Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guinea Love

It took a year before I decided I love guinea fowl.  At first I was annoyed by their constant screaming under my bedroom window, but with time I have been able to tune out their sounds.  Why do I love guinea fowl?  They scare away snakes and eat nasty insects like ticks.  We have not seen a single rattlesnake or tick on any of the animals all summer.  The guinea are also so cute when they run around the yard like little footballs.  Two weeks ago tragedy struck.  The fox found almost all of our flock roosting on top of the chicken coop.  We now only have four remaining: two adults and two juveniles.  Unfortunately, the four remaining are locked up with the chickens.  Here is a picture of our two juveniles, "Blanca" and Violeta".
"Charley" made it only because he was new to the flock and had to spend time with the chickens to adjust to our property.  We think now he is a going to live out his days as a chicken.
If you are thinking about getting guinea fowl consider the noise factor.  The guinea would frequently hang out on the back deck and watch us eat our meals.  Here is an example of lunch at the farm.
I was planning on posting about the guineas a couple of days before the big massacre.  Oliver and Pearl were modeling guinea feathers in their hair and the guinea ran down to watch.  Pearl is fascinated by them and had to let me know they were watching.

I collected feathers for my sister because she makes fancy head pieces out of feathers.  Hopefully those poor guineas will make someone look very pretty.  Thanks guys for keeping this farm snake and tick free all summer!  Goodbye to our funny little footballs.  We all miss you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

Oliver has a deep love of nature.  I wouldn't be surprised if one day he changes his name to Leaf and chains himself to an old oak in an attempt to save it.  He's that kind of guy.  What is Oliver's idea of a great day?  It would be finding a baby lizard in a garden glove or discovering a sprout growing over one of his seeds.  Our house is covered with plastic or glass containers filled with dirt, seeds, insects or water.  Here is a sampling:


Frog Habitat

Fish/Water Bug Habitat

Cricket Habitat

Lizard/Moth/Fly/Grasshopper/Worm Habitat

Snail Habitat


Oliver is fascinated by seeds.  He is amazed that a piece of fruit or a tree can come from a single seed.  Oliver collected several seeds on our hike today to plant in the yard.
He also saves the seeds from each piece of fruit he eats to dry and plant at a later date.  Should I tell him we can't grow a mango tree at our house?
Oliver planted a strawberry in this plastic container a couple of weeks ago when he noticed the little seeds on the strawberry.  He watered it diligently and nothing happened.  I finally planted a sprig of sage when he wasn't looking.  It was better than Christmas morning around here.  Oliver was dancing and thanking Jesus.  I feel bad about lying, I really do.
 This lucky plant was rescued by Oliver at the market.  He brought it home to plant on the porch.


What about our delicate Pearl?  She is a nature lover as well, but prefers dirt above all else.  Set her down in the dirt and she will smile with gratitude.  First, she takes her time gently flicking the dirt with her fingers.  She then waits for the right moment when no one is looking and quickly shovels handfuls of soil into her mouth.  I have become a pro at mouth scooping.  Here is Pearl in heaven.

This dirty girl ends up getting at least four baths a day.  It's a good thing she loves water, too!