Painting of two borzoi

Glory and Sage

Bird Dogs, fifth in a series

Karen and I have spent the last month or so revamping the gardens. It’s been an amazing amount of work, but also extremely gratifying.

We had five cubic yards of premium garden soil delivered and three cubic yards of sand. All of that is great, but since the ground was so darn wet, it had to be dropped in our driveway. All of the garden stuff is happening on the other opposite side of the acre. We’ve shoveled and hauled at least a million wheel barrows back there.

My camera has remained by my side the entire time, but I’ve lost more moments of our own dogs than I like to admit.

We’re starting to see a few of the spring migrating birds appeared they are delightful.

The greenhouse is coming alive with the starters we’ve planted and Karen is ready to start a new journey with her “straw bale” garden.

I want to be more faithful to the blog, but I have to admit, it’s hard to be in front of the computer when the birds are calling me back outside.

Don’t forget the chickens. They are getting more and more beautiful every day. They’re starting to get their big girl clucks and lose the baby chirps. I am longing for just two more, but so far Karen has not fallen for my pleading ways.

Scrub jay with peanut

Enjoying a sun shower   

Who needs Netflix when you have jays at the peanut feeder?

Our first day of spring brakation was a mix of rain, wind and sun. A completely normal Oregon weather day. Our morning cup of coffee in the barn was the best. The flickers, hummingbirds and even the elusive spotted towhee joined us. We went our separate ways for the Friday funday errands and returned to the barn this afternoon for more coffee, more bird activity and a couple of delightful sun showers.

The jays are always amusing. We probably have five or six that line up in a flight pattern one at a time to take turns dining and dashing with the peanuts. The first one of the days alerts every jay in the neighborhood that we finally put out more peanuts.

This guy was particularly amusing. He always hung upside down to get his peanuts from the bottom of the ring.

We had the barn built where it would be best for photos not know that it would become our little bistro. In the afternoons the birds are always backlit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The plum tree is beginning to fill in quite nicely behind the feeders.


Anna’s hummingbird

I love the transition seasons, fall and spring. I enjoy all of the seasons actually, each one has their own beauty. But spring, spring is special as all of the little green things start popping out almost on an hourly basis.

This year has been a tad bit chillier and I suspect that is why the ancient plum tree is so late in blooming. I have been waiting so patiently. It doesn’t look like it will be covered in blooms like it has in years past. I speak fondly of her. Her trunk is twisted and her branches are cover in moss, but she has an amazing personality. This year especially she has held many a bird on her branches. The hummingbirds, downy woodpeckers, flickers, jays, black birds, juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, house finches, gold finches and those are just the ones I can think of off of the top of my head.

Our spring breakation started today. We’ve been looking forward to it for months. This morning while I was finishing up with a project at work Karen took delivery of 100 bales of straw for the straw bale garden, five cubic yards of premium garden soil and three cubic yards of sand. Tomorrow we will start getting the summer gardens ready for planting.

Happy spring. I like how our week is starting.

Portrait of a terrier mix

Harry Arthur Wilson Cole

Painting my way through the alphabet

They say you never forget your first. Harry was my first custom session. He is a delightful little guy. His passion is keeping the yard safe from tree rats. I believe he even has a junco or two under his belt. And, to chase all of that down, he loves him some green beans. Harry was adopted when he was about one year old and he has proven to be the life of every party.

It was hard to avoid his wet little feet. As soon as we went out to the backyard, he was racing through the wet grass.

He’s been spending a little bit of time on bed rest recently for a bum knee. I have no doubt the tree rats laugh and taunt him daily.

Ah Harry, you still are the cutest little guy ever. Thank you for being my first.


This was Harry’s original photo.

barred Plymouth Rock chick

Blender, 33 day old barred Plymouth Rock chick   

The chickens continue to amuse and amaze us every day. Blender is bursting with personality. She is a lap chicken. She’ll let us hold her for hours on end. She’s quite curious about everything and she is going to be the first bird to try and fly out of the coop. Note to self, this one will need her wings clipped.

We are a little more concerned this week that she might be a he. I’m too attached to ever let her go. Karen has been doing her research there is actually a thing called rooster collars. It doesn’t hurt them in anyway, they just aren’t able to fill their cock a doodle doos with as much air and the sound comes out a bit more muffled.

Here’s to hoping we are just being worried ninny parents.

americauna chick

Talley, 33 day old americauna chick   

Talley is a puff-ball of love. She would sleep in bed with me if I didn’t sleep with the borzoi. She’s always quite content to nestle in. The chair was just perfect for her.

33 day old black australorp chick

Hillary, 33 day old black australorp   

Hillary is still our biggest bird and absolutely the most independent of the bunch. Holding her is fine, but it has to be on her terms. She kicks their brooder bedding around like it’s a soccer ball and she’s quite protective of the rest of her brood. When we go in to hold them, she’s right there checking out the situation.

33 day old mystery bantam

Gracie, 33 day old mystery bantam   

Gracie is our puff ball of pure sweetness. This week out of the clear blue she grew a black crest. We are still holding out hopes that she will turn out to be a silkie. She’s our tiniest of the birds and she loves to snuggle up to one of the girls. It’s quite sweet.

I find myself sitting by the brooder quite a bit just watching them.

33 day old olive egger

Maude, 33 day old olive egger   

Maude’s feathers are coming in quite lovely. They are steel gray rimmed in black. I think she will be stunning when she is full grown. Maude prefers to keep to herself. She settles in quite nicely when we hold her, but she’s not one to hang around waiting for us to pick her up.

33 day old bantam frizzle

Edie, 33 day old bantam frizzle   

Ms. Personality Plus. This kid cracks me up every day. She knows she’s adorable and she flaunts it. Her feathers are more and more wild and crazy.

I would have a whole flock of bantams. They are so much fun.

Ah yes, pets with benefits. It’s the way to go.