Monday, December 17, 2012

Eggs-iting News

"To get eggs there must be some cackling."  Dutch Proverb

There was cackling in our chicken coop today!

Two of our girls laid eggs... our first eggs ever!

How exciting!  Our first two eggs.
Our chickens are 5 months old and I hadn't expected them to begin laying until they were older because of the season and the shortened daylight, so it was a very happy surprise.  I don't know which of the seven did the laying, but I'm hoping they will lead the others along by example and  we'll have fresh eggs every day.  Won't that be wonderful?

More "egg-siting" news...  My post The Rooster Crows has been highlighted by Dolly of Hibiscus House' Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop.  Thank you Dolly. *mwah*  I'm so honored to be among the features.  Wander over and have a look, there's some wonderful bloggers featured and linked up and of course, you can browse through Dolly's Hibiscus House.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Favorite Things

Are you as busy as I am this time of year?

We deserve a little break.  Please join me for some tea and glimpse of some of my favorite things at this time of year, some I've found on Pinterest and some from my desk.

To get you in the mood you might want to turn on this music sung by a sweet little girl in a white dress with a blue satin sash.

Sing along if you like...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things!

Warm Woolen Mittens, doodle by Tori Beveridge

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things!

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
Silver white winters that melt into spring
These are a few of my favorite things!

Girl in White Dress ACEO ink and watercolor pencils by Tori Beveridge

Snowflakes that stay on my nose - Otis, photographed by Tori Beveridge

Silver White Winters.. last winter photographed by Tori Beveridge

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad, 
I simply remember 
my favorite things

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Rooster Crows

No offense to Muhammed Ali, he was a great boxer, but he didn't know roosters.  As a matter of fact, anyone who believes that roosters only crow in the morning to announce the rising sun, doesn't know roosters.

A rooster will crow night or day, at any time.

Rooster Doodle by Tori Beveridge

The other night our rooster, Ringo, was crowing at 10:30 pm.  Our windows and doors were open letting in the balmy, for us in central Illinois in December, 70 degree temperatures waft in.

"Err er errrrrrrrrr", he crowed from inside his tightly locked coop.  He had never done this before.  "Maybe there's something wrong," my husband said.  "I'd better go check."  There was nothing wrong.  All the hens and Ringo were fine.  Maybe he was simply announcing to the world that he appreciated the mild weather too.

Ringo at three weeks.

I am not sure how the myth of roosters crowing to announce the sun rise started, but I will validate that they do crow then.. and a couple of hours before... and a couple of hours after...

Perhaps this story from Greek Mythology started it.  The ancient Greek word for rooster is aclectryon.

Alectryon was a young man who was ordered by Ares, the god of war, to stand guard outside his door while Ares romanced the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love.  Alectryon fell asleep on the job.  The sun god, Helios, sneaked past Alectryon while he slept, and walked in on Ares and Aphrodite.  Ares was so outraged and angry with Alectyron, that he turned him into a rooster which would never forget to announce the sun's arrival in the morning.

Regardless of his noise, I am glad that we have a rooster.  He's a very protective rooster and watches over his flock closely, which is important because we back onto a forest and have foxes, coyotes, hawks, opossums, skunks etc. as regular visitors. 

Ringo, four and a half months old, taken a week and a half ago.  He's grown since then.
He is a kind rooster and not overly aggressive.  I know some people have problems with roosters and their aggression, so I am thankful for this.  Ringo did try to peck/bite Mr B. a couple of times.  The first time, Mr. B. had been kneeeling down.  All it took was for Mr. B. to stand up, and Ringo took off... vrrrooooom... yes, the largest male rules the roost.

About a week later, Ringo pecked at Mr. B. again.  Mr. B. picked him up and held him securely at his side and gently pushed his head and beak down with a couple of fingers, and held it down for a few seconds, then released it.  Ringo lifted his head.  Mr. B. repeated it, once again pushing his head and beak down.  This time when Mr. B. released Ringo's head, Ringo kept it down, a sign of submission.

My comment, which had Mr. B. laughing out loud. "There is a pecking order and you're the biggest pecker."

Ringo is very photogenic, as I am sure most roosters are, with their vivid colors and long feathers.   I loved the photo above so much, that I had to use it as a reference for this painting.

Barred Plymouth Rock Rooster by Tori Beveridge
  I couldn't wait to see what it would look like matted and framed.

Barred Plymouth Rock Rooster, matted and framed.. I think I will play with different mat colors and frames.

... because it will be going on our wall, possibly in the kitchen where all things roosterly, chickeny, and barnyard seem to end up.

If you would like to see a larger version of the painting, you can see it in my gallery.
Prints and other products are available, so you too can have Ringo in your home.

You may have guessed by now.. the rooster crowing is also heralding the dawning of a new chapter in my blog.  I didn't mean to leave it abandoned and collecting cobwebs for so long.  My apologies.   I needed to work out what direction I wanted to take this blog.  It took some time, but I have the compass pointed in the right direction now.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.

This post has been submitted to


and to
 Liv Lane's Little Bliss List

and to
  Deborah Jean's Dandelion House's Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

and to
Homestead Revival's Homestead Blog Hop

and to
The Chicken Chick