Sunday, August 11, 2013

Family, Camping, and Chickens

Last weekend, I headed down for a family wedding down at the beach.  Shawn is the child of my mother's cousin, Susan.  She and her sister, Nancy, have been so sweet about inviting me to family functions.  I feel lucky to have this extra connection to my mother's side of the family.

After a brief ceremony conducted by Susan's husband, we headed inside a beach house for a reception.  It was terrific to catch up with everyone.  Below are Nancy and my Uncle Randy (mom's brother).  I wasn't sure if any of her brothers or their families would be able to make it, but I was delighted to see them!

The next weekend held Let's Go Camping at Wallowa Lake.  I'd been really looking forward to it as Kelly has never been to Wallowa Lake.  Unfortunately, a job went really long and he wasn't able to go.  I drove 6.5 hours to the campground which is almost in Idaho.  This picture doesn't really do it justice: Wallowa Lake is a gorgeous, glacier-cut lake.

This was the view from our group camps along the river.  I am standing with Jimmy, one of the co-coordinators from Let's Go Camping.  Jimmy and Jill, his counterpart, are incredible human beings who have crafted one of the most successful programs for folks new to the outdoors that I have ever seen.  It is a pleasure to volunteer with them!

The following, one of my hens collapsed on her first birthday (hatchday?).  She'd been sneezing, but she's had the sneezies before, so I didn't think much of it.  Kelly helped me get a little travel kit together and I rushed her to the vet.  She was extraordinarily groggy and weak.  The vet wasn't sure what was wrong, but did tell me that birds end to hide illness until it's nearly overtaken them as they would seem vulnerable to other birds in the wild.  Well, shoot.  He gave her an injection of antibiotics and one of B vitamins.  He sent me home with two B vitamin injections and a feeding tube.  For almost the remainder of the day, Kelly and I syringe-fed her mash and water.  I've nursed chicks before, but the results have not been outstanding.  I am thrilled to say, though, that by the fourth day she's eating and drinking independently, perching, and walking a little bit.  We're not out of the woods yet, but I have a lot of hope.  Below, Austra and I are hanging out and watching Aladdin together.
I've had a couple young Ameracaunas in a cage inside the coop for three days and tried integrating them into the flock today.  I was all set up with books, this blog entry, and a comfy camp chair to supervise the process.  Unfortunately, my older birds seemed a bit too eager to show their dominance.  I'm going to give them a few more days then try again armed with tricks this time!
Finally, yesterday I said goodbye to prime 29 and turned 1/3 of a century old.  Kelly and I went berry picking in the morning and snagged some late season marionberries and blueberries.  In the afternoon, we cleaned the pine needles off our driveway and tidied our kitchen.  Kelly cooked me a delicious meal and blueberry guh for dessert.  My roommates came home and we played games in the evening.  It was a super huge treat as Kelly made sure I didn't have to cook or clean.  Wowee zowee!