Monday, May 21, 2007

Images from Our Rural Life

I uncovered this turtle (I'm pretty sure it's an eastern box turtle) while trying to rid my treeline of honeysuckle and avoid the poison ivy. I was mostly successful. That beautiful and sweet-smelling Japanese honeysuckle is an invasive, non-native species, btw.
I found this bird nest (blue chalk in the actual cup of the nest) in a sleeping hammock hanging in the kids' playset. Later, Emily said she'd seen birds flying in and out. There weren't any eggs and I don't know what kind of bird this belongs to. I thought it was old. Darn. Still, don't want them trying to raise babies in a playset.
Thomas has been experimenting with tent caterpillars. He and Emily collected over 60 of them in this critter keeper, gave them some leafy branches, maybe forsythia?, and waited to see what they'd do. Some died, unfortunately, but a lot created cocoons, and 2 days ago he released 4 moths! These are what's left.
In just seven days, this bee has made quite the tunnel.
This may appear to be a massacre, but the hens are actually having dust baths. Have I mentioned how funny chickens are?

Dust Bath A behavior pattern whereby chickens dig themselves a hole in the ground and immerse themselves in the loosened earth, rolling around and trying to get as dirty as possible. Dust bathing is an important defense against mites and lice, and if they don't have access to a dust bath, they need an artificial dust bath set up indoors.

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dani said...

Great photos! I loved the chickens. *smile*

Silvia said...

They look like they're just having so much fun, don't they? Thanks for visiting!

Jen said...

Our chickens do the same funny thing and every time they fool me into thinking they are dead. I run over with oh my goodness wide open eyes to find them just dust bathing. I never thought to take a picture of it, though. My kids loved the picture of the box turtle.

Silvia said...

Don't you love it when they get up and fluff their feathers back into place and there's a big dust cloud around them?

betty said...

VERY interesting post! Especially loved the part about the chickens! I've never heard about that!

Marjorie said...

Keep your turtle picture 'on file' so you can recognize him/her again! My dds and ds have named all the turtles in our yard and follow their comings and goings with much glee. (We posted on turtles this field day as a result :-) Adorable chickens too!