Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Chicks

Welcome to the newest addition to our little "homestead"

In May I got a batch of eggs from a very good friend of mine to hatch in an incubator.
The procedure was simple, just put the eggs in the incubator, fill in some distilled water, set it and turn it on, easy enough.
Three weeks later I was glued to the see-through cupola of the incubator...did I hear a tweet?  Is there a chick pipping?? And then, all of a sudden, out they came. I tried to catch this with a time lapse video...not perfect, but it shows you the process....simply fascinating:

The time lapse is done in 2 min intervals, I should have done way shorter time...

A week after they hatched, I had a little portrait session with them:

 click on the images to see them with more detail

Now they are in the stage between chicks and chickens, molting...teenagers, and growing fast.
I still have no idea how many are hens and how many are roosters...guesses go from three hens and two roosters to one hen and four roosters....

Friday, June 28, 2013

A very wet start of summer

Well, after a few wonderful days of spring and early summer, we had a rather wet last week.
The rain started on Wednesday afternoon with a thunderstorm that was going on for hours and rain pouring down as hard as I have never seen it before. This went on way into Thursday and on Friday reports from a drowning Calgary reached us. 
But disaster also struck close to home...bridges were overrun by water and some residents had to take a boat to get to their house:

It was really surprising how fast the water rose. The nearby Kootenay river tends to flood every year a little bit right around this time, when the melt water comes down from the mountains. This year though the torrential rainfalls added to the already high water levels and had let the river go over its banks in no time.
This is how it looked like last Friday...

Nearby pastures:

The street from Wasa to Fort Steel/Cranbrook:

This street flooded the night after I took this photograph and was closed for two days until the water receded.

Water getting sucked in a drainage hole under the highway;

Two Daisies fighting for survival in the muddy water:

Although it hit our little community quite hard, Calgary really suffered and is still suffering in the aftermath. The Saddle Dom, home of the Calgary Flames was underwater up to row 15! The whole downtown was flooded, streets converted to rivers, 100.000 people needed to be evacuated and many, many lost their homes. This is especially tragic since:  "Overland flooding resulting in water overflowing onto dry land and causing damage is not covered in home insurance policies in Canada."(1)

Now a soaring heat wave is predicted...which will have more snow in the mountains melt faster..... 

(1) For more info about Calgary, check out their city blog

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June Conservation Tip

Time to make use of natures' all inclusive, 
emission free solar dryer!

Seven reasons to give your dryer a summer break, too:

1. It saves money.
Dryers use a lot of energy!
Just look at this graph, published by the US Department of Energy (1):

...and that is just the money used for the energy to run the dryer, if the dryer runs less, it will last longer, so you save some money here, too

2. No carbon emission.
Not using a dryer can save between 300 and 1200 kg/CO2 a year, depending how often the dryer is used and what kind of dryer is used. (2/3)

3. No extra heat source in summer.
Running a dryer can rise inside temperatures significantly, no need for that on a hot summer day.

4. No static cling.
Depending where you live this can be a real hassle. And regarding to Care2 dryer sheets are not really a solution: .

5. Clothes will last longer.
Lint, the fuzzy stuff you have to remove from the dryers lint filter every time the dryer is used, consists of fibers from the dried your favorite T-shirt looses fibers every time it's in the dryer...

6. Clothes won't shrink.
Especially cotton tends to get up to a size smaller in the dryer. Good for that over sized sweater, not so good for the already a bit too tight jeans...

7. Best of all, clothes will smell good!
Nothing better than to snuggle into sun dried sheets....

If you absolutely have to use your dryer, consider using dryer balls (more about dryer balls and how you can make your own: May Conservation Tip 2010)

Did you know: The lint from the dryers filter is compostable.

Enjoy your summer!