Eggs-tra! Eggs-tra! Read All About It!!

doo dootdoot DOO dootdoot doodoodoodooooo DUHta DUUUUUHH!!!!!!! {when I say that out loud it sounds like fanfare and is very exciting… just go with it}

Our first orpington egg!! (next to one of Shelley's for comparison)

Our first orpington egg!! (next to one of Shelley's for comparison)

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I present – our very first Orpington egg!!!  <<loud cheers and applause from all around>>

This morning I took a break around 10 am to let the chickies out into the grass for a bit because it’s been hot here (mid-90s) the last few days and when I’ve tried to let them out in the afternoon, they’ve  been turning right around and going back in to get out of the blaring sun.  Anyway, I digress… lately I’ve been getting all my eggs at once… I’d go out at some point and find two or three ladies in nests (and Shelley on the floor) and then an hour or so later, I’d have 3 or 4 eggs and that would be it for the day.  They lay a little later in the day each day and then they mostly skip a day and then start back over in the morning.  Well, yesterday I got 4 eggs – Pippin, Lady B., Rory (another huge one), and Lorelei – around noontime.  So, at first this morning I didn’t bother to check for eggs… but after they had been out a while and I put them back in the run, I decided just to have a quick look because I can’t help myself.  Shelley had skipped yesterday so I guess she was due this morning and the first thing I saw was her pretty green egg in her usual spot on the floor.  Then I did a quick scan of the nests and at first saw nothing, but then I decided to reach in and feel around in the hay in case one was hiding (this has never done my any good until today).

And there it was!  A pretty creamy, pinky-brown egg nestled in the straw!  Isn’t it lovely??

Shelley's egg, Orpington egg, Rory's huge egg from yesterday

Shelley's egg, Orpington egg, Rory's huge egg from yesterday

For size and color comparison, here it is next to Shelley’s green egg and Rory’s huge, chocolate-speckled egg.  I don’t have a nice, dark Lorelei egg to compare it to right now because the last few the Lorelei has laid have been rough-shelled and dull-looking.  As far as I can tell from my research, that happens when the egg takes too long to travel down the tract and has extra calcium deposited on it.  Apparently this is common in young, newly-laying pullets.  The only other causes are infectious diseases and water shortage and she seems totally healthy and is the only one who is doing this, and they are never without water.  Moving on…

In case you haven’t seen enough pictures of my lovely eggs, here is my own rainbow of them (my first rainbow of eggs was made out of only two of my own eggs with store-bought for comparison):

Right to left, eggs from: Pippin, Lady B., Shelley, an Orpington, Rory

Right to left, eggs from: Pippin, Lady B., Shelley, an Orpington, Rory

So far, Pippin lays the smallest, lightest-colored eggs (reasonable, considering she’s the smallest, lightest-colored chicken :) ), Lady B’s are similar but slightly bluer and larger, Shelley’s are medium-sized and very green (it’s so hard to portay color on a computer), the Orpingtons are creamy light pinkish-brown, Rory’s are brown with speckles, and Lorelei’s are smooth, chocolate brown.  I think those are all of our layers for now.  Except oh yeah, I forgot one thing…

Duh duh duDUH!!!

We got another Orpington egg this afternoon!  When it rains, it pours, I guess.  I didn’t take a pic because it is identical to the first one, only it has a little blood on it, like Shelley’s first one did.  Anyway, I caught Dorothy in the act for the this second one (sitting in a nest and then a little later, an egg in her place), so I know she laid it… and I assume that means the one from the morning is from Blanche.  Sophia is behind the other two in development, so I don’t think it was her.

That makes for other big news today as well – a total of 5 eggs today!  That’s our biggest egg day so far!

So, a quick rundown of who I think is and is not laying:

Is laying for sure:

  • Lady B.
  • Pippin
  • Shelley
  • Rory
  • Lorelei
  • Dorothy

I think is laying, but not positive:

  • Blanche

I think is not laying, but not positive:

  • Sophia
  • Pol Pot
  • Maggie
  • Daisy Mae

Pol Pot and Maggie both have nice, red developed combs, though, so they are either close or I have been crediting someone else with their eggs.  Sophia and Daisy Mae have less comb color and development so I think they’re not quite ready yet.

Things of Beauty

Heritage, a David Austin Rose

Heritage, a David Austin Rose

Just look at it.  Perfection.  It makes all the hours of ripping out old plantings and weeds and digging back-breaking, gigantic holes and hauling rotted manure and loads of dirt in the cold and rain and roasting heat and burning sun and whatever all worth it.  It makes me want to do it all again so I can have more of this wonderous beauty in my life.  I have to admit, several weeks into hole-digging and dirt-slinging, I was kicking myself for buying all these roses.  What was I thinking??  This is just too much.  What if they’re not as great as I remembered them to be?  What if I got taken in by the glorious photographs and descriptions in the catalogs and websites?  What if indeed.

How could I have worried?  This is my first fully-formed flower from any of my baby roses and let me tell you… every petal is perfect and glorious and even in the heat of the day, it smells strongly of old-rose with a strong lemony-overtone.  Worth it.  Worth it.  Worth it.

A cluster of ripenines "Jewel" black raspberries

A cluster of ripening "Jewel" black raspberries

Just as beautiful in a totally different way, this is our first and only cluster of “Jewel” black raspberries.  That really dark one on top I think is ready to be picked today, but I am making myself wait until tomorrow because we already got two ripe red raspberries and I was too impatient and I picked them red and soft-ish, but I didn’t give them enough time to produce enough sugar to be really sweet.  They needed another day or two.  And so I wait.  Jewel variety is supposed to have prehaps the best flavor amongst black raspberries and I have to admit the wait is killing me.

At this point in time, it seems more than appropriate to show you something that proves, if nothing else, my love for the aforementioned and pictured items:














This is my back and side.  I know have any morning glories planted this year, but it’s only because I didn’t get to it.  Just wait until next year.  Anyway, this is my tattoo on the day it was completed (hence the redness in some areas) in September 2007.  It was done by an artist in my hometown of Oakland, CA – Marie Wadman of Diving Swallow Tattoo.  It is all done with organic, plant-based inks and it is a totally original design, as is all of her work.  Even if you are not into this sort of thing, I truly encourage you to take a moment and check out her work on her site.  She is an incredible artist.  Her waiting list is over a year long (or at least is was when I got this done), but it is worth every moment of waiting.

My own story is that I planned this tattoo for about 5 years and I thought about it extremely carefully, but I only planned to do it if I could ever find an artist who could really do it properly.  I looked for years and found no one even close.  I once read an article about a tattoo artist in Italy that sounded like he had potential, but that was it.  Then as a last-ditch effort, Brian and I went to the Tattoo Exposition at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in late 2005.  After an hour or more of slogging through the hot, crowded mass of bikers, freaky body-piercings (I’m all about piercings, but think: a dozen metal rings pierced into the skin of the back with leather laces running through them like the back of a corset, holding up giant, feathered angel wings.  I kid you not.), and people with dog collars and leashes hooked to rings in their noses, we were about to give up when we stumbled on a small, quiet booth decorated subtly with beautiful floral art.  It was totally different than anything else in there and the nice girls gave us photo albums to browse that contained the most beautiful tattoos I’d ever seen in my life.  And to top it off, they were located right in Oakland!  Artists at this show were from around the world… New York, LA, London, Japan, Australia, Germany, etc, etc.  And this place was in Oakland!!!  It was fate.  And the rest, is history :)

One more pretty thing before I go:

pink sweet peas from "Wedding Blush" mix from Botanical Interests

pink sweet peas from "Wedding Blush" mix from Botanical Interests

OK, more than one…

Cupani's Original sweet peas

Cupani's Original sweet peas from Renee's Garden

Darlow's Enigma rose from Heirloom Roses

Darlow's Enigma rose from Heirloom Roses

Darlow’s Enigma is my most successful rose to date… I called Haritage my first fully-formed flower, but I lied… this one bloomed first – with many, small, single white flowers that are very fargrant, this is a vigorous rambler/climber that supposedly does well in many conditions inclding full shade.  It is highly fragrant and always in bloom… and my little baby that was planted this spring has already taken off with lots of healthy canes and more than two feet of growth.  I plan to climb it up one of the pillars on my front porch.


One thought on “Eggs-tra! Eggs-tra! Read All About It!!


    This was a blog full of visual goodness is all I can say.

    Lay chickens lay. You sure have a pretty assortment of eggs there. Since I have 3 BRs, 3 BOs, and 2 RIRs – and four so far are laying, I’m getting the pinkish brown eggs from all.

    No complaints though, I love going out to see what got left anywhere from 7 – 10 am.

    Gorgous roses you got there. Inspires me to plant some. I’ve been at this 4 acre property coming on two years and haven’t yet planted any.

    Same with the raspberries. Planted them at the last place but not here. All my energies went towards getting this property ready for horses.

    TATTOO – that is the prettiest tattoo I have ever seen. A gorgous piece of art. Does it still look as colorful a couple years later?

    Great day and stay cool.

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