random thoughts in a holding pattern

Like most people in the upper half of the states, we're still stuck in a bout of below-normal temps and not-very-springlike weather.  We have snow in the forecast today, thankfully not very much!  Things are looking up, the sun has been shining most of the week and we might approach the FIFTIES soon. 
even this finch seems demoralized by the weather....

Also painfully close, our acquisition of a side strip of land, extending our yard and garden space.  We thought we'd be finished with this by January, but the end is finally in sight.  It's possibly a good thing that the weather has also not cooperated with this project, as I'm very impatient to start tearing up grass and sinking fence posts, not to mention a certain hoop-shaped object.  Thank goodness for the low-tunnels pumping out greens right now.

Politics?  Sigh.  Holding pattern.

So in these limbo times, I'm drinking baking a lot!  After being in a rut/rhythm of making the same sourdough most of the winter, I've branched out a bit.  This week's obsession was bagels.  And we've been eating them at almost every meal since they came out of the oven:

recipe from BBA, with more wheat flour than called for, as always.

And finally, a humorous chicken tale:  I noticed over the winter that my hens' ancient waterer was not working that great.  I'd find the reservoir empty, even with water in the main tank. I could fiddle with it to keep it going, but didn't want them to be running out of water, especially once the weather warms up.  So last week I replaced it.  Afternoons, I'd let the girls out for their walkabout, and they ran frantically to the old waterer that I left in the middle of the yard.  Or to the pond/bird bath, and start drinking as if their lives depended on it.  Egg production dropped.  WTH?   Apparently, they are terrified of the new object in the coop.  Despite the fact it's nearly identical, and in the same spot.  And actually has water in it.  Tiny, tiny brains they have, don't they?

five hens and a pumpkin dust bath.  good times.

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  1. those bagels are GORGEOUS. Yum. Boy, it's been years since I made them. Thanks for the hint.

    See, I tend to think that chickens are smart, or at least have a strong herd instinct. How else to explain finding twelve of them in my old greenhouse, dust-bathing, lettuce-eating, seedling-kicking, all in 85* sunshine. They climbed through the tiniest hole in the netting. And once they know, they'll always try again. (They're foiled thanks to a brand-new coil of chicken wire but still. Damage done.)

  2. Yowch. Maybe it's just mine then? After getting into the garden last week (spinach party), they do keep walking by...staring at the spot that I have now minimally blocked. Consider that this is a gate which is only about 2 1/2 feet high, which they could jump, if not FLY over.

  3. Be thankful: it sounds like you've just got some dim birds. We have a 7' (yep) fence around their pen and all the bantams can fly out (of course) but 6 of the chickens have figured out how to get out by flying to the top of the coop door, onto the coop roof (and freedom if they just hopped off of it) but THEN they climb over 3 rooftops to fly into the garden. Inside its fence. Where the greenhouses are. And all my lovely seeded beds.

    Next step? Fencing in the coop roof. Stalag 17, home-bird style.

  4. Mmm. your bagels look yummy! Today is a baking day for me but I've got so much else going on I'm not sure I'm up for something new. But those do make me tempted..

  5. El, oh my, that's a hilarious crew you have! Maybe it's the numbers, collectively they are smarter as a hive mind, and since I only have five....da dumb. Yeah, our pen is roofed, but when they have free yard time they seem to stay out of trouble for them most part. Thank goodness, apparently!

    Judy: thanks and welcome! These were also a 2-day recipe, which I kind of like, but aren't good for impulse baking :)


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