The weekend started off with a little show from the toms and hens on our property.
As we pulled into our driveway, we were greeted by two toms who had their feathers all plumed out, courting the ladies...
The ladies weren't acting terribly impressed...
But that wasn't stopping the toms from performing!
We have seen the toms and hens at different times, but not together when they were courting.
You have no idea how big a tom is until you see him in full spread! They are about twice the size of the hens. After a while, the hens decided a chase was in order, and all of them took off into the woods... with the toms following of course. It was a great show while it lasted!
Then my family got busy helping us put up a greenhouse inside my garden area. We decided after the disaster last year with the very early freeze, that a greenhouse is a necessity in order to have tomatoes in the fall.
We put up a very simple and relatively inexpensive greenhouse using stakes, cattle panels, and large heavy duty plastic sheeting. We put stakes in the ground, and bent the cattle panels between them. We tied the cattle panels together with cable ties, and then covered with the plastic sheeting, and used heavy duty twine to tie down the plastic.
My husband had tilled up the garden area, and I spread all my compost and bags of leaves out. At the time this picture was taken, I had not planted yet.
The chicks are growing! We had to move them into a bigger box, and they are quite happy with their new temporary home. We used the huge box that our water pressure tank for the well came in, which is about 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 3 feet tall. It is perfect to house these little chicks who are "spreading their wings", and trying to fly.
They are already beginning to put on their adult feathers, and losing their baby down feathers. It is pretty neat to watch their personalities develop as they grow. I have found that the three chicks our hens hatched are still the most loving and excited to see me. The others still run for the corner when we put our hands in, but they are getting more brave about eating out of my hand.
A little town up in the mountains puts on a big celebration for Memorial Day, and we made our way up there just in time for their parade.
Saturday was a beautiful day, with temps up in the 80s, and bright blue skies.
We strolled through the little booths set up, and had lunch at one of the local restaurants, enjoying the beautiful day.
Then we left all the people behind, and headed up to a quiet little lake back in the mountains. We have visited here before and fished, but today we wanted to do some hiking in the backwoods.
The weather was simply perfect for a day out in the woods. The sun was warm but not too hot, and the air was warm with a tinge of cool mountain air, just perfect for a day back in the woods. As we arrived at the little lake, its serene setting was quiet, still, and inviting.
There were lovely little spots for fishing all around the lake, including this log bench that allowed for a perfect view of the lake set in its backdrop against the mountain.
We hiked around to the back of the lake, and then headed up towards the mountains for our hike.
Huge firs and cedars surrounded the lake with their stately trunks.
Fish jumped here and there as we walked. My husband and son somewhat mourned the fact that we did not bring fishing poles...
As we began to hike up the trail into the woods, we passed several mountain streams with little footbridges built across them. We walked for about 4-5 miles. I had brought along a pedometer, but it quit working sometime during our hike, and so by judging how far we can walk in an hour, I guessed that it was about 4-5 miles. Our son has been in a Forestry class in high school, and showed us his knowledge as we walked, pointing out bushes, shrubs, trees, plants, and using both their Latin names, and traditional or local names. We stopped midway and enjoyed a snack sitting on a mossy log overlooking the little mountain stream.
After our hike we found a little park store that sold homemade ice cream and waffle cones and enjoyed a sweet treat there.
After we got home, we came back out to the property to check on the garden. We brought the dogs along with us. One of the neighbor's cats showed up for a visit, and unfortunately, had to make a quick dash to the closest tree.
Roger was so excited about treeing the cat that he literally tried to climb the tree, while Annie on the other hand, sat still, and patiently watched the cat and never budged.
After several attempts to "climb the tree" Roger finally quit trying. I have never seen a dog try to climb a tree before! And the funniest part was this... Roger came over to see me as I called him away from the tree. When he rushed back to the scene... he began barking, and trying to climb up - the wrong tree! We were laughing so hard as we watched him bark, and run around the wrong tree, and try to climb it. I have never seen the old saying "you're barking up the wrong tree" in action before, and it was pretty funny! We had a great laugh over Roger and his silliness! We packed up the dogs into the truck so that the poor cat could make its way back down the tree, and drove over to the river.
Just as we arrived, the geese were flying in, so we did not let the dogs out of the truck. That was a terrible disappointment for the dogs, but it was for the best. As we walked to the edge of the bank, we saw little goslings running for the water, but this time, as they got closer to the water, they were now able to fly, and it was clear that they were attempting to join their parents out on the river for the night. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset as it cast its rosy blue-tinged colors across the landscape. Again, it was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day.
My husband, who is a veteran, and I shared on the ride back home, how thankful we are to live in such a beautiful land with freedoms that have been fought for us by those who just wanted to be able to live their lives in a land with abundant freedom. We are so blessed to live in this great country of the United States of America, and I pray that the freedoms that we enjoy today, and that were fought for by brave men and women, will continue on for many generations to come. I never want to forget the sacrifices made by so many, enjoyed by us all, and to be thankful for the blessings that we enjoy as we live in the Land of the Free!
Happy Memorial Day :)