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.

Rufous hummingbird

Newcomer to Greyhound Gardens   

For as long as I can remember I have always been enamored by hummingbirds. Except for once or twice by pure luck, my only sighting of the delicate birds were in photos. I never dreamt in my wildest dreams that we would have resident hummers.

When our little Anna’s hummingbird became a regular at our feeders, we started to research the other possibilities. In theory, there are eight species that migrate to Oregon in February and March and head south in the fall. Anna’s hang around throughout the winter. Rufous and Anna’s are the most common in Oregon.

I hoped beyond hope that we would see a Rufous.

It boggles my mind to think that this little bird can make it’s way to Mexico for the winter only to turn around and come back to Oregon for spring and summer. I’ve driven I-5 through California. That is one long drive, I can’t imagine how long it must take the little birds. And after all of that, what are the chances they will find their way to our feeders?

Dearest Mother Nature, she never disappoints.

Last night after Karen made it home from traveling, we headed out to the barn with our coffee and the boys. Pete, our Anna’s boy has his favorite spots. He prefers the plum tree and when I looked up at the cherry tree, I was so surprised to see him sitting on a branch. On closer inspection, it wasn’t Pete at all, it was the beautiful little Rufous boy.

When he returned this morning during coffee, my heart skipped a beat and then I kicked myself three times for not taking the camera out again. This evening after work I was not going to miss one more opportunity. Sure enough, here he came making a swing through the feeders three times.

Welcome to the gardens little one. Fresh flowers will be available soon.

Long-haired Weimaraner


Painting my way through the alphabet

My journey of painting dogs through the alphabet continues. I learn something new with each dog and fall deeper in love with the process.

My goal is to paint as many breeds as possible. Each coat is so different and always provides me with a new challenge.

So far, I have been blessed with a whole bunch of wet dogs. Do we live in Oregon or what?

Goldee is always a perfect model. That girl knew the day she came home with Holly that her career in modeling had begun and she has never disappointed.

Goldee, the photo

Edie, 25 day old mystery bantam chick

The little baby chicks are growing like weeds now. And every day they get just a little more beautiful, look a little more like their adult self and gain more and more personality. Karen spends hours looking for things to do for them. They were less than a week old when she introduced their first swing to them. It’s no wonder they took to the swing for their 25 day old photos.

bantam chick

Edie, 25 day old mystery bantam

We’re pretty sure little Edie is going to be a frizzle. Her feathers are a hot mess and she is adorable. She’s always right there looking at me when I am holding one of the other chicks, she fusses a bit when I pick her up and then, she settles right down into my lap. She’s quite proud of her unruly feathers and spends a good deal of time preening. Her dark feathers are kind of brindle right now, just like a greyhound.

Americauna chick

Talley, 25 day old americauna

Talley is the love bug. She curls down in my lap and goes to sleep. She would be happy to be held forever. We have high hopes that once we move them out to their coop they will still let us pick them up.

25 day old bantam chick

Gracie, 25 day old mystery bantam

Gracie is our puff ball. She’s still the smallest member of the flock and just as sweet as can be. We thought she was going to be a silkie, but now we aren’t so sure. This week she had a little crest develop and she still has her fluffy pants and shoes. Stay tuned.

Olive egger chick

Maude, 25 day old olive egger

Miss Maude. We still aren’t sure what she will look like. I have no doubt that she will be beautiful. She also loves to be held and cuddled. She’s a master at playing hard to get, but then, she snuggles right in.

Her feathers have gotten much darker, but most of her pants that she had as a baby have gone away.

Black australorp chick

Hillary, 25 day old black australorp

Hillary is by far our biggest chick. Last week she looked like a bald eagle, this week, not so much a bald eagle. She is the most confident of the chicks and not a fan of playing cuddle chicken. She tolerates it. She watches me like a hawk when I’m holding the other chicks, I guess she’s just watching over them to make sure they are safe.

barred Plymouth Rock chick

Blender, 25 day old barred Plymouth Rock chick

And last but not least, Blender. She has made the most amazing changes of all. She’s stunning with her black and white feathers. She’s gonna be the first one to try and fly. She loves the swing more than any of the other birds and she loves to be held and cuddled.

I knew we would love the chicks, I never in my wildest dreams thought they would become their own personalities nor did I think I would fall so head over heals in love with them.

Plymouth barred rock chick

Blender, 19-day old barred Plymouth Rock chick

Saturday’s photos of the 19-day old chicks brought many changes in their appearance. Every day I am amazed by the changes they make. Blender’s changes were probably the most dramatic as she changes from a ball of downy fluff to stripy.

We spend as much time as possible in with them. Sometimes, we are just amused as they scratch, scratch, scratch at their bedding, other times we sit and hold them in our laps. Nearly all of them are content to stay in our hands. Sometimes they peck at our rings and watches, other times they almost go to sleep.

The custom coop is about a week out from delivery and the chicks are about 5-7 weeks out from actually moving out to the coop. We’ve doing our due diligence on care and feeding of our pets with benefits.

The toy John Deere tractor was a gift from my first boss at the college. My dad was farmer and I have many memories of him out on the old tractor.

Megan and Grandpa   

Dad’s family owned a wheat farm in western Nebraska. They sold the farm shortly after we visited.

Three weeks of Blender.  

Top left—two days old. Top right—six days old. Bottom left—11 days old. Bottom right—19 days old.