Friday, April 6, 2018

Sheltered Under the Wings

Spring has been a busy time around here!  It is a time for new life to come forth, for the promise of spring to make her entrance, and for winter to bid his last farewell goodbye.  But as is quite typical for winter, reluctance to leave on his part is playing a big role in the whole endeavor, and we remain in the season of springter... for now.

With spring comes the nudging in the hearts of some of our hens to sit and hatch out their eggs.  Our little banty, sweet Bella began to sit on eggs late in February! At first, I felt it was too soon, but then decided to go ahead and see what would happen, so I let her sit on a variety of eggs.

Bella has been our Momma hen that we have had for 3 years, and she hatched out 5 sweet little baby chicks around St. Patrick's Day.  It has been a very cold spring here,
but even so, her fluffy feathers have kept her little chicks safe and warm beneath her wings. 

The chicks were hatched in our chicken coop, but after they were hatched,
I moved them into my greenhouse to keep them safe from the other hens, who are quite cruel to little ones.  
This little chick was injured during her birthing process and had crippled feet.  She would just sit on her haunches and cry and cry.  It was heartbreaking to witness this and so I researched how to help her.  
BandAid splints were recommended for chicks born with crippled feet, to help straighten their feet out. 
The BandAid is sticky on both sides and holds their feet straight. I left it on for two days and
noticed that she walked better after taking it off.  

Here is a closer look at how her feet looked before I splinted them. 

And here is how the BandAid splints looked.  She wasn't too happy with me for doing this at the time, nor was Bella!  

However, I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to report that after removing the splints, she was walking on her feet, instead of her haunches, and now, about a week later, you can't even tell that she ever had a problem! Amazing! We are so thankful for the good progress she has made :) 

 As I've watched Bella nurture and care for her baby chicks, I was reminded of Psalms 91, one of my all-time favorite psalms that says this:


Psalm 91 
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: 
my God; in him will I trust. 
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, 
and from the noisome pestilence. 
He shall cover thee with his feathers, 
and under his wings shalt thou trust: 
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

When the Psalms says "He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust"... I saw my sweet little Bella spreading her feathers and covering her little ones with her wings, and I saw such a beautiful picture of the Lord in that.  And then as I watched the little one with the crippled legs, I saw how Bella saved little scraps of food for her and took them to her when she could hardly walk.  And then she would run and hide under Bella's wings for heat, warmth, comfort, and safety.  And in this beautiful picture of the Lord, I saw myself, running to Him for comfort, safety, and protection in all situations.  As I walk each day, I look up to Him, up into the skies, and I feel the comfort of His wings around me.  How wonderful it is to know that just as my sweet little chick would run to its mother, we can run to Christ, and hide under the shadow of His wings when the world around us gets worrisome.  And once we are secure and safe under His arms, we can peek out and look around, and not be afraid.  He has us covered with His wings!  

My little thought for the day... it has been a beautiful picture to see each day as this little chick has grown underneath the constant care of her mother and to see the picture of Christ in that as I tend to my chickens.  I just wanted to share that with you, it has been so amazing to see! 


~~~~~~~



Did you know that you can make your own refills for foaming hand soap? I ran out of this lovely smelling
hand soap and decided to use the same bottle to make some more. It is SO easy to do!  Just fill the bottle
3/4 of the way to the top, and then pour in 1 tablespoon of your favorite liquid soap. I used Dr. Bronner's, but you could also use a bubble bath or shower gel soap as well.  Screw the lid back on, and voila, you have your own foaming hand soap! I also added approximately 4-5 drops of grapefruit essential oil, because I love the fresh scent of citrus. 


You can see the foamy soap that it creates... and think how much money you can save by making your own! 

Oh the sunsets - they have been few and far between as clouds hang low, heavy with rain.
 But when we do get to see a sunset, it is glorious! 


I've got tomatoes, peppers and peas started in my little mini greenhouse.  They have poked their heads out of the soil,
and are enjoying their warm comfy environment! 
 
On a nice sunny morning, this sweet girl looked out at me across from her fence, and I knew she wanted
to be petted, so I walked over and spent some time petting her.  I love my horse friends that
I get to meet as I walk! 

Spring run-off has created this seasonal creek, and the horses were taking advantage of the cold clear waters!


One sunny afternoon, I took my tea on the back porch to enjoy the sunshine and the sound of melting snow.
 Immediately a little beggar showed up!
 She was patient long enough until I gave her a piece of my shortbread.  Little rascal! 
 
While the snow has for the most part melted around us... still the mountains sport their white tops.  I love the contrasts of snow on the mountains, and spring in the valleys below. 

Since I'm pretty sure that Bella's brood is comprised of 3 roosters and 2 hens, I wanted to add more to my flock this spring.  After adding 12 chicks from the feed store, some of my friends heard about the wonderful place I have to raise little chicks, and asked if I would mind raising chicks for them as well.  So instead of 17 new baby chicks, I now have a grand total of 42!  Bella takes care of her 5 in a little enclosure in my garden, while the remainder of the 37 chicks run around inside my greenhouse.  I've enjoyed having all these little cuties to care for, they are so fun to watch! They love their new environment, as the greenhouse is completely safe for them to run around and stretch their legs, and some are even practicing flying and roosting now. It is amazing to see! 

Another sunset that I captured on a late evening walk with my husband. 

The layers of colors in this sunset are most brilliant now in early spring where green grass is pushing its way to the forefront and snow has finally taken a backseat.  Winter is now taking backstage and spring is prancing daintily around, much like my sweet horse friend does.  Soon a blanket of spring wildflowers and blooms will arrive,
 and I am awaiting that time quite expectantly!

Most of the snow has melted from my garden, and it won't be long now and it will be planting time!  We always look forward to this time of year.  All the bulbs I planted last Fall have begun popping their heads up out of the ground, and in about a month or so, we should have a bounty of color, and I can't wait!  This week it has been particularly cold, snowy and rainy.  In fact, when we had our Easter Sunday service, as we were singing about the blood washing whiter than snow, we looked outside, and it had begun to really snow.  The snow has not "stuck" as the saying goes, but has melted upon impact, but still, the fact that it is cold enough to snow in April means that we are going to have a late spring.

But there is hope in my garden, as I walk out there each day and check my bulbs as they shoot through the earth... soon ... very soon I will have masses of color in my little area that we planted last fall, and the promise of spring will arrive.  You can be sure we are all awaiting that time quite anxiously!  It seems that spring has been later this year for most places around our country, but when it gets here,  it ought to be glorious with all the extra moisture we have received this year.  It won't be long now :) 

49 comments:

  1. Beautiful post dear Marilyn!

    we used to have lots of chicken back in village when i was little and mom was huge fond of having flocks of hens around!
    sweet bella reminded me that lovely times of my life :)

    our hen used to hatch 22 eggs at a time and in spite of odds of season or something else they succeeded to have 20 to 18 most of the time and just like you mom used to have her yard full with more than fifty chickens

    this is great that you were able to help little chick and she is fine now!

    your small greenhouse is wonderful !
    i agree that Lord gives his ability to love and care to his creatures and this is why he made MOMS!

    either i love to see the snow covered peaks of hills ,your surroundings are GORGEOUS!!!

    beautiful sunset!

    hope your plants will show up in spring with all their grace and beauty!

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  2. I so enjoyed reading this post. A long time ago I raised a crop of 6 Bantams, given as eggs. I put them under one of our hens and soon she had 6 tiny baby bantams waddling about with her. She used to do the same sheltering with her wings. I found it so touching.

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  3. It was brilliant the way you helped that chick, Marilyn. I always enjoy your posts!

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  4. Awww...chickie's....love them. Thank you for the smiles. Our snowed had melted, but then, we woke up this morning to about 3 inches of fresh powder, I guess winter is not done with us here in western NY yet, sigh.

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  5. We're still in Springter as well. Short sleeve weather yesterday in the low 60's, and today we are supposed to get a wintery mix.

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  6. Oh I loved , loved, loved this post Marilyn. I admit while reading the first part about Bella, the very same scripture came to my mind, and then you wrote it down! God is SO good. I have run so very often to the shelter of His wings. Just in the past week I have taken refuge there.
    The rain is pelting down right now in Spokane but I can still see the white tops of the mountains around us. Spring is slow in giving way to winter this year. My doctor said yesterday that it will probably be a winter directly into summer this year.
    Have a lovely day my friend.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  7. I so enjoyed seeing and learning about the little chick. How wonderful that his/her little feet are in working order!! You certainly shared some beautiful pictures with us today, and a beautiful scripture too!!

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  8. Everything about this post is delightful. My mind was so into it as I read that I think I even smelled the sweet mountain air, so cold and crisp and fresh. Oh, one more deep breath before I say goodbye :)
    Have a lovely week.
    Connie :)

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  9. Your mini greenhouse looks very handy!

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  10. This post is filled with so many wonderful things. How very special to be able to help that little chick get good feet once again.I like seeing the chicks under the lamp.Mom used to raise chicks and I always enjoyed watching them grow.

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  11. You did a wonderful job with the feet of the baby chick!! How wonderful that it worked so well. I don't even know what BandAid splints are. The green house is a lovely idea for the momma and babies. Love the foam soap! You shared lovely things. Have a great weekend!

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  12. My what a lovely interesting post.. Love all the things you are doing and the chicks are sweet.. We won't get ours for a couple of months yet. So great you are so handy.. smile.. Love the scripture.. One of my faves.. God bless, my friend.. xo

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  13. Such a joy to visit and be uplifted. You have done wonders for the little chicks feet. Spring is a little elusive this year but I am ever hopeful.

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  14. What a beautiful post, my heart and soul were blessed by your little chick's story and how it relates to the love God has for each of us in every day that we are blessed with.

    Have a wonderful Sunday and a great week ~ FlowerLady

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  15. Such a beautiful post to read on a Sunday morning. I love your analogy of our heavenly father's wings and your sweet Bella's. The horses and scenery around you is quite idyllic and soothing.

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  16. How I love your correlation between Bella and scripture, Marilyn. It warms my heart. Heaven AND nature really do sing of His Glory, don't they?! Your photos give me hope that Spring might just be around the corner....We got another storm yesterday, with snow and cold winds....but I am watching a pair of mourning doves outside my window as I type. They are pecking at the corn we put out for the ground feeders.
    Have a happy week, my friend.
    Debbie
    xo

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  17. The chicks are absolutely precious, Marilyn! So glad you could help the little one with the crooked feet recover; if she could tell you thanks, I know she would. But in caring for the "least of these," I'm sure you've heard a resounding thank you from the Lord.
    Glad you all are finally thawing out. Yes, it's been a colder than usual spring down here in Georgia, and we are so looking forward to warmer weather.
    Blessings to you!

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  18. Oh how I enjoyed your story of the little chick that you helped with her feet, and the analogy of The Lord caring for us under His wings, just like the mother hen and her chicks...so beautiful and comforting. There is so much goodness and beauty in this post, I thank you. I always feel so refreshed when I come here to visit you. You make living in the very cold north look so inviting. Such beautiful scenery everywhere...how can you not love it and give glory to God? Thank you for allowing us a glimpse of such beauty.

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  19. Marilyn, It is always fun to visit and see a post from you. I love how a mother hen takes care of her brood. I was always the "chicken" person on the farm when we were growing up--in spite of having been attacked by a rooster and still have a couple of scars on my back to prove it. (I was 4 at the time).

    I do believe that God cares for us--just as you care for your 'brood''. xo Diana

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  20. How very special to be able to watch baby chicks grow! I'm so glad you have a place for them!
    I still have not bought a foaming hand soap pump yet....I really need to do that! I love Dr. Bronner's lavender liquid soap best.
    I'd be like you and stop to give the horses some attention to. :)
    How nice to have a lovely day to enjoy a cup of tea! Yes, I'm sure she was very patiently waiting for a snitch. hehehe
    I'm so happy for you that spring is emerging in colour! The snow here is slowly melting...and it's above freezing today. It's fun to see things start to grow again!
    I hope you have a lovely day!

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  21. Oh Marilyn, these little chicks are just precious...and what a beautiful parallel to that wonderful Psalm. The song "Under His Wings" came to mind as well and there is no place I'd rather be than under His protection and gentle care. Seeing your sweet chicks make me want to have some more than ever when we move to the country. You seem to be an expert so I might be asking for your advice! I have heard of the bandaid splints before for the crooked feet...they worked fantastic! It was so good to see a post from you. I hope you have a blessed week, dear friend! HUGS!

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  22. What a beautiful place you have Marilyn. I hope spring has come to you and you are not still covered in snow. You post was a blessing.

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  23. Oh I am so happy to hear that all came out so well with your little chic and you were able to get her feet back to working well again, that is so neat that someone had figured out to try that and it worked. What a blessing to have God by our side and always keeping us under his wings, what we have to go through to fix ourselves may not be what we want to go through but is for our good. Great message you had with the story of your chickens! Wow 42 to take care of, that should be a lot of work but fun too I imagine! Gorgeous sunsets and I too think spring is coming a lot later this year with the cold temps and rain we have been getting also, the weeks forecast looks promising though :)

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  24. Thank you. I so needed to be reminded of this today. Having just lost my mom a month ago today, we unexpectedly had to put our little Cocker Spaniel to sleep last night. It's a hard time for me. As an empty-nester, my little Ava was my constant companion.

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  25. Enjoyed your pictures so much as I always do. You know I love the teacup! So darling. Oh how I praise Him that I am truly sheltered under the wing of the Most High God, my Savior! What a sweet and precious reminder today dear friend. I hope you have a wonderful week.
    Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  26. I had seen your sweet chick on IG and am so happy to hear that "Bandy" has made such joyous progress. Isn't it a miracle of what love can do. May you have a wonderful week of lovely weather!

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  27. Oh, what a blessed assurance to know that we are sheltered under the wings of our Redeemer! I cling to Him...I want to stay close enough to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He is so precious to me. Psalm 91 is one of my favorite passages, too...I love the many promises. They are all contingent upon us dwelling in that secret place. May we never stray from it! Thank you for this sweet encouragement, my precious, dear friend. Sending love and hugs to you today!

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  28. precious chicks, so many fun details about their early life and progress. it's a wonderful story, something i do not know much about, but i sure did enjoy the pictures. i have always wanted to raise chickens but i am not really capable!!

    your pictures are beautiful...and thanks for the soap tip, something i will definitely try!!

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  29. Hello,
    I enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing the story of little chick. What a blessing you were able to help little chick.
    As always I enjoy reading about your gardening and the photos you share.
    Love, Carla

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  30. Hi Marilyn! I'm hold the #2018TopsThatPop sewalong again this year and would love to have you join in!

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  31. I was so happy to see that little chick's feet were straightened by the splits, and I hope she grows up to be a beautiful and productive hen!

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  32. Your post is lovely. There is a bird nest outside our window and watching mama protect the eggs is indeed a picture of how God shelters us under His wings.

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  33. Oh I love how you helped the chick!! That is just the sweetest thing and you are a very, very kind soul.

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  34. I so enjoyed your post with all the lovely scenery and the beautiful animal creatures. I love your Bella and I can see how she would be a loving mother hen to all the little chicks. I'm so glad you were able to help the crippled one. You've now given her a much better life ahead now that her feet have been straightened.

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  35. I loved reading your comparison of how Bella took care of the young one and the Lord and how He takes care of us, Marilyn. It was amazing to see how that band-aids were used as splints on the baby chick and how it turned her crippled feet into beautiful little feet! Amazing! I enjoyed everything ...Riley is certainly growing! She's just beautiful. Enjoy those spring blooms when they appear. :-) xx

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  36. All your little chicks are so sweet! That is a cool trick with the bandaid splints. I will have to remember that. We have been losing chickens instead of gaining them around here. Something has been digging into their coop and killing them. We caught one skunk (lovely smells around here afterwards - let me assure you! :-) ) but have still lost 5 hens since. We tried more traps yesterday but it avoided the tracks and came anyway. We will keep working on the situation! We will have to get more chicks than we planned but they will be sweet anyway!

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  37. What a sight that must have been for you to see the chickens hatch, Marilyn. Bella sure is a protective mama. How wonderful that the little one with the crippled feet is doing well now, and it's special that you helped out and had a part in that. Your tea and shortbread cookies look Yummy. Those are one of my favorites too. You live in a beautiful area, Marilyn, often seeing horses on your walks and beautiful skies. Enjoy your garden this Spring!

    ~Sheri

    ~Sheri

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  38. You live in a beautiful place! HOPE in your garden and HOPE in your post: it is a pleasure visiting you!Hugs!

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  39. Wonderful post with so much to enjoy. Love the picture of the chicks with reference to Psalm 91. God is so good to us. Hope your week is going well.

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  40. Oh such a sweet and loving post! I'm so glad to see the chick doing so well. Each of God's little creatures deserves to feel well and happy and loved! Mama hens sure are amazing aren't they? I bet you are looking forward to your lovely garden again this year. I haven't done much but maybe the "bug" will bite me one of these days! We may get snow here tonight! xoxo Marilyn

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  41. Lovely post. The back chicks are so cute. Enjoyed the lovely sunset, the horses and of course just reading what you had to say.

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  42. Good Afternoon!
    Oh how I love the Idaho skies and the sunsets are always some of the very best in the entire U.S.
    Well, this post is just one of the most endearing ever. You mended the feet of a little innocent chick. This really and truly touches me.
    Did you read or watch the series All Creatures Great and Small? The heart of that Veterinarian was so big and kind. It seems to me your heart is just like that too.
    Blessings to you for a lovely and sunny weekend!
    Jemma

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  43. Your photographs are just lovely and so varied. I really enjoyed this post.
    So special to read and see how you were able to help the little chick ...

    May the rest of April be good for you.
    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

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  44. Sweet! :) I bet she never worries if she gets a little fluffier than normal!

    That mug is fantastic.

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  45. I follow you ons insta. But here it is so nice to read the background. Thank you!

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  46. The little chicks are so sweet, I'd love to hold one. And I'm so proud of you and the way you nursed the injured one back to health, it must be so wonderful to see her now.
    Amalia
    xo

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  47. Wonderful to catch up with you, Marilyn and see what is happening there in your beautiful, mountain world. I love your analogy of the sheltering wings - so touching. So sweet that you were able to help the little chick and protected the little family in your greenhouse. Little chicks are so precious. Gorgeous scenes - it is always so nice to come along with you on your walks and share tea with you, too. Thank you for the soap recipe, too. Wishing you sweet things for your weekend. xo Karen

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