Saturday, May 5, 2018

Weekend Roundup: Q and R

I missed the weekend roundup last week, so I'm doing 2 letters this week - Q and R.  The prompts for Q from Tom the Backroads Traveller are: Starts with Q, Favourite, and Quiet, and the prompts for R are Starts with R, Red, and Favourite.

Starts with Q:
I'm feeling woefully inadequate for Q this time around.  Here is a picture of a pair of American Wigeons taken last month at the local waterfowl park.  American Wigeons are ducks.  Ducks say "quack" which begins with Q.  (see....really not very inspired).

Here is a quiet bunny.

Did you know that rabbits actually do make noises?  Most people think that rabbits are entirely quiet, but this is not true.  They make a range of noises, but many of them are soft noises that you wouldn't normally hear.  An annoyed rabbit makes a soft growl or grunt noise.  Sometimes Pippin does this when I pick him up and he doesn't want to be picked up.  Sometimes it's also accompanied by kicking feet.  Happy rabbits sometimes grind their teeth a bit (just gently - serious grinding is a sign of pain).  The grinding can make a soft noise almost like purring.  

In cases of extreme distress or pain, rabbits can actually scream.  This is a horrible noise and one that I never want to hear again.  I heard it once, and it was unforgettably bad.  

Starts with R:
This week, the helpful local carpenter (who built my little barn and chicken coop last year) was able to build and install six raised beds for me in my backyard.  I am really excited about this because it means that I will be able to grow some veggies of my own this year.  Raised beds are great because they tend to have fewer weeds and are easy to fill with ideal soil blends.  I will be filling these with some of my own compost as well as some compost from the farm where the carpenter lives.  As you can see, they are positioned near the chicken coop.  In the fall, when the beds are needing to be cleared out, I will make a portable raised bed frame so the chickens can forage in a bed for a day, without being taken by hawks.

The carpenter and his team carried the beds from their pickup trucks into my yard.  The beds are made with extremely thick rough-cut lumber.  They are lined with poly to help them last, but given the thickness of the wood, they will last a looooong time!

Then they positioned them all as I had requested.  This arrangement takes best advantage of the sun that I get in the yard (which is limited due to all the trees). I took this picture from the balcony off my bedroom to show the arrangement with the trees.  This is facing mostly east, but slightly south.  I put some cardboard in the bottoms of them to prevent weeds growing up, although they are 24 inches deep, so they probably won't have a problem with that.

They are constructed with a ledge around the top edge that I can easily sit or lean on for comfort while gardening. He even rounded the corners so I would not hurt my knees while walking around the beds.  It is great to have good help!  He is coming next week to help me fill them.

Last week I was able to photograph a pileated woodpecker.  It is the largest species of woodpecker we have in this area, and it has a bright red crest.  The male (seen below) also has a red "moustache" along the side of his face.

Here are a couple of favourites from the last couple of weeks.

A mourning dove on a wood stump in my yard having her fill of seeds.

A purple finch on a branch in the yard.  The favourite aspect of this picture is that the buds are swelling and getting ready to break.  I am so very ready for green!


Jim said...

Your raised beds are nice, Claire. My sister had several and they do make gardening easier. I learned a lot here about rabbits but I am still wondering if really do dig rabbit holes.

Betty Crow said...

Oh I love the 'Quiet' rabbit. So cute! I want a raised bed for tomatoes, but can't seem to get my hubby interested in building one for me. Enjoyed your Qs and Rs.

Tom said...

...'Q' can be 'Q'uite hard. With you raised beds you could cover them with plastic of glass and get a jump on spring. Love your feathered friends. Thanks Claire for stopping by, please come again.

Lin said...

Oooh, the raised beds are GREAT! How lucky you are to have found a carpenter to help you do these things.

I have heard rabbits scream---it is never good.