Saturday, July 19, 2008

Netroots? Nah, We're Going to a Chicken Seminar

I can't imagine being cramped in a convention center all weekend attending the Netroots Nation conference. Here at the kona ranch we wish them all the best. However, we headed out at 9:00 this morning to attend a seminar at the Natural Gardener nursery on creating a backyard habitat for chickens.

It was very interesting and included tips for stealth chicken operations to help you avoid irking your neighbors, or offending local neighborhood regulations which often frown upon homeowners keeping backyard chickens. (Avoid owning roosters.) Such regulations are ridiculous anyway since I'm not aware of any regulations against keeping dogs which can be among the noisiest animals around. And we learned that dogs love to kill chickens unless they are trained to co-exist. Beasts!

The Natural Gardener is just a few minutes from our house and it's always a relaxing retreat. And I usually leave with some idea for a project I want to do to beautify our own place. Like this round elevated planter made of local stones.

There were probably 150-200 people attending this seminar which surprised me. I really wasn't close enough to see the speaker so I tended to wander around snapping pictures and listening. I heard some fowl activity in some nearby shrubs and found a rooster lurking.

There was also some clever marketing woven into the seminar. Someone builds and sells this chicken "stage coach" for housing your hens and protecting them from predators such as skunks, which apparently have a taste for chicken blood -- preferably after popping off their heads.

The stage coach has a built-in two-seater area where the hens can lay their eggs, and there's a door on the outside for reaching in and stealing the eggs. Clever.

Right behind the rooster's shurbery was a pen for these two goats.

There was also a patch of sunflowers that had a few giants. I was a few feet away from it and standing up, so the center of this shot is at my eye level.

After an hour I was getting tired of the hot morning sun and I went to view the little stream which was created using rainwater from a nearby collection tank.

Even though it was roped off to prevent people from getting close to it, I certainly was wanting to plant my ass on that rock and let the water run over my bare feet.

At the front of the nursery there is a huge fenced-in area housing two donkeys. They are brothers.

There were plenty of butterflies working over all the flowering plants and this one wasn't very skittish when I approached. I got several pictures but this is probably the best one.

I decided I couldn't take the lengthy question and answer portion of the seminar another minute. I had to sit down for a while and these beautiful Adirondack chairs were calling my name. I really would love to have a yellow one and a green one. They were on sale for $280 each but we'd need a truck to get them home. And I should probably find something less expensive.

But they were made of recycled plastic and had the look and feel of wood. They would last forever I'm sure.

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