Beautiful chickens…

Beautiful chickens….

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Beautiful chickens…

While reading the Master Gardener blog today I came across this article on the Food Ark and also rare breeds of chickens that may no longer be around in the coming years. We are so stuck on the White Leghorn breed for eggs. We are a strange creature that gets so stuck on one type of food i.e. corn or grains or one type of protein i.e. red meat. We would have never survived if we did that 100 years ago.

There is such a huge variety out there in the world and having a sample off this and a taste of that has insured that our ancestors survived during many weather patterns, disease and changes in lifestyle. When we live with the planet and don’t burn out one item we give things time to come back an work in sync with each other. We are on an finite blue ball that we are treating like it’s infinite. It’s not a concept I can get down with. I look at these beautiful chickens and I think….WOW! There is so much variety on the planet and we should appreciated and care for the incredible diversity out there instead of making everything industrialized and robotic. I think as a statement to the universe I’m going to plant some native seeds today and invite the many creatures that feed off those plants. I’m going to be way more aware of diversity on my little area and in the world and embrace the fantastic differences of all creatures under the sun starting with beautiful chickens!

See pictures of these beautiful chickens and read about the Food Ark here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07/food-ark/heirloom-chickens#/1

Posted in Thoughts on Life

If you plant it they will come….

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

I had a friend come over yesterday to help clean, feed and play with the bunnies. It was raining but she was such a trooper and still worked on their space. I am so grateful for that! Thank you a ton Kristin! She gave me a great idea too. She told me that she and her husband have been planting outside when it’s raining. I always hid inside when it started to rain but while standing in the sprinkles yesterday chatting and watching the buns run I realized she’s right- this is a fantastic time to plant. It’s cooler, the plants get a nice drink the second they are planted and the ground is wet and soft for digging. All around great time. So I planted a bunch of stuff and it all seems really happy so far. I moved a 5 foot palm to the back by the pond.  Truly wonderful how much life it brings to the pond area, I moved my bromeliads out of the dark into some sunny areas so they will bloom vibrant tropical flowers now, yeah!

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

It’s all very exciting but the most exciting part is the Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) plants I planted. They attract the state butterfly the Zebra Longwing. Other visitors include the Gulf Fritillary, Julia, and Large Orange Sulphur Butterflies. I saw the non-native version of this plant today at the Wildlife Center and it was covered in Zebra Longwing Butterflies. It was like watching a butterfly ballet!

The Porterweed is a perennial, it may die back from time to time but self seeds so you will have a nice clump. Mine did great during the drought and grew a lot. You can tell which is the native Blue Porterweed because it grows low to the ground and is usually used as a ground cover. The non-native can grow to 4 or 5 feet tall and can spread fast. Both attract butterflies.

Native Blue Porterweed

I’ll watch the progress of their growth and film the ballet when it happens. In the mean time you can find out more about the butterflies in your area and how to attract them by going to this site:  http://www.nababutterfly.com/Stachytarpheta.html.

Have a fabulous day!

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Bridging the gap…

It finally rained! Yeah! Although my bunnies are not to happy with their leaking roof they are thrilled that it cooled down and they are enjoying cool wet ears. Next week the new roof is a priority because hopefully we will have our regularly scheduled 4PM rain storm like it should be.

So being an inside day I thought today would be a great day to share one of my upcycled projects with you…

I started with a pallet. I found a bunch of them behind our warehouse and thought that it was such a waste of great wood. I needed a bridge for our pond and thought this would be a nice basic shape to start with. Also taking things out of the trash cycle always makes my day and this is a big piece of trash headed for the landfill.

1) First I cut the pallet in half making sure that I had 2×4′s on each end of the bridge. I saved the rest of the wood for a bench that I’ll show in another post. Flip the pallet over and you will see three support 2×4′s. Cut along side the center support board. I used a circular saw but you can use whatever you have to cut through the boards safely. A handsaw might be good if you aren’t comfortable using the circular saw, it did jump a lot from board to board. When you are finished cutting you will have one side with 2 support’s attached and one side that can be used for scrap for another project. See the picture below of the scrap and where to cut.

2) Next I laid down the basic shape with the two 2×4′s and took off the pieces that were old or cracked. I had some scrap pressure treated wood so I cut that to fit in the spaces. I had to move pieces around to get them to fit but it worked out well. Give it a nice once over with the sander at this point.

3) Once I had the boards across the top screwed down with deck screws and sanded I covered the sides with some finish wood (scrap I found too). Some of this wood will age and fall apart over the next year or so but I love the look of aged, weathered wood so that’s ok. When it’s finished it’s life as a bridge I will just make it into some cool art work and replace the board.

4) I moved my new bridge into the spot it would live and done!

I could have painted it but I want to see how long it will last in the sun and rain. I have added solar lights on both sides so at night it looks like a mini runway. It’s fun to walk over the bridge, sit on the bridge and watch the fish. It also gives the fish cover from the sun and predators. I love the idea of using old or unwanted stuff and making it into something new and useful. This was a fast and easy way to use half a pallet. Coming soon will be the bench I made with the other half of the pallet. Have a great day!

I’m not a professional contractor and anything I post is for reference only. I am not liable for injuries. Please use caution and care when building things.

Posted in Thoughts on Life

Where oh where has all the rain gone

So I’ve been pretty mean to my garden lately. I refuse to water it. I’m waiting for the rain. My veggie garden has been flattened to the last row of basil by my new 8 friends (bunnies). Yes, I actually let them run through and eat the last of the crops for the winter season. They all come from abused backgrounds and so I felt it was my duty to share the harvest with them. I had plenty. They loved it and they helped me till the soil too. Now that it is a blank slate I’ve been waiting to plant the next crops till the rain came. Well I waited it out in April, May and now half of June. Usually we have tons of rain every afternoon at 4pm. Not this year. It’s really scary. When the clouds look like they are getting dark and ready to explode I actually get excited only to be disappointed when we get maybe a sprinkle. It is weird, scary and makes me think hard about driving. Some people say its all the emissions heating up the earth, others say this is a natural cycle that we are speeding up with all our toxins and emissions, others say hubbub to it all. I’m with the speeding it up group. I do think that there are natural shifts but this is really fast. So I watch the rain barrels empty I stay home instead of drive hoping that it might encourage the clouds to really open up and make the sunflowers grow….finally.

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Fantastic idea…

Today while reading the Smithsonian magazine I came across an amazing project that got me so excited. Inspired by hyperbolic mathematics a the desire to recreate organic sea life shapes the “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef” was born. They use yarn and trash to make the sea life. It’s traveling around the world on display at various museums and is a fantastic way to create and promote environmental education. Check out this link to see the video. Have a great day!

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Hello world!

This is my first post. So I guess I’m officially blogging! It only took me a year and a half since I decided to start. I was pretty much terrified that it would be really hard or I wouldn’t have anything to talk about. Turns out I have a ton to talk about and share but it may take me some time to get the format working how I’d like. So far so good the page is up and that was the goal for today. Now it’s time to reward us both with a really cool link. This is one of my favorites. It does a bunch of things that I totally love. It recycles things that would go into the trash, it makes art out of old things and it’s just a cool looking site! I hope you like it and I’ll be back with more once I figure out step two in blog world…

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