Sunday, February 27, 2011

Very odd behaviour by The Bok Flock

I'm often totally bewildered by chook behaviour - or perhaps not chook behaviour overall, but the bizarre behaviour of my little bok flock.

If this is the last time I post, it will be because I've caught my death of cold because of the bok flock.

It is pelting with rain here today, the sort of rain that's like an ocean with holes in it. Where are the bok flock? Why, out in the midst of it of course! Bedraggled and huddling under a few very young saplings that don't provide any shelter whatsoever. Even whilst shaking my head at the contrary and seeming obtuseness of my chickens, silly old me went out into the rain trying to herd them inside their coop. Funny old girls running about trying their best to avoid the coop. I managed to scoop up Cloud Zen and pop her in, but the others just ran into the rain looking at me as if it was very rude of me to try to spoil their fun.  Can you see the lovely big deck they can shelter under if they don't want to go into their coop?  Do you think they'll go there?  Nope.
I then took Master Bok's little ikea table outside so at least they'd have something to shelter under (you'd think they would run and shelter under the trampoline or on the deck but nope they eschew such hardy structures preferring instead to show me how tough they really are) and put some treats under to lure them there - but again, I met with failure.  Meanwhile I'm drenched to the bone, in my second change of clothes, hair dripping wet and barely able to see because of the water streaming into my eyes and the fogging up of my glasses...
Can you see the entrance to their run/coop over there on the right?  It's not at all hard to get to and they all march in there at 7pm every is a run which leads to a coop.  Although the run has a roof I put tarp over it anyway to stop rain getting in through the wire on the sides.
I think it's Astrid. I've caught the others looking at her as if to say 'come ON let's shelter already' but because she is their leader and seems to enjoy being soaked...they are resigned to the same fate. Sigh.  Perhaps they'll hold a revolt after this? 

Another fine example of odd chook behaviour:

Yesterday I tried to feed our chooks a few worms from our worm their absolute disgust! Their reaction to the worms was similar to the reaction I garnered when I tried to feed them snails (which they still can't stand).

This is Astrid the leader having a good look.  I've put a dandelion near the worm so you can see where it is.

This is Astrid turning away trying to clean her beak of the slime...

Astrid fully ran away squawking her disgust that I could try to feed her such a wriggly horrible creature...poor old worm.  Can you see her looking reproachfully at me?

 This is the same reaction from Sophie...the others pretty much just had a cursory glance at that point, said 'Ewwwwww!' in chook language when they saw the worm wriggle and ran away...

The worm ended up burrowing down into the lawn probably thanking its lucky stars.

Bok boks eh...they are such odd creatures.  I'm staring out at the teeming raining glumly watching my chooks get wetter and wetter - but still not seeking shelter in any of the right places! 

Here's what I've picked for lunch today:

At least I can keep these guys under shelter if they need it.  Sneeze.  Sniffle.  Cough.  Ugh...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Warrandyte Pottery Expo

Today is our last Saturday of Summer and judging from the weather forecast, the last warm day too!

Doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer this year.  We've even had the fire on for warmth a few times! 

We visited the pottery festival in Warrandyte this morning - a collection of artists who gather by the river each year to display their art.

It was a gorgeous morning for it, already 28 degrees at 10am. 

The yarra is so full after the rain we've had this summer.   

I love these guys:

Such happy creatures to welcome us!

Kind generous souls making available their home grown produce for peckish visitors to nibble at!

I'm looking forward to seeing the 2011 bench at next year's expo!

How amazing are the works in this photo by Jena Bedson of Jena Ceramics.  I love those ceramic sunflowers.  The birdbath and the planter on totems are so covetable!

I was so happy to meet Julia from Mud Factory again, we already have one of her 'chooks' in our garden!

I love this little ceramic mobile from madebytruly.
 and of course I couldn't not take a picture of this hen!

Warrandyte village is filled with beautiful handcrafted items like this public water fountain:

And this crooked water vessel and mosaic bench at the bakery 
There are tributes to Warrandyte's history as well, be it in a plaque or in a tile.

I love seeing a village taking pride in its history and its community.

 Can you guess from my shadow what I'm carrying home from the market...?

I think they fit right in (the two ceramic sunflowers I brought home).  I LOVE them!!

We had a great morning, thank you beautiful talented artists!

 Master Bok wishes he could take this friendly fellow wouldn't he be lovely on the front lawn!  Someone for visitors to hug!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heart felt prayers for NZ

To all my New Zealand blog friends, I hope your loved ones are safe. New Zealand and Christchurchers are in my thoughts and prayers this night.          

My prayers and thoughts are also with the Libyan people and what they are going through as their authorities massacre innocent civilians. I'm constantly reminded time and again of how fortunate I am to have been born into democracy and freedom, things I often take for granted and are so central and so essential to our lives.

With devastation whether from natural disaster or unhinged dictators, always comes hope and I find people with their stories of courage and fortitude who live through such times to be so inspirational.

My heart is full with the emotions that come from being a human being reading about and watching news and twitter feeds on what is going on in our crazy world today. There are no words to describe it - anything to be said seems so inadequate.  At times like these, being a helpless watcher so far away, we wonder what can we do to help.  We can send prayers and thoughts their way and donate to places like The Red Cross.

Malaysian Curry Plant - Murraya koenigii

I've been making curry lately and wanted to show you the curry leaves I use.

Murraya koenigii is the name of the plant!

This is our curry plant.  It was grown from a cutting about 5 years ago and is now enormous!  I wasn't sure it would survive in Melbourne but it has flourished despite our cold winters!  We did have to relocate it to my mums place when we moved a few years ago but it is still flourishing frost and all.

It loves full sun.  The leaves have a wonderful subtle nutty smell when you crush or rub them, but don't smell unless you do.
Warning:  Whilst the fruit is edible, the seeds are posionous so don't eat them!!

If growing from seed, you have to plant the fruit whole as it won't germinate if grown from dried or shriveled seeds.  Still the best is to get a seedling.  I recently saw a tiny tiny plant measuring no more than 10 cm tall selling for $15.  Scandalous!

The flowers are small white and fragrant.

A funny story and I wish I could find the old photos, a year ago little old Chinese ladies (the neighbours saw them but never in time to catch them) kept driving past, jumping out and hacking into the plant and dashing away again.  My mum was so annoyed that she set up a neighbourhood watch for the thieves and set a little chicken wire fence around the plant with a big sign saying 'DO NOT STEAL. IF YOU WANT SOME RING THE DOORBELL AND ASK NICELY'.

I'll try to dig up that old photo :)

From time to time she still does get drive by stealings of the curry plant but she doesn't mind too much as long as they don't hack into the plant and destroy it.

The leaves go wonderfully well with kaffir lime leaves!... make a yummy Malaysian style bean and eggplant curry like this:

Have a lovely tuesday everyone!  Hope you encounter and scoff down something yummy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fugitive chook!

This pic is too funny!

Doesn't look too impressed! 

Seeing I've posted the pic of the fugitive chook I will also take the opportunity to post more pics of my flock!

Whilst I am the Keeper of the Bok Flock, Astrid is undoubtably their leader.  She is the first to try anything new and only when she's given her 'Bok' of approval, will the others dare to tuck in.  Of course if the grub particularly tasty, the Approval Bok may not be given for some time, but she always leaves a fair bit for the others being the kind and generous soul she is.  She also loves to go for a run, flapping madly not quite taking off but just enjoying getting the others into a flap!  (you know how it is with chooks when one takes off the others all drop what they're doing and follow along for the fun of it)


I've been rather worried about Cloud Zen since Bok Choy (the other silky) joined the big coop in the sky.  I've been watching her anxiously for signs of depression and loneliness.  She is more solitary now that she doesn't have her shadow by her side, but she is doing well with the others.  My eye is always drawn to her first when I look in the garden, she is quite majestic and rather resembles a ship in full sail I often think. 

Cloud Zen.  Can you see Primrose there too? 

Very glad to see little grey Grace's tail feathers growing back.  She had been rather henpecked from the place I got her from and was missing a tail.  It's starting to look fluffy now!  Same with Sophie, her tail feathers were pecked by Astrid when they were establishing 'pecking' order but are well on their way back to their old fullness again.


I really love Primrose's fluffy tail!  Here it is pointing towards the camera.  I think they look like fluffy vintage bloomers!  :)

I really really love my hens!  They are an endless source of entertainment, company and really are a little soap opera all on their own.  Watching them go about their day is one of my favourite things to do when I've got a bit of relax time (whenever that is!).  If you don't have hens yet...I hope you'll give it more thought and get some soon.  You won't regret it!!

Below are seeds I've found germinating in the apple crates - not sure what they are they could be anything!!  Also in the plant pot I threw in some old carrot and radish seeds not entirely sure they'd sprout but they have!  So guess I'll transplant them out into the vegie plot!  Oh and there's a little caterpillar on the siverbeet that the chooks missed.  Sometimes they just can't see them?!!  So I pulled it off and fed it to Astrid.
Have a wonderful Monday everyone!


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