The Chicks Out Grow Another Crate

Anne on my hand

The chicks have once again outgrown their crate.  This time they really are going in the barn. They have to, the next dog crate they go into belonged to Frieda and it’s too big to fit in the laundry room.

Anyway, everything about them is getting bigger, including their pop and their smell.

They’re harder to tell apart too, the markings on the top of their heads are fading.  For now, Kitty is bigger than Anne, so I distinguish them that way.

We’ve had them for three weeks today.

I’ll keep the heat lamp on them for another two weeks or so then it will be time for them to go outside.  We’ll have to introduce them into the chicken coop with the other hens slowly.  They have to be big enough to protect themselves otherwise the adult hens can hurt or kill them.

Anne and Kitty too big for their crate.


My Daily Robin Photo

Robin will not be a lamb forever, so while he still is I’ll post as many sweet pictures of him as I can.  He’s got one of those great Romney smiles.

Thanks for all the pre-orders on my Robin Magnets.  I should get them by Monday and then I’ll be able to fill your orders and put the magnets up for sale in my Etsy Shop.

You can see what they look like here and email me if you’d like one. ( you can see how much Robin has grown since I took the photo of him I used for the magnet). They’re $6 each + $1 shipping for one or more.  I take checks, Paypal, and Venmo.

Koi Quilt, The Koi Legend and A Video


“Koi fish are associated with positive imagery … they are known as symbols of strength and perseverance, as seen in their determinative struggle upstream. … they are also known as symbols of a destiny fulfilled.” Kio Story

I finished designing my Koi quilt today and hung it on the barn to get a good photo of it.  The light is much better outside of my studio and the video shows the colors of the quilt even more accurately than a still photo.

The wind was blowing, so a video seemed the perfect way to capture the quilt.  I like how the wind gives the effect of the Koi swimming underwater.  And towards the end of the video, the quilt almost seems to be breathing.

This quilt came together so quickly I think because I was so focused on it.

I worked on it straight through the day yesterday, from early in the morning till 7pm,  stopping only for lunch and to feed the animals.  This morning there wasn’t much left to do. I tried a bunch of different fabrics and combinations of fabric, but simplicity won out.

There is a Chinese legend that Koi swam upstream and one Koi spent one hundred years trying to get up a waterfall while the others gave up. The Koi finally succeeded and was rewarded by the gods by being turned into a Golden Dragon, “an image of power and strength”.

I’m not sure why I was driven to make this quilt and so focused on it. But I thought it interesting when I read the story of the Koi, how I made this quilt in the same spirit at the Koi swimming upstream.

I still have to make a backing for my Koi quilt and then tack it.

My Koi Quilt

Sheep Shearing Early Friday Morning


That’s Pumpkin upfront then Socks, Issachar, Asher, Suzy, Kim, and Merricat. Constance is to the right and Liam is all the way behind Fate.  Lori and Robin and Biddy are grazing on the other side of the solar panels.

Ian, the shearer who is filling in for Liz is coming on Friday morning at 8:30 am to shear the sheep.  I was relieved when he got back to me so quickly and said he would be here so soon.

I’ve been looking at Merricat and Constance’s wool and I think it may be long enough to shear.  It won’t be a lot since they’re still small, but I’d love to have some white Romney wool to mix with Liam’s wool.  Then I could leave some white and dye some.  And Constances’ black wool will be lovely just as it is.

I’m going to use Kim’s wool to make dryer balls.  I still have time to figure it all out.  But it’s always fun to think about how I’ll use all the wool.

I’ll get this wool back as yarn and roving in the fall.   I already have a list of people who want dryer balls and yarn.

Robin Magnets Coming May 17th

Robin Magnet

Well, I did it.  I ordered 100 Robin Magnets from Sticker Mule.  They’re scheduled to come on May 17th, but I have a feeling they may get here sooner as often happens.

They’re about 3 1/2″ x 4″ and like my other magnets, they’ll be $6 + $1 shipping for one or more.  I’ll be putting them up for sale in my Etsy Shop but you can also email me about them.  I take checks, PayPal and Venmo.  I’ll be happy to take preorders too.  You can email me here.

Robin, like the chicks, is getting bigger every day.  Today he was hanging out under the hay feeder with Merricat.  He’s good and plump from all that spring grass.

Robin and Merricat under the feeder

One Walk In The Woods, Two Different Experiences

I squat down, play with the photo settings on my iPhone and take a picture of the wildflower not yet blooming in The Orphaned Woods. I take a few more, turning the phone upside down, trying different settings and lenses.   Before I’m done I hear Fate running behind me.  I know in a moment she’ll be in my face, probably stepping on the wildflower at the same time.

We do this when we walk in the woods together.  Find each other when one of us has fallen behind for too long.

When I realize Fate is not ahead of me I look around till I see her, nose down at the base of a tall Spruce.  I stand back a few feet watching as she smells the soft rounded earth cradled by the thick roots.  I watch her nose as it travels up the tree, noticing the scratches in the bark.

It looks to me like someone burrowed out a small hole to sleep in last night. Maybe they nibbled on the bark or climbed the tree and left their mark.  I know Fate’s done getting the story when she squats and pees, just a little, leaving her scent.

Her interest in the smells on the tree is different than mine.  I observe, trying to understand what happened and why Fate cares enough to spend her time here. I’m not really sure what draws her.

But there are some interests we always share.  Both of us stop at the coyote scat.

I notice there’s a lot of hair, with a small piece of bone and observe the signature point and twist at one end.  Fate gets her face closer than I do, her nose almost touching the scat.  Perhaps she recognizes the coyote that left it.  The smell familiar to her. I’ve seen her scoff up coyote scat, but this time she just pees on it (she seems to have an endless supply of pee to mark with).   I imagine each action conveys a different message.  Perhaps eating the scat is more aggressive than just marking it.

I don’t smell what Fate smells and she doesn’t see what I see.

We walk together in the woods, but we have different experiences.  She follows her nose, keeping tabs on me, never wandering too far.  And I’m keeping an eye on the ground so I don’t trip over fallen branches and uneven earth while trying, at the same time, to see what’s around me.

For me, the appeal is more visual and intellectual.  That sense of wonder in finding something that touches my imagination.   I imagine in Fate, our walks awaken her instinct, those ancient codes of survival.

We keep each other good company while allowing the other to pursue their own interests.  And we trust that we will never stray too far from each other or go home alone.

Water filled the hole in this tree, creating a little ecosystem perfect for the slug who is visiting there.


Back To The Bronx Zoo

Robin pushing White Hen out of his way.

Tomorrow Jon and are going to the Bronx  Zoo to meet his daughter and granddaughter.  It was over a year ago that we last saw them at the Zoo, just before the Pandemic shut things down.

We had a sweet time when we were last there.  I’m looking forward to the same tomorrow.  We’ll be staying overnight and be back home Monday afternoon.


Sitting With The Chicks

Kitty and Anne exploring the laundry room

It’s not often we have chicks in the house.  They really do seem to get a little bigger every day.  Now they’re more feathers than fluff.   Their feet grew so long I had to put a thicker branch in the crate for them to roost on.

And they’re curious too. They keep testing out their wings to see exactly how they work and poking their heads out the door when I change their water or give them more food.

Today they looked to me like they wanted to do some exploring.  And I wanted to watch them.

So I closed the door to the laundry room where the chicks are, took them out, and sat on the floor.

Anne perched on my feet and flapped her wings


I watched them wander around, hop on my legs and peck the dried mealworms I place there.  The room is small but still, they never strayed too far from me.  They pecked at my boot and leggins and socks.  They were curious and seemed unafraid of their new surroundings.

At one point Kitty walked onto my open hand, I felt a vibration in her feet, like a cat purring.   When I Googled it, I discovered it’s called “foot trembling” and is “used to induce insects to move in order to reveal their location.”

I couldn’t help thinking about how chickens experience the world in such a different way than we do.  And how little I know about them.



Full Moon Fiber Art