Morning rituals

Zippy and Karen   

I love our weekend mornings more than anything else. I start looking forward to them on Sundays at noon.

It all starts after we run and feed the dogs.

Rock pigeon   

Karen makes the coffee and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed we make our way out to the barn. Even when the temps were in the high teens and low twenties, we went out to the barn for coffee and conversation and photos.

Rock pigeon   

So maybe we slowly saunter out to the barn, it is before coffee after all.

Anna’s hummingbird   

We take roll call with the bird kingdom. Our little male hummingbird is always the first to arrive. I call him Peter Pan and he nearly always responds with his bright pink face.

Anna’s hummingbird.  

His bride usually checks in as well. She’s a wee bit puffy because the mornings are still a little chilly.

Mourning dove   

We have two dozen or so mourning doves that join us. They line the branches of the trees, the fence and graze in the grasses for some of the perfect morsels other birds have left behind.

American gold finches   

We have a huge variety of small song birds that have their breakfast while we enjoy our coffee. I often wonder if they have the same conversations that we do.

European starlings   

Every once in a while we have a flock of starlings join us. We sort of re-routed them with a different seed because the other birds don’t really like them.

This morning we had a bit of a catastrophe. The starlings were enjoying the suet when out of the clear blue a hawk swooped in and I’m pretty sure he got his breakfast. That was the end of our morning show though. All of the birds scattered to the winds for hours.

Western scrub jay   

Even the jays stayed away all day. We have about four that come through the peanut ring one-by-one to collect a peanut and fly off. I’m not sure who  the recipient of the shells are, but I’m sure they thank us everyday.

Downy woodpecker

 We have a pair of downy’s that visit us regularly. This is the little male and I adore him. The little female usually comes at a separate time.

Flicker   

The flickers are rather shy, but you can see the suet on beak from his breakfast. We probably have four or five flickers that swoop in and swoop out.

Zip and Timber   

These two do their best to lay peacefully on their cushions or stand by our sides for ear scratches, but when they’ve had enough they let us know when coffee and conversation hour is over.

Resident squirrels   

And the squirrels are always much relieved to see us leave the barn.

Request for maternity leave

Two-day old chicks
Two-day old chicks
Edie, Talley and Maude   

Greyhound Gardens is expanding again

We’ve talked about getting pets with benefits for over a year now. It’s all part of our plan to become a little more self-sustainable. And seriously, what could possibly be better than fresh eggs? Let me insert here that they will never be chicken dinner.

Last week-end we drove out to Sweet Home and ordered a custom chicken coop. Lil’ day old baby chicks need to have 90° temps for their first weeks of life so we went ahead and got the chicks today. They are living in our second bathroom until they outgrow the tub they are in, then we’ll move them to the basement until they graduate to the coop.

Hillary and Talley   

We’ve had a list of names for a year now and when we got them home, they quickly adopted the names of some of the greyhounds we miss so dearly.

It was clear that Hillary was already on the campaign trail, she got her name before anyone else. Hillary is a black austrolorp, she’s chatting with Talley,  an americauna. Blender is resting nicely in front. Maude (named after Karen’s grandma) is hiding in back and Edie is the brindley looking one in front. Edie is an assorted bantam, we’re hoping for a silkie. Maude is an olive egger. Blender is a barred rock.

Gracie   

Gracie is the sweet little one. She’s the tiniest of the flock and kind of hangs by herself. She is also an assorted bantam.

Raining big dogs

Borzoi
Zip   

We faithfully went to the barn for our coffee over the weekend, but we had rain, a little more rain and even more rain. Our poor acre has no idea what to do with all of the rain. For now, it’s all just standing water.

The boys laid down on their cushions and just looked longingly out at the yard. They wanted to play, but it was even too wet for them.

The garden rain boots   

We’ve been upgrading our gear for the garden this summer. Doesn’t everybody own a pair a Converse rubber shoes? Mine are almost a neon orange. The puddles see us coming.

Wading juncos.  

Our poor little juncos feed from the seed that has dropped from the feeders. They had a hard time finding their food on Sunday.

House finches   

The house finches on the other hand, really appreciate the umbrellas.

More rain is coming tomorrow.

Oh Maverick!

Long-haired Weimaraner
Long-haired Weimaraner
The faces of Maverick   

Weimaraner always crack me up. They are the masters of facial expressions.

Maverick is no exception. In true weimie fashion, this boy was born to chase tennis balls and he’s happy to wait for one skinny minute and then, you’d better throw that ball.

Rumor has it

borzoi
borzoi
Zip   

The white stuff is coming again late tomorrow night. Really? We’ve had so many winter days like this that I have completely lost count. 

I’ve been watching the weather and I almost don’t believe them.

Time to haul the hummingbird feeders in and out again.

If it’s on Facebook, it’s probably not true.

Spring is just around the corner

borzoi running
borzoi running
Zippy being zippy   

We spent quite a bit of time outside today. The season’s are getting ready to change and it feels so good. The mornings have started out around 34°, but by afternoon, they are lobbying for the high 40s. The daffodils have officially started poking through the dirt. 

Pussy willow buds   

The pussy willow tree, always an early adopter from winter to spring has already begun to bud.

Our greenhouse.  

And most important, our greenhouse is eagerly awaiting it’s transformation into a starter garden for all of our summer veggies.

A visit from the grand dogs

Autzen and Maverick   

Holly brought the grand dogs down for a romp on the acre. Nothing tires a puppy out more than chasing a ball time after time after time. At the end of an hour or so, Autzen and Maverick had chased so many tennis balls that they were almost begging to go home to their big ol’ human bed and catch a quick happy nappy.

They had no problem lying down in the hay in front of the barn for a few minutes to pose for their monthly barn portrait. And yes, I know the wreathes are still hanging, but they are still so pretty.

Goldee   

Now Goldee on the other hand, loves to come to grammies because we have squirrels and birds and chickens next door. It’s a hunting dogs dream come true. For every run after the ball, she ran twice as far chasing after the real deal.

Those grand dogs, they crack me up.

I gotta have a sea otter

sea otter
sea otter
Sea otter   

We made a flying trip out to the Oregon Coast Aquarium today in Newport, Oregon for a work project.

I admit it, I am completely smitten with the sea otters. This little beauty really new how to pose for the camera.

Red balloons

Weimaraner puppy and red balloons
Weimaraner puppy and red balloons
Maverick   

It was just a year ago that Joe and Holly were preparing for the arrival of their new puppy boy. I can’t believe a year has passed already. So much has happened since then. I hope I can retrieve it all and not leave out too many details.

Whatcha doing mom?

borzoi
borzoi
Sage and Glory.  

Nobody knows what mom does in the barn when the doors are closed. 

The doggies hope it is something for them. The birds hope it is something for them. The squirrels have high hopes too.

The reality is, nobody knows.