Thursday, March 10, 2016

One of the brood has left (sniff, sniff)

My brood
I have been chasing chickens far too much lately.  Princess Leia - who has taken up to sleeping on top of the enclosure - discovered she could fly into next door's garden yesterday morning, at getting ready for school time.  Grr ... after the second attempt at running round in circles and getting nowhere, I enlisted the help of the youngest of my clan who helped shepherd her towards our garden fence.  Leia thought she'd try and be smart and squeeze through the fence gap, whereupon she found herself wedged between wood and wire fence and no way to move backwards or forwards.  After some undoing of wings, and untangling of feet I managed to grab hold of her and post her back over the fence.  Not content with causing mayhem for one day, I've just spent 15 minutes chasing her round the garden at night-time trying to get her to roost in the coop with her mates.  And our Scottish sheepdog cannot have inherited the 'rounding up' gene as he is about as much use as chocolate teapot when escapees are escaping ...

Ruben with his foster mum isn't he a handsome chap
Anyhoo ... our brood is getting smaller, from 5 down to 6.   The other day our gorgeous rooster Ruben found himself a new 'mob' down in the valley.  I took him to a friend of a friend, who introduced him to her 4 girls, one of whom instantly established pecking order and pecked him, hard. I'm sure he will get along just fine.

Now we just need to find a home for our other rooster Chris.  He is trying to bonk all my girls, and to be honest I couldn't stand the stress of rearing more chicks.  The hens are getting rather shirty with him too.  It's no fun being a boy in our garden!

(Even though I sounded distinctly grumpy at the start, I love my chooks wholeheartedly)

Monday, March 7, 2016

De-stressing in New Zealand

Quintessential NZ mailboxes
Life has been .... interesting ... for the past few weeks.  I could offer many reasons for not writing - I think the best by far is that I've been away travelling and have shunned technology as part of my de-stressing process (apart from being contactable by email as the kids stayed home).

The first part of our holiday was in New Zealand, in Auckland, our old stomping ground.  It was so much fun to catch up with old friends, almost as if we'd never been away.  It makes me remember how blessed I am to have loved ones in so many different places.

We stayed near an alpaca farm - I need to get me an alpaca or two.  Spot the baby :)

You can see Rangitoto from nearly everywhere in Auckland.  It's very recognizable, whatever the weather!  I loved this cool day walking around Musick Point and catching the view.

We had a few cloudy days, one memorable day was when the storm clouds chased us as we travelled the curvy back roads to Kaiaua in my quest to find the dragon lady at The Dragon's Nest Pottery.  I will have to share my dragon treasures with you another time ...

Encountering the Misty Mountains in our search for dragons
One of the highlights was the day out to Kawakawa Bay - we shared the beach with picnickers and a couple travelling round on their motorbike.  Here we forgot all our troubles and sat and listened to the waves.  I lay down under a pohutukawa tree and watched clouds through the branches.

We travelled round in an old Mazda 2 that sounded as if it had ambitions to be a supercar, but moved at the speed of a vintage bicycle.   We all have our dreams ...

It was so refreshing to be in a cooler climate for a while.  Although I have always been strange and enjoyed the cold; and see what it does for the countryside, just look at that lovely green field!