Friday, June 18, 2004

Well, we've spent the past week caring for our 12 new arrivals--baby chicks! You can check out some chick pics at our projects page. We brought them home last Thursday as one-day old babies, and they've nearly doubled in size, I think! They are living in a swimming pool brooder in the shed, except for a several day stint in the laundry room due to unseasonably cool temperatures the day after we brought them home. The kids have been helping to take care of them, even walking outside in the rain and dark to check the temperature in the brooder, which needs to be kept between 90 and 95 degrees the first week. Now, we'll start dropping that temp by about 5 degrees each week until they no longer need the heat. We had three chicks suffering from pasty butt--lovely description, isn't it? So, we ground and mixed some oatmeal with the starter feed, and talked about how different foods affect our digestive system. All the chicks now seem fine. They're big enough now that our new worry is them flapping out of the brooder!

The 4-H club is coming together, and I've been spending lots of time on the details for that. The weather here has been disgusting, so lots of time cooped up inside! I'm putting it to good use, though, keeping up with all my volunteer activities and working on a new page for my website.

Emily lost her first tooth on Monday! She was so excited and had been waiting for months to lose a tooth. The past week, the kids have been watching lots of tv and movies, putting on musicals, drawing and painting. Poor Sam was pretty sick on Monday, but luckily, the girls got a much more mild version and just felt a bit out of sorts. It's been a pretty low key week, focused mostly on the chicks.

Yesterday, we harvested likely the last lettuce from our garden because of the heat and the first string beans. We have several green tomatoes on the vines and lots of flowers on our cucumber and zuchini plants. We've already roasted several green chilis, and there are more following! Afterward, we went on a hunt for some butterfly eggs and found two batches! We've tentatively identified one batch as as Zebra Swallowtail eggs, which we found on a pawpaw leaf. The other batch I'm baffled over, and we'll likely have to wait till they hatch. We found them on a spicebush leaf, but they're yellowish orange. I don't think they're spicebush swallowtail eggs, though they may be giant swallowtail eggs even though spicebush is not listed as a host plant. We looked at eggs under the microscope, which was really cool! I'll post those pictures as soon as I capture them.

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