Thursday, July 20, 2017

Peep Peep Peep




Here we go again with these crazy chickens. First mama appeared with 8 new peeps a few weeks ago. i didn't even realize she was missing, and was totally surprised when she reappeared with babies. She has 8.


Smokey appeared a couple days later with only two little peeps. i knew Smokey was missing, but honestly thought she's been eaten. She's a tiny little thing, bantam Sizzle and she'd been setting in the raspberries the whole time.


Then mama #2 appeared with more peeps! That's almost 20 new birds! Yikes!  So i'm  going to try to re-home them, as i really want to focus on the marans, easter eggers and olive eggers. These wild chickens seem to evade predators and disease well, but they constantly hide eggs, tear up my gardens and go broody. i'm at the point now, where i really want to thin out the flock and stick with just a few. 

Earlier this spring we lost 4 of our older hens. My speckled Sussex, Java, Black Star and my sweet little Blackie hen (barnyard mix) We'd had them all for around 7 year. They were the last of the birds i'd had before the fire (still have one and a roo) so that made it a little extra hard.  

i'm getting to the point where i want to be able to travel without constantly worrying about all the critters, so i think having way less chickens will help. These wild ones just keep breeding, so it may be time for them to find another home.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kayaking Adventures- New River


Over the weekend we decided to kayak on the New River in Radford, VA.  Despite it's name,  the New River is one of the five oldest rivers in the world. The New River flows backwards, from south to north. Only a handful of rivers in the world have this unique feature, including the Nile.  It is thought to be older than the mountains.


The New River is a very calm and slow float. It's more relaxing than some of the other rivers we've kayaked on. There are really no rapids or rough areas on the section we kayaked. It is almost all extremely shallow here too. 

i really enjoy the wildlife we see on the New River.  There are Great Blue Herons every where. 


We cross under a few bridges. i found it interesting that this tree was growing on the side of the pillar, out of a tiny crack. The water is calm enough that we can kayak in either direction, with very little work involved. Trying to paddle upstream on some of the other rivers we've kayaked is pretty much impossible. 


The river is really wide, and we passed a lot of other folks kayaking or tubing down it. Radford is a college town, so tubing down the river is very popular in the summer. 


i took so many pictures of Blue Herons. We saw so many of them, and they were not especially skittish being used to so many people always on the river. When we float the Little River or Big Reed island, we usually see at least one Heron, but they fly off before i even get my camera out. So it was really cool to see them and get pictures.


We several of these Cormorants up in the trees. i've seen these in Florida, but didn't realize they were also in Virginia. They are common around water, but i'm not sure how far north they go. 


i was thrilled to get a picture of this Green Heron. It's really hard to take a good picture from a moving kayak, and this guy was pretty skittish. i didn't know what he was and had to look him up when i got home. We also saw Kingfishers but it didn't get a photo. 


When we got to our ending place, we parked the kayaks and the kids went swimming while Kenan went back for his truck.  There is a little island here, and the water was less than 2 feet deep all the way across.


This Heron seemed to be following us, and he flew over to the island across from where i was standing and just watched us.  i'm really not sure how many herons we saw, or if it was just the same one following us down the River. The New River isn't as secluded as some of the other Rivers we've kayaked, but it's still a really nice float. i love all the unique birds and wildlife. We also saw a turtle, a snake, lots of fish, dragonflies and damselflies.  We did about a 3 hour float, but there are different places to put in and get out. Kenan wanted to do a 5 hour float, and i'm glad we didn't we were all pretty tired by the end of this one. Already looking forward to next weeks adventures!