A cure for hot bunnies

We had some really hot days last weekend.  My poor rabbits were not enjoying it – it was in the high 80s, low 90s, with high humidity.  I was trying to figure out what to do for them, when I remembered – we keep old milk jugs full of water in our chest freezer when we don’t have a lot of stuff in there; it helps to keep the freezer running more efficiently if it’s full. Luckily I had enough frozen milk jugs to put one milk jug in each cage.  The rabbits loved it, you could tell within a few minutes that it made them feel better. The babies were scratching at the jugs and licking them, and I noticed Fire had some frost on her mouth after she licked her milk jug.  Later that night, when it had cooled off, I pulled the jugs out.  I noticed they had chewed them a bit, but not enough to really hurt the rabbits. I did have to replace a few of the milk jugs. I tend to save them for different uses, so we have a lot laying around. This is a nice solution if you have rabbits that are not doing so well with the heat. Here are some pictures of my rabbits with their make-shift air conditioners:

Wind with her milk jug.
She looks a lot more content here.
Here is Earth/Buddy and his milk jug.
Here are some of the babies.
You can see the white baby bunny is kind of climbing the milk jug. The babies really liked the cooling effect.

Somehow I didn’t get any pictures of Fire with her cooler.  You could probably use water bottles instead of milk jugs, although some water bottles have such thin plastic I’d be worried the rabbits would chew through it really quickly. The jugs are good because they take all day long (sometimes a couple of days) to thaw.

A Mid-June garden tour.

I got a little bit of a late start this year with the gardens, but we are now planted and ready to grow.  Here’s a photo tour of my gardens, and surrounding yard.

before planting 2
Here is the garden after I weeded it.  My son thought it would be a good place to stash one of his nerf guns (the green/orange thing toward the back of the garden).
Here are my artichokes from last year! They made it through our winter somehow. I’ve moved them into a better spot to leave them permanently.
garden before planting
Here is another view of the garden before planting.
seed mat
I created some seed mats for smaller seeds like carrots. I had a problem last year where my seeds all migrated or disappeared for carrots and beets and some other things. This should help with that.
Here is the garden all planted. It doesn’t look like much here, but it will grow and be really nice eventually. I have a cardboard/mulch path in the middle. As things get bigger I’ll mulch around the plants as well. The cardboard on the sides is to keep the taller fence-line weeds from creeping in. We’ll see how well that works.
leftovers from last year
Here are my other survivors from last year’s garden. Some lemon balm and pansies.
zucchini plot
Here is my other garden plot, behind the house. I’ve put zucchini and yellow squash here. There are sunflower seeds planted against the house as well.
Here is my strawberry patch. I’m getting lots of berries but they aren’t starting to ripen yet, just growing.
porch plants
Here are my trees and some seedlings on the porch, waiting to be planted.
This is my comfrey plant – I put three in last year and they’ve come back really nice.
woods (2)
Our woods behind the house.
tall trees
I just really like how tall our trees are – with the leaves all developed they are more imposing, and it makes the yard feel nice and private. I tried to get the full height of one of our sugar maple trees in this picture.
lambs quarters
I have a nice lamb’s quarters patch growing. Yum! I didn’t plant these, these just grow. They are delicious.
Here are some forget-me-nots. These are all over our yard. They are very nice but they end up with little picker-seeds later, so they stick to things easily.
Some buttercups and other weeds in our yard.

A walk in the woods

My son and I took a walk in our woods, across the street from our house tonight.  The leaves are all developed now, and we’ve gotten a lot of rain the last few weeks so it’s very dark and dense in the forest.  Here are some cool photos of our walk:

I really liked this part of the woods – We got some good rains last night and this morning, so there are little pools everywhere. My son Daniel was having fun walking on logs.
oyster tree
I saw this tree from 40 feet away and had to get closer. This tree broke somewhat recently, but it’s full of these mushrooms. Daniel is ready to defend the tree from slugs, it looks like.
oyster mush
Here are the mushrooms. They look so like some kind of oyster mushrooms. I don’t know for sure though, and didn’t have a mushroom book with me. I don’t know if we get oysters that grow here anyway. I’d like to find out.
You can see the bugs were loving these mushrooms too.
Here are the slugs. They were all over this mushroom tree.
We came across this crazy thing – it looks like a giant morel that is disintegrating. I thought it was a piece of foam or something till I got up close and realized it was a mushroom.
huge mushroom thing
This is how large it was. There was only one. It’s too late for morels, and this is the wrong color, but it looked like some kind of giant fake morel.
climbing trees
Daniel climbing some trees.
big tree across the street
This tree is huge, and must be very old. It is still going strong, but it has some dead branches on it. It’s at the edge of the woods near the road.
On our way out of the woods.. we have Lupines all over the place here.

Our Frizzled Chicken

One of our one month-old chicks is frizzled.  I believe she’s from one of the chocolate/Maran hatching eggs I bought – when she was born she was black with a cool red/cherry colored head.  Now I have no idea what kind of chicken this is – I read that the frizzle gene can show up in any breed.  In the U.S. they don’t consider “Frizzle” a breed, but in Europe supposedly they do.  She also has 5 toes instead of four, which I read is another genetic thing that can just happen. I used to think only Dorkings got 5 toes.  I don’t know for sure that she’s a girl, but because of her uniqueness, she is safe from Freezer Camp if she turns out to be a boy.  I’ll keep her around because I just love how she looks – I hope she’s a girl though.  Here are some pics of my frizzled chicken:


frizzle 4
Here she is…
frizzle 3
Her coloring has changed a bit -she has a lot more red/orange in her feathers than she did when she first hatched.
She has a little mohawk. I’m not sure what is going on here – it may develop into a comb. Our rooster Wonky-top’s comb started as a feather mohawk last year.
frizzle 2
Such a pretty little chicken.
Another angle
Here you can see how the feathers on her back are. It’s a pretty cool effect.

I like having different breeds/kinds of chickens – it’s really interesting watching them change as they grow up – sometimes you get some really unusual things, as you can see here.