Sunday, June 26, 2011
A long trip and some clipped wings
One of the good and bad things about being an academic is that you have to go to academic conferences. This can be fun, like a mini-vacation, and I always enjoy learning new things, but I do very like being home too.
There wouldn't be much point to keeping up an old Maine farmhouse and farm if I didn't like being here better than other places.
So I don't like to go to conferences that much. Enough to get me out of the door, but I tend to hurry back. Aimee likes it a good deal more than I do, and will often linger for a day or two.
Whatever happens, one of us has to be here to tend to the farm animals.
Accordingly, Aimee got back from her trip to the ABLE conference in New Mexico on Tuesday, as I was getting ready to leave for the AESS conference in Vermont on Thursday. Aimee came home two days late. I left a day late and come home a day early.
But even only three days instead of five was enough to make me feel like things were getting a little out-of-hand at home. I left with the barn literally groaning with hay, hurriedly pushed into the downstairs where the animals need to live, and my truck was full of wood off-cuts from the barn-building project at the college, just now getting done after nearly three years' on-and-off work.
The garden was OK when I left but pretty weedy when I got back. And the chickens were still getting out regularly, although they haven't threatened the neighbors' gardens.
So I sorted the hay and tidied up the wood. Aimee read up on how to clip chicken wings and we performed the operation yesterday afternoon, and now only one bird is regularly escaping instead of three. The top photo is of them free to wander a little in the North Paddock (west) now their wings are clipped. This paddock is fenced with chicken wire, and so they can have the run of it.
The pigs are no bother, as long as they're fed several times a day. They got the pizza I brought home from my trip, but forgot to unload from the car.
Finally, I went out to Reny's store in Belfast and got some new green wellies, my old black ones having developed leaks.
So, with all that and a little tidying around the house, it's feeling much more organized around here.
Here's one of our chickens brooding in the new hay.