Changing Tides – June 2015

The blog has been quiet of late which reflects that I’ve also been taking things at a slower pace. Dad’s recent passing has been sad for the family and he has left a big hole. I wish he had been able to spend more time at the Convent and enjoy the garden.

When I returned home, there were some fairly drastic changes to the garden. Before leaving, the plants were slowing down but everything was still lush and the roses still (just) flowering. Upon coming home, the cruel Winter frosts had hit and the garden had turned to yellow and brown. My natural instincts are to prune and tidy, but the dead growth actually protects other plants and I don’t want to encourage new growth yet when we still have much of Winter to come. So for now I’ll just focus on building up garden beds and compost and leave the plants alone.

The passionfruit has looked better.
The passionfruit has looked better.
The Dahlias definitely don't appreciate frost.
The Dahlias definitely don’t appreciate frost.

One of the brighter moments was my first egg. The girls have done me proud and now most days I seem to find an egg or two – quite unexpected given I was told they were young and not to anticipate eggs in Winter.

For now, pace has slowed down a bit with long cold days, which suits me at present.

My girls - four rose comb bantams - in their chook tractor.
My girls – four rose comb bantams – in their chook tractor.
Two perfect little bantam eggs.
Two perfect little bantam eggs.

The Latest Convent Residents

The chook tractor is quite large, has wheels so I can move it around the property and plenty of ground room as well as a large protected upstairs nesting area.
The chook tractor is quite large, has wheels so I can move it around the property and plenty of ground room as well as a large protected upstairs nesting area.

It’s been a while coming but now it’s all happened at once. A kindly local put together my amazing but very big and heavy chook tractor¬†that has been sitting in the carport since before Christmas. The next day I arrived home to find four lovely girls settling themselves in.

This lovely girl is so friendly and follows you as you walk around the coop. If you put your finger in you can pat her or she'll give you a friendly nudge.
This lovely girl is so friendly and follows you as you walk around the coop. If you put your finger in you can pat her or she’ll give you a friendly nudge.

I have Rosecomb Bantams and they are pretty, friendly little birds. They came running over to me and let me pat them immediately through the wire. The dogs, however, are another story and went totally crazy. Popcorn settled quickly and only spikes interest if the little dogs get the birds to flap. But the little dogs are besotted and going through conditioning of gradual introduction to their new housemates. I was assured that the girls are used to annoying dogs and will cope, but I’d prefer them to have a settled¬†start to their new home. At present, if the dogs annoy them, they go up into their enclosed nesting area for some privacy but one chook, in particular seems quite unperturbed by canines.

For now, I’m just enjoying their company and giving them a few treats to make them feel welcome. Once settled, they can have a dog free run around the yard for an hour or two each day and, of course, the tractor will regularly be moved to other sections of the yard for happy grazing.

It will be an exciting day when I find my first egg.

IMG_3231
The girls exploring their new home.