There’s A Fungus Among Us

There’s a fungus among us and I don’t mean mushrooms.

If you have attempted to grow any sort of vegetation for any amount of time, you have probably dealt with an unfriendly fungus.  While a great many varieties of fungus are essential to plant life and a great many others are neither good or bad, there are a  few bad varieties and they really cause problems.

Before moving to the island, the only real battle I had with fungus was black-spot on the roses and powdery mildew on my veggies.  But, one summer in a tropical setting and I have had a crash course in fungus!

As I will chat about later, watering the soil is very important.  One day, only one day, I got lazy and got out the hose and sprayed everything down instead of using the watering can.  JUST ONE DAY! And, I even did it in the morning. BUT, in 72 hours, my Belinda’s dream roses were covered in black spot.  Lesson Learned- water the soil NOT the plant.

Fungi live in the soil, on our skin, in our house, basically any and everywhere.  The problems arise when conditions are just right, and the fungi populations begin to multiply at breakneck speeds.  When this happens, the host of the fungi population will be destroyed- this means your vinca will wilt and turn to goop, or your zucchini will disappear under gray fuzz or your rose bush will turn brown and yellow before becoming naked stems. Or, all of the above if its are really bad day.

In the garden, this hyper-growth of fungi will lead to plant death or really fabulous compost.  The problem is when the garden beds are turned to compost piles because the fungus took over where it did not belong.

So, instead of focusing on how to kill the fungus, we should focus on how to prevent the colonies from getting out of hand.  The environment is what determines if the fungus will thrive or simply exist and not cause problems.  As gardeners, there are several things we can do to set out gardens up for the best possible outcomes.

  • Soil Health
  • Plant Selection
  • Effective Watering

Soil Health

Soil heath is essential for any aspect of plant life.  A plant cannot thrive without healthy soil.  Soil health will also determine the health of a plant’s immune system.  Very few of us have perfect soil and even if you do,  if you constantly take from the soil and never put back, you won’t have healthy soil for long.  By amending the soil, you can put back into the soil.

Essential amendments are organic compost, green sand, lava sand, and rock phosphate.  For a deeper look at fixing you soil, click here!

Plant Selection

Choosing the right plant for an area is essential to success as a gardener.  A plant that loves  the sun will not survive a shady spot and a shade loving plant will die in the full sun.  This seems like it shouldn’t need to be said, but I deal with folks everyday who just can’t accept the fact that a rose bush won’t bloom in a backyard that gets only 3 hours of sun per day.  Plants have DNA and we can’t simply rewire them just because we want it that way.

Also, if there is a disease resistant variety- choose that variety.  There are a lot of hybrids out there and some are bred to be resistant to fungal diseases.  If those are available to you, then choose that plant.

If a plant is in a poor location or in poor soil it will be stressed.  If a plant is stressed it will be compromised.  A compromised plant will not have an immune system that can fight off disease.

Effective Watering

More damage is done by overwatering than by underwatering.  Fungus thrives in warm, wet conditions.

If you are keeping the soil soaked you are laying out a welcome mat for fungus.

If you water at night, you are laying out a welcome mat for fungus.

If you are spraying your foliage instead of watering the soil, you are laying out a welcome mat for fungus.

Do you see a pattern?

Fungi LOVE moisture.

So, water in the early morning so that what water does get on the leaves and foliage can dry.  One inch of water once a week is sufficient water, except in times of high heat and drought, then water twice per week.  If at all possible, water the soil, not the foliage.

One thing that a human cannot control is the weather.  If you live in an area that is high humidity and warm, fungus is something with which you will battle.  Galveston Island is my home and this year has been crazy with the fungal shenanigans.

Organic controls of fungus are fairly limited, but what is available is effective.  Sulfur and copper are excellent fungicides but they can only be applied with the temperature is below 85′.  Bicarbonates can be used at anytime.  In an effort to be proactive, I spray a bicarbonate weekly, before signs and symptoms appear.  For an indepth look at fungicides, read this article.

Don’t let challenges keep you from gardening- educate yourself and keep planting.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

pink zinnia
Zinnias are an excellent choice for disease resistant summer color

 

Feeding Your Soil- 101

“Regard your soil as the living, breathing entity it is- to be nurtured, fed and sustained.” – Peter Fossel

Garden Boxes Rock

 

Soil is the Soul of your Garden!

It doesn’t matter what you plant or where you bought your plants or seeds, if your soil isn’t healthy- you will not be successful.  Soil may not be very exciting to a new gardener, but once you really understand the complexity and the vitality of healthy soil – you will look at soil with new eyes!

Micronutrients and Microbial Organisms are essential to healthy soil!

Microbes- the unseen, unsung heroes of soil and organic gardening.  They serve first to break down organic matter into a form plants can use, and then to improve the soils structure and the ability of plants to draw sustenance from it.

Micronutrients are those minerals and elements that are not needed in great quantities but are essential for plants to be healthy.

Where to begin?

The first step in bringing your soil into the best shape possible and into a state of high fertility is to know what type of soil you currently have.

A soil test is important to do in the very beginning.  Once you have a base line, deciding on amendments will be easier.  After the initial soil test, it isn’t necessary to keep having the soil tested- the plants will tell you if the soil is lacking.

To do a soil test- get a sample bag from the county extension office or from the lab that you want to use.  With a bucket in hand, dig 6-8 inches down with a small shovel and place the soil in the bucket.  Take samples from all over the area you are testing.  Even on a small piece of property, the soil can vary from on area to another.  Collecting from multiple points will give you a better picture.  Stir all the soil together and then fill the bag and mail it to the specified address and follow the lab’s instructions.

When the results come back- take the results to your county extension office and the agent can help you read and analyze the test results.

Now, it is important to understand that you don’t have to have a soil test to begin improving your soil.  The following amendments are perfect for every garden and cannot be over used as they are organic in nature and mild in their effects.

But, you do need to look at your soil and determine what kind you have:

Sandy Soil

Clay Soil

Loam

Or a combination of these types

 

Regardless of what you grow- fruits, herbs, vegetables, or flowers- it all starts with the soil.  The plants will only be as healthy as the soil that their roots are anchored in.  Therefore, it is imperative that attention is given to the health of the soil.

Key elements are:

Friability– the texture of the soil.  It should be soft and crumbly- think potting soil.

Most people do not begin with perfect soil of just the right texture but that does not mean you cannot be successful at gardening.

If your soil is too coarse (sandy) texture will be improved by adding compost and other organic materials such as mulch, leaves, etc.

If your soil is too fine (clay), which causes it to be compacted’ then it is going to need organic matter and other amendments such as green sand or expanded shale to loosen up the soil.

The Ph Balance- the Ph balance in the soil should be slightly alkaline.  If the soil is acidic the Ph can be adjusted by adding lime. However, I don’t think this point is worth getting worked up over unless you are growing a plant or crop that is extremely picky.  There are also many acid loving plants out there.  So, know what you are dealing with but then focus on using what you have versus feeling like you must change your soil.  If a soil is alive with microbial activity, plants can tolerate a Ph balance that is not quite right.

Drainage- this is more of a location issue.  If the location of your garden does not have good drainage you can fix this with using raised beds.  Sandy soils tend to drain too fast and clay soils tend to not drain fast enough.

If you have sandy soils you need to slow the drainage down by incorporating organic matter into the soil.  Any type of compost will work.  Compost acts like a sponge and holds onto water which helps correct the problem of drainage with sand.

Clay soils do not drain fast enough, so incorporating expanded shale or rock phosphate, you can spread the molecules out and allow the water to flow through.  Clay is very nutrient dense, so if you can solve the drainage issue, you can grow beautiful things in clay.

5 Key Amendments for Organic Soil

Organic Matter– compost, manure, etc

Lava Sand- The sand-sized and smaller waste material left from lava gravel mining is an excellent, high-energy soil amendment material.

Rock Phosphate– a finely ground rock powder, contains minerals and will enhance the soil texture

Greensand- a material from seabed deposits, contains minerals and improves soil texture.

Limestone (Lime)- rock powder used to sweeten acidic soils

 Micronutrients- these may be missing from your soil but are essential for crops and blooms.  Magnesium found in Epsom Salt is a good example.

Organic matter from a wide array of sources and greensand will ensure that you have micronutrients galore.

 

Earthworm Castings

Worm castings have been long known to be a highly fertile component of organic soil.  Compared to the average soil, worm castings are said to contain 5 times more nitrogen, 7 times more phosphorus and 11 times more potassium.  They are rich in humic acids and improve the structure of the soil as well.

How To Apply- use these methods with any of the amendments

Top-Dress- this is simply sprinkling the amendments over the top of the soil.  This method would be used in existing beds.

Working It In- In using this method, you would apply the amendments to the soil and then turn the soil over.  The soil can be turned over by hand with a shovel or by machine such as a tiller.  This method would be used in new beds or in row cropping.

Fertilizers:

Compost!  LOTS of it-  This is one of the best fertilizers you can use.  If you have your own compost pile then it is free- which makes it even better!

Animal Manures– any animal that chews its cud produces manure that can be added directly to the garden.  This would include Llamas, goats, and sheep.  Other animal manures need to be composted first for about 6 months then added to the garden.  Rabbits are an exception to this rule, their manure can be added directly to the garden.

American Blue Rabbits
Not only do these cute things produce excellent fertilizer for your garden- they are easy to keep!

Carl Poole Fertilizers- this is a good company that makes some great products.

These should be applied in September thru November for Spring and Summer gardens and June – August for Fall Gardening.  Top dressing is the best way as tilling can disturb soil biology.  The less disturbance the better.  Most beds are still in good shape from the summer garden and just need to be cleaned up and top dressed.

Bringing soil to a point of great texture and high fertility is an ongoing process- once you have achieved beautiful soil, you will still need to maintain it with these same amendments and fertilizers.

Even though your plants will tell you if something is wrong, don’t wait for a struggling plant to address the soil.  Make amending the soil part of your garden schedule and then happy plants will greet you all year long!

An herb garden
Beans, and Texas natives make good companions with herbs.

 

What A Farmgirl’s Night Out Looks Like

This past year has been one of great transition. Two daughters, the ag loving ones, moved out completely and one got married.  I tool a full time job outside of the home and that was quite a change.  I had it in my head that maybe the season of the farm animals had past.  We would just have a few chickens and that would be that.

I told myself that it was okay, in due time the farm animals would come back but to just be happy with so little responsibility.  No wondering during a storm if everyone was okay, no fighting a biting North wind to feed and water, no more middle of the night checks because someone made a “funny” noise in the barn.  Just enjoy a good night’s sleep.

After all, we only have one acre and I don’t drive an F250 anymore and we don’t have a livestock trailer- you see it’s just not that season.

But, the problem you see, is that once you have had the experience of seeing goats born in the middle of the night, or had the pleasure of a bottle calf thrive as you care for them, or tasted the meat and eggs from animals raised with love and good food- you just can’t forget it or leave it.

So, two weekends ago my husband and I had planned a date night in the city- Dallas, TX to be exact- complete with a hotel and nice dinner and nice breakfast the next morning.  So he calls me the day before and asks if I want the night in the city or if I want to go to the family auction that sells small livestock…

I choose the livestock auction.  So our date consisted of sitting in bleachers bidding on chickens, quail, dairy calves and the like.

I had more fun than I have had in many moons!

This is what makes my heart happy.  I have just come to accept that glamorous for me is a pair of great fitting bluejeans and Ariat boots.  I have dreams of perfect makeup and hair with done nails- but in the end, this farm and the animals that call it home bring me such joy that I just can’t escape it- irregardless of the work it entails.

jersey calves 2

Meet 46 & 48- two bull dairy calves.  These fellows are riding great in the back of my Nissan Pathfinder- on cardboard of course.  For those of you who have ever transported cattle of any kind know how they like to poop in transit- but God was smiling on me and nobody pooped.  Had they relieved themselves the cardboard would have made no difference and my Pathfinder would have never been the same.

chickens on the ride home

 

We have a trio of Mille Fluer D’Ulcce and three Rhode Island Reds.  The Rhode Island Reds are already laying large brown eggs for us.  The Mille Fluer are bantams and have their own precious little house that I will show you latter.

new satin rabbit

This little lady – a Satin Doe- got to ride in the front seat as I sat in the back to prevent the calves from crawling all over the SUV.  Not pictured are 8 quail.

We didn’t have enough cages, but not to fear, the auction sells those, too.  Really, it can be a dangerous place.

More information and better pictures are coming as I talk about the roles of the animals on such a small holding and how we do buy and have good success from auctions.

 

 

The Winter Solstice

Beautiful Paperwhites on January 29th.
Beautiful Papperwhites

It’s been awhile since I was here typing up a new post.  2015 was a year of great changes and new territory and I didn’t blog for a few months as I have been trying to keep up.  But here we are with the year drawing to a close and what a great year it has been.

I am, of course, looking forward to Christmas and seeing my family- but I am also looking forward to the winter solstice.  It holds no prominence in my religion or anything of that nature, but I love that solstice.  The longest night. For me and so many other farmers and gardeners, it is the day with the greatest opportunity for rest.

Working with the land is a hard job, so many things can go wrong, so many things are out of your control and winter is a time of rest.  More than New Years or the first day of school, the winter solstice resets the clock.  From this day forward the days will get longer, spring will be fast approaching and then the summer solstice- the longest day of the year.  I don’t notice that day quite as much because I am moving like crazy to keep up with the gardens, herb shows, and markets.  Grass grows faster than you can pull it and the weeds are formidable adversaries.  At that time, the slow pace of winter will be as distant a memory as the pretty little narcissus bulbs that were flowering when all else was grey and bleak.

But for now, the winter solstice is approaching giving us ample time to sit quietly and reflect- a new year is coming what will it hold?

One. Last. Time…

Old Timers around my part of the country refer to what is called “Good Friday Gardens”  because they never put out warm season crops such as tomatoes before Good Friday- the Friday before Easter Sunday.  Here is why- 9 times out of 10 we will get a freeze or at least very close to freezing the week or so before Easter.

As I write this the temperature is falling and we are looking at the mid-thirties overnight.  So long as we stay above freezing the vast majortiy of our plants will be just fine.  Quite a few won’t even care if we dip below freezing.  However; tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, Basil and other such warm season crops do mind very much if we get into the thirties at all.  So, we have been covering what is already planted and wrapping up those items that have already blossomed and are putting on fruit.

sierra in the garden covering squash

The squash plants were covered in plastic pots with plastic staked over the top so this confounded wind doesn’t blow them to kingdom come.

jonathan in the garden covering peach trees

Jonathan is working to stabilize the frame he and Tony built to protect the peach trees.

family covering peach trees

A farm requires a family to pull together.  Covering our crops and praying that the temps hold above freezing.  The white rectangle is covering the tomato patch.

sierra covering tomatoes

Sierra helped me put pots over all the 50 tomato plants and 20 Basil plants.  There are three times as many tomato plants to go out, but those are still safe inside the greenhouse.

tony and J covering peaches

My two favorite men.

peach tree covered

Here is our harvester peach tree all tucked in for the night.  The cold weather won’t kill the tree but we are concerned about damage to the young fruit growing on the little limbs.  We are just to close to the end of all this cold weather to leave it to chance.  We are determined to get a peach this year!

Once this was done, we all trooped inside for hot chocolate and a wonderful meal of sauteed Swiss Chard, mushrooms, bacon and eggs.

swiss chard, mushrooms and eggs

swiss chard from the garden

Swiss Chard is a beautiful crop and one we did not have to cover as it doesn’t mind the cold.

So, here we go just one last time.  Easter comes this Sunday and this winter will just be a memory.

Boy, Is This A Happy Girl!

When you begin a homestead or organic garden, you develop a new perspective.  What was once refuse  has become gold.  I now drive around neighborhoods looking for bags of leaves left out by the curb, if I find some we pull over and it is kind of like a Chinese fire drill- we all hop out toss the bags in the back of the truck and hop back in.  Well, yesterday on the way out to visit my grandmother I passed by a house with HUGE bags of leaves and lots of them, the only problem was that they were still in the yard of the house.  Stuff on the curb for the garbage man is free game, but I won’t go into a person’s yard without permission- What to do?  It just so happens we knew the couple that own the house from Tony’s days on the ambulance and I was able to find them on Facebook.

mother load of leaves

She was very nice and said I most certainly could get the leaves.  This truck load is only half!!!  Really, I am delighted.

earth worm in the pine needles

Before visiting with my grandmother, I stopped by my parents house and gathered a load of organic mulch- pine needles.  Using a pitch fork that I ran just under the needles but not into the soil, I scooped up a wonderful pick up load full. I also found this cute little guy working the soil under the needles.

 

great pile of pine needles

Of course, this  meant that this morning before I dropped Sierra off a the library to volunteer  I had to empty the bed of the truck.  Once #3 was delivered to the library I swung over and grabbed the bags.  Those double size bags are HEAVY, so #4 the strapping young man who likes to sleep late will be going on the second trip.  Who needs a gym when you have all this exercise?  We will also hit the furniture stores on this trip and gather cardboard.

perfect toad stole in the pine needles

Another bright spot in my evening was finding this perfect little toad stool under the needles & getting several bags of newspapers from my Auntie.  Auntie is my grandmother’s sister and they live around the corner from each other.  Both enjoy our visits and I always wonder why I don’t do more visiting.

So, what in the world am I going to do with all this stuff, you may ask?  I am going to sheet compost as far as I can.  Last year I battled the Bermuda and in several areas the Bermuda won.  This time around, I am going to spread the cardboard all around my fruit trees and berry vines.  Once the cardboard is down, I will pile rabbit manure (from under our hutches), wood shavings, pine needles and leaves.  The goal of the layer of mulch is to be 6 inches thick.  This will suppress weeds and grass along with mulching my trees and feeding them as the layers breakdown in to compost.  This may not eradicate the Bermuda, but it will give my the upper hand and I can spray what does come along with 20% vinegar which will kill it in a day.

The point I would like to make is that organic gardening does not have to be expensive- you just have to look at what you have in a different way.

Sunflowers & Sunshine

As I look back over notes from the gardens of 2013, I am pleased.  We were productive and met many goals.  One of my goals was to finally, successfully grow sunflowers.

sunflower herb

I know this may seem like a simple goal, one so simple why put it on paper, but I have had a terrible time with sunflowers.  I would plant many seeds and only get a few flowers.  Then, I had an epiphany- perhaps it wasn’t me that was a terrible sunflower grower but, perhaps, it was those pesky squirrels.  As I am sure you know, squirrels love sunflower seeds.  It seems that they would sit up on their branches and watch me plant then steal into the garden to help themselves.  So, I got smart.  I started my sunflowers in the greenhouse with all the other vegetable seedlings.

sunflower seedlings

And success!  I had very many sunflowers to transplant out and they did wonderfully.  There is something that is just so happy about sunflowers in a garden, you can’t help but smile when you look at their sunny faces.

It is not too late to order and start your sunflowers.  I order my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and have had excellent germination rate that resulted in very healthy plants.  The top of your refrigerator makes an excellent place to start seeds, once they poke their cute little cotyledons out of the soil, you need to move them to a sunny window unless you hang a light over the fridge.  Florescent shop lights work great for this purpose and can be taken down once seed starting time is over.

short stuff sunflower seedlings

Sunflowers like the sunshine so they won’t go to the garden until after the danger of the freeze has passed.  In my area its looking like Easter will be the time to move warm season transplants out to the garden.  There are many, many kinds to choose from, I choose varieties that were high in oil content as these are the ones the birds favor.  Also, I did not want a hybrid because I wanted to save seeds so that I could spend that money on another variety!  One can NEVER have too many flowers.

In this past season, I planted sunflowers at both ends of each row in my tomato patch and around the other veggie plots as well.  This resulted in an unexpected benefit- the birds ate on the sunflowers all summer and didn’t touch a tomato until all the seeds had been eaten from the dried sunflower.  Needless to say, this will be repeated.  Only I will plant in succession so that that I can have sunflowers blooming until fall.

sunflower herb 2

I did clip one sunflower just as the seeds ripened but before the birds ate them so keep for this year’s seeds.

dried sunflower for seeds

Well now, Ain’t that a kick in the pants…

Things have been bustling around the farm as we work like crazy starting, bumping, and feeding seeds and seedlings for all the wonderful people who will buy herbs from us this coming season.   The past two weeks or so have brought us very nice and warm weather, but then this…

herb farm under ice

We had a lovely time selling herbs at our first market of the season, the Athens, TX farmer’s market.  It was warm and pretty, I worked outside in shorts bumping seedlings after I returned home and even went to bed with the windows open in my bedroom.  Then it happened, the blue norther blew in, the winds shifted so hard the noise woke me up.  I shut the window.

The rain came and then the ice and all the way the temperature went down, down, down.

garden trellis in the ice

Now, I have lived here all my life and I never get used to the sudden changes- it just boggles my mind! At 6 pm on Saturday my thermometer registered 72’F by 6 pm on Sunday it was 21’F.  That is hard on every thing- plants, animals and humans. I also knew that while the weather was so warm and wonderful that it would be foolish to plant any thing that could be killed by a freeze, it is Texas after all and I knew we weren’t out of winters grasp just yet.  My head did understand this concept, but I just kept hoping the weathermen would be wrong,  you know considering that they are only right 30% of the time.   Well, no they got it right. We are in a very deep freeze with all the roads coated in a thick layer of ice.

garden box with cover

Did I mention that our well is not working?  We had water at 6:30 this morning and then it just stopped.  We have and have had a heater in the pump house to keep the pipes from freezing so at this time we are just waiting.  As it is still 18′ F outside, it may be a bit until we know exactly what is going on.

I am quite happy to report that the greenhouse never dropped below 45’F and it is quite pleasant in there right now.  All the thousands of seedlings are happy and bright, growing right along.  I am also happy to report that by weeks end, our highs will be in the 60’s again.  

green house march 2014

The average last frost date for my area is March 15th, but given the past spring, this winter and the Farmer’s Almanac- I don’t think it will be safe to put out tomatoes, basil, and such until Easter.  The old timers had “Good Friday Gardens” for a reason.  But there are plenty of gardening options from March to April- Kale, Spinach, Cilantro, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Cilantro, beets, radishes, carrots,  and such will do just fine, even with a light freeze.  If you can cover the plants, you can put out broccoli, green beans, and squash.

So stay warm and dream of large gardens!

The Winter Solstice, The Longest Night

The longest night has just passed.

Did you feel it?

We did, we kept noticing the time, thinking that it should be much later than it was in reality.  The evening wore on with cookies baking, gift baskets being stuffed, and herbed salts, salamoia bolognese, being prepared.  It was a quiet night, the rain that had poured from the heavens all the previous night and this day ceased just long enough for a few rays of sunshine to grace the landscapes before the dark crept over us.  It was not a darkness to be feared, but one that encouraged rest.

From here on out, the days will gradually grow longer and eventually bringing warmth but definitely bringing life refreshed.  Below the ground, the Narcissus bulbs are beginning to stir- soon little green spears will pierce the ground followed by buds that will one day show us their beautiful white and yellow faces.  Those are some of my favorite flowers because they tell me, “Cheer Up, spring is just around the corner.”

I always find parallels to life in my garden.  In life, we will walk through the longest nights, but spring will come.

“For his anger endures but for a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

 

daffodil

 

Two Brown Eggs, A Leaky Chicken House, & One Happy Duck

Duck is quite happy with all the water, she keeps splashing about having a raucous good time.
Duck is quite happy with all the water, she keeps splashing about having a raucous good time.

I sat down to type up a new post about an hour ago.  Just as I began, I heard the rain begin with gusto.  Sigh…  Guess what I did?  I put on my trust old coat (technically it is my husband’s but I have commandeered it as it has a really long waist and covers my back side.  If there is one thing I cannot stand now that I am older  is drafts), muckers, hat and went out in it.  You see, we have just built a chicken house on our little place and each time it has rained the inside has been wet.  This is not good.  Chickens can endure some harsh conditions, but they need to be able to get dry, especially while they sleep.  Once you have small livestock, you will never again enjoy the sounds of a rain storm without a care in your head.

Chicken in  the Coop

After each storm, I have made modifications that I thought would fix it- to no avail.  So, the only way to know is to go out when it is raining and sit and watch.  Well, the problem is where the nails have attached the tin to the lathes on the roof. The roof is leaking like a sieve. Strange, considering that we used the correct sort of nail with a little rubber washer attached to prevent just this sort of thing.  Regardless, this problem must be addressed.  When the weather is dry and warmish- God only knows when that will be- we can calk the nail holes but for today I had to improvise.  There were a few pieces very thin plywood in the scrap pile so I took these and wedged them on the ceiling.  This will at least cause the water to run to one spot instead of all over the coop.  The girls really haven’t seemed to mind so much they are eating and scratching about out in the rain.

Easter egger chickens

We really don’t need any more water right now.  It rained last week, then that froze while ice coated everything except the roads in my neck of the woods.  It has been so cold that the ice stuck around for days and when it did melt it was like another rain storm.  Frankly, I hate this weather.  I am a Texas girl and we like the heat.  There was a time not so long ago that I thought 45′ was cold.  This morning when I saw 45′ on the thermometer, I thought “Great, it is warm enough for a run before the rain comes.”  Well, it didn’t take long to remember that this is still on the cool side.  But, the cold air in my lungs and just being outside did me a world of good.  I didn’t beat the rain, however, a light shower came while I was running.  Oh well, that is what hoodies are for.  I am hoping the weather men have it together as they are predicting sunshine and 60’s next week.  Hooray!

Two beautiful eggs in the coop this morning.  Laid by the black and white hens- Dominiques
Two beautiful eggs in the coop this morning. Laid by the black and white hens- Dominique Hens

I may not like the ice, but it did make for some pretty landscapes.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJonathan and the Duck are the only ones happy with this weather.  Jonathan enjoys breaking the ice out of water bowls- what a handy fellow to have around!