Sunday, May 4, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things

How does that song go again? Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens/ Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens/ Brown paper packages tied up with strings/ These are a few of my favorite things... I don't know about copper kettles or woolen mittens but I do love a good kitten. Or a mischievous kitten. Or any kitten, for that matter. And while we're on the topic, I don't mind ducks, bunnies, dogs, grown up cats, horses.... who am I fooling? I like pretty much any animal, baby or not. Especially badgers. And most things containing sugar - I have a huge sweet tooth. But what does the rest of the Unfarm enjoy? Do ducks even have a favorite thing? Stay tuned.... 

Cheetos: These cheesy, crunchy treats are a favorite of Mynx. I have no idea where she picked up the Cheetos habit but there is no denying that she loves them. I am the only one who eats these on occasion and whenever I do, Mynx can be found sitting in front of me, waiting for me to break off tiny pieces of Cheetos for her. Also high on her list of favorite things is sleeping on my stomach at night.

This picture pretty much explains itself

Car rides: No one loves a ride in the car more than Axel. He especially loves to ride with his head sticking out the window and spends the trip whining in the backseat if he is not allowed to. I have tried to explain that I will not open the window if it is a) raining, b) cold, c) the car is traveling down the freeway at 65 miles per hour, or d) all of the above. He has informed me that he doesn't care: that is what fur coats are for and he will continue to complain, thank you very much.

Axel and his friend Stella hanging out in the car after a hike

Blueberries: These are a favorite of both the ducks and the chickens, but they have different strategies when it comes to harvesting these treats. The ducks go for a quantity over quality approach: they grab whatever bunches are within their reach whether they are ripe or not. Usually not. The chickens take a more precision approach: they stand beneath the bushes, get a berry in their sights, and then jump straight up into the air and grab one berry at a time. 

Grapes: Similar to the blueberries, the chickens and the ducks both go after my grapes. The chickens have a distinct advantage here, though, in that they can fly up into the grape arbor and eat at their leisure. We generally consider ourselves lucky if the humans on the Unfarm manage to get any fruit. 

A young Belle sits in the grape arbor
The kitchen: This room is endlessly fascinating to the chickens. Who knows what wonderful little bits they might find on the floor in here - pieces of dog food, bread crumbs, bird seed, a random vegetable piece or bit of fruit. (Perhaps we do not sweep the kitchen as often as we should, but I'm going to look at the positive side - it's not a lack of cleaning but actually an opportunity for chicken enrichment activity.)

Daisy, Penny and Sakari raid the kitchen
Sakari checks out Buddy's food bowl for leftovers

Jumping: No surprise here - this is a favorite of the bunnies. Ginger and Clover are especially fond of jumping which means that they are not allowed out in the grape arbor run as they can clear the fence and escape into the yard. This is great fun for them but means that we then spend at least half an hour chasing them around the garden trying to catch them. This is not fun for us.

Ginger prefers hanging out on TOP of her cage rather than inside it
Making the bed: Or more accurately, unmaking the bed. Max is quite fond of hanging out on the bed when I am trying to make it. He is convinced that the true purpose of this activity is to entertain him by playing blanket monster. While I am trying to straighten the blankets, he is diving underneath them. Or jumping on top of them. Or hiding beneath one and attacking my hand whenever I move near enough. 

Max is an expert at making simple chores take twice as long as they should
Getting treats: everyone on the Unfarm enjoys treats. You can't shell peas around the ducks without losing at least half of them to Maggie, who is tall enough to reach the bowl on your lap. The chickens come running whenever squirrel food is being doled out, or the compost bin from the kitchen is taken out, or the leftovers no one wants are brought out. (Spaghetti is considered "pasta worms" by the ladies.) The cats always enjoy a bit of tuna (or tuna sprinkled with Cheetos.) The dogs are fond of just about any treat we give them and especially enjoy it when I bake for them - carob brownies area  favorite. And then there's the bunnies - despite the fact that rabbits are regularly depicted as having a serious carrot habit, they actually prefer dandelion leaves (organic, of course) or bananas. Speaking of treats...I think I hear a mini batch of chocolate chip cookies calling my name. If they are also calling your name, feel free to make a batch. The recipe is on this blog under the title "Chocolate chip cookies mini batch." Enjoy.

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