Monday, October 13, 2008

Dabbling in the Arts

Bob and Cronies

I nabbed Ruth's camera and snapped this photo of Bob with the "Little Dudes." Bob is a Crèvecœur Rooster. He reminds me of a shiny, black "Beep-Beep the Roadrunner" as he makes mad dashes around the farm with Khan and Stiggy making sure he remains a subordinate. Bob does manage to get his share of the hen action.

Whenever I go into the coop during the day, I find Bob perched on a roost with the two Japanese Bantams, just hanging out. I discovered last Saturday evening that both of the Japanese Bantams are roosters, complete with the cutest little crows. Rats! I wanted a hen to raise little bantams. Oh well! They are so cute!


I startled the Minorca hen in her favorite nesting box and couldn't resist trying to capture the colors around her face. Her comb is so large compared to the other hens in the flock. She lays nice white eggs and follows me around. I haven't named her yet and welcome any suggestions!


Grapevine Wreath

We have a lot of wild grapes growing around the farm and I usually just clip them off and let them die. This year, I decided to try my hand at making a wreath. Ruth took these pictures of the finished product. I think it would be difficult to earn a living making these. I spent an hour weaving this around 8 screws I put into one of the barn doors. It is about 24" in diameter. I like doing things that can be messy.

The little tendrils are not as delicate as they look!

Pigs?

I am thinking about following Kim's lead over at the Achorn Farm and raise some pigs in the near future. I like the idea of having some free-range pigs roaming and rooting through my little patches of woods. I understand that they can get up to 200+ pounds in a reasonable amount of time and can forage for a lot of their food. I have an acre of woods with tall, lush grass growing in it that would be a perfect spot. The idea of producing meat that is healthy and drug-free is very appealing. I think I just talked myself into doing this...

32 comments:

Sandy said...

I enjoyed your photos today Don. And the idea of pigs, sounds good to me, yum...

oops....

They are kind of cute though.

Sandy said...

And your wreath is really nice! Good job. You are a man of all seasons.

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Bob is a cool lookin' dude! And check out those little Jap dudes lookin' so cute next to him! I can just hear their little crows! Hee hee! What fun. I can't believe the size difference...Wow! That Minorca hen looks like a proper southern lady. How about naming her after one of the Golden Girls? I was thinking of doing that with the pullets I plan to order next spring. Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia and Rose! Her comb should get big enough to flop right over. I've got a buff rock with a cute floppy comb. We named her Cheese Doodle and she lays lovely medium sized eggs with a chalky coating.

I made a small grapevine wreath last fall. It was a lot of work. The tendrils kept getting tangled up and I had a heck of a time with it! It's hanging on the front porch now and I decorate it with pine branches for winter. They make great homemade gifts for family members, if you're so inclined.

You're getting a pig?!? I don't think I'll get into pigs, but I really do want a dairy goat.

You did a good job with Ruth's camera and I enjoyed your photos.

warren said...

I'd love pigs too! Go for it...if they don't work out, you'll still have a few breakfasts with the ones you get...then don't get any more. I'd say it's worth the experiment!

Ginnie said...

We all keep telling you that you're an artist in your own right, Don (and maybe even a photographer?). Here's proof, with your grape-vine wreaths. And pigs? I can totally see it...especially come wedding time next summer. :)

Farm Chick Paula said...

Bob is bee-u-tiful, Don!!! I'll bet his plumage is a sight to behold in the sun. I had to laugh at the road runner comparison. ("meep-meep")

Oh and by the way... I had a jap banty hen that crowed- thought you might find that interesting.. don't give up hope- he/she/it may just be confused!! LOL

jennifer's farmily said...

I'm impressed with your wreath. I always see them at Christmas time and think "I should try and make one of those myself."

Gwen Buchanan said...

Beautiful wreath... especially since you made it yourself from vines on your own property...

pigs are very smart.. smelly.. but smart... My favourite part is that soft spot right at the base of their ears.. so delicate and unpiglike.. I really like pigs... but be careful if they get away from you.. very hard to catch...
maybe you'll have some greased pig contests...

Country Girl said...

Don, my piggies aren't free range. They'd make one heck of a mess, they are destructive critters.
I really like your wreath but I need a bit more detail before I attempt making one....we have lots of grapevine here.

Don said...

sandy: pigs are very cute and I think it will be difficult to follwow through with the intention, but I think I am up to it...

hmmm

the wreath was fun to make, but I think a close-up photo would reveal my lack of expertise!

Don said...

amy: bob is a very cool looking rooster, but he is a terror for the hens. He takes every opportunity for a rough and tumble quickie before Khan catches on. Ruth saw Khan chasing Bob all over the yard today. I am thinking tha having three roosters is a little too traumatic for the hens and their egg production isn't as good as it could be.

Maybe some 4H kid wants a cool roo?

I thought about making some wreaths as gifts, maybe for the moms who volunteer in my classroom.

Don said...

warren: I agree with you that it is worth a try. I have been digging around a little and I'll have to do a bit of planning and strateegerizing.

Don said...

ginnie: pigs getting loose running through Lesley's wedding, roosters crowing while the preacher waxes eloquent, sounds like a grand old time to me!

Don said...

paula: I hope you are right about the bantams. one of them definitely has a smaller comb, but that one crows more than the other!

Every timme I see Bob running around I think of meep meep!!

His feathers glisten with a deep green irridescent hue.. He is a beaut... do you want me to ship him to you?

Don said...

jennifer: I think you should give it a try! Believe me, if I can make one anyone can. You just keep adding to it until you can't see any bad places.

Don said...

gwen: thank you! it does make it more meaningful when it is self-generated.

I took a lot of the vines to our art teacher at school and she was thrilled. I can't wait to see what an artist will do with the stuff.

we had a couple of pigs whenI was a kid and I remember one of them getting away on a rainy sunday morning. What a great chase we had through our little rural town. I don't think I have ever been dirtier than that day!

Don said...

country girl: I have a few patches of woods that I don't do anything with and am thinking about electric fencing. Are you thinking about self-butchering? I think I would prefer to take them somewhere.

The wreath I made sort of made itself as I wrapped and looped it where the tendrils seemed to want to go.

You need a little one in your cute pantry!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ah so you have first-hand knowledge of the antics of pigs!! Ours used to run to the board fence when they saw us coming and stand up peeking over so we could scratch their heads...

Will it be 3 Little Pigs? or more... We did have them butchered... sad but ... we never named them though... they were just "the pigs".. we would go out and pick apples from the old wild orchards in the backwoods areas where people had lived 100 or more yrs ago ... the pigs loved the apples and dad said it made the meat sweet...
Guess you can tell I'm not a vegetarian... I admire them though...some friends call themselves "Flex-a-tarians".. they eat whatever is available.. I guess that may be true of us too..
Take care..

Bob Johnson said...

Love the shots Don, cool wreath. And cool about raising pigs, I say do it!!

Ruth said...

So today I saw Bob chasing this hen - moi! And I didn't think it was one little bit cute. :| That beak came pretty close - yikes!

But after throwing my clog at him (trying to kick, and it flew off), he seemed a little less threatening when I just took the laundry off the line.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Funny.. so now you have attack chickens!!

Carole@Fowl Visions said...

I don't know about pigs but your roo sure is beautiful! And you are so multi-talented making wreaths and all. Great job!

Kelly or Alex said...

How would you fence in the area? We have alot of woods and would like to have free range pigs too.

Don said...

Gwen: Sounds like you have tons of great memories! It also sounds like you are giving your son the same storehouse.

I am thinking about three or four piglets. I have a growing list of people who say they would definitely be part of a co-op.

Our daughter is planning a wedding on the farm for August, so I don't know if pigs will be too much of an olfactorial influence?

Always nice to chat with you...

Don said...

bob: thanks for the compliment on the wreath! I am going to go for the "great pig experiment."

Stay tuned for Ruth photos...

Don said...

Ruth: what a great event:

"Clog flies across farmyard."

Don said...

Carole: roosters are definitely things of beauty, but they are messing with my hens!!

Pot o' noodles anyone??

Don said...

kelly/alex: I have an electric fence charger and have been reading about different ways to train pigs about the "joys of touching (or not)" the fence. I will probably have a combo of wire fencing with an electric strand running around near the bottom to remind them of their boundaries. I think once they realize the area is large enough and that there is food and water available, they will tend to stay put. (famous last words)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Have you ever thought of roasting a pig on a spit.. neighbors that lived near our old place had a pig roast every year in the back down by the water... a great outdoor celebration at the end of the summer..... people took turns turning the spit.....a beer on hand and sun on their faces

Don said...

Gwen: Yea! Our daughter is talking about having a pig roast at her wedding reception. I don't think one that I start raising in April will be big enough for August, but maybe!!

I love the idea of a fall roast party, complete with the beer in hand, faces full of happy company, et al

Janine said...

We have raised pigs my whole life and they are great animals. You do need a wire fence for when they are small, and then put the electric fence down towards the bottom so they will respect the fence as they get bigger. They love to root and would take care of any vegetation that there is in their pen. We have about a 75' by 50' enclosure and a barn inside for our six pigs and they are doing wonderful! Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I think the idea of pigs is cool.

They'd be fun [and hard!] To raise