Saturday, March 4, 2017

Around The Wintry Farm

The Red Poll ladies are doing well and staying fat despite the cold and snow:

 I usually throw and armful of hay aside for the little horses when I put out a new hay bale so they won't have to compete with the much bigger cows:

 I saw this amazing sight one morning in the southeastern sky. I looked it up online when I got back indoors and discovered that it was part of a sundog, also called parhelion, a phenomenon of sunlight passing through ice crystals in the atmosphere:

 This is a photo from the internet, showing the entire parhelion (pl: parhelia). I could only see the rainbow part on the bottom right. A few minutes later, I could also see the part on the bottom left, which was in the northeastern sky:

 One of my kitchen windows has a direct view of the bird feeders. It is common to see both Downy Woodpeckers (on top branch) and Hairy Woodpeckers (on square post). As you might expect, my cats think the windowsill is a theater seat for them to watch their favorite movies:

 I thought this was a Hairy Woodpecker, the bigger of the two, when I snapped the photo - but when I got indoors and saw the closeup, I decided it was probably the smaller Downy Woodpecker (because of its shorter bill). Needless to say, it's not always easy to tell them apart unless they appear together:
 
 I have a multitude of Chickadees. They used to be skittish, but have learned that I am the source of the goodies and now come within a couple of feet of me. If I aim a camera at them, however, they usually scatter:

 To help them pass the time during the winter, I've been opening the doors between the chickens and pigeons every day. The new Easter Egger hens seem to prefer to be with the pigeons:

The Easter Egger bantams also lay most of their eggs in the pigeon room:

  The older, Barred Rock bantam hens, mostly stay in their own room. They also haven't begun laying yet. They're getting kind of old now, at least for chickens, so their egg laying may be slowing down:

 The new Easter Egger bantams, however, are laying up a storm. Most of the eggs are green, but some are pink:

 The pigeons are having a difficult time starting nests with the chickens around, but no eggs or hatchlings would survive in these temperatures anyway, so no harm done:

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