Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Two Great Times!

During the last week in May, we stopped for another visit with Carrie and the family and ended up in the middle of a new adventure - the start of the chickens moving into the family!  Carrie was talking with a woman who told her that the favorite food of chickens is ticks, so from that moment on the focus turned to how could they get some fowl to eat the many ticks in the area as well as provide the eggs they need (eventually).

They started with two, one each for Sari and Lyla. They named them Rosie and Star and started to watch them grow.  

Lyla with Star

Sari with Rosie

Mom decided she would like some too so she sent away and three baby chicks arrived in the mail (amazingly) healthy and going strong.  Soon they were named and added to the brooder aka wood basket.

Jay got started on the yard and the coop after much discussion with Carrie about how it should look.
She really has a good sense of how things can work best, and how it can look within the setting of their home.

Yard before the coop was built. It will be along the backside wall closest to the house.

After a trip to Blue Seal feeds, it was decided that seven would be even better than five so now the flock is complete.

It has been fun to watch Sari and Lyla play with the chicks, adopting roles as they care for them, and asking each other to babysit when they took a bath.  

Carrie has also had a special time with them all, worrying and making sure each one stays healthy.  She loved chickens since she was a little girl. AfterI was told I was the Great Grammie to them all, I realized that these birds will be a very special part of the family for quite a while.

Our next stop, was back to Maine to have a visit with Katrina, Mike, Torrey and Cammi and of course Louie and Baby, the boxers.  We heard the loons, and saw the adults swimming in front of her house.

It was good to catch up with them, and we appreciated another chance to have Trine's Corn Chowder! It is really the best!

We have been planning to camp around Maine this summer, and we heard about a Birding Festival that was to be held in northern Maine.  Arootstock County has been a special place for Latona since her working days.  She would spend several days a month in the "County" and grew to appreciate the area and the people.  We decided to head to the state park near Presque IsLe and to spend part of our weekend at the birding event.

Here is the ranger who checked us in!

Our site

When we arrived we found these True Forget-Me-Nots on the back edge of our site. 
This happens to be the state flower of Alaska, and the day we set up camp here was the same day one year ago that we landed at Klondike RV Park in Soldotna, Alaska. It brought a flood of great memories and a feeling of missing our friends there.

Saturday morning we left early for the event that was held at the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge.
We had never visited this refuge so we didn't know what to expect.

Latona opted to stay in the van while I participated in the bird walk with Bill Sheehan.  There were quite a few people in the group and not many birds to be seen.  He was able to identify many by the calls and pointed out the sounds we were hearing. One that was singing a beautiful song was the Swainson's Thrush.

As we walked along, he told us about the fact that the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (our only one in Maine) often arrives in the area before there are any flowers to feed from, so in the woods they survive 
by drinking from the sweet liquid that collects in the holes made by the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.
Pictures from the Internet for you.

He also showed us where the Three-toed and Northern Black Backed Woodpeckers pulled scales off dead spruce and fir to find beetle eggs, and a spot where a Pileated had been drilling for ants making a hole about four by six inches.

After the walk, we drove into the Wildlife Refuge and learned that we were traveling through part of the former Loring Air Force Base. We didn't not know that this was the home of the Strategic Air Command. Amazing history here that we have been reading about. (Google the Loring site if you are interested.)


Some of the bunkers that was part of the weaponry stored here during the Cold War.

Then we found this poster at one of the kiosks.

Bombers to birds! Oh, that this could be
a theme in all the earth!  An Endangered species in Maine nests in the grass in front of the bunkers.

The Upland Sandpiper

Several other events made this a special experience. Seeing the freshly plowed and planted potato fields...

Latona seeing a friend...

And finding a warbler on a hike in city park.

Having trouble with Blogger so will sign off quickly. 

We are learning everyday and enjoying the beautiful earth!