Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Spring has arrived at Dog Trot Farm. Unfortunately along with spring comes Black Fly season. Black flies are those teeny tiny gnats that love to torment we humans as we attempt any outdoor activity. They fly in your eyes, up your nose, buzz in your ears, get caught in your throat. They crave the warmth of the human body. A gnat bite will usually cause a welt- sometimes small, sometimes large, accompanied by relentless itching. Plain and simple black flies can drive you CRAZY. "Is it buggy out?" some of the most repeated words you will hear in New England at this time of year. It may be a wonderful warm spring day, you have a chore list a mile long to attend to, but if there is no breeze- just forget it- nothing will be accomplished with those "buggers" buzzing around. Some of us have resorted to DEET, Avon's Skin So Soft, and even old "bug dope" recipes. Nothing really seems to deter these nasty creatures. Then there is the option of hats with netting, which help protect head and face. There is also a full body suit made in the same manner which zips up the front- not much of a fashion statement but I am told it helps tremendously. This may just be the year that I invest in one. Peas, lettuce, spinach and carrots have made their presence in the kitchen garden. Pumpkins, bottle gourds, and flower seeds have been planted indoors and are waiting for warmer conditions before being transplanted. The remainder of the vegetable garden will be planted by late May or when there is no longer a threat of frost or snow.

My girls, well they feel as though they are being treated like prison inmates. I am the warden and Winslow Homer the prison guard and they are in lock down. Since Georgia's death the girls have had one weekend furlough. I dare not leave them out for long, even with my presence in the yard the fox is just lurking waiting for the right opportunity. My neighbor informed me of a fox heading across our field with a white hen in it's mouth.I do not own any white hens. Poor little white hen I hope it escaped the jaws of death and found it's way home.
It is tough on my chickens not being able to free range, they led such a bucolic existence, but this is reality.
So with that being said on Saturday DH began the coop yard extension. Their outdoor space will be doubled in size, with an area for bathing and more perches.
And Gladys, sweet Gladys she appears to be improving each day. She is not capable of flying to the roost at night so I keep her inside in the "infirmary". She has not been laying, but that is the least of my worries. She appears happy with her environment, eats, drinks. She allows me to pet her, however, is not ready to be held. Having a chicken in the house is such lovely company. Gladys is beginning to find her singing voice once again. She is such a love and I am so grateful she is alive. Gladys and I thank you all for your kind comments, concerns, and e-mails. My girl truly is an amazing chicken.