Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two New Girls

Alas: Poor Julia
There are now 5 girls.
Due to a most awful disaster we lost Julia. I do not mean we carelessly misplaced her.  I mean she was murdered by the little dog from next door.
It was somewhat surprising (and of course, terribly upsetting) to me, as Mattie (the murderess) is smaller than the girls and I don't think she really meant to end Julia's life. The whole incident, I suppose, must be called manslaughter or chookslaughter (although that does sound a bit Stegglesque) as a result of a rather over exuberant game of chasey. 
Anyway Mattie's mama was utterly mortified when I told her of the sweet little pookie pie's afternoon entertainment and we have come to an agreement as to the alternate hours of confinement and freedom for respective dog and chookies.
I had decided that I really needed two more girls as I am back 'into' eggs and Shirley will only ever be able to produce eency weency eggs. 
This is Fiona
Once the new girls were home I had to come up with names for them quick smart to cement their places in the family.
I remembered that my very first and very bestest friend in the whole wide world was Fiona or FeeOWna as I apparently called her. I met her at the start of prep and we instantly became friends. Her parents were Scottish and 3/4 way through the year they moved back to Scotland. I was gutted! My mum kept some beautiful artwork that I dedicated to FeeOWna some 54 years ago. I do remember her and have school pictures to help prompt that memory.
Anyway Fiona had dark red hair - so naturally I had to call my Rhode Island Red beauty
This is Rosemary
Then many years later in High School I had another redhead as a friend. Her hair was more strawberry blonde really but still showed through some ginger.
Her name was Rosemary and I thought this too would be a most suitable and dignified name for my lovely Isa Brown chookie.
Rosemary (foreground) and Fiona looking a little bit grotty and disheveled having just arrived from the breeders large and muddy pen full of bossy and self serving brothers and sisters.
Shirley has filled out a lot and looks so pretty with her fluffy feathers.
Bess, Miss Pinches and Shirley
The other three have grown so much in the last 3 weeks. Their feathers are full and lustrous and their bloomers fluffy and plush.
There is just a slight 'establishment of the pecking order' issue going on since the new girls arrived. Bess has become extremely bossy and 'top chookish' and Miss Pinches has been just plain mean! Fancy jumping on Fiona's back and trying to grind her into the ground - REALLY! I mean to say! Such unladylike behaviour - disgraceful. Bess had got the ball rolling though by grabbing Rosemary's leg in her beak and having a red hot go at snapping it in half! Rosemary's protestations were succinct and effective in procuring her release - and Thank Heavens I say - I was imaging this poor one legged chook for the rest of her life. Awful goings on, just awful!
Anyway at bedtime the 3 older girls were on their perch and the newbies were on the floor huddled together in the corner beside the perch. Hopefully they will all be getting on well soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

Today I'm joining Melody at The House on the Side of The Hill for Tuesday Treasures.
The Singing Trees
My Treasure for this week is the line of wonderful Casuarinas which are on our western boundary. These trees were planted by the lady who lives next door about 13 years ago and are quite large now. These interesting trees have branchlets instead of leaves and racemes of golden-copper coloured flowers on the tips of all the branchlets. When the long flowers drop they stick to anything they touch and hang in plants underneath and near the trees making my lemon trees look like they have caterpillars all over them.
The main reason that I love these trees is - can you guess? .....
...... It is the beautiful song they sing as the wind tosses their massed branchlets
I first heard them at Hillview, a property in NSW that my uncle managed. There was a stand of them on a hill where I would go and sit, waiting for the wind to blow.
As the warm breeze picked up in strength this haunting, soulful song would see me sitting for lengthy periods, eyes closed almost meditative, reluctant to move or go back to the house.
Later on I found some seeds under trees which I was stunned to find growing near to where we lived, far from the outback property.
The following poem was written as a result of that serendipitous discovery

Beautiful floppy, droopy casuarinas
Casuarina flowers
The Singing Trees
Growing slowly on my lawn, are three precious trees
One day when out walking I collected their seeds.
A stand of trees I didn't know were growing near the creek
Till one day I noticed them, in utter disbelief.
Many years ago, up Balranald way
My uncle managed land, where we would go and stay.
It was a joy to visit there, and listen to the quiet
To rest from the noise, and curse of city life.

The house was surrounded, by red, sandy dust
Most would hope for still days and hated windy gusts.
There was one place I welcomed the wind as it blew
The hill where my special trees waited for their cue.

As I walked there I hoped, the wind was strong enough
To toss and throw the branches and whip them into song.
The noise I can't describe, some would say the howled
But to me it was the music, of a singing crowd.

I sat and closed my eyes, as they caressed my ears 
With the soulful song they had practiced for years.
I remember so well, that very last time
When I listened to their music, their singing sublime.

No more were we to travel there, and visit this place
This solitude, this outback, this vast red, blue space.
The sky too blue to be possible and earth as red as rust
Yet trees still sing and live for years, growing through its crust
My little trees can't sing yet, they're still much too small
But how pretty they look there, growing in my lawn.
Like dear little Christmas trees, in the morning light
With webs strung out with dewdrops, from the last cold night.

We'll just have to stay, till their branches are long
And the wind can coax them, to sing their first song.
The space isn't blue and red, but the song will be the same
To take me back in time and space, to where it all began
Bronwyn Barton
(Allocasuarina verticillata)
We did stay long enough to see those little trees grow big enough to sing. I remember it too. I sat beside those 2 metre high trees and closed my eyes once again as I did that last time at Hillview. 
This time though, I was serenaded by their very first song.
Now I can hear them as I hang out the washing or tend to the chookies thanks to Cheryl next door - Lucky me!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Two Finishes!

Olivia's Quilt - At last!!
It's finally done and will be presented to Olivia tomorrow.
Manoir des Poulets 
Here are the progessive pics of the Manor under construction to completion.
Lolla is helping putting the stumps in - NOT - she is digging the freshly filled holes! Scallywag.
The floor and frame partially complete

Weatherboards on and verandah floor down
Almost complete. Just needs windows wired up and the balustrade
Here are the Girlies ...
First and easiest to name was Shirley. Shirley was a showgirl, a child-star, if you will. She was strutting her stuff whilst still mostly chicky fluff and was spared the axe by the kind lady named Lyn who sold her to me. Lyn knew that Shirley's breeder would only show her once and then murder her so she took her home to raise and sell as a pet. Shirley is a Leghorn x Isa Brown Bantam Frizzle.
Next is Julia. She is a lovely little Isa Brown and is named Julia for obvious reasons!
Thirdly is Bess. Bess is a lovely black Australorp and utterly, completely beautiful.
And last, but not least is Miss Pinches. I'm sure you remember Miss Pinches from an earlier post of mine. Miss Pinches was my piano teacher when I was a wee bairn. She was skinny, tall with long bony legs and she had greying-redish hair (or was that just a terrible rinse). Miss Pinches was very business like and to the point. She would sit beside me as I played my pieces and poke me in the top of my arm with her bony long fingers as she counted 1..2..3..1..2..3...

From left: Julia (of course), Miss Pinches, Shirley and Bess
Beautiful Black Bess - Look at that gorgeous face. She could be a mode! Although she may be a little portly for the runway.
Miss Pinches and Shirley

Miss Pinches

Kanga - thinking of matters culinary.
Wistfully dreaming of Coq au vin, with a side of stuffed Wren and a garnish of Pesky Puppy sausages.

I cant wait until the girls get cracking (so to speak) and start pumping out those yummy, happy chookie eggs. There is just nothing like home grown eggs. Yum-Yum.

Have a super Sunday everyone. We are off to celebrate our youngest grandchild's second birthday. He is such a little dude! I'll post some pics if I remember to take any.