Monday, June 1, 2015


in which our plucky heroine starts the month off on an upward trend...

Begin in the way you mean to go on can be a good policy. Today I walked first thing, after letting out the hens, and before writing. This, combined with a bit of bike-riding, brought my step totals for the day just over 10,000, or about three and a half miles. So much easier to do when the weather is in the sixties and a sweet soft misty rain, by next weekend it will be up in the 90's and movement much more of a challenge again.

In and around working today, I was able to put a little more time in with the new hens, getting them acclimated to my presence: This morning I stood within sight of the hen food dispenser while they ate, making "choooook chook chook" noises. They kept an eye on me, but they were willing to continue their breakfast. Each day I will gradually move closer. Eventually they will accept my presence and associate that sound with food. After all, hens are smarter than fish, and I trained my fish to come to the surface when I had food, and eventually they learned to come to the surface when they saw me... I suspect that these hens had a very different upbringing than the young hens I have had in the past, who all came from assorted friends in Olympia, from what were likely to be much smaller chicken set-ups.

More chicken training this afternoon: I stood next to the pen and made the choook chook sound, and gently tossed a few grains at a time into the pen where they were visible and the motion of tossing them wiggled the grasses. Eventually one brave little hen came closer to investigate, and when she discovered it was food, her behavior drew the other hens... they were willing to eat the food within a few feet of my continuing to make "food noise" and gently toss out more and more small amounts of grain. This bodes well for at least half the learning they will need. I love how training theory actually works!...

My chickens are not stupid, they are cautious and careful, as befits young birds of modest size that are prey and not predatory creatures. This evening I fed them again, to continue the acclimatisation process, and had left a flashlight inside the roof of the coop, intending to turn it on when it was closer to dusk (the last two nights I have had to catch them one at a time and stuff them into the hen house, they were too uncertain to go in there themselves, preferring the dubious safety of underneath the ramp to the coop door) I went outside to turn on the light, when I saw one of them walking up the ramp into their house, and as I was looking at the run, didn't see any of the others... I walked quietly, and slowly, closer, and could hear the twittering of the other two birds already inside! I peeked in through the crack in the back panel and saw at least two of them on the perch, as I let down the iron-weighted door. Yay for chickens that put themselves to bed!!

Sometimes when I am out walking, I find bits of succulents on the sidewalk detached from their planted parents. It occurred to me that if I brought them home they could grow new roots here at Acorn Cottage. Five of them are now putting on new growth in an old rusted out muffin tin in a sunny front porch spot. One of my small goals is to have a nice looking mixed succulent planter or wreath, and giving foundlings a good home seemed more my style than spending gobs of money on a trendy garden thing...

Not very big, but successfully red and flavorful: the first strawberry from the backyard! With luck and bird netting, I may be able to have more for me and less for the tree rats. Unfurled the netting today, and realised it would fit a lot better if the tall stakes were about half the height. After all, strawberries are not very tall plants, so don't need a four foot tall enclosure. Will deal with that another day...

Fifty years is a long strange trip...

... did I today ? :
write pages walk 20 minutes make something declutter excess
yes yes yes yes

June SMART goals
1 Jen jumper - bag to Goodwill
2 - - -
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -


  1. Fantastic news about the chooks settling in so well.

  2. It makes me feel good to read about how you create a nourishing home for yourself.