Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Year in review - Part Two
All creatures great and small...

Val got his own post. Here's what the rest of the critters got up to in 2017...

These girls lay blue eggs...

Chickens love pumpkin!

One day's egg harvest this summer.

Lost this girl to one of my neighbor's starving and neglected hunting dogs. She was torn wide open...

I caught the offender skulking around the farmette again the next day.

Another chicken killer. I caught and relocated five coons this summer...

This doe and her twin fawns were fixtures on the farmette...

Deer like pumpkin as much as the hens do!

This tree frog was the size of my fingernail.

Hiding in the corn plant.

I saved a dozen anoles from Val's water trough this summer...

I rescued this one from the Shimmy Shack.

Another save from the trough...

This rat snake was about to shed - embiggen to see her milky eye...

Super healthy Hatteras King snake - she was relocated to my property...

I found this shed snake skin IN THE SHIMMY SHACK!!!

Planted plenty of fennel this year, which attracted these colorful caterpillars...


which led to lots of Black Swallowtail butterflies! I watched them pupate and hatch out.

A Gulf Fritillary, which feeds on wild passionflower vines, and isn't supposed to be this far north...

❤️❤️❤️ The indoor crowd ❤️❤️❤️


  1. I am sorry about the loss of your chicken. I loved all the photos - just lovely.

  2. Sorry about the chicken. Great photos of all your critters.I'm not crazy about snakes. Is the King snake poisonous? I'd be a little creeped out about finding that snake skin in the Shimmy Shack too. Glad you're posting again.

  3. I love having snakes in the garden (even if i do jump when I see them) but I would NOT be happy to find a shed skin in the house/shimmy shack. Did you sleep that night?

  4. Poor dog. I wish people would take better care of the animals in their charge. I’m trying to convince the Hubby to get chickens. What type do you have?

  5. So many amazing and cool critters around the farm!

  6. Teresa - Sadly, the attrition rate for chickens is pretty high, though I'm glad that my losses have almost all been predator related.

    GHM - Our King snakes are predators for Water Moccasins and Cottonmouths, so I relocate every one I find to my property. Often I'm keeping someone from mindlessly killing them. They're a protected species, and super beneficial.

    Annette - The snake skin freaked me out a little bit, but I was having a mouse issue for a while and then suddenly I wasn't...

    Sara - I have a wide variety, mostly heritage breeds that are suited to my climate. I'll do a post on them with more info, but Meyer Hatchery is where I get my chicks - they have lots to choose from there.

    Emma - It's my peaceable kingdom :D

  7. Oh, LOVE all the pics, especially the sneks! So sorry about the hen... everything loves chicken :(

  8. Beautiful! I love that hiding frog (love frogs) All your chickens look so fat and happy! I'm sorry about the one you lost to the dog.

  9. jenj - someone has to be on the sneks' side. ;D

    L.Williams - We have lots of frogs here... ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Gorgeous photography. I didn't know you were such a snake whisperer!

  11. The Hatteras king snake is BEAUTIFUL.

  12. Melissa - I'm the go to person in the neighborhood when someone discovers a snake. Around here folks will kill first, ask questions later...

    Liz - Isn't she? We have a sub-species just located on the Outer Banks, I think it might even be just on this island.

  13. Looks like you've had a very busy year full of adventure. Beautiful chickens you have, and those eggs! So sorry about your hen, but I can't help but feel sorry for the dog who was just trying to eat. Never will understand why people keep animals and then choose to not care for them. Cruel. Okay, about the snakes. I can admire them from afar as a beautiful creature, but simply cannot abide being close to one. And having come from Oregon where nothing is poisonous, I absolutely cannot imagine living somewhere, where there are cotton mouths and water moccasins. Oh my, I don't know how you go outside with all those dangerous critters. Guess I'm a wuss...

  14. So many cool critters all in one place!! So sorry about the hen :( That dog breaks my heart, but that doesn't excuse it.

  15. C-ingspots - Poor snakes get a bad rap. The majority are beneficial...

    Dom - That dog was skeletal - and intact. I tied him up with the intention of turning him over to the nearest no-kill shelter, which would definitely have been an upgrade. Unfortunately he chewed through the rope and returned to his owner. A few days later he killed someone else's chickens, and the owner's response was - "yeah, he really likes to eat chicken."

  16. Congrats on the house, it looks beautiful! Love these pictures, too. I lost nearly my entire flock to a mystery predator this past year. Over the course of a week, whatever it was took over 20 chickens and ducks. Such is farm life. I shored up the coop and will start over this spring.

  17. That is really awful! Can the owner not be held accountable? I agree, it sounds like the dog needs an upgrade. I'd really like to eat chicken, too, if nobody was feeding me :( One of these days, somebody is going to shoot that dog...

  18. Love all the photos - what a wonderful documentary of the year of creatures on your farm! So sorry about your chicken. I hope the dog stays away. Looking forward to house building posts!!

  19. Hey Christian! It’s Ashley Hogan. Erin and I were talking about you last week so I had to see if you were writing your blog. I’m happy to see how well you and Val are doing!

  20. Hey Ashley! Wow - it's been a while. Hope you are doing well. Do you still have Howard?

    1. It has been. I do! And I got another horse named Benny. He’s the sweetest thing. We definitely need to keep in touch. Do you want my number or email address?

  21. Hey Ashley -
    Yes - definitely! Shoot me an email and we'll catch up offline:
    xianleigh (@) earthlink (dot) net


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