picking raspberries with a total of  3 1/4 gallons.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chicks Day Out (Blog 344)

Today, Elaine's and my heritage Rhode Island Red chicks are 12 days old, so we thought it was time to let them and their mother, Mary, outside from their basement enclosure for the first time.  Predictably, Mary was very agitated when I picked her up - and thus caused her to be away from her chicks for the first time - while Elaine gathered the chicks and put them into a brown box.

Soon, though, everyone was outside in the front yard, and the chicks were exposed to clover and other vegetation for the first time. Mary diligently showed them that clover is something good to eat and that fescue is not.

After about 20 minutes outside, it was time to return to the basement. After Elaine put the three chicks into the box, I noted that the chick I think is a cockerel, I've named him Don, Jr., after his father, was standing while the two chicks I believe are pullets had already settled down for the ride indoors.  As the weeks go by, it will be interesting to see if my guesses are right.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Rhode Island Red Chicks Arrive (Blog 343)

Elaine and I thrilled to announce that one of our heritage Rhode Island Red hens, Mary, has hatched out three chicks, doing so on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Mother and offspring are doing well, and are living in our basement in a pen.

We learned from talking with other chicken rearers that Mary's fellow hens would likely kill her chicks, so we moved the hen and eggs into our basement on Sunday.  That proved to be a no time to spare relocation, as the eggs started hatching on Tuesday morning.

Unfortunately, Mary abandoned her six other eggs as she seemed consumed with rearing the three that had hatched.