Weekend Projects, Large & Small

We’re finally in the wrapping up stages of our latest multi-weekend project: extending the chicken shed. Will be so nice to have this newly covered run area available to the chigs this winter!

Still have to figure out exactly how we want to finish the north end (left side of photo above) so for now we’ve got it closed off with a gate and some chicken wire.

But it gives our feathered friends quite a bit more covered area to scratch and flap and do chicken stuff while safe from aerial predators, which are especially numerous here in the winter months (eagles coming in to feed on salmon in the Samish river).

We’ll need to configure some panels that we can fold down in really bad weather to keep out some wind and blowing rain/snow, but at least the shell is now mostly complete. Hopefully it will make winter a little more manageable out there.

And today, after many years of lamenting birds and bats getting trapped in our shop building, I pulled out a tall ladder and resolved to plug the old chimney, as it was the only remaining way they could be getting in-

The opening at the top was a 6 inch square with rounded corners.

Which reminded me of some nursery pots I had stashed. Turns out they were the right shape, but just a smidge small, so I turned to bubblewrap and duct tape to make up the difference.

beauty, eh?

And here is my homegrown solution neatly filling the chimney opening

With any luck this will prevent the needless deaths of any more bats and birds (and bird droppings all over the inside of the shop). yay.

And, of course there are wool projects in the works! The Holiday Festival is now less than a month away, so I am trying to keep up a two-hats-a-week pace.

This weeks hats are both of the earflap variety ( i love the fit of these- so cozy!)

And four more sheep puppets got their peepers today as well-

Thanks goodness for long weekends.

Happy veterans day to all fellow veterans out there, and Go Hawks! 🙂

Bear BnB

We had some unexpected visitors this weekend!

They arrived in the wee hours Saturday morning-

And stayed hunkered down in this tree (the one in the middle) all Saturday

Bear BnB tree earlier this summer

Here is a good picture of Mama bear that The Man snapped Saturday morning

I first noticed them when I was taking Tiny Gus out to potty Saturday morning. It was still dark, but I heard a loud rustling noise, so I put him back in the house and went back out to investigate with a flashlight. The noise led me to the tree, and my flashlight beam caught the eyes of MamaBear about halfway up the tree (total height I’m guessing is about 60-70 feet?)

So at first we thought it was just one bear.

We really hoped that it would find an opportunity to come down and leave before it got light out that morning, but the sun came up and we could see that there was more than one. We called Fish and Wildlife, and they said the visitors weren’t likely to cause any trouble if we just left them alone.

Later that morning we checked the saved webcam video which showed us 3 bears arriving at about 2 am. The whole family.

At that point we knew that they’d probably be up in the tree until the sun went back down and there wasn’t as much human activity. So The Man set up another camera pointed at the tree so we could see when/how they decided to depart.

As it got dark we tuned in to the new cam, a little anxious about what they might do and where they might go once they came down from the tree.

Around 8 pm they finally came down, and when they did we realized there were a total of 4 bears! Mama and three cubs.

First they scouted out the fenceline south of the tree, between our yard and the neighbor’s pasture. But they must have decided that the cubs couldn’t make it over that fence/gate (it has some barbed wire at the top)

Then they went back towards our garden/pasture (the direction we saw them arriving from

But something over there must have spooked them, because within a couple of minutes they raced back to the tree

After that, they regrouped and decided to to try the fenceline to the north of the tree. I believe that from there they popped over the fence (which is shorter over there) right next to our enormous Coast Redwood tree, after they left us some parting gifts

bear poop


Finalizing the (Rooster) Roster

Things were getting a little stressful for the chicken girls out in the shed, so we had to make some hard decisions about roosters.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the option of keeping a practice squad, so there was only space for a starter and a backup.

Here are the guys who made the cut and will be heading up the team for the 19-20 season.


And Mr. Pink

They seem to be adjusting to their leadership roles, and hopefully will help keep the girls safe as they range around the pasture. I’m thankful that now that our rooster population is thinned things are quite a bit calmer in the shed. Hopefully we kept the right guys , but only time will tell.

But today, everything is sunshine and chin scritches out in the pasture.

(sorry about the vertical orientation- that wasn’t well planned, but wanted to share it anyway 🙂 )

Was nice to get to visit with Dottie a little this afternoon. Apparently she’s forgiven me for yesterday’s deworming and hoof check.

Dottie also figured prominently in this weeks wool-work, as both singles and a two-ply-

Dottie (silver) and Esther (white) yarns

Aren’t sheeps just the best?

Beautiful Bobbins

Look what came in the mail on Thursday! New bobbins for Elsa 🙂

I’d been missing spinning on her since I sent her flyer assembly away for bobbin fitting, and so have been spending a little time getting reacquainted and trying out her new accessories.

I really like spinning on her. She’s smooth and steady- with a firm (but not aggressive) take up. So that’s been fun.

In knitting news, I’m now focusing my energies on getting ready for the Bow Holiday market, which is coming up fast (Dec 7).

So I’m knitting hats, spinning up some fun color combinations

and trying out a new charted pattern to determine it’s headband/hat potential- Norwegian Rose

And the inside-

Yep. Lined for extra toasty-ness. Winter is coming!