Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sir Rose finds his voice



Sir Rose, the rooster who was known as Rosie until the morning he began to crow, while living with a family with close neighbors, has finally become secure enough in his new home, with us in the country, to crow for us. You can watch the video of him by clicking here.

The story of his introduction to us is here.

I am not sure he's engaging in other roosterly duties besides crowing, although he does seem interested in keeping track of the hens. Even if the hens are laying fertile eggs, none of the eggs can remain in the nest long enough to hatch because the black snakes keep raiding the nests and stealing eggs.  Perhaps hens normally have chicks in the spring, when the snakes are still hibernating.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blackberry Time!



It's been a good year for snakes, chiggers, and blackberries.  I can do without the first two, but I love the abundance of blackberries.  These are thornless blackberries, which makes the picking process much easier than the thorn-laden wild variety.
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Won't you please give a good chicken just one berry?

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I have frozen at least 8 quarts of berries, I've turned them into blackberry muffins, and I also made jam.
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Here I'm cooking the berries with sugar.  Recipes exist online or on the back of a box of fruit pectin; follow the instructions carefully.

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Filling the jars with cooked jam.


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After a dunk in the water bath canner according to the directions, the jam is ready!


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My daughter wanted a taste of the finished product, and she approves!