18 June 2015

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 8  Cr

“Guess what, Chicken Butt !”    That’s what Akka and his friend Benjamin used to say in 4th grade all the time that drove me nuts…..  but this week it actually fits:  this week it is almost all about chickens.

2015-06-18 three chicks  Cr

Last Friday, before I left for Suva, Austin got me to take this picture of his new two-color babies.   He thinks they are totally adorable, and is planning to breed them to see if he can establish a penguin-patterned line.

2015-06-18 sand for the chix 1  R

A beautiful Monday afternoon driving along the coast.   Austin wanted to pull off.

2015-06-18 sand for the chix 2  R

onto a beach where the tide was coming in quicker than we expected.

2015-06-18 sand for the chix 3  R

so that he could get sand for his chickens to eat along with their food, because they need the calcium.   He gets more sand every month or two – I think this is the only time I got photos of it.

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 1  Cr

When we got home, he had to show me the chickens he bought on Saturday.  He paid a HUNDRED DOLLARS for this pair of chickens.   They are from Vatulele Island and they are (he believes) 100% genetic descendants of the first chickens to come to Fiji.

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 2  Cr

The rooster has got some impressive spurs!

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 3  R

And really fleshy white “ears” (so I guess they produce white shelled eggs).   Austin is totally indifferent to what humans wear, but he is totally smitten with chicken feathers.   “Make sure you get a photo that shows how his feathers gleam.”

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 4  R

“Oh, and the tail – make sure you can see the beautiful green in the tail – and the orange feathers.”

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 6  Cr

“Get the hen from her pretty side.”

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 9  Cr

“And make sure they see the interesting light mid-ribs on her feathers.”

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens 7 R

“And she has such a long tail for a female!”    (That’s why the chicken butt photo at the top – trying to get a good photo of her impressive tail.)

Since I was down in the chicken pen, I decided to get a few Ugly Chickens for comparison purposes –

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens contrast turuka  Cr

I’m calling him Tom – he reminds me of a turkey.  Such a red, bald neck.

2015-06-18 Vatulele chickens contrast tailless  Cr

And I’m calling this one Stumpy – he’s got no tail!  It’s not an injury, it is a genetic feature.   There are several Stumpies in the chicken yard.

That’s it for chickens … finally.

2015-06-18 whatsit bush 1 Cr

Here is a weird thing blooming right by the house.   The stalk with the “blooms” if that is what they are, has fallen over and is being propped up by a dead lawn chair.

2015-06-18 whatsit bush 2  R

Here is a closer look.

2015-06-18 whatsit bush 3  Cr

And this is the plant they came from.   The stick thing at 8 o’clock is the stalk holding the blooms.  Austin did tell me that this plant is in all the Fijian villages – and the black points on the leaves… turn into ROOTS.   A new plant can form from a leaf!

For a bit of human interest – Junia and I were out with Monica as she was exercising her brand new, first ever Driver’s License  (clap clap clap clap clap),  and we were on the following unpopulated stretch of back road ….

2015-06-18  there was a house here  R

… looking for a place to turn around.   Junia saw THIS (above) and exclaimed – “There used to be a house here !”

“Huh?”  I replied.     “The croatans,”  he responded.

2015-06-18  there was a house here  Cr

That’s these vine covered plants.    “Somebody had to live here and plant them. Croatans can’t grow so far from mumble mumble mumble.”      This was with the car moving.   I don’t get how people can know the plants so well and identify them under vines in a moving car!

*    *    *

And now for the puppy update:

2015-06-18 pups 1  R

Getting bigger – napping under a plywood.

2015-06-18 pups 2  R

Austin has made them a nice little puppy yard, outside.

2015-06-18 pups 4  R

They woke up when they heard me… and came out to investigate.

2015-06-18 pups 5  R

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6 thoughts on “18 June 2015

    • Austin is going to be so happy that someone else thinks they are beautiful! (Do you catch my reluctance? He doesn’t even notice when I’ve gotten my hair cut – ha ha ha)

  1. It took me a while to make my comments about this edition of your blog. It has been a busy summer around here. I enjoyed looking at the chickens and chicks. We used to raise chickens and I would get in trouble for trying to help the little chicks out the shell when they made the first break. I didn’t know you had new puppies. They are looking well fed. and as for the plants, some of them I recognize, but the Croatans was a plant we used to grow as a house plant. Hope things are going well. I enjoy the blog.

    • Hi Larry, I don’t know why your comment is requiring moderation … It’s as if wordpress forgot your email address! I know why the grown-ups were mad at you – helping too early means you end up with a bloody little chick that may not live; hatching is a process that requires several hours. Austin will often help the chicks out once it has been hours – though he admits he may be weakening the stock a bit by doing this.

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